Posted by: gdevi | January 25, 2013

Hands

I was over at the Two Sisters Center today and was surprised to find many beautiful sculptures of hands all over the store. I told the owner how auspicious it was that she had so many hand sculptures all over the place. When she told me that she always felt drawn to buy hand sculptures, I told her that it was perhaps not random at all. You see, Hindus believe that your hand is the most important organ of apperception and action. Then I told her about this mantra that Hindus use for meditation — Karadarshanam.

Practicing Hindus would tell you that when you first awake in the morning, you must not jump out of bed, or start thinking about work or your list of things to do or money or debts or anything of the kind. When you break the fast called sleep, when you have allowed all of your sensory organs to fall into a state of rest, and you wake up, it is a state change. Hindus would tell you that you should initiate this state change each morning by bringing your hands together and feeling your hands mindfully, perhaps by folding it in supplication or prayer and silently meditate on the following mantra. It is a beautiful mantra. The essence of the mantra is this: within your hand resides the three divine goddesses – Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth), Saraswati (the goddess of Learning), and Gauri (the mother goddess or Devi, also known as Sakti (pure energy), Siva’s consort).  Both Lakshmi and Saraswati are emanations of the mother goddess or Devi. When you meditate on your hand, you invoke the blessings of all three goddesses to bless everything you do for the rest of the day.

In western metaphysics too, there is a similar link between hands and divinity. Remember Michaelangelo’s great painting of God and Adam? In the iconographic systems of many religions, supplicating hands differentiate the spiritual being from non-spiritual beings.

Here is the full mantra, first in Sanskrit, then a linear translation in English, followed by a sense paraphrase translation in English.

Karagre vasate Lakshmi
Kara madhye Saraswati
Kara moole stithe Gauri
Prabhate Karadarshanam

Karagre – at the tip of your fingers   vasate – resides   Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity
Kara madhye — in the center of your palm  Saraswati – the Hindu goddess of learning
Kara moole – at the base of your palm (wrist really)       stithe – dwells       Gauri — the Hindu mother goddess or Devi, the root source of all divine energy and power (Sakti)
Prabhate  — at the break of dawn     Kara – palm/ hand     darshanam – contemplate, look, study

On the tips of your fingers, Lakshmi

In the center of your palm, Saraswati

At your wrist, Gauri

Pray to your hand in the morning.

The divine energy of Gauri or Devi flows outwards from your wrist to your palm and to the tips of your fingers. When you write, when you cook,  when you eat, when you type, when you garden, when you clean, when you lift something, when you play something, when you build something, when you treat something, when you operate on someone, when you touch something, when you drive, when you sow, when you reap, your hand is your primary interface with the world. By meditating on your hand, and by asking the mother goddess and her incarnations to bless your hand, you are asking for divine guidance throughout the day for your actions.  You don’t have to go to a temple or a church or a mosque. You can pray to your own hand mindfully. Its a good concept, isn’t it? So don’t put fake nails on your fingers. And don’t raise your hand in anger. You never know what the gods will do.

 

Hands with flower

Gardener Hands

Photographer: Lesleigh Bahnmaier, Lenexa, Kansas
Subject: Earl Bahnmaier

© University of Kansas Medical Center

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