By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Jnanamudra, JJAnamudrA, Jyaanamudraa
Jñānamudrā literally means ‘pose of knowledge and wisdom’.
Mudrās are the poses of hands which indicate or signify some idea or teaching. They are generally shown in the icons of gods, goddesses, sages and great persons. Jñānamudrā is generally exhibited in the right hand of images of divinities like Dakṣiṇāmurti and Subrahmaṇya. It is also depicted by the ācāryas like Śaṅkara and Madhva.
In this mudrā, the top of the fore finger is rested on the top of the thumb. The other three fingers are shown either straight or slightly bent. It suggests the absorption of the jīva in Brahman or God. Sometimes, the right hand, in this pose, is kept on the heart and the left hand with the palm facing upwards is placed on the left thigh.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore