• 1) "The act of putting our hands together during prayer led to an explanation offered here. The video link explains how the positive and negative energy forces in our left and right hands are "neutralized" when we bring them together in the center of our body. Additionally, there's a nerve that runs along our breastbone in the center of the chest, and pressing our "neutralized" hands on this point stimulates the vagus nerve, which sends signals to our brain. This response helps alter our brain waves, and puts us into a different frame of mind, ready to pray." Source: Why do you fold Your Hands In Prayer? 2) "An amazing new theory asks if praying (kneeling with hands folded) symbolizes touching the testicles of a religious superior, or touching God’s inner thigh or circumcision." "Praying with hands together is a posture with an origin that is virtually unknown. Most people, including members of the Jewish and Christian religions, do not know that the hands-in-prayer was a Jewish practice. It was done in Judaism and still is in at least one annual orthodox ritual in some temples." "Judaic practice was discontinued by Jews in reaction against their persecution under the Christian religion in the Holy Roman Empire. Rabbis decreed that Jews cease folding their hands in prayer because their oppressors used folded hands." "The new theory asks if praying (kneeling with hands folded) is a symbolic re-enactment of Abraham's “inner thigh” or lap prayer, and/or if praying heavenward symbolizes an oath upon God’s “inner thigh” or lap as an acknowledgment of God’s covenant with Abraham (or as an acknowledgment of God’s own circumcision and covenant in reciprocity)." Source and further information: 3) "Religious historians trace the gesture back to the act of shackling a prisoner’s hands with vine or rope: joined hands came to symbolize submission. In ancient Rome, a captured soldier could avoid immediate death by joining the hands together. Just as waving a white flag today, the message was clear. “I surrender.” Centuries later, subjects demonstrated their loyalty and paid homage to their rulers by joining their hands. In time, clasping the hands together communicated both an acknowledgement of another’s authority and one’s own submission to that authority." Source: 4) "Interestingly, the physical position for Western Christian prayer that is thought of as typical today -- kneeling, with hands clasped -- originates from the commendation ceremony. Before this time, European Christians prayed in the orans, which is the Latin, or "praying" position that people had used in antiquity: standing, with hands outstretched, a gesture still used today in many Christian rituals." Source and further information: 5) "The gesture used when bowing in Namaste or Gassho is the bringing of both hands together, palms touching, in front of the person -- usually at the chest, or a higher level such as below the chin, below the nose, or above the head. This gesture is a mudra; a well-recognized symbolic hand position in eastern religions. One hand represents the higher, spiritual nature, while the other represents the worldly self. By combining the two, the person making the gesture is attempting to rise above their differences with others, and connect themself to the person they bow to. The bow is a symbolic bow of love and respect. Particularly in Hinduism, when one worships or bows in reverence, the symbolism of the two palms touching is of great significance. It is the joining together of two extremities -- the feet of the Divine, with the head of the devotee. The right palm denotes the feet of the Divine and the left palm denotes the head of the devotee. The Divine feet constitute the ultimate solace for all sorrows -- this is a time-honoured thought that runs through the entire religious ethos." Source and further information:
  • Wow - good technical answers. And now for something completely different. When I was a child I was told that we could whisper our deepest thoughts into our empty hands and they would follow to where our fingers were pointed - straight up to heaven.
  • It is an act of supplication, asking for something, in Eastern thought.
  • There is in fact a quite interesting ”scientific” answer to this question, i.e. regardless of the possible historical and or mythological reasons provided, which might explain why this gesture ”works” (I think I read this in a work by Hjalmar Sundén, a Swedish expert on religion, who also has some interesting things to say, inadvertently, on ”Matrix” in this regard). Usually, the human being´s senses of sight and touch are closely intertwined, ever since our early years of sensory training (Rimbaud's ”synaesthesia”): what we see, we already imagine feeling, and vice versa. By putting your hands together, for some time, you might be able to dislocate and interrupt this connection: the world you see will then no longer be ”felt” in the same way (and vice versa?), thus proving the emptiness of matter…
  • The Bible says to ' spread out your palms" much like Muslims do...One word is beseech...

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