Dharmamudra, aka: Dharmamudrā, Dharma-mudra; 2 Definition(s)

Introduction

Dharmamudra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

[Dharmamudra in Pancaratra glossaries]

Dharmamudrā (धर्ममुद्रा) or simply Dharma is the name of a mudrā described in the Īśvarasaṃhitā 50-53.—Accordingly, “the two hands are to be kept apart and then the index fingers are to be joined face to face; leaving this formation for the two middle fingers; the ring fingers shall be left out, this shall be done to the two little fingers. This shall be done to the two thumbs while forming each. These four mudrās are for dharma and others and adharma and others. The lotus that exists above them (dharma and others) was described before with mantras.”. Mūdra (eg., Dharmamudrā) is so called as it gives joy to the tattvas in the form of karman for those who offer spotless worship, drive out the defects which move about within and without and sealing up of what is done.

(Source): archive.org: Isvara Samhita Vol 5
Pancaratra book cover
context information

Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Dharmamudra in Mahayana glossaries]

Dharmamudrā (धर्ममुद्रा) refers to the “seal of the Dharma” according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV):

The person who thinks falls into Māra’s net,
The person who does not think finds escape (niḥsaraṇa).
Mental discursiveness is not the Path,
Non-discursiveness is the seal of the Dharma (dharmamudrā).

According to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 36, utilizing the seals of the Dharma (dharmamudrā) of the Buddha, his penetration is unhindered in the same way that the holder of the royal seal (rājamudrā) is never delayed or restricted in his movements.

There are three kinds of seals of the Buddha’s Dharma:

  1. All conditioned dharmas (saṃskṛtadharma) arising and perishing from moment to moment are impermanent (anitya);
  2. All dharmas are without self (anātman);
  3. Peaceful is nirvāṇa (śāntaṃ nirvāṇam).
(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Relevant definitions

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