At the time of the Buddha’s enlightenment he was still sitting serenely under the Bodhi tree. Mara, the personification of temptation, saw this and was greatly troubled. So Mara came before the Buddha with a great army (these are mind state) of both monstrously ugly and fearsome and the wonderfully beautiful (usually depicted as Mara’s three daughters) and he laid a challenge before the Buddha: “What right do you have to sit on the throne of enlightenment?”
The Buddha gently reached down and touched the earth saying, “I call the earth as my witness to this right.” Then Mother rose from the earth and said to the Buddha, “For every good deed you have done I will wring one drop of water from my hair.” Such was the great flood of water that swept away the armies of Mara.
The left hand rests palm up on the lap; the right hand, hanging over the knee, palm inward, points to the earth. Sometimes the left holds a begging bowl. This is the gesture with which Buddha summoned the Earth Goddess to witness the Ten Perfections which he fulfilled during his Bodhisatta days in his previous lives on earth to this realization of Buddhahood. It is considered a gesture of unshakable.
This is the fourth mudra in a series of ten mudras. The next mudra is Abhaya Mura.
Don’t miss it in the next posting.
Contributor : Chin Kee Thou (YMBA, 3rd year)