Sounds of Innate Freedom, Vol. 3

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"I am delighted by the publication of this thoughtfully compiled collection of classic mahāmudrā literature. It is wonderful that these ancient songs of realization, in all their profundity and beauty, are now accessible to modern English readers everywhere." —His Eminence the Twelfth Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche

“The Seventh Karmapa’s Indian Texts of Mahāmudrā is the largest anthology ever compiled of the foundational works on the Great Seal, which is the quintessential Indian and Tibetan approach to contemplating, realizing, and expressing the true nature of the mind. Composed by the charismatic Buddhist tantric adepts of medieval India, these songs, treatises, and commentaries have profoundly shaped Buddhism in Tibet for the past thousand years, and mahāmudrā nowadays is taught and practiced throughout the world. Sounds of Innate Freedom, Karl Brunnhölzl’s six-volume translation of the Karmapa’s collection is, quite simply, one of the great Buddhist scholarly projects of our time. Informed by Brunnhölzl’s extraordinary erudition and linguistic gifts, these volumes promise to be the definitive sourcebook of South Asian works on the Great Seal and will be required reading for scholars and practitioners of Buddhism everywhere.” —Roger R. Jackson, author of Mind Seeing Mind: Mahāmudrā and the Geluk Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

"Sounds of Innate Freedom is destined to become a classic in the field of tantric Buddhist literature. Karl Brunnhölzl’s translations of Saraha’s poetry capture the concise wisdom and embodied elegance of the original Sanskrit and Tibetan. He is both authoritative and lyrical, bringing us into the heart of the mahāsiddha’s vision of a layperson’s path to awakening. This critical collection provides an enlightened template for our place and time, essentialized practice and unmediated access to embodied wisdom that leads to radical awakening in this life.” —Willa Blythe Baker, PhD, founder and spiritual director of Natural Dharma Fellowship and author of The Wakeful Body

As clearly emerges from the collection of texts so excellently presented by Mitra Karl, this is a lineage of kindness and wisdom, here delivered with the precision and detail of extensive scholarly research that is equally a matter of the heart, quite beyond words, a treasury of insight rising from devotion and dedication to the lineage of masters who have realized the nature of mind and who so kindly, often unexpectedly, and even sometimes in a way that might seem over the top, share with us the methods for accomplishing this. The rest is up to us.” —Jim Scott, long-time translator and dharma teacher in the lineage of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche


The Indian Texts of Mahāmudrā, Volume 3

Karl Brunnhölzl

This is the third volume in an historic six-volume series containing many of the first English translations of the classic mahāmudrā literature compiled by the Seventh Karmapa. Sounds of Innate Freedom: The Indian Texts of Mahāmudrā are historic volumes containing many of the first English translations of classic mahamudra literature. The texts and songs in these volumes constitute the large compendium called The Indian Texts of the Mahāmudrā of Definitive Meaning, compiled by the Seventh Karmapa, Chötra Gyatso (1456–1539). The collection offers a brilliant window into the richness of the vast ocean of Indian mahamudra texts cherished in all Tibetan lineages, particularly in the Kagyü tradition, giving us a clear view of the sources of one of the world’s great contemplative traditions.

This third volume contains twenty-four texts, the bulk of which are dohās by Saraha and commentaries on them, as well as works by other renowned Indian Buddhist mahāsiddhas such as Nāropa, Kṛṣṇa, and Śākyaśrībhadra. The extensive commentaries brilliantly unravel enigmas and bring clarity to the songs they comment on as well as to many other songs of realization in the series. These expressive songs of the inexpressible offer readers a feast of profound and powerful pith instructions uttered by numerous male and female mahāsiddhas, yogīs, and ḍākinīs, often in the context of ritual gaṇacakras and initially kept in their secret treasury. Displaying a vast range of themes, styles, and metaphors, they all point to the single true nature of the mind—mahāmudrā—in inspiring ways and from different angles, using a dazzling array of skillful means to penetrate the sole vital point of buddhahood being found nowhere but within our own mind. Reading and singing these songs of mystical wonder, bliss, and ecstatic freedom, and contemplating their meaning, will open doors to spiritual experience for us today just as it has for countless practitioners in the past.

Click here to explore other volumes available in The Sounds of Innate Freedom series.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 1080 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $79.95
  • ISBN 9781614297109
  • ebook
  • 1080 pages
  • $53.99
  • ISBN 9781614297154
about the author
Sounds of Innate Freedom, Vol. 3

Karl Brunnhölzl, MD, PhD, was originally trained as a physician. He received his systematic training in Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators, founded by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, as well as the Nitartha Institute, founded by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Since 1989 he has been a translator and interpreter of Tibetan and English. Karl Brunnhölzl is a senior teacher and translator in the Nalandabodhi community of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, as well as at Nitartha Institute. Living in Seattle, he is the author and translator of numerous texts. Currently, he is working on the Seventh Karmapa’s compilation of Indian Mahamudra works.

Other books by Karl Brunnhölzl:
Sounds of Innate Freedom, Vol. 2
Sounds of Innate Freedom, Vol. 4
Milarepa’s Kungfu
Sounds of Innate Freedom, Vol. 5
Luminous Melodies
A Lullaby to Awaken the Heart

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