The Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje: Master of Mahamudra (Lives of the Masters) by Ruth Gamble

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Known for his mastery of teachings across sectarian lines, his treatises on medicine and astrology, and his work as spiritual advisor to the last Yuan emperor of China, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339) is considered one of the most important and influential figures in Tibetan Buddhist history. First recognized as a tulku, or reincarnated Buddhist master, at the age of five, Rangjung Dorje became the Karma Kagyu lineage holder and instituted the reincarnation-based inheritance structure within Tibetan Buddhism that led to the formation of important lineages of tulkus such as the Dalai Lamas.

In this groundbreaking work, Ruth Gamble synthesizes her extensive research on Rangjung Dorje into a sweeping biography covering his life, legacy, and important selected writings. Included in her discussions are Rangjung Dorje's synthesis of Dzogchen and Mahamudra in his writings, his devotion to spreading the teachings of Buddha nature, and several works never before translated into English. As the most comprehensive work available on Rangjung Dorje, this book is an indispensable resource for scholars and Buddhist practitioners alike.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shambhala (November 10, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 296 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1611807085
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1611807080
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.57 x 0.78 x 8.47 inches


“The Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje was a truly special and exalted master. From his profound and arduous spiritual journey to his meditative and literary accomplishments, his is a story of liberation and compassion that is meaningful for us to explore. I am delighted by Ruth Gamble’s thoughtful and thorough treatment of Rangjung Dorje’s life and teachings, presented by way of her writing and translation. I hope this book will benefit and inspire all of those who wish to know more about Buddhism’s teachings of definitive meaning.”—Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, author of Mind Beyond Death and Emotional Rescue

About the Author

RUTH GAMBLE is a David Myers Fellow at La Trobe University in the Department of Archaeology and History, the China Studies Research Centre, and the Centre for the Study of the Inland. She is an environmental and cultural historian of Tibet and the Himalaya, whose first book, Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism: The Third Karmapa and the Invention of a Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2018) traces the links between Tibet's reincarnation lineages and its sacred geography. Ruth has produced and co-authored an eTextbook series, Introduction to the Tibetan Language (Australian National University Press, 2018), and numerous articles and book chapters on Himalayan secular and sacred environments. She is part of the Lokaksi Translator team, which translates Buddhist texts for the 84000 project. She is currently writing a book on the Yarlung Tsangpo River and researching the nexus between belief and ecology in the Himalaya.