Buddhist Hand Gesture Dhyana Mudra is also referred to as samadhi mudra, meditative mudra or samahita mudra.
The Buddhist Hand Gesture Dhyana Mudra shows the back of the right hand placed in or on top of the left hand and together they rest on the lap both facing upwards. This is the attitude of ardent meditation. Sometimes a medicament or alms bowl or a vase may rest in the palm.
Unlike the bhumisparsa mudra this mudra belongs to several events in the life of the Buddha before and after enlightenment.
Some of these events:
- After hearing the news that his wife Yasodhara had given birth to a son one morning, he sat up in bed that same night and saw her sleeping as though dead
- When he performed his first meditation after renunciation
- After six years of fasting and penances, he rejected extreme asceticism and accepted Sujata’s rice and alms. This alms bowl can be seen in some of the Dhyana Mudra hand gestures
- When he sat with his alms bowl in his lap under the hood of Muchalinda Naga. It has been said that after enlightenment there was a great storm in Bodhgaya with torrential rain for several days. At this time a Naga king named Muchalinda protected the Buddha by coiling his body around him and spreading his hood to protect him from the rain. These scenes are depicted in many art forms and sculptures of the Buddha
- When sitting in the house of gems (Ratanaghara) meditating on the abhidhamma in the fourth week after his enlightenment. Abhidhamma is the higher teaching of the Buddha, also referred to as the ultimate teaching (paramattha desana)
- On his second visit to Rajagriha after enlightenment when King Bimbisara presented to the Buddha a peaceful and secluded haven called the Veluvana “Bamboo Grove”
- When he reformed the proud and arrogant King Jambupati. In this scene the Buddha is dressed in royal attire with full regalia to humble King Jambupati. In the dhyana mudra he is holding a medicant bowl in his hands.
Buddhist Hand Gesture Dhyana Mudra
The majority of Burmese Buddha statues show the Buddha with the right hand in Bhumisparsa mudra and the left in Dhyana Mudra sometimes holding an alms bowl of medicament bowl with a few showing the Dhyani Mudra gesture.
A larger view of this gesture can be seen by clicking on the image below