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Chin mudra is popular in sanathan dharma. Improving concentration is one of the effects that happens for a practitioner of chin mudra.

I quickly went through the names of mudras from two yoga scriptures and the details are as follows

#1: Twenty-five mudras from Gheranda Samhitha

Gheranda said : ‘There are twenty-five mudrds, the practice of which gives success to the Yogis. They are :—

(1) Maha-mudra,

(2) Nabho-mudra,

(3) Uddtyana,

(4) Jalandhara,

(5)Malabandha,

(6) Mahabandha,

(7) Mahavedha,

(8) Khechari,

(9) Vipartta-kari,

(10) Yoni,

(11) Vajroni,

(12) Saktichalant,

(13) Tadagi,

(14) Mandavi,

(15) Sambbavi,

(16) Panchadhérané (five dharands),

(21) Asvini,

(22) Pasint,

(23) Kaki,

(24) Matangi and

(25) Bhujangint.

[1-3, Chapter 3: On Mudras, Gheranda Samhitha]

#2: Ten mudras from Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Mahâ Bandha,

Mahâ Vedha,

Khecharî,

Uḍḍiyâna Bandha,

Mûla Bandha,

Jâlandhara Bandha.

Viparîta Karaṇî,

Vajroli, and

Śakti Châlana.

These are the ten Mudrâs which annihilate old age and death.

[6-7, Chapter 3: On Mudras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika]

But, among these, the name "chin mudra" is not present explicitly and I don't know whether the mudra has any other names in yoga parlance. If it is not present in these two scriptures then which scripture contains the chin mudra in detail?

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    None of the mudras you mentioned in the Q are hasta mudras where as chin mudra is a hasta mudra. So in those lists we would not have found about chin.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 5:12
  • Oh sorry @Rickross I don't know anything about mudras :D
    – hanugm
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 5:13
  • If you are willing to write answer then please mention the classification of mudras also....
    – hanugm
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 5:14
  • The mudras mentioned in the Q are more like Yoga asanas where as Chin mudra is formed by joining the the index finger and the thumb at their tips. Ok, if I find a suitable source I will post an answer.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 5:16
  • 1
    The following link contains good information about Hasta mudras (although does not mention in which scriptures they are mentioned) -- aghori.it/mudra_eng.htm
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 6:22

2 Answers 2

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Chin Mudra is formed by joining the index finger with the thumb at their tips. It is also known as Gyan Mudra. See this image -- enter image description here

Lord Dakshinamurty holds this Mudra as noted in the article ["Many paths to same goal"]2


The Maheswara Sootras peal forth from Nataraja's dhakka, (Udukku), as He beats it to keep time with His dance, and constitutes the basic alphabets of every tongue spoken in the world. The same sounds or sabdas are recorded in the pages of the book which Dakshinamurti is holding in His left hand. Aananda mudra is expressed by the right hand of Nataraja, while Chin mudra is expressed by Dakshinamurti. We stand and gaze in wonder with eyes wide open at Nataraja's dance, but we sit down to meditate with indrawn eyes in front of Dakshinamurti. To the former we go for darsana, for feasting our eyes with the supreme majesty of that manifestation, to the latter we go for japa or meditation, because He is the embodiment of the fullness of peace and bliss that comes as a result of jnana. Ranganatha has adopted the nidra mudra - the sign of sleep. All these three, the Aananda murti (Nataraja), the Dhyaanamurti (Dakshinamurti) and the Yoganidraamurti (Ranganatha) face south to protect mankind from the fear of death.


Chin Mudra is also mentioned in one Lakshmi Devi astotara stotram as quoted in the book BHOGA-BHAAGYA-YOGYATA LAKSHMI (https://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/books/Essence%20of%20%20Bhaagya-Bhogya-Yogyata%20Lakshmi.pdf):

Bhuvanajnaananisrenir Bhuvanaakaaaaravallari, Shaswatishaswataakaara Lokaangrahakarini/
Saarasi Maanasi Hamsi Hamsalokapradayani,Chinmudraalankritakara Koti Suryasamaprabha/
Sukhapraanishirorekha Sadadrushtapradayani, Sarvasaamkaryadoshaghni Grahopadruvanashani/
Kshudrajantubhayaghnicha Visharogadibhanjani,Sada Shanta Sada Suddhagrihacchidranivarini/
Kalidoshaprashamani Kolaharapurastitha, Gauri Laakshanaki mukhya jaghanyaakriti varjita/
Mayaavidya Mulabhotaa VaasaviVishnuchetana, Vaadini Vasurupaascha Vasuratna paricchida/
ChahandasiChandrahridaya Mantra swacchandabhairavi,VanamalaVijayanti Panchadivyudhakmika/
Pitaambaramayi ChanchatkuostubhaHarikaamini, Nityatathya RamaRaamaRamaniMrutyubhanjani/
JyeshthaKashthaDhanishtantaSharanginirgunapriya,Maitreya MitravindachaSeshyaseshakalashaya/
Varaanisi Vasalabhyaa saaryavartajanastuta, Jagadutpatti samsthana Samharatraya kaarana/

(Bhuvana jnaana nisshrenih or those Jnanis of the World are enabled to use the ladder to reach Moksha; Buvakaakara Vallari orYou are the Emblem of the World; Shasvati the Eternal; Shaswata-Akaraor of the Everlating Form; Lokaanbgugraha karini or the Bestower of Compassion to the whole Universe; Saarasi or the Resident of Oceans; Manasi the Dweller of the minds and thoughts of all the Being; Hamsi or the Sign of Purity is in a Swan; Hamsaloka pradayani or the provider of Liberation to Yogis and Tapaswis; *Chinmudra-Alankrutakara or Devi who is adorned with Chin Mudra or the Prominent Gesture of Yogic Meditation touching the hand thumb with the forefinger together signifying the union of inner consciousness with the Supreme or Individual Atma with Paramatma;

These are the only references about the mudra I was able to find for the time being.

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This mudra has several names viz. Vyākhyāna (व्याख्यान), Vitarka (वितर्क), Sandarśana (सन्दर्शन) or, Ciṉ or Chin mudrā (छिन्मुद्रा).

Quoting from this PhD research thesis titled: 'The significance of the Mula beras in the Hindu temples of Tamilnadu: with special reference to Bharatanatyam and Hindu iconography'.

Vyākhyāna Mudrā (pages 108-109)

The thumb is held perpendicular to the palm and the index finger is bent forward to touch the tip of the thumb. The remaining three fingers are held close together vertically above the palm. It is known variously as vyākhyāna, vitarka or ciṉ mudrā.

Rao remarks about it that it is the “mudrā adopted when an explanation or exposition is being given; hence it is also called vyākhyāna mudrā and sandarśana mudrā.”


A commentary on the Ciṉ Mudrā's variation: 'jñana-mudrā':

Author Rao remarks, that when the same Ciṉ Mudrā is held near the heart it becomes Jñana-Mudrā, and not otherwise.

In the jñana-mudrā, the tips of the middle finger and of the thumb are joined together and held near the heart, with the palm of the hand turned towards the heart (see PI. V, fig. 16).

(page 17)




Gopinatha Rao, T. A. (1914). Elements of Hindu iconography: Volume I, Part I. India: Law Printing House.

Relevant portion quoted in the research paper may be read from this link of the book (pages 16-17) in the archive site.




Update:

then which scripture contains the chin mudra in detail?


After rigorous searching I was finally able to trace some scriptural information on Chin-mudrā (चिन-मुद्रा), also known by its another variant called jñana-mudrā(ज्ञान-मुद्रा):

This book named Mudrā Vimarśa (मुद्रा विमर्श) has information on almost all kinds/types of 'Hasta-Mudrās' used in tantras, and smarta sects.

  • In the sub-heading 68. Chin-mudrā (६८. चिन्मुद्रा) on page 29 of the book, the reader is directed to the jñana-mudrā sub-heading in the book.

  • The Jñana-Mudrā is found on page 31 of the said book subheading number 76 (७६)- ज्ञान.

  • As per the Book, the information is found in two canonical texts, and one non-canonical, viz.

      1. the Meru Tantra, and
      1. the Tantrasāra, attributed to Śrī Abhinavagupta of Trika sect,
      1. and the third reference is in an anthology series named - 'tantrokta-nitya-pūjā-paddhati-dhṛta kaulāvalī (तन्त्रोक्त-नित्य-पूजा-पद्धति-धृत कौलावली)'

Therefore, here's the scriptural references for Chin-Mudrā /Jñana-Mudrā (ज्ञान-मुद्रा)

ज्ञानमुद्रा हृदिन्यस्तौ तर्जन्यगुष्ठको युतौ ।
वामहस्ताम्बुजं वा तु यदि मूर्द्धनि विन्यसेत् ॥


  • Tantrasāra [तन्त्रसार (पृष्ट ४६४)]

तर्जन्यङ्गुष्ठको सक्तावग्रतो विन्यसेत् सुधी ।
वामहस्ताम्बुजं वामजानुमूर्द्धनि विन्यसेत् ॥
ज्ञानमुद्रा भवेदेषा रामचन्द्रस्य प्रेयसी


  • तन्त्रोक्त-नित्य-पूजा-पद्धति-धृत कौलावली

ज्ञानाल्यमुद्रया चैव पूजयेत् परमेश्वरीम् ।
अगुष्ठतर्जनीभ्यां तु ज्ञानमुद्रा प्रकीर्तिता ॥


The footnote for the above, in the book says: -



[१]:

भगवान् राम एवं सरस्वती के पूजन क्रम में ज्ञान मुद्रा का प्रयोग होता है। सुखासन से बैठकर दाहिने हाथ की तर्जनीं एवं अङ्गुष्ठ के अग्र पर्यों को मिलाकर, हृदय पर स्थित करके, बाँये हाथ को वामजानु पर स्थापित करना ज्ञानमुद्रा है।


English Translation of the above footnote by Self

The Jñana-mudrā (Chin mudrā) is used in the worship of either god Śrí Rāma, or goddess Sarasvatí. Sitting in Sukhāsana, the tips of the middle finger and of the thumb, of the right hand, are joined together and held near the heart, while the left hand is kept rested on the left thigh. This is known as the Jñana-Mudrā.



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