In Buddhist iconography, all hand gestures (mudras) have a meaning, just as they do in Hindu images. Mudra movements mirror the movements of the mind, and are one of the main symbolic means of conveying the principles of the dharma. One of the most common is the mudra of teaching, in which the fine discriminative insight of the Buddhist way is portrayed by the joining of the thumb and index finger, a circularity also recalling the Wheel of the Law and the eternal continuation of the dharma. Less usual is the healing mudra from a bronze image of Yakushi, the Japanese Buddha
known as the Master of Medicine, who cures the root disease of ignorance. In his palm is the lakshana of the 'lotus whorl' in the form of the eight-spoked Wheel of the Law. Mudras may well have originated in the ancient gestures of Indian dance, such as this representation of the lotus, symbol of purity and Enlightenment.