Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes description of various mudras (mystical gestures with the fingers) which is Chapter 42 of the Lalitopakhyana (or Lalita-Mahatmya), an important scripture within Shaktism embedded as the final part in the Brahmanda-Purana. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between sage Agastya and Hayagriva, which is incarnation of Vishnu and also includes the Lalita Sahasranama.

Chapter 42 - Description of various Mudrās (mystical gestures with the fingers)

Note: This chapter deals with Mudrās specially observed in Śrīvidyā. The most important is Yonimudrā described in vv. 17-18.

Agastya said:—

1. “O Hayagrīva, narrate the various positions of fingers in the formation of mystical gestures whereby Śrīdevī becomes delighted.”

Hayagrīva said:—

2-3. “(The following one) is the great Mudrā Āvāhanī (invoking one) which is described as Trikhaṇḍā (having three parts). Turn your hands making the palms clearly face the front. Join your thumbs together. Keep the index-fingers bent and beneath the ring fingers. O ascetic, one should place the small fingers in their own places.

Now I shall describe Mudrā called Saṃkṣohhiṇī (the Agitator). Listen.

4. The middle fingers should be kept in the middle flanked by the thumbs and small fingers. The index fingers are kept upright like rods. The ring fingers are placed over the middle fingers.

5. If in this Mudrā, the middle fingers are kept upright, O suppressor of the pride of Vindhya, the Mudrā is then called Vidrāviṇī (Driving others).

6. The small fingers and the ring fingers are equally kept in the middle of the middle fingers and the index fingers that have the shape of goads, O Pit-born Sage. This Mudrā (named) Ākarṣiṇī (Attracting one) is capable of attracting the three worlds.

7-9. The palms are made in the shape of cups. The index fingers have the shape of goads. The middle fingers are turned and kept beneath them. In this way, O celestial sage, the small fingers are in the middle of the middle fingers. The ring fingers are kept upright. The two index fingers are outside them. Then the thumbs are kept (upright) like rods reaching the place where the middle fingers move to and fro. This Mudrā is well-known by the name Unmādinī, O Scorcher of Vātāpi.

10-11. In this Mudrā, in the pair of ring fingers one is bent in the form of goads and kept beneath. The devotee shall make use of the index fingers also in the same manner. This is the Mudrā called Mahāṅkuśā conducive to the achievement of all objectives.

12-14. The arms are kept crossed—the right arm to the left and the left arm to the right, O celestial sage. The palms of the hands are turned. In this manner the small fingers and the ring fingers are joined, O ascetic. The index fingers are placed over them. The middle fingers are above ail. O husband of Lopāmudrā the devotee should keep thumbs upright. This is the Mudrā called Khecarī (moving in the sky), the most excellent of all excellent ones. By knowing this alone perfectly, the devotee shall be the favourite one of Yoginīs (the deities of that name).

15-16. The devotee should turn the palms of his hands making them touch other. He should join together the pairs of index fingers and thumbs simultaneously in the form of the crescent Moon. He should join the middle fingers together keeping the small fingers hanging down. After joining together these two fingers that are bent, the ring fingers are kept beneath all. This is Bījamudrā that is conducive to the proper functioning of all Siddhis ere long.

17-18. The tips of the middle fingers are kept bent and placed above the index-fingers. Similarly, the small fingers are placed in the middle of ring fingers. All the fingers are thus joined together and pressed by the thumbs. This is the first Mudrā termed Yonimudrā.

19. O celestial sage, these Mudrās cause delight unto Śrīdevī. They should be made use of at the time of worship in the proper order.

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