Hindu Prayer Postures and Their Meanings•
Posted on March 04 2022
It is a well-known fact that Hindus close their eyes and fold their hands when engaged in prayers. They do this for a specific reason. Adopting these postures to say your prayers has their own benefits over other postures. According to Hindu mythology, these gestures were taught to the legendary sage Bharata who is considered to be the master of dance by none other than Lord Shiva. This lord is referred to as The Destroyer and the king of dance.
Let us now look at some benefits that these postures offer, which make them the reason we follow them even today.
Closed Eyes Posture
When you close your eyes during prayers, you are isolated from any form of distraction in the surroundings, especially in crowded places such as temples. This will, in turn, help you concentrate and focus more on your prayers. In fact, this is why people opt to keep their eyes closed even when they meditate or perform certain yoga poses. Apart from helping to keep distraction at bay, some benefits of praying with closed eyes are given below.
- Praying with closed eyes helps you develop a personal connection with your favourite god. This paves way to become closer to the Almighty and helps you develop inner peace along with a sense of tranquillity.
- Closed eyes indicate reverence to the lord. They also help you imbibe reverence and humility while acknowledging that there is a supreme power above you. In other words, closed eyes represent the fact that God is in control of your life and nothing can happen to you without his will.
- When you close your eyes, you will be able to indulge in better self retrospect. As a result, you can analyse yourself in depth and determine for yourself what exactly it is that you want. This will help you have a clear understanding about the purpose of your life and your mind will be free of confusion. You will be able to offer your prayers with a clear mind.
- Closing your eyes for prayers can help to relieve you from stress during those few minutes. Needless to say, a stress-free mind plays a key role in keeping you free of worry while ensuring that you are happy and relaxed at the same time.
- Devotees are able to visualise their favourite god in a form that they like. They are able to say their prayers with better effect when they focus on that form. This brings them closer to their preferred deity and helps them develop a sense of security.
- Closing eyes during prayers help worshippers sleep better at night. When your eyes are closed to recite bedtime prayers, your mind is automatically at ease. This will assist you in being surrounded by positive vibes and sleeping peacefully. Setting up a bedtime prayer routine with eyes closed can help to enhance your sleeping pattern as well.
Folding Hands Posture
There is a specific way in which you must fold your hands while praying. The palms must be brought together as in Namaste position. However, you should hold them together shaped like a lotus. This posture is referred to as Anjali mudra. It is very important to keep your hands only at the chest level. You should make sure that you hold them higher in front of the neck or lower before the stomach. While some people raise them above their heads, there are also those who feel it is wrong to do so and associate this action as something that can only be done by priests in a temple. When you fold your hands, it highlights your gratitude and faith towards God. It is also considered to be an act of surrender to the supreme power. Folded hands also have various other advantages as mentioned below.
- Folded hands are a symbolic representation of communicating to the Almighty with utmost honour and respect to Him.
- When you fold your hands in front of the lord, you are actually seeking guidance from Him to fulfill the purpose of your life on earth.
- Your right and left hands are representations of positive and negative energies respectively. When you bring them together and fold them, the energies get neutralised and produce a reflex action in the nerves. This, in turn, generates a resonance rhythm and triggers a state of meditation.
- The folded hand posture helps to stimulate the fourth chakra, namely the Anahata chakra or the Heart chakra. The more you use this gesture for praying, your sixth chakra that is the Ajna chakra or the Third Eye chakra also gets activated.
- Folding your hands with the palms together helps you to get relief from stress and increase your focus with a calm mind. As a result, you will be able to concentrate better on your preferred deity.
- Folded hands can help you get your thought process right and develop an inner awareness of self. This will guide you towards engaging in positive thoughts and actions.
Written by Deepthi K