Here is the explanation of the term “Jnana Mudra”. The Sanskrit word jnana means ‘intuitive knowledge’ and the word mudra, for the purpose of this discussion, means ‘attitude’; thus this hand position is known as the ‘attitude of intuitive knowledge’.
Jnana Mudra Technique
Sit in any meditative asana. Fold the index fingers of both hands so that the tips touch the inside root of their corresponding thumbs. Straighten the other 3 fingers and separate them slightly. Place the hands on the knees, with the palms downwards. The 3 unbent fingers and the thumb of each hand should point downwards towards the floor in front of the knees. Relax your arms and hands. Now prepare yourself for meditational practice.
Alternative of Jnana Mudra
Jnana mudra is often performed with the tip of the thumb and the index finger in touch with each other. In other words, the thumb and the index finger form a circle. This variation is equally as good as the basic position we have just described.
Symbolic significance of Jnana Mudra
This mudra is not only very comfortable for meditative practices, it also has various symbolic meanings. The following is the most common: the straight fingers, small, ring and middle, represent the three categories of nature. That is, nature is divided into three arbitrary aspects: tamas (inertia, laziness, darkness, ignorance, etc.), rajas (action, passion, movement) and sattwa (understanding, purity).
These three states have to be transcended one after the other, in order to pass from darkness into light and from ignorance to knowledge. The bent index finger represents the individual manifestation of consciousness (jivatma).
The thumb symbolizes the all pervading consciousness or reality. The individual (index finger) is bowing down to supreme consciousness (thumb) and acknowledging its unsurpassed power. Yet at the same time the index finger and the thumb touch each other, which shows that though they seem separate, in fact the individual being is one with the supreme. It symbolizes yoga at its culmination.