The Varada mudra (favourable mudra) signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity.
The Varada mudra is nearly always shown made with the left hand by a revered figure devoted to human salvation from greed, anger and delusion.
The Varada mudra can be made with the arm crooked and the palm offered slightly turned up or in the case of the arm facing down the palm presented with the fingers upright or slightly bent.
The Varada mudra is rarely seen without another mudra used by the right hand, typically the Abhaya mudra. It is often confused with the Vitarka mudra, which it closely resembles.
In China and Japan during the Wei and Asuka periods respectively the fingers are stiff and then gradually begin to loosen as it developed through time, eventually leading to the Tang Dynasty were the fingers are naturally curved.
In India the Varada mudra is used in images of Avalokitesvara from the Gupta Period of the 4th and 5th centuries.
The Varada mudra is extensively used in the Buddha statues of Southeast Asia.
(Japanese: Yogan-in, Segan-in, Seyo-in; Chinese: Shiynan Yin.)
Share this page