VITARKA - Teaching Transmission:("mudra of discussion") is the gesture of discussion, intellectual argument and transmission of Buddhist teaching.
While the right hand is held at chest level and palm outward, vitarka mudra is done by touching the tips of the thumb and the index together forming a circle,
and keeping the other fingers pointing up. Sometimes the left hand is held with fingers pointing downward, at hip level, also with palm outward and with the thumb and index finger forming a circle.
The circle formed by the thumb and index finger is the sign of the Wheel of Law. This mudra is mainly used for images of the Great Buddhas, and symbolizes one of the phases of the preaching of the Buddha, that of discussion or teaching of the dharma. The circle formed by the thumb and the index, a complete form, having neither beginning nor end, is that of perfection;
it resembles the Law of the Buddha, which is perfect and eternal.
This mudra has a great number of variants in Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia. In Tibet it is the mystic gesture of Taras and Bodhisattvas with some differences by the deities in Yab-yum. This mudra is also a universal sign outside of its Buddhist context, especially as witnessed by its frequent appearance in Christian iconography.
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