Varada (Boon-Granting) Mudra

In Buddhism, this mudra symbolizes charity, compassion and boon-granting. It is the mudra of the accomplishment of the wish to devote oneself to human salvation. It is nearly always made with the left hand, and can be made with the arm hanging naturally at the side of the body, the palm of the open hand facing forward, and the fingers extended.

The five extended fingers in this mudra symbolize the following five perfections:

  1. Generosity
  2. Morality
  3. Patience
  4. Effort
  5. Meditative concentration

This mudra is rarely used alone, but usually in combination with another made with the right hand, often the Abhaya mudra (described below). This combination of Abhaya and Varada mudras is called Segan Semui-in or Yogan Semui-in in Japan.

Ratnasambhava, the third Dhyani Buddha displays this mudra. Under his spiritual guidance, the delusion of pride becomes the wisdom of sameness. The Varada Mudra is the key to this transformation.

This article was written by Nitin Kumar of Exotic India Arts. Used by permission.

External Links on Buddhist Mudras
  • Mudras: Sacred Hand Gestures - BuddhaNet Buddhist Studies
  • Buddhist Art and Architecture: Hand Mudras - BuddhaNet
  • The Ten Most Important Mudras - Neurotopia
  • Buddhist Hand Gestures - Government of Tibet in Exile
  • Mudras: Hand Positions of the Buddha - Lotus Sculpture