All esoteric traditions use hands and fingers to symbolize psychological tools achieve Divine Presence.

The Grim Reaper symbolizing the lower self, getting rid of the effort to be present, Tarot card XIII
A Pharaoh walking through the Narrow Gate, with a Ka on his head, Egyptian museum, Cairo

Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. -- The Bible, Psalms 144:1
The King has sprung up to heaven on the fingers of the god, lord of the ladder. -- Egyptian Pyramid Texts
The five fingers perform a single task.
-- Rumi (13th c. Sufi mystic and poet)
Show us the hand of God, that hath dismiss'd us from our stewardship. -- Shakespeare, Richard II
I will lift up my hands unto thy commandments.
-- The Bible, Psalms 119:48

Esoteric Buddhism finds several layers of esoteric meaning in mudras (hand gestures). The fingers, for example, represent the symbolic elements. The same fingers are associated with corresponding mantric syllables.
-- From Shingon, Japanese Esoteric Buddhism by Taiko Yamasaki

The five elements symbolize either obstacles or help to reach a state of Divine Presence.

In the primal state, the five elements foster one another in harmonious union and are manifested in action as the five virtues of benevolence, justice, courtesy, wisdom and truthfulness. In the conditioned state, the five elements are imbalanced and damage each other; this manifests in action as the five rebels of joy, anger, sadness, happiness and desire. -- Liu Yiming (18th c. Taoist master)
The exoteric five elements are as commonly explained. The esoteric five symbolic elements are the five syllables, the five Buddhas. -- Kukai (9th c. Founder of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism)  

Below is a diagram showing the five meditation Buddhas that Kukai mentioned. These Buddhas are symbols, not real persons, and are used when meditating, when making efforts to be present. Each of them has, among other things, an element and a syllable. The five syllables are part of the six-syllable mantra Om Mani Padme Hum.

The five Meditation Buddhas, detail of the
Diamond Mandala, Japan. 9th C

A diagram of the five meditation Buddhas and some of there aspects

For those who know how to use it, a mantra is a tool to control the lower self, which Monkey symbolizes in this part of the story, and reach a state of Divine Presence.

The secret of a mantra is not something that is hidden intentionally, but something that has to be acquired by self-discipline, concentration, inner experience, insight, and constant practice, under the guidance of a competent Guru. -- Govinda, The Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism
Return to Chapter 7