Channeling the Power of the Yoga Goddess, Living Life’s Dharma
Within the scope of Tantra there are one hundred and eight hand gestures or mudra’s, and many more mantra’s with which to combine Asana and Pranayama’s for building strength and courage to take on life’s purpose for us. Here are a few selections for channeling each Goddess…
Lakshmi Devi Mudra
Place hands in Anjali Mudra (prayer position). Part the fourth fingers. Place the second fingers behind the fourth fingers. Bring the fingertips of the second fingers toward the tips of the thumbs. Touch if possible. Cross the fifth fingers. The first fingers face outward, beside one another.
The Abhaya, or fearlessness gesture is one of the most commonly depicted mudras, representing benevolence and the absence of fear. The gesture confers onto others the same freedom from fear, so this mudra can also be interpreted to mean “fear not”. The gesture is made with the right hand raised to shoulder height, with the arm bent and the palm facing outward. A Buddhist legend tells of when the historical Buddha was being attacked by an angry elephant, he simply held up his hand in the fearlessness gesture and calmed the raging animal.
The Varada mudrā (“favourable mudrā”) signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity. It is nearly always shown made with the left hand by a revered figure devoted to human salvation from greed, anger and delusion. It 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 Vitarka mudrā (“mudrā of discussion”) is the gesture of discussion and transmission of Buddhist teaching. It is done by joining the tips of the thumb and the index together, and keeping the other fingers straight very much like Abhaya and Varada mudrās but with the thumbs touching the index fingers.
“Lead me from ignorance to truth,”
Oṁ asato mā sad gamaya
Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya
Oṁ śānti śānti śāntiḥ (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28)
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace
“Om Sri Durgaya Namah,” this mantra is of Goddess Durga the combined form of the powers of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali. By chanting this mantra you align yourself with your dharma. All of your physical, mental, economic obstacles can be solved.
“Om Aim Saraswatyai Namah” Godess Saraswati bestows the devotee with the memory, knowledge and the power of truthful speech.
“Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat Om,” This Mahamritunjaya Mantra of Shiva is used to protect and cure a devotee of disease and fear of death.
In combination with a balanced, steady focus, the yogic warrior can defeat obstacles of any kind in her path. Channeling the spirit and nature of those who possess the knowledge we want is a tried and tested practice. It begins within each of us as the birth of an idea.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti…
by Claire Gunzel
Claire Gunzel is a student in the Feel Good Yoga teacher training program.