Mahamudra, aka: Maha-mudra, Mahāmudrā; 5 Definition(s)
Mahamudra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)
Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा).—Served by a number of Rudras: the presiding deity of the cakra.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 42. 2.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
General definition (in Hinduism)
From the Haṭha Yogha Pradīpikā (chapter III): “Pressing the Yoni (perineum) with the heel of the left foot, and stretching forth the right foot, its toe should be grasped by the thumb and first finger.” (śl. 10) and “By stopping the throat (by Jālandhara Bandha) the air is drawn in from the outside and carried down. Just as a snake struck with a stick becomes straight like a stick, in the same way, śakti (suṣumnā) becomes straight at once. Then the Kuṇḍalinī, becoming as it were dead, and, leaving both the Idā and the Pingalā, enters the suṣumnā (the middle passage).” (śl. 11) and “It should be expelled then, slowly only and not violently. For this very reason, the best of the wise men call it the Mahā Mudrā. This Mahā Mudrā has been propounded by great masters.” (śl. 12)Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism
General definition (in Buddhism)
Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा) is the forty-third of sixty digits (decimal place) in an special enumeration system mentioned by Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakośa (“treasury of knowledge”). The explanations of the measure of years, eons, and so forth must be comprehended through calculation based on a numerical system. Enumeration begins from one and increases by a factor of ten for each shift in decimal place. The sixtieth number in this series is called “countless”.
Among these decimal positions (eg., mahāmudrā), the first nine positions from one to one hundred million are called ‘single set enumeration’. From a billion up to, but not including countless is “the enumeration of the great companion” and is called the ‘recurring enumeration’.Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism
Languages of India and abroad
Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा).—a particular position of hands or feet (in practice of yoga).
Mahāmudrā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mahā and mudrā (मुद्रा).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Mahāmudrā (महामुद्रा).—(1) acc. to Lalou, Iconographie, 19 n. 6, in Mmk regularly = pañcaśikhā (q.v. for citations) mudrā; also Mmk 56.7 et alibi; (2) a high number: Mvy 8031 (compare mudrā 3).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Search found 10 books and stories containing Mahamudra, Maha-mudra or Mahāmudrā. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Great Chariot (by Longchenpa)
1d.3) The particulars of the Sangha jewel < [Part 1 - The causal refuge]
Part 2d - The empowerments that ripen the ground < [B. The explanation of meditation practice, together with its action of ripening and freeing]
Part 2d - How, by awakening the gotras, liberation is attained < [B. The extensive explanation of the nature of karma]
The Way of the White Clouds (by Anāgarika Lāma Govinda)
Chenian Short Lectures in America (by Yogi C. M. Chen)
Chapter 1 - The Nine Steps Of Samatha < [Part One]
Chapter 2 - The Three Identifications < [Part One]
Chapter 1 - Why is Traditional Buddhism Better < [Part Two]
Bodhisattvacharyavatara (by Andreas Kretschmar)