I consider myself lucky for being exposed to fascinating diversities that are so apparent in my current work place and its surroundings.  Penang isn’t only a foodie’s paradise but a multi-racial haven where various cultures and religions breathe and thrive harmoniously.

In a community where Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism (and Christianity) mix peacefully, I found myself having profound respect for these religions. Despite my minimal knowledge about them, my fancy was heightened gradually with  anything that symbolizes love, peace and humility.

Just when I brought my wife+kid and our visiting friend to 2 Buddhist temples in the heart of Penang Island, I never expected that something would still be interesting considering that it was already my 3rd time to be there last week, nonetheless, it felt like every visit offers a remarkable charm.

Inside the temple, documenting the hand gestures of images of Buddha, the ones they called Mudras happened spontaneously…

Abhaya Mudra – Imparting Fearlessness, Reassurance, Protection, Blessing.

Dhyana Mudra.  This mudra signifies meditation
Varada Mudra – Symbolizing Charity…
Vitarka Mudra – Intellectual Argument, Debate, Appeasement, Teaching, Giving Instruction, Reason…
Dharmachakra Mudra. Teaching, Preaching, Turning the Wheel of Dharma…
And the other hand signs… 

that despite unlabeled, obviously represent simplicity, wisdom, enlightenment, truth and other values of Buddhism…

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha.

On the lighter side of things, my son, Gabby was so natural as he tried to absorb the atmosphere inside the temple…
*Any insights and additional inputs on Mudras and Buddhism in general, are highly appreciated.”


  1. nice. napa-second look ako duon si Gabby pala yun hehehe. It’s nice knowing the cultures, religion and traditions of other countries. You learn to appreciate them and understand why they are like that 🙂 Sometimes that’s what we lack. People tend to easily judge a person without trying to find out the reason why he/she is like that.

    1. you should have asked me to, mura lang per hour ng lecture ko; i could have given you big discount, haha! 😀

      thanks for dropping by penang, rob. sana longer visit mo next time.

  2. Hindi ko alam na ang mga gestures ng kamay ng buddha ay may mga kahulugan! Thanks for sharing this, Doc Gelo. I was actually looking for the photo of the temple, ‘yong nasa labas. I’ll browse the www later.

    And Gabby’s gesture? For me it means faith. U

  3. so funny si gabby! 🙂

    i remember visiting a temple in singapore where there were so many buddhas, each with its own gestures and positions..different meanings. 🙂

  4. its truly enriching to be living and breathing in such a diverse locale. i am grateful for this informative post. i never knew those hand gestures before.

  5. super like this post! when rob this photo to me, sabi ko anu ba yan dpat inalam nya meaning ng hand signs! haha glad you did!

    last pic:
    alam ko yung 2nd buddha: earth as witness yung handsign na yan (turo ng isang Cambodian)

  6. Thanks Gelo for a wikipedia documentary on this, I never noticed the hand signs until this blog!

    A “photowiki” blog!

  7. diffent country, different cultures. Lucky you for having the opportunity to explore that country. 🙂

    The photos made me eager to go there (by next year, sana)

    Enjoy the rest of the week doc G.

  8. nice info doc, I’ve never learned that hand gestures when we were in Japan hehehe, coz the writings are always in Japanese hehehe…and besides nalulula ako sa naglalakihang rebulto nila e hehehe…cute naman ni Gabby sa pose niya

    yun 6th picture, that’s “shaka” in Hawaii or hang loose hehehe at yun 4th picture naman, “ok lang” hehehe yan lang ang maiishare ko sa’yo lol

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