Kataka Mudra - Gesture of Openess - Seal of Receptivity

Kataka Mudra - Gesture of Openness

Jack Utermoehl

Kataka Mudra (kah-TAH-kah) - Gesture of Openness

Kataka mudra, often depicted by the goddess Parvati, symbolizes openness and receptivity. This mudra is traditionally used to hold offerings (prasad) and is mostly depicted in statues where offerings would be placed.

It is also commonly seen in murtis (statues of deities) where the deity's hand is in Kataka mudra, ready to receive offerings. Practically, it can be used to hold a bracelet, damaru (two-sided drum), mala, or other spiritual objects. You may see Nataraj with this mudra holding his damaru.

Kataka Mudra - Gesture of Openness Angle

Instructions

  1. Sit comfortably with a straight spine, or stand if preferred.
  2. Extend your right hand.
  3. Create a 'C' shape by curling in the thumb, middle, and ring fingers without them touching.
  4. Extend the index and little fingers straight out.
  5. Hold the mudra at the level of your heart or in front of your chest.
  6. Focus on your breath, keeping it deep and even, while maintaining a sense of openness and receptivity.

Benefits

  • Enhances hand dexterity and coordination.
  • Creates a sense of openness and readiness to receive.
  • Enhances the practice of offering and receiving in spiritual rituals.
  • Openness to giving and receiving.

When to Practice

Although it is rare to practice or use Kataka mudra often, it’s a good practice to perform at least once or twice to experience this mudra.

  • When preparing offerings in a spiritual or religious ceremony.
  • While holding spiritual objects to deepen your connection to their energy.
  • When mirroring a murti to integrate their symbology.

Duration: 5 minutes

Best Time of Day: Anytime

Contraindications

None specific, but individuals with severe arthritis or hand injuries should practice gently or consult a healthcare provider.

Kataka Mudra - Gesture of Openness Jack Utermoehl Meditation

β€”β€” πŸ•‰ β€”β€”

Personal Insights

In my personal experience, Kataka mudra has been part of my meditation practice with murtis as I work to absorb the lessons of yogic deities. For instance, working with Parvati who most commonly holds Kataka mudra, I love to place flowers, a mala, and jewelry in her hand.

This practice not only hold significance that Parvati is demonstrating receptivity and openness but also that she is symbolically taking responsibility for the offering while being non-attached since Kataka mudra never β€œcloses” the hand.

This helps myself, and perhaps you, to understand that when we are offered something, anything, we can take accountability for that thing. It could be trust, it could be love, it could be something precious.

In the process of integrating this lesson, holding Kataka mudra allows me to understand the effort required to hold anything in one place without becoming attached to that thing.

Parvati with Kataka Mudra
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