Blue Door And Mudra Drawn On The Wall

Door and palms
Shot in the city of Berhampore, India Tetsu Ozawa

The blue door was flanked by big palms

I was walking on the outskirts of Berhampore and saw a building with a blue door. Next to the door were two palms painted on the wall. They were both the palms of the right hand. This kind of palm illustration can be found here and there in this area. It might be some kind of advertisement or propaganda or something, or it might have some meaning, but I don't know.

When I looked them up later, I realized that they might be a kind of mudra, the fingers of the hand are used to make various shapes to indicate the inner sign of the Buddha, bodhisattvas and other deities. This form, with the palm of the hand raised and facing forward, is called the sign of fearlessness, Abhayamudra. It is a sign of encouragement to others not to be afraid. In Japan, statues of the Buddha are often seen in this pose with their hands slightly raised.

Although the seal is a symbol of Buddhism, the Abhayamudra is also found in Hindu images, so it is not surprising that it can be found in the corners of towns where Hindu people are the majority. However, I had no idea what I should be afraid of.


What is Abhayamudrā?

The Abhayamudrā "gesture of fearlessness" is a mudrā (gesture) that is the gesture of reassurance and safety, which dispels fear and accords divine protection and bliss in many Indian religions. The right hand is held upright, and the palm is facing outwards. This is one of the earliest mudrās found depicted on a number of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh images.

Where is Berhampore?




Shooting Date

Jul 2011

Posted On

March 18, 2012


Berhampore, India


Architectural Photography