A mudra is a symbolic hand gesture and finger posture that acts as a non-verbal mode of communication and self-expression. The mudra helps to evoke symbolic meanings of the specific mudra used to the mind. We can observe these mudras used in various forms of traditional and folk dances, yoga and meditation, sculptures, etc.
Besides, Buddhist arts also depict the mudra as they are regarded as the general guidelines of the spiritual gestures portrayed and taught by the Buddha. Additionally when buddhist followers practice meditation while confronting Buddha Statue, the mudra maintained as that of Buddha statue helps to evoke symbolic representations of that mudra to the mind. This will help to achieve what they are seeking for.
Among various mudra, Karana mudra is the sacred buddhist mudra that focuses on removal of obstacles and fear. It refers to a symbolic protection gesture to keep away from evil and other negative influences. It helps to eradicate all negative emotions like anxiety, fear, depression, etc. and foster positive emotions like happiness and contentment. Hence, Karana mudra is also known as the "gesture for warding off evil."
In this mudra, Buddha’s right hand is outstretched vertically or horizontally with the palm facing forward or towards the left side. The middle finger is gently curved downward which touches the tip of the thumb forming an oval figure. The ring finger is also gently curved downward while the index and little finger points straight upward. This mudra stimulates fire and ether elements within the body, represented by the thumb and middle finger respectively.
Buddha statue portraying Karana mudra often depicted in seated posture. While the right hand portrays karana mudra, the left hand gently rests on the lap with the palm facing upward. In some statues, the left hand is raised slightly up towards the belly region.