Measurements: 11" inches height and approximately 8" inches width
A mudra in Buddha statues is a gesture and body posture holding special meanings and commemorating few of the important moments in the Buddha's life.
The vitarka mudra is said to represent the teaching phase and endless flow of energy in life
In the Vitarka Mudra, the tips of the thumb and index finger touch each other and form a circle. The right hand is held up to the viewer and the left hand is resting in the lap. The Mudra symbolises the teaching phase in the life of Buddha and the circle stands for a never-ending flow of energy.
The hand with the tips of the thumb and index finger joined together is held closer to the chest than in that of the Abhaya Mudra while the palm is facing outward. The other three fingers of the hand are pointed upwards. The earlier versions of the mudra were found to have involved the right hand of the images but these days the gesture is often depicted with both the hands.
There are many variants of Vitarka mudra that have been observed. In one of the variants of this mudra, the palm of the left hand is rested upward in lap with the right hand raised to the shoulder lever with the thumb and index finger forming a circle. Similarly, in another variant, the index and the little fingers on the both hands can be seen extended with the middle and ring fingers curved slightly inwards. The left hand in this variant can be seen pointing up while the right hand is pointing down. Sometimes the middle finger and the thumb are seen touching each other which is taken as the mudra of great compassion. Similarly, the touching of the thumb and ring finger expresses the gesture of good fortune. Vitarka mudra is a common gesture among the Buddha statues from ages in Thailand.
This mudra is also sometimes, substituted for Dharmachakra Mudra. Also called "The Gesture of Debate" or "discussion" mudra, Vitarka mudra can be seen in both the sitting and standing Buddha statues. The Vitarka mudra can be seen in many other variants in the regions where the Mahayana Buddhism is prominent, specifically the countries in East Asia. In Tibet, the Vitarka Mudra is often taken as the mystic gesture of Taras and Bodhisattvas with some variations by the deities in Yab-Yum. Vitarka mudra is also known as Prajnalinganabhinaya or Vyakhyana mudra (the mudra of explanation) in Tibet.
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