Mahāmudrā (Sanskrit; Tib. Chagchen, Wylie: phyag chen, contraction of Chagya Chenpo, Wylie: phyag rgya chen po) literally means "great seal" or "great symbol."
The term Mahamudra is also mentioned in the Hatha Yoga-Pradipika Chap. 3, 10-18 and in the Shivasamhita in chapter 5.
The commentator Kshemaraja of the Shivaistic Spanda Karika sees the origin of the Tibetan Mahamudra - Sadhana in a text, which spread from Kashmir over the Krama school to Tibet and was later practiced as adapted Mahamudra, especially in the Kagyu.
In tibetan buddhism the name refers to a body of teachings representing the culmination of all the practices of the Sarma schools, who believe it to be the quintessential message of all of their sacred texts.
The mudra portion denotes that in an adept's experience of reality, each phenomenon appears vividly, and the maha portion refers to the fact that it is beyond concept, imagination, and projection.
The Mahamudra is a method of knowing the true primordial nature of all things. This teaching is based on four levels of meditation practice, the so-called 'four yogas of Mahamudra' 
- Development of a one-pointed mind(rtse gcig)
- Transcendence of conceptual ideas
- Cultivating the view of all phenomena as of a fundamentally nondual nature
- Kultivierung der Sicht aller Phänomene als von grundlegend nichtdualer Natur
- Fruit of the path, beyond the still veiled effort of meditation (sgom med)
After the Drikung - Kagyu, the fivefold path of Mahamudra consists of:
- Preparatory exercises (tib. Ngöndro) for the development of Bodhicitta
- Practice of a Deva (skr., tib. Yidam)
- Guru-Yoga of the four Kayas
- Mahamudra, the big seal
- Dedication of merit
== Literature ==
- Saraha's Dohas (Songs, circa 8th century CE)
- Tilopa (988–1069) - Ganges Mahamudra  and Treasury of Songs
- Gampopa (1079–1153) - Explanation of the Sole Path of Mahamudra
- Rangjung Dorje, 3rd Karmapa Lama (1284–1339) - Aspiration Prayer of Mahāmudrā.
- Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama (1385–1438 CE) -A root text for the precious Gelug/Kagyu tradition of mahāmudrā: The Main Road of the Triumphant Ones
- Wangchuk Dorje, 9th Karmapa Lama (1556–1603) - Pointing Out the Dharmakaya (Wylie: chos sku mdzub tshugs); An Ocean of the Definite Meaning (Wylie: nges don rgya mtsho) and Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance.
- Tsele Natsok Rangdröl - Lamp of Mahāmudrā
- Kunkhyen Pema Karpo (1527–1592 CE) - Practice Guidelines of the Simultaneous School of Mahamudra  and The Oral transmission of the Six Cycles of Same Taste: Rolled into a ball [Path walking] instructions
- Dagpo Tashi Namgyal (16th century) - Clarifying the Natural State and Moonlight of Mahāmudrā.
- Kunga Rinchen - The Garland of Mahamudra practices
- Berzin : Mahamudra -Gelug
- Mahamudra online Manual