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May 20,2011
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The word Muthra denotes a particular method in which the fingers are kept for the worship of God. This is the meaning found in Sanskrit dictionaries. The word muthra is a name with a reason.  The verb “MUTH” means that which brings joy, that which brings satisfaction.  The word “THRA” demotes fast exit.  So that deed which brings happiness and satisfaction to deities /angels and that which removes the sins in a fast manner  is called Muthra.
4.2 The slokas which extol the greatness of Muthras  explain the same in the following manner. Muthra derives its name by the fact that it makes all deities/angels happy and remove the sins. All Kamas(desires) such as Dharma –Artha-kama-Moksha are called in Tamil Aram, Porul, Inbam and Veedu. And Arthas(wealth)  are procured. The deities of Manthras feel immensely satisfied when Muthras are shown as explained In Thanthra sastram. While performing Archana, while performing Japam and Dhyanam(meditation) and during bathing, aavaaganam, Sanka Prathista, Rakshanam, and Neivethyam  Muthras as told in Pooja Kalpam (Rules of Pooja)should be shown at proper places with proper signs.
4.3  Let us take the example of Lalitha Sahasranama Parayana method with which most of us are very familiar to understand the explanations offered  to Muthras.
4.4  That which protects a person who does japa in his mind is called Manthra(mananath thrayathe). Manthras are various types. One letter word is called Pinda, Two letter word is Karthri, Three to nine words are called Bheejam,  Manthras have more than nine words.
4.5 manthras have no beginning(Anaathi). They are one with the breathing of God. They were not created by human beings. The Rishis first found them and having understood their potency they released the same  to the world for the welfare of the humanity. Before commencing the japa of a manthram, touching the head with the right hand and remembering in the mind the Rishi who found that Manthra and informed us the same, is called Guru Nyasam.  Thus touching the action of touching the head is a Muthra.
4.6  The combination of words is called Manthra and its rhythm is called ChandasTo worship the same is called Chandas Nyasam. Remembering the chandas(Rhythm)in the mind, touching the lips with the right hand is called Chandas Nyasam.
4.7 The act of Touching the heart,  assuming to keep the deity of that particular Manthra and establishing the deity in the heart    is called Devatha Nyasam.
4.8  The Manthram is like a result yielding tree. The word formation which has kept its subtle power within it as an embrayo is called Bheejam.  The power of the manthra is kept within that bheejam. The bheejam of the Sree Lalitha sahasranama Mala manthram in which the power is bound tightly without allowing it o go else where Is Ayim. Sow is the power. Kleem is keelagam( This Ayim, Sow, Kleem  is jointly known as Sri Baalaa manthram)Before commencing the recital of Laltha sahasranama Parayanam while doing the Nyasam these words should be spelt. Touching the corresponding parts in the body and assume that they are established there. These are called Bheeja Nyasam, sakthi Nyasam  and Keelaga Nyasam,  Which parts of the body should be touched in these nyasam depends  as per each guru’s guidance which varies  according to each guru.
4.9 Thus Viniyoga Nyasam, kara nyasam and Anga Nyasam  are prescribed for the recital of Sri Lalitha sahasranam.
4.10  As mentioned it is understood that (a) there is an important place for Muthras while uttering the Manthras (b) and those Muthras will also vary depending upon a Guru lineage. In the same way while performing poojas in shiva temples by  uttering Manthras importance is given to various Muthras in those poojas. A Sivachariyar while undergoing training and learn them through a Guru. Then while applying the same sincerely, without committing any mistake, the manthras that cover those actions will fructify completely the results of those Manthras. Muthras are not mere playing with hands(limbs).  They are enriched with meaning. They will provide fruits.
4.11 Good action plan or action methods are called Thanthras. Performing poojas observing proper rules by uttering the Manthras  are also Thanthras. The books in which these thanthras are written are also called Thanthras only. All Aagamaas (the essence of Vedas) are books on Thanthras only.
4.12 In Vedas the pranava manthra “OM” , Swagaa,Swathaa, Vashat, Voushat, Vet, Vaath and vyagrithis  Bhoo, bhuva, suva are recited first. In the books on Thanthra Sastras which came out later the combinations of sound  like Ham, Haam, Hum, hoom, Hreem, Hram, Hroam, Shreem, Aiym, Em, Kleem and But  are mentioned. All these are manthras with potential power. The aagamma books name them as Bheejasharangal and are used in great measure in the poojas in temples. While learning the Manthras under the tutelage of a Guru   the methods of using these Bheejasharams are also taught.
4.13  Yanthram is an instrument that has kept an accumulated power. While performing an action, the instrument that is used to perform that action that has kept within it power beyond the ordinary knowledge and producing the results is called Yanthram. So the books that lay down the rules for performing a Pooja  also lay down the details about those yanthras and how they should be used. By applying the Muthras in a proper way and at the same time uttering the Manthras accompanied by  Thanthras  the deities pertaining to those Manthras will become happy. While showing the Muthras as they are associated with Yanthras . the power established in those Yanthras  make the deities feel happy.
4.14  There is an another importance for Muthras. Most of the Muthras are in accordance with the traditional actions and rituals. Those who cannot understand the pooja methods through Manthras can assume the same by observing the Muthras,
4.15  In the following pages the various Muthras used in Shiva temples are compiled and given, Muthras must be learnt along with pooja rules under the supervision and guidance of a Guru. One should not use Muthras by seeing their printed version in books. If used in this way they will not produce the necessary results.


1.    Guru vandana muththirai---Sumugam  Spread the hands on the sides and raise them in sunch a way that the palms face our face.
2.    Guru vandana Muththirai---Suvruththam  Bend the fingers in the Sumuga Muththirai. The thumbs should look above.
3.    Guru vandana Muththirai--- Chathurasthram  Spread the hands in both directions etc., above and below. And join it near the wrist .
4.    Guru vandana Muththirai---Muthkaram  while the thumbs are kept facing oneself,Keep the left knee on the right knee.
5.    Guru Vandana Muththirai---Yoni  Bring both the third fingers(ring finger)at the back of the middle fingers and hold them with the index fingers. Hold the left little finger by the right little finger. The tip of thumbs should touch the central portion of the middle finger.
6.    Guru vandana Muththrai---Mrugi  Bend the thumbs, central fingers, ring fingers, join their tips. Stretch the other fingers and hold them above the head.
7.    Arkya Sthapana Muththirai---Mathsyam   The right palm should look downward(below)the left palm should hold that and move the thumbs like the scales of a fish.
8.    Arkya Sthapana Muththirai---Asthram  Tap the left hand palm three times by the right central finger and index finger.
9.    Arkya Sthapana Muththirai—Avakundanam  Keep the wrists facing downwards  rotate the right index finger in clock wise direction and the left index finger in an anti clockwise direction.
10.    Arkya Sthapana Muththirai---Thenu Amrutheekaranam  The little finger of one hand should touch the ring finger of the other hand. The little finger of one hand should touch the index finger of the other hand. (will look like the udder of a cow)
11.    Arkya sthapana Muththirai---Kaalini   Keep the left hand facing above, bend down(invert)the right hand and hold the fingers bending them. This muththirai is to look a the Vishesa Arkyam through the gap arising out of the  bent left and right little fingers.

12.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai--- Shake  with the help of thumbs the lower portion of the ring finger in Sumua Muththirai

13.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai---Samsthapani (Sthapani)  It is just like the aavaganaathi muthirai but facing it in the downward direction.
14.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai---Sannithapani  Joint the wrists of both hands at the middle portion of the fingers and hold the thumbs facing above.
15.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai---sannirothani  Hold both the wrists while at the same time the nails of the four fingers rub against each, and the thumbs are hidden
16.    Aavaganathi Muththrai---Sammugikarani  The wrists are held together on their sides, the fingers are kept in a bend manner  and hold them  upright.
17.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai---Vanthani  Keep both the hands together without bending the fingers in front of the chest. Bow joining both the palm as if wishing one.
18.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai---Ththvam  While other fingers are kept straight  touch the tip of the left hand ring finger by the tip of the thumb.
19.    Aavaganaathi Muththrai---chin Muthra(A) gna Muththtirai The inner portion of the right hand face outside, three fingers are kept straight touch the tip of the index finger by the tip of the thumb.
20.    Aavaganaathi Muththirai---Samhaaram(Nirvanam)  The left hand face down wards, and over this left hand keep the right hand facing upwards and holding the fingers shake the hands.
21.    Nyasa Muththiraigal—Face  Touch the lips with the four fingers of the right hand .
22.    Nyasa Muththirai---Kara sambudam  Fold the hands like a casket.
23.    Nyasa Muththirai---Anjali(Namaskaram) Hold both the hands together, join the fingers and keep the thumbs one above the other and bend.
24.    Nyasa Muthithirai---Hrudhayam Touch the central portion of the chest by using the  central fingers of the right hand.
25.    Nyasa Muththirai---siras(Head)  Touch the centre of the head by the tips of the central and ring fingers
26.    Nyasa Muththirai---Sigai(Tuft) Touch the portion where the tuft is kept in the head by the tip of the thumb of the right hand,
27.    Nyasa Muththirai—Kavacham  By keeping the hands in a changed position or status and touch the shoulders with the fingers.
28.    Nyasa Muththirai--- Nethram  Touch both the eyes and their central portions by the three central fingers of the right hand.
29.    Nyasa Muththirai---Asthram  Tap the inner portion of the left hand palm by the central and index fingers of the right hand
30.    Nyasa Muththirai---Nyasam  Joining the middle three fingers which are kept in a bend manner  with the thumb and touch the parts of the body with the index finger,
31.    Nivethana Muththirai---Krasam Keep the left hand looking like a cup with food
32.    Nivethana Muththirai---Pranan Hold the right hand thumb by joining it with the middle finger and index finger. Show the krasa Muththirai in the left hand, and shake the right hand as kept above
33.    Nyasa Muththirai---Abaanan   Hold the right hand thumb by joining it with the ring finger and middle finger  and show as if doing the Nivethanam (food offering) on the krasa Muthra of the left hand.
34.    Nyasa Muththirai---Vyanan  Hold the right hand thumb with the little finger and ring finger and show as if doing Nivethanam on the krasa Muthra of the left hand.
35.    Nyasa Muththirai---Uthanan Hold the right hand thumb with the ring finger and index finger and show as if doing Nivethanam on the krasa Muthra of the left hand.
36.    Nivethana Muththirai---samaanan  Hold all the right hand fingers together and show as if doing Nivethanam on the krasa Muthra of the left hand.

                     GANESA VANDANAM
37, THANTHAM—Strech the middle finger of the right hand upwards and at the same time keep all the other fingers in a bended manner.
38. PAASAM---Join both the fists in such manner that they touch the tip of the index fingers and make the tip of the thumbs also join with them.
39. ANGUSAM---The middle finger of the right hand will be kept straight. The index finger will come up to its middle portion and bend there in a foreard manner.
40.VIGNAM---Tightly held tight hand fist look downward and only the middle finger is stretched
41. PARASU---Both palms will look at each other and they are joined in a crossed fashion and all the fingers are kept in a stretched manner.
42. LATTUGAM---Posture as if one is holding a Laadu in the hand.
43. BHEEJAPOORAM—Posture as if one is holding a pomegranate fruit in the hand.
                         SIVA VANDANA MUTHTHIRAI
44. LINGAM---First hold by the left hand thumb, the upwardly stretched right hand thumb. Then hold it by all the other left hand fingers . Finally, hold the left hand by all the fingers of the right hand and bring it near the chest.
45. YONI---Keep the thumbs over the stretched middle fingers along with ring fingers.
46. TRISOOLAM---Press by the thumb, the bended little finger  and keep the other three fingers stretched.
47. AKSHA MALA---The tip of the bended right hand index finger should be touched by the tip of the thumb and keep all the other three fingers stretched.
48. VARAM---The stretched right hand looking down ward.
49. ABHAYAM---The stretched left hand looking upward.
50. MRUGEE---Bend and join the tips of the thumb, middle finger and ring finger
51. KADVAANGAM---Stretch all the five fingers upward and hold them with a slight bend.
52/ KABAALAM---Posture or assume as if you are having the skull on the left hand and hold it in such a manner as if asking alms.
53. DAMARUGAM---With a slightly wide open right hand wrist and keeping the middle finger of right hand a liitle above and assume the posture of beating Damarugam(a percussion instrument)


54. SAABAM(BOW)---The tip of the raised right hand middle finger is made to touch the tip of index finger.
55. SANGAM---Hold the thumb of the left hand with right hand fist  and assume a posture as if blowing a conch
56. KATGAM---Hold with the help of right hand thumb little finger and ring finger together . The other two fingers  i.e., middle finger and index finger are kept stretched upwards both not touching each other
57. SARMAM(Kedayam—Shield)---Show the left hand in a crossed manner with all fingers are closed.
58. MUSALAM---Place the right wrist over the left wrist
59. VEENA---Posturing as if playing on a veena and simultaneously shaking the head.
60 PUSTHAGAM---BOOK---Hold the wrists against oneself.
61. KUMBAM---Rub the thumbs of both hands on sideways and straighten the wrists.
62. PRARTHANA---Spread out the fingers of both hands and unite it on the sides and keep on the chest(where heart is situated)
63. PASU MUTHTHIRAI---Touch the base portion of the little finger by the tip of the thumb,join together both the hands and pray. This Miththrai is specially suited for the three Goddesses.
64. NIREEKSHANA MUTHTHIRAI---Hold the thumb with the Ring finger by bending over it and keep the other fingers stretched.
65.ABYUSHANA MUTHTHIRAI---Join al the fingers together in a stretched way and join the thumb with them by holding them upside down. This is also called Soththiga Muththirai and Kavizhththta Pathagai.
66. KOVIDAANA MUTHTHIRAI---Keep stretched both the index finger and middle finger without joining them ,bend the little finger and ring finger and hold it by the thumb that will press on them.
67. SODIKA MUTHTHIRAI---Bend the fingers.  With the index finger quiver and flick the middle portion of the thumb.
68. SHAANA MUTHTHIRAI---Join all the three middle fingers and show by stretching  the remaining fingers and keeping them aloof.
69. MAHA MUTHTHIRAI—Keep all the fingers stretched.
70. PRASANNA MUTHTHIRAI---Fold both the hands. Join both the thumbs. Their tips should be fixed at the base of the ring finger and bend inside. This is also called AAVAAGANA Muththirai.
71 ATHISTAANA MUTHTHIRAI---Touch the inside  portion of the palm by both the thumbs.
72.USHNIGA MUTHTHIRAI---Touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger.
73. YOGA MUTHTHIRAI---Touch the tip of the middle finger with the tip of the thumb. This is also called MOGA muththirai.
74. AAGRA MUTHTHIRAI---Touch the tip of the little finger by the tip of the thumb.
75. KADAA  MUHTHIRAI---Join both the hands. Touch the inside portion of thee palm by the three middle fingers.
76. USHA MUTHTHIRAI---Touch the palm of one hand by the Ring finger of the other hand.

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