Source of Mahamudra

program info card

Discover one of the great texts of the Mahayana with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

The Buddha taught that all sentient beings without exception possess enlightened nature. Nowhere is this crucial teaching more clearly and beautifully laid out than in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. In this online weekend retreat, Rinpoche will give in-depth, accessible teachings on the early chapters of this text, which is considered a bridge between the Mahayana and the Vajrayana. The weekend will include four formal teaching sessions, periods of meditation, and discussion groups led by senior students. Rinpoche will not be offering refuge or bodhisattva vows.

An Essential Teaching on Enlightened Nature

Lord Maitreya, the Buddha Shakyamuni’s regent, composed this text based on the Buddha’s “Ten Sutras that Teach the Sugatagarbha.” These sutras all come from the Third Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, which emphasizes the mind’s luminous nature. Later Arya Asanga met with Maitreya in Tushita heaven and brought the Uttaratantra Shastra and other teachings back to our world.

Because he considered this text too profound for the people of his time, Asanga concealed it as a treasure for practitioners of the future. In the eleventh centruy, the Mahasiddha Maitripa rediscovered the text and passed it on to Marpa Lotsawa and other disciples in the Mahamudra tradition.


His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche often spoke of how difficult it is to have deep confidence in the nondual approaches of Mahamudra and Dzogchen without understanding the Uttaratantra Shastra. Because it comes from the sutra tradition while at the same time laying the groundwork for the highest tantras, this text is considered to be a crucial bridge between Sutrayana and Mantrayana. You can order the text for the program here



This was the third year of this public program in which Rinpoche commented in depth on the Uttaratantra Shastra, available through Shambhala Publications as the book Buddha Nature. Each year of this program is largely self-contained. It is helpful, but not absolutely necessary, to be familiar with the teachings from 2018 and 2019. If you'd like to purchase these recordings, please visit You can also read summaries of the first two years' teachings here. 


The 2020 Source of Mahamudra teachings are offered as a Wisdom Productions Audio-Video Study Set, which provides complete access to the teachings for self-paced contemplation and review. The four talks on recorded video will be available for viewing on our host site for one year from the date of posting shortly after the live event. The audio recording is downloadable and is yours to enjoy indefinitely. This is a wonderful opportunity for students whose schedules limit participation. You can purchase it here.

TIBETAN TERMS - This document has a list of the Tibetan terms that Rinpoche used throughout the talks. It is compiled by Khenchung Greg Seton.  

The fact that you have met the Dharma, and in particular the Vajrayana and this crucial text, proves that you have accumulated much merit in past lives. A lot of people in the West suffer from lack of self-esteem. But if you think about the infinite lives you've taken in samsara, you will realize that this life is a great life. So, with a sense of confidence, you can rise to the occasion of studying the Uttaratantra Shastra and learning to embody your buddha nature.” – Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche