Part Five: Mitrayogin’s Mahāmudrā Instructions

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The final section of this volume contains a number of profound pith instructions introducing the disciple to the nature of the mind. The most important of these is the teaching Avalokiteshvara gave Mitrayogin in a vision, entitled Resting in the Nature of One’s Own Mind or simply Resting in the Nature of Mind (sems nyid ngal gso). This poem of twenty-five verses is the source text for six other texts in this volume and the inspiration for Thirty Verses Expressing Realization, the song Mitrayogin sang on hearing Avalokiteshvara’s words. Both these works are included in the Derge Tengyur. Unlike Gyalwa Longchenpa’s famous text of the same name, in which the author presents the whole path of the Great Perfection, beginning with a chapter on the precious human life, Mitrayogin’s Resting in the Nature of Mind concentrates from the beginning on the view of the Great Seal, Mahāmudrā, with a series of introductions aimed, according to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s commentary, at practitioners with different levels of understanding.

   The source text of Resting in the Nature of Mind is complemented by a detailed commentary by Khyentse Wangpo, a work by the omniscient Butön correlating the verses with sources from the sutras and tantras, Jamyang Khyentse Wangchuk’s Notes on how to put Mitrayogin’s verses into practice, a song of experience inspired by these instructions, a guide on how to teach the text, and a lineage prayer, along with a supplement updating the visualization for the guru yoga practice in the Notes.

   Included with the source text in the same set of pages in the Tibetan are Thirty Verses Expressing Realization, along with an explanation by Tropu Lotsawa Jampa Pal, and two short pith instruction texts, Three Essential Introductions and Cherished Essence. The author of these is not mentioned, but their inclusion here would lead one to assume that Mitrayogin himself gave them to Tropu Lotsawa. In order to keep Resting in the Nature of Mind and its related texts together in this translated volume, these additional pith instructions have been moved to the end of the Resting collection.

   The volume concludes with yet another pith instruction by Mitrayogin, Three Quintessential Points, which is followed by a lineage prayer and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s guide on how to put these three points into practice, along with the relevant liturgies.