The Eighth Karmapa’s Life and his Interpretation of the Great Seal
A Religious Life and Instructional Texts in Historical and Doctrinal Contexts
HAMBURG BUDDHIST STUDIES 7
2017; 243 pages
This book investigates Mikyö Dorje’s biographies and carries out case studies of some of his mahāmudrā (Great Seal) teachings, Buddhist instructions for the acquisition of meditative insight. After surveying a variety of textual sources for the study of the Karmapa’s life and works, this book shows how he developed into one of the most productive scholars of his tradition, who, located within the shifting religious and political hegemonies of his time, managed to acquire a status of singular importance to his school. Rheingans then goes on to analyse Mikyö Dorje’s mahāmudrā teachings by examining selected texts that contain such instructions in historical and doctrinal context. This study contends that the Kagyüpa mahāmudrā constitutes less a static system than an independent key instruction to be adapted by the guru to different students’ requirements and are thus chiefly characterised by didactic pragmatism.
This book is out of print and no longer available.