The Meaning of the Four Mudrās
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Elucidating the Hidden Meaning
A Commentary on the Meaning of the Four Mudrās
by Dola Jigme Kalzang
It is like this:
1. Karma Mudrā
What we call the bhaga of the Vajra Queen of the Vast Expanse has the nature of the gateways to liberation—emptiness, signlessness and wishlessness. This essence of the sugatas (sugatagarbha), the ground continuum, which is the inconceivable dharmatā nature, the natural state of pure awareness, is the karma mudrā, the basis of practice.
2. Dharma Mudrā
Arriving at a deep conviction that the condition of this ground—profound, peaceful, free from complexity, the wisdom of uncompounded luminosity—does not exist as something separate from the present moment of consciousness and actualizing all the qualities of the stages and paths through the four levels of vidyādhara on the short path of the profound secret mantra within a single lifetime, i.e., the path continuum, which is the abandonment and realization of an ārya, is the dharma mudrā, the object of practice.
3. Samaya Mudrā
Not erring with respect to the means of easily accomplishing these two points or the special circumstances, i.e., the general and particular points of what to adopt and avoid, such as the special features of the three sets of vows connected with the guru's aural lineage of profound instructions, is the samaya mudrā, the means of practice.
Thus by first understanding well the underlying justification or basis of practice, and then through applying the means of practice, the appropriate stages of samaya, the essence of realization that is the object of practice is actualized. Then, the resultant continuum complete with its twofold purity and free from complexity, the natural condition of suchness, which is not existent as either ground or result and is the ultimate, primordial source of liberation, is the mahāmudrā, the fruition of practice.
By the one called Zhönnu Lodrö. Sarva maṅgalam.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2018.
'Jigs med skal bzang. “phyag rgya bzhi'i don 'grel gab don gsal ba” in sde dge 'jigs med skal bzang sku phreng snga phyi'i gsung rtsom phyogs bsgrigs. 1 vol. Beijing: mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2010. (BDRC W1KG6249). p. 50