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(Sanskrit: "the great seal"), in Tantric Buddhism, the final goal, the union of all apparent dualities. Mudra, in addition to its more usual meaning, has in Tantric Buddhism the esoteric meaning of "female partner," which in turn symbolizes prajna ("wisdom"). The union of the Tantric initiate with his sexual partner signifies the symbolic union of the upaya (the "means," or method of teaching the goal) with prajna and-on the highest level-the identity of samsara (the phenomenal world) with Nirvana (ultimate reality).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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