Friday, November 17, 2017

Yoga Mudras in Orthodox Christian Art: Does it indicate a Hindu-Buddhist Influence?

Note: This article has been included as a chapter in Prof.Michael Lockwood's anthological book The Unknown Buddha of Christianity.It has also been published in the Science to Sage E-Magazine.

Yogic knowledge had spread far and wide in the ancient world. My research into the Olmec culture of Mesoamerica had revealed that the Olmecs were ardent practitioners of hatha yoga – a set of asanas or postures that balances and aligns the body, mind, and spirit. 

Quite unexpectedly, I also came to a startling realization: a large number of religious icons of the Orthodox Christian Church depict Jesus, Mary, and the saints performing hand-gestures which correspond exactly to specific yoga mudras. This suggests that, meditation using yoga mudras may have formed an essential part of the spiritual practices of the early Church.