The master of mudras
To probe into the mysteries of Mudra Shastra, Shivi Verma interviews Abhaykumar Shah, an expert, who has this ancient science at his fingertips
The readers of Life Positive are no strangers to Abhaykumar Shah.
Ever since we published his first article in 2017, he has been fast gaining popularity amongst holistic health enthusiasts. This led us to not only start his monthly column but also to host him at the International Life Positive Spiritual Festival in Coimbatore last year. The wealth of his vast knowledge of the ancient science of mudras awed everybody alike.
Here, he details his journey of discovering the miracles hidden in mudras and how they changed his life.
Q You are an ace mudra therapist. Please share your journey of discovering this ancient science?
I had a severe spine ache around 1998. I consulted many doctors and surgeons who, ultimately, advised spine surgery, a risky procedure, which I didn’t want to undergo. I started searching for alternative solutions to my problem. Somebody suggested acupressure, and I tried it. It made a considerable difference, so I started studying it. I bought many books explaining the philosophy of acupressure and read them well.
Subsequently, I attended Mr Ketan Shah’s workshop, organised by Life Positive in Mumbai. I worked with some other gurus too and started giving my services to people for free. This lasted for about 10 long years. While reading about healing therapies, I came across the word ‘mudra,’ which awakened my curiosity. From then on, I started investigating it, and soon, I came to know about some books, which I purchased. I started meeting Indologists, scholars, researchers, archaeologists and the like, from whom I collected a lot of information.
During this exercise, I started practising Mudra Therapy myself, along with my family. I found it had a lot of advantages over acupressure. During this same period, one of the tantriks invited me to his WhatsApp group, where I started providing mudra solutions for health problems. Eventually, I started a special WhatsApp group dedicated to Mudra Therapy, which lasted till this October, for about five years.
In these years, I realised that sometimes the mudra prescribed in the text does not work well. The reason, I discovered, was that when the texts were written, life was uncomplicated. One simple mudra could make the difference. Today, life is so complex that we have to answer its issues with the same complexity. I started researching and eventually established my own methodology of prescribing mudra solutions for almost every health and psychological issue.
Q What is the spiritual significance of mudras? Where were they first mentioned?
The knowledge of mudras, as I believe, must have been received in the state of dhyana (meditation) by the rishis and munis (sages). Also, at every stage, the mudra instrumental to attaining the next stage must have been received.
Every mudra has its effect at three levels—body, mind, and soul. When Apaan Mudra purifies our body, it purifies our mind too at the same time, whether we realise it or not. I always quote an example: Everyone knows the value of the diamond, and we are aware of its exalted purpose as fine jewellery too, eg., as part of a queen’s crown. But when we want glass to be cut (a mundane purpose), we use a diamond as a tool, as it is the only means of doing so. If we are employing mudras for treating our ailments, we are using a diamond for cutting glass, although their importance is far greater than that.
One of my clients, who is a seeker of the Nath Panth, told me that with the help of the mudra given by me, his exercitation reached completion in one-tenth of the expected time.
Tantra has two methods of achieving the desired results; the one other than mudras is dangerous. Mudras will help you achieve what is suitable for you, without hurting any creature. For instance, if we practise Kuber Mudra selfishly, it may not work, but if our affirmation is for the good of the world, it will surely help us achieve what we want. This, I claim, is real spiritual help. Mudras calm our mind and connect us with the cosmic energy. They change our perspective and our responses to the happenings in the outer world. They provide us with the courage to handle the most difficult situations in our lives and bless us with a vision to think beyond our immediate life situations. What do you think spirituality is, other than this?
Q Can you invent mudras of your own? If so, how do you do it? Are they downloaded in a meditative state or do you look for them in ancient texts?
Though all the mudras have not come to light, the number guessed by the scholars is about 1500. In India, there are different traditions like Vaidik, Jain, and Baddha..The Baddha tradition has its branches mainly in Tibet, Sri Lanka, China, and Japan. Egyptian sculptures exhibit some different mudras too. Mudras are part of European history also. Many images of Jesus Christ can be seen, with hand gestures. In Latin American and African countries, mudras are used in rituals.
The existence of mudras, according to me, is more ancient than religion.
Some of them are mentioned in the scriptures, where their information is encoded. Some are verbally available through the guru-shishya (master-disciple) tradition only, due to which a lot of information has been lost. I gathered some of them and, today, I have a collection of more than 500 mudras, which, according to one of the Tantra scholars, is the largest.
When I receive any mudra, I check it on myself and try to understand its effects on my body and mind. I ask some seekers to check its spiritual effects and on which chakra (energy centre) it works and then again check it on myself. Only after convincing myself through this meticulous process do I adopt the mudra.
Many seekers receive mudras in a state of intuition. These mudras are made available to them to attain the next level in their spiritual journey as well as to eradicate their health issues which would create hurdles in their sadhana (spiritual practice).
Though I choose to be focused on the therapeutic usages of mudras, I too received some mudras during some intense sessions of meditation, which, I believe, were made available for a specific purpose. Another method was to try various permutations and combinations of finger positions with intention. This also worked well.
Q How has your life changed after discovering the power of mudras?
Whenever I look back at my past life, I see that it was very elementary. I was confused by the topics of ahaar (diet), nidra (sleep), bhaya (fear), and maithuna (coitus) and also cursed with their byproducts like anger, deceit, lying, arrogance, and sanctimoniousness. Mudra Shastra changed me a lot. It creates situations for us to learn and opens the door to further knowledge. It connects us with people who have a purpose in our life and attracts energies that lead us towards our evolvement. It requires wisdom to see these subtle effects.
My response towards the ‘weird’ behaviour of people around me changed. I was able to see the reasons for it by putting myself in their shoes, which calmed my irritation. Anger grows in the morass of fear. Mudras reduced fear in my mind; I started feeling free. I began to understand my children for their decisions. Of course, mudras helped me in curing my diseases too.
Nowadays, my whole family practises Mudra Therapy. It’s a unique scenario where everyone is watching some popular programme on television and performing a mudra of their interest. My expenditure on medicine has reduced by 90 per cent in the last four years.
Q Can you remember all the mudras that you have discovered? How do you manage to do that? Is there a mudra to increase your memory power too?
Of course not. I am able to remember some of them, and I am now on the verge of completing the process of creating a software to organise all of them so that they can be made readily available at any point in time.
Yes, there are many mudras which people can practise to enhance memory.
Q You say that anger can be overcome through the power of mudras. Do you not feel angry when people behave in a provocative manner towards you?
The practice of mudras develops empathy and kindness in the practitioner. It taps the creativity and maturity hidden in us and strengthens us from within, helping us to focus on the core things without distraction. Mudras generate trust and make us grateful towards everything we have. Considering this, please tell me if anyone practising mudras can be provoked easily?
I can see the reason behind the other person’s behaviour and amicably manage the situation and the person too. But I can modestly say that these are not my strategic tools to handle a person. My behaviour stems from the backdrop of love, which is a gift of Mudra Shastra.
Yes, I do get angry, but now it doesn’t have a grip on me. Within a short while, I am back to my calm and composed self.
Q How much time do you spend doing mudras every day? Which is your favourite mudra?
I practise mudras during my chanting, meditations, rituals, while sitting idle, while watching television shows or cinema, while having informal conversations, and even while sleeping. A specific amount of time is added when I have to deal with a particular health problem.
I prefer Jnana Mudra as I consider it the highest mudra. It has infinite advantages, and it alone can be the answer to hundreds of problems.
Q You have healed many people by teaching them mudras. Please share some of your success stories.
To relieve someone of physical or psychological pain is a very satisfying experience indeed. More than 7000 people have taken my advice till today. Some of the cases were very significant and interesting from the academic point of view.
Around two years ago, I received a message on WhatsApp at 3.30 a.m. from a Norwegian lady asking for help. She had a history of breast cancer, during which she had developed a phobia of catheters. On that day, she had undergone surgery for gallbladder removal. She was facing a post-surgery problem of temporary paralysis of the urinary system. Her doctor was suggesting insertion of a catheter, and she was resistant. She was told that this situation would not improve before a week. Her bladder was full, and even turning on her side was very painful. I suggested a single mudra. She religiously practised it and passed urine by 7.30 a.m. Her doctor was surprised. Within an hour, I received a call from another patient in the next bed, asking if I could help her too with her illness.
Another case is of an engineer’s wife who was bleeding continuously for eight long months. Her husband took her to well-known hospitals and consultants, but they were unable to provide a diagnosis. They would give her blood clotting drugs through injections, which would be effective as long as the effect of the drug would last. The engineer had spent not less than 2.2 million rupees so far. I suggested only two mudras. After 15 days, the wife told me she was feeling so well that she herself forgot that she was ill.
Q Do you plan to write a book on the science of mudras? If yes, when can we hope to see it in the market?
Yes, I plan to write an encyclopaedic book on Mudra Shastra, in which the philosophy of this science will be discussed. Description of each and every mudra I know will be given with its physical, mental, and spiritual advantages. This work of mine will be a milestone in the study of Mudra Shastra.
It is a work in progress. It will take another couple of years to complete.
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