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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Symbols and Substance: Anjali




This position of hands is well known, both when we worship and when we greet each other. There is a deep symbolic meaning to the fingers of the hand and to this anjali.

The little finger represents human ego. The ring finger stands for desire. The middle finger represents spiritual ignorance. The index finger stands for that aspect of God who is in everyone (Paramatma) and the thumb represents that aspect of God who is in us (Jivatma).

By placing our hands together in this way, we are reminding ourselves to get rid of the ego and desire (the two fingers representing them are away from our body), understand our ignorance (middle finger) which prevents us from recognizing that the Paramatma and Jivatma are the same and they are both close to our hearts.

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