Skip to main content

Mahāmudrā

Mahāmudrā (Tib., Phyag.rgya.chen.po, ‘Great Symbol’). Principal religious and philosophical teaching of the Kagyü school (appearing also in Gelugpa, see GELUK) of Tibetan Buddhism. Obtained by Marpa Lotsawa from the 11th-cent. yogins Maitrīpa and Nāropa, Mahāmudrā has two aspects—sūtra and tantra. The sūtra aspects contain the teachings that the ultimate nature of reality is coincident wisdom and luminosity, bliss and emptiness (śūnyatā), while the tantra aspects concern the active realization of this truth through spiritual practices. As a teaching, Mahāmudrā falls in the zhen dong perspective of Tibetan thought, and is related also to dzogchen, especially in the realization of the three kayas (trikāya).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mahāmudrā." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mahāmudrā." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mahamudra

"Mahāmudrā." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mahamudra

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.