From how to perform achamana as found in the Devi Bhagavata Purana:

Firstly make the ordinary Âchaman three times, and, while inhaling, drink a little of the water of Âchaman, repeating “Om Kes’avâya Svâhâ, Om Nârâyanâya Svâhâ, Om Mâdhavâya Svâhâ.” Then wash your two hands, repeating “Om Gobindâya Namah, Om Visnave Namah.” Then by the root of the thumb rub the lips repeating “Om Madhû sûdanâya Namah, Om Trivikramâya Namah.” So rub the mouth, repeating “Om Vâmamâya Namah, Om S’rîdharâya Namah.” Then sprinkle water on the left hand, saying “Om Hrisîkes’âya Namah.” Sprinkle water on the legs, saying “Om Padmanâbhâya Namah.” Sprinkle water on the head, saying “Om Dâmodarâya Namah.” Touch the mouth with the three fingers of the right hand, saying “Om Samkarsanâya Namah.” Touch the nostrils with the thumb and forefinger saying “Om Vâsudevâya Namah, Om Pradyumnâya Namah.” Touch the eyes with the thumb and ring-finger, saying “Om Aniruddhâya Namah, Om Purusottamâya Namah.” Touch the ears with the thumb and ringfinger saying “Om Adhoksajâya Namah, Om Nârasimhâya Namah.” Touch the navel with the thumb and little finger saying “Om Achyutâya Namah.” Touch the breast with the palm, saying “Om Janârdanâya Namah.” Touch the head saying “Om Upendrâya Namah.” Touch the roots of the two arms saying “Om Haraye Namah, Om Krisnâya Namah.”

While sipping the Âchaman water on the right hand, touch the right hand with your left hand; otherwise; the water does not become pure. While doing Âchaman, make the palm and the fingers all united and close, of the form of a Gokarna (the ear of a cow) and spreading the thumb and the little finger, drink the water of the measure of a pea. If a greater or less quantity be sipped, then that would amount to drinking liquor.

Till date, i have found a variety of descriptions of this particular mudra called the Gokarna Mudra. Varoius websites provide different descriptions and one does not match with the other.

The latest picture i found is from this page:

enter image description here

Now, this picture is not quite matching with textual description given in the above Purana passage.

So, I am looking for the accurate pictorial description of the so called Gokarna Mudra.

I will accept the answer provided the reference in it is from a website or a book which i consider as trustworthy and authentic.

I myself have books that discuss several mudras used in worship like Leliha, Galini, Ankusha, Grasa etc but none provide anything on the Gokarna mudra.

  • Usually the above Mudra is only used while performing Achamana. And it makes sense because only in that position the water stays in your palm. As for the definition given I think the Mudra matches. Where do you find the difference?
    – Surya
    Jun 29, 2017 at 14:12
  • @Surya Why the tip of thumb digging into the side of the base of tarjani? The textual description does not say anything like that. In the text we find that thumb and lil finger need to spread out but in the pic it is not so. Also why is the tarjani in a curved position? Actually i have a fair idea of how to do the mudra but i want a very precise description from some authentic book.
    – Rickross
    Jun 29, 2017 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


From an Upasmriti called the ViswAmitra Smriti, composed by Rishi ViswAmitra, finally was able to get an accurate textual description of how to form this so called Gokarna Mudra. And, from this textual description it's quite easy to form the Mudra.

It's there in a verse found on pp 14 of that PDF (which is in Sanskrit only). I am simply transliterating the needed verse here along with providing a SS. The section, where this verse is found, is entirely dedicated to depicting the Achamana Vidhi:

enter image description here

Angulitraya samyuktam muktAngushtha kanishthakam |
GokarnAkritirityAhu brAhmakarma prakirtitam ||

"Angulitraya samyuktam" - So, the three fingers (angulitrayam), the index, the middle and the ring finger, must be attached/joined (samyuktam) with each other.

"muktAngushtha kanishthakam" - but the Angushtha (or the thumb) and the KanishthA (or the little finger) must be free (mukta) from the association of the three fingers mentioned above.

So, I now know how to form this Mudra and my problem has been solved.

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