The word Mudra means symbolic gestures. Mudra originates from mud which means to delight. So Mudras are the seals that lock in energy as well as awareness. These mudras or symbolic gestures can be formed using hands or body. They are the representation of our inner states. In total, there are five kinds of mudras. They are the hand mudras, head mudras, postural mudras, perineal mudras and the lock mudras or the bandhas.
A mudrā is a spiritual gesture. It is an energetic seal of authenticity employed in spiritual practice of Hinduism & Buddhism. Mudras are widely practiced in Tantra Yoga. In Tantra Mudra, the practice is to not only form the mudra but to sense the energetic effect of it. This is a complete meditation. Tantra Mudra focusses on the four main seals. When broken, these seals lead to the path of ultimate awareness and divinity.
The first mudra or seal is the Karma Mudra which is the outermost core of a being. What you do is your periphery and the action is the outermost part of your being. To open this, you have to become total in all your actions. Whatever you feel, feel it fully and totally. Once you become aware of your actions entirely will you be able to unlock this seal.
The second mudra is a little deeper than the first. This is called the gyana mudra. Gyana or Knowledge unlike actions cannot be seen. What you know is only known to you. To unlock this one needs to believe in things he really knows and not what he’s told that he knows or he believes he knows. Once you get rid of these things, you will feel great freedom. This is when you will enter your second mudra where worldly knowledge has disappeared.
Samaya Mudra is the next one. This is related to time. With knowledge forgotten all you have is now. So make the most of this time. All you know about now is nothing since the knowledge you had is in the past. In Tantra, the only time is now. With Tantra Mudra you step into now and are able to break the third seal.
The Mahamudra is the final seal in Tantra Mudra. This is the innermost core. All there is here is space. This is where you find your true self. This seal sets your truly free.
So Tantra Mudra is about using mudras or gestures to feel energies that help break the four mudras or seals to enable an individual to reach a state of total awareness.
Hand Mudras are most commonly used in Tantra Mudra. Every finger represents an element in the science of mudra. The element of air is represented by the index finger, the middle finger is ether, the ring finger denotes the earth, water is represented by the little finger and fire is represented by thumb. They are the Tattwas. Abhaya or Shanti Mudra, Pranam mudra, Chin Mudra (consciousness mudra) are some of the commonly practiced gestures in Tantra Mudra.