On Cin Mudra
  • Adi Shankarar was asked to give advice to his disciples. He showed the
    Chin-Mudra and said nothing else. What he wanted to convey was understood by
    his disciples. Certain other onlookers did not understand that and had asked
    one of the desciples to explain. He said,
    *the 3 straight fingers signify 'Mann Asai' i.e. Love for land, 'Ponn Asai'
    i.e Love for gold and 'Penn Asai' i.e Love for women.*
    *If these 3 are discarded from our life, then the Jeevathma (index finger)
    will meet the Paramathma (thumb).*
  • To give a perspective on hastas/mudras. It would also be interesting to understand that each finger represents one of the elements (pancha maha bhoota).
    Middle finger-Agni
    Ring finger-Apah
    Little finger-Prithvi
    And it is also to be understood that the human body is divided based on the pancha bhootas
    Akasha-the head
    Vayu-the chest
    Agni-the stomach
    Apah-the urinogenital
    Prithvi-the anal
    By holding Chin mudra, one should understand that there is a control on the akasha and the vayu within the body. Akasha and Vayu are nis-sparsha bhootas, the untouchable (only feelable bhootas) while the other three are relatively tangible.
    Chin mudra is generally held in three levels. In the chest, on the thigh level, or top of the head (above the ucchanthalai or sahasrara chakra). They are contextually different.
    Any mudra held at the chest level has somethig to do with manas (mind) and communication. In classical dancing, most of the hastas that communicate mental state and mind originate from the chest area or the space of vayu. Thats why in the paintings and scultures of GURU, PARAMAHAMSA and ACHARYAs the chin mudra held at their chest level suggests that they are communicating something from their own mind to the other mind. In an icon of a GURU when the Chin Mudra is held and the eyes are wide open and straight (sama drishti) then it can be perceived that the GURU is communicating to someone. In an icon of a GURU when the Chin Mudra is held and the eyes are half-closed, looking into oneself (nimeelita drishti) then the teacher is in deep contemplation. His contemplation becomes the teaching.
    The same CHIN mudra in saivaite iconography refers to GNANA, in Bhuddist iconography it refers to DHARMA. The Chin Mudrra at cheat accompanied with a pataka at chest level is called DHARMACHAKRA MUDRA.
    This sybolises control of the senses - tapas, striving to gain energy and streamlining one's mind. In icons one would have observed that chin mudra is held at chest and above head(eg: parvati penance) which denotes control of senses at the level of vayu and aksha.

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