The Bhumisparsha mudra (“Bhumi-sparsha”) literally means “Touch the Earth Gesture”. There is symbolism involved in the name too. It represents steadfastness, the Earth representing the grounding the Buddha needed in order to not be swayed by Mara.
Each hand also represents something in its own right:
The right hand reaching down to touch earth represents upaya (skillful means)
The left hands on the lap represents prajna (wisdom).
This Mudra has the following benefits:
Helps to calm the mind.
Promotes meditation and makes it easier to focus when meditating.
The left palm facing upwards is a very calming position. If you place both your hands upwards on your lap (try it now) you will notice that you feel more accepting and more relaxed.
The fingers reaching down and touching the earth also help you to feel more grounded.
For Buddhists, because this mudra is so symbolic of such an important time in the life of Buddha, the mudra makes you feel more connected to Buddha.
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