Damaru-hasta and Kartari-hasta

by Aranyakananda

A couple of interesting things I picked up in my reading on Hindu iconography:

There is a hand gesture which has been adopted by fans of heavy metal music as a sign of their love and loyalty to metal. To gesture thusly, one extends the index finger and the pinkie, folds down the middle and ring finger which are met with the thumb. Depending on whose side you’re on it is also considered to be the “sign of the devil.”

In Hinduism, this gesture is generally the configuration of the hand while holding a small hand drum, a damaru. The drum and the sound it makes when played are directly associated with the primordial sound, Om, or Aum. So this hand configuration which has come to be so taboo in the West, in the East can be directly tied to the most auspicious of symbols and sounds, the Om.

The seemingly duplicitous, the contradictory, can be the norm, and accepted in Hinduism.

Speaking of Western hand gestures, everyone knows that holding up the index and middle finger while holding the other two down with the thumb is the “peace” sign. In Hinduism, if the hand of a Murti is empty while in this configuration, it symbolizes the antlers of a deer, which in turn symbolize the contradictions inherent in all things.

Jai Hari Aum.

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This entry was posted in American Hindus, Aum, avatars, Avatars of Vishnu, Brahma, Dharma religions, dualism, duality, Eastern Philosophy, Ganesh, Ganesha, God, Hindu Sects, Hinduism, India, Indian culture, Kali, Kalki Avatar, Krishna, Lakshmi, Lord Hanuman, Lord Rama, Om symbol, painting, Puranas, religion, spirituality, Western Hinduism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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