Literally Bhumisparsha translates
into 'touching the earth'. It is more
commonly known as the 'earth witness'
mudra. This mudra, formed with all five
fingers of the right hand extended to
touch the ground, symbolizes the
Buddha's enlightenment under the bodhi
tree, when he summoned the earth
goddess, Sthavara, to bear
witness to his attainment of
enlightenment. The right hand, placed
upon the right knee in earth-pressing
mudra, and complemented by the left
hand-which is held flat in the lap in
the dhyana mudra of meditation,
symbolizes the union of method and
wisdom, samasara and nirvana,
and also the realizations of the
conventional and ultimate truths. It is
in this posture that Shakyamuni
overcame the obstructions of Mara
while meditating on Truth.
The second Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya
is depicted in this mudra. He is
believed to transform the delusion of
anger into mirror-like wisdom. It is
this metamorphosis that the Bhumisparsha
mudra helps in bringing about.
This is the gesture with which the Buddha summoned the
Earth as witness to his realization of Buddhahood. It is
considered a gesture of unshakability; thus Akshobhya (the
Unshakable) is usually depicted with this mudra.
Variants: Bumispara, Gouma-in (Japan).