Yonimudra, Yoni-mudra, Yonimudrā: 12 definitions


Yonimudra 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Yonimudra in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा) (or Yoni) is the name of the gesture (mudrā) associated with Kāmarūpa, one of the sacred seats (pīṭha), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Note: Although not all the mantras uttered in the course of a ritual are accompanied by a corresponding gesture, many are, and so are commonly formed (baddha lit. ‘bound’) in quick succession. In this context, the gestures [i.e., yoni] are, like the other constituents of the seats, channels through which the deity's energy flows and operates. The goddess, as pure spiritual energy, is herself Mudrā—Gesture.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा) or simply Yoni refers to one of the ten gestures (daśamudrā or mudrā-daśaka) of the Goddess Nityā Sundarī, according to the Kāmasiddhi-stuti (also Vāmakeśvarī-stuti) and the Vāmakeśvaratantra (also known as Nityāṣoḍaśikārṇava).—[...] Although the Vāmakeśvaratantra does not assign a place for the gestures (mudrā) in the maṇḍala, it does describe them and asks the worshipper to use them during the worship. As found in the third chapter of the Vāmakeśvaratantra, these ten gestures are [e.g., yonimudrā, ...]

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Yonimudra in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा).—The symbol pertaining to Devī; description of.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 42. 18; 44. 11.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Yonimudra in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा) refers to the “perineum”, according to the Śivasaṃhitā 4.97.—Accordingly, “When his semen moves, the Yogi should restrain it with Yonimudrā (perineum). This is called Sahajolī and is kept secret in all the Tantras”.

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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Mantrashastra (the science of Mantras)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (mantra)

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा) refers to one of the Pañcamudrās (“five mudrās or signs”), according to the Śeṣa-samhitā (p.26, mudrāvidhi).—Mantras refers to “that which is chanted by people to obtain their spiritual aspirations”. Mantras must be accompanied by the prescribed mudrās or signs. Mudrā is the position of the hand and finger indicative of various moods and sentiments, and accelerate the effectiveness of the accompanying mantras. The Śeṣasamhitā states that the five Mudrās [e.g., yonimudrā] yield the four puruṣārthas when displayed in the middle and end of a japa.

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Mantrashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, mantraśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mantras—chants, incantations, spells, magical hymns, etc. Mantra Sastra literature includes many ancient books dealing with the methods reciting mantras, identifying and purifying its defects and the science behind uttering or chanting syllables.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Yonimudra in Hinduism glossary
Source: Google Books: Explaining Mantras

Yonimudrā (womb sign); The yonimudrā is specifically prescribed as a cure for the two impurities of birth and death.

What is this mysterious yonimudrā? Yoni denotes the female sexual and reproductive organs, and is best translated as “womb,” as long as this is taken to refer to the external sexual organs and vagina in addition to the womb. Mudrā is difficult to translate, as it has a number of meanings. The primary one is a “seal” or “sign,” which underlies its use to denote a kind of symbolic had gesture. Mudrā is also the term for one of five substances or practices beginning with the letter “m” (pañcamaksāra), in which context it is usually translated as “parched grain.”

The yonimudrā is in part a gesture involving the complete interlacing of fingers in an all-encompassing embrace resembling that of the womb. However, it is also, and more fundamentally, a form of yoga. Yoga is distinguished by a concentration on restraining the breath and raising the kuṇḍalini through various psychic centers (cakra) andchannels (nāḍi) within the body. The kuṇḍalinī is the supreme Śakti, often depicted as a serpent, which, coiled at the base of the spine, through yogic practice is made to straighten and extend to the highest cakra in the cranium.

The yonimudrā and other yogic methods of making matras effective often prescribe a backwards and forwards motion through the cakras and nāḍī. These two directions correspond to the tow subsidiary channels of iḍa and piṅgala, which must be blanced or coordinated in the central cannel, or suṣumna, in which the kuṇḍalini moves. When this coordination occurs, the mantra will be effective:

“Mantras established in the (inferior) creaturely state are mere letters. (But) pronounced with resonance (dhvani) of the suṣumnā, they attain mastery.”

“When the breath has gone to both channels, then all (mantras) awaken; being awakened, they always achieve results for those using them”

Descriptions of the yonimudrā elucidate the connection between the image of the womb and the backward and forward motions of enveloping:

“She, in whose womb (yoni) creation is born, and is again absorbed (pralīyate)...is indeed the highest yonimudrā

The yoni is the womb of creation, the beginning and end of the cosmic evolution and involution. The backward and forward motions of enveloping and the yonimudrā represent, from a microcosmic perspective, the departure from and return to the womb, as well as, from a macrocosmic perspective, the creation and destruction of the universe. These motions also assimilate each form of creation to the act of secual intercourse.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा) refers to “womb hand posture”, depicted in both the left and right hand of Heruka: one of the main deities of the Herukamaṇḍala described in the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Heruka is positioned in the Lotus (padma) at the center; He is the origin of all heroes; He has 17 faces (with three eyes on each) and 76 arms [exhibiting, for example, yonimudrā]; He is half black and half green in color; He is dancing on a flaming sun placed on Bhairava and Kālarātrī.

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा) refers to the “womb hand gesture”, according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly, “[...] [Standing on] Bhairava and Kālarātri on fire on the sun [disk] on the pericarp [of the lotus], [Heruka] is dancing. [He should visualize Heruka] [...] A bunch of weapons is to be known in the right and left [hands] in order. (1) An elephant’s skin is [grasped] with [the first] two hands (the first pair of right and left hands), and (2) the womb hand gesture (yonimudrā) is [made] with with the second [pair of right and left hands] [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Yonimudra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा).—a particular position of fingers.

Yonimudrā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms yoni and mudrā (मुद्रा).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Yonimudrā (योनिमुद्रा):—[=yoni-mudrā] [from yoni] f. Name of a [particular] position of the fingers, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Yonimudra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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