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Questions Regarding the Word Mudra: A Preliminary Survey of Gestures on Indian Icons and their Designation

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Fig. 9: Drawings of eight tantric mudras from a manuscript in "corrupt Sanskrit with an inter-mixture of Newari," dated c. 1795. Banerjea, The Development of Hindu Iconography, Plate V and page 263.

Banerjea also gives "the eight mantras associated with the eight" mudrās, which he selected from the MS "at random." They are "poses for the hands of the sādhaka, with the mantras uttered by him."

Banerjea gives no names for these mudras, but he does suggest interpretations. No. 1 expresses "waving flames of fire;" 2 "the hands tied by a noose;" 3 "offering a palmful of flowers to the deity;" 4 may represent "a lamp;" 5 "an elephant goad;" 6 may represent "a pot or offering;" 7 and 8 are simply the hands holding ritual objects. These mudrās are not seen on iconic objects.