Buddhist Hand Gestures
The Gesture of Turning the Wheel of Dharma
The thumb and index finger of the right hand stand for wisdom and method combined. The other three raised fingers symbolize the teaching of the Buddhist doctrine, which leads sentient beings to the paths of the beings of three capacities. The position of the left hand symbolizes the beings of the three capacities, who follow the combined path of method and wisdom.
The Gesture of Pressing the Earth
The right hand gestures pressing the earth. The position of the left hand symbolizes meditation. Together, they stand for the Buddha's overcoming of hindrances while meditating on emptiness.
The Gesture of Meditation
The nerve channel associated with the mind of enlightenment (Bodhichitta) passes through the thumbs. Thus, joining of the two thumbs in this gesture is of auspicious significance for the future development of the mind of enlightenment.
The Gesture Supreme Accomplishment and Meditation
The gesture of the right hand symbolizes bestowal of supreme accomplishment. That of the left hand symbolizes meditation. Together, they stand for the Buddha's power to bestow supreme and general accomplishments on his disciples, while he meditates on emptiness.
The Gesture of Turning the Wheel of Dharma and Meditation
The gesture of the right hand stands for turning the wheel of Dharma, while that of the left hand symbolizes meditation. The two conjoined symbolize teaching the Dharma while in meditation on emptiness.