Maitrīpa (986-1063) is one of the greatest and most influential Indian yogis of Vajrayāna Buddhism. The legacy of his thought and meditation instructions have had a profound impact on Buddhism in India and Tibet, and several important contemporary practice lineages continue to rely on his teachings. Early in his life, Maitrīpa gained renown as a monk and scholar, but it was only after he left his monastery and wandered throughout India as a yogi that he had a direct experience of nonconceptual realization. Once Maitrīpa awakened to this nondual nature of reality, he was able to harmonize the scholastic teachings of Buddhist philosophy with esoteric meditation instructions. This is reflected in his writings that are renowned for evoking a meditative state in those who have trained appropriately. He eventually became the teacher of many well-known accomplished masters, including Padampa Sangy and the translator Marpa, who brought his teachings to Tibet. Drawing on Maitrīpa's autobiographical writings and literary work, this book is the first comprehensive portrait of the life and teachings of this influential Buddhist master. Klaus-Dieter Mathes also offers the first complete English translation of his teachings on nonconceptual realization, which is the foundation of Mahāmudrā meditation.
About the Author
KLAUS-DIETER MATHES is head of the Department of Tibetan, Buddhist, and South Asian Studies at the University of Vienna. He is well known in the academic field as an expert of Madhyamaka, Mahāmudrā, and shentong Buddhist philosophy.