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Ordering Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning

Nitartha international is happy to announce that Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning, by the Ninth Gyalwang Karmapa, is now open to individual purchase by qualified practitioners. Prior to this announcement, this text has been sold only to attendees at specific Mahamudra programs at the explicit invitation of Kagyü lineage teachers.


Explanation of the purchase restrictions

Procedures for sale of the book to individuals

Application to purchase

Explanation of the purchase restrictions

Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning was translated and printed in close consultation with Kagyü lineage teachers, who have provided directions to Nitartha international about limiting distribution of the book to those who have fulfilled certain prerequisite practices. Since the publication of the text, we have been working with different teachers to make distribution of the text as beneficial as possible within the teaching circumstances traditionally required for study and practice of the text.

It has been decided to allow purchase of the text in three circumstances:

  1. Fulfillment of the traditional prerequisites for practice and study of the specific mahamudra path set forth by the text;
  2. Fulfillment of parallel prerequisites for practice and study of dharma which makes study of the text beneficial to the student's path, even if the traditional prerequisites have not been fulfilled;
  3. Fullfillment of prerequisites for practice and study of specific portions of the text that are not focused on the most restricted shamatha and vipashyana sections; practitioners who purchase in circumstances where they are qualified only to read certain portions of the text are strongly recommended to work with the text under the instructions and guidance of the lineage master, teacher, guru or spiritual friend guiding their practice.

Circumstance 1) On the title page of the book is the following notice:


At the request of Khenchen Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and in consultation with the masters of the Kagyü lineage, Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning is restricted to those who have received the fourfold pointing-out instructions (pointing out the nature of mind on the basis of appearances) as presented by Wangchuk Dorje in his three texts on mahamudra. It is also strongly recommended that students first receive the reading transmission (lung) and study the text systematically under the guidance of a qualified guru. As a genuine practitioner, please respect this.

“May the glorious wisdom protector Bernakchen and consort, with their retinues, be the guardians of these teachings. If those who have no faith, those who have no connection, or those who, on the basis of the words [of the text] alone, claim to have developed [experiences] in their mind-stream and thus deceive themselves and others by lying about their attainments, [if such as these] see or spread [these teachings], may [the protectors] severely punish them.

“For those who practice properly and have faith, may [the protectors] assist them, so that simply by seeing [these teachings], their experiences and realizations will increase and they will attain the siddhi of Vajradhara in this very lifetime, with this very body.”

The Ninth Gyalwang Karmapa
Wangchuk Dorje

In addition to this, some teachers are able to confer specific book empowerments authorizing study and practice of the text.

Please note that the "fourfold pointing-out instructions (pointing out the nature of mind on the basis of appearances)" is a quite specific transmission that is typically given only in connection with practice instructions on the text itself. Although a number of lineage masters have conferred this transmission, it is not a "general" mahamudra transmission and is rather specific to Wangchuk Dorje's tradition. Accordingly, to answer "yes" to the application question as to whether you have had this transmission, you should be able to identify the circumstances under which it took place.

2) Although the above requirements provide the most beneficial circumstances for reading and practicing the teachings in Mahamudra: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning, certain teachers have authorized the purchase of the book without having fulfilled the above requirements, if fulfillment of certain parallel prerequisites can be demonstrated. Fulfillment or such parallel prerequisites are determined by individual teachers. One of the most important such requirements is the completion of ngondro.

3) Moreover, the restrictions indicated by the language above applies only to certain portions of the book, primarily concerned with instructions about shamatha and vipashyana mediation. The text by the Ninth Karmapa contains portions which are not subject to such restrictions, such as those discussing the Preliminaries. Thus, certain teachers allow purchase of the text in order to allow students to read portions of the book which are less restricted.

Procedures for Sale of the Book

After due consideration, we have determined that the fairest way to address all concerns about restrictions on sales of the text is to provide a procedure for individuals to certify that they have fulfilled certain practice prerequisites set forth by a number of teachers in the lineage. We will evaluate those seeking to purchase the text against the purchase restrictions set forth by lineage teachers and sell the text to qualified buyers.

  1. To administer this process, we ask that potential purchasers complete an Application to Purchase form.
  2. Based on those answers and guidance from the lineage teachers with whom we are working, Nitartha international will notify you whether the book is available for your purchase.
  3. If you qualify for purchasing the book, you will be directed to instructions for purchasing the book, either online through our bookstore or via mail order.

Click here to proceed to the Application

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