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Shankh Mudra Worn By Devotees Of Lord Vishnu


Shankh mudra is the body markings worn by Lord Vishnu devotees. The body markings are applied with gopichandana or a ball of yellow clay. The clay is rubbed on the palm of the left hand with water to form a watery paste and then applied. The paste is applied curved or straight lines moving upwards (rarely downwards).

Shankh mudra is worn two on the left side of the stomach, three on the left chest, one on the left neck, one close to the left eye, two on the left shoulder and on one on the right shoulder. In total ten mudras are associated with Shankh mudra. The benefit of wearing it is that it enables a person to cross the ocean of life without committing sins.

Adopting mudra is not mere convention. These markings ward off sins and make a the devotee pure for subsequent rituals and meditations. The religious significance of mudras are explained in Krishnamrita Maharnava, Sadachara Smriti and Tantrasara (samagraha) of Madhvacharya.

Some mudras are only followed by the Madhwa school – followers of Madhvacharya.




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