How to properly perform Jnana Mudra (psychic gesture of knowledge) & Chin Mudra (psychic gesture of consciousness)

How to properly perform Jnana Mudra (psychic gesture of knowledge) & Chin Mudra (psychic gesture of consciousness)

Hello my dear ones, in Sanskrit, the word jnana means 'wisdom' or 'knowledge', thus Jnana mudra is the gesture of intuitive knowledge. Chin, on the other hand, originates from the word chit or chitta which means 'consciousness'. Chin mudra, accordingly, is recognized as the psychic gesture of consciousness.

As per the Hindu tantrism, there are in total five tattvas or tattwas creating global energy cycles of tattvic tides that start at dawn with Akasha and finish with Prithvi:

Akasha (Ether/Spirit tattva) is embodied by a black egg

Vayu (Air tattva) is embodied by a blue circle

Tejas (Fire tattva) is embodied by a red triangle

Apas (Water tattva) is embodied by a silver crescent

Prithvi (Earth tattva) is embodied by a yellow square

Likewise, each of the five fingers of our hands represent the ‘Panch Tattwas’ or five elements.

Symbolically, the small, ring and middle fingers are said to personify the three gunas or qualities of nature: tamas (inertia); rajas (activity and creativity); and sattwa (luminosity and harmony) respectively. In order for consciousness to transition from ignorance to knowledge, these three states must be transcended. The index finger symbolizes the ‘jivatma’ or individual consciousness, while the thumb symbolizes supreme consciousness. In both Chin and Jnana mudras, the individual (index finger) is symbolically bowing down to the supreme consciousness (the thumb), thus acknowledging its unsurpassed power. Nonetheless, the index finger is touching the thumb, personifying the ultimate unity of the two experiences and the culmination of yoga.

Jnana Mudra (psychic gesture of knowledge)


Assume a comfortable meditation posture.

Fold your index fingers so that they touch the tips of the thumbs.

Straighten your small, ring and middle fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart.

Put your hands on the knees with your palms facing down.

Relax your hands and arms.

Chin Mudra (psychic gesture of consciousness)

As a matter of fact, Chin mudra is carried out in the same manner as Jnana mudra except that in the case of Chin mudra, the palms of both your hands face upwards, with the backs of the your hands settled on the knees.

Relax your hands as well as your arms.


Either one of these two mudras should be performed whenever you are practicing meditation, unless otherwise specified.


Both Chin mudra and Jnana mudra are relatively uncomplicated but vital psycho-neural finger locks which enhance meditation asanas, making them significantly much more powerful. The fingers and palms of the hands contain numerous nerve root endings which continuously emit energy. When the finger touches the thumb, a circuit is created which enables the energy that would typically radiate out into the external environment to travel back into the body and up to the brain.

When one’s hands and fingers are rested on the knees, the knees become significantly more sensitized, establishing another pranic circuit that sustains and redirects prana within the body. Furthermore, by placing one’s hands on the knees actually provides stimulation for a particular nadi which runs from the knees, up the inside of the thighs and into the perineum. This nadi or energetic channel is known as gupta or the hidden nadi. Sensitizing this channel helps stimulate the energies at Muladhara chakra.

In Chin mudra, when the palms face upward, the chest area is generally opened up. The practitioner may experience this as a sense of lightness and receptivity which tends to be absent in the practice of Jnana mudra.


Jnana and Chin mudras are also performed with the index fingers touching the inside root of the thumbs. For beginners, this variation may prove to be much more secure for extended periods of meditation as the index and thumb fingers tend to separate more easily when body awareness is lost. Otherwise, this variation is just as effective as the basic position.

Practice note

The effect of both the Chin or Jnana mudras is indeed extremely subtle and it typically necessitates great sensitivity on the part of the practitioner to actually perceive the change in consciousness established. Nevertheless, with regular practice, one’s mind becomes more and more conditioned to the mudra and when it is adopted, the signal to enter a meditative state is transmitted.


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