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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Abhaya

DEFINITIONS

Abhaya:

A famous hand position (mudra) seen on many Tantric, Hindu, Buddhist, and even Christian statues. It is simply a hand (usually the right hand) raised to shoulder height with the palm forward and all fingers together, pointing up. While this hand position is often used in the West to mean "stop," Abhaya is a Sanskrit word meaning fearlessness, and is used on icons to represent the dispelling of fear. It source is the idea that "my hand is empty so you have nothing to fear," and is often used to indicate peace and friendship. As a symbol of fearlessness, it was traditionally the gesture made by Gautama (the Buddha) as soon as he gained enlightenment.


source: Great Sex Made Simple, Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson (Llewellyn Publications) - Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson


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