Buddha Pose Meaning

With so many different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the world, it can be hard to find the perfect Buddha to help you in your path. Each pose and position have different meanings which represent different things the Buddha is trying to teach you or remind you to do. There are 4 main sitting positions and several 'mudras' or hand positions. 


Sitting Lotus

Representing peaceful meditation

Sitting legs open

Representing activity and energy


Representing firmness and being determined


Being relaxed


Touching the Earth

Calling the heavens and earth to witness the journey to the path of enlightenment.


It shows that the Buddha is disciplining his mind through mental concentration, a necessary step to achieving enlightenment.

Charity or Wish giving

This mudrā is usually associated with a standing Buddha. This position can signify either that the Buddha is granting blessings or receiving charitable offerings


Either one or both arms are shown bent at the elbow and the wrist, with the palm facing outwards and the fingers pointing upwards. It shows the Buddha either displaying fearlessness in the face of adversity, or enjoining others to do so.


The arm and hand are positioned in the same manner as in the abhāya mudrā, except that the thumb and forefinger are brought together. The gesture can be made with either the right or left hand (usually the right), but not both. This mudra signifies an appeal to reason, or the giving of instruction. Since the Buddha is appealing to reason, the gesture is often interpreted as an appeal for peace

Setting the Wheel in Motion

The hands are held in front of the chest, with both hands in the vitarka mudrā position, with the fingers of the left hand resting in the palm of the right hand. This is a less common mudrā since it refers to a particular episode in the Buddha's life: his first sermon, when he "set the wheel (of his life's work) in motion." It can be used for both seated and standing images.

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