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Her Visualizations, Rituals, & Forms 

A Study of the Cult of Vajrayogini in India 

Elizabeth English 

Wisdom Publications • Boston 

Wisdom Publications 

199 Elm Street 

Somerville, Massachusetts 02144 USA 

© 2002 Elizabeth English 

All rights reserved. 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by 
any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy- 
ing, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval 
system or technologies now known or later developed, with- 
out permission in writing from the publisher. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
English, Elizabeth 

Vajrayogini : Her visualizations, rituals, & forms : a study of the 
cult of Vajrayogini in India / Elizabeth English 

p. cm. — (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism) 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN 0-86171-329-X (alk. paper) 

1. Vajrayogini (Buddhist deity) 2. Tantric Buddhism — Rituals. 
I. Title. II. Title: Vajrayogini. III. Series. 
BQ4890.V344E65 2002 
294.3'42ii4 — dc2i 2002011148 

ISBN 0-86171-329-X 

First Wisdom Edition 
06 05 04 03 02 
5 4 3 2 1 

Designed by Gopa and Ted2 
Cover photo: See List of Illustrations 

Wisdom Publications' books are printed on acid-free paper 
and meet the guidelines for permanence and durability set by 
the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity 
of the Council on Library Resources. 

Printed in the USA. 

To my teachers 

Publisher's Acknowledgment 

The Publisher gratefully acknowledges the generous help of the Hershey 
Family Foundation in sponsoring the printing of this book. 


List of Illustrations 

Color Plates xl 

Line Drawings xv 

Abbreviations xvu 

Preface xlx 

Chapter i: Vajrayogini and the Buddhist Tantras i 

The Buddhist Tantric Systems i 

The Guhyasamayasddhanamdld and Its Authors 9 

Sadhana Collections l8 

Tantric Sadhana 2 4 

Chapter 2: The Cult of Vajrayogini in India 35 

The Influence of Nondual Saivism 37 

Transgressive Discipline (vdmdcdrah) 4 1 

The Emergence of Vajrayogini 43 

The Emergence of Vajravarahi 47 

Dancing-Pose (ardhaparyanka) Vajravarahi 5° 

Twelve-Armed Vajravarahi in Dancing Pose 54 

Six- Armed Vajravarahi with Consort 60 

Six-Armed Vajradakini Vajravarahi in Warrior Stance 62 

Red Vajraghona Vajravarahi 66 

White Vajraghona Vajravarahi 68 

White Vajravarahi 69 

Two-Armed Vajrayogini in Warrior Stance 7 1 

Four- Armed Vajrayogini in Warrior Stance 73 

Red Vajravarahi with Foot Raised 74 
White Vajrayogini with Foot Raised 75 

Vajrayogini in the Falling-Turtle Pose 77 

Vidyadhari Vajrayogini 79 
Flying Vidyadhari Vajrayogini 82 

Vajravilasini Vajravarahi 84 

vi 1 


Guhyavajravilasini 86 

TrikayavajrayoginI (Chinnamasta) 94 

Conclusions 102 

Chapter 3: Study of the Vajravarahl Sadhana 109 

Outline of the Sadhana 109 

Meditation Stage i 113 

Benediction 113 

Preliminaries 114 

Bodhisattva Preparations 119 

Worship 120 

Brahmavihara Meditations 123 

Development of Wisdom 125 

Creating the Circle of Protection 131 

The Cremation Grounds 136 

The Cosmos and Temple Palace 144 

Self-Generation through the Awakenings 149 

Self- Visualization As Vajravarahl 154 

Armoring 163 

Pledge and Knowledge Beings 166 

Consecration 169 

Inner Yogic Practices 171 

The Mantra 178 

Dwelling As Vajravarahl 181 

Meditation Stage 2 182 

Fivefold Mandala 182 

Meditation Stage 3 186 

Thirteenfold Mandala 186 

Terms for Aspects of the Mandala 187 

Meditation Stage 4 188 

Thirty-seven-fold Mandala 188 

Circles of Mind, Speech, and Body 188 

The Mandala As Wisdom 190 

The Mandala As Doctrine 192 

The Mandala As Cosmos 194 

The Sacred Sites {pithas) 195 

The Ten Places (des'as) 196 


Body Mandala 197 

Mantras for the Complete Deity Mandala 203 

Ritual Practices 2 °5 

Tantric Ritual 2 °5 

The Bali Ritual 2o6 

Tasting Nectar (amrtdsvddanam) 2 °8 

Bali Offering with Mantras 2I1 

Rite of Completion 2I 5 

External Worship 2I ^ 

Worship on the Hand (hastapuja) 218 

Alternative External Worship 22 ° 

Internal Oblation 221 

Concluding Verses 22 3 

Vajravdrdhi Sddhana by Umapatideva 22 5 

Meditation Stage 1 22 7 

Meditation Stage 2 2 49 

Meditation Stage 3 2 55 

Meditation Stage 4 2 57 

Ritual Practices 2 °7 

Cremation Grounds 3 11 

Conventions, Abbreviations, and Symbols 3 : 5 

Conventions in the Translation 3*5 

Abbreviations and Symbols in the Sanskrit Text 3 l6 

Abbreviations and Symbols in the Apparatus 3U 

Other Editors 3*9 

Silent Editorial Standardizations 3 X 9 

Manuscript Sources 3 21 

The Manuscripts of the Guhyasamayasadhanamald (GSS) 321 

Textual Transmission 3 2 ^ 

Editorial Policy 3 2 ° 

Textual Notes 3 2 9 

Insignificant Variants 349 
Appendix: Summary of Sadhanas in the Guhyasamayasadhanamald 355 

Notes 383 


Bibliography ^ 

Index 54I 

About the Author ^ 4 

List of Illustrations 

Color Plates 

Front cover: Vajravarahi tangka (detail). Centtal Tibet, 
c izoo-1250. Private Collection. Photograph by John Bigelow 
Taylor. Photograph © 1998 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
The central Vajravarahi is in ardhaparyanka pose standing upon a sun disk on a 
corpse The tangka depicts her against a backdrop of the eight cremation grounds 
(reproduced here on the back cover). She is flanked by the three armonng goddesses 
to the left, Samtrasini (green), Candika? (grey?), Vajravarahi (red); and three to 
the right, Samcalini? (yellow?), Mohini: (white!), and Yamini (blue-black). Armor 
Vajravarahi has three heads and six arms, and the rest hold skull bowl and staff 
(left) and damaru and chopper (right). Upper and lower registers of the full tangka 
hold figures datable to the twelfth century from a Bka brgyud lineage. Published: 
Kossak and Casey Singer 1999, plate 21. 

Plate 1: Vajravarahi tangka. Central Tibet, twelfth-thirteenth 
century. Courtesy of Anna Maria Rossi and Fabio Rossi. 
The central Vajravarahi ts in ardhaparyanka pose against a backdrop of the eight 
cremation grounds. She is flanked by eight goddesses (holdingskull bowl ana 'damaru 
in their two arms); four have animal heads, possibly black crow and black dog 
(left), and red owl and white hog (right). (These goddesses are simikr to the god- 
desses of the outer mandala in GSS11; but the latter have four arms, holding staff 
and skull bowl, damaru and chopper; the animal heads on the gate goddesses are. 
black crow (east), green owl (north), red dog (west) and yellow hog (south); and the 
intermediate goddesses are bitonal.) The central frames of the vertical registers depict 
four dakmis to left and right, in warrior stance with various attributes in their four 
arm's Below them are Sakyamuni and four-armed Avalokiteivara (left), and 
Manjughosa and Vajrapani (right). The upper register contains siddhas and monks. 
The bottom register has six dancing deities (possibly offering goddesses), with a monk 
(far left) and bodhisattva (far right). Published: Christian Deydier Oriental Bronzes 
Ltd. 1997, item 14: 44-4S; Rossi and Rossi 2002, plate 4- 



Plate v. Red Dakini. Khara Khoto, twelfth-thirteenth century. 
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 

Lnherfour arms, the dakini holds skull bowl and single-pointed staff '(left), chopper 
anddamaru (right), and she dances in ardhaparyahka/,^ upon a bull. Published: 
Piotrovsky ipp^, no. 33. 

Plate 3: Blue Dakini (Nairatmya?). Khara Khoto, twelfth-thirteenth 
century. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 

The blue dakini holds a skull bowl (left) and a vajra (right), with a trident-staff. 
She dances tn ardhaparyahka pose upon a male crowned figure, and her blazing 
hair flies upward. The earth-touching Aksobhya on Nairatmya s headdress would 
normally be blue. Published: Piotrovsky i 99i , no. 33-. 

Plate 4: Vajravarahi (Tib.: rDo rje phag mo). Tibet, fifteenth 
century. Gilt copper, ht. 41.5 cm. Photo by Ulrich von Schroeder. 

Po ta la collection: Li ma lha khang; inventory no. 1680. Located on the third floor 
ofthePho -brangdmarpo, the "Red Palace." Lhasa, Central Tibet (dBus). Pub- 
lished: von Schroeder 2001, vol. 2, plate 266D (photo: ipp 7 ). 

Plate 5: Marici (Tib.: 'Od zer can ma). Tibet, c. 1700. 
Gilt copper, ht. 13.8 cm. Photo by Ulrich von Schroeder. 

This form is identical to the "Vajraghond" form of Vajravarahi. Here, the hog- 
headed Marici holds a noose and skull bowl (left), with staff tucked into the crook 
of her left arm, and a goad and vajra (right). Jo khang I gTsug lag khang collec- 
tion; inventory no. 99 [A]. Lhasa, Central Tibet (dBus). Published: von Schroeder 
2001, vol. 2, plate 267A (photo: ip 9 2). 

Plate 6: Animal-headed Vajrayogini. Tibet, nineteenth century. 
Painted clay. Courtesy of the British Museum (OA1948.7-16.24). 

Plate 7: Vajrayogini, Naro-khechari. Eastern Tibet, eighteenth century 
From the collection of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. 

This Karma bKa' brgyud tangka depicts a warrior-stance form of Vajrayogini 


holding skull bowl and chopper and carrying a khatvanga staff. She stands atop the 
bodies of pink Kdlardtri and black Bhairava. At the top center is the buddha 
Vajradhara, at the left is the Indian mahasiddha Tilopa holding a fish in his 
upraised left hand, and at the right is a seated Tibetan yogi wearing a white cot- 
ton upper robe and a yellow meditation belt. At the bottom left is the wrathful deity 
Humkara, and on the right is g. Yu sgron ma, a female deity of Tibetan origin hold- 
ing what appears to be a large drum in her right hand and a stick in her left. 33 x 
23 cm. Ground mineral pigment on cotton. Himalayan Art no. 61. 

Plate 8: Vajravarahi tangka (with details of Severed-head Vajrayoginl). 
Nepal, fourteenth century. John and Berthe Ford Collection. 

Detail (left) shows Severed-head Vajrayoginl, Trikayavajrayogini (Chinnamastdl 
Chinnamundd), with Vajravairocani (right, yellow) and Vajravarnani (left, red). 
Detail (right) shows a red Trikayavajrayogini with Vajravanani (right, "dark ") and 
Vajravairocani (left, yellow). Published: Pal 1975, plate 45, and 2001, catalog entry 
126, p. 216 (full tangka); Benard 1994, plate 3 (detail); andBiihnemann 2000, plate 
24c (detail). 

Plate 9: Severed-head Vajrayoginl (Chinnamasta/Chinnamunda) 
tangka. Tibet/Nepal, c. 1900. Linden Museums, Stuttgart. 

The self decapitated form ofVajrayogini appears without attendant yoginis Vajra- 
vairocani and Vajravarnani to right and left. Above her to the left is a dancing, 
a.rdhapa.rya.hka.-pose form ofVajrayogini; above center is a flying form (see p. 82); 
and above right is the "raised-foot' form (seep. 74). Published: Herrmann- Pfandt 
1992, plate 6. 

Plate 10: Painted Mongolian woodblocks. Tibet, c. 1850. 
Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich. 

Reproduced in Willson and Brauen 2000. 

a. Armor Vajravarahi (IWS 62) 

b. Maims Dakini (IWS 78) 

c. Accomplishing (Arthasiddhi) Varahi (IWS 80) 

d. Varahi with Raised Leg (IWS 84) 

e. Tortoise-legged (Kurmapadi Varahi) (IWS 85) 

f. Nam's Dakini (IWS 87) 


Plate n: Tangka of Cakrasamvara in union with Vajravarahi. 
Khara Khoto, twelfth-thirteenth century. The State Hermitage 
Museum, St. Petersburg. 

Cakrasamvara appears against a backdrop of the cremation grounds within a sixty- 
two deity mandala. Two of the outer goddesses of the gates are recognizable here: 
Kakasya (crow-faced, black, to the east) in the center of the bottom register, and 
Ulukasyd (owl-faced, green, to the north) in the center of the vertical frame to the 
right. Of the bitonal intermediate outer goddesses, we can recognize: Yamadddhi 
(southeast/bottom left corner), Yamamathani (northeast/ bottom right corner) and 
Yamadamstrini (northwest/ top -right corner). The remaining visible figures are the 
gods and goddesses (in union) of the twenty four sites. Two additional deities are 
also depicted: two-armed Heruka, blue (center of second row from top), and four- 
armed Ac ala (center of second row from bottom). See Piotrovsky ipp$: i$6—$8 for 
attributions for this mandala, "Paramasukha Cakrasamvara, Yab-Yum, Luipa 
Mandala." Published: Rhie and Thurman ippi, no. p2; Piotrovsky ipp$, no. 26. 

Plate 12: Tangka of Cakrasamvara Mandala. Central Tibet, 

c. 1100. Private Collection. Photograph by John Bigelow Taylor. 

Photograph © 1998 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

This sixty-two-deity mandala is set against a backdrop of the cremation grounds. 
Figure 32 provides a key to the mandala as it is adapted for Vajravardhi and her 
retine. Table 25 includes the names of the male deities. Published: Kossak and Singer 
ippp, plate 2. 

Plate 13: Tangka of Varahyabhyudaya Mandala. 
Courtesy of Anna Maria Rossi and Fabio Rossi. 

See figure $ for key. Published: Rossi and Rossi ippj as "Vajravardhi Abhibhdva 
Mandala " (sic); and reproduced in the Rossi Collection online (Asian Art). 

Plate 14: Tangka of "Vajrayogini in Kechara Paradise." Tibet, 
eighteenth century. Collection of Tibet House, New York. 

A Sa sky a tangka in the lineage ofNaropa. Vajrayogini stands inside a dharmodayd 
within a three-dimensional temple-palace. The animal-headed goddesses (Kakasya, 
etc.) are visible at the gates. The upper tiers of the palace hold Sa sky a masters. 


Plate 15: Tangka of the cosmos according to the Abhidharmakosa. 
Tibet. Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich, inventory 
number 13560 (92.5 cm x 60 cm). 

Reproduced in Brauen 1997. 

Plate 16: Palm leaves from kutila Newari manuscript (K) 
of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld (GSS) . Nepal, twelfth-thirteenth 
century. Copyright Bodleian Library, University of Oxford 
(ms. Sanskc. 15 (R)). 

a. f. 14V showing alphabet in kutila Newari script. 

b. f. jov showing colophon to Vajravarahl Sadhana by Umapatideva 

(continued onf. yir). 

Line Drawings 

Figure Page 

1 Naro-khecari, Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 77 , LC 587) xxii 

2 Naro-khecari, Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 87, LC 597) xxiii 

3 Indra-khecari, Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 79, LC 589) _ 51 

4 Twelve-armed Vajravarahl (Dharmacari Aloka) 55 

5 Varahyabhyudaya mandala (diagram) (Dharmacari Aloka) 58 

6 Six-armed Vajravarahl with consort (Dharmacari Aloka) 61 

7 Mandala of six-armed Vajravarahl with consort 

(Dharmacari Aloka) 62 

8 Six-armed Vajradakini Vajravarahl (Dharmacari Aloka) 63 

9 Mandala of Vajradakini Vajravarahl (Dharmacari Aloka) 65 

10 Arthasddhana-Va.rah.1, Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 80, LC 590) 6 7 

11 White Vajravarahl (GSS38) (Dharmacari Aloka) 69 

12 Two-armed Vajrayogini in warrior stance (Dharmacari Aloka) 71 

13 Vajra chopper (vajrakartri) (Dharmacari Aloka) 72 

14 Four-armed Vajrayogini in warrior stance (Dharmacari Aloka) 73 


15 Red Vajravarahl with foot raised (Dharmacari Aloka) 75 

16 Mongolian woodblock print (IWS/T 84, LC 594) 7 6 

17 VajrayoginI in falling-turtle pose, 

Mongolian woodblock print (IWS/T 85, LC 595) 77 

18 Vidyadharl VajrayoginI, Mongolian woodblock print, 
"Maitrl-khecarf (IWS/T 78, LC 588) 79 

19 Dharmodaya with mantras and bliss swirls 80 

20 Flying Vidyadharl VajrayoginI (Dharmacari Aloka) 82 

21 VajravilasinI (Dharmacari Aloka) 85 

22 GuhyavajravilasinI (Dharmacari Aloka) 86 

23 TrikayavajrayoginI (Dharmacari Aloka) 94 

2 4 Dagger deity: Kakasya (Dharmacari Aloka) 135 

25 The cosmos (Dharmacari Aloka) Y ac 

26 Double vajra (Dharmacari Aloka) 1A n 

27 Vajravarahl (Dharmacari Aloka) ^ 

28 Vajra (Dharmacari Aloka) ^ 

29 Skull staff (khatvanga) (Dharmacari Aloka) 157 

30 Armor Vajravarahl, Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 62, LC 572) l65 

31 Armor YaminI, Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 63, LC 573) 165 
3 2 Thirty-seven-fold Mandala of Vaj ravarahl 

(Dharmacari Aloka) joj 

33 Body mandala (Dharmacari Aloka) 200 

34 Preparation of nectar (Dharmacari Aloka) 209 

35 Flame gesture (Dharmacari Aloka) 


Drawings in Endnotes 

i "Sahaja Reversed," Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 88, LC 598) 406 

ii "Vajravarahl in the tradition of Brahmana Srldhara," 

Mongolian woodblock print (IWS/T 86, LC 596) 408 


Additional abbreviations and symbols related to the Sanskrit edition and 
apparatus can be found on pages 315-19. 

Asian Art 


Blue Annals 






Himalayan Art 









Mkhas grub rje 


A bhidharmakosalbhdsya 



Bongo Butten no Kenkyu. See K. Tsukamoto et al. 

The Blue Annals. See Roerich 1949-53 
Devanagari paper ms. of GSS 
Gaekwod's Oriental Series 
Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India. See 

Chattopadhyaya 1970 
Institute for the Advanced Study of World Religions, 

New York 
Icons Worthwhile to See. See Willson and Brauen, 2000 
Kutila Newarl palmleaf ms. of GSS 
Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies 
Copies of Mongolian icons published by Raghu Vira 

Chandra and Lokesh Chandra 1961-72, 1986 
Masters of Mahdmudrd. See Dowman, 1985 
See Lessing and Wayman 1978 
Newarl, early twentieth-century paper ms. of GSS 

xvi 1 











Sacred Art of Tibet 














National Archives, Kathmandu 
Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project 
Narthang Pantheon 

The Tibetan Tripitaka: Peking Edition — kept in the 
Library of the Otani University, Kyoto. 
Reprinted under the supervision of the Otani 
University, Kyoto. Edited by Daisetz T[eitaro] 
Suzuki. Tokyo-Kyoto, 1961. 
Pali-English Dictionary, ed. T.W. Rhys Davids and 

W. Stede. 1921-23. London: Pali Text Society. 
Pradipoddyotana commentary on the 

Guhyasamdjatantra by Candrakirti 
Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. See 

Rhie and Thurman 199 1 
Sarnath Edition oi Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5) pub- 
lished in Dhih Review of Rare Buddhist Text 
Series (no. 13, 1992: 123-54) 
Satapitaka Series 

Sddhanasamuccaya (Designation for SM used in BBK) 

Mongolian woodblock prints numbered according to 
Tachikawa et al. 1995 and Willson and Brauen 2000 
Tantraloka by Abhinavagupta 

A Catalogue-Index of The Tibetan Buddhist Canons 
(Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur). Edited by Hakuju 
Ui, Munetada Suzuki, Yensho Kanakura, and 
Tokan Tada. Published by Tohoku Imperial 
University, Sendai, 1934. 
Vajravali by Abhayakaragupta 
Yum skor 


My interest in the Buddhist tantras — and in sadhana meditation 
in particular — really began while I was in Oxford studying under 
Professor Alexis Sanderson. It was the inspiration of his research, 
as well as his personal encouragement, that led me one day to a Sanskrit 
manuscript in the Bodleian Library dating from the twelfth or thirteenth 
century, and preserved on palm leaves in a lovely, rounded kutila script. The 
text comprised a collection of some fifty sadhanas — meditation and ritual 
works — all of which were concerned with the practice of Vajrayogini, a 
deity of the highest tantras. With Professor Sanderson's help, and the untir- 
ing support of Dr. Harunaga Isaacson, I set about the tasks of editing the 
texts and attempting to understand their contents. Without the knowledge 
of these two outstanding scholars, I could hardly have begun to fathom the 
complexity of the Buddhist tantric traditions, let alone begin my doctoral 
thesis. The thesis was completed in 1999 and was entitled Vajrayogini: Her 
Visualisation, Rituals and Forms. This book is an adaptation of that thesis. 
Taken as a whole, the texts in the manuscript form a so-called garland 
of sadhanas (sddhanamdld), which in this case includes praise verses and 
commentarial passages alongside the ritual and meditation manuals of the 
sadhanas themselves. This book focuses upon one Sanskrit sadhana from 
this unique collection, the Vajravarahi Sadhana by Umapatideva. At the 
same time, I hope to give a flavor of the breadth and richness of the other 
works in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. For while they all center upon 
Vajrayogini as the generic deity, they describe many manifestations. Indeed, 
the collection contains over fifty iconographical descriptions, within which 
we can discern about twenty distinct forms of Vajrayogini, some of 
whom — such as Vajravarahi — are significant tantric deities in their own 
right. In fact, although the collection receives the late title Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamala (GSS), the Secret Pledge Sadhana Collection, a more suitable 
title might have been the *Vajrayoginisddhanamdld, the Vajrayogini Sadhana 
Collection. I have therefore attempted to draw from all its major works in 
the course of this study and, in the opening chapters, I survey the diverse 
forms and practices of Vajrayogini in India, according to this collection. In 



this way, I hope the book will serve a double purpose: examining, from our 
textual evidence, the cult of Vajrayogini in India prior to 1200 c.e., and 
shedding light on tan trie sadhana meditation. 

The decision to base the study upon a single sadhana from the Guhya- 
samayasddhanamdld was made for several reasons. While scholarly interest 
in the Indian Buddhist tantras has increased in recent years, our knowl- 
edge of their vast array of texts remains in its infancy and will only improve 
as scholars produce critical editions of surviving texts along with informed 
study based upon them. The difficulty of drawing accurate conclusions 
from the texts currently available is due to the fact that the umbrella term 
"Buddhist tantra" actually covers a bewildering variety of methods, prac- 
tices, and systems. These competed in India within a highly fertile and 
inventive environment over several centuries. Even contemporary accounts 
in the eleventh to twelfth centuries that describe a range of different sys- 
tems, such as Abhayakaragupta's encyclopedic Vajrdvali or Jagaddarpana's 
derivative Kriydsamuccaya, cannot be taken as conclusive evidence for prac- 
tice on the ground, as those authors themselves struggled with the various 
currents of opinion without necessarily reaching their own conclusions. In 
addition, the meanings of many terms remain obscure and will only come 
to light when a far broader field of reference is available. 

Given this complexity, and the need to clarify so many aspects of tantric 
practice, I chose to focus my study upon a single feature of the whole. Key 
pieces of the overall picture are therefore missing. I give only the briefest 
sketch of the initiations that were the necessary preliminary to sadhana 
practice, and only a hazy description of the place of sadhana in the tantrika's 
overall scheme of spiritual practice. And there are many points where my 
conclusions are at best provisional. Within these limitations, I have 
attempted to highlight those practices that characterize the Indian traditions 
of Vajrayogini. In so doing, I hope to reveal how our particular author 
adapted earlier sources and responded to his own scriptural heritage, absorb- 
ing new trends and reflecting different developments within the highest 
Buddhist tantras. 

The sadhana that I have edited, translated, and studied here is the 
Vajravdrdhi Sadhana (GSS11) by Umapatideva, an early-twelfth-century 
author from northeastern India. This work is a fruitful subject because of 
the length, clarity, and excellence of its composition. It was also desirable 
to choose a work from the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld collection that was as 
yet unpublished, because some primary sources dealing with Vajrayogini 
and Vajravarahi are already available in recent editions, including some 


studies in European languages. For a long while, the main academic 
accounts of Vajravarahi and Vajrayogini were the iconographical descrip- 
tions given by Benoytosh Bhattacharyya in The Indian Buddhist Iconogra- 
phy (1924) and by Marie Therese de Mallmann's Introduction a 
TIconographie du Tdntrisme Bouddhique (1975), both of which contain some 
errors (e.g., n. 228). These works draw heavily on Bhattacharyya's edition 
of the Sddhanamdld (1925 and 1928), which contains fewer than a dozen 
complete Vajrayogini/ Vajravarahi sadhanas, all of which also appear in the 
Guhyasamayasadhanamala} More recent studies also focus on selections 
from the Sddhanamald sadhanas, such as the short study of Vajravarahi by 
Mallar Mitra (1999: 102-29), which is too brief to be fully comprehensive. 
A beautiful collection of sculptures of the deity from different phases of 
Tibetan art have been published by von Schroeder (1981, 2001); however 
some of his iconographical comments are also erroneous (e.g., n. 83). A few 
other Sanskrit editions of Vajrayogini sadhanas have been published, such 
as the short Vajravdrdhisddhana by Advayavajra (=GSS3) by both Louis 
Finot (1934) and Richard O. Meisezahl (1967), a Trikdyavajrayoginisddhana 
(«GSS25) by Max Nihom (1992), and a handful of sadhanas from the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdldm Dhih (namely, GSS5, GSS10, GSS26, GSS42, 
and GSS43), as shown in the appendix. Published editions of highest tantric 
texts also provide an important resource for a study of Vajrayogini/ Vajra- 
varahi, especially those from the Cakrasamvara tradition, such as the Yogini- 
samcdratantra with both its available Sankrit commentaries, edited by J. S. 
Pandey (1998), and some chapters of the Samvarodayatantra (possibly a later 
Nepalese composition) 2 edited and translated by Shin'ichi Tsuda (1974). 

The paucity of publications for the Indie Vajrayogini tradition is in 
stark contrast to the number of Sanskrit manuscripts that must once 
have existed. Bongo Butten no Kenkyu (BBK) catalogs just over a dozen 
Vajrayogini texts not found in the Guhyasamayasadhanamala, appearing 
within works such as the Yah skor (BBK: 261) and Yum skor (BBK: 
273-77), commentaries on the Tattvajndnasamsiddhi (BBK: 279-80), the 
Jvdldvalivajramdldtantra (BBK: 493-94), as well as the later Nepalese 
Vajravdrdhikalpa in thirty-eight chapters (BBK: 261) — although many 
sadhana materials listed here are also found in our collection (details in 
the appendix). We can deduce the existence of yet more Indian Vajra- 
yogini sadhanas from the number of translations in the Tibetan canon 
that have no extant Sanskrit original. In an index to the Bka' 'gyur and 
Bstan 'gyur published in 1980, there are about forty-five sadhanas with 
Vajrayogini or Vajravarahi in the title, very few of which have (as yet) 



been correlated with a Sanskrit original by the compilers of the index. 3 
The popularity of the VajrayoginI transmissions in Tibet is remarked 
upon in the Blue Annals (Roerich 1949-53: 390), which states, "The 
majority of tantric yogis in this Land of Snows were especially initiated 
and followed the exposition and meditative practice of the system known 
as [the Six Texts of Vajravarahi] P hag-mo gZhung-drug (p. 390). 4 What 
is now known of her practice derives mainly from Tibetan Buddhism, 
in which VajrayoginI (Rdo rje rnal 'byor ma) and Vajravarahi (Rdo rje 
phag mo) are important deities. 

Perhaps the main emphasis on forms of VajrayoginI/ Vajravarahi (the 
names often seem to be used interchangeably) is found in the bKa' brgyud 
schools. This lineage is traced back to the siddha Tilopa (c. 928-1009), who 
had many visions of the deity, and who passed on oraTtransmissions to his 
pupil, Naropa (c. 956-1040). Naropa also had many visions of dakinl forms, 
the most famous of which is recounted in his life story\ dated to the fifteenth 
and sixteenth century, 5 in which VajrayoginI appears to him as an ugly old 
hag who startles him into abandoning monastic scholasticism in favor of 
solitary tantric practice. However, this account does not appear in the ear- 
liest biographies (Peter Alan Roberts, personal communication: 2002). 6 

Fig. 1. Naro-khecarl. 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 7 7> LC 587) 

The form of VajrayoginI especially associated with Naropa in Tibet is 

Nd ro mkha spyod; "Na ro [pa]'s tradition of the dakinl" or "Naro's khe- 

cari" (lit., "sky-goer"). This form is discussed below, as it is closest to that 

of Vajravarahi described in the Indian sadhana translated here by 

_£ Umapatideva. 

Several different practices of Vajravarahi/ VajrayoginI were transmitted in 
the numerous traditions of the Tibetan bKa' brgyud school, through various 


Fig. 2. Naro-khecari. 

Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T 87, LC 597) 


V&w^ *\yr 

teachers; for example, through the translator, Mar pa (Mar pa Chos kyi bio 
gros, 1012-97) i nto the Mar pa bKa' brgyud, and through Ras chung pa (Ras 
chung rDo rje grags pa, 1084-1161) into the several branches of the Ras 
chung sNyan rgyud, and yet another through Khyung po rnal 'byor, 
founder of the Shangs pa bKa' brgyud (eleventh-twelfth centuries) appar- 
ently from Niguma (sometimes said to be Naropa's sister). This complex 
matrix of lineages continued in Tibet within the various bKa' brgyud tra- 
ditions. In the Karma bKa' brgyud, the oral transmission was written down 
in the form of a sadhana by the third Karma pa, Rang byung rdo rje (b. 
1284) (Trungpa 1982: 150). However, it is a saHKana by the sixth Karma pa 
(mThong ba don ldan, 1416-53) that serves as the basis for the main textual 
source in this school. This is the instruction text composed in the sixteenth 
century by dPa' bo gTsug lag phreng ba (1504-66). 7 Vajravarahi also appears 
in bKa' brgyud versions of the guruyoga, in which the devotee worships his 
guru (in one popular system, Mi la ras pa) while identifying himself as 
Vajravarahi. Examples include the famous "four sessions" guruyoga (Thun 
bzhVi bla ma'i rnal 'byor) of Mi skyod rdo rje, the eighth Karma pa 
(1507-54), and the Nges don sgron me, a meditation manual by the nine- 
teenth-century teacher Jam mgon Kong sprul (1977: ii9ff.)> itself based on 
a sixteenth-century root text, the Lhan cig skyes sbyor khrid by the ninth 
Karma pa (dBang phyug rdo rje, 1556-1603). While Karma bKa' brgyud 
lamas around the world today frequently give the initiation of Vajravarahi, 
they observe a strict code of secrecy in imparting the instructions for her 
actual practice; however, published accounts of some practices within some 
bKa' brgyud schools are now available. 8 4f f. - 

VajrayoginI is also an important deity within the Sa skya school. Accord- 
ing to Lama Jampa Thaye (personal communication: 2002), 9 her practices 




were received into the Sa skya tradition in the early twelfth century, during 
the lifetime of Sa chen Kun dga' snying po (1092-1158), first of the "five ven- 
erable masters" of the Sa skya. Sa chen received from his teachers the initi- 
ations, textual transmissions, and instructions for three forms of 
Vajrayoginl. 10 The first is a form derived also from Naropa, and again called 
Nd ro mkha spyodoi "Ndro's khecari" (although it is entirely different from 
the Tilopa-Naropa-Mar pa transmission of Vajravarahl in the bKa' brgyud 
in that the deity has a different iconographical form with a distinct set of 
associated practices). The second is a form derived from the siddha 
Maitnpa^ known therefore as Maitri Khecari (Metri mkha ' spyod ma; see 
fig. 18). The third is derived from the siddha Indrabhuti, known therefore 
as Indra Khecari {Indra mkha sypod ma; see fig. 6). This Form is sometimes 
also known as Indra Vajravdrdhi, although as a deity in her own right, 
Vajravarahl has received much less attention among Sa skya pas than the 
Khecari lineages. i 1 

These three forms are traditionally considered the highest practices 
within a collection of esoteric deity practices known as The Thirteen Golden 
Dharmas ofSa skya (Sa skya V gser chos bcu gsum), as they are said to lead 
directly to transcendental attainment. 12 However, it was Ndro Khecari who 
became the focus of most devotion in the Sa skya tradition, and the prac- 
tice instructions associated with her sadhana were transmitted in the form 
of eleven yogas drawn from the siddha Naropa's own encounter with Vajra- 
yoginl. The most influential exposition of this system of eleven yogas 
emerged in the sixteenth century; known as The Ultimafe'Secret Yoga, it is 
acomposition by 'Jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang phyug (1524-68) on 
the basis of oral instructions received from his master, Tsar chen Bio gsal 
rgya mtsho (1494-1560). 13 Since that time, the eleven yogas "have retained 
great importance in the Sa skya spiritual curriculum" (ibid.). The practices 
have retained their esoteric status for Sa skya pas, and are "secret" in as 
much as one may not study or practice them without the requisite initia- 
tions and transmissions. 

In the eighteenth century, it appears that the Sa skya transmission of 
Ndro Khecari and the eleven yogas entered the dGe lugs tradition. This ; { 
seems to have occurred in the lifetime of the Sa skya master, Ngag dbang 
kun dga' legs pa'i 'byung gnas. His exact dates are unclear, but the next Sa 
skya lineage holder is his pupil, Kun dga' bio gros (1729-83). Ngag dbang 
kun dga' legs pa'i 'byung gnas is in fact the last of the Sa skya lineage hold- 
ers given in dGe lugs sources (he appears as "Nasarpa" in the list given by 
K. Gyatso 1999: 343-46), and from this point, the dGe lugs lineage prayers 


reveal their own distinct sequence of transmissions (ibid.). The dGe lugs pa 
had originally focused upon Vajrayoginl/Vajravarahl in her role as consort 
to their main deity, Cakrasamvara, following the teaching of TsongTcha pa 
(i357- I 4 I 9)- Cakrasamvara was one of the three meditational deities, along 
with Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja, whose systems Tsong kha pa drew 
together as the foundational practices of the dGe lugs school. In this con- 
text, Tsong kha pa's explanatory text, Illuminating All Hidden Meanings 
(sBas don kungsal) is apparently the main source on Vajrayogini (K. Gyatso 
1999: xii); and she has actually been described as Tsong kha pa's "innermost 
yidam, kept very secretly in his heart" (Ngawang Dhargyey 1992: 9). This 
claim, however, was probably intended to bolster Vajrayogini's relatively 
recent presence in the dGe lugs pantheon, as the Sa skya tradition of eleven 
yogas was only popularized in the dGe lugs in the twentieth cenutury, by 
Pha bong kha (1878-1941). According to Dreyfus (1998: 246), "Pa-bong-ka 
differed in recommending Vajrayogini as the central meditational deity of 
the Ge-luk tradition. This emphasis is remarkable given the fact that the 
practice of this deity came originally [i.e., as late as tKe^gfiteenth century] 
from the Sa-gya tradition and is not included in Dzong-kha-ba's original 
synthesis." The Vajrayogini practice passed on by Pha bong kha and his 
pupil, Kyabje Trijang, focuses on the set of eleven yogas; and despite their 
esoteric, and therefore highly secret, nature — and the absolute prerequisite 
of receiving correct empowerments — explanations of these practices have 
been published and are widely available in English: by Geshe Kelsang 
Gyatso (1991/99), Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey (1992), and Khensur Rin- 
poche Lobsang Tharchin (1997). 14 

The rNying ma has also drawn the practices of Vajrayoginl/Vajravarahl 
into its schools. Her presence is read back into the life of Padmasambhava, 
the eighth-century founder of the rNying ma, who is said to have received 
initiation from Vajravarahi herself following his expulsion from the court 
of King Indrabhuti (Dudjom 1991: 469). Other important rNying ma lin- 
eage holders are also traditionally associated with the deity. For example, 
in the life story of Klong chen Rab 'byams pa (1308-63), as given by Dud- 
jom Rinpoche (1991), he is said to have received visions of both a white 
Varahl and a blue Vajravarahi, who foretell Klong chen pa's own meeting 
with Padmasambhava {ibid.: 577, 581). It is also Vajravarahi who leads him 
to the discovery of the treasure text (gter ma), Innermost Spirituality of the 
Dakini ((Man ngag) mkha"gro snyingtig), the meaning of which is explained 
to him by Yeshe Tsogyel (Ye shes mtsho rgyal) {ibid.: 586). This identifi- 
cation between Vajrayoginl/Vajravarahl and Yeshe Tsogyel is significant — 


although Yeshe Tsogyel tends to be identified at different times with most 
of the major female deities of the tradition, such as Samantabhadri and 
Tara (Dowman 1984: 12; Klein 1995: 17). In the account of Yeshe Tsogyel's 
life, a gter ma discovered in the eighteenth century (and now translated no 
fewer than three times into English), she is at times clearly identified with 
Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi (e.g., Dowman 1984: 38, 85, 178); indeed, her 
sambhogakaya is said to be that of the deity (e.g., Gyelwa Jangchub in Dow- 
man 1984: 4-5, 224; Klein 1995!: 147; J. Gyatso 1998: 247). The identifica- 
tion of Yeshe Tsogyel with Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi is also suggested by Rig 
'dzin 'Jigs med gling pa (1730-98), whose Dakkis Grand Secret Talk is 
revealed to him by a "paradigmatic" dakinl, whom J. Gyatso (1998: 247) 
concludes is Yeshe Tsogyel herself 15 Various guruyoga practices within the 
rNying ma also formalize the connection between Yeshe Tsogyel and the 
deity. For example, in 'Jigs rned gling pa's mind treasure, the Klong chen 
snying thig, the devotee longs for union with his guru as Padmasambhava, 
while identifying himself (and his state of yearning) with Yeshe Tsogyal in 
the form of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi. In other guruyoga practices, such as 
The Bliss Path of Liberation (Thar pa'i bde lam), the practitioner identifies 
directly with Vajrayogini, who becomes "the perfect exemplar of such devo- 
tion" (Rigdzin Shikpo 2002: personal communication). 16 

Over and above the deity's ubiquitous involvement in guruyoga medi- 
tations (a feature, as we have seen, of many Tibetan traditions), her pop- 
ularity as a main deity in her own right is revealed by the growing number 
of liturgies devoted to her practice in the later rNying ma traditions. Robert 
Mayer (personal communication: 2002) mentions entire ritual cycles 
devoted to Vajravarahl, such as a volume entitled, Union of All Secret 
Dakinis (mKha ' gro gsang ba kun 'dus kyi chos skor). This was composed 
by the eminent nineteenth-century figure, 'Jams dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i 
dbang po, who believed it to be the "further revelation" (yanggter) of a gter 
ma dating back to the thirteenth century. The original gter ma revelation 
was by the famous female rNying ma gter ston Jo mo sman mo, herself 
deeply connected with Vajravarahi {ibid.; Allione 1984: 209-11). This vol- 
ume is entirely dedicated to an important form of Vajravarahl in rNying 
ma practice, which is related to the gCod tradition, from Ma gcig lab sgron 
ma (1031-1129) (Allione ibid.: 142-204). Here, the deity takes the wrath- 
ful black form of (ma cig) KhroslKhro ma nag mo or Krodhakali, also some- 
times identified as Rudrani/i (Mayer op. cit.). Patrul Rinpoche (1994: 
297-98) describes an iconographical form that, apart from its color, is 
much the same as that of Indraddkini (for a full tangka of Krodhakali with 

PREFACE xxvii 

retinue, see Himalayan Art, no. 491). In full, however, this is an extremely 
esoteric practice and, in the case of the principal bDud 'joms gter ma cycles 
at least, is regarded as "so secret and powerful that practitioners are often 
advised to either take it as their sole practice, or not seek the initiation at 
all" (Mayer op. cit). 

Tibetans also recognize a living reincarnation trulku (sprul sku) of 
Vajravarahi (rDo rje phag mo). The first trulku was a pupil of Phyogs las 
rnam rgyal (also known as 'Jigs med grags pa and as Chos kyi rgyal mtshan, 
1376-1452), the learned Bo dong Pan chen of the monastery Bo dong E 
(probably a bKa' gdams pa foundation in 1049). A Bo dong pa Monastery 
was subsequently founded at bSam sdings by the side of Yar 'brog mtsho 
(Yamdrog Lake), referred to as Yar 'brog bSam sdings dgon pa, and it was 
here that the trulku of rDo rje phag mo became established (Rigdzin Shikpo 
2002: personal communication). The first abbess is one of the most famous 
incarnations, memorable for escaping from an invasion in 1717/19 of the 
Dzungar Tartars by apparently causing everyone in the monastery to appear 
as a herd of grazing pigs. But later incarnations have also been revered, and 
famed for their connection with Vajravarahi, until the present trulku (b. 
1937/38) who became an eminent official in the Chinese administration 
(Simmer-Brown 2001: 185-86; cf. Taring 1970: 167; Willis 1989: 104). 

The pervasiveness of Vajrayogini/ Vajravarahi in Tibet is attested by her 
appearance also within the Tibetan Bon tradition. Peter Alan Roberts (per- 
sonal communication: 2002) has translated a meditation text by Shar rdza 
bKra shis rgyal mtshan (1859-1934) that focuses on the development of the 
experience of "the wisdom of bliss and emptiness" (bde stongye shes), with 
"heat" (gtum mo/canddll) as a sign of accomplishment. The work is entitled 
The Inferno of Wisdom (Ye shes me dpung) u and draws on Bon compositions 
going back to the eleventh or twelfth century gter ma texts. It describes a 
wrathful, cremation-ground dakini named Thugs rjes Kun grol ma ("She 
Who Liberates All through Compassion") who is clearly a form of Vajra- 
varahi. She is ruby-red in color, adorned with skulls, and stands on one leg 
in the dancing posture; a black sow's head protrudes from her crown, and 
she brandishes a chopper aloft, holds a skull bowl of fresh blood to her 
heart, and clasps a skull staff in the crook of her left shoulder. The sym- 
bolism governing her attributes, as well as the metaphysical context of 
emptiness, all appear in typical Vajravarahi sadhanas in the Buddhist tantric 

The practice of Vajrayogini/ Vajravarahi is not exclusive to Tibet, how- 
ever. In Nepal, Vajrayogini is popularly worshiped as one of a set of four 


vdrdhis or yoginls: Guhyesvarl (also worshiped as Prajnaparamita, Nairat- 
mya, and Agniyogini), Vidyesvarl of Kathmandu, Vajrayogini of Sankhu, 
and Vajrayogini of Pharping (Slusser 1982: 256, 327). There are several tem- 
ples of Vajravarahl and Vajrayogini in the Kathmandu Valley, for example, 
at Chapagaon Grove {ibid.: 325-26, 341), and at the hilltop temple of Phar- 
ping {ibid.: 331). In Sankhu, Vajrayogini is the tutelary deity of the town, 
and her temple is dedicated to the fierce cremation ground goddess 
"Ugratara Vajrayogini" (Slusser 1982: 72 with n. 141). Here, Vajrayogini is 
also identified with Prajnaparamita, "mother of all tathagatas," and is con- 
sidered the spouse of Svayambhu or Adibuddha, who is housed in a smaller 
shrine on the same site, while in the Hindu version of the local myth, she 
is identified with Siva's consort, Durga (Zanen 1986: 131). Gellner (1992: 
256) comments that in Nepal, "Vajrayogini seems... to play a role in unit- 
ing exoteric deities, such as Tara or Kumarl and the Eight Mothers, with 
the consorts of the secret tan trie deities, viz. Vajravarahl... Jnanadakinl... 
and Nairatmya." Gellner goes on to describe tan trie rites of initiation in cur- 
rent Newar practice that are taken mainly by Vajracarya and Sakya males 
{ibid.: 169-270). Here, "Tantric initiation (diksd) means primarily the ini- 
tiation of Cakrasamvara and his consort Vajravarahl" {ibid.: 268). The rites 
of initiation themselves are considered highly esoteric and are guarded with 
secrecy {ibid.: 273-80). Gellner's description — gleaned with difficulty from 
a learned informant — provides a rare insight into the modern-day prac- 
tices. The first part of the initiation focuses upon Cakrasamvara, and is 
based on handbooks that follow the twelfth-century exegetical work, the 
Kriydsamuccaya. The second part of the rite focuses on the consort 
Vajravarahl (or "Vajradevl") and is based upon material taken from the 
Samvarodayatantra, but also upon as yet unidentified sources {ibid.: 272). 
Despite drawing from early tantric sources, the rites currently in use in 
Nepal have been substantially altered in the process of taming and adapt- 
ing them to suit tantric initiates who are householders {ibid.: 30off.). Never- 
theless, the preeminence of Vajravarahl in the tantric pantheon is retained 
in the modern Newar system. The series of rites that comprise the tantric 
initiation culminates with initiation into the practice of Vajravarahl, thus 
indicating her supreme position within the hierarchy of Newar religious 
practice {ibid.: 280; cf. ibid.: 261-62). 

From this brief overview of the practices of Vajrayogini and Vajravarahl 
outside India, it should be evident that we are dealing with a deity of major 
significance within tantric Buddhism. It is therefore unsurprising to find, 
within the burgeoning of modern publications on the highest tantras, a 


number of works that also relate to the subject. Some impressive studies on 
the dakini have appeared, such as the detailed monograph by Adelheid Her- 
rmann-Pfandt (1992) and valuable explorations by Janet Gyatso (1998) and 
Judith Simmer-Brown (2001). Such studies tend to range also across other 
academic disciplines; notably, the image of the yogini or dakini has inspired 
a large body of crosscultural and feminist theological discourse. 18 

My own approach is predominantly textual: I have explored the con- 
tents of a major Sanskrit source that sheds light on the Indian origins of 
Vajrayogini practice and underpins later traditions. The importance of 
the Guhyasamayasddhanamdldto the study of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi can 
hardly be overstated. Within this, I have restricted the scope of my work 
to Sanskrit sources (and as I do not know Tibetan, I am greatly indebted 
to others in the few instances where I cite Tibetan texts). My aim has 
been, simply, to represent my sources as faithfully as possible, either by 
translating or summarizing their contents. Although this type of under- 
taking may itself be prone to, perhaps even determined by, all kinds of sub- 
jective and cultural interpretation and selectivity by its author, I have tried 
to present the material in a manner that is more descriptive than inter- 
pretive. For example, my use of the masculine pronoun throughout reflects 
the usage in my source material; this, despite the fact that the practice of 
Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi was — and certainly is — undertaken by women as 
well as men. What I hope emerges here is as accurate a record as I am able 
to give of the early origins of the cult from the textual evidence that 
remains to us. 

I have begun in chapter 1 by locating Vajrayogini within the complex tra- 
ditions of the Buddhist tantras. I then turn to the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld 
itself and explore what is known of its provenance, both of its authors and 
of the tantric sadhana that makes up the bulk of its contents. Chapter 2 
forms a survey of all the different forms of Vajrayogini within the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, and also of the various ritual contexts in which 
these forms are evoked. It therefore gives an overview of the cult in India 
as it emerges from these texts. Chapter 3 is a study of one particular sadhana 
from the collection, the Vajravdrdhi Sadhana by Umapatideva, which is 
divided into its own distinctive meditation stages and final ritual portion. 
The Sanskrit edition (with notes) and the translation to the sadhana follow 
chapter 3. The appendix gives a list of all sadhanas in the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld (with witnesses where I have found them) and a summary of 
their contents. 



It is a great delight to acknowledge the generosity of my teachers, colleagues, 
friends, and family. My debt to Professor Alexis Sanderson in guiding me 
through my doctoral thesis has already been recorded, and I thank him for 
his continued scholarly help and kind encouragement. Dr. Harunaga Isaac- 
son has all along been a patient and untiring teacher and friend; with unique 
care, he commented upon earlier drafts of this book, never demuring when 
I presented him with everchanging versions. Despite all their corrections, 
many mistakes no doubt remain, the responsibility for which are mine 
alone. Many colleagues have also contributed substantially, with no small 
investment of time and energy, among whom I am particularly grateful to 
Professor Gudrun Biihnemann, Dr. Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt, Lama 
Jampa Thaye, Dr. Robert Mayer, Rigdzin Shikpo, Dr. Peter Roberts, Dr. 
Geoffrey Samuel, and Dr. Jan-Ulrich Sobisch and also to the librarians of 
the Indian Institute Library, Oxford, and to Adrian Hale, formerly of Wolf- 
son College library, Oxford. For their comradeship and help during the 
years of the doctorate, I would like to thank Dr. David Burton (Dharmacari 
Asanga), Dr. Kei Kataoka, Philip Purves (Dharmacari Vijaya), Dr. Judit 
Torzsok, Dr. Som Dev Vasudeva and Dr. Wan Doo Kim, not forgetting 
musical interludes with Isabelle Phan, and the constancy of Girindre Bee- 
harry. For his practical resourcefulness and kindness during my time at 
Oxford, I also thank Professor Richard Gombrich. My research was made 
possible by financial support from a number of bodies: the British Acad- 
emy, the Boden Fund, and the Spalding Trust, and more recently from St. 
Martin's College. 

In dedicating this book to my teachers, I am able to include my loving 
parents, with whom this journey really began. And I rejoice in the merits 
of Venerable Urgyen Sangharakshita, who inspired me to set out on the 
spiritual path, and whose example is a daily reminder of what is possible. I 
am also blessed with exceptional friends, among whom it is a joy to thank 
Tejananda — whose contribution would take a book in itself to acknowl- 
edge — and Vassika. Indeed, my heartfelt gratitude goes to all my leonine 
friends who have helped in so many ways to bring this book about. Finally, 
my thanks go to E. Gene Smith at Wisdom Publications for looking favor- 
ably at my unwieldy doctoral thesis, and to my editor, David Kittelstrom, 
whose patient care and eagle eye have transformed it into a book. 

The generosity of my publishers has allowed me to bring together six- 
teen color plates in this volume, and a large number of line drawings. For 



helpful advice in this respect, I thank Mr. Robert Beer, Dr. Martin Brauen, 
Professor Lokesh Chandra, Dr. Giinter Gronbold, and Professor Deborah 
Klimburg-Salter. Above all, it is a pleasure to thank Dharmacari Aloka for 
his considerable contribution in providing so many fine line drawings, 
effortlessly conjured up, as it seemed, from the descriptions of the Sanskrit 
texts. These have been generously funded by The Spalding Trust, and 
Dharmacari Padmakara. I hope that this study of Vajrayogini will prove a 
useful offering to the ever growing literature on the rich traditions of 

Elizabeth English 
August 2002 


l. VajrayoginI and the Buddhist Tantras 


"^he cult of tantric goddess, VajrayoginI, flowered in India 
between the tenth and twelfth centuries c.e. at a mature phase of / ^ 
the Buddhist tantras. One of the most important sources for her 

practice in India is a collection of sadhanas. A sadhana is a meditation and 
ritual text — literally, a "means of attainment" (sadhanam) — that centers 
upon a chosen deity, in this case, upon VajrayoginI or one of her various 
manifestations. This particular collection was written and preserved in San- 
skrit and drawn together under the late, collective title, the Guhyasamaya- 
sadhanamala (GSS). It is one of these sadhanas that is edited and translated 
in this book, and that serves as the basis for our exploration of the goddess, 
particularly in her form as Vajravarahi. 

Who is VajrayoginI? The texts refer to her reverentially as a "blessed one" 
(bhagavati), as a "deity" (devata) or "goddess" (devi). She is divine in the 
sense that she embodies enlightenment; and as she is worshiped at the cen- 
ter of a mandala of other enlightened beings, the supreme focus of devo- 
tion, she has the status of a buddha. In the opening verse to the Vajravarahi 
Sadhana, the author salutes her as a vajradevi, that is, as a Vajrayana or 
tantric Buddhist (vajra) goddess, and in the final verse prays that all beings 
may become enlightened like her, that is, that they may attain "the state of 
the glorious vajra goddess" (srivajradevipadavi). 

The Buddhist Tantric Systems 

Tantric_B uddhism is the wing of the Mahayana that revolves around 
mantra as a path or "way," and that is known therefore as the Mantrayana 
or Mantranaya, or as the Vajrayana after one of its primary symbols, the 
vajra. A pithy definition of tantra is elusive. 19 Vaisnavism, Saivism, and 


other Indian religions including Buddhism all developed rich tantric tra- 
ditions, and the term broadly denotes particular types of ritual employed 
within their various deity cults. "Tantra" also refers to the various bodies 
of literature within these traditions: scriptural and exegetical texts that pro- 
vide instructions for attainments, both spiritual and mundane. One gains 
an idea of the size of the Buddhist tantric tradition alone when one con- 
siders that it evolved in India for a thousand years (from about the second 
century c.e.), and that this process has continued in Tibet and beyond for 
another thousand. The main production of tantric texts occurred in India 
between about the third and twelfth centuries. Some indication of the 
numbers involved can be gleaned from the sheer quantity of works trans- 
lated from Sanskrit into Tibetan from the end of this period. The tantric 
portion of the Tibetan canon contains almost five hundred tantric scrip- 
tures and over three thousand commentarial texts; Isaacson (2001: per- 
sonal communication) suggests there may exist as many as three thousand 
Buddhist tantric texts in Sanskrit, of which over a quarter — perhaps many 
more — have not been translated into Tibetan or any other language. 20 In 
order to locate Vajrayogini and her cult within this vast spiritual corpus, 
it is worth beginning with a brief summary of Buddhist tantric literature. 
But with so many texts to consider, and with such an array of practices and 
methods revealed within them, where is one to begin? The problem of 
how to classify and codify the material has occupied scholars from at least 
the eighth century and does so even today as contemporary scholars con- 
tinue to propose new ways of approaching and organizing the materials 
(e.g., Linrothe 1999). The result is that there are various systems for cate- 
gorizing the Buddhist tantras that are by no means standard, and how 
these different classes of texts arose, or came to be known, is something of 
a mystery. 

It seems that one of the earliest classifications of the Buddhist tantras 
occurred in the eighth century by Buddhaguhya, who recognized only two 
classes, kriydtantras and yogatantras (Mimaki 1994: 122, n. 17). The subject- 
matter ofsome tantras, however, was neither principally kriyd (kriydpra- 
dhdna), nor principally yoga (yogapradhdna), but seemed to combine "both" 
(ubhaya); these were termed ubhayatantras y and later, carydtantras (Isaac- 
son 1998). It is this threefold classification — kriya-, carya-, and~yoga- 

tantras — to which an eighth-century scholar/practitioner, Vilasavajra, 
confidently refers. Of these classes, the earliest tantric texts are found within 
the kriyatantras ("action tantras"), which appeared between at least the 
third century, when they are known to have been translated into Chinese 


(Hodge 1994: 74-76), and at least the sixth century. The so-called carya- 
tantras ("performance tantras") were current from at least the mid seventh 
with the emergence of its root text, the Vairocanabhisambodhi {ibid.: 6$ff.) 
Despite their status as "tantras," religious teachings supposedly revealed by 
the historical Buddha, these classes hold essentially ritual manuals and 
dharanis concerned with supernatural, desiderative attainments {siddhis), 
such as locating treasure, alchemy, flying, invisibility, forcing access to heav- 
enly realms, warding off evils, and so on; they make little reference to sote- 
riological goals. Sanderson (1994b: 97 n. 1) comments on the enduring 
popularity of the kriya- and caryatantras, even among translators of later 
soteriological tantras (such as Amoghavajra, d. 774), as well as their con- 
tinuing importance in apotropaic rituals in Newar, Tibetan, and Japanese 
Buddhism. The fascination with siddhis of various types remains in later 
tantric literature, as the study of Vajrayogini will show. 

By distinguishing the kriyatantras (or the kriya- and caryatantras) from 
the yogatantras, the eighth-century scholars were in fact pointing to the 
emergence of a new kind of tantra that had entered the Buddhist arena, 
probably from the late seventh century (Hodge op.cit.: 65-66, 58). The root 
text of the yogatantra is the Sarvatathagatatattvasamgraha (STTS), and like 
the caryatantras, it centers on the supreme buddha, Vairocana. However, 
it reveals an important shift in emphasis. This is the first work in which 
tantric methodologies, such as rites of consecration, mantras, and mandalas, 
were directly aligned to soteriological as well as to desiderative goals. The 
significance of bringing a liberationist slant to bear on tantric methods was 
not lost upon commentators, who were clearly aware of the need to bring 
traditional Buddhist values into the tantric field. Vilasavajra, for example, 
wrote a commentary based on the Vajradhatumandala of the STTS, in 
which he set out "to encode and interpret tantric ritual in Mahayanist doc- 
trinal terms" (Tribe 1994: 4). 21 Portions of yogatantra text are probably the 
oldest incorporated into the literature of Vajrayogini. 

Even within Vilasavajra's exegesis, however, there was other liberationist 
material that did not fit easily into the yogatantra category, a fact he seems 
to have recognized by designating his root text, the Ndmasamgiti, a 
"mahayoga" or "great tantra" (Tribe 1997: 128, nn. 11, 18, and 20). Indeed, 
new kinds of texts with marked differences in subject matter were begin- 
ning to emerge, and these were soon to be contrasted with the yogatantras 
and given the new designation "yoginltantras." Within the soteriological 
tantric realm these two terms — yogatantra and yoginltantra — seem to refer 
to the two main divisions of Buddhist tantras, and commentators frequently 



pair them together as the "yoga- and yoginltantras." 22 Thus, the common- 
est classification of tantric texts in India was probably fourfold: kriya-, 
carya-, yoga-, and yoginitantras (Isaacson 1998). 

The yoginltantra class is characterized by the appearance of a new Buddha 
at the center of its mandalas, namely Aksobhya and his manifestations, 
supreme enlightened beings who belong to the vajra ("diamond" or "thun- 
derbolt") family of deities. These deities are wrathful in appearance with a 
startling affinity for places of death and impurity, the cremation grounds; 
they also manifest a vivid sexual symbolism. 23 One of the key cults within 
this class is based on the tantric deity Hevajra and was probably emerging 
around or after the tenth century. 24 In the Hevajratantra, Hevajra is seen 
to be a heruka form, that is, a type of wild enlightened being who dwells in 
cremation grounds with a retinue of cremation-ground deities and spirits. 
Other yoginltantra systems, probably roughly contemporary with the 
Hevajratantra, also center on this type of heruka deity: Cakrasamvara, 
Candamaharosana, Buddhakapala, Mahamayahva, and Kalacakra are all 
heruka forms who appear as lords of their own mandalas. Their appearance, 
accoutrements, and behavior all relate to practices that ascetics undertook 
while dwelling in cremation grounds. These are the kapdlika observances, 
or observances based on the skull (kapalah, kapalam), chief tool and sym- 
bol for yogins of this kind. The heruka lord is also worshiped in embrace 
with his consort, while the retinue of male and female deities in his mandala 
may also be in sexual union. 

The principle of sakti begins to emerge in these texts as a potency man- 
ifesting in powerful female deities. It comes to the fore through the figure 
of the female consorts and the many types of goddesses, witches, or female 
spirits — yoginis and dakinls — who haunt the wilds and live in the crema- 
tion grounds. As sakti is increasingly emphasized, texts tend to redefine tra- 
ditional Mahayana soteriology in the language of erotico-yogic techniques 
and mahamudra (p. 91). Thus, as one tantra explains: "The Mahayana is 
mahamudra, and yoginis bring magical power." 25 It is these texts that form 
the direct basis for the cult of Vajrayoginl. Within the yoginitantras we see 
a growing preoccupation with the yogini, or enlightened female deity. In 
some mandalas she is worshiped as the chief deity within a predominantly 
female mandala, even though she is still in embrace with a male partner 
(e.g., see ch. 2). Eventually, cults emerged in which the male consorts dis- 
appeared entirely from view, leaving the female deity to be worshiped alone 
at the center of a new mandala. Often the form of the mandala is preserved 
exactly as it was before, except that the male deities have simply been 


removed. This is typical of the mandalas described in the sadhanas of the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdla. Our study of the Vajravarahl mandala in 
Umapatideva's Vajravarahl Sddhana will show that it is modeled exactly 
upon that of Cakrasamvara, except that in Vajravarahl' s mandala all the 
male gods of Cakrasamvara' s mandala have disappeared, leaving the god- 
desses without consorts, and supreme. 

Our summary so far of the tantric systems has shown the cult of Vajra- 
yogini to be firmly grounded within the yoginitantra class. But this classi- 
fication is more complex than I have made out. On the one hand, there were 
already texts akin to the yoginitantras well before the maturing of the 
Heruka cults in the ninth and tenth centuries; the Sarvabuddhasamdyoga- 
ddkinijdlasamvara is one such "proto-yoginitantra" that is known to have 
been in existence in the mid-eighth century (Sanderson 1995). 26 Here, the 
lords of the mandalas are heruka- type, esoteric deities, in sexual union with 
consorts and surrounded by retinues of female dakinis. This tantra was still 
in use in Tibet in the eleventh century, "no doubt because of its evident kin- 
ship with the later yoginitantras" (ibid.). On the other hand, there were 
texts that sat uncomfortably within the yogatantra system, but that were not 
so markedly different that they fell naturally into the yoginitantra classifi- 
cation. This gave rise to another tantra class known as the "yogottara," lit- 
erally that which is "higher than the yoga [class]." 

Isaacson (op.cit.) suggests the term "yogottaratantra" was a later designa- 
tion. Certainly when Vilasavajra refers to the Guhyasamdjatantra, and to 
other texts that were later named as "yogottara," such as the Vajrabhairava- 
tantra and the Mdydjdlatantra, he seems to be unaware of any such class 
(Tribe 1994: 5). This stratum of tantric literature arose about a century after 
the yogatantras, and its root text, the Guhyasamdjatantra, was codified and 
translated into Tibetan in the eighth century (Matsunaga 1972; Snellgrove 
1987: 183). The introduction of this extra "yogottara" classification seems to 
reflect the fact that in the course of its evolution, the Guhyasamaja system 
(including its exegetical literature) came to be seen as sufficiently different 
from the older yogatantras — and certainly superior to it — to require a dif- 
ferent label (Isaacson op.cit). As in the yoginitantras, the mandalas of the 
Guhyasamaja (or Samaja) tradition are presided over by Aksobhya and by 
vajra-family deities, who are often both wrathful and erotic in character. 
Since the tantras of the yogini class were deemed superior even to those of 
the yogottara, Isaacson suggests that they probably received the additional 
designation "yoganiruttaratantras," literally: "tantras of the highest (nirut- 
tara, division: of the yoga [class]" (translation by Sanderson 1994b: 98 n. 



Even this fivefold classification of kriya-, carya-, yoga-, yogottara-, and 
yoginitantras (the system almost ubiquitously expounded in our secondary 
literature) was not necessarily a widely accepted solution by scholars/prac- 
titioners of the day. Mimaki (1994) lists seven different classifications from 
various Indian exegetes and tantras, without even touching on the fourfold 
schema described above as possibly the most common (i.e., kriya-, carya-, 
yoga-, and yoginitantras). Atis'a, for example, writing in the early mid- 
eleventh century, sought to clarify works that strayed between the yoga and 
yogottara camps by inserting between them two more tantra classes — upaya- 
("means"), and ubhaya- ("dual") — thus presenting a new sevenfold classi- 
fication of tantras. 

In Tibet, the classification of texts likewise presents a complex picture 
(Mimaki 1994: 121). Among the gSar ma pa schools, there is the famous 
system of Bu ston (1290— 1346), which preserves the divisions of the kriya- 
(bya ba'i rgyud), carya- (spyod pa'i rgyud), and yoga- (rnal 'by or gyi rgyud), 
but which classes those of the yogottara- and yoginitantras together as the 
anuttaratantra, or "ultimate tantra" (rnal 'byor bla na medpa V rgyud). This 
fourth class is itself subdivided into father (phargyud), mother (margyud), 
and nondual tantras (gnyis med rgyud). Mother tantras, or wisdom tantras 
(yeshes rgyud) are further analyzed into seven groups, one of which (itself 
with five subdivisions) comprises tantras connected with Heruka (Tsuda 
1974: 28). The classification of the rNying ma tantric canon is based on a 
ninefold system of classification, in which such categories as mahayoga 
(noted above) re-emerge as a distinct group (Germano 1994: 241-51 with n. 
114, Williams and Tribe 2000: 203). 

Complicated as the divisions and subdivisions of the tantric corpus are, 
they have been made more so by mistranslations in use in the West. 
Sanderson (1993) has pointed out that the term anuttarayogatantra found 
in some secondary sources does not occur in Sanskrit enumerations of the 
different classes of tantras and is likely to derive from an incorrect back- 
formation from the Tibetan rnal 'byor bla med kyi rgyud or "yoganiruttara- 
tantras." (This refers to the class of Sanskrit works whose translations in the 
Tohoku catalogue are nos. 360—441, also termed rnal 'byor ma'i rgyud or 
"yoginitantra"; Sanderson 1994b: 98 n. 1). The term "yoganuttaratantras" 
(sometimes applied by secondary authors to yoganiruttaratantras) is also 
not attested in Sanskrit sources (Isaacson 2001: personal communication). 

Within this vast and complex body of tantric literature, the practices of 
Vajrayogini belong to the most developed phase of the yoginitantras. Vajra- 



yoginl literature is unlike other systems within that class, however, in that 
it generally lacks its own tantras. It draws instead upon the scriptural texts 
of the Cakrasamvara cult: the Samvara-, or Samvaratantras. 27 Sanderson 
(1995) summarizes the Samvara corpus as follows: 

The root text (mulatantram) is the Laghusamvaratantra, also 
called Herukdbhidhdna- or Cakrasamvaratantra (BBK: 251). The 
text does not survive in its entirety; lost portions are accessible 
only through the early eleventh-century Tibetan translation, lem- 
mata in tenth-century Sanskrit commentaries, and in secondary 
texts such as the Abhidhdnottaratantra. 

The Abhidhdnottaratantra (BBK: 254). Its relationship with 
the Cakrasamvaratantra is that of explanatory tantra (*vydkhyd- 
tantram) to root text (mulatantram), according to Buddhaguhya's 

Vajraddkatantra (BBK: 255). 

Samvarodayatantra (BBK: 256). 

Ddkdrnavatantra (BBK: 255). 

Yoginlsamcdratantra (BBK: 258). 

Herukdbhyudaya (not surviving in Sanskrit). 

Caturyoginisamputa (BBK: 259). 

It is scriptures such as these — in particular, the Yoginlsamcdratantra, 
Samvarodayatantra, and Abhidhdnottaratantra — that inform the sadhanas 
of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. One sadhana in the collection (GSS70) 
is based upon a unique Vajravarahi scriptural source, the Vardhyabhyu- 
dayatantra, itself apparently extracted from the Abhidhdnottaratantra 
(Sanderson 2001a). In another, there is even a reference to the Laksdbhi- 
dhdna 1 * (sometimes identified with the Khasamatantra) , which is a mythi- 
cal work, supposedly vast and authoritative in ten thousand verses, and 
allegedly the source from which the Cakrasamvaratantra itself was extracted 
(Tsuda 1974: 33). The same legendary authority is claimed in the Yoginlsam- 
cdratantra following its description of the body mandala, a core Cakra- 
samvara practice taken over with very little adaptation in Umapatideva's 
Vajravarahi Sadhana. 

The Vajrayogini tradition does not simply graft itself onto the scriptural 
rootstock of Cakrasamvara; it borrows equally freely from the Cakrasamvara 
tradition of commentary and exegesis. We will see how the authors of the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld rely on the liturgical and commentarial texts at 



Table i. Authors 


and their works in the Guhyasamayasadhanamala 
Works in GSS 

(or his lineage) 


Vajrayoginimukhagama (GSSi) 

Pradlpahutividhi (GSS14) 

Indrabhutikramena Vajrayoginlsadhana by Vijayavajra (GSS35) 

Vajravarahlsadhana (GSS 2) 



Vajravarahlsadhana (GSS3) 

Sarvarthasiddhisadhana (GSS15) 

Vajravarahlsadhana (GSS31) 

Possibly Trayodas'atmikavajradakinivajravarahisadhana (GSS16) 

Abhisamayamanjarl (GSS 5) 


(and his lineage) 

Guhyavajravilasinlsadhana (GSS10) 
Vajrayoginlsadhana (GSS19) 
Vidyadharivajrayoginyaradhanavidhi (GSS23) 
Possibly Vidyadharlkramavajrayoginisadhana (GSS21) 
Vidyadharikramabhavana (GSS22) 
[Vidyadhari-jaradhanavidhi (GSS5, K38n) 


Vajravarahlsadhana (GSS11) 


Gopyahomavidhi (GSS13) 



'Laksmi" (?) 

"Pindarthah Sodas'aslokas Trikayavajrayoginyah" (GSS26) 
Trikayavajrayoginistutipranidhana (GSS27) 
Trikayavajrayoginisadhana (GSS25) 
Possibly Vajrayoginlsadhana (GSS20) 
TrikayavajrayoginI text in GSS 5 (K36r5) 
Vajrayoginlsadhana (GSS9, GSS30) 

Laksmisadhana (GSS24) 


Samksiptavajravarahisadhana (GSS29) 
Possibly GSS4 


Binducudamanir nama svadhisthanakrama (GSS32) 
Possibly GSS33 



"Paramagambhiropades'o Vajrayoginyah Karankatoranakramah 

Svadhisthanam" (GSS34) 
Possibly GSS33 

Indrabhutikramena Vajrayoginlsadhana (GSS35) 

Vibhuticandra Vajravilasinistotra (GSS43) 


Dakiniguhyasamayasadhana (GSS46) 


their disposal, and how they are able to adapt them for the worship of 
Vajrayogini. This is most evident in the ritual portion of the sadhana, as 
described in chapter 3. 

The Guhyasamayasadhanamala and Its Authors 

The most direct sources for our study of Vajrayogini are the sadhanas of the 
Guhyasamayasadhanamala (GSS). This is a group of some forty-six San- 
skrit works drawn together as a collection centering upon Vajrayogini and 
her manifestations. Fifteen of its works claim the authorship of named indi- 
viduals, and it is to them that we now turn in order to gain some insight 
into the date of the compositions and the context in which they were writ- 
ten. Table 1 shows a list of our authors and the works attributed to them. 
Since in some cases an author's influence upon an unattributed work may 
be inferred, authorship of almost half the texts in the collection can be 
firmly or loosely established (details are supplied in the appendix). 

Establishing the dates of these authors is a thorny subject. I tentatively 
summarize the dates discussed here on the time chart (table 2). Various life 
histories survive, chiefly in Tibetan, although informed by a hagiographi- 
cal and sometimes sectarian agenda (Tatz 1987: 696). Among key sources 
on this subject is the famous Legends of the Eighty-Four Mahasiddhas 
(Grubthob brgyadcu rtsabzhVi lorgyus, hereafter Legends), which supplies 
accounts of the lives of Indrabhuti, Laksminkara, Luyipada, Sahara, and the 
slightly younger author Virupa. 29 More information on their lineages, and 
episodes from their lives, can be gleaned from the Blue Annals (Debther 
sNgonpo), written by 'Gos Lotsawa (Locchawa) (1392-1481), and the History 
of Buddhism in India by Taranatha (1575-?), but neither of these works can 
be relied upon for accurate dating. Scholars have often attempted to date 
authors according to the testimony of transmission lineages, a risky enter- 
prise that Kvaerne describes as "methodological error" (1977: 6). Illustra- 
tive of the problem is Dowman's attempt to date the mahasiddhas using 
traditional Buddhist scholarship, according to which there are no fewer 
than three kings of Oddiyana called Indrabhuti (1985: 2326°; cf. Dudjom 
1991: 441, 458-59, 485-87): Indrabhuti the Great, who may be as early as the 
seventh century (642 c.e. according to the Chinese Tang Annals), an inter- 
mediate Indrabhuti, possibly of the eighth century (although apparently 
not recognized by Taranatha, Dowman ibid.: n.233), and Indrabhuti the 
Younger, of the late ninth century. Davidson (2002), however, comments 


that even pinpointing three Indrabhutis is "surely an underestimate" and 
points to "the tendency for traditional apologists and modern scholars to 
J* ma te aiTia ^ tne various personalities into one grand persona." Dowman 
(op. cit.) also puts forward three possible candidates for Indrabhuti's sister, 
Laksmlnkara, including a nun of similar name; however, even if we agree 
that this same Laksmlnkara is the author of our Laksmisddhana (GSS24), 
the only certainty we can have is that she was no later than the Tibetan 
translator of the text, who was known to have lived 1059-1109. 30 Virupa, tra- 
ditionally the pupil of Laksmlnkara (Blue Annals: 390), is just as elusive, and 
may have lived as early as the eighth century (Taranatha History: 197) or 
as late as the eleventh century, when he supposedly taught Maitrlpada 
(also called Advayavajra) and Mar pa the translator (Blue Annals: 390). 
Similar problems .beset the dating of the Mahasiddha Luyipada. Kvaerne 
(1977: 5-6), for example, hesitantly cites Taranatha (History: 311), accord- 
ing to whom "Lui" was a contemporary of Maitrl (Advayavajra) in the 
eleventh century, and notes that in one tradition, Luylpada's guru was 
Saraha, who may have flourished in the eleventh century or earlier (see 
also Dasgupta 1946: 6). Davidson (1991: n. 24) notes that Luyipada's Sri- 
Bhagavadabhisamaya was translated into Tibetan in the first part of the 
eleventh century, "apparently the earliest attested practice of the 
Cakrasamvara" in the Tibetan canon. However, Sa skya legends assert that 
Luyipada was a scribe at the court of Dharmapala in the late eighth cen- 
tury (Dowman 1985: 37). The dating of Sahara is even more problematic. 
He appears as an early teacher in several genealogical traditions (Dowman 
ibid.: 65; Kvaerne 1977: 6), but also as a teacher to later authors such as 
Vanaratna in the fifteenth century. Dowman therefore posits a line of teach- 
ers called Sahara, the only merit of which is that it echoes the legend of 
Sahara's immortality, according to which he would still be teaching today. 
Another of Sahara's pupils is said to be Advayavajra, whose dates have been 
discussed at length by Tatz (1987: 697) and shown to be tied to the reign 
of King Neyapala in the eleventh century (1007-85). 31 Sahara also apparently 
initiated Vibhuticandra into the sixfold yoga system (sadangayogah) (Blue 
Annals: 727). Stearns (1996: 127-71) places Vibhuticandra in the later twelfth 
to early thirteenth centuries at the time of the Moslem invasions. 
Vibhuticandra would thus be the youngest author in our collection. 

Some of the younger contributors to the Gubyasamayasadhanamala are 
slightly easier to place because they admit their debt to earlier authors. One 
such is Sakyaraksita, whose Flower Cluster of Clear Understanding (Abhi- 
samayamanjariGSSs) draws heavily on the Clear Understanding of Heruka 


(Herukdbhisamaya) by Luylpada. Apart from the similarity of his title, 
Sakyaraksita refers twice to Luylpada's work, commenting on Luylpada's 
method for establishing the vajra ground {vajrabhiimi, K20V2) and knowl- 
edge circle {jndnacakra, Knv6), and referring to it for an in-depth treatment 
of Vajravarahi's thirty-seven-deity mandala. 32 Sakyaraksita adds that this 
was taught "by my teacher in the Vajravali," which reveals that his guru was 
Abhayakaragupta, abbot of the monastic university Vikramas'ila during the 
reign of King Ramapala (c. 1084-1126/1130). 33 If Sakyaraksita was a younger 
contemporary of Abhayakaragupta, he would probably have flourished in 
the mid-twelfth century. 

Our study of Umapatideva's Vajravdrdhi Sddhana (GSS11) will show that 
it shares much in common with Sakyaraksita's work, in both its subject 
matter and use of sources. Fortunately, Umapatideva's lineage and dates are 
on slightly firmer ground, and these place him in the same generation as 
Sakyaraksita, perhaps as an older contemporary. The colophon to the 
Tibetan translation describes him as "one who has the lineage of the instruc- 
tions of Virupa, sri Umapatidatta" (Tib 49.7), and the dates of the transla- 
tors link him fairly securely to the same period as Abhayakaragupta. The 
translators of Umapatideva's two known texts in the bsTan-'gyur are 
Vagisvaragupta and Rwa Chos rab. 34 Rwa Chos rab was active in India and 
Nepal in at least the first quarter of the twelfth century, and was a pupil of 
the Nepalese pandit Samantas'ri; Samantas'ri himself flourished in the early 
to mid-twelfth century and received the Kalacakra teachings from Abhaya- 
karagupta {Blue Annals: 760-61; cf ibid.: 756, 789). 35 Thus, the translation 
of Umapatideva's works would seem to belong to the early to mid-twelfth 
century, and may even have been contemporary with the author. If Uma- 
patideva was of the same generation as Samantas'ri (whom he is unlikely to 
have postdated, since his translator was a pupil of the latter), he may also 
have been a pupil of Abhayakaragupta's. 

In the absence of much reliable evidence for dating the authors of the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, we must look for other clues as to their origins. 
First, it seems that several authors in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld are asso- 
ciated with the early dissemination of tantric lineages. Indrabhuti, for exam- 
ple, is traditionally known as "the first tdntrika" and was credited with 
initiating several tantric lineages, including the yogottara, Hevajra, and 
Cakrasamvara traditions {Blue Annals: 869; Dudjom 1991: 485, 462; Dow- 
man 1985: 233; SM vol. 2: xxxi). Luylpada is particularly associated with the 
Cakrasamvara system, on the basis of which he is traditionally known as the 
"original guru" (ddiguru) of the mahamudra (Dowman 1985: 37). Accord- 



Table 2. Time chartf 












^* Gupta dynasties 
(Harsa 606-47) 

Pala Dynasties of. . . 

Nalanda Founded 

Vikramas'lla founded 
first diffusion into Tibet 





>~ kriyatantras yogatantras yogottaratantras 

ist-md cent. >► late 7th cent. — ► 

yogottaratantra exegesis 
and translation into Tibetan 

mid-7th cent. 


proto-yoginitantras — ^> 


Laksminkarar > 

t The sources for these dates are mentioned in chapter 1 or elsewhere in the book, and in historical 
secondary sources given in the bibliography. Many dates are 




■a? > 







.Bihar and Bengal 760-1142 

Sena dynasty 1162-99 

Moslem invasions 

second diffusion into Tibet 

1197 Nalanda sacked 
1203 Vikramas'lla sacked 

Naropa d. 1040 
Atis'a d. 1042 (in Tibet) 

-^ Abhayadatta 
(Lives of the 84 Siddhas) 


Advayavajra ^ 


Buddhadatta Sakyarakska 

Laksmlhkara? — ► Virupa? 

Laksmi the Nun? 
Sahara ► Sahara 



1165 SM Cambridge ms. 



-^ — Compilation of 
*Guhyasamayasddhana mala 

Palmleaf ms. (K) of 
*Guhyasamayasddhanamdld — ^~ 

Life of Naropa 
in Tibetan 



ing to the Tibetan tradition, he is one of three main transmitters of the 
Cakrasamvara system along with Ghantapada and Krsnapada {Blue Annals: 
389; Dawa-Samdup 1919: 9; Jackson 1994: 125). Sahara is also associated 
with the spread of mahamudra, according to the evidence of the Guhya- 
samayasddhanamdld (see chapter 2) , and is an important transmitter of the 
Sadangayoga discipline (Padma gar dbang, cited Stearns 1996: 140). One 
tradition putatively connects Sahara with the origins of the Trikaya-vajra- 
yogini tradition through his lineal descendant Krsnacarya (Dowman 1985: 
320; 7.19), although Benard (1994: 12-13) prefers to credit Laksminkara. In 
Tibet, Virupa was regarded as the "first lama or ddigum of the Sa skya sect 
(Dowman 1985: 52; Dudjom 1991: 853). The fact that the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld opens with two texts, one attributed to Indrabhuti (or else- 
where to Sahara; see GSSi in the appendix) and an almost identical work 
to Luyipada, is significant. It asserts the antiquity of the collection, and 
hence its authenticity. Similarly, Indrabhuti's authorship implies that the 
geographical source of the teachings is Oddiyana, the very homeland of 
esoteric spiritual revelation, as many tantric colophons testify. 36 The text 
itself (GSSi«GSS2) reveals an East Indian influence, with its clear exchange 
of the consonants v for b in its mantroddhdra. 

The fame of our later authors rests upon their scholarly transmission of 
the tantric teachings. The Blue Annals (pp. 841, 866, 976) refers to Advaya- 
vajra's transmission of mahamudra, and associates him particularly with 
compositions of the amanasikdra class (e.g., ibid.: 842); it is in a text of this 
class, the *Siddha-Amndya, that Advayavajra's quest for a vision of Vajra- 
yoginl is described, and in which he is requested by his guru, Sahara, to 
return to academic life to commit his new understanding to writing. 37 
Advayavajra is one of the younger adepts who were working in the envi- 
ronment of the monastic universities in northeast India. These were cen- 
ters of Mahayana and tantric learning established under the Pala dynasties 
of Bihar and Bengal (760-1142 c.e.), which flourished until their destruc- 
tion by the Moslem invaders between 1197 and 1207 (Dutt 1962: 380). The 
five outstanding foundations were: Vikramas'lla, founded — according to 
Tibetan sources — under Dharmapala (770—810 c.e., ibid: 359); Odantapura 
and Somapura (also "Somapuri') under Devapala (c. 810-59 c.e., ibid.: 
373-74); Jagaddala in Varendra (north Bengal), which probably flourished 
under Ramapala (1077-1120); and the oldest establishment, Nalanda, which 
had been sponsored at the end of Gupta rule by Harsa (606-47 c.e.). 
Although less cultivated by Pala kings, Nalanda remained a prestigious seat of 
Mahayana philosophy, and at its peak, Chinese sources state that it catered 


to several thousand students, offering as many as one hundred lectures, 
tutorials, or debates a day on topics both brahmanical and Buddhist {ibid.: 
333; Misra 1998 I: 24iff.). Vikramas'ila was the most renowned monastic 
universitiy in the Pala period, with Abhayakaragupta at its head, and its var- 
ious "schools" (samsthdh) conferring various posts, honors, and "degrees," 
such as dvdrapdla (gatekeeper), pandita, or mahdpandita {ibid.: 360-63 fol- 
lowing Tibetan accounts). 

The reference to the academic milieu in the *Siddha-Amndya is inter- 
esting because it illustrates the contrast between the life of Advayavajra, the 
yogin-pandit working within the monastic universities, and the supposed 
source of his learning, the illiterate adept and mountain-dwelling huntsman 
Sahara. Although our younger authors may have lived and worked in the 
intellectually charged milieu of the monastic universities, their sadhana 
texts reflect the culture of the earliest proponents of the systems. They lay 
down prescriptions to practice in wild, solitary places void of people, and 
it is this aspect of their own practice that is most attractive to legend. In 
many accounts, historical narrative breaks into mythic motif precisely at the 
point when the monk rejects formal academia in favor of tantric yogic prac- 
tice. For example, the story of Advayavajra in the *Siddha-Amndya (p. 11) 
first describes his formal training in grammar and orthodox (nontantric) 
Buddhist disciplines at monastic universities such as Vikramas'ila; it then 
recounts his tantric studies (possibly under Naropa) at Nalanda, but only 
finally launches him on his higher tantric career when he leaves the monas- 
tic life and sets out on his magical journey to seek Vajrayogini, prompted 
by a voice in a dream. In Tibetan accounts, Advayavajra was expelled from 
the monastery for keeping liquor and a woman in his cell (Tatz 1987: 
700—701). The same motif of expulsion is found in the account of Virupa's 
life. According to the Legends (Dowman 1985: 43-52), this mahasiddha first 
became a monk of Somapura monastery, but despite his initiation into the 
practice of sow-faced Vajravarahi, he failed to see her even in a dream until, 
after twelve years, in a depressed state, he threw his rosary into the toilet. 
He attained mahamudra after another twelve years. Virupa's subsequent 
expulsion from Somapura (for eating pigeon pie) was accompanied by var- 
ious miracles, such as walking on water and holding back the sun in a ploy 
to avoid settling his tab at the local tavern. 

The distinction between the two lifestyles — formal academic versus wan- 
dering yogic — may not have been so marked in practice. The wandering life 
was an integral part of the monastic experience. Practitioners would move 
between universities in pursuit of various teachers, and periods of retreat and 


prior service (purvasevd) were also an essential part of formal training. The 
perceived dichotomy may have been a natural advertising ploy for the tech- 
niques to be espoused, and a crystallization of the ideal of the solitary tantric 
yogin. This is an ideal firmly embedded in the Indian traditions. The Bud- 
dha's going forth is an important role model for any would-be Buddhist 
saint, and the inflation of this motif to actual expulsion from a monastery 
is one that provides a useful exegetical comment upon tantric praxis; it is 
precisely from their antinomian propensities that the practices of the high- 
est tantras draw their power. The texts themselves seem to envisage both 
lifestyles. At their most extreme, they advocate a type of yogic existence 
that transcends ritual observances, such as rites of the mandala, or obla- 
tions with mantras (see the first upadesah in GSS32, appendix), but at the 
same time, they envisage a ritual specialist capable of performing numbers 
of such rites, not just for his own sake, but on behalf of others (see, for 
example, ch. 3 §39). 

In pursuit of either lifestyle, it seems it was not altogether necessary for 
the practitioner to be an ordained member of the Buddhist sangha. The 
higher tantric initiations (ch. 3), which include the empowerments for sex- 
ual praxis, were also open to householders. This is implicit in one of the 
erotico-yogic texts in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld that refers to the 
"[householder's] own house" (svagrhe) as one possible meditation site 
(GSS34, appendix). Umapatideva himself, author of the Vajravdrdhi 
Sddhana, may have been a layman, as well as an initiate into the lineage of 
Virupa. His name means "lord of Uma," that is, Siva, while ordination into 
Buddhist orders would ordinarily have endowed him with a Buddhist name. 
If he were a lay scholar, it would seem that Umapatideva still had access to 
the scriptural and exegetical sources available to those working in the 
monastic environment, judging by the extent of the redaction in the 
Vajravdrdhi Sddhana. 

This situation did not lie comfortably with some members of the monas- 
tic community, however. In her study of tantric antinomianism, Onians 
(2002: 292-93) comments that, "The tension between tantric monks and 
householders must reflect a time when tantric practitioners were found 
both in and outside monasteries, and the Sangha was compelled to reassert 
its primacy...." Thus, the Kriydsamuccaya (f.3.2rT; Gellner 1992: 295) cites 
many tantric references to support the claim that a tantric teacher 
(vajrdcdryah) should be a monk, although the fact that it opens with a 
lengthy discussion on the matter raises the possibility of his not being so. 
Indeed, in his Vajrdcdryalaksanavidhi, Jagaddarpana states that a tantric 



teacher may be of three types: monk, novice, or householder (following the 
Samvardrnavatantra), but he asserts the superiority of the teacher who is 
ordained by adding that, should all three be found together, the house- 
holder should not be worshiped, for this would be disrespectful to the Three 
Jewels. 38 Another tantric exegete prescribes certain "beginners" rites and 
observances (ddikarma) for the householder practitioner (grhapatibodhi- 
sattvah), 39 suggesting, perhaps, that the qualifications of the lay practitioner 
were inferior to those of a monk. However, Isaacson (1999: personal com- 
munication) points out that the qualifications of the lay practitioner were 
[ not necessarily inferior to those of a monk, and that Jagaddarpana's open- 

! ing discussion does not reveal his final position on the matter. Indeed, it 

I may even have been the case that practitioners who had taken the 

I bhiksusamvara were sometimes forbidden or discouraged from the actual 

J performance of transgressive practices. 

j With their emphasis on solitary practice, the sadhanas themselves give 

jr no indication as to how they would be practiced within a monastic routine. 

1 This is particularly pertinent where the sadhana involves sexual practices 

! that would infringe the monastic vow of celibacy (brahmacaryam). In tack- 

I ling this issue, exegetes tended to argue that the tantric observances incor- 

j porate and surpass, rather than negate or contradict, earlier vows of 

j celibacy: 40 "[In taking tantric initiation] will he not then be guilty of aban- 

i doning his earlier vows [of celibacy] ? No, for each subsequent observance 

I transcends the preceding, just as the lay devotee becomes a novice and the 

novice a monk. When a person has become a monk is there the absence of 
the vows he took as a lay devotee, etc.? [Of course not.]" Jagaddarpana 
(Onians op. cit) actually redefines brahmacarya, so that for a nontantric 
monk it still refers to celibacy; but for a monk who has taken highest ini- 
tiation (and whom he therefore understands to be spiritually superior), it 
refers to the retention of semen in the course of yogic sexual practices. How- 
ever, the attitudes of tantric authors on this matter are complex, as Onians 
makes clear {op. cit.: 268-71): Atis'a, for example, has — with justification — 
been interpreted as insisting that for those who held full monastic ordina- 
tion, the language of sexual yoga was open only to symbolic interpretation 
and was otherwise incompatible with monastic rule; and yet his conclu- 
sions are far more subtle than this and clearly depend upon the context in 
which celibates may perform the higher initiations and upon a rigorous 
application of the qualifications that would permit a monk to bypass or 
transcend his monastic precepts — crucially, the degree of insight with which 
sexual praxis is imbued. Such sophisticated apologetics are a reflection of 


the difficulty that must have arisen in bringing tantric practices within the 
monastic fold. Indeed, there are accounts of iconoclasm among Sthavira- 
vadins unable to tolerate deities such as Cakrasamvara at Vajrasana (Bodh- 
gaya), which Taranatha himself recorded (1990: 279): 

In a temple of Vajrasana there was then a large silver image of 
Heruka and many treatises on tantra. Some of the Sravaka Sen- 
dhavas ["Siddhas"] of Singa island (Ceylon) and other places said 
that they were composed by Mara. So they burnt these and smashed 
the image into pieces and used the pieces as ordinary money. 

But on these issues, the new tantric orthodoxy was clear, as the hagiog- 
raphy of Abhayakaragupta testifies {Blue Annals: 1046; Willson 2000: 
397-98). Painting the picture of an exemplary abbot-scholar of traditional 
Buddhist hue, the lifestory of Abhayakaragupta describes his initial reluc- 
tance to embrace the new teachings, as he declines to welcome a woman into 
his monastic cell. When the woman turns out to be none other than Vajra- 
yoginl in disguise, the monk sees the error of his ways, but finds that he has 
lost the opportunity ever to gain union with her in his lifetime. He is com- 
pensated with the promise that if he composed a "great number of com- 
mentaries on profound tantras and many rites of mandalas," he would soon 
become "a fortunate one" — a challenge he appears to have accepted. 

Sadhana Collections 

Having examined the Indian milieu in which Umapatideva's Vajravdrdhi 
Sadhana was written, it is time to look more closely at the compilation of 
the Guhyasamayasddhanamala itself. According to the approximate dating 
of their authors, some texts in the collection are possibly as old as the ninth 
century, but perhaps only date from the eleventh century, while others are 
later still, dating from the twelfth century. The collection closes toward the 
end of the twelfth century with the work of an author who was probably a 
living contemporary, Vibhuticandra (GSS43). Its upper date is fixed by the 
oldest surviving manuscript (K), which Sanderson (1995: personal com- 
munication) suggests is from the twelfth to thirteenth centuries. This date 
would be roughly contemporary with the earliest manuscript of another 
sadhana collection, the Sddhanasatapahcasikd, which dates from 1165 c.e. 
(Cambridge add. 1686). The Guhyasamayasddhanamdld receives its title only 


later; the name is found in the Devanagari manuscript (D) alone, in which 
the title of the last work in the collection (Ddkini-guhyasamaya-sddhanamdld- 
tantrardja) seems to serve as the basis for the collective title Sri-Guhyasamaya- 

The processes by which sadhanas were compiled into recognizable col- 
lections has been studied by Buhnemann (1994), who suggests that schol- 
ars were engaged in collecting such works from the eleventh century on. 
Buhnemann discusses four sadhana collections in all, basing her work on 
the four collections that Bu ston (1290— 1364) drew into his catalog of the 
bsTan 'gyur (summarized in table 3): 41 

1. The One Hundred and Fifty Sadhanas (^Sddhanasatapancdsikd, 
sGrub thabs brgya danglnga bcu), 42 consisting of about this num- 
ber of sadhanas. 

2. The Hundred Sadhanas (*Sddhanasataka, sGrub thabs brgya rtsa), 
which contains about ninety- three sadhanas. 

3. The Ocean of Sadhanas ( *Sddhanasdgara in Bu ston's catalog), 
also called the Collection of Sadhanas {Sddhanasamuccaya in the 
Peking edition P4221-4466), and the Garland of Sadhanas 
{Sddhanamdla in the colophon of some Sanskrit manuscripts), 
consisting of a large collection of 242 sadhanas. 

4. The *Devdntaravisvasddhana collection, which appears in the 
Peking edition as an appendix to the second collection, the 

It is from these collections that Bhattacharyya (1925/28) produced his 
edition of the so-called Sddhanamdla, accidentally conflating the largest 
collection of 242 sadhanas (*Sddhanasdgara) with the collection of 150 
sadhanas (*Sddhanasatapancds'ikd)} 5 

What does Biihnemann's survey of the sadhana collections reveal about 
the manner and date of their compilation? Buhnemann shows that there are 
problems in fixing the contents of these collections since the Sanskrit man- 
uscripts do not agree between themselves, either in the sequence in which 
sadhanas appear or in the number of sadhanas they contain, and the Tibetan 
translations do not seem to accord with the Sanskrit "originals." The com- 
pilation of substantial numbers of sadhanas, or the addition of other collec- 



Table 3. Sadhana collections in the bsTan 'gyur 

1. 150 sadhanas 
trans, c. 1100 

2. 100 sadhanas 
trans, c. 1100 

3. Ocean (or collection) of sadhanas 
(Sddhanasdgara, °samuccaya, °mdld) 
trans, c. 1286 

Appendix to 
Peking Edition 

4. Devantaravisvasadhana 

Sadhanamala Tantra 
Cambridge ms. 
add. 1686 

ed. Bhattacharyya 

tions to them, seems to coincide with the appearance of a title for the col- 
lection as a whole. This may have encouraged closure, as in the case of the 
*Sddhanasatapancasikd, which received its title only once it had collected its 
one hundred and fifty works {ibid. 1994: n). Similarly, Buhnemann hints that 
Bu ston's third collection may have received its title ^Sddhanasdgara in the 
later recensions preserved in Tibetan from its final portion of texts, entitled 
Devdntarasddhanasdgara {ibid. 1994: 12). In some collections, the colophon 
to each individual sadhana also gives the collective title, but again this prac- 
tice is not standard {ibid. 1994: 11-12). Such irregularities in a title's appear- 
ance in related recensions, and in the title itself, suggest that collective titles 
were a later feature of the sadhana compilations. Their introduction (possi- 
bly coupled with efforts to "round up" the collections to grandiose figures 
that then serve as collective titles) gives the impression that the sadhana col- 
lection was emerging as a genre in its own right. The datings given by 
Buhnemann indicate that the earliest translations into Tibetan of whole col- 
lections were made in the later eleventh century and around the turn of the 


twelfth century and continued into the thirteenth century (and beyond), 
that is, in the period when the monastic universities under the Pala dynas- 
ties were at their height. Records of the Sanskrit manuscripts confirm this 
picture. Comparing the evidence of the manuscript collections with the dates 
of likely authors, it is clear that the time between the composition of a 
sadhana and its subsequent inclusion in a collection was often brief and that 
translation into Tibetan was also a rapid process. 

These conclusions confirm what has been gathered of the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld collection. There are, however, notable differences. The 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld is far smaller, containing only forty-six works. 
Moreover, it seems to have been relatively stable. Only one sadhana (GSS8) 
is omitted in the later recension of the collection represented by the 
devanagarl manuscript, a sadhana that is anyway repeated identically later 
in the collection (GSS39). The Guhyasamayasddhanamdld was not trans- 
lated into Tibetan, although some of its sadhanas appear in the bsTan 'gyur 
as part of other collections (details are given in notes to the appendix). 
Remarkable is that all forty-six sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld 
focus upon Vajrayoginl/Vajravarahl. Other sadhana collections, apart from 
being much larger, are more diverse. They include sadhanas relating to var- 
ious deities, sometimes arranged accordingly in groups inside the compila- 
tion. There are, for example, groups of sadhanas within the so-called 
Sddhanamdld that focus on other female deities (ch. 2), but not one of these 
has been preserved as a separate collection in its own right. 

The reason the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld remained a discrete collection 
and was not absorbed into another collection is unknown. Perhaps as a 
grouping it was too large to be placed inside another collection, or perhaps 
it had its own pretensions to reach a desirable "fifty." Another suggestion 
\. is that this collection — with its single-minded concern with Vajrayogini 

and its "contemporary" nature — may have been the initiative of a single 
scholar. This impression is heightened by its internal organization. The col- 
lection begins with traditional-style mandalas of the Cakrasamvara tradi- 
tion adapted to the female deity Vajravarahi. There follows a gradual shift 
toward mandalas exhibiting a more fully kdpdlika character, a trend that is 
further developed in the "skeleton arch" (karankatorana) sadhanas, which 
reject the temple-palace structure of the mandala altogether. Within this 
overall structure, the works seem to have been carefully, if approximately, 
grouped according to particular manifestations of Vajrayogini, and to the 
type of work in question. These groupings may be roughly broken down 
as follows, with some sadhanas appearing in this list more than once where 


different groupings overlap (the various forms of VajrayoginI are discussed 
in chapter 2, and the sadhanas are described individually in the appendix): 


The first two sadhanas in the collection deal primarily with the hog- 
headed ardhaparyarika-pose Vajravarahi, and are attributed to the pres- 
tigious figures Indrabhuti and Luylpada. 


The next manifestation is of Vajravarahi in her classic warrior-stance 
form. She appears by herself (GSS2, GSS4), in her fivefold mandala 
(GSS3), and finally in the full thirty-seven-fold mandala (GSS5). 

GSS3, GSS4, GSS5 (GSS11, GSS16) 

The third sadhana (GSS3) is by another eminent figure, Advayavajra. It 
is the first in a group of essentially Cakrasamvara-based works, all simi- 
lar in their exposition of the warrior-stance Vajravarahi within a mandala 
based on the temple palace. All sadhanas in this group salute Vajravarahi 
in their opening reverence. Umapatideva's Vajravarahi Sadhana (GSS11) 
is also of this type. An interesting sadhana that belongs in part to the 
Advayavajra group and in part to the Sahara- related texts, is the sadhana 
of the thirteenfold Vajradakini Vajravarahi (GSS16). 


The next group is of two sadhanas redacted from the Abhidhdnottara- 
tantra, the first presenting a six-armed, seated manifestation of 
Vajravarahi in embrace with her consort within a thirteenfold mandala 
(GSS6), the second a twelve-armed ardhaparyanka-posc Vajravarahi in 
a forty-one-fold mandala (GSS7). 

GSS8«GSS39, GSS13, GSS14, GSS41 

The oblation ritual (homavidhih) that follows is one of a more dispersed 
group of oblation rituals in the collection. 

GSS10, GSS43 

There follow some distinctive, erotic practices of Vajrayogini, notably 
VajravilasinI (GSS10), who is also the subject of a stotra (stotram) or praise 
work (GSS43). 

GSS12, GSSi7«GSS45 

Similarly amorous are the "raised-foot" (urdhvapdda-) pose deities, first the 
red Vajravarahi (GSS12), and then the white Vajrayogini (GSSi7«GSS45). 


GSS15, GSS18, GSS38 

Next comes the red hog-headed "Vajraghona" manifestation of Vajra- 
varahl (GSS15, GSS18), possibly related to a white manifestation of the 
same deity (GSS5, GSS38). 


The next section of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld deals primarily with 
magical erotic forms of VajrayoginI, such as a two-armed Vajrayogini at 
the center of a fivefold mandala (GSS19). 

GSS20, GSS24, GSS25, GSS26, GSS27, GSS3o«GSS9 

Another magico-yogic manifestation is the striking, self-decapitated 
Trikayavajrayogini ("Chinnamasta") in sadhanas GSS20, GSS24, and 
GSS25, and in verse works related to Virupa, GSS26 and GSS27. This 
form is related to the deity to be visualized in GSS9«GSS30. 

GSS21, GSS22, GSS23 

Another such group is that of the flying Vidyadhari Vajrayogini forms 
of the Sahara school. 

*GSS28?, GSS29, GSS30, GSS31, GSS39 

Next, the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld contains a collection of repeated 
works that are almost identical to those transcribed earlier in the GSS, 
but with minor differences. This section includes: *GSS28 (»GSSi9?), 
GSS29 (-GSS4), GSS30 (-GSS9), GSS31 (-GSS3), and GSS39 (=GSS8). 

GSS32, GSS33, GSS34, GSS35 

The collection then provides three svddhisthdna-method sadhanas 
(GSS32, GSS33, and GSS34), the internalized nature of which is also 
reflected in a rare four-armed form of warrior-stance Vajrayogini 

GSS36, GSS37, GSS38 

Some unusual Vajrayogini forms follow, such as the yellow Vajrayogini 
in falling-turtle pose (GSS36), and two white warrior-stance Vajrayogini 
forms, GSS37 an d GSS38. 

GSS42, GSS43 

There are two Vajrayogini stotras in the collection grouped together. 

GSS40, GSS46 

Finally, there are two commentarial works. 



While these groupings are not entirely even, they are marked enough to 
suggest a conscious arrangement of the materials. What is even more strik- 
ing is that this arrangement is complemented by the internal structure of 
the Abhisamayamanjarihy Sakyaraksita (GSS5). Sakyaraksita's work begins 
with classic sadhana meditations on Vajravarahi's thirty-seven-fold mandala, 
after which it becomes a compendium of alternative visualizations of the 
deity in her different manifestations (see appendix). The catalog of visual- 
izations supplied in the Abhisamayamanjari mirrors the sequence of the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamala collection as a whole, so that the classic warrior- 
stance Vajravarahi of the first part of the work is followed by the 
iirdhvapdda-pose Vajrayogini, Vajraghona, the two-armed Vajrayogini, and 
the Trikayavajrayogini forms. Thus, it looks as if the Abhisamayamanjari 
may have been used as a blueprint for the arrangement of sadhanas by the 
compiler of the Guhyasamayasddhanamala. 

Tantric Sadhana 

The importance of the Guhyasamayasddhanamala collection to the Vajra- 
yogini tradition, and its uniqueness as a collection, have now been estab- 
lished. However, the decision to edit and translate the Vajravarahi Sadhana 
by Umapatideva (GSS11) still requires some explanation. Not only are there 
many sadhanas in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld deserving of attention, but 
tantric literature in general is vast, and sadhana itself forms only one genre 
within it. What, then, is the significance of the sadhana within the tantras? 
And what is of particular interest in Umapatideva's Vajravarahi Sadhana* 
A sadhana is a progressive sequence of meditative and ritual procedures 
that focus upon a particular deity or set of deities. It is a relatively late addi- 
tion to the tantric corpus. The first embryonic sadhanas appeared only in 
the eighth century with the yogatantras, and their form was still not stan- 
dardized by the time of the Hevajratantra. Perhaps one of the earliest ref- 
erences to sadhana practices appears in the yogatantra scripture, the 
Sarvadurgatiparisodhanatantra, which recounts "a sadhana taught by 
Sakyanatha" (p. 132 9b). The meditation is to be done "with the method of 
generation" (p. 130 8a: utp attikr amend) , and it is described as "the highest 
deity yoga" (devatdyogam. . . uttamam). Despite the inclusion of material not 
generally found in later sadhanas, it clearly sets out the key features of a 
mature sadhana, all of which will be seen as distinct stages in the Vajravarahi 
Sadhana (GSS11) studied here in chapter 3. Thus, it includes the usual 


preliminaries, the construction of a circle of protection, the accumulations 
of merit and wisdom, pujd, and the merging of the mandala in space with 
the mandala in the heart. 44 The eighth-century commentator Buddhaguhya 
recognized the sadhana material in the Sarvadurgatiparisodhanatantra as 
distinct from the rest of the tantra, describing it as an "introduction" (gleng 
gzhi = niddna) to "the actual text" (mdo bshad) dealing with mandalas (Sko- 
rupski 1983: xxvii). Another yogatantra commentator, Vilasavajra, also 
approaches the topic in his Ndmamantrdrthdvalokini. In adhikara IV, 
Vilasavajra produces his own proto-sadhana, which includes key prelimi- 
nary meditations and the generation of deities within a mandala, but which 
lacks other established features of the later sadhana, such as developed stages 
of generating oneself as the deity, or the merging of the pledge and knowl- 
edge forms of deities (Tribe 1994; 1997: 115-17, 123-25). 

The eighth century also saw the emergence of the Guhyasamdjatantra 
(GST), and the beginnings of the exegetical schools based upon it. This 
tantra begins to systematize the components of deity practice. It distin- 
guishes a fourfold sequence of meditations as a prelude to ritual undertak- 
ings (e.g., GST ch. 12, w. 60-65) that it refers to as: (1) service (sevd); (2) 
auxiliary attainment (upasddhanam); (3) attainment (sddhanam); and (4) 
great attainment (mahdsadhanam).^ These cover introductory and prelim- 
inary meditations (in the first and second stages), with the "urging" 
(codanam) and summoning of the deity, and its final visualization (in the 
third and fourth stages). A related schema in the Guhyasamdjatantra, also 
in four stages, focuses just upon the generation of the deity. This is the "[set 
of] four vajras" (vajracatuska), which corresponds in yoginitantra texts to 
the sequence of five awakenings. The Guhyasamdjatantra also distinguishes 
a stage of "generation" (utpatti), from a stage of "completion" (utpannal 
nispanna) (e.g., GST ch. 18, v. 84; see Wayman 1977: 23), an important 
classification that we will see in the mature sadhanas of the yoginitantra. The 
two stages or methods (kramah), the generation stage (utpattikramah) and 
the completion stage (utpannakramah, nispannakramah), were elaborated 
upon in the two schools of Guhyasamaja exegesis, each of which produced 
its own texts based on the classification. 46 

The period of yogottara systematization took place in the ninth to tenth 
centuries in the setting of the great monastic universities (Mimaki and 
Tomabechi 1994: ix), a period that coincided with the emergence of the new 
yoginitantras. The highest tantra scriptures develop the deity meditations 
into sadhana-type practices that bear much the same form as the mature 
sadhana (e.g., Hevajratantra, devatdpatala 1.3 and Samvarodayatantra, 


sriherukodayanirdesapatala ch. 13). The four stages of the yogottara system 
(sevd, etc.) are still current — both implicitly in a fourfold structure of the 
sadhana-type passages, and explicitly through direct reference (e.g., 
HT1.1.25; ADUT ch. 14: 317©. It is also notable that the internal structure 
of these tantras may demonstrate the same sequence of meditative and rit- 
ual events as those we will see in our study of a mature sadhana. The 
Samvarodayatantra, for example, begins with the methods of generating 
the deity and his wider mandala, followed by the ritual practices grounded 
in that self-generation. 47 The structure of the Hevajratantra is similar and 
also mirrors the composition of a sadhana. 48 The scriptural sources of the 
yoginitantras therefore draw closely on the methods of the sadhana, and 
may be seen as products of existing praxis that cultivated sadhana or 
sadhana-type techniques. Without an understanding of these stages within 
the sadhana practice, the intended meaning of the tantras is lost. 

At the same time, this period saw important developments in the form 
and structure of the sadhana itself. Such developments were doubtless stim- 
ulated by the new trends of the highest tantras and perhaps also reflected the 
need to clarify the practices outlined in the scriptures. Thus, features of the 
sadhana already evident in the yogatantra corpus underwent gradual defini- 
tion. The process is detectable in certain sets of sadhanas in the Sddhanamdld 
collection, such as the sizable collections of sadhanas grouped around man- 
ifestations of Avalokitesvara (SM6 to SM42) and Manjusn (SM44 to SM84). 
Here one sees how the peaceful cults of princely cakravartin-style bod- 
hisattvas are increasingly permeated by tantric elements, such as the preem- 
inence of the guru, the use of transgressive substances, erotic and wrathful 
Saiva-based iconography, erotico-yogic praxis, and cremation-ground motifs. 
The method of generating the deity is also refined, and evolves into the series 
of five awakenings found in the mature sadhanas, to be followed by the 
merging of its pledge and knowledge forms. By the time of the yoginitantra 
sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, the form of the tantric sadhana 
was well established, and yet our study of the collection will reveal that the 
genre was still developing. In response to developments in the yoginitantra 
scriptures, some sadhanas will be seen to introduce cremation-ground 
(kdpdlika) features within the standard format of the sadhana, and others to 
reject mainstream formats altogether. 

The sadhana is significant within tantric literature as a whole in that it 
mirrors and clarifies developments in content and method. As a genre it is 
particularly flexible, because its form may be easily adapted to cater to 
changing currents and trends in praxis. In this way, the sadhana is able to 


elaborate and develop tantric practices that are lacking or marginal in the 
scriptural material itself. This is particularly pertinent in the cult of Vajra- 
yoginl/ Vajravarahi, which has no scriptural corpus of its own, but borrows 
from the scriptural tradition of Cakrasamvara. One reason Umapatideva's 
Vajravarahi Sadhana is a useful subject for analysis is that it highlights the 
processes of redaction by which new tantric techniques were adapted from 
existing ones — that is, how the author borrows from scriptural and exeget- 
ical sources concerning the Cakrasamvara mandala and its rituals, and 
alters them to describe the Vajravarahi mandala and its rituals. Since 
sadhanas are not tied to a particular scriptural source, we will see that dif- 
ferent works in the Guhyasamayasadhanamald draw on different parts of 
the Buddhist (and Saiva) traditions and produce a range of forms and prac- 
tices of Vajrayogini. 

Above all, sadhanas are manuals of practice; they are the "means of 
attainment" (sadhanam) whereby the goals of the highest tantras may be 
realized. Their prescriptions encompass a range of meditation techniques 
and ritual procedures, the length and complexity of which suggest a full- 
time commitment to the practices. As shown earlier, little in the sadhana 
suggests the practitioner's broader lifestyle. His daily routine is indicated 
only by general injunctions that are embedded into the sadhana itself, 
namely, to rise early, to wash, to perform the sadhana in a solitary place pre- 
ceded by certain preliminary rites, to repeat it three or four times a day, and 
to perform various external rites on the basis of this meditation. Sadhana 
J tex ts also say little of the previous spiritual practice that has prepared the 

I practitioner for taking up the sadhana or of the initiations that have qual- 

fied him to do so. Such preliminaries are so fundamental to the tantric sys- 
tem that they are usually taken for granted by the author of a sadhana, 
whose audience is understood to be made up exclusively of initiates into 
the cult. As one sadhana in the Guhyasamayasadhanamald puts it, the prac- 
titioner should be someone "who has an undivided attitude of devotion 
toward his teacher and the Buddha, who has firmly seized the will to 
enlightenment, [and] who has correctly obtained initiation." 49 The topic of 
initiation or consecration is a vast and complex one; it is discussed briefly 
in our study of the sadhana at the point when the meditator visualizes his 
own consecration by celestial deities, a process that mirrors the types of 
consecrations employed by tantric teachers in their initiatory empower- 
ment of pupils. It is only after such inititations have taken place that cer- 
tain practices may be undertaken, indeed, that the sadhaka becomes obliged 
to fulfil his vows to practice. 



The role of the guru in this process is, of course, central. It is upon his 
authority alone that the tantric systems depend. It is the teacher who trans- 
mits teachings, authorizes praxis, and performs the initiations that qualify 
pupils to identify themselves with their chosen deity in the practice of deity 
yoga. The importance of understanding the guru to "be" the Buddha (that 
is, the central deity of the particular tantric cult), the benefits of worship- 
ing him, and the evils of transgressing his instructions, are therefore favorite 
themes in tantric literature and often appear in frame verses to sadhana 
texts, for example: 50 

The guru is the Buddha, the guru is the Dharma, and the guru 
is the Sangha. The guru is the glorious Vajradhara; in this life 
only the guru is the means [to awakening] . Therefore, someone 
wishing to attain the state of buddhahood should please the guru. 

The post-initiatory observances are known as the observances of the pledge 
01 samaya (samaydcdrah). 51 Their supreme importance to the newly conse- 
crated yogin is often emphasized by the texts with the insistence that the 
samaya be "protected." The yogin does this by practicing it faithfully, and 
by maintaining a strict code of secrecy. Reminders that the practices are 
secret (guhya) and solemn injunctions to secrecy are therefore common, 
especially when the texts invert traditional ethical norms by prescribing 
transgressive disciplines, such as sexual yoga. This leads us back to the cen- 
trality of the guru, who is the source of teachings that may well remain 
purely oral. The first sadhana in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld is itself 
described as the "Oral Teaching of Vajrayogini" (Vajrayoginlmukhdgama), 
and its secret practices are said to go from "ear to ear, mouth to mouth." 
The sadhana includes a description of a parvapujd in which the yogin is to 
worship a young virgin and, while naked, make transgressive offerings of 
sexual fluids to the deity; it then enjoins secrecy, and reminds the yogin that 
if he wants to obtain siddhi, he must preserve the samaya. In a Vajraghona 
puja (GSS18), midnight offerings include incense made of powdered human 
flesh, following which the text states that "this is not to be told to any- 
one." 52 Secrecy preserved and enhanced the efficacy of the teachings, and 
was understood to be the crucial context for their practice, the essential 
ingredient that gave the antinomian cults of esoteric Buddhism their power. 
It was (and still is) of crucial importance to the practices of Vajra- 
yogini/Vajravarahi, who is described in one text as "mother of the guhyakas 
[lit: 'those with secrets,' i.e., initiates]" (n. 75). 


Following his initiation into a sadhana practice, the pupil would next 
undertake a prolonged period of mantra recitation, which forms a prepara- 
tory foundation for undertaking the sadhana itself. This is referred to as 
"prior service" (purvasevd). Without this bedrock it is said that the sadhaka 
"would stun, damage, and harm himself" (mKhas grub rje: 275-79). The 
number of mantra recitations required varies according to different sys- 
tems. For example, in the Hevajra system (HT1.10.25ab) there are to be one 
hundred thousand for the lord of the mandala and ten thousand for the 
mandala retinue; similar numbers are given in the Vajrdvali for the 
Kalacakra texts, while in the Samvara system, there are said to be both 
medium and brief periods of service (mKhas grub rje ibid.). 55 

Since authors of sadhanas say little about the preparation and training 
undergone by a sadhaka prior to his undertaking the practice, they assume 
that he has already acquired the necessary meditative, ritual, and con- 
ceptual skills. This most important meditative tool is the technique of 
visualization meditation. This demands that the practitioner be able to 
visualize the object of meditation, located either in space in front of him 
or at the center of his own body. Texts state that he should "see" (pasyet, 
avalokayet, ikseta) the object of meditation "very clearly" (GSS11 v.17: 
vispastataram) and unwaveringly (SM123: 254); he should "contemplate" 
(vi-cintayet), "imagine" (vi-bhdvayet), "meditate upon" (dhydyat), or "be 
convinced of (adhimuncet) it. The manner of producing the visualized 
object in the mind is described as the arising or generation (utpattih) of 
the object and usually begins with a mantra syllable representing the 
essence or source of the object to be visualized. This is known as its seed 
(bijam) or seed-syllable (bijdksaram), and it has both an aural dimension, 
such as the sound of the mantra syllable hum, and a visual dimension as 
the written form of that syllable, "f , seen with the mind. The seed-syllable 
then undergoes an imaginative transformation into the object for which 
it is the more essential symbol, which is expressed in Sanskrit as the object 
being "produced" or "born" (-ja, -bhuta, -nispanna), or — where there is 
a whole sequence of such visualizations — by their "evolution," "develop- 
ment," or "transformation" (parindmena) into the final object. 54 The visu- 
alized forms are understood to be made of light; they are vibrant, 
incandescent, pellucid, and yet as insubstantial as any other simile for 
emptiness. They scintillate with the emission and retraction of light rays 
that function as powerful agents of the meditation, acting to remove igno- 
rance and impurities, destroy obstacles, give succor to beings, or praise or 
coerce deities. 55 


The locus of the visualization is significant because it differs according 
to different rites, and plays an important part in the classification of the 
sadhana. The deity may be visualized "in space" (khadhdtau) in front of 
the meditator, as in the preliminary puja, or be generated within an exter- 
nal ritual object, such as a mandala diagram drawn upon the ground or 
upon the meditator's own hand. The process of generating objects of med- 
itation is at its most elaborate in the section that deals with the yogin's gen- 
eration of himself as the deity. Here the generation is located at the center 
of the yogin's own body, inducing in him the conviction that he "is" the 
deity. The sadhana is therefore a "means of attainment" because it is a tool 
for the transformation of the mundane into the the transcendental. 

The application of the self-generation method at this stage generally clas- 
sifies the sadhana as a generation-stage practice (utpattikramah, see ch. 3). 
In a self-generation sadhana, the subject of prescription changes in mid- 
course. The mundane personage of the practitioner who begins the prac- 
tice is designated variously as the sadhaka, the yogin, the mantrin (literally, 
"the possessor of mantra"), or by some traditional laudatory epithet 
acknowledging that he is "a skilful one" (vicaksanah), wise (budhah), or 
learned in mantric lore (mantravit). In the course of the self-generation, 
the meditator acquires the transcendental identity of the chosen deity. The 
new agent is described as "one conjoined with the deity" (devatdyuktavdn), 
the practitioner of "deity yoga" (devatdyogah). He is the "yogin-as-deity" or, 
as in the context of our Vajravarahi visualization, the "yogin-as-goddess." 

Another means of transforming a mundane object into a transcendental 
one is by symbolically equating one with the other. This is termed, literally, 
a "purification" (visuddhih). The correspondence is made on the firm under- 
standing or conviction (adhimoksah, niscayah) of the mundane object "as" 
the supramundane counterpart. The yogin understands that the true essence 
or inherent nature (svabhdvah) of the mundane element is ontologically 
equivalent to that of the supramundane, because both are empty (sunya). 
The mundane is "purified" through the practitioner's realization that 
emptiness pervades both sides of the equation. For example, a practice well 
attested in yogottara and yoginitantra sources is the purification of the yogin's 
entire pyschophysical being as a preliminary to undertaking the sadhana. 
Here, each of his five skandhas, his sense organs and the five elements in 
the body, are correlated imaginatively with a particular buddha, bodhi- 
sattva, or buddha-consort. The visuddhi is more than a means of imbuing 
an object with a symbolic value to an object, although a complex web of 
symbolic relationships may be implied, connecting together different levels 


of reality. It is rather a "purifying correspondence" that associates the mun- 
dane with the supramundane on the basis of emptiness, and thereby 
purifies the former. As Sferra (1999) notes, in his discussion of the topic, 
the term visuddhi indicates on one hand "pureness," Buddha nature itself, 
"the ever shining and pure condition that is always present in all things. ... 
On the other hand, the term indicates purification and therefore a process 
or a means." 

In addition to the sadhaka's skill in visualization and meditation tech- 
niques, he is expected to be a ritual specialist. Tantric ritual in general 
revolves around the methods of the sadhana, which provide the means and 
the rationale for rites, both on private and public levels. In the sphere of 
private practice, rituals of worship and propitiation are generally prescribed 
following the main body of the sadhana, and we will see how, according 
to the highest tantric systems, they can be undertaken only on the basis of 
deity yoga. The transformation of the sadhaka into the deity during the 
course of the sadhana is therefore the necessary preliminary to all other rit- 
ual acts whatsoever, and it is really the transcendental deity itself — in this 
case, Vajrayogini — who performs the rituals, and not the (unenlightened) 
practitioner. In the public arena, the transformative tools of sadhana med- 
itation are just as crucial. For example, rites of consecration (pratisthd) 
play a key part in communal practice, as all objects for religious use must 
be consecrated, from buildings such as monasteries and stupas, to objects 
such as statues of deities, painted images, the cloth on which those images 
are drawn, religious texts and manuals, initiation vases, ritual implements, 
and so on. In order to undertake the rites of consecration, the tantric offi- 
ciant must first have generated himself as the deity by means of the 
sadhana, and then, in his transcendental persona, must set about trans- 
forming the mundane object into a receptacle for the deity to enter, recre- 
ating it as the locus in which the deity becomes present and established 
(pratisthita). In this process, the tools of sadhana meditation are employed 
to generate the form of the deity within the object, to infuse it with supra- 
mundane wisdom, and then to initiate it according to the tantric system 
of initiations. In her detailed study of the consecration of images and stupas 
in tantric Buddhism, Bentor traces the elements of these complex public 
rites, and shows how they are in themselves a "special application" of the 
"basic transformative ritual" that is the sadhana (1996: especially 1-13; 
Tanemura 2002). 

The transformative influence of the sadhana is intended to permeate the 
sadhaka s entire life. Rites are sometimes distinguished according to whether 


they are "outer" (*bdhyakriyd) or "inner" (adhydtmayogah) (e.g., mKhas 
grub rje: 219), and it is clear that the different elements of the sadhana cover 
both planes. On an outer level, sadhana prescriptions govern bodily actions 
and speech, as when the yogin performs his morning ablutions or prepares 
a suitable site for the meditation through mantra recitation. On an inter- 
nal level, we have seen how mental, imaginal, and experiential faculties all 
come into play in visualization meditation to create the conviction of new 
transcendental reality. But the rites and meditations of the sadhana cannot 
really be so clearly divided. External ritual actions also play an important 
part in the yogin's internal world, as the visualization meditations them- 
selves also include bodily movements such as hand gesture (mudrd), verbal 
utterance (mantrah) } or the complex mental activity of preparing and visu- 
alizing offerings to deities. In some meditations, the inner world the yogin 
has conjured up in the course of the sadhana is itself treated as if it were an 
"external" object and subjected to meditative practices that seek to inter- 
nalize it even further, integrating it within his experience on less and less 
conceptual levels. Note, for example, the increasingly subtle meditations 
prescribed within the context of yogic meditations, practices such as the 
contemplation of iconic and aniconic forms of deities and "drops" that are 
perceived within the yogin's own "veins" (nddis) and "body centers" (cakras) 
(ch. 3). Looked at another way, the internal world that is created through 
the practice of deity yoga must also be externalized and made to imbue all 
the yogin's outer actions in his daily life. This happens at the end of the 
sadhana, when the sadhaka is instructed to keep the internal convictions 
produced through his visualization meditation and to maintain an awareness 
of himself with the form and nature of Vajravarahi while he goes about his 
everyday business. In this way, his whole life becomes a meditative ritual. 
The inner and outer levels are thoroughly interwoven and interconnected, 
and come together to forge the practitioner's conviction that he is the deity 
on all levels of his being: on the external planes of his bodily and verbal 
action, on the internal planes of thought process and existential conviction, 
and on the subtle experiential dimensions beyond conceptualization. The 
method is thus perfectly allied to the goal of unification with the deity, or 
deity yoga. 

The same methodology is reflected in the structure of the sadhana. It 
begins with a series of preparations that allow the sadhaka to assimilate 
himself to the outer and inner character of his chosen deity, and intensifies 
as he imagines himself reborn as Vajravarahi and infused with her wisdom. 
Since the sadhana is to be performed at least once daily, it results in a 


they are "outer" (*bdhyakriyd) or "inner" (adhydtmayogah) (e.g., mKhas 
grub rje: 219), and it is clear that the different elements of the sadhana cover 
both planes. On an outer level, sadhana prescriptions govern bodily actions 
and speech, as when the yogin performs his morning ablutions or prepares 
a suitable site for the meditation through mantra recitation. On an inter- 
nal level, we have seen how mental, imaginal, and experiential faculties all 
come into play in visualization meditation to create the conviction of new 
transcendental reality. But the rites and meditations of the sadhana cannot 
really be so clearly divided. External ritual actions also play an important 
part in the yogin's internal world, as the visualization meditations them- 
selves also include bodily movements such as hand gesture (mudrd), verbal 
utterance (mantrah), or the complex mental activity of preparing and visu- 
alizing offerings to deities. In some meditations, the inner world the yogin 
has conjured up in the course of the sadhana is itself treated as if it were an 
"external" object and subjected to meditative practices that seek to inter- 
nalize it even further, integrating it within his experience on less and less 
conceptual levels. Note, for example, the increasingly subtle meditations 
prescribed within the context of yogic meditations, practices such as the 
contemplation of iconic and aniconic forms of deities and "drops" that are 
perceived within the yogin's own "veins" (nddls) and "body centers" (cakras) 
(ch. 3). Looked at another way, the internal world that is created through 
the practice of deity yoga must also be externalized and made to imbue all 
the yogin's outer actions in his daily life. This happens at the end of the 
sadhana, when the sadhaka is instructed to keep the internal convictions 
produced through his visualization meditation and to maintain an awareness 
of himself with the form and nature of Vajravarahi while he goes about his 
everyday business. In this way, his whole life becomes a meditative ritual. 
The inner and outer levels are thoroughly interwoven and interconnected, 
and come together to forge the practitioner's conviction that he is the deity 
on all levels of his being: on the external planes of his bodily and verbal 
action, on the internal planes of thought process and existential conviction, 
and on the subtle experiential dimensions beyond conceptualization. The 
method is thus perfectly allied to the goal of unification with the deity, or 
"deity yoga." 

The same methodology is reflected in the structure of the sadhana. It 
begins with a series of preparations that allow the sadhaka to assimilate 
himself to the outer and inner character of his chosen deity, and intensifies 
as he imagines himself reborn as Vajravarahi and infused with her wisdom. 
Since the sadhana is to be performed at least once daily, it results in a 



spiraling circularity. It establishes and reestablishes the yogin in a form that 
he already believes himself to possess. The significance of the sadhana within 
tan trie literature therefore lies in the fact that it is the basic tool of all tantric 
praxis; it supplies the means with which the practitioner is to recreate 
ordinary reality as transcendental reality, and thus to achieve his — or her — 
ultimate aim. 


2. The Cult of VajrayoginI in India 

t | tHE SADHANAS of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld present a rich and 
varied picture of the VajrayoginI cult in India between the tenth and 
twelfth centuries. In this chapter, we will take a closer look at the 
tantric practices that underpin the cult, focusing first on the influence of 
nondual Saivism. We then turn to the emergence of Vajrayogini within the 
broader context of other female deity cults, and also of Vajravarahi, who 
comes to be seen as one of Vajrayogini's chief manifestations. The rest of 
the chapter is really a survey of the forms of Vajrayogini that appear in the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld collection. These are gleaned from the sections 
in the sadhanas that deal with the generation — or more usually, self- 
generation — of the deity and describe her iconographical form and the set- 
ting in which she is to be visualized. Of the forty-six works extant in the 
collection, thirty-seven prescribe a visualization, or in some cases, several 
visualizations of the goddess, and so overall we find about fifty separate 
iconographical descriptions. In this way, drawing from the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld alone, we find almost twenty distinct forms of Vajrayogini. 

Although the sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld undoubtedly 
include the main forms of the goddess, variations were constanly emerging 
as the cult developed. A full survey of all of these would entail not just wider 
investigation of Sanskrit sources than I have managed, but a study of both 
written and artistic sources for the cult in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia; 
there are also the fascinating but largely unplumbed riches of the Tangut 
empire, which developed a strong Buddhist identity during its two-hundred- 
and-fifty-year existence (982-1229) at a time contemporary with the cult of 
Vajrayogini in India. Among their conquests the Tanguts counted the city 
of Khara Khoto (c. 1030), from which many fine tangkas remain (e.g., plates 
2, 3, and 11). 



Within the Guhyasamayasadhanamald, we find that the commonest sub- 
ject is the red, two-armed warrior-stance Vajravarahi (fig. 27). 56 It is this 
form that is the focus of Umapatideva's Vajravarahi Sadhana, and in our 
study of that sadhana in chapter 3, we explore in depth the visualizations 
and meditations associated with her and her mandala, and the various 
mantras and rites prescribed for her practice. In the survey of the forms and 
manifestations that follows, we find that Vajravarahi even assumes some- 
thing of the generic status of Vajrayogini, as she herself takes on a number 
of different forms. However, the different forms of the goddess are also 
quite distinct in a number of ways. Although I distinguish them here on 
the grounds of iconographical differences, a truer method of differentiat- 
ing the forms would be on the basis of the different mantras (often based 
on the Vajrayogini root mantra), which — following Saiva models—authors 
took great care to preserve. Following the iconographical descriptions of 
each form, I therefore give a brief account of the associated mantras and rit- 
uals; this also mirrors the structure of the sadhanas themselves. 

Where possible, I have tried to find artistic representations to illustrate 
the various forms of the deity. In the case of some sadhanas, it has been pos- 
sible to draw on a set of wooden block prints that were commissioned in 
Mongolia in 1810 in connection with an empowerment ceremony given by 
the fourth Panchen Lama, bsTan pa'i nyi ma phyogs las rnam rgyal 
(1781— 1854) (Tachikawa et al. 1995: 7; Willson and Brauen 2000: xvii). The 
textual basis for the Mongolian icons of Vajrayogini is a compilation of 
sadhanas that the fourth Panchen Lama produced especially for the empow- 
erment ritual, known in brief as the Rin lhan. The basis for the Rin than is 
a cycle of over three hundred Tibetan sadhanas compiled in the early sev- 
enteenth century by Taranatha (1575-1634), and commonly known as the 
Rin 'byung brgya rtsa. Taranatha himself was drawing on translations of 
Sanskrit sadhanas that reach back to the time of the Guhyasamayasadhana- 
mald; indeed some of the forms of Vajrayogini in our collection are also 
described in the Tibetan texts of the Rin lhan, the fourth chapter of which 
is devoted to this deity. 57 

The woodblocks were produced from the textual descriptions of the Rin 
lhan. The set consists of over five hundred miniature images of deities with 
their mantras, for use during initiations or as an aid to visualization. They 
have now been published at least three times, in different forms, and under 
different titles: 58 (1) as a set of prints from original woodblocks (Tachikawa 
et al. 1995); (2) as set of line drawings based on the woodblock prints, but 


altered in some standard details; commissioned by Lokesh Chandra, and 
appearing in his various publications as part of the so-called "Narthang Pan- 
theon" (between 1959 and 1988) ; 59 and (3) as a set of color prints, perhaps dat- 
ing to around 1850, shown to have been carefully painted to the drawings of 
the woodblocks, and somewhat embellished (Willson and Brauen 2000). 

To illustrate forms of VajrayoginI from the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, 
I draw on the set of woodblock prints commissioned by Lokesh Chandra. 
I am also able to reproduce in color the painted versions of several Mon- 
golian icons in plate 10. Where no Mongolian icon is available (and where 
I have found no other artistic source), I have commissioned an original line 
drawing in a similar style by a contemporary English Buddhist artist, 
Dharmacari Aloka. His line-drawings are careful conjectural reconstruc- 
tions drawn according to the Sanskrit text, which we have conceived as an 
aid to the reader in imagining the forms of the deity described but with no 
claim to "authenticity" beyond that. Indeed, the Mongolian icons them- 
selves are late Tibetan reconstructions in the style of their time and shed no 
light upon how these forms may have been conceived originally by the 
Indian authors of our texts. 

The Influence ofNondual Saivism 

A formative influence upon the VajrayoginI cult was that of nondual 
Saivism. Pioneering research in this area by Sanderson (1993, 1994b, 1995, 
2001b) has shown the highest Buddhist tantras to be startlingly reliant upon 
nondual Saiva sources; so much so that it amounts to no less than what he 
calls "pious plagiarism" (1995). Sanderson (2001b) estimates that in the root 
text of the Cakrasamvara tradition, the Laghusamvaratantra, "long passages, 
amounting to some two hundred verses, nearly a third of the whole, can be 
seen to have been redacted from Saiva originals," which — since this part of the 
Saiva canon is itself only partly preserved — must indicate an impressive debt. 
The Saiva cults that leave their imprint most strongly upon the higher 
and highest Buddhist tantras are those belonging to the mantrapitha or 
"seat of mantras," and the vidydpltha or "seat of vidyas," both of which are 
divisions within that stream of Saiva dispensation termed the mantramdrga, 
or "path of mantras" (Sanderson 1988: 668ff.). 60 Worship within the 
mantrapitha was of a type of Siva called a "bhairava" ("terrible"), a wrath- 
ful, cremation-ground form of the god in union with an equally terrible 


consort, such as Svacchandabhairava (or Aghora) and his consort, Aghore- 
s'vari. The cremation-ground elements are even more in evidence in the 
Vidyapltha, where they relate principally to esoteric cults based upon fem- 
inine power (saktih) such as those of the Trika and the Krama. The Trika 
focuses on three goddesses, Para, Apara, and Parapara, who have subordi- 
nate consorts in bhairava forms and retinues of male and female deities. 
The Krama cults manifest fierce forms of the goddess Kali. In one of the 
highest forms of nondual Saivism, the goddess is worshiped within a 
mandala of twelve identical Kalis; she appears alone without any consort, 
indeed, stamping upon the corpse of Bhairava, or wearing parts of his dis- 
membered body for her ornaments {ibid.: 674-75). 61 The Vidyapltha per- 
ceived itself as related but superior to the mantrapitha, just as the Buddhist 
yoginitantras perceived themselves as related but superior to the yogottara- 
tantras. It is from the Vidyapltha tradition that the yoginitantras drew most 

Sanderson has pointed to a number of ways in which the Buddhist 
tantra is indebted to the Saiva tradition (1988: 678-79; 1994b; 1995; 2001b), 
and what follows is a brief summary of his findings with just a few exam- 
ples. First, the Buddhist tantra borrows on the textual level. One way it 
does this is to draw on Saiva scriptural titles, with little or no adaptation 
to the new Buddhist context. For example, the Buddhist title Yogini- 
samcdratantra points directly to the Saiva chapter title Yoginisamcdra (in 
the Kali-centered Jayadrathaydmalatantrd) . Another Buddhist tantra title, 
Sarvabuddhasamdyogaddkinijdlasamvara, is closely influenced by the titles 
of two Saiva works, the Sarvavirasamdyoga and the Yoginijdlasamvara, 
while the Buddhist Hevajraddkinijdlasamvara again draws on the Saiva 
title Yoginijdlasamvara. 

As well as relying on Saiva nomenclature, great portions of text are 
drawn wholesale from Saiva sources. For example, Sanderson (ibid., espe- 
cially 2001b) has shown that the root Cakrasamvara scripture draws directly 
on Saiva sources in the chapter teaching how to identify and distinguish 
members of the various families; thus the Laghusamvaratantra (ch. 19) 
describes the characteristics of a class of yoginis known as "lamas" by draw- 
ing directly on the Saiva Siddhayogesvarimata (ch. 29), and on the same 
theme the root text (chs. 15-17) draws directly from the third satka of the 
Jayadrathaydmalatantra (Yoginisamcdra section, the Samaydcdracestd- 
vidhdna patala, w. 116-48); it also incorporates portions from Trika texts 
such as the Nisisamcdra and the Tantrasadbhdva. The so-called explana- 
tory tantra to the root text, the Abhidhdnottaratantra (ch. 43), has drawn 


directly on the Picumata-Brahmaydmalatantra (ch. 85) for the rules 
(samayas) that bind initiates; the Samvarodayatantra (ch. 15) draws also 
upon the Pic'umata (ch. 4) for the classification of skull bowls. As one may 
expect from such a heavy reliance upon the Saiva texts, apart from the 
stunning number of parallel verses, there is also a high degree of overlap 
in stylistic convention and stereotypical expression, such as the common 
introduction: "Next I will explain. . ." (athdtah sampravaksydmi. . .). In these 
ways, the Saiva texts serve not just to provide concrete materials on vari- 
ous topics, but become structural models for the new Buddhist composi- 
tions. This affected even the most unique element of any tantric practice, 
the mantra, which may not only be written down according to Saiva con- 
ventions for preserving mantras intact, but are themselves in the style of 
the Saiva vidyapltha {ibid. 2001b: n. 52). A clear example of Buddhist recy- 
cling and adaptation of a Saiva mantra is found in the Guhyavajravildsini- 
sddhana (GSSio) discussed below. 

Second, the Buddhist tantras have taken their wrathful and erotic ori- 
entation from Saiva praxis. The terrifying, cremation-ground character of 
the higher Buddhist tantras has its roots in Saiva mythology. According to 
the myth (described variously in the Puranas), the original skull observance 
(kdpdlavratam), or "great observance" (mahdvratam), was the result of a 
quarrel between Brahma and the Vedic form of Siva, Rudra. When Rudra 
ends the matter by plucking off Brahma's head, he finds he has commited 
the heinous crime of slaying a brahmin (brahmahatyd). He is then forced 
to undergo a period of extreme penance in which he lives in exile from soci- 
ety, dwells in cremation grounds (sites of the greatest impurity), smears 
himself with ashes of the dead, and begs for food using a bowl made of a 
human skull. Orthodox Dharmasastra (as mirrored by the myth) states that 
brahmin-slayers can only expiate their offence through a period of twelve 
years in exile, by inhabiting cremation grounds and by carrying a skull bowl 
(kapdlam) and skull staff (khatodngah) when begging food. Manu, for exam- 
ple, states that "A priest-killer should build a hut in the forest and live there 
for twelve years to purify himself, eating food that he has begged for and 
using the skull of a corpse as his flag" (11.73, trans. Doniger 1991). The 
mythical role model of the penance of Rudra became the direct inspiration 
for early ascetic cults in the atimdrga ("outer path") stream of Saivism, such 
as the Pas'upatas (dating from the second century) and in particular their 
more extreme offshoot, the Lakulas (Sanderson 1988: 664-66). Lakula as- 
cetics adopted the outer appearance and behavior of Rudra as part of a pro- 
gressive series of practices aimed at complete immersion in the god. Skull 


observances were also adopted by ascetics in the mantramarga stream of 
Saivism, who moved away from the liberationist goals of the atimarga, 
choosing instead to aim for the acquisition of supernatural power (bhogah). 
They wore bone ornaments and carried the skull staff of kapalika obser- 
vance, but modeled themselves instead upon terrifying cremation-ground 
ectypes of Siva, whom they worshiped with impure substances such as alco- 
hol, blood, and sexual fluids obtained from intercourse with a consort in 
orgiastic rites {ibid.: 667-ji). 

The Buddhist initiate into the esoteric cults of the yoginitantras likewise 
performed a skull observance, known as the "vow of the observance of 
heroes" (viracaryavrata), or the vajra (i.e., "Vajrayanist") skull observance 
(vajrakapdlikacaryavratam)? 1 As in the Saiva tradition, this was based on the 
practitioner's inner identification with his chosen deity and involved wor- 
ship of the god with impure substances. In Abhayakaragupta's description 
of the "vajra skull observance" (Sanderson 1994b: 91, 98 n. 2), the male 
practitioner wears the attributes of the Buddhist deity Cakrasamvara. He 
adorns himself with a garland of skulls, a tiger skin as lower garment, a 
brahmanical thread made of sinews or human hair, a headdress, a garland, 
a vajra, armlets, anklets, and little bells, and he visualizes his consort as 
Vajravarahl. While the Buddhist observance, like the Saiva counterpart, 
also brings the promise of supernatural attainment (siddhih), the goal is 
ultimately that of enlightenment. 

Another feature of the Vajrayogini cult that owes its origin to non- 
dualistic Saiva developments is its emphasis on the worship oifonale_deities. 
In the vidyapitha traditions of Saivism, the cremation-ground cults center 
on families of "mothers" (see p. 43): classes of wild yoginis who drink blood, 
wear skull ornaments, and are enticed by impure offerings of bodily and sex- 
ual excretions (Sanderson 1988: 67off). In this context, the central god- 
desses of the Trika rise above their male consorts in status to become the 
chief deities of the mandala, while esoteric forms of Kali emerge entirely 
from the embrace of their consorts. As a sign of her supremacy, Kali sub- 
jugates her former consort by trampling him underfoot. We will see Vajra- 
yogini and Vajravarahl rise above the male forms in the same way in the 
Buddhist tradition, and with the same iconographical symbolism. Within 
the highest Buddhist tantras, however, the iconographical borrowings take 
an unexpected turn, as it is not the deities of outmoded Buddhist systems 
that are trodden down, but the Saiva gods themselves. Thus, while the 
motif of subjugation is another example of the Buddhist reliance upon Saiva 
norms, it clearly expresses the Buddhist superiority over those norms. 



Transgressive Discipline (vamacarah) 





As in the esoteric Saiva systems, kdpdlika and sexual practices in the Bud- 
dhist tantras are grounded upon a metaphysics of nonduality. Its purpose 
is to counter the ordinary, conventional dualism of the mind that naturally 
perceives aspects of the world as either "pure" or "impure." By shattering 
these instinctive responses, kdpdlika practices radically challenge the unen- 
lightened dualistic tendencies of the mind, attacking the innate dichotomy 
of subject and object and forcing it to break through to the experience of 
a nondual reality. In both nondual systems, the underlying method is that 
of "transgressive discipline" or "conduct of the left" (vdmdcdrah). 

The "left" (vdma) in vdmdcdra refers to the left hand, which in Indian 
society is reserved for impure bodily functions and signifies impurity. The 
rites of the highest tantras, however, specifically prescribe the use of the left 
hand. This forms a powerful contradiction of cultural norms that refy on 
the use of the rig hthand to mai ntain purity. Use of the left hand, especially 
within a ritual context, was from an orthodox standpoint, nothing short of 
socioreligious iconoclasm. Because orthodox brahmanical society relied 
upon the strictest preservation of purity, transgressive discipline set out to 
undermine sanctified distinctions between pure and impure wherever pos- 
sible, embracing deeply felt taboos and relishing contact with sources of 
the greatest impurity. Thus, by taking place in cremation grounds, and 
requiring ornaments of human bone, kdpdlika observances place the prac- 
titioner in contact with that gravest source of impurity: death. Many high- 
est tan trie rites also involve the use of impure substances such as alcohol and 
bodily fluids, either for drinking or for washing. Sexual regulations, tradi- 
tionally essential to the preservation of class and caste structures, are also 
overturned. Texts that prescribe sexual yogic practices often recommend the 
use of consorts from the most taboo groups such as close relatives, or 
untouchable and contaminated classes 1 — a fact reflected in the names of 
goddess consorts such as Saundini, 2. female from the liquor-selling caste 
(GSS11 v. 51O. The ideal consort is erotically provocative. Abhayakaragupta 
states that, if possible, a consort should be young and beautiful, as well as 
an initiate {samayini; lit: "holder of the pledge"). 63 Sanderson (1995) has 
commented on the difference between the two tantric traditions, stating 
that "If there is a significant difference between the iconographies of the 
rival systems, it is that the Buddhist is more explicitly erotic than the 
Saiva.... In internalising the image of Saivism, the Buddhist has exagger- 
ated it." Transgressive discipline is central to the practices and iconography 



of Vajrayogini. She is to be visualized within a cremation ground, naked but 
for ornaments of bone, and not only sexually empassioned, but "streaming" 
with blood (n. 382); a provocative juxtaposition given the traditional pre- 
scriptions that strictly separate intercourse and menstruation (e.g., Manu, 

Within the context of the ordained Buddhist sangha, prescriptions for 
sexual practices were (if possible) even more radical in that they required a 
deliberate, yet legitimate, inversion of the celibate monastic code. In this 
way, transgressive discipline not only overturns embedded cultural norms, 
it intentionally challenges the fundamental ethical and doctrinal tenets of 
Buddhism. Rather than eradicating the "poisons" (klesas) of lust (rdgah) 
and wrath (dvesah), as traditional Buddhism would have it, the yogin is to 
use his passions as a means of eradicating all defilements. The highest tantras 
explain this type of practice as operating through a "homeopathic cure" 
(Snellgrove's translation of viparitausadhikalpandt, HT2.2.47); it works on 
the same analogy as the curing of poison with another dose of poison, of 
flatulence by eating beans, of burns by heat, and so on (HT2.2.46-49). In 
the same way, the poison of passion is said to be cured by passion 
(HT2.2.5iab). In fact, "By whatever sin [ordinary] beings go to lower realms, 
by that same 'sin' a yogin quickly attains success." 64 

The first work in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld ends with some typical 
tantric verses in praise of vdmdcdra. These begin with a pun on the word 
vdma (left) /vdmd (woman); they then describe how socioreligious norms 
governing religious rituals and commensalism are to be broken, and instinc- 
tive notions of impurity put aside. The passage ends with a reminder that 
the "cure" worked by vdmdcdra functions on the metaphysical plane 
through the principle of nondualism: 65 

(v. 4) The entire universe, the three worlds including the ani- 
mate and inanimate, have arisen from the left (vdma-) (or: have 
arisen from woman, vdmd^) . The yogin whose discipline is always 
transgressive should step out with his left foot in front [when 
starting to walk] , he should make offerings with the left hand, — 

(v. 5) gratify deities and eat food with the left. The observance 
of five classes [namely, the four classes plus "untouchables"] is 
considered to be as one class. 

(v. 6) One should abandon [notions of] "to be eaten" or "not 
to be eaten" [with regard to solid substances], and "to be drunk" 


[or "not to be drunk" with regard to liquids], [and all] inhibition 
and shame. The yogin is free of all conceptualizations and has put 
aside all dualities, for he should dwell like a lion with the "assem- 
blies of the net of yoginis" (yoginijdlasamvaraih). 

The Emergence ofVajrayogini 

These developments in the nondual Saiva and highest Buddhist tantras 
provided the fertile soil in which the cults of female deities took root. The 
cremation grounds and mountainous wilds in which the deities of the 
higher tantras dwelt were the locus of powerful female spirits such as yoginis 
and dakinls and other classes of demonic female (which in Saivism included 
s'dkinis, yaksinis, and rdksasis) . 66 Dakinls are protean, flying, witchlike 
beings. 67 Their association with tantric practice had been longstanding — 
Sircar (1948: 105), for example, cites an early fifth-century Vaisnava inscrip- 
tion in a temple in Mandasor that describes "a terrible abode, full of 
dakinls." The aim of much tantric yogic practice was to access the power 
of these terrible spirits by delighting them with the transgressive offerings, 
including offerings of sexual fluids, and inducing them to serve the yogin's 
own interests. On the yogini cults of the nondual Saiva Trika, Sanderson 
(1988: 671) writes, "The goal of the initiate was to force or entice these 
yoginis to gather before him and receive him into their band (yoginiganah), 
sharing with him their miraculous powers and esoteric knowledge." 
Although the goddesses generally inhabited the power seats {pithas) asso- 
ciated with the cremation grounds, they were also believed to possess 
women "and thereby to enter into the most intimate contact with their 
devotees" (ibid.). Human or divine, s'aktis were divided into recognizable 
classes and families, the predominant being those of the eight families of 
the "mothers" (mdtr/mdtrkd), namely Brahmi (or Brahmanl), Rudrani (or 
Mahesvarl), Kaumarl, Vaisnavi, Varahl, Indrani (or Aindrl), Camunda, and 
Mahalaksmi (Sanderson 1998: 672; Heilijgers-Seelen 1994: 102). 

In Buddhist sources, the taming of these powerful forces is a major theme 
of the legendary accounts of tantric adepts or siddhas. Mahasiddha Kambala, 
for example, confronted a whole assembly of dakini witches, forcing them 
to spew up the fragments of his woolen blanket, which they had cunningly 
stolen — and then eaten (Dudjom 1991: 486-87; Dowman 1985: 180-83). In 
common with the Saiva sdkta traditions, female spirits were particularly asso- 
ciated with the semimythical Oddiyana, a place name traditionally related 


to the word ddkini, and thus to flight. 68 Oddiyana is described in the Leg- 
ends as a kingdom divided into two halves, Sambhala and Lankapuri, each 
having two hundred and fifty thousand towns. King Indrabhuti ruled Sam- 
bhala, while Lankapuri was under the dominion of King Jalendra who mar- 
ried Indrabhuti's sister, Laksmlnkara. As for its geographical location, on 
the authority of the Buddha himself (as reported in the Blue Annals: 361), 
the kingdom of Indrabhuti is located "in the northern quarter, in s'ri Vajra- 
sthana Oddiyana." 69 According to the legendary tales, dakinis make many 
magical appearances in Oddiyana. In one version of Ghantapada's life, the 
adept travels to this land through divine intervention, where he encounters 
a female swineherd who becomes his instructress and later transpires to be 
none other than Vajravarahi herself (Dowman 1985: 273). Because yoginis 
were believed to take human form in this way, they were considered to be 
ideal consorts for yogins engaged in sexual yogic practice. Large portions of 
the redaction from Saiva sources in the Cakrasamvara corpus concern the 
signs by which adepts may recognize and communicate with females belong- 
ing to one or other of the yogini or dakini families. 70 Because the vajra fam- 
ily is that to which the heruka forms of the yoginltantras belong, the human 
consorts of the vajra class were particularly valued. The Hevajratantra 
(HT1.6.8-9) recommends a girl from the vajra family (vajrakanyd) as the 
ideal consort (failing which, the text adds, one may be taken from the fam- 
ily of one's chosen deity, or from some other family). 

The way in which Buddhist yoginis are differentiated from female spir- 
its of other tantric systems is by the characteristic tag vajra, the distin- 
guishing mark of nondual Vajrayana Buddhism. They thus become known 
as vajra-y oginis and vajra-dakinis. A commentarial text in the Guhya- 
samayasddhanamdld opens by explaining the word vajra in vajrayogini'm just 
these terms: "[The word] vajra serves to exclude (nirdkaranam) the yoginis 
of the heretics and so forth." 71 The term vaj ray ogini was thus generic and 
denoted females — human or divine — who were analyzed in tantric texts 
by character and appearance into their various classes and families. As a 
solo deity, Vajrayogini is the vajra-yogini par excellence, "leader of the 
yogini hordes." 72 That she, too, has a generic quality emerges from the texts 
of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. The great majority of sadhanas begin 
with a salutation to Vajrayogini, or name Vajrayogini in a benedictory verse 
or introductory statement. However, less than a third of the forms subse- 
quently described in the visualization are actually named "Vajrayogini." 
We will see that most receive a different appellation and prove to be icono- 
graphically distinct. 


Before we move on to look at the different forms of VajrayoginI, it is 
important to note that her cult is but one of many female deity cults within 
the highest Buddhist tantras. Other vajra-yoginis had also emerged, cen- 
tering on female figures drawn from both exoteric and esoteric traditions. 
Some had been important female buddhas or bodhisattvas in their own 
right, or had appeared as relatively minor goddesses in their mandalas but 
had now taken on tantric forms and become the focus of tantric worship. 
Others had been consorts to major male deities and had gradually risen in 
status to occupy the center of tantric mandalas, with their male consort 
expelled. Many of the characteristics we find in the cult of Vajrayogini are 
also found among such deities. They, too, draw upon the stock of tantric — 
often Saiva-imported — imagery and method that existed within the high- 
est Buddhist tantras; and within their individual cults, they also manifest 
in different ways, rich with varying iconographical forms and siddhi-related 
rites. There is a great deal of overlap between some of these manifestations 
and the forms of Vajrayogini. 

A plethora of tantric forms, for example, center on the well-known fig- 
ure of Tara, and these in themselves provide ample evidence for the abun- 
dance of female deity cults in India. Indeed, tantric manifestations of Tara 
have so many forms that they would need a whole book to themselves. One 
such is Vajratara, subject of a handful of lengthy sadhanas (e.g., SM93-97), 
including one by Ratnakaras'anti (SM110) who has a number different 
forms. Another is Janguli (SM117-22), famous for protecting from snakebite 
(e.g., SM118 p. 247) and invoked during the construction of monasteries 
(Tanemura 2002: 6y n. 1), perhaps for this reason. Yet another is Ugratara 
or "Fierce Tara" (also known as Tara of "Great China," Mahacinatara 
SM100— 102), whom we have already noted shares a temple with Vajra- 
yogini in Sankhu, Nepal. There is also the irresistible Kurukulla (SM171-90; 
Beyer 1978: 301-10). Red in color, and poised to shoot a bow and arrow 
made of flowers, she is particularly associated with rites of love and subju- 
gation, characteristics we will also see among the forms of Vajrayogini. Two 
of Tara's former attendants (in her peaceful Khadiravani-Tara form) also 
rise to prominence in the tantric traditions as central deities in their own 
right, and both illustrate once again the way in which their tantric practices 
overlap with those of Vajrayogini. Ekajata is represented by only five 
sadhanas in the Sddhanamdld (SM123-27), but these describe about the 
same number of forms, including an extremely fierce manifestation with 
twenty-four arms and twelve heads; this sadhana ends with the visualiza- 
tion of a classic two-armed form of Vajrayogini at one's heart — red, fierce, 


and dancing in the ardhaparyanka pose (SM123 p. 259). Of even more obvi- 
ous significance to the cult of Vajravarahi is the goddess Marici who has six- 
teen sadhanas in the Sadhanamala (SM132-47), and one in the 
Nispannayogavali (no. 17). Within this small but diverse collection, over 
half a dozen forms of Marici emerge, with multiplicities of heads, arms, 
and legs. Like most forms of Vajravarahi, Marici is also presided over by 
Vairocana, but her most striking similarity with Vajravarahi is the hog motif 
that permeates her iconography. She has a chariot drawn by seven hogs (so 
that she is frequently compared to Surya, the Indian sun god, whose char- 
iot is drawn by seven horses), and several of her subsidiary heads may be 
hogs' heads. Even in her single-headed form she said to "have the form of 
a hog" (SM141 p. 289: sukararupa-) . She also has four attendants who are 
all hog-headed, one of whom is called "Hog-Face," Varahamukhi. The ter- 
rifying presence of the hog's head, in both cases, does not preclude the god- 
dess' association with erotic forms of practice. Marici's attributes include a 
branch of an As'oka tree, as well as the bow and flowery arrow, and a hook 
and noose, all of which indicate the mode of attraction and love (and by 
association, the power to subjugate and bring others under one's control). 
Although she has many characteristics of a cremation-ground deity, Marici's 
sadhanas usually state that she is to be visualized within a caitya (two more 
of her attributes are a needle and thread, part of a monk's domestic pos- 
sessions), which is possibly why so many early statues of Marici remain 
from the Buddhist monastic sites of India. 73 Plate 5 depicts a fairly late 
Tibetan statue of a goddess identified by von Schroeder (2001: 1054) as 
Marici ('Od zer can ma). She has a single hog's head and four arms, iden- 
tical, in fact, to our hog-headed, four-armed form of Vajravarahi called 
Vajraghona, who also holds a vajra and hook (right) and a skull bowl and 
noose (left), with a staff tucked into her left shoulder. 

Many other examples of female deity cults could also be given, all bear- 
ing strong resemblances to that of Vajrayogini. Nairatmya, like Vajravarahi, 
is another example of a consort to a preeminent heruka deity, in this case, 
Hevajra. She emerges in her own right as the heroine of her own mandala 
based on Hevajra lines, as a handful of sadhanas in the Sadhanamala and 
Nispannayogavali testify. 74 Her form, while blue in color and without a hog's 
head, is very similar to that of the ardhaparyanka Vajravarahi. A wonderful 
illustration of a blue dakini in this pose is the early thangka from Khara 
Khoto in plate 3 (Nairatmya has the blue, earth-touching Buddha Aksobhya 
on her headdress, indicating that she belongs to the vajra family). Vajra- 


yoginl also has connections with another Aksobhya-family heruka, called 
Mahamaya. The tradition of Mahamaya emphasizes the transcendence of the 
feminine principle in an unusual manner. Despite being a male deity, his 
name is feminine in gender, and he is referred to as "the mother of all 

guhyakas" His consort is BuddhadakinI — "dakini of the Buddha(s)" and 

he is worshiped in embrace with her at the center of a mandala of four dakinis 
(who also appear elsewhere within a mandala of a wrathful black form of 
Vajravarahl). 75 VajrayoginI herself appears in one instance as BuddhadakinI 
within the Trikaya VajrayoginI sadhanas, and her main mantra includes the 
invocation of the mantra deity, Sarvabuddhadakinl. This epithet is in itself 
telling. While it is not the name of any independent form of VajrayoginI, 
according to the Indian sources I have seen, it clearly asserts that — at least 
within the VajrayoginI cult — VajrayoginI is understood to be the "dakini of 
all buddhas"; that is, she is the supreme manifestation of a Buddhist dakini, 
the preeminent vajra-yoginl, and the summation of all tan trie female deities. 

The Emergence of Vajravarahl .-- 

The most common form of VajrayoginI in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld 
is Vajravarahl. Hailed as VajrayoginI in the salutation of most of the 
Vajravarahl sadhanas, Vajravarahl is regarded as essentially the same as 
VajrayoginI; that is, as a vajra-yoginl: "from inside that [dharmodayd] arises 
the goddess Varahl who is VajrayoginI [or: Varahl who is a vajra-yoginl]."^ 6 
Vajravarahl's name means "vajra-hog" (vardhah is a hog or boar), or "Bud- 
dhist"-Varahl. Her origins lie in the brahmanical goddess, Varahl, who was 
widely worshiped as one of the seven or eight mothers (mdtrkds); indeed, 
she is still worshiped as such in Nepal, although clearly distinguished from 
the Buddhist goddess, Vajravarahl (Gellner 1992: 96, Bautze-Picron 2000). 
Usually portrayed with the single face of a hog or a boar, the brahmanical 
Varahl is the female counterpart of Varaha, Visnu's avatara as a boar. She 
is often four-armed, holding hook or goad (left), noose (right), and ham- 
mer or mace and spear, and she is pot-bellied, fierce and powerful, invoked 
to destroy enemies (Biihnemann 200oi: 120-21; Donaldson 1995: I58ff). 
The Buddhist deity inherits her wrathful character and, just as Varahl with 
her gruesome head, is intended to inspire terror in her enemies, so 
Vajravarahl's character is fierce and wrathful. 

Like Varahl, Vajravarahl does not always appear with a hog's head, but 


in one of the commonest forms of Vajravarahl, a snarling hog's head 
attached sideways to the right of her head can be seen. Fearsome animal- 
headed forms are traditionally associated with protection, and this seems to 
be the purpose of the characteristic hog's head in Vajravarahi's iconogra- 
phy. None of the Sanskrit sadhanas add anything more on its significance 
or symbolism, although the pig is traditionally associated in Buddhism with 
the root poison of ignorance (mohah), and Tibetan literature reads Vajra- 
varahi's hog's head as the sublimation of that passion (e.g., Simmer-Brown 
2001: 142). I have seen only one passing reference in Sanskrit sources in this 
connection: a goddess, Pramoha ("Deluder"), appears in an early yogini- 
type mandala who is said to have the face of the "primal boar" (i.e., Visnu 
as Varaha) with a "deluding gaze." Even here, however, the text's empha- 
sis is upon her wrathful character. 77 Wrathful tantric deities are said to be 
"fearful to fear itself — or "dangerous to danger itself" (e.g., HT2.5.8: 
bhayasydpi bhaydnakam) — and thus their wrath is understood to be an 
expression of their great compassion. Vajravarahl, in common with other 
tantric deities, is described as "terrifying (bhisand) with anger [which is in 
fact displayed out of] compassion (karundkrodba)."^ 8 

The hog-faced goddess seems to have entered Buddhist scripture in the 
yogatantras. In the Sarvatathdgatatattvasamgraha (ch. 6: 60), Varahi is 
named as one of the Saiva all-mothers {sarvamdtrs) located in the hell 
regions, who upon her conversion to the Buddhist mandala by Vajrapani 
assumes the name Vajramukhl ("Vajra Face"). In the yoginltantras, a hog- 
faced goddess "Varahi" appears in Heruka mandalas as one of many atten- 
dant goddesses, such as those surrounding the Yamari forms in the 
Krsnayamdritantra and commentary. As we have seen above, she is also one 
of a set of hog-faced attendants to Marici, along with the hog-faced 
Vart(t)ali, who is another form of the brahmanical Varahi and also associ- 
ated with protection (Biihnemann op. cit.: 152-54). Vajravarahl assumes 
greater importance in the mandalas when she becomes the consort of the 
central Heruka manifestation; and in this role, her iconography changes. 
She appears in the Hevajratantra at the end of its proto-sadhana (HT1.3) 
as the "wisdom" (prajnd) consort of an alternative form of Hevajra with four 
arms. Here she is described as having the same form as her lord, that is, blue 
in color, and holding the skull bowl and vajra in her free hands (HT1.3.17)' 
but without any mention of a hog's head. She is also described as an alter- 
native consort to Hevajra in a couple of mandalas in the Nispannayogdvali- 
But Vajravarahl really takes center stage within the Heruka mandalas only 
when she is taken up as consort to Cakrasamvara. The tantric systems cen- 


tered on Cakrasamvara worship him as a blue, Heruka, Bhairava-type deity 
with twelve arms, who holds Vajravarahl in embrace (plate 11). Here the 
goddess assumes her own distinctive form, once again without any hog's 
head. She is red, two-armed, and maddened with lust. In her right hand she 
holds a vajra, and in her left she raises aloft a skull bowl overflowing with 
blood, which she pours into the open mouth of her lord so that he may 
drink. Vajravarahl remains the consort of Cakrasamvara when he manifests 
in other guises, such as the form of Vajrasattva-Jnanadaka at the center of 
the Satcakravartimandala from the Abhidhdnottaratantra, in which the 
central couple is surrounded by five daka-buddhas. Here she is named var- 
iously Jnanadakini, Jnanadhatvlsvarl, or Vajravarahl {Nispannayogdvall: 
79). Her iconographic form tends to change in response to the form 
assumed by Cakrasamvara. For example, when she appears as consort of 
the six-armed Saptaksara manifestation of Cakrasamvara, she likewise has 
six arms and nearly identical attributes, except that she holds a bow and 
arrow where Cakrasamvara holds a flayed human skin (SM251: 491). In yet 
another tantric tradition, Vajravarahl is consort to the Heruka form of 

As the yogini cults took root, Vajravarahl becomes the leader of the 
mandala in her own right. Our survey of mandalas in the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld shows her to be the central deity, both in embrace with Cakra- 
samvara, and more commonly as a "solitary heroine" (ekavlrd) without any 
consort. Here we find that Vajravarahl is capable of manifesting a number 
of different forms, and that she assumes something of the generic quality 
associated with Vajrayoginl. In Vijayavajra's Vajrayoginisddhana (GSS35), 
for example, Vajravarahl is the subject of the salutation, while Vajrayoginl 
is actually the deity of the visualization. Elsewhere, a commentator states 
that all dakinis are born in the Varahi family. 80 Despite the richness of its 
iconography, the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld\s by no means exhaustive, and 
there were doubtless many variations of Vajravarahl in other works of tantric 
literature and art. (For example, an eighteenth-century Nepalese tangka 
shows a rare image of Vajravarahl with six arms and four variously colored 
hogs' heads attached to her central human face; Kreiger 1999, plate 22.) 
One of the most classic forms of Vajravarahl is that described in the 
Vajravarahl Sddhana by Umapatideva (GSSn), the subject of our study in 
chapter 3. This sadhana centers on the warrior-stance form of Vajravarahl 
with no hog's head. Both wrathful and erotic in character, she stands in the 
center of a retinue of yoginis within a thirty-seven- fold mandala. 


Dancing-Pose (ardhaparyanka) Vajravarahl 

One of the main manifestations of Vajrayogini is as Vajravarahl in the half- 
paryanka (ardhaparyanka) pose. This is the posture in which she stands 
upon her left leg, deeply flexed, and bends her right leg so that the sole of 
her foot rests upon her left thigh. She is dancing the wild tandava dance of 
Siva at the end of the aeon. Dance (ndtyam) plays a large part within clas- 
sical Indian notions of dramatic art, and Buddhist tantric deities (follow- 
ing Saiva norms) are often said to be equipped with the nine dramatic 
sentiments (rasas)* 1 Vajravarahl appears with this form in the two opening 
sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasadhanamald, in two very similar texts, both 
ascribed to key tantric authorities. The Oral Tradition of Vajrayogini ( Vajra- 
yoginimukhagama GSSi) is ascribed to Indrabhuti (and elsewhere to Sahara, 
see appendix), and the Vajrayoginlsddhana (GSS2) to Luyipada. Drawing 
on this older material, the Abhisamayamanjarl (GSS5 Sed p. 152, Y^,jr^) 
also includes the form, as do two of the self-consecration (svddhisthdna) 
sadhanas (GSS32 Kio6n, GSS34 Kii2r6). 82 

In the West, the dancing image is perhaps the best known iconograph- 
ical form of Vajravarahl. In fact, B. Bhattacharyya (1924/1985:156) was so 
misled by its prevalence as to state that Vajravarahl and Vajrayogini are sep- 
arate goddesses with individual stances: the ardhaparyanka pose for 
Vajravarahl, and the warrior (dlldhah) stance for Vajrayogini — although 
the Guhyasamayasadhanamald sadhanas clearly show that both poses are 
used for both deities (and that the distinction between the two forms is 
anyway not so simple). Rather confusingly, von Schroeder invents the des- 
ignation, "Vas'ya Vajravarahl" for ardhaparyanka forms of Vajravarahl 
holding the chopper, although this is without any valid textual basis. 83 
Examples of the dancing Vajravarahl are reproduced here in plates 1, 4, and 
8, and others are published elsewhere. 84 A couple of very similar versions 
of this form also appear among the Mongolian icons (fig. 3 below), based 
on two almost identical sadhanas in the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa (Willson and 
Brauen 2000: 257-58, 259). The first is the "two-faced Vajravarahl in the 
dPyal tradition" (rDo rje phag mo zhal gnyis ma dpyal lugs) whose right 
hand holds the chopper facing outward; 85 the second is the form of 
Vajravarahl associated with Indrabhuti, " [two-] faced Varahi, Indra[bhuti]'s 
dakini" (Phag mo zhal gnyis ma Indra mkha spyod), whose right hand holds 
the chopper facing inward. The latter is one of a set of three dakinis (mKha ' 
spyod skor gsum = khecari cycle) comprising the forms of Vajrayogini 
associated with Naropa, Maitripa, and Indrabhuti. 86 Both forms of the 



dancing Vajravarahl are said in the Tibetan sadhanas to be presided over 
by Aksobhya. 


Fig. 3. Indradakini 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 79, LC 589) 

It is this form of Vajravarahl that demonstrates her name, "Vajra Hog" or 
"Vajra Boar," since her distinguishing feature is the small hog's or boar's face 
that protudes from the right of her head as her eponymous characteristic. As 
if to emphasize the terrifying nature of the hog's head, our texts add that her 
main face is "angry." She brandishes a vajra chopper aloft in her right hand, 
and in the left she holds a skull bowl to her heart. Her other attributes are the 
tantric bone ornaments typical of a cremation-ground goddess known as the 
sect marks, or signs of observance (mudrds; see ch. 3). Here (in GSSi=GSS2) 
she wears five mudras: a chaplet, earrings, necklace, armlets, and girdle, all of 
bone found in a cremation ground. As leader of a mandala (in GSS34), she 
wears the sixth mudra also from a cremation ground: ash. There is no men- 
tion of a skull staffer corpse throne in any of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld 
sources — although these do appear in some artistic representations of the 
goddess. 87 The influence of esoteric Saivism is evident in the five skulls upon 
Vajravarahi's headdress, which are described as the "five Brahmas." 88 

Despite her wrathful nature, the iconography of the goddess is also 
overtly erotic. She is red like the China rose, "lovely with fresh youth," and 
with "charming plump arms and feet." 89 The letters of her mantra are to be 
visualized within a dharmodaya that is located inside the goddess's sex; it is 
red in color, blazing, full to the brim with syllables, and whirling around 
'like a potter's wheel." 90 This visualization is externalized in a rite prescribed 
by Indrabhuti (GSSi K8or5) that mirrors the vision of the whirling mantra 
syllables. The yogin draws the dharmodaya onto a stainless vessel containing 


a paste of saffron and vermilion powder, inside which the mantra is written 
letter by letter. By the side of this he places a "swirl of bliss" (nandydvartah), 
makes both traditional and transgressive offerings, and then performs the 
worship of a young virgin (kumdrl), the kumdrlpujd. The only other pre- 
scription in this text is that the rite is to be conducted on parvan days, here 
the tenth day of the lunar month. 91 Another text in the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld (GSS33) adds that the worship of the kumdrl may be per- 
formed either "internally" (imaginatively) or externally: 92 

On the tenth or eighth night of the light or dark [phase of the 
moon] , he should always worship a virgin (kumdrlm), imagined 
to be [Vajrayogini under the synonym] Suruyogini. Internally 
(svdntar) he should worship her at his side, externally (bdhye) [he 
should worship her] at the center within a mandala (cakra-) drawn 
[on the ground]. [He should worship her] according to the pledge 
(samvare) of the Cakrasamvara [mandala of] heroes and hero- 
ines. He should worship [her] with whatever foods and delicacies 
[he can] , also with [edibles] of the best to be licked and sucked. 

The goddess's main mantra — the "utterance" mantra (japamantrah) or 
root mantra (mulamantrah) — is a combination of the main mantras for the 
warrior-stance Vajravarahl (p. 179). Thus it includes the name elements 
Vajravairocani (from the heart mantra) and Sarvabuddhadakini and 
Vajravarnani (from the auxiliary heart mantra): 

om om om 

sarvabuddhaddkinlye vajravarnnanlye vajrabairocaniye 

hum hum hum phat phat phat svdhd 

In order to preserve the mantra in its correct form, some Buddhist authors 
adopted the Saiva practice of transcribing the mantra in code within the text 
and then giving instructions for the letter-by-letter "extraction" (uddhdrah) 
of each of its syllables. 93 This method is adopted by our two opening 
sadhanas, and accredited to a scriptural source, the Samvardrnavatantra. 
The text first describes the drawing ofzprastdra, or "spread"; this is a dia- 
gram split into individual cells, the number of which is described (possibly 
intentionally) in rather cryptic terms (n. 95). These begin with a single cell 
at the bottom, three above that, five above that, and so on to thirteen, which 
forms the shape of an inverted triangle (as shown in table 4). The text 


explains that the letters of the alphabet are to be written into each cell. 
Thus, we find that the prastdra echoes the visualization of the mantra 
described above, as it takes the inverted triangular "E" shape of the dharmo- 
dayd, or woman's sex, filled with "whirling" syllables. The author then 
explains where each syllable of the mantra is to be found by providing a 
cipher known as the "extraction of the mantra" (mantroddharah). First, the 
text explains, the mantrin must find the letter in the cell above the "tha" 
(itself found on the second line). This turns out to be ^ ("o"), which he 
must "adorn" with a dot ° within a semicircle ~ to form the nasal ending, 
thus producing # (om), the first syllable of the mantra; he should do this 
three times. Continuing in this way, the text explains how to "extract" the 
whole mantra from the diagram: 94 

Further, I shall teach the performance of the supreme rite of the 
extraction of mantras (mantroddhdra-). The lovely triangular 
mandala is produced from the vajrdralli known as the origin of 
existents (dharmodayd), also as the woman's sex. On it he should 
write in sequence the eight sound-groups (vargas) according to 
their division into vowels and consonants. The arrangement of 
the cells (kosthah) [in the diagram] is to be done sequentially 
according to the teaching [by dividing them up as follows:] one 
[cell at the bottom], three [cells above that], five, seven, [and] nine 
[cells respectively above that] , and eleven [cells on the topmost 
line]. 95 Beginning with [the letter] a [in line one at the bottom, 
the yogin should draw in] the syllables [of the alphabet] on all 
sides up to and including [the letter] ha, in a clockwise direc- 
tion, as described in the Samvardrnavatantra. 

[The method of extracting the mantra is as follows:] He should 
form the letter above tha "three times" (trigunitam), adorned 
with dot and semicircle [i.e., om om om], etc. 

The mantra as extracted: GSS mantra: 

om om om om om om 

sarvabuddhaddkiniye sarvabuddhaddkiniye 

bajravarnnaniye vajravarnanlye 

bajrabairocaniye % vajravairocaniye 

hum hum hum hum hum hum 

phat phat phat svdhd phat phat phat svdhd 



\ f / \ 
\ / r 






am/ \ 

ka / \ ga / 
\ /kha\ / 

\ u 







/ \ na 


/ \g na / 
P a \/ 







sa / \ 
\ /pha 

na / 

, I 


\ ya 

/ ha 


/ \ ca 
ba\ / 





cha / 



j a 

Table 4. Root mantra ofVajrayogini 

(The key for the extraction of the mantra ofVajrayogini) 

Twelve-Armed Vajravarahi in Dancing Pose 

Another dancing, \12M-paryanka pose form of Vajravarahi appears in the 
Sadhana of the Twelve-Armed Vajravarahi (Dvadasabhujavajravarahl- 
sadhana GSS7) , redacted from the VarahyabhyudayatantralAbhidhanottara- 
tantra (see the appendix). This solitary heroine is modeled upon 
twelve-armed Cakrasamvara and occupies the center of a mandala also based 
upon a Cakrasamvara model. 97 

As may be expected, twelve-armed Vajravarahi takes on many of the 
iconographical features of her former consort (plate 11). 98 There are, how- 
ever, notable differences. Discarding Cakrasamvara's ax and skull bowl, she 
makes the flame mudra (jvaldmudra) at her forehead; she holds the vajra 
and bell in the gesture of embrace, revolving them in the "lotus-turning" 
gesture (kamaldvartamudra), and also replaces his trident with a hook or 




goad (ankusah/vajrdnkusah). Her four faces, like his, take on the colors asso- 
ciated with the cardinal directions — black (east), green (north), red (west), 
and yellow (south) — but her eastern face assumes a form that is male on one 
side of its central axis and female on the other (ardhandris'vari).^ Upon her 
headdress she wears Cakrasamvara's distinguishing sickle moon, and a dou- 
ble vajra at the center of the chaplet of skulls and vajras. In keeping with 
her position as leader of the mandala, she wears all six signs of observance 
(mudrds). Her hair flies loose and she is "mad with lust." She is depicted 
according to these prescriptions in figure 4, trampling the corpses of 
Bhairava and Kalaratri. 100 

Fig. 4. Twelve-armed Vajravdrdhi 
Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka 

Table 5. Attributes of Twelve-armed Vajravarahi 

Cakrasamvara Vajravarahi 






1st pair 

Elephant skin 

Elephant skin 

Human skin 

Human skin 

2nd pair 





3rd pair 




Skull and staff? 

4th pair 



Flame gesture 

Flame gesture 

5th pair 








Brahma's head 


Brahma's head 


Having visualized himself as twelve-armed Vajravarahl, the yogin then 
generates her mandala. This contains forty-one goddesses, the same deities 
as those in the thirty-seven-fold mandala, but with the addition of the four 
mothers, Mamaki, Locana, Pandaravasini, and Tara. A Tibetan painting of 
the mandala, based upon the Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra (though with some 
variations in the artistic depiction of the deities), is shown in plate 13. Because 
the text of GSS7 is both curtailed and corrupt (see appendix), I draw upon 
the Abhidhdnottaratantra and the reconstructed text of the Vdrdhyabhyu- 
dayatantra (w. 55-85) in the following summary of the practice. 

On the four petals surrounding the central deity, the practitioner visu- 
alizes the goddesses — Dakini, etc. — but with fierce, therianthropic forms. 
Dakini (on the eastern petal) has a lion's face, Lama (north) the face of a 
hog, Khandaroha (west), that of an elephant, and RupinI (south), that of 
a horse. These goddesses are protean (visvarupini-) kdpdlikd deities, with 
three eyes and loose hair, and are seen naked, dancing in the ardhaparyanka 
pose, with Bhairava and Kalaratri beneath their feet. They hold skull and 
staff in two of their four arms, and the head [of Brahma] and a chopper 
in the other pair. On each intermediate petal rests an ornate white vase, 
topped by a skull bowl containing the nectars, "semen, etc." (bodhicittddi- 

Around the central lotus in the cardinal directions are four multicolored 
lotuses. Upon these reside the four mothers: Mamaki, Locana, Tara, and 
Pandaravasini. Mamaki, on the eastern lotus, is the presiding lady (kules- 
vari) of the vajra (Aksobhya) family, and has three colors (i.e., three faces 
of three colors): black, white, and red. Locana, to the North, presides over 
the karma (Amoghasiddhi) family, with faces of green, white, and red. Tara, 
on the western lotus, is head of the padma (Amitabha) family; her faces are 
red, yellow, and green. Pandaravasini, to the south, is leader of the s'asvata 
(Vairocana) family, with white, blue, and red faces. The mothers are naked, 
wearing only a garland of heads, and all the skull and bone ornaments, 
including — as leaders in their own right — the sixth mudra of smeared ash. 
Underfoot, they dance upon the four maras. They have six arms, and among 
their attributes, they hold the particular emblem (cihnam) of their family: 
the vajra, double vajra, red lotus, and wheel respectively. These emblems 
are probably clasped to their hearts, above a skull bowl held in the oppo- 
site hand. In another pair of hands they hold a head and either a damaru 
or a bell (the texts are all corrupt at this point, and the details in plate 13 are 
not very clear); with the final pair, they wield a vajra and chopper, while 
the staff is tucked into the crook of their left arms. 


The four lotuses upon which the mothers stand each have six petals, and 
upon those the meditator sees a further six goddesses. These twenty-four 
deities are exactly those of the wheels of body, speech, and mind in the 
thirty-seven-deity mandala of Vajravarahi (as described in the Vajravarahi 
Sddhana). Just as in that visualization, the goddesses are understood to 
reside in the sacred sites (prthas), so here the six petals of each lotus are to 
be understood to be those twenty-four sites. The practioner is to install 
(nyaset) each goddess upon each petal in turn. Assuming this visualization 
proceeds counterclockwise (see n. 441), the sequence is that given in figure 
5, and the correlations with the sites the same as table 23 below. All these 
deities exhibit a typical kapalika iconography as they dance, naked but for 
the five mudras, upon the backs of corpses. Like their mandala leader, they 
are also "half-male, half-female" (ardhanarisvari), their two sides (perhaps 
just their faces) variously visualized as white and green (on the eastern lotus), 
black and yellow (on the northern lotus), red and yellow (on the western 
lotus), and yellow and red (on the southern lotus). In their four arms they 
brandish a bowl and staff, with a damaru and their familial attribute. The 
visualization of this part of the mandala is only complete when the medi- 
tator sees each of the four lotuses rimmed with the appropriate attribute: a 
ring of vajras in the east, of wheels (?) in the north, lotuses in the west, and 
double vajras (?) in the south; 101 and in the intermediate directions ("in the 
corners") a double vajra. The central lotus is also surrounded by its own 
ring, here of vajras, and this whole part of the mandala (the central lotus 
plus the four surrounding lotuses) are finally protected by a ring of corpses 
and vajras. In plate 13 (a key for which is given on figure 5) these outer rims 
are shown only with empty white circumferences. 

The deities of the outer mandala are similar in type. They are also bitonal: 
Kakasya, black and red; Ulukasya, green and red; Svanasya, yellow and grey; 
and Sukarasya, green and blue. In addition to the usual kapalika iconogra- 
phy, they are to be visualized as "dwarfish in shape and squint-eyed" (K42r6; 
vamanakarah kekaras ca; cf. Varahyabhyudayatantrav. 74c). In the corners 
of the outer mandala stand Yamadadhi, YamadutI, Yamadamstrini, and 
YamamathanI, but assuming terrible animal-headed forms of the buffalo, 
ass, camel, and horse respectively. All the outer deities wield skull bowls and 
the heads of Brahma (left) and choppers and damarus (right), with staves 
tucked into the crooks of the left arms. 

The rites and meditations that follow are very similar to those described 
for the thirty-seven-deity mandala in the Vajravarahi Sddhana. Thus, 
having completed the visualization of the mandala, the yogin imagines 



himself worshiping all the deities with the traditional (nonesoteric) offer- 
ings. He also contemplates the mandala as his own body, using the same 
sets of correlations for the body mandala as described in chapter 3 below. 
Our text expands the visuddhis to include the elements (dhdtus), skandhas, 
and sense organs and fields {dyatanas), which introduces male deities into 
the contemplation (see table 9), while the Abhidhdnottaratantra/Vdrdhya- 
bhyudayatantra also adds the equation of the mind with Aksobhyavajra, 
speech with Amitabhavajra, and body with Vairocana. The Vdrdhyabhyu- 
dayatantra gives in full the instructions (only hinted at in GSS7) for the 
melding of the pledge and knowledge circles, the consecration, and the 
chanting of mantras for all the deities of the mandala. It also adds the con- 
templation of the mandala as the thirty-seven bodhipdksikadharmas. All 
these are as described below in the Vajravdrdhi Sddbana (§22rT.). 

Fig. 5. Vdrdhyabhyudaya mandala 




Vajravarahyabhyudaya mandala key 

Central Lotus 
i. Twelve-armed Vajravarahi 

Cardinal Petals 

2. Dakini (lion-faced) 

3. Lama (hog-faced) 

4. Khandaroha (elephant-faced) 

5. RupinI (horse-faced) 

Lotuses in Cardinal Directions 

6. Mamaki (East) 

7. Pracanda in Pulllramalaya 

8. Candaksl in Jalandhara 

9. Prabhavati in Oddiyana 

10. Mahanasa in Arbuda 

11. Viramati in Godavarl 

12. Kharvari in Ramesvara 


Locana (North) 

14. LaiikesVari in Devikota 

15. Drumacchaya in Malava 

16. Airavati in Kamarupa 

17. Mahabhairava in Odra 

18. Vayuvega in Tris'akuni 

19. Surabhaksi in Kos'ala 

20. Tara (West) 

21. Syama(devl) in Kalinga 

22. Subhadra in Lampaka 

23. Hayakarna in Kanci 

24. PChaganana in Himalaya 

25. Cakravega in Pretapun 

16. Khandaroha in Grhadevata 

27. Pandaravasini (South) 

28. Saundini in Saurastra 

29. Cakravarmini in Suvarnadvipa 

30. Suvira in Nagara 

31. Mahabala in Sindhu 

32. Cakravartini in Mam 

33. Mahavirya in Kulata 

Outer Mandala (gates) 

34. Kakasya (crow-faced) 

35. Ulukasya (owl-faced) 

36. Svanasya (dog-faced) 

37. Sukarasya (hog-faced) 

Outer Mandala (corners) 

38. Yamadadhi 

39. YamadutI 

40. Yamadamstrini 

41. Yamamathani 


Six-Armed Vajravdrdhi with Consort 

In one sadhana of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld y Vajravarahl is visualized 
in union with Cakrasamvara, but as the main deity of a thirteenfold 
mandala. This is "Red Vajravarahl" of the Raktavajravdrdhlsddhana (GSS6), 
another work in the collection to be redacted from the Abhidhdnottaratantra 
{patala 33/35, see the appendix). 102 Iconographically the sadhana is inter- 
esting, as it reverses the usual conventions for deities in union, and clearly 
states that it is Vajravarahl — the female partner — who sits in the medita- 
tion posture holding her consort in the gesture of embrace. The text reads 
as follows: 103 

And now I will teach the supreme sadhana of [Vajra-]varahl: 
Through the practice of the generation stage (utpattikrama- 
yogena), [the practitioner] should visualize, as himself, a body that 
is as bright as twelve suns, [red] like vermilion powder, [and red] 
like the bandhuka flower and the China rose. [Vajravarahl should 
be visualized] with three heads and six arms. [She should be seen] 
replete with all [the bone] ornaments, sitting firmly (su-) in the 
sattvaparyanka [with the right foot placed on the left: thigh and 
the left foot on the right thigh] , with a garland of skulls as her 
headdress, her hair strewn about [her] , [and] as beautiful. [She 
should be seen] with a vajra and bell [in her crossed arms, held 
behind her consort's back] , pressed against by the [kiss of the] 
lower [lip] of her consort. [She is visualized] holding a bow and 
arrow, [and] is poised [with the bowstring] drawn back to her ear; 
[she is seen] holding a skull bowl [in one hand] and a staff 
[lodged in the crook of the same arm] [and] is intent upon draw- 
ing in with a hook. She is [visualized] in the center of a red lotus, 
as one who grants all desires. 

The deities are illustrated figure 6, with the female deity facing the viewer, 
and the male held in her lap. Traditional precedents for this in Tibetan art 
are extremely rare, although just such a reversal of iconographical norms is 
also found in the Mongolian icons (IWS/T 88, LC 598) based on the 
Tibetan text. 104 



Fig. 6. Six-armed Vajravarahi 
with consort 

Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka 

om srivajravdrdhi ah vam 
hum hum phat svdhd 


The mandala is of a very different type from those discussed earlier. Eight 
retinue goddesses (Vajraguhyottama, etc.) are installed around Vajravarahi 
and her consort on the eight petals of the central lotus; the cardinal god- 
desses counterclockwise, and the intermediate goddesses clockwise 
(K39V2-6). Each is seated upon a corpse throne, with a male consort who 
holds them in the gesture of embrace with a vajra and bell. They are visu- 
alized as red in color, with three faces, three eyes, and six arms; their hair 
hangs loose, and they wear all the usual bone ornaments. In their six arms, 
they bear a vajra and bell, a skull bowl and staff, and a hook and noose, 
which they shake up and down with a threatening gesture. Four more god- 
desses (Vajrajvalottama, etc.) are visualized at the gates with the same form, 
although possibly with only two arms, holding a noose and a vajra (the text 
is ambiguous). Installed in each corner of the outer mandala is a primed bow 
and arrow, traditionally the weapon of the love god, Kama. 

The deities in embrace, and their attributes symbolic of love and attrac- 
tion, indicate the erotic mode of the sadhana. There is no mention of wrath- 
ful or terrifying characteristics, only of the compassionate, wish-fulfilling 
nature of the deities. In this respect, Red Vajravarahi conforms more closely 
to the sensual Vajravilasini forms described below, and shares with them an 
iconographical association with the erotic Saiva goddess of the Srividya cult, 
Tripurasundari (below). The sadhana ends with the recitation of mantras for 
all the female mandala deities. Red Vajravarahi's mantra is unusual in that it 
includes the vocative of the single mantra deity, Vajravarahi (om srivajravdrdhi 
dh vam hum hum phat svdhd). The mantras of the retinue follow suit, with 
the name of each goddess inserted between a string of mantra syllables; these 
include^/; hum vam hoh, syllables notable for their power to attract. 105 



Fig. 7. Mandala of six-armed Vajravarahi with consort 

Central lotus 

1. Six-armed Vajravarahi 
with consort 

Cardinal petals 

2. Vajraguhyottama 

3. Vajrasamayottama 

4. Vajratejottama 

5. Vajraratnottama 


Intermediate petals 

6. Vajrajnanottama 

7. Vajravidyottama 

8. Vajrasiddhottama 

9. Vajrabhasmottama 

Outer mandala (gates) 

10. Vajrajvalottama 

11. Vajramrtottama 

12. Vajrakrodhottama 

13. Vajradamstrottama 

Six-Armed Vajradakini Vajravarahi in Warrior Stance 

A six- armed form of Vajravarahi in warrior stance is described a couple of 
times in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. On one occasion, "Varahi" is to be 



visualized as an armor goddesss within the armoring section of the Abhi- 
samayamanjari (GSS5 K21V5, see ch. 3). She has three faces (red, blue, and 
green), and her six arms hold a chopper, Brahma's head, and hook (right), 
and a skull bowl, staff, and noose (left), as shown in the Mongolian icons 
(plate 10a and fig. 30). 

The other six-armed manifestation appears in the Sadhana of the 
Thirteenfold Vajraddkini Vajravdrdhi ( Trayodasdtmikavajraddkinivajra- 
vdrdhisddhana GSS16). Here it seems that the armor goddess has developed 
into a "terrible leader, thirteenfold in nature." 106 Following the preparations 
for the sadhana, Vajradakini Vajravarahi is self-generated from vam through 
the series of awakenings; she is self- visualized in a form that is both kdpdlika 
in character, and passionate. 

Fig. 8. Six-armed 
Vajraddkini Vajravdrdhi. 
Drawn according to 
the Sanskrit text by 
Dhammacari Aloka. 
Cf. plate 10a. 

om vajravairocaniye 
hum hum phat svdhd 

She is seen adorned with all six mudras, a headdress, and a garland of wet 
skulls, blazing like the fire at the end of the eon, and trampling underfoot 
Bhairava and Kalaratri (named here Sambhu and Camunda). Her erotic 
nature is evident in her red color, her slim waist and firm breasts, and her 
fanged face, which is only "slightly snarling" (isaddamstrdkardlinim). Her 
attributes are those of the armor goddess, except that she has only one face 
and substitutes a vajra (the usual attribute of warrior-stance Vajravarahi) for 
the chopper, and an ax for Brahma's head. 107 The source for this sadhana is 
once again the Abhidhdnottaratantra. 10 * 



Vajradakini Vajravarahi is said to be "thirteenfold" in nature because she 
is a reflex of the thirteen-syllabled heart mantra. The yogin first visualizes 
her as the syllable vam. He then emanates a thirteenfold mandala from the 
thirteen syllables of Vajravarafri's mantra: om va-jra-vai-ro-ca-nl-ye hum 
hum phat svd-bd. m Having created the mandala in this way, he begins to 
generate the iconographic form of Vajravarahi through the five awaken- 
ings, with a vajra empowered by the syllable vam at her heart. Rays issue 
from this vam, and through them the surrounding syllables of the mandala 
are "urged" or "impelled" (K77 v.6: samcodita-) to transform into the 
dakinis of the mandala retinue. The names of these dakinis reflect their 
mantric origins, thus the syllable om gives rise to Praw^^vajradakini 
(pranava = om), the syllable vam, to V^davavajradakini, the syllable jam to 
/ramitavajradakini, and so on (see fig. 9). The stages of this fairly complex 
sadhana, and the subsequent rituals, are summarized in the appendix. 

The mandala retinue is described in some detail (GSS16 K78n-79r2). It 
begins first of all with the four dakinis who are installed counterclockwise 
on the petals of the central lotus. They are visualized with one face, four 
arms, three eyes, and wearing all the tantric ornaments. They stand upon 
corpses in the dancing ardhaparyanka pose, naked with loose hair, their 
bodies sensuous, "with full breasts, celestial forms, captivating, their faces 
[only] a little furrowed, [and] amorous with [their] sidelong glances." 110 In 
their right hands, they hold a vajra and damaru, in their left, a staff and a 
bowl filled with blood. On the intermediate petals are ornamental vases 
topped with a skull bowl, which are filled with the nectars, including semen 
(bodhicittam), first menstrual blood (svayambhukusumam), urine (vajram- 
bu), and human feces (mahabhaisajam). 

At the outer gates are eight more dakinis. In the cardinal directions 
(installed counterclockwise) four dakinis are visualized dancing upon a 
"lotus moon" (padmacandre) and declaring their transcendence of male 
deities of other religions by trampling the corpses of Indra, Yaksa (Kubera), 
Jala (Varuna), and Yama respectively. They hold the same attributes as the 
dakinis of the inner mandala, only substituting different implements for the 
damaru, such as a hook (in the east) or a noose (in the north); the text for 
the other attributes is corrupt (K78VI-2) . They wear the five mudras and 
are also three-eyed, slim-waisted, and adorned with garlands of heads. Their 
hair stands upright (urdhvakesa-) and they are described in erotic terms, as 
"naked, with huge vaginas, overcome with lust." 111 At the corners of the 
outer mandala (installed clockwise) are four wrathful dakinis, also upon 
lotus moons and trampling corpses in the dancing pose. They are described 




in similar terms, both as kapalika deities and as goddesses with sensuous and 
erotic forms. All the vajra-dakinls of the mandala are said to have their 
hearts filled with innate bliss (sahajananda-). 

Fig. 9. Mandala ofVajradakini Vajravarahl 

Central pericarp 
1. Six-armed 


Vajradakini Vajravarahi 

Cardinal petals 

2. Pranavavajradakini (white) 

3. Vadavavajradakini (green) 

4. Jramitavajradakini (yellow) 

5. VairanlvajradakinI (blue) 

Outer mandala (gates) 

6. Rosanlvajradakini (blue) 

7. Capalavajradakini (green) 

8. Nlharlvajradakini (red) 

9. YemalavajradakinI (yellow) 

Outer mandala (corners) 

10. Humkarlvajradakini (white) 

11. Humnadivajradakini (blue) 

12. Phatanivajradakini (yellow) 

13. SvakarivajradakinI (red) 


Red Vajraghona Vajravarahl 

Vajraghona Vajravarahl is another warrior-stance manifestation whose prac- 
tice is prescribed in several works in the Guhyasamayasadhanamdld, the 
Sddhanafor [Gaining) Siddhi in All Things (Sarvdrthasiddhisddhana GSS15), 
the Vajravdrdhi Rite (Vajravarahikalpa GSS18), and two alternative visual- 
izations in the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5) . m Vajraghona means "vajra snout"; 
ghond is a (hog's) snout, and is thus a rough synonym of Vajravarahl mean- 
ing "vajra hog." This ferocious, therianthropic goddess has only the single face 
of a snarling hog, with three eyes and a terrifying frown; she is, in fact, iden- 
tical to the Tibetan statue in plate 5. There is a scriptural source for the hog- 
headed deity in the Krsnayamdritantra. Here, Vajravarahi/Varahi (the vajra- 
prefix is often dropped) is named as one of four outer goddesses in the 
mandalas of the god Yamari (installed counterclockwise: Vajra-Carcika, 
Vajra- Varahi, Vajra-Sarasvati, and Vajra-Gauri); Vajravarahl is to be visual- 
ized as "three-headed, six- armed, a hog, having a vajra in her hand, very 
blue." 113 The commentator, Kumaracandra, glosses ghondm as "having a hog's 
face" (ghondm iti sukaramukhim), and the goddess' mantra includes the voca- 
tives "You with the vajra snout! You with the lovely snout!" In the Yamari 
mandala described by Kumaracandra, a three-faced Vajravarahl also appears 
in which the central face is again that of the hog. 114 

From our available sources, however, the justification for calling this man- 
ifestation Vajraghona is slim. One of our texts eschews the term vajraghona 
altogether (GSS15), and another uses it only as an adjective, placing it within 
a string of adjectival (bahuvrihi) qualifications (GSS18). The Krsnayamari- 
tantra demonstrates the general fluidity in Sanskrit between qualifications and 
epithets by using the term both adjectivally, and nominally as the vocative 
in the mantra. Nevertheless, in the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 Sed p. 149, 
K34J--V), Vajraghona'^ clearly used as a proper noun, as it describes the visu- 
alization of the goddess as the "glorious Vajraghona method," and the asso- 
ciated rituals as the "Vajraghona Sadhana." 115 The Abhisamayamanjari 
possibly shows a more developed version of the manifestation, in part because 
it promotes the adjective to nominal form, and also because it presents an 
alternative visualization of a second Vajraghona form, as described below. In 
a Nepalese sketchbook possibly dating back to the eighteenth century, the 
artist depicts a form of "Vajraghona" (holding a trident skull staff, instead of 
a hook) (Biihnemann: 2003). The Tibetan text of the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa, 
however, depicts a form identical with that in our sadhanas, and takes the 
deity's appellation from the title of the Sarvdrthasiddhisddhana (GSSi5J> 



referring to her as "Accomplishing (Arthasiddhi) Varahi" (Phag mo don grub 
ma) (Willson and Brauen 2000: 259. See plate 10c). 

In the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld szdhanas, the series of awakenings that 
generates Vajraghona/Vajravarahl begins with a red triangular dharmodayd 
at the navel. Inside this, a blazing red hrim is visualized at the center of a 
red, round-leafed lotus, resting (in GSS15) upon a sun disk placed upon a 
corpse. Vajravarahi is self- visualized as the transformation of all this, stand- 
ing in the warrior stance, also upon a lotus, corpse, and sun disk. She is four- 
armed and holds in her right hand a vajra and hook, and in her left, a skull 
bowl with staff, and a noose with a threatening gesture of the forefinger. 
She is bright red in color, while the yellow hair of her head streaks upward, 
standing on end. She has a dwarfish potbelly, and her tongue lolls as she 
laughs a laugh that is "unbearable to all evil beings." (Laughter and wrath 
are connected in tantric iconography, as laughter is one of the means 
whereby deities spread terror.) She is visualized wearing the five mudras 
and a garland of heads, and is otherwise naked. 116 She is depicted in this way, 
without any bone ornaments, in the Mongolian icons (see fig. 10 and plate 
10c). She is also drawn in an unusual stance, in which her outstretched right 
leg turns to rest upon its heel, with the toes pointing upward, while her head 
looks to her right. The Tibetan text explains this as "trampling on the three 
worlds in dlidha (right leg extended) in the manner of a wrestler' s throw 
(gyad kyi dor stabs kyisf (Willson and Brauen ibid). 117 

Fig. 10. Arthasadhana Varahi. 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 80, LC 590). Cf. plate 10c. 

Heart mantra: 

om hrim hum hrim hram (in GSS5; 

om hum hrim ham (in GSSi8j 

Auxiliary heart mantra: 

om vajravarahi dvesaya sarvadustdn 

hrim (or hrih) svdhd 


When he has completed the self-visualization, the yogin is to recire the 
mantras (for which the exact prescriptions vary). The heart mantra 'given in 



two of our three texts) is composed entirely of mantra syllables (bijas), includ- 
ing the heart syllable hrih (om hrim hum hrim hram in GSS5; om hum hrim 
ham in GSS18). The auxiliary heart mantra also diverges from that of the 
main Vajrayoginl/Vajravarahl tradition in its use of an imperative for van- 
quishing obstacles, of the sort familiar in bali rituals (om vajravdrdhi dvesaya 
sarvadustdn hrim svdhd). u8 The mantras for both rites that follow appear with 
some variants, but are similar to the heart mantra in that they consist of strings 
of syllables (ah hrim hum, ham, hih, and phet/phem). 

The rituals are to be performed by the sadhaka who has generated him- 
self as Vajraghona for the attainment of siddhi and has performed one hun- 
dred thousand recitations of the mantras. The wrathful character of the 
goddess is reflected in a desiderative worship that includes incense made 
from powdered human flesh, which is offered in front of an image of the 
goddess on a cloth for twenty-one days, and a nighttime bali offering (see 
ch. 3) made "for the purpose of quelling all maras." 119 For this practice, the 
utmost secrecy is enjoined and, indeed, is the precondition upon which 
"the vajrayoginis (or Vajrayogini) will empower [him].' 


White Vajraghona Vajravarahi 

An alternative form of Vajraghona Vajravarahi is taught in the Abhisamaya- 
manjari (GSS5 Sed p. 149, K34.V5). According to this transmission, she is 
generated at the heart (rather than the navel), upon a red lotus. First, a sun 
disk is produced from am. Upon this stands a red five-pointed vajra, empow- 
ered by a white hrih that transforms into the goddess. Since the color of a 
deity is usually a reflex of the seed-syllable, this form of Vajraghona is pre- 
sumably white. She stands upon a lotus that is uniquely striped red and 
white, trampling in warrior stance "a sleeping man [symbolic] of igno- 
rance." In her heart is a replica red vajra on a sun disk, also presided over 
by a white hrih on a sun disk. The text states that in other respects she is 
like the previous manifestation of red Vajraghona (i.e., a therianthropic 
goddess with four arms). Unusually, however, this form of Vajraghona is 
empowered by Aksobhya, enthroned upon a multicolored lotus. 121 

That we are dealing with a white form of Vajraghona is perhaps con- 
firmed by her similarity to a white form of Vajravarahi, who appears in 
another sadhana in the collection. We will see that the generation, self- 
visualizaton, and ritual prescriptions for each are strikingly similar. 



6 9 

White Vajravarahi 

The practice of "Noble White Vajravarahi" is prescribed in the sadhana of 
that name {AryasukUvajravdrdhisddhana GSS38). This is the only other form 
of white Vajravarahi in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld and one in which the 
process of generation is very similar to that of white Vajraghona. (A much 
fuller account of this form — or one very similar, with identical rites — is 
described in SM218-20; see appendix for details.) White Vajravarahi is self- 
generated upon a sun disk (produced from am) and from a white hrih that 
transforms first into a five-pointed vajra and then into Vajravarahi. She also 
carries a white hrih on a sun disk at her heart and is presided over by 
Aksobhya — apart from white Vajraghona, the only form of Vajrayogini in the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld to bear this buddha as the seal. 122 White Vajravarahi 
shares the explicitly wrathful character of the Vajraghona manifestations. The 
text describes itself as a "fierce" sadhana, and the deity is said to bring fear to 
gods, antigods, and men. There are some differences, however, between the 
two forms. For example, white Vajravarahi is generated following an empti- 
ness meditation, and is thus produced from emptiness rather than at the navel. 
Most notably, there is no mention of a hog's head in the iconography of white 
Vajravarahi. She is self-visualized in the warrior stance, naked but for the five 
mudras, and wearing a curious garland consisting of a row of skulls between 
two rows of vajras (although SM218 describes it rather as a garland worn on 
the headdress). She is two-armed and carries a vajra in her right and a skull staff 
in her left, with no skull bowl. Worship both before and after the self- 
visualization is performed by "Pracanda etc.," which, judging from the fuller 
descriptions of SM218 (p. 427), refers to the presence of the twenty- four god- 
desses of the sites, within the mandala circles of mind, speech, and body. 123 

Fig. 11. White 

Vajravarahi (GSS38). 

Drawn according to the Sanskrit 

text by Dharmacari Aloka 

om vajravairocaniye 
hum hum phat svdhd 


The similarities between white Vajraghona and white Vajravarahi are 
also borne out on a ritual level. Thcjapain both cases consists of the recita- 
tion of a white syllable hrih that is visualized in garland form as a "mantra 
rosary" (mantramdld). In a yogic meditation (described in slightly more 
detail in the Abhisamayamanjari GSS5 and SM218), the self-generated 
yogin-goddess sees a white hrih syllable at the navel and imagines it revolv- 
ing through him, exiting through the mouth and entering again at the navel. 
As it enters the navel, the mantramdld brings him the [mundane] power of 
all the arts and sciences as well as the mass of [supramundane] qualities of 
the buddhas. According to the Abhisamayamanjari: UA 

Next on his navel he should see a (white) hrih on a red and white 
sun disk placed on a multicolored lotus. He should send forth 
from the opening of his mouth a mantra garland of that [sylla- 
ble hrih] in the form of a string of beads, white [in color, and] 
whirling like (-yogena) a wheel. Having obtained skill in medi- 
cine, astronomy, writing, and the sciences and arts by means of 
the jewel mantra of the many- faceted (gunagana) buddha, he 
should contemplate [this mantra garland], which burns all the 
ignorance of oneself and others, entering the opening of his navel. 
He should recite the mantra, avoiding the fault of doing it too 
fast [or too slow] . The mantra is hrih. When he wants to arise 
[from the practice], he should make that mantra garland disap- 
pear into the hrih in his navel, perform worship [bait rites, etc.], 
and dwell as he wishes [namely, in the form of the deity] . 

The texts describe further rites using the mantramdld (GSS5 Sed p. 150.8, 
K35r4, SM218 p. 430, and briefly in GSS38 Ki23r2) for the acquisition of 
other siddhis, such as supreme learning, scholarship, powers of oration, invin- 
cibility in debate, and freedom from fevers and poisons — all of which would 
seem particularly handy in the political arena. For this, the tongue is first 
imagined in the shape of a lotus petal, and on it a flaming white hrih forms 
a garland of fifty beads. So powerful is this practice, that — the texts claim — 
if a piece of chalk is consecrated with this mantra in this way, then the one 
who holds it, be he even a fool, will become a poet. Toward similar ends per- 
haps, the GSS texts also claim the power of this mantramdld for bending 
another to his will or subjugation (vasyam), although the rather fuller sadhana 
that describes this rite in the Sddhanamdld (SM219— 20) states that the purpose 
of this rite is to bring beings into the four truths of the Buddhists (p. 432: 




sattvdn vasikrtya caturdryasatye avatdrandya. . .). Here in the rite of subjugation 
(vasyavidhih), the goddess must be visualized as red, and she holds only two 
attributes (i.e., with only two arms), namely, the noose in her left generated 
from hrih, and a hook or goad in her right (GSS5 Sed p. 150.14, K35V1, SM219). 
These attributes are another reminder of this deity's affinity with Vajraghona. 

Two-Armed VajrayoginI in Warrior Stance 

Most of the remaining forms in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld collection 
appear in the portion of the collection that deals principally with Vajra- 
yoginI manifestations of a magical and often erotic nature (also found, in 
brief, in the same portion of the Abhisamayamanjart) . First, we turn to a 
red, reversed warrior-stance form of VajrayoginI, described within a Vajra- 
yoginisddhana attributed to Sahara (GSSi9«SM236), and in the Abhisamaya- 
manjart (K35v6~36r « GSS28?). A white form of VajrayoginI in reversed 
warrior stance, and holding the same attributes, is also described within a 
corrupt passage in the Oddiydnasvddhisthdnakrama-Vajrayoginlsddhana 
(GSS37), details for which are in the appendix. 

Fig. 12. Two-armed 
VajrayoginI in warrior stance. 
Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

Heart mantra: 

om vajraddkintye hrlm hum phat 

svdhd (GSS5, SM236) 

om sarvasiddhim prayaccha 

hri<m> hum phat svdhd (GSS19) 

Auxiliary heart mantra: 

om vajrayoginiye hum phat svdhd (GSS19, SM236) 

om vajravairocanlye hum phat svdhd (GSS5) 

Root mantra: 

om sarvabuddhaddkinlye om vajravarnanlye om vajravairocanlye 
hum hum hum phat phat phat svdhd 


Here, VajrayoginI is generated upon a multicolored lotus (produced from 
pam). Upon the lotus the yogin visualizes a sun disk (produced from a red 
ram), and upon that, a red syllable hum (GSS19 K83V1). The seed-syllable 
is then imagined transforming into Vajrayogini, who becomes the central 
deity of the usual fivefold mandala. The visualization (which is never 
described as a self- visualization) is of Vajrayogini within terrible cremation 
grounds, where she stands upon a yellow corpse in the reverse warrior 
(pratyalidha) stance (stepping to the right). She is fierce and naked and 
emits intense rays of light. Her color is red, and she is full of fresh youth, 
with large, firm breasts. She has three eyes, which are red, round, and 
rolling, brows that are contracted into a fierce frown, and a fanged mouth, 
with a lolling tongue. Her hair flies loose. She appears as the leader of a five- 
fold mandala and therefore wears all six mudras, including ash, and is replete 
with tinkling bells and strings of pearls. The Abhisamayamahjari states that 
the goddess should be visualized with red hair flaming and standing on 
end, but adds that sometimes she is visualized with loose hair, and some- 
times without the corpse throne. Her attributes are a skull bowl "full of 
blood" (GSS5 Sed p. 151, K36n: vame raktapurnakapala-) in her left hand, 
with a staff (in GSS19 only), presumably tucked into the crook of her left 
arm. In her right hand she holds a knife or chopper (kartri) (instead of the 
vajra normally held by warrior-stance forms of Vajravarahi). 125 

Fig. 13. Vajra chopper (kartri). 

The chopper (fig. 13) is especially associated with Vajrayogini in the 
Guhyasamayasadhanamaldssxdi symbolizes the "chopping off' of defilements. 
It is mentioned, for example, in the twenty-one- verse stotra (GSS42 v. 8): 
"Homage to you, Vajrayogini! You who hold a skull bowl and staff on your 
left [and] a chopper on your right; who hold emptiness and compassion." 126 

The texts enjoin rites of "worship and so on" for this form of the goddess, 



which are to be conducted in sites such as a cremation ground upon auspi- 
cious nights of the lunar calendar, namely, the eighth, tenth, fourteenth, 
and fifteenth in the moon's cycle. 127 Practice at these auspicious times was 
believed to enhance the power of female spirits such as yoginis and dakinis 
to such an extent that, in the Saiva tradition, the mere mention of their 
names was prohibited: "He should not utter the word ddkinl or any other 
[with a similar meaning] during any of the exceptional rituals [such as those 
that are required on parvan days]." 128 The fivefold mandala is indicated by 
a set of offering mantras, which are prescribed for the petals of the central 
lotus in the cardinal directions. The mantras include the request that each 
goddess accept a "vajra flower" (presumably the purified form of an actual 
flower). 129 The usual tripartite root mantra for Vajrayogini appears with some 
variants in the three texts, and there are distinctive heart and auxiliary heart 
mantras. 130 The texts also supply the mantra for a final ball ritual. 


Four-Armed Vajrayogini in Warrior Stance 

A four-armed form of Vajrayogini in warrior stance is found in a single 
sadhana in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld in a section dealing with inter- 
nalized practices: the Vajrayogini Sadhana in the Tradition ofIndrabhuti y by 
Vijayavajra {Indrabhutikramena Vajrayoginisddhana GSS35) . This sadhana 
takes the self-generation onto a more intensely internal level, as the yogin 
imagines the elements of the visualization within his yogic body. 

Fig. 14. Four-armed Vajrayogini 
in warrior stance. 
Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

om vajravairocanlye 
hum hum phat svdhd 



Following the emptiness meditations, the yogin first generates the cos- 
mos, starting from a white letter a (GSS35 Kii8vi: sukla akdrdt) that is said* 
to have the nature of Causal Vajradhara. Then, from a green hum, he pro- 
duces a five-pointed double vajra, as the five limbs of his body (head, arms, 
and legs). In the center of that he sees a red inverted triangular syllable e (V) 
transforming into a blood-colored origin of existents (here masculine: 
dharmodayah) marked with vajras at its points, which he understands to be 
his torso. Within the dharmodaya is an eight-petaled lotus wreathed in fire, 
which represents his nine bodily orifices, while the four-petaled pericarp has 
the nature of four channels within the body. 132 Vajrayogini is then gener- 
ated upon a ferociously bright sun disk, as the transformation of a white 
chopper that represents the central channel, Avadhuti. Vajrayogini herself 
is a vibrant, light red ("yellow- red, like blooming saffron"). She is seen as 
sixteen years of age, with delicate youthfulness and a laughing, wrathful 
face. She wears the five mudras and a garland of fifty heads. Standing in the 
warrior stance, she is seen trampling the brahmanical gods, Brahma, Indra, 
Visnu, and Siva, who represent the four kles'as (n. 362). Vairocana crowns 
her headdress. In two of her four arms, Vajrayogini holds the vajra and bell 
in the crossed gesture of embrace, and in the other pair, a chopper (right) 
and a gleaming skull bowl (left), upon which she fixes her gaze as she holds 
it aloft. A skull staff rests in the crook of her left arm. From one of the fol- 
lowing yogic meditations, it also emerges that the goddess has a red letter 
a at her heart. 133 

The rites given for the practice are desiderative in nature and include 
esoteric offerings within an external dharmodaya that has been drawn upon 
the ground with trangressive substances (GSS35 K119V3), and various other 
rites of worship such as a hand worship and bali offering (Kii9v6-i2or). 
There is also the ritual of accepting a pupil (Ki2or2~3) and the preparation 
of a protective amulet (vidydvidhih, Ki2or6) based on a thirteen-syllable 
mantra (presumably, the Vajravarahi heart mantra). 

Red Vajravarahi with Foot Raised 

The remaining forms of the deity in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld assume 
an increasingly erotic and magically outlandish character, manifestations 
often associated with Oddiyana, home of flying dakinis. One such adopts 
the striking pose "with the foot up" (urdhvapddah). In this stance, Vajra- 
yogini stands upon her right leg and lifts the left above her head, wrapping 






her left arm about it to hold it in place, while at the same time drinking from 
the skull bowl she still holds in that arm: "She should be visualized. . .con- 
tinuously drinking the stream of blood in the skull bowl, having the pos- 
ture of embracing her own left foot; [her left foot] is held up with [her] left 
hand, in which is held a skull bowl that is full of red [blood] on the inside 
and is white on the outside." 134 


y ^J^Q) 








Fig. 15. Red Vajravarahi 

with foot raised. 

Drawn according to the Sanskrit 

text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

Cf plates 9 and 10 b. 

Two forms with this pose are represented in the collection. The first 
appears in a Vajrayogini Sadhana from Oddiyana{Oddiyanavinirgatavajra- 
yoginisadhana GSSi2«SM225; also found in GSS5) 135 and is a red manifes- 
tation of Vajravarahi. Here, Vajravarahi occupies the center of the fivefold 
mandala (as described in chapter 3), and her generation, iconography, and 
mantras all relate to the red warrior-stance forms of Vajravarahi. She is gen- 
erated from a vajra presided over by vam and is endowed with the usual 
kapdlika ornamentation, such as the bone girdle and garland of fifty human 
heads. Like the main warrior-stance Vajravarahi, her attributes are a skull 
bowl and vajra, but no staff. 

White Vajrayogini with Foot Raised 

Here, the deity is white in color, and is quite distinct from her red cousin. 
To do the practice, the yogin resorts to a solitary place in the midst of cre- 
mation grounds, and (self?) -generates Vajrayogini from a white seed- 

7 6 


syllable, either hum (GSS45) or &h (GSS17). He sees her standing upon a 
multipetaled lotus and sun disk, trampling underfoot the brahmanical and 
Saiva deities: "She is to be visualized. . .with her foot raised, trampling Sakra 
[= Indra] and Brahma, [and] with her lower foot [trampling] Bhairava and 
Kalaratri." 136 In her right hand is a vajra chopper (vajrakartri), and in her 
left, the skull bowl from which she drinks. The skull staff (khatvdngah) is 
balanced in its usual place upon her left shoulder. Her white body emits an 
intense light, and she inspires extreme terror (in those who oppose her), with 
her fierce facial expression, fangs, and three eyes, which are red, round, and 
rolling. She is seen completely naked, without ornaments, her loose hair and 
large firm breasts emphasizing her erotic and youthful character. Her 
mantras, as well as her iconography, are typical of Vajrayogini. The root, 
heart and auxiliary heart mantras are those supplied for the warrior-stance 

Fig. 16. White Vajrayogini 

with foot raised 

(Phag mo gnam zabs ma). 

Mongolian woodblock print 

(IWS/T84, LC594). 

Cf. plate iod. 

om vajraddkini(ye) hrih hum phat svdhd 

om vajrayogini hiim phat svdhd 

{om vajrayogini hum phat svdhd: GSS17) 

om sarvabuddhadakiniye vajravarnaniye vajravairocaniye 
hum hiim hiim phat phat phat svdhd 



form of VajrayoginI (above), but the bali mantra is unique, naming the 
mantra-deity, VajrayoginI (instead of Vajradakinl), amid the repetition of 
stuttering man trie syllables. 137 

A Mongolian icon illustrates a form of this goddess. According to the 
underpinning Tibetan text, the visualization is of VajrayoginI (who may 
hold either a vajra-marked chopper or a knife); however, the title given the 
form in the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa is "Varahl with Raised Leg" (Phag mo 
gnam zabs ma), and Taranatha (with perhaps a suspiciously different 
referent for "Indra") adds "Indra [i.e., Indrabhuti]'s Dakini Crushing 
Opponents" (Phas rgo joms pa'i indra mkha' spyod ma). 138 Although the 
Mongolian title describes this form as a manifestation of Vajravarahl, the 
icon nevertheless provides a satisfactory illustration of our form of Vajra- 
yoginI in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld (fig. 16, plate iod). 

VajrayoginI in the Falling- Turtle Pose 

The combination of intense eroticism and intense terror is found in other 
manifestations; indeed, to the uninitiated, it is the goddess's overwhelming 
lust that would in itself be terrifying. One such form is found in the Sddhana 
of VajrayoginI with the Method of the Falling Turtle (Kurmapatanakramena 
Vajrayoginisddhana GSS36). 

iHAi MM 

— " =! -_jv| 



Fig. 17. VajrayoginI in 
falling-turtle pose. 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 85, LC 595) 
Cf plate ioe. 

om vajravairocaniye svahd 


The sadhana is unusual in our collection in that the deity is not self- 
generated but visualized directly in front of the yogin. Before beginning 
the meditation, he should first prepare an image of Vajrayogini "in what- 
ever way, with whatever form" (as an aid to the visualization). He may 
then generate her meditatively within a red dhannodayd upon a white lotus. 
At the center of the lotus, Vajrayogini appears standing upon the flayed 
skin of Bhairava "with the method of the falling turtle." This seems to be 
a reference to her stance, as it is the pose later prescribed for the yogin 
himself during the midnight balinwxal. She is yellow in color, naked, with 
dishevelled hair, and (only) two eyes, which she fixes upon the sadhaka. 
Her attributes are those of Vajrayogini, the chopper and skull bowl. She 
laughs the terrifying laugh of Siva, and is "terrifying because of her extreme 
desire." 139 

Having visualized Vajrayogini as if she were present before his very eyes 
(sdksdd iva), the yogin is then to worship her with transgressive bali offer- 
ings of yogic substances (yogidravyam). 140 The bali mantra is based on the 
mantra deity Vajrayogini, although the following japa mantra is the ten- 
syllabled heart mantra of Vajravarahi (om vajravairocaniye svdhd). The text 
then continues with a bali ritual, again given according to Vajravarahi texts. 
Thus, the yogin is to stand naked upon a hilltop at midnight (GSS36, 
Kinvi: nisisamaye), with hair flying loose and his gaze directed upward as 
he performs the gestures and mantric utterances that will attract the vajra- 
yoginls. 141 The sadhana outlines the hand gestures {mudrds) and mantras, 
adding that, as he performs them, the yogin is to assume the "falling- turtle" 
pose (kurmapatanapddah). ui 

The final instruction is not that the sadhaka should dwell as the deity 
but that he should continue to visualize her in front of him: "He should 
continually visualize himself embracing Vajrayogini. He should imagine 
her as if she were his wife. Then before long Vajrayogini will empower him. 
Being realized, she fulfills his desired [goal]: of this there is no doubt." 143 The 
Mongolian icons illustrate a form of "Tortoise-legged (KurmapddiJVararii" 
Phag mo kurma pa di (IWS/T 85; LC 595). The text from the Rin 'byung 
brgya rtsa, although different from our sadhana in many respects, also 
describes this as an embodiment of a yellow Vajrayogini with a similar 
stance: "Her two legs, in the tortoise posture, trample on black Bhairava, 
who is lying upside down on a white lotus and sun, holding a knife and skull 
and wearing a tigerskin loincloth and a human skin." 144 This is depicted in 
figure 17 and on plate ioe. 



Vidyadhari Vajrayogini 

Another group of sadhanas in the Guhyasamayasddhanamala focuses on 
peaceful, erotic forms of Vajrayogini. These sadhanas abandon the terrify- 
ing, cremation-ground aspects of Vajrayogini practice and prescribe instead 
beautiful, mountainous abodes. In these works, Vajrayogini is described as 
a vidyadhari, a lovely, celestial maiden. The classical association with 
vidyadharis is of beauty and lovemaking; one poet, for example, paints the 
heavenly damsels writing love letters on birch bark. 145 


Fig. 18. Vidyadhari Vajrayogini 
"Maitri-khecari. " 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 78, LC 588). Cf plate 10b. 

The first vidyadhari form appears in the Vajrayogini Sadhana with the 
Vidyadhari Method {Vidyadharikramavajrayoginisddhana GSS21) and the 
Vidyadhari Method Meditation (Vidyddharikramabhavana GSS22). Here, 
the yogin visualizes himself as a red goddess with her foot raised up 
(iirdhvapdda-). She is described in one text as the "garland (mala-) Vidya- 
dhari Vajrayogini" after the flower garland that he sees balancing on the tip 
of her left hand in the form of a noose. In the palm of the same hand rests 
the skull bowl from which she drinks, fixing her gaze upon it as she does 
so. In her right hand she holds a vajra (and not the chopper otherwise asso- 
ciated with Vajrayogini forms). There is no skull staff, and the vidyadhari 
is completely naked, being void of all ornaments. She is seen with the bril- 
liant (fiery) form of destruction at the end of the aeon. 146 

The Vajrayogini root mantra appears in only one text (GSS22) and is 
based on the tripartite mantra of Vajrayogini, although the number and 
sequence of the mantra deities seem confused. 1 




A Mongolian woodblock print illustrates this form of VajrayoginI, clearly 
showing the garland in her left hand (see the line drawing in figure 18). The 
related color plate, however, omits the garland, and embellishes the figure 
with ornaments and yellow (rather than black) hair (plate iob). The Tibetan 
text calls this form "Maitri's Dakini, Playful Mantra-holder" (Mai tri mkha 
spyod rig pa 'dzin pa rtsen ma), which points to an association with 
Maitripada/Advayavajra found also in the Sanskrit sources (notably, the 
*Siddha-Amndya). m This form is also illustrated to the right of the main 
figure in plate 9. 

In keeping with the feminine mood of the sadhana, the observance that 
the yogin undertakes on the basis of visualizing Vidyadhari Vajrayogini is 
the "mad observance" (unmattacarya). This is described briefly both in the 
Bhdvand (GSS22), and in the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5«SM235). 149 It also 
appears in more detail in a chapter by K. Gyatso (1999: 207-10). Accord- 
ing to our Sanskrit sources, the mad observance begins with a period of 
worship (pujd) that lasts for six months and (in GSS22) with the prayer that 
the goddess grant the fruit of mahamudra. During this time, Vidyadhari 
Vajrayogini is generated and worshiped within the triangular dharmodayd 
that the yogin has drawn onto the surface of a highly polished mirror using 
vermilion powder. Taking more of the powder, the yogin inscribes her seed- 
syllable vam outside the triangle at the corners and the syllables of her 
mantra inside it. He also draws four counterclockwise bliss swirls at the 
four points (the cardinal directions) surrounding the triangle. 150 

Fig. 19. Dharmodayd 
with mantra syllables 
and bliss swirls 


He then makes the traditional offerings and recites the mantra. When he 
has finished, he takes the vermilion powder he has just used in the rite, and 
puts it to one side in a special container. He repeats this process at auspi- 
cious times for a period of six months, either on the eighth day of the lunar 
months (GSS5) or during a lunar or solar eclipse (GSS22). When the six 
months are up, the yogin takes his collected store of vermilion powder and 
places it inside the hollow stem of a langali (coconut) tree. According to 
Gyatso (ibid.), the langali is similar to bamboo (although bigger), in that 
the stem is also knotted, like a tube with natural blockages. In order to 
stopper the open end, the yogin must make a special plug that he carves on 
one side with a bliss swirl — he will later use this as a stencil for marking a 
bliss swirl on his own forehead. The yogin then takes the langali stem and 
buries it in a cremation ground, performing a further month of bali offer- 
ings and mantra recitation. (Gyatso describes how the yogin sits on the 
earth above the burried langali container, while an attendant stays nearby 
reciting the Heruka mantra to prevent interruptions.) This ends the prepa- 
ration of the vermilion powder, and the yogin is now ready to set out upon 
the mad observance itself. 

To undertake the mad observance, the yogin must remove the sacred 
vermilion powder from its secret burial site and use it to draw a sign upon 
his forehead — either a six-pointed star (GSS22) or a bliss swirl (GSS5; K. 
Gyatso 1999). He then wanders about as if he were mad, seeking alms in 
the village (GSS5) or in solitary sites. A scriptural source for the practice is 
found in Samvarodayatantra where, adopting the "crazy observance" (vatula 
carya), the yogin is to wander alone without companions, "like an agitated 
bird." 131 Wherever he meets a woman in a secluded place — by a deserted 
dwelling, an empty well, or such like — the yogin should circumambulate 
her in counterclockwise fashion. The aim is to discover, and propitiate, a 
living emanation of Vajrayogini. He will recognize her by the fact that the 
bliss swirl upon his own forehead is magically transferred to hers. (Gyatso 
adds that to make sure, the yogin can check in his mirror to see if his own 
bliss swirl has indeed disappeared.) 

The mad observance is based upon the principles of mahamudra, accord- 
ing to which all women are to be worshiped because all women embody the 
goddess, just as all men embody the god. 152 Our texts claim the lineal tradi- 
tion of Sahara (GSS5 Sed p. 153, K38r6«SM235), an adept whose association 
with mahamudra is developed in the next Vidyadhari Vajrayogini text 
(GSS23), and in the erotic sadhana of Guhyavajravilasini described below. 



Flying Vidyadhari Vajrayogini 

The second vidyadhari in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld is a flying form 
of Vajrayogini, with four three-eyed faces of different colors. She is 
described in the Propitiation Ritual {Arddhanavidhi GSS23) within a med- 
itation rite (bhdvandvidhih). The text directs the meditator to see her with 
left leg in the raised-foot (urdhvapddah) position, and the other "raised 
sideways" (so that both feet are in the air), her right foot positioned just 
below her right hand brandishing its red five-pointed vajra. As usual, she 
has her gaze fixed on the gleaming skull bowl that she holds in her left 
hand, but there is no mention of a flower garland in the form of a noose. 
Instead, the vidyadhari is ornamented by blossoming red ndgakesa flowers 
(Mesua roxburghii). She seems to be even more erotic than the last. Her 
nature is feminine power (saktih) and innate bliss (sahajdnanda-); her red, 
naked body is fresh and tender, her hair hangs loose, and she is visualized 
laughing a little with her body horripilating. 153 Her mantra is a variant of 
Vajrayogini's tripartite mantra. 134 

Fig. 20. Flying Vidyadhari 


Drawn according to the 

Sanskrit text by 

Dharmacari Aloka. 

Cf. plate p. 

om sarvabuddhaddkiniye 
vajravarnaniye vajravairo- 
caniye hum hum hum 
phat phat phat ca svdhd. 

Both vidyadhari forms of Vajrayogini (as well Guhyavajravilasini, GSS10) 
inhabit a beautiful, mountainous setting. This is most fully described in the 
Arddhanavidhi (GSS23), which begins with a short hagiographical sketch 




n the 

of the mountain-dwelling adept, Sahara. The text describes how Sahara had 
been granted a sadhana by Lokesvara (the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara) that 
was guaranteed to bring about a vision of Vajrayogini within six months. 
After this time, however, Sahara had still had no vision, and despite redou- 
bling his efforts and practicing assiduously for twelve years, he failed to see 
her "even in a dream." He became disheartened and was about to lose faith 
in the buddhas and give up completely when the goddess finally appeared 
to him amid the mountainous peaks: 155 

Then, in a flash, there was suddenly a direct vision of the god- 
dess adorned with color, arms, and so on to be described below. 
*[She appeared] between (madhye) the surpassingly captivating, 
most lovely mountains [called] Manobhanga (Destruction of the 
[Defiled] Mind) and Cittavisrama (Heart's Reposel Resting-place of 
the Mind) ; [these] had five peaks of different colors, and were 
adorned with gardens in which nagakesara flowers were bloom- 
ing in colorful pools. 

*or: [She appeared] in the midst of the surpassingly captivating, most 
lovely mountains where the mind comes to rest because of the destruc- 
tion of the defiled mind. 

It is not clear from this portion of text whether the yogin is to visualize a 
pair of mountains named Manobhanga and Cittavisrama, or whether the 
description is to be understood adjectivally as the mountain(s) "where the 
mind comes to rest (cittavisrama) because of the destruction of the 
[defiled] 156 mind (manobhanga)!" Of the three other references to the moun- 
tains in the Aradhanavidhi (GSS23), only one states unambiguously that 
there is indeed "a pair of mountains" (parvatadvaya-), but here there is no 
mention of the names Manobhanga and Cittavisrama. 157 The mountains are 
mentioned also in a few other sources. The Guhyavajravildsinisddhana 
(GSS10) seems to name them as a pair (though with a possible ambiguity, 
n. 169), and they are also described in the dual in the * Siddha-Amnaya 
(except for one occurrence in the singular), where they are located in the 
external world, in Daksinapatha. 158 

Manobhanga is also mentioned in the sadhana of Vajradakini Vajravarahi 
(GSS16), which claims the legendary authority of the Laksabhidhanatantra: 
"On Mount Manobhanga, which is the most essential [place] on earth, on 

8 4 


this peak [or: within this dwelling] (tasmin kute), in a pavilion (-mandape) 
that is the sole resting place of the mind (cittavisrdma-) for the great- 
minded, [is] the terrible... leader Vajravarahl." 159 Although the verse does 
not mention the second mountain, Cittavis'rama, it suggests that on the 
mountain peak (kutam) there is also a pavilion (mandapahlm) that is the 
"resting place of the mind" (cittavisrdma-). A similar kind of beautiful 
dwelling is also the abode of Vidyadharl VajrayoginI (GSS21), who is to be 
seen "entering a jewel dwelling (kuta-) (i.e., hut) made of masses of [red 
flowers] — Mandarava, As'oka, and Red Coral." 160 In all these texts, there is 
a slight ambiguity as to whether kuta means a "peak" (kutam) or a 
"dwelling" (kiltah) — a problem that a second scribe attempts to clarify in 
GSS21 by inserting the gloss, "hut" (grham). The same verdant mountain- 
ous setting, with its fragrant, flower-strewn abode, is also found in the 
Guhyavajravildsinisddhana. This sadhana describes how the yogic partners 
are to meet in a beautiful glade or garden that is full of jewels and red flow- 
ers and resonant of love (below with n. 179). Both this sadhana and the 
*Siddha-Amndya associate this magical setting with the adept Sahara. Indeed 
the mountain(s) and the delightful dwelling become Sahara's abode, the 
place where he teaches the practice and the place in which a yogin may 
realize Vajrayogini through sexual yoga practice with his consort. 

Vajravilasini Vajravarahl 

Vajravilasini is a peaceful, compassionate form of Vajravarahl. Her name 
Vilasini suggests "amorous playfulness" and "wanton charm," and she is 
striking for her loving nature and the atmosphere of heightened sexuality 
that pervades her practice. The chief source in the Guhyasamayasddhana- 
mdld is the Praise of Vajravilasini by Vibhuticandra ( Vajravildsinistotra 
GSS43), although she also appears, with a rather different iconographical 
form, as "Secret Vajravilasini" in the highly erotic Guhyavajravildsini- 
sddhana by Sahara (GSS10). There is a small class of goddesses, the ten 
vajra-vildsinhy who act as the agents of the consecration in the Abhisamaya- 
mahjari (GSS5 K22V1), and perhaps Vajravilasini arose as a generic form of 
this vilasini type. Vajravilasini is also hailed within verses of obeisance in 
the Abhisamay amahj art (GSS5 Sed p. 125, K14V3) and in two stotras to 
Trikayavajrayogini by Virupa (GSS26 and GSS27). 161 




1 is 
■ a 

ie is 
n of 
;e in 
is to 

Fig. 21. Vajravilasini. 

Drawn according to the Sanskrit 

text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

In Vibhuticandra's praise verses, Vajravilasini is evidently a manifestation 
of Vajravarahi: "O Vajravarahi, you are the refuge of men, nagas (=ahih), 
and gods, [merely] when they are intent on your name!" 162 She is in embrace 
with her consort. The verses describe her engaged in lovemaking with 
Cakrasamvara, her eyes almost closed in the bliss of passion: "[You] whose 
lotus-like mouth is kissed by the honey-drinking [bee] who is Samvara, 
whose lotus heart is embraced by his two arms." 163 

Vajravilasini holds the usual attributes of Vajravarahi, the skull bowl and 
vajra, but she disdains all other kdpdlika accoutrements. She is adorned 
only with swinging earrings and a pearl necklace. Apart from the threaten- 
ing gesture with which she holds the vajra, there is nothing wrathful about 
her, and she is addressed as one whose three eyes are red like the early sun, 
intent on removing the suffering of the world — to whom the supplicant 
appeals: "O mother, goddess, look upon me! How can you bear my unbear- 
able grief?" 164 Indeed, through the power of her compassion she is reminis- 
cent of Avalokitesvara and Tara, saving her devotees from the (eight) terrible 





Danger from lions, elephants, fire, snakes, and thieves does not 
come near to one whose mind is intent on you! 

Vajravilasinfs character is also intensely sensual, and Vibhuticandra invokes 
many classical references in praise of her beauty, such as the three folds of 
flesh on her belly {trivalih, v.4), her lofty buttocks, and her firm breasts. 
Saiva imagery intensifies the mood of love, as Vibhuticandra hints at the 
amours of Siva, whose wife is "unable to bear the moon on his headdress" 



[because of her jealous love]. Such references identify Vajravilasini as the 
Buddhist counterpart of Siva's consort in her amorous aspect. 166 

Figure 21 shows Vajravilasini as the (self- visualized) main deity with her 
two-armed consort. The praise verses do not indicate directly whether she 
is seated or standing, but we depict a seated figure because of her similar- 
ity with Guhyavajravilasini, and also depict her as the main deity, that is, 
with the female form drawn facing the viewer (cf. fig. 6). 


Another highly erotic form of Vajravilasini appears in the Secret Vajravilasini 
Sadhana, the Guhyavajravildsinisadhana by Sahara (GSS10); a verse-by- verse 
summary is given in the appendix. Although the text refers to her mainly as 
Vajravilasini, I shall use the name Guhyavajravilasani (Secret Vajravilasini) 
after the title of the sadhana and after its opening salutation, in order to dis- 
tinguish her from the goddess Vajravilasini described previously. 167 

Fig. 22. Guhyavajravilasini. 
Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

The practice of Guhyavajravilasini is related to that of Vidyadhari Vajra- 
yogini in a number of ways. The teacher for both is the mountain-dwelling 
adept, Sahara (presumably a member of the wild mountain sabara tribe): 168 

I, Sabara, the [ignorant] mountain-dweller who has no learn- 
ing at all 


shall speak a few words (lit., syllables) through the power of 


Both practices are also located in the mountainous setting of Manovibhanga 
and Cittavis'rama, here named as the place where Sahara first learned the 
sadhana of GuhyavajravilasinI from his teacher. 169 

(v. 4) Having set foot on Manobhanga [and] on the delightful 
mountain [called] Cittavis'rama, abundant with all sorts of jew- 
els, fragrant with the odor of musk deer, 

(v. 5) in that very lovely place where highly fragrant flowers grow 
(-dsraye), where the beautiful (sundara-?) mango trees glisten 
[and] the cuckoos coo low, 

(v. 6) in a glade massed full of red [-flowering] asoka trees, on the 
lunar day of the "As'oka-eighth," 170 this [goddess] Vilasini was 
taught me by the teacher named Karuna. 

Sahara's association with the practice is also attested in the *Siddha-Amndya 
within a hagiography of the tantric scholar Advayavajra (apparently an ema- 
nation of Nagarjuna). In this text, we find several themes familiar from the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld texts. Advayavajra (at this point bearing the 
ordained name Maitrigupta) is prompted by a voice in a dream to leave his 
monastery and to set out, first for Khasarpana, and then for Manobhanga 
and Cittavis'rama in Daksinapatha — the place where he will find the adept 
who will be his preceptor, SabaresVara. The monk has some trouble locat- 
ing the mountains, and it is only after a period of Tara worship and the 
intervention of Tara herself that he leaves Udra (Oddiyana) and travels for 
fifteen days to the northwest, reaching the (two) mountains the following 
day. 171 Despite making mandalas daily on the mountain (only a single 
mountain is mentioned) and fasting for ten days in meditation upon a rock, 
he fails to achieve a vision of Vajrayogini, managing only to see her in a 
dream. In despair on the tenth day, he is about to cut off his own head when 
Sahara appears before him, consecrates him, and gives him the new name, 
Advayavajra. 172 Advayavajra's practice of Vajrayogini is not immediately 
successful. His preceptor orders him to demonstrate how all appearances — 
even the Buddhist precept of nonviolence — are illusory (prdndtipdtamdyd) 
by chopping off the head of his companion, Sagara, and then restoring it. 
Advayavajra has no problem with the first half of the task, but fails dismally 
in the second. Perhaps as a measure of his disappointment in his pupil, 


Sahara immediately orders Advayavajra to return to his teaching post at the 
university; but Advayavajra, who is now rather unconfident about his cre- 
dentials, demurs. Sahara, however, reassures him, declaring that the prac- 
tice of Vajrayogini will always bear fruit in the end. 

A tale with some similarities is recounted by Taranatha in his History 
(pp. 191-95), perhaps suggesting that this story is an adaptation of the 
mythology that surrounds AvalokitesVara. Taranatha's account describes 
the journey of the layman Santivarman, a contemporary of the pretantric 
Dignaga. In response to a dream, the king sends the upasaka to seek the res- 
idence of AvalokitesVara on Potala mountain, and to request his aid in coun- 
teracting famine and epidemic in Jambudvipa. Santivarman first reaches the 
temple of s'rl-Dhanyakataka on the island of *Dhanas , ri, after which he trav- 
els first underground and then above ground to reach Potala. After even- 
tually meeting the bodhisattva, Santivarman returns by himself, and while 
he is resting on the way, AvalokitesVara joins him, coming "through the sky" 
to the place that henceforth becomes known as *Khasarpana ("Sky-going"). 
Later, Santivarman makes two further visits to Potala, one of them at the 
behest of monks at Varanasi to solve a textual problem in their scriptures. 

Santivarman's and Advayavajra's stories share several features. Both 
undertake their journeys as a result of a dream, and both journeys are to 
mountainous regions accessible only through magical means. Both travel- 
ers fail at first to find the mountain and must engage in a period of medi- 
tation before meeting the deity/adept, but both finally receive a "direct 
vision" on the mountain. Both travelers pass through s'rl-Dhanyakataka 
and Khasarpana, and finally, both are concerned to further the academic 
understanding of the scriptures. The earlier story may have come to inform 
the Advayavajra legend through the association of Sahara with Avalokites'- 
vara. Sahara's chosen deity (istadevatd) is the eleven-headed, thousand- 
armed form of AvalokitesVara called Mahakarunika {Blue Annals p. 1044; 
Dowman 1985: 62). In the Guhyavajravildsinisddhana (GSS10), Sahara is 
taught by his teacher Karuna to visualize himself as PadmanartesVara, a 
form of the bodhisattva LokesVara/Lokanatha (AvalokitesVara), while the 
Arddhanavidhi (GSS23) is said to have to be taught by LokesVara in Sahara's 
form. 173 Sahara's iconography also echoes that of the bodhisattva Avaloki- 
tesVara. He wears a deerskin, carries a bow and arrow, and resides on a 
mountain. Both fulfill their vow by remaining forever in the world for the 
sake of sentient beings. 

In addition to her shared lineage and location, Guhyavajravilasini bears 
iconographical resemblances to Vidyadharl Vajrayogini, as well as to 


Vajravilasini. The first descriptions appear in the preparations to the 
sadhana, in which the partners are directed to wash and adorn themselves 
and, after making love, position themselves in the posture of the deities 
ready for the preliminary meditations and the self-generation (these elabo- 
rate prescriptions are summarized in the appendix). After evoking the deities 
through a series of awakenings consonant with practice of sexual yoga 
(K47VI ff, w. 38-45), the yogin is ready to visualize his consort as Guhya- 
vajravilasinl. He sees her as bright red, or perhaps yellow, in color, "clad 
[only] in her own loveliness." She is thus naked, without any ornament 
except the pearl necklace, an asoka flower behind her ear, and an added 
streak of red lac across her forehead. 174 In her right hand she holds aloft a 
vajra chopper in a graceful arc; in her left she holds a noose. She is dizzy 
with the intoxication of love (lola-), and her girdle swings to and fro with 
the movements of her love-play (lildndolitamekhald-). She is visualized mak- 
ing love to her consort in the following posture: "[seated] with her sex 
placed on the elevation of Padmanarta's "banner" (i.e., penis), in the squat- 
ting (utkuta) posture, 175 giving seductive smiles with flirtatious glances... 
lovely with [her] flowing sex because of the touches of [his] throbbing 

' " 1 76 

penis. w 

The yogin, her consort, does not visualize himself as Cakrasamvara but 
as Padmanarta; that is, as PadmanartesVara, "Lord of the Dance (nartah) in 
the Lotus [Family]," the esoteric reflex of AvalokitesVara. His self- 
visualization (K48r4, w. 54-63) is given in terms as erotic and explicit as 
that of the goddess. PadmanartesVara is said to embody the beauties of a six- 
teen-year-old youth; he is a vibrant red and, like his consort, is adorned 
only with an asoka flower behind the ear, a streak (of gold) across his fore- 
head (K4-8r6, v. 56c), and a dangling pearl necklace. His attributes are a 
yellow lotus in the left hand and a vajra in the right. His eyes are half closed 
in ecstatic pleasure, as he reclines slightly on his back, his lower left leg 
somewhat contracted, and his right leg stretched out with his consort placed 
between them. 177 He visualizes himself "causing Vilasini to dance with his 
penis (guhyavajrena), which is very much in evidence." 178 And he embraces 
her again and again, murmuring (kujita) with pleasure, intensely passion- 
ate, and entirely absorbed in the "innate" (sahaja-) bliss. 

The deities are shown in figure 22, in which we attempt to depict this 
anatomically challenging pose. We follow the conventions of the Mongo- 
lian icons in seating the deities upon a lotus, although none is prescribed 
in our text. Since the yogin is to place himself upon a "comfortable seat" 
(K472: sukhdsanasamdsina-) , we show them seated upon a deerskin (cf. 




IWS/T 88, LC 598). According to the text, the practice and the self- 
visualization take place "on a mountain or some such place, in a cave, in a 
place [full] of fragrant flowers, in a deserted dwelling, or if one wishes, in 
a garden or an empty wood." 179 

The Guhyavajravildsinisddhana is unusual in the Guhyasamayasddhana- 
mdld collection in that the sadhaka visualizes himself as the male deity. But 
Vajravilasini is evidently the central deity. She is the first to be described 
as a result of the generation from the consort's sex/ dharmodayd, and the 
mantra concealed within the extraction of the mantra (mantroddhdrah) 
belongs to her and not to the god. The female consort is also given a degree 
of independence from her partner in the worship that follows the conse- 
cration (K49n-49V2, w. 68-79). F° r example, each partner worships the 
other's body with offerings of flowers, fruit, and incense (K49r4), gives 
the other betel nut, and recites loving verses, exchanging "sweet noth- 
ings." 180 Furthermore, after the erotic rituals have been performed, the text 
describes how the female consort may perform the practice upon the male 
partner (K51V3, vv. 119-20). The sadhana's prescriptions for the behavior 
of the consort even continue in a section that covers the contingency of 
no consort being available, when the text describes a method of mastur- 
bation for each partner separately, combined with the visualization of the 
full sexual act. 181 

Sanderson (1999: personal communication) has pointed out that the 
iconographic and mantric form of GuhyavajravilasinI is close to that of the 
Saiva goddess of the Srividya cult, Lalita (" Playful") -Tripurasundari ("Beau- 
tiful Goddess of the Three Worlds"). Tripurasundari (also called Kames- 
vari, "Lady of Love") is depicted in the main scripture of the cult as red, 
with red garments, garlanded with red flowers, one-faced and four-armed, 
carrying a noose, hook, a bow and five arrows (the five arrows of the love 
god), and seated above lower gods on the body of white Sadas'iva. 182 Guhya- 
vajravilasinI is similar to the Saiva goddess in that she holds a noose, and 
like her, is red in color, of unparalleled beauty, and seductive by nature. 
Their names too are similar, as Tripurasundari's alternative appellation is 
"Lalita," which like "Vilasini" is suggestive of the sport of love. Most telling 
of Tripurasundari's influence, however, is Guhyavajravilasini's mantra sup- 
plied in the mantra extraction (mantroddhdrah, GSS10 K52r4, w. 129-32). 
This reveals a distinctive five-syllabled mantra (em nlim rim rum blim), the 
syllables of which are a caique upon the five "arrow" syllables of the Saiva 
goddess, as taught in the Vdmakesvarimata (Sanderson ibid). m 

The male consorts in the two traditions are also similar in that both are 



"lords of love," masters, or gods (isvara-) of sexual pleasure (kamah, suratah). 
Tripurasundarl perches upon KamesVara's left thigh, while Vajravilasini 
makes love with PadmanartesVara: "The practitioner is to visualize himself 
in this way as PadmanartesVara, the lord of sexual pleasure, as though he 
were great bliss itself made manifest." 184 As a form of AvalokitesVara, Padma- 
nartes'vara's connection with the compassionate Vajravilasini goddesses 
seems particularly appropriate, and this is borne out on the mythical level 
by Sahara's association with the practice, discussed earlier. In drawing upon 
the form of PadmanartesVara in this way, Sanderson has suggested that 
the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld sadhana may be using material from the 
lesser-known parts of the Buddhist tradition in order to accommodate new 
Saiva-based elements within the Buddhist tradition. The name "Padmanar- 
tesVara" itself is, of course, immediately reminiscent of Siva as "Lord of the 
Dance," Nataraja. 185 

The soteriological goal of the practice is mahamudra. This is described 
here as one of the magical powers (siddhis) attainable by realizing Guhya- 
ajravilasini: "Having obtained [the siddhis of] subjugation and bringing 
near, paralyzing, slaying, and driving forth, the eye ointment [for invisibil- 
ity], the preparation of the pill (gudikasiddhih), and many others, (v. 9) and 
[also] the state of mahamudra, I verbally entreated [Vajravilasini with the 
following words] : 'When a practitioner visualizes you according to this 
method, may you grant him the fruit of that [practice]!'" 186 

In the frame verses at the end of the sadhana, the sadhaka is assured that 
all female beings, celestial and human, will become his servants, and that 
after twelve years of constant practice, he will progress to mahamudra and 
become a siddha. In a similar vein, another mahamudra text ends with the 
guarantee that "he will wander about surrounded by women, like a lord of 
elephants [in rut] surrounded by bees." 187 According to the methodology of 
mahamudra, women are necessary to the sadhaka because they are his chief 
soteriological tool. In the words of the guru at the time of initiation, "She 
is an excellent ship that serves to cross over the water of the ocean of pas- 
sion." 188 Just as a great herbal medicine that is delicious to the taste strikes 
down an illness, so the "bliss of wisdom and means" (the union of female and 
male) "easily destroys the defilements." 189 To this end, no effort is eschewed 
that will heighten sensual experience. Physical beauty, fragrance, and sweet 
words are all employed. As the practices are enjoined at night (four times a 
month on the two fourteenth-nights and eighth-nights, K44.V6, v. 26), the 
yogin is instructed to use a lamp so that everything is illuminated, particu- 
larly the details of the body. 190 The violent passion that accompanies sexual 


rapture in classical Indian eroticology is put aside, and the couple are advised 
not to wound each other with their nails, lest they regret it later. 191 

Although the practitioners do everything possible to enhance the sexual 
impulse, it is within a controlled context. The yogin is to make love to his 
consort, "only for as long as his mind is not stirred up." 192 An indirect com- 
ment on his skill in this respect is found in the visualization of the couple's 
consecration, which is granted at the hands of celestial beings including the 
two famous apsarases, Rambha and Tilottama. These nymphs often appear 
in Puranic myths in order to distract advanced sages from their development 
of tapas when it is set to become a threat to the power of the gods. Their 
involvment in the consecration of a Buddhist yogin is a telling inversion of 
the Indian classical tradition. Its object is to prove that the sadhaka is able to 
manipulate the nymphs for his own ends rather than the other way around, 
and thus to demonstrate that his sexual love is under his command. 193 

The yogin's control over his mundane sexuality is achieved by one- 
pointed concentration upon the goal of his practice, sahaja bliss: "The mind 
is fickle because of excessive movement; because it is motionless (niscalanat) 
[it becomes] the means (mukham) of enlightenment. His mind set on [the 
bliss of] sahaja (sahajasaktacetasah), he should make the goddess tremble in 
sexual play." 194 In the Hevajra system followed by our author, sahaja bliss 
is understood to be the final stage in a series of four "blisses" or "joys" 
(anandas). Each bliss arises at a particular "moment" (ksanah), the final, 
highest bliss occurring at the moment said to be free of both passion and 
nonpassion (HT2.3.8: vilaksanam). m The ultimate, sahajabliss is described 
here as that final moment of intensity when he "excites the goddess," but 
retains his own semen: 196 

(v. 90) The god and goddess should perform [the sexual move- 
ments of] churning and swinging (manthdndndolanam) 197 accord- 
ing to their own mudra (svamudrd). But one should realize that 
sahaja bliss has arisen in the moment of vilaksana. (v. 91) With 
his penis he should excite the goddess, and he should not emit 
his semen. If he emits his semen, how can there be great bliss? 
(v. 92) He should churn the ocean of the vagina through his 
desire for the ambrosia of sahaja, but in such a way that the poi- 
son (kdlakutam) of passionlessness does not arise. 

In these verses, the classical metaphor of "churning the ocean" is cleverly 
employed to place especial emphasis on the importance of passion. 


Whereas the devas and asuras churned the ocean of milk to produce both 
the nectar of immortality and mortal poison (kalakutam), in contrast, the 
churning of sexual yoga should avoid the poison (passionlessness) and pro- 
duce only nectar {sahaja bliss). In an inversion of traditional Buddhist val- 
ues, tantric sexual yoga is based on the premise that there can be "no greater 
sin than passionlessness": "In short, there is no place for passionlessness in 
a buddha." 198 

The erotic practices of the Guhyavajravildsinlsddhana describe the process 
whereby sahaja bliss is transmuted into the soteriological goal of maha- 
mudra. The necessary basis of the yogin's erotic experience — as of all his 
experience — must be that of emptiness. This is a subject treated only cur- 
sorily here, however. 199 Instead, the recurring metaphor is of fusion and its 
power to induce the experience of nonduality. Thus, during the first of the 
"nine kinds of sexual play" {navapuspiw. 80-92), the yogin-deity is said to 
"penetrate the body of his lover from head to toe." 200 Once a classical love 
simile, the fusion referred to in this context is repeatedly shown to extend 
beyond the lovers' bodies to the macrocosm. The rays from the copulating 
goddess, or from her mantra, are of such intensity that they melt the three 
worlds into a single essence of blood, in the center of which the divine cou- 
ple is visualized making love. 201 

The sexual fusion is related to the yogic fusion of winds and drops. For 
example, during the "pendulum recitation" (doldjdpah, K50V5, w. 102-09) 
the couple is in union, each imagining the five blazing syllables of Vilasini's 
mantra circulating through their bodies. The syllables start on the sex of the 
female consort (vidyd), enter the male via his penis, exit through his nos- 
tril, enter the vidyd via. her nostril, and again pass into her sex. The mantra 
is recited up to five hundred times as it revolves through their united bod- 
ies, resulting in the fusion of ndda and drop (binduh) within the internal 
bodily channels. This is followed by a repeated "mutual sucking" of the 
male and female sex. 202 At the end of the pendulum recitation, the practioner 
imagines the "fusion of their identities" (atmamelakah, K5K3, w. 110-14), 
and the three worlds are visualized whirling around like a wheel in the liq- 
uid form of purified gold "blazing with the flavor of sameness," and cut- 
ting off the defilements of the world down to the most subtle. 203 Only then 
does it become extinguished and dissolve like a rainbow into the ocean of 
space, upon which space itself dissoves into sahaja, "the ocean of awaken- 
ing that brings great success." 204 The text describing the yogic rituals ends 
with a Madhyamaka-type analysis of emptiness, in which reality is com- 
pared to dream experience because of its dependence upon causes (K51VI, 



w. 115-18). The experience of fusion, it suggests, is the correlative of the wis- 
dom of sameness: for the yogin who is concentrated on this fact [of non- 
duality], and "steady in his continual practice of going to sameness," will 
become a siddha and have the great power of mahamudra. 205 

Trikayavajrayogini (Chin namasta) 

The last manifestation of Vajrayogini to be discussed here is Trikaya- 
vajrayogini, "triple-bodied Vajrayogini." She is also known as Chinnamasta, 
or Chinnamunda — "She Whose Head Is Severed" — because she is visual- 
ized holding her own severed head in her hand. In our texts, however, the 
emphasis is not so much upon her severed head as upon her threefold 
nature, that is, Vajrayogini who manifests as three: the central deity plus 
two attendants named after the components of the tripartitite Vajrayogini 
mantra, Vajravairocani (right) and Vajravarnani (left); the central figure as 
a single deity is known as Sarvabuddhadakini (GSS27) or Sribuddhadakini 
(GSS24). Following Virupa's nomenclature, I shall therefore refer to this 
triple-bodied manifestation of Vajrayogini as Trikayavajrayogini rather than 
Chinnamasta. 206 (See fig. 23 and plate 9.) 

Fig. 23. Trikayavajrayogini. 
Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

om sarvabuddhadakinlye om 
vajravarnanlye om vajravairocanlye 
hum hum hum 
phat phat phat svaha 













The Guhyasamayasadhanamala contains a number of texts that describe 
Trikayavajrayoginl. These fall into two groups: 

i. The first group (I) comprises the Laksmisddhana (GSS24), perhaps by 
Laksmi (see the appendix), the Sadhana of Triple-Bodied Vajrayogini 
(Trikayavajrayoginisadhana GSS25), and two praise works {stotras 
GSS26 and GSS27) by Laksmi's pupil, Virupa. This group also 
includes two other texts that are closely related to Virupa's sadhana, 
the Vajrayoginisadhana (GSS20«SM232) 207 and a portion of the 
Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 Sed p. 151, K36r5). 

2. The second group (II) is centered on a text also called the Vajrayogini- 
sadhana, which appears in three nearly identical versions (GSSc>« 
GSS30«SM234). Here the iconographical material is so scant that its 
relationship with Trikayavajrayoginl is chiefly indicated by the form 
and arrangment of the offering mantras. 

Table 6. 

Trikayavajrayoginl texts in Guhyasamayasadhanamala WSadhanamala 



GSS9 - GSS30 - SM234 

stotras sadhana GSS25 

GSS26 GSS27 


GSS20 — GSS5 

balividhi SM238 SM232 (no balividhi) 

According to the texts in group I, the self-generation of Trikayavajra- 
yoginl begins at the yogin's navel with the visualization of a blossoming 
white (or red, GSS24) lotus topped with a red sun disk produced from ram. 
Upon this, the yogin visualizes a red dharmodayd produced from the sylla- 
ble hrim, within which Vajrayogini is generated, also from the syllable hrim. 


The second group of texts prescribes the generation of the deity at the heart 
upon a multicolored lotus but, as in the first group, within a vibrantly red 
dharmodayd and as a transformation of hrim. There are significant differ- 
ences between the two sets of sources in the way the central form of Vajra- 
yogini is then to be visualized. In group I, the texts are economical and 
focus their attention mainly on her stance. She is described as yellow in 
color and naked. Whether she should be seen with bone ornaments is there- 
fore ambiguous; the (slightly different) text of GSS24 does prescribe them 
(which we follow in figure 23). Her legs are in the warrior (dlidhah) stance 
(GSS24), which Virupa's text does not name but describes, "with her right 
leg stretched out, and the left foot contracted" (GSS25, cf. GSS20, GSS5); 
in his stotras, however, he states that she is in the reverse warrior 
(pratydlidhah) stance. Most strikingly, the goddess is visualized holding "her 
own head, chopped off with her own knife by herself." The left arm hold- 
ing the head is stretched up to her left, while her right arm holding the 
chopper points down diagonally in line with her outstretched right leg. 
From the goddess's decapitated torso, three streams of blood are seen gush- 
ing up into the air. The first spurts out of the central bodily channel, 
avadhuti, and flows directly into the mouth of the severed head in her out- 
stretched hand. Blood from the channel on the left (laland) and the chan- 
nel on the right (rasand) also streams out and enters the mouths of the two 
yoginis at her sides. 208 

The attendent yoginis are named as Vajravarnani to the left side of the 
central figure and Vajravairocani to the right. Vajravarnani is a dark color, 
probably blue (GSS25 etc.: sydmdvarndm), or red (GSS24: raktavarndm) , 
and Vajravairocani is yellow. Each steps toward the central goddess, so that 
Vajravarnani to the left stands in the pratydlidha stance, and Vajravairocani 
to the right stands in the dlidha stance. Their attributes are the classic skull 
bowl and chopper of Vajrayogini, which they hold so that the chopper is 
on the outside, while the skull bowl is on the inside closest to the central 
figure. The attendant goddesses form mirror ima'ges of each other; they are 
naked with loose hair, and "between them, in space," the yogin is to visu- 
alize "a very terrifying cremation ground" (since the text is truncated, in fig- 
ure 23 we depict them wearing the bone ornaments, despite no prescriptions 
for this). 209 All three deities are depicted in the IWS, according to the Rin 
'byung brgya rtsa, in which Vajravarnani is said to be green. 210 

In the second group of sources (GSS9«SM234«GSS3o), there is no men- 
tion at all of a severed head or of any other distinguishing feature. The fact 
that the goddess is a form of Trikayavajrayogini can only be inferred from 


the presence of the two attendant goddesses by her side and by the mantras 
that follow. Her generation is described, however, beginning at the heart 
from a multicolored pam that transforms into a multicolored lotus and cul- 
minating in the goddess Vajrayogini produced from a red hum and seen 
having the color "dark gold" (kanakasydmdm)— that is, red in color rather 
than yellow. 211 

The ritual component of the practice is a puja. In both groups of sources, 
the worship involves offerings to an external mandala accompanied by an 
unusual sequence of offering mantras. The first sources relate how the yogin 
is to draw a square mandala upon the ground and then generate the god- 
dess through a sequence that mirrors the awakenings. Thus, a sun disk (a 
circle) is drawn inside the square, and a dharmodayd triangle is drawn on 
top of the circle with the syllable hrim within. The sadhaka may then wor- 
ship either the seed-syllable or the iconographical form of the goddess, 
which he produces from the seed-syllable "placing [her] down" (dropya) in 
the center of the triangle. 212 Having emanated the three goddess inside the 
dharmodayd, he is then to make offerings. 

The offerings proceed with the recitation of offering mantras. These form 
three sets, which are listed almost identically in all our sources, group I and 
group II (see table 7). The mantras for the shorter sadhanas (group II) 
include the color of the goddess to whom the offering is made, as well as 

the vocative mantric element vajrapuspe — "O Vajra Flower!" suggesting 

that the mantras are to be recited while offering a flower. 213 Other works 
prescribe either a fuller worship with traditional offerings or just with guest 
water. 214 Our sources also state where on the mandala the offering is to be 
made; that is, to the central goddess, or to the yogini on her left and right, 
so that in the course of the worship, all three goddesses are honored. (The 
allocations in group II, however, seem problematic. 215 ) The worship ends 
with the final recitation of the japa ("utterance") mantra, which is the tri- 
partite root mantra of Vajrayogini. 216 

The object of the first set of mantras is to worship the triple nature of 
Trikayavajrayogini. The set opens with the tripartite japa mantra, which 
praises Trikayavajrayogini as three deities in one. Individual offerings are 
then made to her in her three aspects, namely, to the central deity as Sarva- 
buddhadakini, to the dark lefthand deity Varnani, and to the yellow right- 
hand deity Vairocani. Having recited all three sets of offering mantras, 
the yogin may then make a final offering to Trikayavajrayogini (in GSS25 
and in group II), which seems to be another all-embracing mantra to her 
as three-in-one. In this worship, the goddesses are externalizations of the 

9 8 


Table 7. Trikdyavajrayogini offering mantras 

Offering Mantras 
Group T 

1st set In the center of the dharmodaya: 
japa mantra" 1 

Center: om sarvabuddhaddkiniye hum (phat) 

On the left: om vajravarnaniye hum (phat) 

On the right: om vajravairocanlye hiim 
(phat) svdhd 

Offering Mantras 
Group IF 

In the center: om sarvabuddhaddkiniye 
vajrapuspe svdhd 

In front: om (sarva?)buddhaddkini yellow- 
colored vajrapuspe svdhd 

fOn the right/southf: om vajravarnani 
dark-colored vajrapuspe svdhd 

tBehind/westf: om vajravairocani white- 
colored vajrapuspe svdhd 

2nd set [Center] om oddiydna vajrapuspe hum svdha om dharmakdyavajrapuspe svdhd 

[Left] om purnagiri vajrapuspe hum svdhd 

om sambhogakayavajrapuspe svaha 

[Right] om kamakhya vajrapuspe hum svaha om nirmdnakayavajrapuspe svaha 

Again in the center: om sirihatta vajrapuspe 
hum svdhd 

In the center: om mahasukhavajrapuspe svaha 

3rd set [Center] om dharmakdya vajrapuspe hum om oddiyanavajrapuspe svahd 


[Left] om sambhogakaya vajrapuspe hum 

[Right] om nirmdnakdya vajrapuspe hiim 

Again in the center: om mahdsukhakdya 
vajrapuspe hiim svdhd 

om purnagirivajrapuspe svaha 

om kamarupavajrapuspe svaha 

In the center: om srihattavajrapuspe svaha 

(GSS25 only) Again in the center: om namah Again in the center: om namah sarvabuddha- 
sarvagurubuddhabodhisattvebhyo vajrapuspe bodhisattvavajrapuspe svdhd 

hum svdhd 

{Japa mantra]: om namah sarvabuddhaddkini [Japa mantra]: om sarvabuddhaddkiniye om 

om namah sarvavajravarnani om namah vajravarnaniye om vajravairocaniye hiim hum 

hrim sarvavairocani hiim hiim hiim phat phat hiim phat phat phat svdhd 
phat svdhd 


Notes to Table 7 

i E.g., GSS25 (K9ir3) (my numbering): (1) tatra dharmodaydmadhye "om sarvabuddha- 
ddkinlye" ityddimantrena prathamam arcayet. tadanu "om sarvabuddhaddkini" hiim 
phat svdhd' ity anendrgho deyah, vdme "om vajravarnaniye hiim phat svdhd" daksine 
"om vajravairocaniye hum phat svdhd" ity arcayet. (2) "om oddiydna vajrapuspe hiim 
svdhd, " "om purnagiri vajrapuspe hum svdhd, " "om kdmdkhya vajrapuspe hum svdhd, " 
punar madhye "om s'irihatta vajrapuspe hum svdhd. "(3) "om dharmakdya vajrapuspe 
hum svdhd, " "om sambhogakdya vajrapuspe hum svdhd, " "om nirmdnakdya vajrapuspe 
hum svdhd, "punar madhye "om mahdsukhakdya vajrapuspe hum svdhd. " [Texts 
diverge. GSS25 continues] punar madhye "om namah sarvagurubuddhabodhisattve- 
bhyo vajrapuspe hum svdhd. " dhydndt khinno mantram japet, tatrdyam mantrah, "om 
sarvabuddhaddkiniye svdhd, " "om sarvabuddhaddkiniye om vajravarnaniye om vajra- 
vairocaniye hum hiim hum phat phat phat svdhd. " 

•phat] GSS25 only • vdme] GSS25, GSS5; pascdd vdmaparsve GSS20, tatas tasyaiva 
tadvdmaparsve ca GSS24 • vajrapuspe] GSS25, om. GSS20, GSS24, GSS5 (also in 
the following mantras) • purnagiri] GSS20, GSS5; purnagiri GSS25, GSS24 • 
kdmdkhya] in various mss. it appears as kdmdkhya and kdmarupa* sirihatta] GSS25, 
GSS20, GSS24; srlhatta GSS5 • 

The mantras for the second and third sets of offerings are given in full only in GSS25 
(K92r3). In GSS24 (9OV3), GSS20 (84V6), and GSS5 (K36V6) the mantras are given 
in abbreviated form, e.g., GSS5: om <oMiydna>\ m % z >purnagirikdmdkhydsribatta 
<dharma > \ m g 2 ) sambhoganirmdnamahdsukhakdydkhydndm p ratyekam caturthyan- 
tam ndma vidarbhya omkdrddisvdhdntena pujayitvd purvavat. This japa mantra 
differs slightly in the different texts for groups I and II. 

ii In group II (GSS9 I<45r.2, GSS30 Ki02r3, SM234 p. 455), the three sets of mantras 
are as follows (my punctuation and numbering): (1) om sarvabuddhaddkinlye vajra- 
puspe <hum>(SMz34) svdhd, madhye. agratah om sarvabuddhaddkini pltavarnd 
vajrapuspe svdhd. daksine om vajravarnanl sydmavarnd vajrapuspe svdhd. pascime 
om vajravairocanl gauravarnd vajrapuspe svdhd. (2) om dharmakdyavajrapuspe 
svdhd. om sambhogakdyavajrapuspe svdhd. om nirmdnakdyavajrapuspe svdhd. ma- 
dhye om mahdsukhavajrapuspe svdhd. (3) om oddiydnavajrapuspe svdhd. ompurna- 
girivajrapuspe svdhd. om kdmarupavajrapuspe svdhd. madhye om srlhattavajrapuspe 
svdhd. punar madhye om namah sarvabuddhabodhisattvavajrapuspe svdhd. om 
namah sarvabuddhaddkini om namah sarvavajravarnanl om namah hrlm sarva- 
vairocani hiim hiim hiim phat phat phat svdhd. 

(1) • °varnani] GSS30, SM234; °varnanaGSS<) • agratah om sarvabuddha°] GSS9; 
agratah om buddha GSS30, SM234 • vajravarnanl] GSS30, SM234; vajravarnana 
GSS9 * om vajravairocanl gauravarna\ SM234; gauravarnd om vajravairocanl 
GSS9, GSS30 • (3) sarvavairocani] SM234; sarvavairocanlye GSS9, GSS30 

iii This is omitted in GSS24, which begins with the offering mantras to Sarvabuddha- 
dakini in the center. In GSS25, GSS20, and GSS5 it appears in shorthand with iti 
(sarvabuddhaddkiniye ityddimantrena), which can only refer back to the japa mantra 
given after the visualization in GSS25 and GSS5. In GSS20 the japa mantra is omitted 
after the visualization (it appears instead at the end), and thus there is no referent for 
iti in this sadhana. 



three central yogic channels or veins in the body, and each represents the 
channel from which she drinks the blood. In the Trikdyavajrayoginistotra 
(GSS27), Vajrayogini is said to be established within each channel in 
turn, and to manifest in each with a particular color 217 and a particular 
iconography: : 


(v. 2cd) In the central portion of this [dharmodayd- triangle] is the 
syllable hrim, which is described as yellow in color, (v. 3) 
[Trikayavajrayogini] arises from it and is [also] yellow. She is by 
nature (svayam) situated in the avadhuti, but in lalandshe is very 
dark, and in rasand she has a white [color], (v. 4) In the middle 
she is in the pratydlidha stance, naked, and charming in [her] 
yellow [color]. [Thus] the goddess Trikayavajrayogini is estab- 
lished in the three channels, (v. 5) This [goddess] as a single [god- 
dess] is called Sarvabuddhadakini. 

Vajrayogini's threefold nature is also extolled in the other Trikdyavajra- 
yoginistotra (GSS26) in which it becomes the central motif. Thus, she inhab- 
its sky, earth, and the underworld, and makes the triple world tremble (v. 
4); she is without dissolution or arising but is the agent of both (v. 7). The 
unification of her threefold nature into a single goddess represents the yogic 
goal of great bliss, the result of the conjunction of winds in the central 
channel: "Through the conjuction of laland and rasand, she is avadhuti, 
great bliss." 219 This gives rise to a fourth category, namely, the unified, tran- 
scendent aspect of the threefold system. For example, Vajrayogini has the 
dot (binduh), the subtle sound (nddah), and the moon segment (kald), (v. 5a) 
and yet she passes beyond them (GSS26 K93VI, v. 6a: bindunddakaldtitd). 
The stotra goes on to identify Vajrayogini with the four moments and blisses 
of the Hevajra system (v. 9cd) and the four bodies of the Buddha (v. 5cd). 220 
In the sadhanas, this fourth, transcendent aspect is represented by the uni- 
lateral mantra offering to the complete mandala, the goddess unified as 

The second set of mantra offerings includes the name of four sites: 
Oddiyana, Purnagiri, Kamakhya (= Kamarupa), and Srihatta (Syllhet in 
modern Bangladesh). This is reminiscent of the body mandala, in which 
the Cakrasamvara/Vajravarahi mandala is understood to comprise twenty- 
four sites (pithas) within the three worlds (ch. 3). Of those twenty-four sites, 
however, only Oddiyana appears in the mandala of Trikayavajrayogini; 
indeed, this fourfold set seems to have been unique. 221 With the recitation 



of these offering mantras, the yogin identifies the three goddesses with the 
first three sites, and the central goddess again (presumably as the transcen- 
dent "fourth") with the fourth site. 

The same procedure is followed for the third set of offering mantras, 
which identify the goddesses with the bodies of the Buddha. Similar cor- 
relations are seen in the Samvarodayatantra (ch. 4, w. 22cd-27), m which 
the triadic yogic structure is identified with many different external triads, 
including both the triple world and the Buddha's three bodies, and where 
it is said that by realizing the correlation between the outer and inner tri- 
ads, the yogin attains buddhahood (v. 27cd). 

The goals of the Trikayavajrayogini practice are enumerated chiefly in 
terms of the magical powers (siddhis) accrued. The Laksmisddhana describes 
the rewards of mantra recitations in the prior service (purvaseva): one lakh 
(one hundred thousand) calms obstructive spirits, two lakhs attract women, 
three lakhs conquer cities, four lakhs attract the king and five lakhs bring 
the practitioner whatever he desires (GSS24 K90V6-9K, cf. Benard 1994: 
72-74). Liberationist goals are not forgotten, however, and the stotra 
describes the goddess's power of liberating the practitioner "from the bonds 
of the oceans of existence." 222 Unusually, liberation is also the stated goal of 
the bali offerings that end the sadhana practices. The bali mantra in the 
Virupa-based Trikayavajrayogini sadhanas (group I) is the only mantra in 
the GSS that states that it is "for enlightenment" (samyaksambodhaye). 225 
The fact that siddhi is not clearly distinguished from liberation in these texts 
is a reflection of Vajrayogini's supramundane status. Siddhi and liberation 
are the same in that both are realized by cleansing the mind of the obscu- 
rations that give rise to dual appearances. This is demonstrated by the icono- 
graphical symbolism of Trikayavajrayogini's severed head. By chopping off 
her own head and surviving to drink her own blood, the goddess dramati- 
cally declares that she has transcended the world of dual appearances. 

The motif of self-decapitation runs through other works in the highest 
tantras; indeed, it is not an uncommon theme in Indian mythology in gen- 
eral. 224 For example, one Tibetan hagiograpny of Kanhapa/Krsnacarya 
describes how his two pupils, the yoginis Mekhala and Kanakhala, are chal- 
lenged to cut off their heads in a bid to convert the king. This they happily 
undertake, before dancing headless into space and disappearing into rain- 
bow light. Taranatha says that their actions started a head-chopping trend 
among dakinis and that as an antidote Vajravarahi herself appeared with a 
severed head among her devotees. 223 The princess Laksminkara also used the 
device to prove to her father that in becoming the consort of her brother 


Indrabhuti, she was innocent of an incestous relationship. She chopped off 
her head and walked around the city while white blood flowed from her 
neck, after which the citizens called her Chinnamunda Varahl. 226 For such 
adepts, the severing of their own heads usually indicates the severing of 
defilements. Thus, Gampopa's final realization comes when he has a dream 
in which his head is cut off and rolls down a hill, symbolizing that his 
"grasping the idea of a self (dtmagrahah) is severed (Benard 1994: 96). 

The * Siddha-Amndya makes the same point, in a rather different fash- 
ion, when Advayavajra attempts to prove his mastery of appearances by 
temporarily decapitating his friend. He fails because he had not purified his 
mind of conceptualization (*Siddha-Amndya p. 11.26: vikalpasambhutat- 
vdt). Self-decapitation — or the breaking of some other fundamental Bud- 
dhist precept — therefore represents a moment of crisis. Thus, it is only 
when Advayavajra is about to cut off his head in despair at ever finding his 
guru that Sahara appears {^Siddha-Amndya p. 11.22). Similarly, Naropa's 
guru appears only after he has decided to cut his veins with a razor (Guen- 
ther 1963: 36). In the Arddhanavidbi above (GSS23), Sahara's failure leads 
him to doubt the truth of the lord's words, whereupon the goddess finally 
appears and tells him it is his own obscurations that are to blame. When 
Virupa's practice of Vajravarahl was fruitless, he was driven to throwing 
his rosary down the toilet, whereupon Vajravarahl appeared, and set him 
on the path that led him ultimately to enlightenment (Dowman 1985: 
43-52). In these accounts, it is only by reaching a breaking point that the 
yogin breaks through his defilements. By confronting his limitations in that 
crucial moment, he removes his final obscurations and gains access to the 
transcendent realm he has so dearly sought. 


We have now seen a variety of forms of Vajrayogini and Vajravarahl, all of 
which reflect the kdpdlika and/or s'dkta and yogic concerns of the highest 
Buddhist tantras. It remains to be asked whether we can tell anything of the 
origins and direction of the cult from our survey. Do the various manifes- 
tations present a dynamic picture of the cult of Vajrayogini in a process of 
evolution and development; or do they instead represent a number of dis- 
tinct if overlapping sytems, so that it would be more appropriate to talk of 
the Vajrayogini "cults" rather than of a single tradition? 


The main feature that unifies the many manifestations of Vajrayogini is 
the mantra, which, despite certain variants, revolves around the three epi- 
thets or mantra-deities, sarvabuddhadakini vajravarnani, and vajravairo- 
cani. Vajravairocani is the deity of Vajrayoginl's heart mantra, and 
Sarvabuddhadakini and Vajravarnani of her auxiliary heart mantra. The 
three combine in the root mantra: 

om om om 

sarvabuddhadakiniye vajravarnaniye vajravairocaniye 

hum hum hum p hat p hat p hat svaha 

None of these mantra deities occurs commonly by itself In the Trikaya- 
vajrayogini visualization they are given iconographical form as external 
representations of the three inner channels of the body, but apart from 
this, there is only one other mention of an independent separate goddess 
based on the mantra epithets. This is Vajravairocani, who appears in a 
rather suprising statement in the Abhisamayamanjari in which (having 
just prescribed the visualization of Vajravarahi as a solo deity) the author 
comments, "Furthermore, the goddess Vajravairocani is called Vajra- 
yogini, and according to the scriptures and the teaching, there are many 
differences in the transmission." 227 This seems to reflect the idea that once 
Vajravarahi appears outside her Cakrasamvara-based mandala, she may 
take on a different form (in this instance, that of Vajravairocani) and is 
perceived as a manifestation of the generic deity, Vajrayogini. How, then, 
did this identification between the two goddesses Vajravarahi and Vajra- 
yogini come about? 

Any attempt to look for the origins of the cult through the textual sources 
on hand can be little more than conjecture. We can, however, see two emer- 
gent trends at work in the sakta cults of the highest Buddhist tantras, and 
these seem to converge within Vajrayogini tradition. One trend is the emer- 
gence of a Buddhist yogini (a vajra-yogini) with Vajrayogini herself as the 
generic representative of that group. We have seen this same tendency at 
work in the forms of goddesses who represent particular classes of female, 
as in the attendant goddesses on the four petals, Dakini or Lama, and pos- 
sibly in the emergence of a single goddess called Vajravilasini. We also 
noticed Vajrayogini appearing as the essentialized form of other female 
deities, such as Ekajata and Buddhadakini. The other trend is the rise of the 
solitary heroine Vajravarahi. We have seen how Vajravarahi gravitated from 
the outer reaches of Heruka mandalas toward the center, to appear, on 



occasion, as consort to Hevajra, and then as chief lady in the Cakrasamvara 
system. Finally, as Buddhism absorbed the impact of sakta Saivism, Vajra- 
varahi assumed greater significance still and rose to the position of mandala- 
leader within her own all-female mandala. In this context, Vajravarahi 
appropriated the mandala and ritual systems of her former consort, and her 
own cult developed. These two trends converge as Vajravarahi is identified 
with Vajrayogini. The process seems natural enough. As the former con- 
sort of the deity, Cakrasamvara, Vajravarahi is an outstanding example of 
a vajra-yoginl and easily associated with the essentialized form of all vajra- 
yoginis, Vajrayogini herself. 

Whatever the factor that drew Vajravarahi into Vajrayogini's fold, once 
inside, she had a formative influence on the cult. First, she brought several 
different manifestations with her. For example, the dancing ardhaparyanka- 
pose form of Vajravarahi with the protruding hog's head may have pre- 
dated that of Vajravarahi as Cakrasamvara's consort, since she still bears 
her eponymous hog's head, which the consort does not. There also seems 
to be a tradition of the hog-headed forms of Vajravarahi belonging to the 
buddha family of Aksobhya, rather than to the presiding deity of Vajra- 
varahi in the Cakrasamvara mandala, Vairocana. A Tibetan source states 
that the hog-headed Vajravarahi is presided over by Aksobhya (n. 122); and 
the entirely hog-headed Vajraghona Vajravarahi, a goddess present in the 
mandalas of the Yamari herukas, is also presided over by Aksobhya. As we 
have seen, the Vajraghona form may have been emerging in its own right 
as the popularity of the wider cult grew, and this in itself hints at broader 
trends within the cults of female deity worship in India. Amid their ever- 
expanding pantheons, we find another popular hog-headed goddess: Marici, 
in her many forms. 

The interweaving of the Vajrayogini and Vajravarahi traditions might 
also explain the iconographical difference we noted between the manifes- 
tations that hold a chopper and those that hold a vajra. In the main, the 
chopper belongs to forms of Vajrayogini, and to the ardhaparyanka-pose 
Vajravarahi. The vajra generally belongs to warrior-stance forms of 
Vajravarahi. The chopper may then be associated with the "older" forms of 
the yogini-type goddess who was later essentialized as Vajrayogini, while the 
vajra may date from Cakrasamvara's embrace of Vajravarahi as his consort. 

The merging of once separate forms may also explain discrepancies 
within the mantras. Not all sadhanas prescribe the tripartite root mantra of 
the Vajrayogini tradition, and there are some exceptional mantras based on 
the mantra deities Vajravarahi, Vajradakini, and Vajrayogini. For example, 


the mantra deity Vajravarahi is included in the mantra utterance for the 
three forms of Vajravarahi: the Vajraghona forms, the six-armed embrac- 
ing Vajravarahi, and a warrior-stance Vajravarahi (in GSS2 K11V3). We also 
find the same mantra deities, VajradakinI and VajrayoginI, in mantras relat- 
ing to the warrior-stance form of VajrayoginI with a chopper, and to both 
the raised-leg-pose goddesses, white VajrayoginI, and red Vajravarahi. It 
seems to be Vajravarahl-as-consort who bequeathed the tripartite root 
mantra to the VajrayoginI tradition. The mantra element Sarvabud- 
dhadakinI appears in the Cakrasamvara texts in the auxiliary heart mantra 
of Vajravarahi (e.g., ADUT ch. 14, p. 288: om sarvabuddhaddkiniye hum 
humphatsvdhd), and the inclusive nature of this epithet sarvabuddhaddkini 
("dakinl of all the buddhas") is a testimony to Vajravarahl's importance as 
consort to Cakrasamvara and may have been another factor in equating her 
with the generic form of VajrayoginI. The epithet "Vajravairocanl" proba- 
bly arose because in the Cakrasamvara mandala Vajravarahi is assigned to 
the buddha family of Vairocana. I have found no clear directions as to the 
origins of the third epithet, vajravarnani. Although the three mantra epi- 
thets do not seem to have referred to separate forms of the goddess in the 
first instance, they may have acquired such status over time, as suggested 
by Sakyaraksita's (relatively late) reference above to a solo form of Vajra- 
varahi called Vajravairocanl. The same development seems to have affected 
the epithet sarvabuddhaddkini in later traditions. In Indian sources, I have 
not seen an independent goddess called SarvabuddhadakinI attested outside 
the TrikayavajrayoginI sadhanas. However, a deity iconographically identi- 
cal with warrior-stance, chopper-wielding VajrayoginI is referred to, on 
occasion, in Tibetan sources as SarvabuddhadakinI, or Sangs rgyas thams 
cad kyi mkha' 'gro ma (e.g., von Schroeder 1981: plate 111E), although this 
seems rare. In fact, the appellation "SarvabuddhadakinI" may be something 
of a Western usage, perhaps originating in a misreading of the Sddhanamdld 
sadhanas of TrikayavajrayoginI. 228 

Another feature of the practice of VajrayoginI in India is the tendency 
to associate particular forms of the goddess with charismatic founders of a 
lineage. This seems to have taken hold in Tibet, where there are three main 
transmissions of the goddess. As we have seen, Indrabhuti is associated with 
the transmission of the dancing ardhaparyanka form of Vajravarahi with 
hog's head, Indra-khecari (mKha spyod); Advayavajra/Maitrlpa(da) with 
the raised foot (urdhvapddah) form of Vidyadharl VajrayoginI, known in 
Tibet as "Maitrl-khecarl"; and finally, Naropa with the classic warrior- 
stance form of Vajravarahi, Na-ro-khecarl. 



Although the transmissions were oral to begin with, we have seen how 
their "textualization" occured very early. In a traditional Buddhist enviro- 
ment, this would have little affect on the esoteric nature of the worship and 
the still-primary role of the guru in granting intiation into the practices. 

(This remains true even today. As Lama Jampa Thaye put it [2002: per- 
sonal communication], "[The practices] remain 'secret' in as much as we 
cannot study or practise them without the requisite initiations and trans- 
missions — although one may, of course, possess the books." In other quar- 
ters, with the popular appeal of tantric Buddhism to Westerners and the 
willingness of Tibetan lamas to cater to that, the traditional structures no 
longer hold true. This situation has, of course, provided a rationale or jus- 
tification for academics, who argue that if such information is to appear in 
the public domain, then it may as well be accurate and subject to the schol- 
arly methods of the academy.) 

In conclusion, our survey of the Vajrayogini tradition in this chapter has 
revealed the general unity of the cult: Its mantras are relatively stable, and 
most forms of the goddess receive the generic labeling "Vajrayogini." How- 
ever, it has also indicated the existence of separate currents within the tra- 
dition, based on its historical roots and the influence of separate teachers. 
The two main streams in the tradition center on the goddesses Vajravarahi 
and Vajrayogini, and it is perhaps unsurprising that some forms in the 
Guhyasamayasddbanamdldhzve been seen to draw on both these traditions. 
Thus, the raised-foot-pose goddesses manifest as a form of white Vajra- 
yogini and as a form of red Vajravarahi; the same is true of Vilasim, who 
in one manifestation is related to Vajravarahi and in another to the 
Vidyadhari Vajrayogini; and both traditions are found to merge in the prac- 
tice of the turtle-stance Vajrayogini. This suggests that such forms are later 
developments in the cult, able to draw upon a mature iconographical stock. 
Is it possible, then, to trace the evolution of the cult from our analysis of 
its contexts? It seems fairly certain that an early stage would be the defini- 
tion of the solitary heroine (ekavird) within an all-female mandala based on 
the Cakrasamvara system. This may have encouraged the identification of 
Vajravarahi with the generic goddess Vajrayogini and the proliferation of her 
forms in their terrifying and/or erotic aspects. Our analysis of Umapatideva's 
Vajravarahi Sddhana will also shown an increasing cremation-ground ori- 
entation within these practices, one of which is taken further still in the 
"skeleton arch" practices (GSS32-34). Here, the tradition seems to draw on 
forms of Vajrayogini that survive in earlier tantric practices, and also from 


sources that lie outside the main Herukatantra traditions, namely from eso- 
teric Saivism and perhaps from less influential portions of the Buddhist 
tantras. Finally — or perhaps simultaneously — we see specialist practices 
emerging from within these different streams of the Vajrayogini tradition, 
as in the practices that reject the kdpdlika culture altogether and cultivate the 
erotico-yogic soteriology of mahamudra. 

The impressive number of forms in which Vajrayogini manifests and the 
variety of her practices together reflect the richness and popularity of her 
cult in the land of its birth. According to tradition, of course, such diver- 
sity simply illustrates the power of the goddess's compassion and her mas- 
tery of skillful means as she caters to differences in "the character and 
disposition" of beings. 229 Seen in this light, and despite all our efforts, any 
study of the goddess could only ever reveal a fraction of her true nature — 
for as the Abhisamayamanjari points out, Vajrayogini's manifestations are, 
in reality, infinite:' 


So one should understand the transmissions of the goddess such 
as these that have come down (dydtd) in the lineage of pupils 
from the teachings of the siddhas to be endless, because of the 
[endless] differences in the dispositions of those to be trained. 
This [work] has described this merely in outline. So (ca) having 
taken up one method among these methods [taught here] , one 
should meditate imbued with faith and compassion, unattached, 
following the pledge, [and] free from doubt. One will inevitably 

3. Study of the Vajravarahl Sadhana 

Outline of the Sadhana 


iHE Vajravdrdhi Sadhana by Umapatideva is one of the lengthiest 
sadhanas in the Guhyasamayasadhanamald. It comprises nearly eighty 
original Sanskrit verses interspersed with prose portions, much of 
which the author has redacted from elsewhere. The backstay of his work is 
the literature of Cakrasamvara, and it is from this source that Umapatideva 
draws the description of Vajravarahl and her thirty-seven-deity mandala, as 
well as the ritual practices that follow. We will see how Vajravarahi's 
mandala is carefully adapted from the sixty-two-deity mandala of Cakra- 
samvara, which appears in embryonic form in the Cakrasamvaratantra (e.g., 
chs. 2-3) and in various presentations in its derivative literature, such as the 
Yoginisamcaratantra (e.g., patalas 6-8), the Samvarodayatantra (e.g., chs. 8 
and 13), the Abhidhanottaratantra (e.g., chs. 9 and 14), and in exegetical lit- 
erature, such as Luyipada's Herukabhisamaya. 

The Vajravarahl Sadhana forms a rewarding subject for study, because 
in it the processes and methodology of the sadhana are particularly clear. 
These are highlighted by its distinctive structural framework: it is divided 
into four "meditation stages" (bhdvandkramas) , followed by a fifth section 
prescribing various external ritesTlt finishes with a few verses that form a 
sort of brief appendix, giving additional details of the eight cremation 
grounds. The four meditation stages describe progressively longer medita- 
tions based on the visualization of Vajravarahl within her mandala. The 
first meditation stage reads as a complete sadhana in itself. It opens and 
closes with the usual frame verses, prescribes the practitioner's preliminary 
actions, and then progresses to the yogin's generation of himself as 
Vajravarahl. Ritual and yogic procedures are then mentioned in brief, and 
it ends, as is standard in a sadhana, with the repetition of the deity's mantra. 
The second meditation stage is brief, as it simply prescribes the visualiza- 
tion of a fivefold mandala, that is, the central deity, Vajravarahl, on the 



pericarp of the lotus, surrounded by four more goddesses on the four main 
petals of the pericarp. The third meditation stage increases the mandala to 
include the eight outer goddesses at the gates, thus creating a thirteenfold 
mandala. The fourth meditation stage goes on to supply the goddesses of 
the twenty-four sites (pithas) situated upon the three mandala circles that 
surround the central petal in concentric rings; this brings the mandala to 
its complete thirty-seven-fold form. For each meditation stage, Umapati- 
deva prescribes the necessary mantras for the attendant goddesses, as well 
as additional mantras for the central deity. Upon completing the mandala, 
meditation stage four also describes the contemplative practices to be 
undertaken upon the basis of the full visualization. The full mandala is 
shown in figure 32 (related to plate 12). 

Umapatideva's neat organization of the details of the practice serves a 
didactic purpose. It enables him to clarify the methods for each visualiza- 
tion associated with the full mandala, and to offer each stage as a complete 
visualization in itself. Importantly, he is able to distinguish the mantras 
associated with the central deity at each stage. Other authorities on the 
mandala follow the more usual method, which is to prescribe the progres- 
sive visualization of mandala deities starting at the central pericarp and 
moving outward, thus: mandala leader(s) on lotus pericarp — » goddesses 
on surrounding lotus petals -* goddesses of the twenty- four sites — * outer 

This is the structure of the sixty- two-fold Cakrasamvara mandala as pre- 
sented in Luyipada's Herukdbhisamaya; and it is the structure of the other 
complete Vajravarahi mandala in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld collection, 
the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5) by Sakyaraksita, which is also closely based 
on Cakrasamvara sources. In this lengthy work (summarized in the appen- 
dix), the Abhisamayamanjari uses this progressive method to introduce the 
entire sadhana for the generation of the thirty-seven-fold mandala, from 
its preliminary procedures to its closing rites. Only then does it offer alter- 
native practices. The first alternative describes a fivefold mandala "for those 
wanting a medium-length version" (K33V5: madhyarucis tu...), as in 
Umapatideva's second meditation stage. The Abhisamayamanjari then gives 
the instructions for the visualization of Vajravarahi alone "for those want- 
ing a short version" (K34n: samksiptdrthi tu yathoktarupdm bhagavatim eva 
kevaldm bhdvayati), as in Umapatideva's first meditation stage. The struc- 
tural differences between these two important sadhanas are summarized in 
tabular form in table 8: 



Table 8. Comparative structure of the Vajravarahi Sadhana and 
Abhisamayamanj an 

by Umapati 

na (GSSii) 

Abhisamayamanj arl (GSS5) 
by Sakyaraksita 

meditation stage i 

sadhana for 
Vajravarahi alone 

sadhana for visualization 
of complete 37-fold mandala 
including ritual practices 

meditation stage 2 

5-fold mandala 

(with 4 goddesses on petals) 

meditation stage 3 

13-fold mandala 

(with 8 outer-goddesses) 

meditation stage 4 

37-fold mandala 

(with 24 site goddesses 
& contemplations) 

5-fold mandala 
(first alternative) 

ritual practices 

ball rituals, 
hand pujd, etc. 

single goddess Vajravarahi 
(next alternative) 

verse "appendix" 

verses describing the 
cremation grounds 

more alternative meditations 
for five other manifestations 
of Vajrayogini 

closing verses 

closing verses 

Umapatideva's handling of the ritual practices in the fifth section of the 
sadhana also has a didactic effect. It is standard that authors prescribe rit- 
ual procedures such as external worship at the end of a sadhana, as the 
sadhana is actually a preliminary to the rites — indeed to all activity — that 
the practitioner is to undertake in his new divine form. However, Uma- 
patideva is particularly careful to separate the rites from the body of the 
sadhana, which enables him to preserve the narrative flow of the four med- 
itation stages. For example, in the first meditation stage he simply points 
out in passing the moment when the tasting of nectar ritual is to be per- 
formed (v. 28b), but he reserves the actual procedures for the later section 
that deals specifically with ritual practices (v. 59ff.)- In this way, the ritual 
practices as given in Umapatideva's sadhana form a kind of extended 


"ritual epilogue" to the main body of the work. This structure allows 

Umapatideva to include other rites that may or may not be performed at 

the same time as the sadhana, such as the ball ritual and various external 

worship ceremonies, and it demonstrates that the rites may be performed 

using the visualization of the mandala in any of its four stages. The same 

clarity of exposition is evident in Umapatideva's treatment of other mate- y. i 

rial that is tangential to the main thrust of the meditation. Thus, he inserts 

the alternative visualization of the circle of protection at the end of the first 

meditation stage (v. 35), and details of the cremation grounds at the very 

close of the sadhana (w. 70-76). 

The lucid structural framework of the Vajravdrdhi Sadhana is matched 
by an elegance of style. In contrast to the formulaic Sanskrit prose and 
occasional "doggerel" (usually anustubh) of much sadhana literature, 
Umapatideva employs the somewhat more poetic meter upajdti. The first 
meditation stage comprises thirty-five of Umapatideva's own verses with 
additional prose passages redacted from other texts to expand upon the 
terse prescriptions of the verse. For the description of the full mandala in 
the second, third, and fourth meditation stages, Umapatideva draws from 
a stock of source material (discussed below) and thus employs a combina- 
tion of anustubh and prose. He concludes the sadhana with a return to his 
own verses in upajdti to explain the visualization of the cremation grounds 
and to close his composition with the dedication of merit. Within the clas- 
sical conventions that mold his verses, Umapatideva sets the prescriptive 
tone of the sadhana in the traditional fashion with the use of optative finite 
verbs applying to the sadhaka ("he should visualize," "he should perform," 
etc.), while his metrical reworking of the older material means that he 
avoids many stock descriptions found elsewhere in the Vajrayogini litera- 
ture. Nevertheless, in refining familiar phrases (for example, in his descrip- 
tion of Vajravarahi, w. 19-24), it seems as if he is consciously aiming to 
preserve the flavor of the older passages — no doubt as a mark of respect for 
the tradition he sets out to describe. 

Meditation Stage i 


v. i The sadhana opens in traditional fashion with a verse of benediction 
(mangalam). This takes the form of an expression of obeisance and hom- 
age (namaskdrah) to the chosen deity of the practice (istadevatd) and gives 
voice to the devotion felt by the author. Our author, Umapatideva, begins 
by saluting the lotuslike foot of the vajra goddess, which — in true poetic 
(kdvya) style — suggests both her extraordinary beauty and his inability to 
describe more than a single feature of so awe-inspiring a whole. Hinting per- 
haps at the goddess's dance, Umapatideva praises the divine qualities of 
such a foot, which is capable of destroying dichotomizing consciousness 
and engendering the realization of emptiness. For comparison, here are the 
benedictory verses to the other major sadhana of Vajravarahi in the Guhya- 
samayasddhanamdld, the Abhisamayamanj 'art (GSS 5) . These include a brief 
namaskdra followed by a prayer (dsirvddah) for the deity's favor. Once again, 
salient features of the composition are highlighted, in this case, the mani- 
fold nature of Vajrayogini's forms and her evident compassion: 231 

Homage to Vajrayogini, whose nature is emptiness and 

who has manifold forms because of the diverse natures of people, 
who is irradiated by brightness (vaisadya-), because she is 

thoroughly cleansed (sudhdvana) by the nectar (sudhd) of perfect 

quiescent (sdntd) though she is [within], without she spreads 

redness because of her affection for the multitude of those to 

be trained. 
Bearing a vajra, a stainless skull bowl, and a skull staff of terrible 

may this blessed Vajravilasini bring you prosperity! 

The composition of a sadhana is a religious undertaking and is therefore 
framed by benedictory verses at the start, and, in the final verse, with a ded- 
ication of the merit gained by completing the task. The merit generated by 
the opening expressions of homage serves an immediate practical purpose, 



as it is believed to help the author through the mass of demonic obstacles 
eager to obstruct the progress of any pious endeavor. 


v. 2 Umapatideva's second verse describes the necessary preliminaries to the 
sadhana: finding a suitable site in which to practice and sitting down to 
meditate. The verse begins by dictating the type of spot the yogin should 
choose for meditation. The ideal places are wild and solitary, "pleasing to 
the heart" (v. 2c) of a tantric sadhaka because they are "suitable to prac- 
tice." 232 While huts and temples are also listed in other yoginitantra texts, 
this is not typical of the Vajrayogini tradition. Indeed, on the two occasions 
where indoor dwelling places are mentioned in the Guhyasamayasddh ana- 
maid (amid more terrifying alternatives), they are said to be deserted; 
Vajrayogini practices clearly follow the most extreme wing of the Buddhist 
tradition. 233 This is in stark contrast to the sutra-type sadhanas (such as 
many in the Sddhanamdld collection) that prefer quiet resorts or temple 
shrines as sites for meditation, "delightful" (manohara) because they are 
beautified with fragrant water and flowers, and free of disturbances such 
as robbers, noise, or thorns. 234 

Having chosen the site for his meditation, the yogin then sits himself 
down "on a very comfortable seat, with yogic ease" — Sddhanamdld sources 
speak of soft cushions and tender pillows. 235 Vajrayogini texts occasionally 
mention two other types of seat. One is "made of a double vajra" (visva- 
vajramayi-), which suggests a double vajra (fig. 26) drawn or embroidered 
onto a cushion or decorative hanging, or traced upon the ground; the other 
consists of a corpse. 236 Once seated, the yogin assumes his meditation pos- 
ture, probably the traditional cross-legged pose (paryankah/vajra- 
paryankah), which seems to be the commonest position prescribed in the 
Sddhanamdld^ 7 In a passage that lists a number of seated meditation pos- 
tures, Abhayakaragupta explains the vajraparyarika thus: "Having placed 
the left foot between the right calf and thigh, he should place the right 
[over the left] between the left calf and thigh. This is the vajraparyanka 
[posture]." 238 

Far more complex preliminary activities are prescribed elsewhere, and the 
yogin would undoubtedly wish to undertake a number of these before con- 
tinuing. To start with, he would usually enact rituals for the protection of 
"place, person, and practice," which may involve time-consuming external 


rites and internal meditations, or simply be accomplished by reciting om 
ah hum. 239 

For the "protection of the place," sadhanas usually prescribe a bali rit- 
ual, injunctions for which appear later in the Vajravdrdhl Sddhana (v. 66ff.). 
This can be a very complex rite in which a special propitiatory food offer- 
ing — a bali — is offered to local spirits, as well as to the deities of the 
mandala. Alternatively, the site may be empowered by the utterance of a 
sequence of mantras performed with the appropriate hand gestures, or 
mudras. 240 

The "protection of the person" involves the purification of the practi- 
tioner's body, speech, and mind. Many sadhanas begin with bodily purifi- 
cation. The yogin is instructed to rise early (prdtar utthdya. . .), "when the 
night has 'one hour and a half (ardhaydma) remaining" (or, according to 
Saiva ritual texts, "within two hours before dawn"). 241 He is then to wash 
his mouth and perform other ablutions such as going to the toilet (mukha- 
saucddika-)y which he ritualizes by reciting mantras and maintaining the 
conviction that as he washes, he is being consecrated by the buddhas. 242 

For the purification of speech (vdgvisuddhih), the Abhisamayamanjari 
(GSS5) prescribes a threefold recitation of the syllables of the alphabet. 
The syllables represent the undifferentiated mantric form of the deities. 
They are visualized forming three circles around the meditator as the three 
circles (cakras) of the mandala (see below), while light rays shine from the 
syllables and transform into a mass of deities who destroy all the obstacles 
impeding the practice. The vdgvisuddhi, which is referred to several times 
in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, is derived from Cakrasamvara literature. 
The longest version, although still confusingly terse, is found in the 
Abhisamayamanjari. (The alphabet is shown in plate 16a from ms. K.): : 

"om adiiuiirfllue ai au am ah ka kha ga gha ha ca chaja 
jha ha ta tha da dha na ta tha da dha na pa pha ba bha ma ya ra 
la va sa sa sa ha ksa hum hum phat. " Having thrice pronounced 
[the syllables of] this row of vowels and consonants [and seen each 
syllable emerging from his mouth as he does so] , he should visu- 
alize [them] as located surrounding him, emitting five [-colored?] 
rays, [and as] having destroyed the mass of obstacles by means of 
the mass of deities of the three cakras that have been emitted 
[from the scintillating syllables (and are then retracted back into 
them)]. This is the purification of speech (vdgvisuddhih). 





The purification of mind — in fact, of body, speech, and mind alto- 
gether — is achieved with another preparatory ritual found in the higher 
tantras. This is the contemplation of the purifying correspondences (yisud- 
dhis) — a method of establishing, or reestablishing, the yogin in union with 
the deity. Indeed, one Cakrasamvara text specifically prescribes it as a pre- 
liminary for a yogin who has lost the awareness of himself as the deity. 244 
The purification takes place on the basis that the yogin understands every 
part of his psychophysical being — viz. his five aggregates {skandhas), the 
sense organs with their respective sense fields {dyatanas), and the five ele- 
ments (dhdtus) — to be ontologically equivalent to the buddhas, because all 
share the nature of emptiness. Although this preparatory practice is not 
found in the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana (possibly because it includes the visual- 
ization of male deities), it is worth describing here because of its similarity 
to the armoring stage later in the sadhana. Our source is the Abhisamaya- 
manjari, and is again clearly based upon Cakrasamvara sources. It intro- 
duces the visualization as follows: 245 

He should be firmly convinced (adhimuncet) of the purifying 
correspondence [s] for the skandhas and the rest [of his psy- 
chophysical being] since (iti) [rites] such as worship [that are 
performed] on the basis of the purified skandhas, etc., are a 
speedy cause of enlightenment. Of these, [the buddhas] Vairo- 
cana and so on [i.e., Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, 
and Vajrasattva (sic)] are firmly understood (nisceydh) as [the 
skandhas,] "form" up to and including "consciousness," by 
virtue of [both the buddhas and the skandhas] being like foam, 
bubbles, rays of light, the plantain plant, [or] illusions, [i.e., 
empty] . Aksobhya [is understood] as tathatd. Alternatively it is 
simply the firm belief in Vairocana and the other deities that 
constitutes the purification of those [skandhas etc.] . 

The text then correlates each buddha individually with the skandhas, and 
describes the iconographical forms they are to assume as the meditator con- 
templates the correspondences. The buddhas assume a typically tantric 
appearance as they stand in the warrior (dlidhah) stance, with three eyes, 
matted locks, and bearing the five signs of observance {mudrds). They hold 
tantric attributes "gracefully" (salila) in their right hands, and place their 
left "proudly" (sagarva) upon their girdles full of bells. 

Next, the meditator correlates his sense organs and sense fields with 


another set of deities who are the esoteric equivalents of the above: Ksiti- 
garbha, Vajrapani, Khagarbha, Lokesvara, Sarvanivaranaviskambhin, and 
Samantabhadra. They are visualized holding an attribute in their right 
hands and a bell in their left. The author also provides alternative names 
that reflect their capacity to destroy the poisons: "Mohavajra because he 
destroys ignorance (mohab), Dvesavajra because he is the enemy of malice 
(dvesah), the three Irsya[vajra], Raga[vajra], and Matsaryavajra because they 
destroy [respectively] envy (irsyd), all clinging (sarvdsangah), and miserli- 
ness (mdtsaryam), and Aisvaryavajra because he bestows all powers." 246 
Finally, the yogin equates the four elements with the four goddesses Patani, 
Marani, Akarsani, and Nartes'vari, and the element space with 
Padmajvalini. They also assume a kdpdlika form, and are visualized naked, 
with loose hair, holding tan trie attributes in their four arms, while the fifth 
goddess has three faces and six arms. The text states that the goddesses are 
also known as Locana, Mamald, Pandara, Tara, and Dharmadhatuvajra, 
namely, the traditional consorts of the buddhas and "mothers" of the 
yogatantra systems. 247 These correlations and the salient iconographical fea- 
tures are summarized in table 9. 

One other preparatory rite is worth mentioning, as it illustrates the 
purification of the practitioner's body, speech, and mind through trans- 
gressive discipline (vdmdcdrah). This is the mantra bath (mantrasndnam), 
which is performed using forbidden substances, such as alcohol, and con- 
ventionally "disgusting" bodily secretions and fluids. The practice forces the 
yogin to break through his instinctive, dualistic perception of matter as 
either pure or impure, and in so doing the transgressive substances become 
nectars capable of purifying his body, speech, and mind. This practice 
appears almost identically in the first two sadhanas of the Guhyasamaya- 
sddhanamdld, attributed to Indrabhuti (GSSi) and Luyipada (GSS2): 


Next, in order to purify the body, speech, and mind, he should 
[take] the three (GSS2: four) kinds of divine liquid according to 
their availability, [namely, fomentations from] honey (GSSi: 
mddbvi;GSS2: mrdvlkd and mddhvika), molasses (gaudl), [and] 
flour (paistl) and mix them with the five nectars [namely, semen, 
blood, flesh, urine, and feces] and place them in a chalice. [Then] 
having consecrated [the mixture] with the three-syllabled mantra 
[om dip hum], he should perform a "mantra bath" (mantrasnd- 
nam) using this liquid on all the major and minor limbs [of the 


Table 9. Contemplation of purifying correspondences (visuddhis) 


Purifying Deity 


Right Hand(s) 

Left Hand(s) 





wheel (aloft) 

bell (at hip) 




jewel (aloft) 

bell (at hip) 




red lotus (aloft) 

bell (at hip) 




double vajra (aloft) 

bell (at hip) 




vajra (to the heart) 

bell (at hip) 





bell (at hip) 

Sense Organs and Fields 




wheel (aloft) 

bell (at heart) 




vajra (at heart) 

bell (at hip) 




jewel (aloft) 

bell (at heart) 




red lotus (aloft) 

bell (at heart) 

whole body 






double vajra 

bell (at heart) 

all sense fields 


pure white 

vajra (at heart) 

bell (hip) 






skull bowl 
skull staff 





skull bowl 
skull staff 





skull bowl 
skull staff 





skull bowl 
skull staff 




3 faces: 
grey, red, 
& white 


severed head 

skull bowl 



■ Br;;.. 


body starting] from the left hand. He should sprinkle the sub- 
stances to be offered with this same [mixture, i.e., using the ring 
finger (anamika) and thumb joined together to flick the sub- 
stances]. Next, with these mantra syllables, <om vam?> hamyom, 
hrlm mom, hrem hrlm, hum hum, phat phat, he should [first] 
purify the thumb [and fingers] of the left hand, [and then] utter 
the triple purification [see below] . . . 

However brief or complex the preliminary rites are, their underlying 
purpose is to prepare the yogin for the essential goal of the sadhana — the 
meditator's inner transformation of himself into Vajravarahi through a 
total assimilation of her appearance and character. The preliminaries pave 
the way for this inner process. Her fondness for cremation grounds and 
mountainous haunts is reflected in the lists of possible meditation sites. 
Her iconography is mirrored by the meditator's seat, as she stands above a 
mandala resting upon a crossed vajra (visvavajravedika), and upon a corpse 
throne. Her posture, too, may be imitated by the practitioner, as one ball 
ritual directs him to assume her actual pose, standing upon raised ground 
in warrior stance, naked, with loose hair and eyes raised (GSS31). He may 
also model his appearance upon that of the goddess, either by going naked 
with loosened hair, or by donning red hair band and red clothes in order 
to emulate her color. 249 Practices based on the purifying correspondences 
or upon transgressive discipline prepare the yogin by reaffirming his under- 
standing of nonduality, and paving the way for his inner identification 
with the deity who is a reflex of that reality. Taken as a whole, the prelim- 
inaries demonstrate the same objectives as the sadhana: the yogin's ongo- 
ing attempt to erode his perception of himself as a mundane individual and 
to reconstitute himself as Vajravarahi. In the complex array of preliminary 
procedures, the ancient Indian adage is at play, that "one must become a 
god to worship a god." 250 

Bodhisattva Preparations 

v - 3- The next portion of the sadhana lays the spiritual foundations for the 

^ 2 yogin's transformation into the deity. It follows the career of the Mahayana 

bodhisattva who makes his resolve to attain enlightenment for the sake of 

all sentient beings, and then sets out upon the aeons-long path to attain 

the twin accumulations of merit (punyasambharah) and wisdom (jhana- 


sambhdrah). The Vajravdrahi Sddhana follows the method standard in 
mainstream sadhanas, which is to cultivate a more speedy accumulation of 
merit through the practices of worship and the brahmavihdra meditations, 
and a more instant accumulation of wisdom through the contemplation of 
emptiness. 251 It is to the former that Umapatideva now turns in the fol- 
lowing verses and prose portions. 


v. 3 The worship is based on the Mahayana supreme worship (anuttarapiljd) 
in seven stages and includes both the visualization of offerings and the 
recitation of verses. The first step is to make abundant offerings to crowds 
of celestial beings. The yogin begins by visualizing a glowing red vam (T) 
in his heart, the seed-syllable of Vajravarahi in her most essential form. The 
syllable quivers and shines with an intense spiritual energy and emits light 
rays that stream through all the pores of the meditator's body before 
"drawing down" (dkarsanam) the deities to be worshiped. Rays are a typ- 
ical tool of a visualization meditation. They are a reflex of the power of 
the deity, capable of pervading the entire universe, purifying it, removing 
its suffering, and nourishing it. Sometimes they take the form of a hook 
or goad (ankusah) that "urges" or "impels" (samVcud) the deities to coop- 
erate in the ritual. 252 In the Vajravdrahi Sddhana (v. 3d), the rays draw 
down "a mass of buddhas and so on" from their dwelling place in the 
Akanistha heaven, where they reside in a body of enjoyment (sambhoga- 
kdyah). 253 A characteristic list of the beings to be worshiped includes 
"gurus, buddhas, and bodhisattvas" (e.g., v. 6a: gurvddibhih) . 254 The prece- 
dence shown here to the guru is a reminder of his centrality within the 
tantric systems and his supreme significance to the yogin, who views him 
as the chosen deity itself. Some yoginitantra texts, however, supplant even 
the guru by introducing the yoginis at the head of the list (yoginiguru- 
buddhabodhisattva-). This is effectively what happens in the worship sec- 
tion of the Abhisamayamanjari, in which Vajravarahi's entire mandala 
circle is summoned for worship, as well as the teachers and other enlight- 
ened beings: : 


Then, in the subtle space inside his own heart, he should visu- 
alize the red syllable vam placed on a sun disk that has [itself] 
been produced from the seed-syllable ram, [and] having driven 


out [his] inner impurity with rays from that [vam], he should 
draw down the mandala circle of the goddess to be described, 
and the teachers, buddhas, and bodhisattvas by means of [rays 
from the vam syllable] pouring forth from every hair pore [of his 
body], and [then] he should visualize in front [of him] in space 
[the celestial hosts] . 

The divinities are suspended in front of the practitioner in a thronging 
mass, a scene familiar from Mahayana sutras and the earlier tantras. The 
beings fill the entire universe, packing the ten directions of space so abun- 
dantly that it is said to resemble a sesame pod full of densely packed seeds. 256 
f. 4ab The next verse in the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana instructs the yogin to wor- 
ship the celestial hosts with imaginary offerings. These billow out like 
clouds from the rays of the seed-syllable in his heart or through the pores 
of his body. 257 Here, in an abbreviated reference, they comprise the five 
offerings {upacdras), which usually refers to flowers, incense, lamps, per- 
fumed powders, and food — although the exact sequence may alter accord- 
ing to the class of tantra (mKhas grub rje: 179-83). The worship 
visualization may become more elaborate still as sadhanas prescribe other 
offerings, such as water to drink and water for washing the feet, or other 
traditional sets of offerings, such as the seven jewels (saptaratna) or the 
eight auspicious symbols (astamangala). 2 ™ This type of offering is referred 
to as "outer worship" (bdhyapiljd) and is distinguished from an "inner wor- 
ship" (adhydtmapuja) comprising offerings of the five sense organs 
(kdmagunas), which are represented by their respective sense objects: a mir- 
ror for form or sight, music for sound, incense for smell, food for taste, and 
cloth for touch. 259 

Both outer and inner offerings are prescribed in the worship section of 
the Abhisamayamanjarl (elsewhere termed the "secret worship," guhya- 
pujd). 260 The Abhisamayamahjari employs sixteen variously colored "wor- 
ship goddesses" (pujddevis) to make the offerings. The first four goddesses 
offer the traditional gift of music and are named after the instrument they 
play: Vina (lute), Vamsa (flute), Mrdanga (tabor), and Muraja (drum). 
The next four goddesses offer song and dance, and their names also reflect 
their actions: Hasya makes the laughing dance gesture (hdsydbhinayah), 
Lasya the dance gesture of love (Idsydbhinayah), and Nrtya ("dance") the 
lotus dance gesture (kamalabhinayah), while Gita ("song") holds "bell 
metal" Q.kamsika). The next set comprises Puspa, Dhupa, Dipa, and 
Gandha, who are the eponymous bearers of a flower, incense, lamp, and 



fragrant powders. The final four goddesses hold offerings representing the 
bodily senses. Adars'a ("mirror") holds a mirror for the sense of sight; Rasa 
("juice") a dish of juice for taste; Sparsa ("touch") a cloth (visvavastram) for 
touch; and Dharma ("existent") the dharmodayah or "origin of existents" 
as the object of the sixth sense, mind. 261 The goddesses also hold other 
tantric ornaments in their remaining arms. These are shown in the table 
below, which summarizes the text of the Abhisamayamanjari. 


Table 10. Sixteen worship goddesses 

Music Offerings 

4 arms: 

vajra & vajra-bell 

Song & Dance Offerings 

4 arms: 
dance gestures 

skull & staff 

Other Traditional Offerings 

4 arms: 
offering & damaru 

skull & staff 

Sense Offerings 

4 arms: 

offering & 


skull & staff 

Vina - lute 

Hasya — dance 

Puspa — flower 

Adars'a - mirror 

Vams'a - flute 

Lasya - dance 

Dhupa — incense spoon 

Rasa - dish 
of juice 


Mrdanga — tabor 


Gita - song 

Dipa - lamp stick ! Sparsa - cloth 
(flame-colored) (green) 

Muraja - drum 


Nrtya - dance 

Gandha - conch 

shell of powders 


Dharma - 


(dazzling white) 

v. 4c § i, 

w. 5-7. 

It is interesting that neither the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana nor the Abhi- 
samayamanjari prescribe transgressive offerings at this stage, as do other 
sadhanas in the Guhyasamayasadhanamdld. Perhaps our authors saw no 
reason to accommodate tantric norms at this point, since this portion of 
the sadhana represents the Mahayana phase of the spiritual tradition (the 
bodhisattva's accumulation of merit) and is firmly grounded in Mahayana 
models of worship. It is tempting to see Umapatideva's sadhana as transi- 
tional, offering a practice that retains some traditional features, but in so 
doing, foregoing a complete integration of tantric methods. 263 

Following the worship of the deities, Umapatideva prescribes the seven- 
fold "supreme worship" (anuttarapujd) of traditional Mahayana ritual and 
composes verses that were probably intended for recitation (w. 5-7). The 




seven steps of the puja begin here with "confession of faults." This differs 
from the Mahayana model, which opens with "worship" (pujand), followed 
by "salutation" (vandana, "bowing down to all the buddhas"). 264 In the 
sadhana, the stage of worship has already been performed (v. 4ab), and so 
Umapatideva omits it, along with the salutation. This is typical of many 
other sadhana writers, who tend to detach these two stages from the seven- 
fold model. 265 Without the stages of worship and salutation, Umapatideva 
is forced to add two more stages in order to preserve the sevenfold 
sequence, and he therefore finishes the puja with "resorting to the path" 
and "dedication of one's body." Not all sadhana writers produce such a neat 
solution to the loss of the first two steps in the sequence. The Abhisamaya- 
manjari (GSS5 Sed p. 128, Ki7r2), for example, follows its elaborate visu- 
alization of the worship with a salutation in the form of the eight-part 
mantra. It then presents the Mahayana sequence from the third stage (con- 
fession), but adds, rather vaguely, that two more stages — "going for refuge" 
and "resorting to the path" — are to be done "beforehand" (which make 
seven). Table 11 lays out the Mahayana sequence beside Umapatideva's, 
and gives examples of the sequences adopted in other sadhanas. The par- 
allels illustrate the amount of variation and inconsistency at this point in 
the sadhana, despite the fact that many authors cite verses very similar to 
those given by Umapatideva. This seems to reveal a certain awkwardness 
in integrating the traditional Mahayana anuttarapiljd with the methodol- 
ogy of the sadhana. 

Brahmavihara Meditations 


The sevenfold puja is followed by the four brahmavihdras, meditations dat- 
ing back to the earliest Buddhist literature for the cultivation of loving- 
kindness (maitri), compassion (karund), sympathetic joy (muditd), and 
equanimity (upeksd). These meditations are an established feature of main- 
stream sadhanas, and although Umapatideva's verse glosses are the only 
ones in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, they are highly typical of sadhana 
literature in general. 266 Upon completing these meditations, the sadhaka is 
understood to have fulfilled his accumulation of merit. 


Table n. Supreme worship (anuttarapuja) 

.2 §"^ 





3 ° 

.a c 
-d o 

.S a 
c - G 

OJ -^ 


rt -d 

3 ° 

.2 c 


rt -d 

^ g 

prayer & 




OJ <h_ 

-d o 

i) a 

^ 2 

-a o 






bD rt 


bO rt 

bD, — , 
C bf) 

bD, — , 

C bO 





3 Oh 
'3 U 

1-1 _3 

<U O 

l_ 4-1 


3 Oh 

O "t3 
<u O 

l-H 4-1 

'3 .s 

to 3 
3 u 

<U 43 
Ui 1 1 

on - 3 

i_ i 1 


-^ -3 

^ g 


bD oj 
3 u - 

'O O 


'3 ^ 

oj "u 
.i- 3 


u u_ 


3 , , 

5f> rt 

3 £ 


.2 *H 



bC rt 

2P "i 

.s a 

bD « 


bD rt 

bD rt 

bD rt 

'3 «-i 
rt « 

.y E 

'2 "0 

(U -^ 

_* -3 


-d E 


C Oh 

fe -3 

3 - G 

-^ -3 

3 Oh 

fe -3 

3 Oh 

3 Oh 

« -3 

3 Dh 
*w <U 

S -3 


rt -0 


O w 

rt -0 

O w 

O w 

O 4J 

O 4J 

* g 

<u Uh 


U O 

^ g 





1,3 — 


-o -^ 


rt -Q 

-d O 


U. 4-1 

rt -Q 

l_ 4-1 

U 4J 

1— 4-1 

U, in 



txD. — i 

3 bD 

*3 .s 

<« 3 

3 u 

L- ■ 1 









•5 -d 
in 3 

=5 6 


-- * ** 

i-H .3 

,<U u. 

on £S 

3 E 


bC u 

3 «-> 

bO <u 

3 •-i 

bD iu 

3 t - 

"3 „<" 

rt <u 
.2 3 


bD <u 
3 u - 


bD aj 

3 •- 

*E 'G 
03 -d 


S c ! <s 

2 t - t - 

2 O 

i-J o 

'o o 

'o o 


V u^ 



IU Uh 


Dh-S> <\ 





03 _D 

bD, — , 





bD, — 1 






3 bD 
•a c 

.2 ♦.. 

.2 *j 

C bD 
'3 c - 

.2 4-i 

.2 *^ 

.2 4-J 

U) »-, 



3 T" 


1/5 '3 

bC <u 


bO a; 



on '3 



3 '5 

.3 ""H 

bD <U 

3 y 

U £h 

3 «-' 

C "- 

^ 6 

^ s 

3 <J 

CJ 4J 

••* e 

^d E 

^d E 

^ S 

3 "- 

'3 o 


'o o 

<u «^_ 

t» Uh 

<L» <H- 

w u_ 

3J Cl_ 

'J? c 



I-, I 1 



-o o 

T3 O 

i_ 1 — 1 





bD w 

bD w 

bD w 

bD w 

bD w 

bD w 

bD w 

bD ^ 

bD ^ 


bD w 

.£ G 


c -c 

C •£- 


• S'C 



3 •- 

.3 ' ^H 

3 ' C 

.3 'P 

.a p 

o ~ 

u w 

'0 w 

"G y 

u y 

u v 


u a 

'G i- 1 

_u JJ 


u u 

;S 6 

;s e 

;S 6 

•3 6 

o S 

;s e 

■0 £ 

'0 E 

'0 3 

~3 S 

'3 E 

— • c 

<u .3 

<U C 

1> c 

<U c 

1> 3 

<u 3 

(U 3 

a s 

<u 3 

W 3 

U 3 




t-i .3 

uh .3 

u- .3 

1_ .— 

^ • — 

!_ . — . 

~3 O 

L. .— 

"d bD 














r* C G 
G cd .-h _ 


.9 M 

.2 ^ 

.2 «« 

.2 ^ 

.2 „ 

.2 to 

.2 <» 

.2 <« 

.2 „ 

.2 0, 

° Ln-*-2 



tO 4-, 

to *-' 

^ t- 1 

OO 4- 1 

tO 4-* 

tO 4- 1 

tO 4- 1 

tO 4-J 

tO 4- 1 

tO 4^ 


,<L) 3 

<*> -3 
, <u 3 

,S 3 

LO -^H 

to -^3 

, <u 3 

on -^ 

, <u 3 

, 4J 3 

to -75 
,CJ 3 

tO "^h 

, OJ 3 

to — 
.<u 3 

t -'-H . 03 

bD u 

3 «-i 
■3 *-■ 

00 "3 u, 



c <■*■! 




c w 

c t -»-J 

c <-2 

c <-2 


C Ui 

g c« -d 4-i 

O "-•-< 

O <-t-l 

O <-*-• 

O <-t-i 

O "-^h 

O ^H-l 

O <-•- 

O < H-H 

O "-1-1 

O ^H 

<-t-i E 2 



U O 


O O 

U O 

u O 

o o 

U O 

u O 

u O 


L» O 

u O 3 3 

































































g G 





















• Eh 







^ 3 « 






03 to 


w on 



, oD " 

3^= S 



3 ^ 




3 b 


3 £ 






on O 




on O 


00 O 



*-{ .3 03 



> ^ 




> ^ 


> £ 



0. ^ £ 














'§ § 











H 1 co 













r -o 








! ^ 






Development of Wisdom 

The bodhisattva's accumulation of wisdom is accomplished in the sadhana 

through a meditation on the causal nature of reality and the emptiness of 

inherent existence. The verse, with its simile of the "moon in water," illus- 

Ip trates the illusory, dreamlike nature of a mind tainted by dichotomizing 

f conceptualization, and points to the philosophy of the Cittamatra/Yoga- 
cara. 267 The yogin is to reflect upon this through the recitation of the two 
mantras on emptiness. 

(§l) The ^ irst mantra (which I term for convenience the "purity mantra") 
expresses the fact that the inherent nature (svabhdvah) of all existents (sarva- 
dharmdh) and of the meditator (aham) are ontologically identical in that 
both are empty, and hence "pure": om svabhdvasuddhdh sarvadharmdh om 
svabhdvasuddho 'ham ("All existents [dharmdh] are pure by nature; I am 
pure by nature"). Other sadhanas explain that by understanding all exis- 
tents to be empty, the object (grdhyam) is purified, while by understand- 
ing the practitioner to be empty, the subject (grdhakah) is purified. 268 In 
other words, the first task of the meditator is to realize that all existents that 
are objects are merely conceptual constructs: they are "empty" of any mind- 
independent reality that may be imputed onto them by the dichotomizing 
or defiled mind, as in the first half of the purity mantra: "All existents 
(dharmas) are pure by nature." The second task is to apply the same under- 
standing to himself, the subject, as in the second half of the purity mantra: 
"I am pure by nature." This leaves the meditator, in traditional Yogacarin 
terms, with nothing but the nondual flow of consciousness, empty of sub- 
ject and object. 269 

A fuller formulation of the purity mantra is sometimes given. This is the 
"triple purification" (trivisuddhih), which asserts the identity of subject and 

t The following is the approximate sequence of the anuttarapujd in Mahayana texts. Crosby 
and Skilton (1995: 10) suggest variations to this structure in their updating of the classic 
study by Dayal (1932: 54—58). Commenting on Santideva's citations in his Siksdsamuccaya 
from the Bhadracarydpranidhdna-gdthd (the final, floating chapter of the Gandavyuhasutrd) , 
they comment (p. 9): "We can infer from the frequency with which the Bhadracaryd was 
copied and quoted, that this provided, for several centuries at least, a widespread model for 
the Supreme Worship." The antiquity of this practice is attested by the Gandavyuhasutrd 's 
translation into Chinese in the fourth century c.e., while elements of the anuttarapujd also 
appear in Lokaksema's Ajdtasatrukaukrtyavinodand, which was translated far earlier, in the 
late second century c.e. The "prayer" (ydcdnd) is the request to the buddhas to remain in 
samsara for the sake of beings. It may be replaced by the awakening of the will to enlight- 
enment (bodhicittotpdda). 



object on the basis that they are pure in their inherent nature, pure because 
they are nondual (vajra), and pure because of the practice (yogah): 270 

om svabhdvasuddhdh sarvadharmdh, svabhdvasuddho 'ham iti. 
om vajrasuddhdh sarvadharmdh, vajrasuddho 'ham iti. 
om yogasuddhdh sarvadharmdh, yogasuddho 'ham iti. 

Alternatively, the identification may be made on the basis of the pledge 
(samayah) (e.g., GSS5 Sed p. 145, K3or4~5): om samayasuddhdh sarva- 
dharmdh, samayasuddho 'ham. 

The second emptiness mantra (which I have termed here the "nonduality 
mantra") is also a standard feature of mainstream sadhanas: om sunyatd- 
jndnavajrasvabhavdtmako 'ham ("I am identical with the essence [svabhdva] 
of the nondual [vajra] knowledge of emptiness"). 271 The mantra is explained 
in the Abhisamayamanjari, where it is encompassed within a short visual- 
ization meditation. This begins with the meditator seeing the external uni- 
verse and the mandala of deities (which was drawn down previously for the 
puja) dissolving into the "clear light" of emptiness. He then sees himself 
disappearing into clear light. First, he dissolves his whole body into the 
sun disk at his heart that supports the seed-syllable vam (^f). He then dis- 
solves the sun disk into the syllable, and the seed-syllable itself from bot- 
tom to top (the cf into the half-moon w , and the half-moon into the final 
dot or "drop" °). As even the final drop dissolves into subtle sound or 
nddah, and the subtle sound fades away into nothing, he is left only with 
emptiness. The meditation is designed to dissolve the yogin's conventional 
perception that there is a difference between the world of objects ("the 
three worlds"), his visualization (the deity mandala), and himself. The text 
then goes on to explain the "nonduality mantra," om sunyatdjndnavajrasva- 
bhdvdtmako 'ham, breaking down the long Sanskrit compound into its 
grammatical parts. It states that the [meditator's] "knowledge of empti- 
ness" (sunyatdjndna) is "nondual" (vajra), because vajra means "indivisible" 
or "nondual" (vajram abhedyam); this is the standard interpretation of vajra 
in the higher tantras. 272 The passage reads as follows: 


He should [first] cause the three worlds and the previous (?) 
mandala wheel, whose nature is just illusion (pratibhdsah), to 
enter clear light (prabhdsvarah) itself. Likewise (ca) [he should 
dissolve himself into emptiness, first dissolving] himself into the 
sun disk [at his heart], that into the vam syllable [on the sun 


disk] , that into the half-moon, that into the drop (binduh), that 
into the subtle sound (nddah). He should even abandon the 
notion of that [subtle sound], having uttered the mantra with the 
recollection of its meaning: 

om sunyatdjndnavajrasvabhdvdtmako 'ham 
om I am identical with the essence of the nondual (vajra) 
knowledge of emptiness 

The "knowledge of emptiness" (sunyatdjndna) is "nondual" 
(vajra) [indicating a karmadhdraya compound] 274 because of its 
indivisiblity (abhedyatvdt). [When this compound is further 
compounded with -svabhdva, it forms a genitive tatpurusa com- 
pound, meaning] the essence (svabhdvah) of that [nondual 
knowledge of emptiness] . The meaning [of the bahuvrlhi com- 
pound with -dtmako is]: "I have the nature (-dtmako) of that 
[essence of the nondual knowledge of emptiness]." 

Variations upon this mantra appear in other texts. First, the "knowl- 
edge" component is sometimes differently defined, as when the mantra is 
the means of contemplating different aspects of reality. In a relatively early 
appearance of the mantra, the meditator is identical with the "essence of 
the dharmadhdtu (om dharmadhdtusvabhdvdtmako 'ham). 175 Second, the 
grammatical structure of the compound is sometimes subtly altered to read: 
"I am identical (dtmako) with the nondual essence (vajrasvabhdva) of X" 
{"yi-vajrasvabhdvdtmako 'ham"), for example: "I am identical with the non- 
dual essence of the body, speech, and mind of all yoginis" (om sarvayogini- 
kayavdkcittavajrasvabhdvdtmako 'ham). 27G This must be a relatively early 
version of the mantra, because it is common in the Guhyasamdjatantra, 
especially at the start of chapter 6, where it appears repeatedly in slightly 
different forms but with this same structure. 277 

The sequence in which the two emptiness mantras are given in the 
Vajravdrdhi Sddhana is significant. Our author follows the general pattern 
in sadhanas, which is to prescribe the purity mantra followed by the non- 
duality mantra. This is because the purification of subject and object (by 
means of the first mantra) leads one to the understanding (expressed by the 
second mantra) that there is simply a nondual consciousness, untainted by 
notions of subject and object. Thus: "Next he should utter the mantra 
l om — All existents are pure by nature. I am pure by nature.' Then he should 



contemplate emptiness for a while. Having done so he should identify with 
it (ahamkdram utpddya) [through meditating on the mantra] 'om — I am 
identical with the essence of the nondual knowledge of emptiness.'" 278 

The Advayavajra-school sadhanas actually treat the purity mantra as an 
explanatory gloss rather than as an individual mantra. The Sanskrit loses 
the opening om for the purity mantra and restructures the sentence to make 
it look like an exegetical frame for the nonduality mantra. 279 

sunyatdjndnavajrasvabhdvdh sarvadharmdh — 
om sunyatdjndnavajrasvabhdvdtmako 'ham 

All existents have the essence of the nondual knowledge of 

emptiness — 
"om I am identical with the essence of the nondual knowledge 
of emptiness." 

In some instances, these texts seem to present a third type of mantra alto- 
gether; one that combines the structure of the purity mantra (the com- 
parison between "all existents" and "I") with the compound of the 
nonduality mantra ("having the essence of the nondual knowledge of 
emptiness"): "Then [reflecting that?] — all existents are identical (dtmakdh) 
with the essence of the nondual knowledge of emptiness — [one should be] 
meditating on the meaning of the mantra ' om, I am identical with the 
essence of the nondual knowledge of emptiness (om sunyatdjndnavajrasva- 
bhdvdtmako 'ham),' which summarizes the essential nature of all things." 280 
In many sadhanas the "nondual knowledge" is described in terms of the 
yogin's experience of "clear light" (prabhdsvarah) or "radiance/manifesta- 
tion" (prakdsah), of his absorption in "innate bliss" (sahajdnandah), or of 
the "fusion of emptiness and radiance" (yuganaddhah). 1 * 1 Anupamaraksita 
(SM24) explains: 282 

He should meditate on the emptiness of all existents. Emptiness 
here is [to be contemplated] as follows: [All] this is just con- 
sciousness as radiance manifesting itself in various forms, as in 
a dream. There is nothing outside this consciousness. And 
because there is no object outside consciousness, there is no con- 
sciousness grasping it. So all existents are empty (khasvarupdh). 
Their being devoid of (sunyatd-) proliferations (prapanca-) is the 

r j V 


fact (tattvam) that they are void of all such conceptual elabora- 
tions (kalpana-) as object (grdbya-) and subject (grdhaka-); that is, 
their ultimate nature (paramarthah). This is what is meant. One 
should reflect that the [whole] world of the animate and inani- 
mate is of the nature of just nondual (advaita-) bringing forth 
(prakdsa-). This same emptiness he should make firm [or 
empower] with this mantra: "om — I am identical with the 
essence of the nondual knowledge of emptiness." 


However, the experience of nonduality (in whatever terms it is couched) 
is not the final goal of the sadhana at this point. It is only a stepping stone 
and must itself be transcended by an understanding of emptiness that 
negates even the intrinsic existence of the nondual mind. This is why most 
sadhanas follow the meditations on emptiness with the instruction to 
remain for only a short while in the contemplation of emptiness as non- 
duality; the meditator is to remain in the contemplation, but "without 
resting on it [i.e., on emptiness] as an object" (apratisthitarupena, aprati- 
stharupena). 285 This points to the Madhyamaka-based doctrine of univer- 
sal nonobjectification (sarvadharmdpratisthdnavdda), which claims that no 
experience should be "objectified" by the mind, that is, treated as an object 
with intrinsic existence — not even the experience of emptiness as nondual 
consciousness or mind. There are many brief references to this doctrine in 
the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, including the well-attested verse: "Homage 
to you whose conceptualization is without discrimination, whose mind 
does not rest [on emptiness as an object] (apratisthitamdnasa), who are 
without remembrance and recollections, without support!" 284 

The doctrine of universal nonobjectification arose to counterbalance the 
Yogacara position on emptiness, which some exegetes saw as positing a 
really existent substrate to the mind. 285 It is this Yogacara-Madhyamaka 
synthesis of the eighth century to which our sadhana writers are heir. 
Santaraksita (c. 680-740 C.E.), who, with his pupil Kamalas'ila (c. 700-750 
c.e.), spearheaded the reworking of Yogacara expressions of emptiness, 
outlines this synthesis as follows: "Based on the [standpoint] of mind-only 
one must know the non-existence of external entities. Based on this stand- 
point [of the lack of intrinsic nature of all dharmas] one must know that 
there is no self at all even in that (which is mind-only). Therefore, those 
who hold the reins of logic while riding in the carriage of the two systems 
[Madhyamika and Yogacara] attain the stage of a true Mahayanist." 286 

The effect of universal nonobjectification in the sadhana is to endow a 


purely relative or provisional value to the experience of emptiness engen- 
dered by the emptiness meditations. According to the Madhyamaka under- 
standing of emptiness, even emptiness as the experience of nonduality may 
be (wrongly) taken hold of as a conceptual construct. But in fact, nondual 
consciousness, or nondual mind, is no different from anything else since 
it also lacks intrinsic existence and thus belongs to the realm of conventional 
truth. Seen from this basis, the nondual mind is — like everything else — 
merely illusory. This is the key to the following stages of the sadhana. The 
sadhaka's insight into the dreamlike nature of the nondual mind gives him 
the power to produce or create whatever he chooses, and — crucially — to 
understand that those creations are just as "real" (or "unreal") as anything 
else. In this way, he is able to re-create himself (indeed, the whole world) 
as the deity. 

As the "accumulation of wisdom" in the Vajravdrahl Sadhana is so brief, 
it omits two features often found in other sadhanas. First, the purpose of 
the emptiness meditations is said to be to abandon the "ordinary idea of 
self (prdkrtahamkdrah) that derives from epistemological error. 2sr During 
the self-generation that follows, the yogin will replace his ordinary or mun- 
dane personality, ego identity, or idea of self (ahamkarah) with the divine 
ahamkdra of the goddess or deity (devy ahamkarah, devatdhamkdra). The 
emptiness meditations are sometimes likened to the death of the medita- 
tor, as he dissolves his ordinary self into the dharmakdya. 28s He will under- 
take the following stages of the meditation in the form of an intermediate 
being — for example, as a ndda (an aspect of subtle sound) situated in space 
looking down from above. Only once the site has been meditatively pre- 
pared for the deity with the construction of the vajra ground and temple 
palace will the yogin gradually transform into the seed-syllable for the ges- 
tation and birth of the deity (K. Gyatso 1997: 80-88). 

The second point commonly made is that the experience of emptiness 
is not only nonconceptual but blissful. The yogin must therefore make a 
conscious effort to rouse himself from the meditation, spurred on by his 
altruistic motivation. The early yogatantra sadhana of Vilasavajra states 
that, while the yogin is absorbed in meditation on the purified dharma- 
dhdtu, he is separated from the actions that bring welfare to all beings; he 
continues with the next stage of the sadhana only because of the force of 
the previously formed bodhisattva vow in his mental continuum. 289 In 
tantric sadhanas the bodhisattva vow is commonly formulated in terms of 
the deity's ahamkdra. It voices the sadhaka's aspiration to "become" the 



deity and to make the whole world have her form. Although couched in 
the language of deity yoga, such prescriptions end the accumulations of 
merit and wisdom in a manner befitting a full-fledged Mahayana bodhi- 
sattva, of whom it is said (albeit poetically) that he foregoes his entry into 
nirvana for the benefit of sentient beings: "For a moment he should med- 
itate on emptiness and so calm his mind. Having recollected his previous 
vow, he should again recall just the seed-syllable. Then he should abandon 
inactive emptiness, being filled with compassion for others, thinking, 'I 
have betrayed [my fellow] creatures. [For] how shall I rescue them from the 
bottomless ocean of samsara if I am in this state of complete quiescence?"' 290 

Creating the Circle of Protection 

w. In the next stage of the sadhana, the yogin aims to re-create the ordinary 
13-15' meditation site into a pure, adamantine realm, suitable for the "birth" of 
>3~>5 Vajravarahi. This is described here in w. 13-15 with a prose redaction taken 
from Cakrasamvara sources in prose paragraphs §3— §5. The newly created 
meditation site is referred to as the "circle of protection" (raksacakram), for, 
in the course of the visualization, the yogin imagines a protective shield of 
vajras that encompasses the entire universe. 291 Our sources describe a struc- 
ture somewhat like that of a traditional temple. The outer walls define an 
immeasurable square precinct above which soars the domed "roof (liter- 
ally, "cage," panjaram) with a dangling canopy (in classical fashion) over 
the central point. 292 It is here, within an elaborate temple palace, that the 
deity will be generated. 
w. The meditation begins with the visualization of hum, the seed-syllable 
l )~H of a vajra. The yogin then sees the syllable transforming into a double 
vajra (fig. 26). Other sadhana writers embellish the process, adding that 
the double vajra is also empowered by hum at its hub, or that it is visual- 
ized on a sun disk and is blue in color. 293 In our text the circle of protec- 
tion is constructed from light rays that blaze out from the first double 
vajra. It consists of five component parts: the vajra ground, vajra roof, 
vajra canopy, a net (best understood here as a "shield") of arrows (sara- 
jalam), and four outer vajra walls. In comparison, the sequence given in 
the Abhisamayamanjari describes the installation of six parts, starting with 
the walls and including a ring of flames, all to be visualized simultane- 
ously. 294 (See table 12.) 



Table 12. Circle of protection 






Vajravarahi Sadhana 

ground (bhumih) 

roof (panjaram) 

canopy (vitanah) 

shield of arrows 


5th [four outer] walls 



vajra walls (vajraprakarah) 

ground (bhumih) 

shield of arrows (sarajalam) 

vajra roof (vajrapanjaram) 

vajra canopy (vajravitanah) 

vajra flames (vajrajvalah) 

Sadhanas often elaborate on the circle of protection. Its parts arc :. tu [ t0 
be composed of burning vajras, or of the blazing rays that issue from the 
vajras themselves. Where the vajras or rays interlace, they fuse togcil.rr so 
entirely that they become "a single mass without interstices." 295 Conn 1. only, 
the vajra ground is made of vajras that "reach to the bottom of the world" 
(e.g., GSS5 Sed p. 129, Ki8n) and thus encompass the whole universe- Rays 
then issue out from the ground to produce the roof and canopy. Alirrna- 
tively, the rays from the hum may shoot upward to form the canopy, down- 
ward to produce the floor, and sideways to produce the walls.-"' The .11 rows 
in the net, or "shield" of arrows, are also composed of vajras, ..-, the 
Abhisamayamanjarl reveals: "above [the vajra ground is] an extremely dense 
shield of arrows (sarajdlam) [clustered] in the form of five-pointed vajois." 297 
The vajras are so vibrant and blaze with rays so intense that then efful- 
gence engulfs the whole mandala. This forms a protective outer l.iycr of 
flames or fiery vajras that complete the circle of protection. 2 ^ When 
depicted in tangkas, the flames are either flame-colored, or the colors of the 
five buddha families — usually yellow, blue, red, and green (Beer 1999; ,.3) — 
symbolizing the supreme protection of wisdom. The direction in whi< h the 
flames swirl is also significant. As Sanderson (1994a n. 47) has shown in an 
analysis of 139 mandalas from the Ngor monastery's collection (bSod nams- 
rgya-mtsho 1989), the mandalas drawn from tantras in the cycles of Samvara 
and Hevajra in the yoganiruttara class nearly all depict the flames swirling 


counterclockwise, while mandalas of other tantric cycles depict the flames 
swirling in the auspicious, clockwise direction. 

The creation of the vajra walls is often more complex still, as we see in 
the Vajravdrdhi Sadhana (v. 14 and §4). The yogin visualizes the syllables 
of four mantras, which he sees shooting out into the four directions of 
space, emitting "a net of quivering rays": 

om sumbha nisumbha hum hum phat. 
om grhna grhna hum hum phat. 
om grihndpaya grihndpaya hum hum phat. 
om anaya ho bhagavdn vajra hum hum phat. 

The blazing rays from the mantras "fasten in place" the four vajra walls in 
a gigantic square. This is confirmed by a parallel passage from the 
Abhisamayamanjari, which also shows how the yogin generates the 
walls from the light issuing from the syllables (which, according to one 
Tibetan Cakrasamvara sadhana, are themselves the color of their respective 
directions): 299 

With a snap of his left forefinger and thumb he should project 
out (utsdrya) the mantras, [uttering] (iti) — om sumbha nisumbha 
hum hum phat — om grihna grihna hum hum phat — om 
grihndpaya grihndpaya hum hum phat — om anaya ho bhagavdn 
vajra hum hum phat. [Then,] with rays from the mantras begin- 
ning [om] sumbha [etc.], in the directions east, north, west, and 
south respectively [i.e., counterclockwise], he should imagine 
four vajra walls [stretching] as far as he wishes, colored [respec- 
tively] black, green, red, and yellow, vast in size, blazing, [and] 
extending from the top of the world of Brahma ("Brahmanda") 
to the underworld ("Rasatala"). 

In the Cakrasamvara tradition, this four-part mantra is prescribed as a 
method for installing the complete circle of protection, and is referred to 
as the "four-faced mantra" (caturmukhamantrah). m The function of the 
walls is to define the outermost limits of a meditation ground that encom- 
passes the cosmos. In some texts, they are said to form a "vajra binding" 
(vajrabandhah) or a "boundary" (siman), that is, the topographical limit of 
the area that the sadhaka is to bring under his control. 301 

The circle of protection is installed in some sadhanas simply through the 



recitation of a set of six mantras. 302 Most of the mantras refer to the feature 
they install (the noun in stem form), and revolve around the seed-syllable 
of the vajra, hum. For the shield of arrows, however, the mantra is based 
on the seed-syllable of the arrow (tram), while the mantra for the final ring 
of flames is the invocation of Vajrajvalanalarka. Vajrajvalanalarka appears 
in the yogatantra corpus as the wrathful head of the vajra family (see Ricca 
and Lo Bue 1993: plate 44). His connection with the circle of protection is 
found in the Sarvadurgatiparisodhanatantra (p. 134), where his mantra fol- 
lows its installation. The installation mantras are shown in table 13. Vari- 
ous features of the circle of protection are also visible on tangka paintings 
encircling the temple palace, as in plates 12-14. 

Table 13. Mantras for installing the circle of protection 


ground (bhumim) 

om medini* vajribhava vajrabandha hum 


walls (prdkdrdm) 

om vajraprdkdra hum vam hum 


roof (panjaram) . 

om vajrapanjara hiim pam hum 


canopy (vitdnam) 

om vajravitdna hiim kham hiim 


arrow shield (sarajdlam) 

om vajrasarajdla tram sdm tram 


ring of flames 

om vajrajvalanalarka hiim hum hiim 

* • medini] conj.; medini K. (GSS3, GSS31). I emend on the basis of GSS5 (Ki8r3), which 
preserves a vocative, medini. However, medini is attested in the Tibetan translations to 
the Advayavajra texts SM251 and SM217 (Sanderson 1994a), and in the Vdrdhyabhyudaya- 
tantra (from ADUT 4.28). 

v. 15, The next verse in the Vajravarahi Sadhana continues the visualization 
§3 - §4 of the circle of protection by explaining how to purify the space within. It 
describes a method for expelling any demonic beings (v. 15 mar as) or neg- 
ative obstacles (§4 vighnas) that may have become trapped inside the vajra 
zone during its construction. This is done by means of eight fearsome god- 
desses. The first four (Kakasya, Ulukasya, Svanasya, and Sukarasya) occupy 
the cardinal directions. They are produced from the same four mantras 
that the yogin has just imagined producing the four vajra walls {om sumbha 
nisumbha, etc.). The remaining four goddesses (Yamadadhi, Yamaduti, 
Yamadamstrini, and Yamamathani) occupy the intermediate directions and 
are produced from the brilliant rays emitted by the four mantras. These rays 



are said to issue from the corners where the four mantras — that is, the 
walls — intersect. It appears that the mantras and the walls are the same 
thing here. Although the mantras previously "became" the walls (in v. 
i4/§4), now the walls are understood to "be" the mantras. 303 The "four- 
faced" mantra is clearly associated with protection. In an earlier text (STTS 
ch. 6: 56), the mantras appear in the context of subjugating Saiva deities. 
Here, the mantric units sumbhaanA nisumbha provide an unmistakable ref- 
erence to violent defeat, as they were originally names of terrible asuras 
who could be subdued only by the goddess Devi herself. 304 

Fig. 24. Dagger deity: Kdkdsyd. 
Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka. 

As we may expect, the eight goddesses produced by these mantras in the 
sadhana have gruesome forms (§4). Below the navel, they assume the shape 
of a ritual stake or dagger (kilah), while in their two arms they hold a vajra 
hammer and a stake bearing their own form (dtmariipakila). This is shown, 
according to the Sanskrit prescriptions, in figure 24. Ritual daggers (kilah 
/Tib.: phur ba) have a complex iconography, as they are understood to be 
animated by, and hence to represent, deities. 305 

Having visualized the awful goddesses, the yogin imagines them herd- 
ing together all the obstacles inside the universe of the vajra zone and 
destroying them. To accomplish this, the goddesses utter the powerful vajric 
syllable hum! upon which eight "wells" appear in each of the directions 


"near" (samipa) the vajra walls. 306 The goddesses now force the obstacles 
into these wells by means of two aggressive mantras: first, the "staking 
mantra" common to the higher tantras {kilanamantrah; cf. GS ch. 14, w. 
59-65), and next the "hammering mantra" (dkotanamantrah). In the par- 
allel account of the Abhisamayamanjari, the mantras also transform the 
slain obstacles into enlightened consciousness "by means of great bliss" 
(mahdsukbena), so that they have "the single form of suchness" (tathataika- 
rupam). This text adds that once they have served their purpose, the yogin 
imagines the goddesses themselves dissolving into the walls, leaving him 
convinced that "the world is made of one solid mass without interstices and 
is free of obstacles." 307 

A final note on the circle of protection concerns its position within the 
structure of the sadhana as a whole. In the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana it appears 
immediately after the yogin has completed the bodhisattva accumulations 
of merit and wisdom. In some sadhanas, however, it is prescribed before 
the practitioner has performed the latter with its meditations on emptiness. 
Indeed, this seems to have been the earlier version. 308 The Abhisamaya- 
manjari explains the different methods by stating that, for advanced prac- 
titioners, their understanding of emptiness affords supreme protection in 
itself, and so they do not need to reinforce the effect of the emptiness med- 
itations with the additional protection of the vajra ground, as ordinary 
practitioners do: 309 

However, in the [Heruka-JAbhisamaya (the "[Heruka] Method 
of Realization") of Luyipada, the meditation on emptiness is 
taught following the canopy of protection and so forth, because 
one who has exceptional insight is qualified [by his spiritual 
maturity to do so]. For him, emptiness itself (sunyataiva) m is the 
supreme protection. But in this [sadhana], because [of the needs] 
of the mass of ordinary folk, the canopy of protection and so on 
is taught immediately after the meditation on emptiness. And in 
many [other] methods of realization (abhisamayas) this same 
sequence is found. 

The Cremation Grounds 

v. 16a and The next line in the sadhana directs the yogin to visualize a suitable 
w. 70-76 dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection. In accordance 


with her kdpdlika character, this takes the form of (eight) cremation 
* i grounds. Although many tantric sadhanas mention the cremation grounds 
in brief, the Vajravarahi Sddhana is one of only a couple works in the 
Guhyasamayasadhanamala to give a full account of them. 31 x Although they 
are relatively undeveloped in earlier yoginitantras, in the Cakrasamvara 
corpus they appear as a set of eight charnel grounds that extend into the 
eight directions of space. It is upon these sources that our author draws 
when he appends seven verses (w. 70-76) to the end of the Vajravarahi 
Sddhana in order to describe the cremation grounds in more detail. In the 
discussion that follows, I draw upon these works. They are summarized in 
tabular form in table 14 (with notes). 312 
^ jo- The Vajravarahi Sddhana verses describe the cremation grounds first in 
76 the cardinal, and then in the intermediate, directions. Here we see that 
each cremation ground has its own distinctive characteristics. Each is indi- 
vidually named and has a named set of features and creatures dwelling 
within it. These include a tree, a protector, a serpent (ndgah), and a cloud. 
Other texts also mention demons {rdksasas), great adepts (mahdsiddhas) , 
funeral monuments (caityas), mountains, fires, lakes (the abode of the 
nagas), and rivers (which in pictorial representations often divide the cre- 
mation grounds). Sometimes the inhabitants are described in relation to 
each other, as when the naga at the foot of the tree makes obeisance to the 
protector (see notes to table 14). 

Other accounts are given in more general terms. The cremation grounds 
are home to fearsome creatures, such as crows, owls, vultures, jackals, 
hawks, lion-faced and tiger-faced beings, lizards, camels, and so on. Grue- 
some corpses are found impaled on spears, hanging, half-burned, or decap- 
itated; their dismembered parts are scattered about: skulls, knees, large 
bellies, heads with tusks, and bald heads. Supernatural spirits haunt the 
grisly place, such asyaksas, vetdlas, rdksasas, and others roaring with kilikild 
laughter. Finally, we find tantric adepts and spiritual beings resident there; 
siddhas with magical powers, vidyddharas, troops of yogins and yoginis, 
and so forth. 313 Another sadhana from the Guhyasamayasadhanamala col- 
lection (GSS34) describes the cremation grounds as follows: 314 

In this [explanation?] there are the cremation grounds; they are 
harsh and terribly frightening; they [each] have a protector, a 
tree, a serpent lord, and a cloud king. They are replete with the 
eight [auspicious] signs. This is the characteristic of the crema- 
tion ground. It is said: He should perform the prior service 



actually in the cremation ground in which [there are terrible dis- 
turbances] such as fearsome fights, which is disfigured, which is 
very gruesome, [and] in which there is a terrifying noise from the 
crowds of female ghosts. [He should perform it] in the company 
of female ghosts, female goblins, female jackals, and so on. 

The cremation grounds are often vividly depicted in tangkas. Com- 
monly, the different cremation grounds are separated by rivers (usually 
eight), which are seen running through them, as in plates i, n, and 13 (and 
on the detail of the tangka shown here on the back cover). Within the cre- 
mation grounds, we see depicted the protectors and their consorts on their 
appropriate mounts, often presiding at the center of each cremation 
ground, seated by a tree and surrounded by fearsome animals, birds, skele- 
tal remains, and plenty of bones. We can also see fires, caityas, nagas, 
mahasiddhas, devotees, and wild dancing figures. In some tangkas (as in 
the small details of plate 11), we find the cremation grounds depicted inside 
the circle of protection, with auspicious embellishments beyond that 
(although GSS34 cited above included the auspicious signs as features of 
the cremation grounds themselves). Other artists depict the cremation 
grounds outside the circle of protection (as in the crowded and lively scenes 
on plate 12). Where the cremation grounds appear as a pictorial backdrop 
to tangkas (as in plates 1 and 11), it is particularly clear that they are not 
meant to take a peripheral place in the outer reaches of the mandala, but 
that they underpin the whole scene, with the rest of the mandala super- 
imposed upon them. 315 

As they fill the entire vajra ground (which itself fills all of space), the cre- 
mation grounds take on cosmic proportions. In this respect it is interest- 
ing to note that some of the cremation-ground features bear similarities to 
the traditional Abhidharmic cosmos. This suggests that the higher tantras 
are recasting the cosmos along kdpdlika lines so that the eight cremation 
grounds become a cosmological model in their own right. Thus, just as the 
cremation grounds, spread in the eight directions, are presided over by the 
traditional protectors and include eight mountains and eight lakes, so the 
cosmos according to the Abhidharma describes continents spreading in the 
directions (although twelve in number), with eight mountains (Mount 
Meru and its seven mountain ranges) and eight "lakes." 316 Features of our 
own continent, Jambudvipa, may also be echoed in the composition of the 
cremation grounds, as it too contains sets of mountains, a lake (Lake Anava- 
tapta beyond Gandhamadana Mountain), and rivers. The jambu tree is 


located near the lake (ADK ch. 3, v. 57), and there are also eight nagas who 
are said to sustain the earth (ADK ch. 3, v. 83b-d with Pruden 1991 n. 472). 
The development of a cremation-ground cosmology is evident in myths 
from the yogatantra corpus dealing with the subjugation of Saiva deities. 
In the Sarvatathagatatattvasamgraha (STTS ch. 6), the conversion of Siva 
brings about the creation of a new buddha field in the form of a cremation 
ground called "Covered with Ashes" (Bhasmachanna), while Siva himself 
becomes the tathagata "Lord of Ashes" (Bhasmesvara). The new cosmo- 
logical perspective is strikingly illustrated in the contemporary (eighth-cen- 
tury) *Guhyagarbha. In this text, Heruka is emanated in warrior stance 
upon a mountain of bones surrounded by an ocean of blood — a clear ref- 
erence to the traditional cosmology of Mount Meru and its surrounding 
ocean. It is in just these terms that a twelfth-century Tibetan work seeks 
to account for the origin of the cremation-ground cosmos: 317 

At the beginning of this kaliyuga, beings started contending with 
each other through their common animosity. As the bodies 
started piling up from their mutual slaughter, they were removed 
to the various directions, and the eight great charnel grounds 
formed. From the corpses ran blood and, as its vapor rose into 
the sky, the eight clouds evolved. When the clouds gave off rain, 
the eight rivers developed, and in them the eight divine nagas 
arose. Mists came from the rivers, and the eight trees grew, each 
of them with its own protector. Then to the south of Sumeru, 
in the continent of Jambudvipa, MahesVara's emanation arose. 


Table 14. The eight cremation grounds' 



Cremation gr. Candogra Gahvara 


"Karahkaka"" "Subhisana" Attattahasa 


Tree 1 " 


Bodhi v 

Kaiikeli v 

Cuta v 



Kubera xiv 


Yam a" 















Caitya Sitavajra 

Mountain Sumeru 

[Not in SUT/GSS11] 

Samskaravajra Samjnavajra Pis'unavajra Cittavajra 

Mandara Kaildsa Malaya Mahendra 


For the sources drawn together in this table, see endnote 312. 

See Textual Note to v. 70 for a discussion of the names of the western and southern cre- 
mation grounds. 

Meisezahl (1980: 9) states that exegetes often equate the eight trees with the eight bodbi- 
trees of the buddhas (the current buddha, plus the seven previous ones who also attained 
enlightenment under trees). The Smasdnavidbi (v. 24) states that each tree has a secondary 
tree (upavrksah) beside it, which is lovely and covered in vanga flowers and fruit. This text 
also states (v. 23) that in each tree there lives a demon (raksasah), naked and wrathful in 
form, who eats human flesh and who has the animal face of the mount of the dikpati in his 
cremation ground. These rdksasas would seem to be the same as the eight ksetrapdlas men- 
tioned in the Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra (Meisezahl 1980: 19), whose colors correspond to 
those of the dikpdlas and who are also animal-headed, their theriocephalic forms deter- 
mined by the dikpdlas mount. In the details from the Vajravarahl tangka on plate 1, the 
tree-dwelling rdksasas are seated on the mount, while the dikpati is without a mount but is 
in embrace with his consort. The artistic representations in Meisezahl's tangkas show the 
rdksasa/ksetrapdla seated in the tree, his lower body masked by leaves, and only his torso vis- 
ible. The Adbhutasmasdnavidhi specifies that he holds a chopper and skull bowl, but the 
details from Meisezahl's planche 1 {ibid.: 85-92) show different abhinayas with no attrib- 
utes. Some illustrations also seem to depict the rdksasas as female. The individual names of 
these tree-dwellers are absent in the Smasdnavidbi. Meisezahl states that in the Adbhutasma- 
sdnavidhi, the ksetrapdla "porte le nom, parfois en abrege, du cimetiere qu'il habite." In con- 
trast, however, the notes to his planche 1 (ibid.: 85-92) ascribe an incomplete set of names 
determined by the particular therianthropic form, namely, Gajamukha, white (E) 
Manusyamukha, yellow (N); *Makaramukha/Makarasya? (not given), red (W) 
*Mahisamukha/Mahisasya? (not given), black (S); Gomukha (NE); Chaganana, red (SE) 
Ghorandhakara, buffalo's head (SW); Mrganana (NW). 

Usually Sirlsa, but Sukataru in GSS34, both names for Acacia Sirissa. Perhaps problematically, 
the Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra gives harivdsa (Ficus religiosa) for the east and * bodhivrksah for 
the north, which are synonyms. Meisezahl (1980: 19) doesn't note any problem in the text. 
as'vattha in SUT (17 v. 38a), Smasdnavidbi (v. 6), and Smas'dndlamkdratantra (Meisezahl 
1980: 22), also a name of the bodhi tree, the sacred figtree (Ficus religiosa). 
The Kahkeli (also in SUT ch. 17, v. 38b) is Jonesia Asoka. In other texts, it is called As'oka, 
e.g., in the Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra (Meisezahl 1980: 19) and Smasdnavidbi (v. 8). It has 
flaming red flowers. 











Ghorandhakara Kilakilarava 

Arjuna x 


Sankha xxix 


Kayavajra Ratnavajra Dharmavajra 

Gandhamddana Hemaparvata Sriparvata 



The mango tree. 

The triple banyan (Ficus indica), also reported as vata (in SUT ch. 17, v. 38a; GSS34) and 
nyagrodha (in Smasanavidhi \. 12 and Adbhutasmasandlamkdra, Meisezahl 1980: 19). 
Karanja is Pongamia Glabra. 

Lata-Parkati, the Creeper-Parkati/Parkati (Ficus infectoria). 

Arjuna is Terminalia-Arjuna, listed as pdrthiva (in SUT ch. 17, v. 38c!), and dhananjaya 
(GSS34). Meisezahl (1980: 19) reports it as questionable (srid grub?) in Adbhutasmasand- 

An ancient set (e.g., Manu v. 96), according to Puranic legend, the eight protectors 
(astadikpdldh) were appointed to each direction by Brahma. They are listed variously as: 
Indra (E), Kubera (N), Varuna (W), Yama (S), Soma/Candra, also Isani/Prthivi (NE), Agni 
(SE), Surya/Nirrti (SW), Pavana/Vayu (NW). The protectors (also termed here dikpatis 
/dikpdlas/lokapdlas) are described iconographically in Luylpada's Smasanavidhi, and the 
Adbhutasmasandlamkdra as reported by Meisezahl (1980: 19). The Smasanavidhi (v. 20) 
states that they are in union with their "wives" (sapatnikdh) and that they have four arms, 
two of which make the anjali gesture of obeisance, the second pair holding the emblems 
(usually a skull bowl and a tantric weapon). The Smasdndlamkdratantra (Meisezahl 1980: 
21-22) includes Surya, Soma, and Prthivi as co-protectors. Some tangkas show the protec- 
tors upon their mounts; others sitting at the base of the tree (Meisezahl, K. Gyatso). 
Indra is king of the gods, also called Sakra {Smasanavidhiw. 4) and Devendra (GSS34). In 
the Smasanavidhi he is described mounted on his elephant, Airavata. He is white and holds 
a vajra (left) and skull bowl (right); in Adbhutasmasandlamkdra (Meisezahl ibid.: 20) he is 
said to hold a vajra (left), and make the threatening gesture, the tarjanimudrd (right). 
Synonyms for Kubera are Dhanada (in SUT ch. 17 v. 39a), Yaksadhipa (in GSS34) or 
Vais'ravana (Gyatso). Kubera is the custodian of wealth, and king of the^^s (cf. Vana- 
parvan ch. 3, v. 10 of the Mahdbhdrata). In kdvya, he appears famously at the start of 
Kalidasa's Meghaduta. In Puranic literature, yaksas are a class of "semi-god" (upadevah), 
which include the vidyddhara, apsaras, yaksa, rdksasa, gandharva, kinnara, pis'dca, guhyaka, 
siddha, and bhiita. These are all spirits associated with cremation grounds in Buddhist texts 
and appear in the ^//'mantras. Iconographically in the Smasanavidhi, Kubera has a human 
mount (v. 6: naravdhana-) , is yellow, and "holds a mongoose spitting out a jewel" (v. 6cd: 
nakulam udgilad ratnam dhatte...) and skull bowl. In the Adbhutasmasandlamkdra 
(Meisezahl 1980: 20) he is yellow, mounted on a "nidhi" and holds a club (left) and makes 
the gesture of threatening (right). 





Varuna is a prominent god in the Vedas; his later association is as lord of the waters. Hence 
he is listed as Nagendra (in SUT ch. 17, v. 39b) and is described in the Adbhutasmasdndlam- 
kdra (Meisezahl 1980: 20) as mounted on a makara. He is red in color and brandishes a lasso 
(left). K. Gyatso states that he is white, has a hood of seven snakes, and holds a snake rope 
and skull cup. 

Yama is associated with the south and with the sun (vivasvat, descended from Surya), hence 
he is also "Vaivasvata" (GSS34) or "Yama Vaivasvata." He is also god of death, Kala, whose 
agents brings departed souls to Yamapuri. Iconographically, the Smasdnavidhi describes 
Yama as mounted on a buffalo (v. 10: mahisdrudha-), black, red-eyed, fat, fearsome, hold- 
ing a stick/cudgel (dandah) and a skull bowl. This accords with the description reported by 
Meisezahl (1980: 20) in the Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra. 

The northeast (aisdni) is associated with Siva, hence Is'ana also appears as Nilalohita (in 
GSS34), a synonym of Siva in epic and Puranic tales, and Kapalis'a (in Smasdnavidhi v. 12). 
He is described as white, carrying a trident (suit), mounted on a bull, and wearing a tiger- 
skin (in Smasdnavidhi v. 12 and Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra Meisezahl 1980: 20). 
The southeast (dgneyya) belongs to Agni (in Smasdnavidhi v. 14 and the Adbhutasmasdnd- 
lamkdra Meisezahl 1980: 20). Here, the synonym "Vais'vanara" is given, the name of the fire 
in the Caturmasya sacrifice; hence it is also listed as Hutavahadigls'a (GSS34) and "Hutas'ana" 
(in SUT ch. 17, v. 39c = GSS16). He is described in the Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra as mounted 
on a goat, potbellied, red-limbed, having a "firepit skull bowl" (? kundakapdli) and a "pot 
with rosary" (sdksasutrakamandaluh). 

The southwest (nairrti) is the quarter of the demons, lorded over by the demon-imp Nairrti 
(in Smasdnavidhiv. 16). Nairrti is the child of Nirrti, "Calamity/Death," wife of Mrtyu. He 
is also called Raksasa (as in Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra Meisezahl 1980: 20) and Nis'cares'a, 
"Lord of Night Wanderers" (in GSS34). "Jatudhana" also appears as Ydtudhdna (Monier- 
Williams 1899), a kind of evil spirit or demon responsible for sorcery or witchcraft (ydtuh). 
He is described in the Smasdnavidhi (v. 16) and Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra as blue-back (nila), 
standing on a corpse, holding sword and skull bowl, naked, with men's skulls on his head 
[as a chaplet]. 

The northwest (vdyavi) is protected by Prabhafijana [Vayu], hence listed also as the wind, 
"Vata" (in Smasdnavidhiv. 18), but — problematically, suggesting the southwest — as Raksa- 
sendra/Raksasa in SUT (ch. 17, v. 39d) and Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra (Meisezahl 1980: 20). 
He is described in the Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra and Smasdnavidhi as blue/smoke-colored 
(respectively), mounted on an antelope (mrgah), holding a yellow banner (dhvajah) and 
skull bowl. 

The naga kings (here, ndgardja-, ndgesa-, nagendra-, bhujagesa-) are described iconograph- 
ically in Luyipada's Smasdnavidhi and the related Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra reported by 
Meisezahl (1980: 19). The descriptions are missing for the intermediate directions NW and 
NE, possibly due to lost verses. This text states that all wear white ornaments (v. 19: 
sitdlamkdrabhusitdh) . The plates to planche 1 (Meisezahl ibid.: 85-92) show that the nagas 
have human torsos above their coiled snaketails and raised hoods above their heads. 
Meisezahl (1980: 20—21) consults Bu ston for their colors and describes the markings that 
each bears upon his raised hood. They all make obeisance to the dikpati who is before them. 
They are seated beneath the tree (in Smasdnavidhiv. 17). Their presence must be related to 
that of the cloud king, since nagas are associated with water and rain. More complex 
accounts (e.g., K. Gyatso and some tangkas) provide a lake in the cremation ground as an 
abode for the naga. 

xxii In the Smasdnavidhi (v. 5), Vasuki is white (Bu ston: yellow), with a blue lotus on his hood. 
He makes the anjali, bowing before the lord before him. 

xxiii The Smasdnavidhi states that Taksaka is red (v. 7: bandhukapuspasamnibhah) and has a 
svastika on his hood, making the anjali with bowed head. Meisezahl (following Bu ston) 
states that he is black. 

xxiv In the Smasdnavidhi (v. 9), the naga Karkota is described as "resplendent as dark-green 
durvd grass" (durvdsydmasamadyutih), with three lines on his throat, and making the anjali- 
(Meisezahl, following Bu ston, describes him as red.) 

xxv The Smasdnavidhi (v. 11) states that Padma is white and has on his hood speckles or 







sea[water] (Meisezahl reads: vankabindusironkitah; Finot reads vanga°, a type of flower 
mentioned on the upavrksah in v. 24). He supplicates his teacher (ydcann djndm ca sdstdram) 
in the usual manner with the anjali. (Meisezahl, following Bu ston, states that he is red ) 
In the Smasdnavidhi (v. 13), Mahapadma is "lovely like the moon," with a trident (trisulah) 
on his hood, making the usual anjali. (Meisezahl, following Bu ston, states that he is green ) 
Huluhulu is also "Ananta" (in the Smasdnavidhi v. 15 and Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra 
Meisezahl 1980: 20), described there as [colored] like a peacock's neck (s'ikhikanthanibha) 
with a lotus on his hood, making the anjali before his lord's feet. (In Meisezahl,' following 
Bu ston, he is yellow-white.) 
xxviii Kulika/Kulisa is described in the Smasdnavidhi as smoke-colored, having a half-moon on 
his hood, seated beneath the mass of creepers (latdjatydm), making the anjali. (In Meisezahl 
following Bu ston, he is yellow-white.) The mss. of GSS report Kulisa (see GSSn edition' 
apparatus to v. 77). 

Sarikha is also listed as Sankhapala (GSS34). In Smasdnavidhi (v. 19), there is a very brief 
description of him as yellow, with spots [on his hood] (kalankita), or a tilaka (Meisezahl 
reporting the Adbhutasmasanalamkdra) . 

The clouds, or cloud kings (meghardja GSS34), in the cardinal directions have names that 
are associated with the loud noises of thunderclouds; the names of the clouds in the inter- 
mediate directions (GSSn v. 77) are associated with rain. The names in the Smasdnavidhi 
(v. 21) are different in some cases (the sequence for the directions is insecure): Jayabhadra 
Srinando (Tib: *Srighana, Meisezahl 1980: 37), Vrstisupriya, Drutaghosa, Canda, Varsa' 
Purana, and Capala. As these names suggest, the clouds are loud and terrifying,' emitting 
lightning and torrents of rain (Smasdnavidhi v. 22). Their presence in the cremation grounds 
may be connected with the appearance of the nagas who are deemed responsible for rain 

xxxi Avartaka: "Personified Cloud," also listed as Balahaka, "Thundercloud" (in GSS34) 

xxxii Purana (in SUT ch. 17, v. 41c), but GSSn mss. report prapurdna. 

xxxiii Varsa is also given as Varsana (GSS34). 




The Cosmos and Temple Palace 

(See The commonest method of visualizing the deity's dwelling place in main- 
v - 35) stream sadhanas — even in higher tantric sadhanas, such as the Abhisamaya- 
manjari — is not as a cremation ground but as the traditional Abhidharmic 
universe. This begins with the visualization of the elements that underpin 
the earth's surface; the yogin then sees the axial mountain Sumeru (or 
Meru) rising up into the heavens. Above this (or encompassing it all), he 
installs the circle of protection and the dharmodayd, or "origin of existents." 
Finally, upon the mountain's peak, he visualizes an elaborate and decora- 
tive temple palace (kutdgdrah) as the future abode of the deity. This more 
traditional method is also mentioned briefly in the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana, 
which offers it as an alternative at the end of meditation stage 1 (v. 35). In 
our text, the visualization includes the generation of the elements and 
Mount Meru inside the vajra ground, but it omits any mention of the tem- 
ple palace. Before exploring why this is so, we will look in more detail at 
the visualization of the cosmos itself. 

Umapatideva's prescriptions for the meditation can be filled out from 
the account in the Abhisamayamanjarl Here we see how the cosmic ele- 
ments are produced from their own seed-syllables, yam, ram, vam, and lam, 
and how each has a particular shape and is adorned with its own symbols. 318 
The meditation also states that the yogin sees his own consciousness "as" 
the elements, a reminder that the practitioner's normal ego identity has 
been dissolved as a result of the previous emptiness meditations: 319 

Arising from the meditation on emptiness under the influence 
of the latent impressions (dvedha) [established in his conscious- 
ness] by his original resolve [i.e., the bodhisattva vow], he should 
visualize his own consciousness as the mandalas of wind, fire, 
water, and earth, one above the other. [These are] generated from 
the syllables yam, ram, vam and lam in the shape of a semicircle, 
triangle, circle, [and] square, colored blue/black, red, white, and 
yellow, [the semicircle] having a fluttering flag marking both 
tips, [the triangle] marked by a flame, [the circle] marked with 
a vase, and [the square] with three-pronged vajras in the four 
corners as symbols. Then on top of that, generated from the syl- 
lable sum, he should visualize Sumeru as four-sided with eight 
peaks and made of silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, and gold on its east- 
ern, southern, western, and northern sides [respectively]. 


This meditation is summarized in table 15, and shown in figure 25. 
Table 15. Element visualization with Mount Sumeru 


Element Syllable Shape 














semicircle blue/black blue flag fluttering at each end 

triangle red red flame 

circle white white vase 

square yellow yellow three-pronged vajra 

at each corner 

four-sided bejeweled surrounded by seven square 

mountain ranges, etc. 

Figure 25. The cosmos. 

A bhidarmakos'a 














At the center of figure 25 is the cosmos according to the sadhana visual- 
izations of the yoginitantras. For comparison, the elements that make up 
the cosmos according to the Abhidharma are shown to the left, while to 


the right, the elements according to the cosmos of the Kalacakra (suggest- 
ing, perhaps, that this later tantric system was informed by the develop- 
ments in the yoginitantras). The traditional cosmos is described in the 
Abhidharmakosa and bhdsya (ch. 3, "The World"). It is said to exist upon 
a substrate of space (akasah), upon which rest cylindrical layers of wind, 
water, and gold, one upon the other, each diminishing in size. Upon the 
topmost layer of gold is the ocean, which is encompassed by an iron ring 
at its rim and dotted with twelve continents in the four directions. At the 
center of the ocean are the mountains: seven ranges separated by lakes with 
Mount Meru in the center. (See plate 15.) 

Comparing this with the sadhana visualization, it is clear that several 
changes have taken place. 320 Firstly, the higher tantras replace the substrate, 
space — which is a metaphor for emptiness — with emptiness itself. This is 
appropriate to the sadhana because the visualization of the cosmic sub- 
strate "emptiness" arises out of the experience of emptiness that the yogin 
has cultivated in the foundational meditations on emptiness that precede 
it (sometimes directly preceding it, as in the Abhisamayamanjari cited ear- 
lier). 321 Next, the sadhana visualizations introduce the element fire between 
the mandalas of wind and water, producing the new sequence: wind, fire, 
water, and earth. This sequence mirrors the traditional list of the elements 
within the human body (ADK ch. 3, v. 44b) and has the effect of corre- 
lating macrocosm (the cosmos) and microcosm (the practitioner). This 
correlation is a theme developed later in the sadhana, particularly in the 
meditations upon the body mandala. Finally, the sadhana visualization 
directs the meditator to visualize Mount Meru resting directly upon the ele- 
ment earth, somewhat simplifying the traditional cosmic features of the 
ocean and its continents. 

In contrast, the visualization of Mount Meru itself may be elaborate. 
Once again, the earlier citation from the Abhisamayamanjari fills out details 
that are absent in the brief prescriptions of the Vajravarahi Sadhana (v. 35c). 
The Abhisamayamanjari is typical of mainstream sadhanas in that it accords 
with the Abhidharmakosa and its commentaries, in which Mount Meru is 
described as square, with four immeasurable walls made of gold, silver, lapis 
lazuli, and crystal facing north, east, south, and west respectively (ADK ch. 
3, v. 50a, with Vydkhydby Yas'omitra). Sadhana literature often refers to the 
"eight peaks" of Meru (ADK ch. 3, w. 48D-49C), that is, its own central peak 
(the square of four jeweled substances), plus the seven golden "peaks" in 
diminishing height that form concentric squares around Mount Meru. 322 
Meru itself also has four "terraces" (parisandas) that are the abode of vari- 



ous types of beings. In a visualization of Sumeru supplied by mKhas grub 
rje (p. 175), which he ascribes to the kriyatantra, the terraces are to be embel- 
lished with stairs of precious stuffs, wish-fulfilling trees, and victory banners. 
(These are also visible on plate 15.) 

In traditional, Abhidharmic cosmology, Meru is crowned by the city of 
the thirty-three gods (Sudars'ana) with Sakra's palace (Vaijayanta) at the 
center, surrounded by parks "for pleasure and for love" (ADK ch. 3, w. 
65-68). In the higher tantras, Sakra's temple palace is taken over by their 
cult deities, and the central mountain becomes a stage to the cosmic dra- 
mas of enlightenment played out by new buddhas at the head of new divine 
retinues. 323 Mainstream sadhanas frequently draw on formulaic verse from 
older yogatantra sources to describe the ornamental features of the temple 
palace: It is made of jewels, is square with four or eight pillars, and has 
four multilevel porticoes. The eaves are supported by makaras (mythical 
sea monsters), flanked to the right and left by a buck and a doe, and topped 
by a Dharma wheel. It is beautified with strings of pearls, cloth banners, 
vases, mirrors, yak-tail fly whisks, multicolored pennants and bells, and 
may sport a cupola adorned by a jewel and a vajra, or vajras resting on 
sickle moons at the four corners. 324 In tangka paintings, the porticoes are 
aligned with the four tips of the double vajra upon which the whole edi- 
fice rests (visvavajravedika)? 25 These elaborate gates are usually drawn as if 
seen from in front, as in plates 12 and 13 — although the rest of the mandala 
is shown from an aerial perspective. In plate 14, however, we see the entire 
temple palace in three-dimensional elevation. 326 

Fig. 26. Double vajra. 

In rejecting the temple palace as the residence of the deity, the Vajra- 
varahi Sadhana makes significant strides toward a more integrated higher 
rantric practice. We have seen that the prescriptions for the cremation 
grounds are given weight in the sadhana with an extra series of verses (w. 


70-76) supplementing the main prescription (in v. 16). In contrast, the 
visualization of the cosmos is merely appended in brief at the end of the 
first meditation stage. The Vajravarahi Sadhana therefore represents an 
interesting phase of development within the Guhyasamayasddhanamald col- 
lection as a whole. It appears to be midway between sadhanas that remain 
rooted in the cakravartin temple palace tradition, and those that depict a 
more consistent representation of kapalika praxis. Thus, we can broadly 
identify three types of sadhana composition, all roughly contemporane- 
ous, in the Guhyasamayasddhanamald. 

i. First are the mainstream sadhanas that follow the traditional cakra- 
vartin model. These locate the temple palace upon Mount Mem (visu- 
alizing it inside the circle of protection and the origin of existents 
[dharmodayd]). They make no reference at all to the cremation 
grounds as a location for the self-generation, despite the fact that they 
deal with the generation of a kapalika deity — for example, the Abhi- 
samayamanjari (GSS5; based on the Herukdbhisamaya f. 3v) and 
sadhanas by Advayavajra (e.g., GSS3). 
2. Next are the transitional sadhanas that combine an implicit temple 
palace model with a greater focus on kapalika praxis. This is the mid- 
way position of the Vajravarahi Sadhana. As the mandala is built up 
in the subseqent meditation stages, we will see that its structure is 
that of the temple palace, in which deities of the retinue are placed 
formally around a central cakravartin-style deity. Despite this, the 
Vajravarahi Sadhana omits any mention of the temple palace itself 
perhaps an admission that the formal symmetry of this structure is an 
anachronism within the cremation-ground culture of a kapalika cult. 
Although our author does include the visualization of the traditional 
cosmos, he downgrades it to a lesser alternative by placing it at the end 
of his first meditation stage (v. 35). His preferred emphasis on the cre- 
mation-ground cosmology highlights the fact that the deities of 
Vajravarahi's mandala inhabit a very different setting and command 
a very different worldview. These developments have their base in 
scripture, for it is notable that Umapatideva's omission of the temple 
palace mirrors the Samvarodayatantra (ch. 13, w. I2-I3ff). 327 
3. Moving a stage further still toward the integration of kapalika inter- 
ests, the Guhyasamayasddhanamald also includes a group of "skeleton 
arch" (karankatorana) sadhanas (GSS32-34). In these, we find that 
the anomalous temple palace has been restructured in a style more 

^ ■ 




architecturally suited to its cremation-ground setting. The self- 
generated goddess is enthroned beneath an arch of human skeletons 
that is ornamented with skeletonic parasols. These developed kdpdlika 
sadhanas also show a greater degree of internalization within the med- 
itation techniques espoused, based on the yogic methods of svd- 
dhisthdna ("self-consecration") practice (see the appendix for more 

Self-Generation through the Awakenings 

v. 16 The next stage in the visualization is perhaps the most important in the 
sadhana as a whole: the self-generation of the yogin "as" Vajravarahi. The 
yogin begins by creating a locus for the forthcoming meditations at the 
center of the cremation grounds (v. 16a). He first visualizes an inverted tri- 
angle that (in our text) is white in color, 328 and within which he sees a 
vibrant red lotus (v. i6b-d). The triangle is the "origin of existents" 
(dharmodayd) or "source of [all purified] dharmas" (dharmodayah), a spatial 
and visual metaphor for the unoriginated, transcendental plane of real- 
ity. 329 Terms such as the Dharma body (dharmakdyah), suchness (tathatd), 
and the sphere of Dharma (dharmadhdtuh) are also applied to the dharmo- 
dayd, and it is often said to "have the nature of the dharmadhatu" (dharma- 
dhdtusvabhdva) or to be "one with the dharmadhatu" (dharmadhdtumaya). 
As a "source" or "origin," the dharmodayd \s also equated with the female 
sex organ or womb (bhagah, yonih). This imagery is highlighted by its 
inverted triangular shape (V), which is a simulacrum of the pubis. As in 
north Indian post-Gupta scripts, V happens to represent the letter e y so the 
dharmodayd is sometimes referred to simply as ^. 330 

The fact that the origin of existents represents both the reality of empti- 
ness and a woman's sex reflects the sexual soteriology of the higher and 
highest tantras. 331 In these systems, emptiness is described experientially as 
the ecstatic, all-consuming great bliss, the tantric metaphor for which is 
orgasm. Thus, the experience of emptiness or bliss is said to "arise in" or 
to be "produced from" the dharmodayd, or the woman's sex. This imagery 
is employed in both the Guhyasamaja (yogottara) and Hevajra (yoganirut- 
tara) traditions, in which the root tantras famously begin: "Thus have I 
heard: At one time the Lord sported in the vaginas of the vajra maidens/' 32 
Here, because the vagina represents the bliss of enlightenment, it becomes 
another spatial metaphor for buddhahood. Its locus is the blissful dwelling 


place of the buddhas, a tantric reworking of the Mahayana concept of the 
pure land Sukhavatl. 333 Where tantric deities are in sexual union, the female 
deity represents bliss, emptiness, or wisdom, while the male partner sym- 
bolizes compassion, or means (updyah). In the Vajrayogini tradition, how- 
ever, the goddess is without a consort, and so she represents in herself the 
union of both wisdom (female) and means (male). Nevertheless, sexual 
symbolism still permeates the visualization. For example, during the med- 
itation representing Vajravarahi's "conception" (v. 17), we will see that her 
seed-syllable vam is visualized inside the dharmodaya. Here, the syllable 
vam is also the seed-syllable for the vajra, which is a tantric euphemism for 
penis, while the dharmodaya triangle symbolizes the woman's sex or womb. 
Because of the coincidence of V with the letter e, the word evam (syllables 
e + vam) is often said to symbolize this union: "Homage to you, Vajra- 
yogini; [you] who is seated in the syllables e(V)-vam, whose form is innate 
(sahaja) bliss, who is the knowledge of wisdom, and who is placed in the 
body!" 334 
w. The following verses describe the conception and birth of the deity. The 
I7-I9a terse lines of the Vajravarahi Sddhana in fact describe a sequence of med- 
itations known in exegetical works as the five awakenings (pancdbhisam- 
bodhikramah). These are significant in that they define the Vajravarahi 
Sddhana as a sadhana of the "generation method" (utpattikramah). The 
five awakenings have their roots in the yogatantras, where the term "awak- 
ening" (abhisambodhih) refers to a meditation on the five wisdoms as part 
of the preliminary emptiness meditations. 335 The term seems to have been 
first applied to the process of self-generation in the Hevajratantra, although 
it is chiefly the Hevajra commentarial tradition that is responsible for its 
analysis into the five awakenings. 336 The subject proved to be a fertile 
ground for meditative and exegetical elaboration. Indeed, the five awak- 
enings are only one of many sets of correlations that surround the self- 
generation process, including an earlier systematization in the yogottara 
tradition that produced a rather different [set of] four vajras (vajracatuska). 
A set of "six gods" is also taken up in one Tibetan tradition and correlated 
with the five awakenings. 337 

Because the Vajravarahi Sddhana deals with the subject only briefly, a 
fuller exposition of the five awakenings is cited below from an elaborate 
prose passage in the Abhisamayamahjari. Following the exegetical tradi- 
tion, Sakyaraksita correlates each stage with a wisdom, signifying that the 
deity "born" in the self-generation is endowed with every aspect of enlight- 
ened wisdom. 338 




At the center of that [temple palace] 339 he should perceive a red 
pam transforming into an eight-petaled lotus symbolizing the 
eight worldly dharmas (astalokadharmatd-). On the pericarp, on 
a sun disk symbolizing the extinguishing of the darkness of igno- 
rance, [he should visualize] a <vam> seed-syllable situated on a 
sun disk inside the central hub of a vajra, which has [itself] been 
produced from a red vam, and which is in the space between a 
sun disk and a moon disk (samputamadhye). [The vam syllable is 
understood as] the great bliss of the union of the moon [on the 
one hand], which is produced by the transformation of a double 
row of vowels and is identical with mirror wisdom (ddarsajndna- 
svabhdva-), and the sun [on the other] , which is produced by the 
transformation of a double row of consonants including d dh d 
dh ya la and is identical with the wisdom of equality (samatd- 
jndnasvabhdva-). [The vam syllable itself is] identical with dis- 
criminating wisdom (pratyaveksandsvabhdva-). With rays created 
by that [vam] that have the form of the goddess, he should [then] 
irradiate the ten directions, [and then] perform the welfare of [all] 
beings, [followed by] the withdrawal [of the rays] back again into 
[the vam] itself. [This is] the performance wisdom (krtydnustha- 
nam). With the transformation of all that, [he should visualize] 
himself as the goddess Vajravarahi, identical with the wisdom of 
pure reality (suvisuddhajndnasvabhdvd-). 

The sequence of the awakenings, and their correlating wisdoms, is sum- 
marized in table 16. 

Table 16. The five awakenings 

Sequence of Generation 

Correlated Wisdom 


the moon disc 

mirror wisdom (ddarsajndnam) 


the sun disc 

wisdom of equality (samatdjndnam) 


the seed-syllable (or emblem) 

discriminating wisdom 



the emission and retraction 
of rays 

performance wisdom (krtydnusthdnajndnam) 


the transformation of the 
seed-syllable into the deity 

wisdom of pure reality 


v. 17a The Vajravdrahi Sadhana covers the first two stages of the five awaken- 
ings in one line (v. 17a). It instructs the sadhaka to imagine a moon disk (the 
first awakening) and a sun disk (the second awakening); these are seen lying 
upon the red lotus that is inside the dharmodayd. The passage just cited 
from the Abhisamayamanjari describes a more complex version of the med- 
itation. In a tradition following both the Hevajra and Samvara scriptures, 
the disks are generated from the letters of the alphabet. The moon disk is 
produced from a sequence of vowels, and the sun disk from a sequence of 
consonants, which is termed in brief the "yoga ('union' or 'practice') of vow- 
els and consonants" (dlikdliyogah). 540 The alphabetical sequence of letters 
has been shown above in the vagvisuddhi (GSS5 Sed p. 125, K14.V5); but here, 
the Abhisamayamanjarl states that the sixteen vowels (adiiuu r flue ai 
au am ah) should be visualized as a double row, thus making thirty-two 
letters, and that the thirty-three consonants (ka to ha) should also be 
extended by the addition of ksa and six other letters (da dha da dhaya la), 
to make forty. This row of forty letters is also visualized as a double row, 
making eighty consonants in all. This embellishment introduces the added 
symbolism of the thirty-two auspicious "major marks" (laksanas) and the 
eighty "subsidiary marks" (anuvyanjanas) of a buddha. Some sources add 
that the rows of letters are seen to revolve, the vocalic turning counter- 
clockwise and the consonantal turning clockwise, before they transform into 
the moon and sun disks respectively. 341 

At the close of the second stage of the awakenings, the sun disk and 
moon disk should be seen to mingle. This is a simulacrum of sexual union 
and gives rise to great bliss. For just as the vowels and consonants formed 
a pair of opposites that represented the polarity of female and male, this is 
true also of the two disks. In this case the red sun disk symbolizes the blood 
of the female partner, and the white moon disk the semen of the male part- 
ner (e.g., Beyer 1978: 110), thus supplying two of the three essential factors 
required for conception in traditional embryology (ADKbh ch. 3, w. 
10-17). The third factor, the intermediate being, arises in the course of the 
next awakening. 
v. I7b-d In the same verse, the Vajravdrahi Sadhana describes the third awaken- 
ing: the visualization of Vajravarahi's seed-syllable, vam, between the two 
disks. This represents the third requirement for conception, namely, the 
presence of the intermediate being (gandharvasattvami)^ 1 that is generated 
when the great bliss of intercourse gives rise to the implantation of a "seed 
in the womb. 343 Our author instructs the meditator to visualize the vam as 
red, quivering with light rays, and vividly clear. In some Vajravarahi 






sadhanas, the seed in the womb is represented instead by a vajra that is 
empowered by a vam syllable enscribed upon its central point. 344 In his 
Amndyamanjari, Abhayakaragupta explains that the seed is a five-pronged 
vajra, and that each of its prongs correlates with a limb (head, two feet, and 
two hands) of the divine embryo, or (as elsewhere in the same text), with 
the five fingers and toes, and the five sense organs on the head of the 
embryo (Beyer 1978: 124). The vajra is in fact the emblem (cihnam) of 
heruka manifestations such as Hevajra and Samvara through their familial 
genesis in the vajra family of Aksobhya, and as such is sometimes produced 
from hum, the seed-syllable of the vajra family. Although Vajravarahi's 
emblem is the wheel (cakram), from her association with the buddha fam- 
ily of Vairocana, her tradition preserves the vajra as an established part of 
the sequence of awakenings. 

The next verse (v. 18) describes the fourth awakening, namely, the emis- 
sion and retraction of rays from the seed-syllable into the universe, where 
they provide spiritual benefit to all beings. The power of mantric rays to 
remove sins, to benefit beings, and to attract or impel deities is often 
referred to in this stage. Their agency is lavishly described by mKhas grub 
rje (p. 161) :- 


Then one imagines that from those letters emanate innumer- 
able rays of light, from the ends of which issue innumerable 
aspects of the body of that god to be intensely contemplated. 
They purify all sentient beings from their sins, obscurations, and 
sufferings, and they give joy to all the buddhas and their sons by 
making offerings to them. Then the rays, together with the gods, 
are withdrawn, absorbed by the letters; and the moon, together 
with the letters, transforms itself into the perfected body of the 
god to be contemplated. 

V -I9a 

Once the rays have accomplished their lofty purpose, they are seen retract- 
ing back into the seed- syllable. The Vajravdrdhi Sddhana states that, as 
they retract, they should bring back countless buddhas into the syllable; 
elsewhere they summon the entire world (e.g., GSS10 K47V3). The seed- 
syllable vam is now pregnant with significance: It is at once the repository 
of the potentiality of buddhahood (GSS32 Ki05r2: buddhatvam hetu- 
bhutam. . .) and a symbol of its actuality, Vajravarahi. 

The final awakening (described in v. 19a) transforms the seed-syllable 
into the body of the deity. This is understood as the deity's birth into the 


world. The analogy is given in the second chapter of the Samvarodayatantra 
(w. nc-20) in a passage that draws upon both traditional Indian embry- 
ology and upon the tantric topology of the inner body made up of chan- 
nels, winds, and drops. 346 In the first stage of this account (w. I2b-i6b), 
consciousness is said to arrive through the mouth, carried on winds that 
circulate in the seventy- two-thousand channels (nddts). The scripture (v. 
i6cd) then describes the attainment of highest bliss as the vowels and con- 
sonants melt together. This is the equivalent of the second awakening. 
Next, consciousness "exists between semen (sukram) and menstrual blood 
(sonitam) in the form of a dot (binduh)" (v. I7ab), which is the moment 
when the gandharvasattva enters, the equivalent of the third awakening. In 
the fifth month of its germination, the embryo develops its fleshly form in 
five aspects (w. iycd-icjb), and these are correlated with the five buddhas. 
In the seventh month (v. i9cd), it grows hair, nails, and sex organs; in the 
eighth and ninth it develops its senses and full form; and in the tenth, it 
takes on sentience (v. 2od: cetand). The birth (which takes place accord- 
ing to Indian tradition in the tenth month after conception) is equivalent 
to the generation of the body of the deity in the final stage of the five awak- 
enings. (The processes of gestation and birth described here are even more 
explicit in sadhanas where the deities to be evoked are in sexual union.) 347 
Together, the five awakenings are understood to correspond to the three 
bodies of a buddha. The dharma body (dharmakdyah) is the origin of the 
self-generated deity in the unconstructed transcendental plane of emptiness. 
Tsong kha pa remarks that "it is inadmissible that a Buddha could wish to 
serve the aim of those he takes in hand only through the Dharma Body 
without a body of form" (Beyer 1978: 127). Thus, in the course of the self- 
generation, the irradiating seed-syllable of the fourth awakening is seen as 
the emanation body (nirmdnakdyah) which, like that buddha body, is for 
the benefit of the world. The final form of the deity is understood to exist 
as an enjoyment body (sambhogakdyah), with all the major and minor 
marks of a tenth-stage bodhisattva (mKhas grub rje 1978: 27). Abhayakara- 
gupta explains that the sambhogakdya and the nirmdnakdya are conven- 
tional in that both are reflexes of emptiness and are therefore constructed. 348 

Self-Visualization As Vajravarahi 

w. The next six verses describe the culmination of the self-generation process 
l 9~M as the meditator visualizes himself transforming into the sambhogakdya 



form of Vajravarahl. The prescription to "make his own body Varahi" (v. 
24c!) is a reminder to the yogin that it is "himself (atmanam) that he is to 
visualize becoming the deity. 349 Strictly, this must be metaphorical, since 
the notion of an ordinary "self has already been dissolved during the med- 
itations on emptiness. Indeed, one sadhana adds the comment that after 
the emptiness mantras the body must be seen merely as an appearance. 350 
The Vajravarahl Sadhana now gives the iconographical details for 
Vajravarahl, prescribing her color, face, attributes, and stance. As we will 
see, these reveal an iconography closely based on Vajravarahl as consort to 
Cakrasamvara (plate n). 351 In Tibetan works, it is a form very similar to this 
manifestation of Vajravarahl that is associated with the adept Naropa. 352 

Fig. 27. Vajravarahl in 
warrior stance. 

Drawn according to the Sanskrit 
text by Dharmacari Aloka. 
Cf. plates 7 and 10 f. 

Vajravarahl is deep red in color, a reflex of her red seed-syllable vam. The 
Vajravarahl Sadhana describes her as "saffron-colored" (v. 19b: kasmira- 
varnam),™ but elsewhere she is compared to vermilion powder (sindilrah), 
or to startlingly red flowers such as the China rose (javakusumam), the 
bandhukah (Pentapetes phoenicea or Terminalia tomentosa), and the pome- 
granate flower (dddimah). Her radiance is likened to the fire that blazes at 
the end of the aeon. Throughout the visualization her redness contrasts 
vividly with white, as the yogin sees the red lotus juxtaposed against a white 
dharmodaya (GSS11 v. 16), a red sun disk against a white moon disk, 354 the 
whites of her rolling eyes against her red irises, and streams of blood falling 
from her gleaming white skull bowl and splashing against her garland of 
white skulls. The colors are eloquent in the Indian tradition of primordial 

i 5 6 


polarities, such as hot and cold, bride and groom, passion and purity, rajas- 
sattva, east and west, female and male. 

The Vajravarahi Sadhana describes Vajravarahi as having one head (v. 
19b), just as she had as consort to Cakrasamvara — that is, without her epony- 
mous characteristic, the hog's head (varahah), which appears in her other 
main manifestation (ch. 2). Her face is fanged (v. 2id) and has three eyes; 
these are a standard feature of tantric iconography drawn from the iconogra- 
phy of Siva. 355 Other texts add that her face is distorted by wrath, with brows 
knit together in a fearsome frown, and eyes "red, round, and rolling." 356 I n 
her two arms (v. 20) she holds her particular attributes, a vajra and a skull 
bowl filled with blood; these are held in her right and left hands respec- 
tively (as seen from the point of view of the meditator/ deity herself). 357 

Fig. 28. Vajra. 

Although the text of this verse is corrupt (v. 20c), it clearly prescribes a 
vajra. It seems that Indian iconography distinguishes between forms of 
warrior-stance Vajravarahi (who holds a vajra) and forms of warrior-stance 
Vajrayogini (who holds a vajra chopper). 358 The vajra is usually red in color, 
and sometimes described as blazing and adorned with shining streamers. 
It is generally five-pointed — the four jutting angles plus the central spoke — 
which are said in the Abhisamayamanjarl to symbolize "the five knowl- 
edges combined into one essence." Vajravarahi holds it outstretched, 
pointing her forefinger threateningly at all ignorance and evil. This is a 
gesture common among wrathful deities, who shake their weapons men- 
acingly so that they become "terrifying even to fear [itself]." 359 

The skull bowl is held aloft in Vajravarahi's left hand, and she drinks 
the stream of blood that flows from it (v. 2oab), fixing her gaze upon it as 
she drinks. 360 The vajra and skull bowl are attributes adapted from the 
iconography of Vajravarahi as consort to Cakrasamvara, but when the deities 



are in embrace, it is Cakrasamvara who drinks the blood as Vajravarahi 
pours it down into her lord's open mouth, "causing him to drink." 361 The 
skull bowl itself is formed of a severed head, part of the standard insignia 
of kapdlika praxis, while the blood within it is often said to be that of the 
four wicked mdras, or of other evils; in the Abhisamayamanjari, however, 
it has the taste of great bliss and great compassion. 362 

Vajravarahi's third attribute is the skull staff (khatvangah/m) balanced 
upon her left shoulder (v. 21a). According to the Abhisamayamanjari:™ 

On her left [side] resting on her arm, Vajravarahi is [visualized] 
carrying a skull staff (khatvanga-) whose nature is the means [of 
enlightenment]. It is brilliant with a white stock that has a sin- 
gle prong at its base and a black five-pronged [vajra] at its upper 
end, and [beneath that vajra] a desiccated [human] head, a [fresh 
human] head wet [with blood], a pair of crossed vajras, a golden 
vase, and fluttering from the vase's base, multicolored streamers 
with tiny tinkling bells. 

Fig. 29. Skull staff (khatvanga). 

In illustrations, the "dry and wet heads" (suskasardrasiras-) are usually 
depicted as whitish-yellow for the upper head, and blood-red for the freshly 
severed lower head, although there is a good deal of variation in artistic 
works. 364 The Kriyasamuccaya distinguishes a different type of skull staff 
altogether, with three dried heads. 365 The equation of the skull staff with 


means (GSS5: updyasvabhdvd) is a common one and identifies the staff 
with the male consort. 366 Stein (Cours 1975: 49°) expands upon the sexual 
connotations: the staff is usually held on the left, the side associated with 
feminine consorts, and is not so much "held" as "embraced" (d-sakta). 

Other tantric ornaments adorn Vajravarahi's body. She wears a garland 
of heads (v. 21b), fifty in number corresponding to the fifty vowels and 
consonants, and said in the Vajravarahi Sddhana to be bloody, that is, 
freshly severed and dripping. 367 This is another feature assumed from the 
male heruka forms, as female consorts generally wear only a garland of 
dried skulls. 368 The colors and characterization of the heads in tantric art 
are highly individual, and they are depicted strung together by the hair or 
with a cord through their mouths. 369 

Vajravarahi is also beautified by a set of five tantric ornaments (w. 
22-23), all made of human bone (perhaps embossed with vajras), 370 and 
known collectively as the five mudrds, or signs — indicating here the signs 
of kdpdlika observance. These incude a chaplet, earrings, a necklace, arm- 
lets, and a girdle. A sixth sign is also worn by male gods, consisting of ashes 
from the cremation ground smeared over the body. It is these six that 
became the prototype for tantric yogins, who wore them as part of their 
"skull observance" (kapdlikavratam)? 7 ' Perhaps as a reflection of the god- 
dess's new cultic role as central deity, the sixth mudra of ashes is on occa- 
sion also assumed by female deities (see ch. 2). The Abhisamayamanjari 
lists both the fivefold and sixfold sets of mudras and comments on 
Vajravarahi's new status: 372 

[Vajravarahi] bears the five signs of observance {mudrds), 
namely, chaplet (cakri), earrings (kundalam), necklace (kanthi), 
armlets (rucakam), and girdle made of pieces [of bone] (khan- 
ddnkamekhald). There is the following verse (iti): " [Visualize 
her] adorned with necklace, armlets, earrings, head jewel, 373 [and 
with] the sacred thread [and] ash. [These are] proclaimed as the 
six signs of observance." Some say (iti) she has the six signs of 
observance because of the fact that she is leader of the mandala. 

As a set of five or six, the mudras are naturally equated with the five buddhas 
and the sixth, transcendent buddha. 374 They may also take on a ritual appli- 
cation, as they are on occasion installed on the yogin-goddess' body with 
mantra syllables rather in the manner of an armoring. 375 As we will see, this 
type of symbolism pervades each of the mudras individually. 


For the chaplet, the Vajravarahi Sadhana describes an ornate forehead 
band (v. 22d). The cloth band would once have been a tie wound counter- 
clockwise around the head for binding up matted locks, 376 but here (v. 22c) 
it is more decorative and sports a row of five human skulls interspersed with 
vajras. The five skulls are identified with the five buddhas, and it is com- 
mon for the central skull to manifest the seal, the presence in miniature of 
the head of the buddha family to which the deity belongs — Vairocana 
(reserved in our sadhana for the next stage of the meditation; see v. 27). 377 
The Vajravarahi Sadhana (v. 22ab) also notes that Vajravarahi's hair tie has 
come adrift, leaving her hair loose and disordered — a statement of her 
untrammeled sexuality. 378 Some hair (perhaps her matted locks) is fastened 
on the top of her head by a hair clasp formed of a double vajra. 379 The other 
mudras (v. 23) are also of human bone. Apart from the necklace and ear- 
rings (often depicted as two large loops), there are two sorts of armlet on each 
arm, a wrist bracelet (rucakam), 380 and an armlet worn on the upper arm 
(keyilram). There may also be anklets (nilpurafp), which Umapatideva says 
are "tinkling" (he lists them in v. 21c separately from the other mudras). 
The girdle is particularly ornate as it is "adorned with pieces [of bone]," and 
"swings seductively" around the goddess's hips, perhaps embellished with 
bells and strings of pearls. As the Khara Khoto tangkas (e.g., plate 11) show, 
artists like to exploit the beautiful lacelike effect of intricate ivory work. 381 

Altogether, Vajravarahi reveals her passionate and abandoned nature 
through her exultant nakedness (v. 21b), her blood-red color, and her hair, 
which flies loose in defiance of socio-sexual constraint. On occasion she is 
even described as menstruating. 382 She is tantalizing "with fresh youth" (v. 
24b), an aspect of the erotic sentiment (srngarah) that the texts are eager to 
promote. 383 Her breasts are firm and raised, and her form, tender and lovely. 
Despite her lone status, she is still overcome with lust (as when she was in 
embrace with Cakrasamvara), and she laughs with her mouth open and her 
body horripilating, a perfect "receptacle of great bliss" (v. 24c). 384 

Another aspect of Vajravarahi's character is her compassionate wrath. 
This is particularly evident in her stance (v. icjcd). Like her former consort 
Cakrasamvara, Vajravarahi assumes the classical pose of the archer, the 
warrior stance (dlidha-asanam): she steps onto her flexed left leg and 
stretches out her right leg behind, as described in the Abhisamayamanjarl: 
"[Vajravarahi should be visualized] . . .with the alldha [stance] , bending her 
left leg and stretching back her right five vitastis [i.e., sixty finger-breadths], 
indicating that the world is "licked up" (a + Vlih > alldha) by emptiness." 385 

And just as Cakrasamvara is visualized trampling upon the corpses of the 


supreme Saiva deities, Bhairava and Kalaratri, so is the solo Vajravarahi. 386 
The Vajravarahi Sadhana states that she stands with one foot (the left) 
upon Bhairava's head and the other (the right) upon Kalaratri's breast (v. 
I9cd). Bhairava is described in another sadhana 387 "with four arms, his torso 
heart-[side] down, [his] face up gazing at the lady [Vajravarahi], with a 
chopper and skull held in the first pair of arms, wearing a tiger skin [as a 
lower garment], [and] in his other pair of arms holding a damaru and tri- 
dent, with three eyes, a snarling mouth, blue, with yellow hair, [and] 
adorned with [a chaplet] of white skulls." The subdued Saiva goddess, 
Kalaratri ("Kalaratri" and "Kalaratrika" are also attested in our texts, but 
in this instance she is called Carcika), is simply described as "red." Illus- 
trations generally depict her lying face up, holding a vajra chopper and 
skull bowl in her two arms. 388 In general terms, the subjugation of the Saiva 
deities represents Vajravarahi's conquest over all evil, whether that repre- 
sented by another religious system (other brahmanical gods are sometimes 
trampled upon, too), or of evil per se in the classic guise of Mara, the Bud- 
dhist embodiment of the defilements and death. 389 

The subjugation of deities is an expressive theme within the higher and 
highest Buddhist tantras as a whole, and has recently been the focus of 
scholarly attention. 390 Its origins are twofold. In its widest sense, the topos 
of subjugation embraces the traditional Indian mythology of the battle 
between the gods and the demons, good and bad. This is a favorite theme 
of the Puranas, perhaps the most famous example of which is the fight for 
the nectar of immortality churned up from the ocean of milk. Some myths 
produce a variation upon the theme and recount tales in which a demonic 
foe is not only defeated and forced to submit, but in which the submission 
is then transformed into devotion (bhaktih) and service toward the gods. 391 
In the higher tantras, the myth is given its own particular slant and 
brought into the service of Buddhism. The story first appears as a comic tale 
in the root scripture of the yogatantras, the Sarvatathagatatattvasamgraha 
(ch. 6). It concerns the entry of Vajrapani, the tantric bodhisattva, into the 
mandala of the buddha Vairocana. Vajrapani has boldly announced that he 
will not enter (prati-Vpad) the mandala himself until he has seen the world's 
wickedness entirely transformed and brought within the mandala also. 
Vairocana therefore utters powerful mantras that drag all the evil beings of 
the world before his palace on Mount Meru, including the terrible Lord Siva 
(MahesVara) and his retinue of evil gods whom none, not even all the tatha- 
gatas, have succeeded in taming. Vajrapani then commands them to con- 
vert (prati-Vpad) by taking the three refuges and vowing to gain omniscient 


knowledge. This outrages Mahesvara who declares that he is none other 
than the creator and destroyer of the universe, the supreme God of gods — 
he will never stoop to taking orders from Vajrapani, a mere spirit (yaksam)\ 
Vajrapani boldly returns: "Submit, you who eat the human flesh of rotting 
corpses! You whose clothes, bed, and food are the ashes of the funeral pyres! 
Obey my command!" (p.57: pratipadya bho kataputanamdnusamdmsdhdra 
citibhasmabhaksyabhojyasayydsanaprdvarana mamdjndm pdlayal). But the 
proud god pays no heed, and he is eventually overcome by the mantra om 
nisumbha vajra hum phat (uttered by Vairocana) followed by Vajrapani's 
explosive hum! Instantly, Mahesvara is struck dead, while his retinue falls to 
the ground groaning. Thrice the gods plead for their lives, slyly arguing that 
they don't understand Buddhism, and so it would be un-Buddhist of 
Vajrapani — a compassionate bodhisattva — to kill them. Vajrapani at last 
restores them, and they experience divine blisses and serve him. But the 
conversion of recalcitrant Mahesvara is not so easy. Although he is restored 
to life, he insists that he would rather die than obey Vajrapani's demands. 
Thereupon, Vajrapani utters mantras that haul Mahesvara and his consort 
stark naked before him, and tramples them underfoot while the world looks 
on and laughs. With another mantra, Vajrapani stands with his left foot 
upon Mahesvara and his right foot upon Uma, and a great cry resounds 
through the three worlds proclaiming Vajrapani as the victor. Then through 
Vairocana's compassion, the touch of Vajrapani's foot becomes a source of 
consecrations, meditational powers, and so forth leading to enlightenment, 
and Mahesvara is transformed into a buddha (BhasmesVaranirghosa) in 
another buddha realm (Bhasmacchanna) in a far-off world system. 392 

The same themes of subjugation and conversion appear in other eighth- 
century texts, some of which show a marked increase in sex and violence. 393 
The myth in the *Guhyagarbha/Guhyakosa is a case in point, as the accounts 
by Sanderson (1995) and Davidson (1991) reveal. Following these scholars, we 
find that here Mahesvara's demonic activities are more pronounced. After a 
period in the hells (because of practicing transgressive tantras without an 
understanding of emptiness) he is at last reborn as Rudra, who terrorizes the 
universe with diseases and insanity. In order to rescue Rudra from samsara, 
the tathagata emanates a consort for himself (Krodhesvari, Lady of Wrath), 
and from their mingled sexual fluids gives birth to a pantheon of wrathful 
deities who conquer the wicked tyrant and his retinue. The tathagata then 
assumes a wrathful form of a Heruka with three heads, six arms, and four legs, 
and stands in warrior stance upon a mountain of bones in a cremation ground 
surrounded by oceans of blood, with Mahesvara and his consort prostrate 


beneath his feet. As this still does not overcome his antagonist, the Tathagata 
assumes an even more terrifying form with nine heads, eight legs, and eight- 
een arms, and resorts to even more extreme methods, which Davidson (1991: 
203) describes as follows: "Heruka, the cosmic policeman, seizes Mahesvara 
and his entire retinue, rips out their internal organs, hacks their limbs to 
pieces, eats their flesh, drinks their blood, and makes ritual ornaments from 
their bones— a model of thoroughness. Having digested all these gods [but 
discarding their hearts and sense organs], Heruka excretes them into an 
enormous ocean of muck, which one of his henchmen, Ucchusmakrodha, 
drinks up. The gods are then revived. Properly grateful for what can only have 
been an extraordinary experience, Mahesvara and his minions beseech 
Heruka and the divinities of his mandala to accept their wives, mothers, and 
daughters as ritual consorts while they take their correct places as the seats of 
the divinities in the mandala." 

The themes reappear in yoginitantra exegetical works, with some varia- 
tions. 394 In Bu ston's account (related at length by Kalff 1979: 6yff.), the 
twenty-four sacred sites (ptthas) have been wickedly usurped by low-class 
spirits and demonic gods; raksasas, yaksas, ndgas, asuras, and so forth. Steeped 
in lust and savagely cannibalistic, they scheme to take over the whole universe 
by inducing Mahesvara himself to lead them. Mahesvara agrees but is too busy 
making love to Kalaratri to commit himself personally, and so he sends 
twenty-four stone lingas to be installed in the pithas by which he can be wor- 
shipped vicariously. In response to this dire situation, Vajradhara (taking the 
form of Heruka on the summit of Mount Meru) causes the emanation of the 
Cakrasamvara mandala with himself as its lord. He presses Bhairava and 
Kalaratri beneath his feet so that they gain enlightenment, and then emanates 
the twenty-four pairs of heroes and dakinis who subdue the evil spirits and 
gods in the twenty-four sites. In this account, the Saiva deities are tamed 
through "subduing," "enjoying," and "absorbing" (Kalff ibid.: 73). They are 
subdued in body when their victors take over their names and physical appear- 
ance, throwing them down and pressing them underfoot; in speech, by the 
appropriation of their mantras, which are transformed by the insertion of 
om at the beginning and hum hiimphatzt the end (cf. Vajravarahi Sadhana 
§33); in mind, by realization of the void of nonconceptual awareness. Tam- 
ing by "enjoying" consists in sexual yoga as the heroes copulate with the con- 
sorts of the vanquished gods, while sporting their bone ornaments, skull staff, 
and other attributes, and sitting upon their corpses as thrones. "Absorbing" 
is firstly the complete purification of their obscurations and then the fusing 
of their minds with the clear light of nonduality. Bu ston's account is typi- 


cal of the Cakrasamvara versions of the myth, which are based around the 
batde for thepithas. The victorious Buddhist heroes not only take their adver- 
saries' kdpdlika attributes and their consorts, but strip them entirely of their 
identities by assuming the exact guise of their conquered foes. Individual 
Saiva gods are no longer revived to serve in the Buddhist mandala, as in the 
earlier myths, but survive merely as thrones for Buddhist deities who have 
appropriated their cosmic status, mantras, and outward forms. 

The myth of subjugation lends another dimension to the Buddhist 
reliance upon tantric Saiva norms and methodology (p. 37 ff.). For although 
on their own level the myths clearly express the transcendence of the Bud- 
dhist tantras over the Saiva, they look suspiciously like a "doctrinal apology" 
(Sanderson 1995) for "an area of Buddhism so subjugated by Saivism that 
it has become little more than a Buddhist reflex of that religion." As apolo- 
getics go, however, they were a powerful means of lending legitimacy to the 
Buddhist tantric systems. At the same time, they declared Buddhism's inde- 
pendence of Saivism by the simple trick of demonizing it. Above all, the 
Buddhist function of the Saiva models is never in doubt (Sanderson 1994a, 
1995). As in the method of subjugation by absorbing described above, the 
purpose within Buddhism is to convert Saiva 'irreligion' by purifrying it of 
its wrong views, and bringing it within the orbit of universal enlightenment. 
The motivation is compassionate, and the myths are an uncompromising 
expression of skillful means. Throughout the higher and highest tantras, we 
see Buddhism confidently imposing its own doctrines and theory onto the 
underlying Saiva framework. This process is clearly illustrated by the 
Vajravdrdhi Sddhana, where we will find that even such features as the Saiva 
pithas are overcoded and correlated with the traditional formulations of the 
Buddhist path. In our account of the visualization of Vajravarahi herself, we 
have seen how her pan-tantric iconography is imbued at every step with a 
transcendental symbolism that is entirely Buddhist. 393 


As the yogin has now imaginatively transformed his outer body into that 
of Vajravarahi, the next step is to transform his inner being also. He does 
this in two stages. First, he protects the body of "himself-as-goddess" with 
an armor (kavacam) of mantra syllables (v. 25~§6), and he then infuses it 
with transcendental knowledge (v. 26-§y). As we will see, the deity's outer 
form and its internal essence are distinguished as two "beings" (sattvas): the 


pledge being (samayasattvam) and the knowledge being (jndnasattvam), 
and the infusion of knowledge takes place as the two beings are visualized 
merging together as one. The process of armoring (kavacanam) serves as 
the preparation for this essential moment. (In contrast, some texts state 
that the yogin-goddess is first infused with knowledge and then armored, 
so that the armoring functions as a purificatory prelude to the following 
consecration.) 396 
v. 25a-c, In the Vajrayogini tradition, the yogin-as-goddess performs the armor- 
§6 ing with a placing or "installation" (nydsah) of six pairs of mantric syllables 
at six points on his/her body. The verse in the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana (v. 25) 
is based upon a scriptural citation that often accompanies the syllables, and 
that names the parts of the body upon which, or within which (the loca- 
tive is ambiguous) the armoring syllables are to be placed: navel, heart, 
mouth, head, crown, and all limbs "as the weapon" (astram). 397 

In some sadhanas, the armor syllables may take iconographical form as 
six armor goddesses. This is the case in the Abhisamayamanjari, which 
states that "because of the indivisibility of the mantra and the deity" 
(mantradevatayor abheddt), the meditator is to generate six kdpdlika god- 
desses. They all are disheveled with hair loose, naked, three-eyed, and stand- 
ing in the warrior stance. The goddess at the navel is a form of Vajravarahl 
herself. She is red, as usual, but she has three faces colored red, blue, and 
green. Her six arms hold, on her left, a skull bowl, staff, and noose, and on 
her right, a hook, Brahma's head, and chopper. The remaining armor god- 
desses are Yamini (blue-black), Mohini (white), Samcalini (yellow), 
Samtrasini (green), and Candika (smokey-gray), who are visualized at the 
heart, mouth, head, crown, and "all limbs." They have only one face and 
four arms. On their left, they hold skull and staff, and on their right, a 
damaru and chopper. 398 

The armor goddesses are depicted in the Mongolian icons, almost iden- 
tically to our prescriptions, along with a set of the male armor gods. 399 The 
Tibetan sadhana describes the generation and visualization iconography 
of the "armor heroines" (go cha V dp a mo drug) more fully, endowing them 
with the five mudras and a garland of freshly severed heads. They are each 
said to stand upon a sun disk (except Mohani, who stands upon a moon), 
and upon a corpse (which is depicted as female). 400 Plate 2 depicts an early 
painting of a red, dancing ddkini form from Khara Khoto, distinctly Indian 
in style; she holds the same four attributes, though in slightly different 
positions. The two line drawings in figures 30 and 31 illustrate Armor 
Vajravarahl and Yamini. 



Fig. 30. Armor Vajravardhi. 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 62, LC 572) 

^s — ^ — V 

Fig. 31. Armor Yamini. 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 63, LC 573) 

In contrast to other descriptions, the armoring in the Vajravardhi 
Sddhana is quite simple. This is because it omits a set of prescriptions that 
prepare the meditator for the armoring, by asking him first to purify 
(sodhayet) or "empower" (adhitisthet) all aspects of his/her pyschophysi- 
cal organism. This empowerment is accomplished by equating mantric 
syllables with the skandhas, the sense organs and the sense fields, and the 
elements, as follows: 401 



Table 17. Syllables of empowerment 




hrih/hrim hohlhum hum/horn hrih/hih 

senses & fields bhrum/om hum/hum kham ah/am ham/ha 









The empowerment process is similar to the preparatory meditation with 
purifying equations {visuddhis) described earlier, although it lacks the cor- 
relation with a deity visualized in iconographical form (summarized in 
table 9). Although the Vajravarahi Sadhana eschews both the preparatory 
correlations and the empowerment (perhaps because they include male 
deities), these are important practices in the related texts. A commentator 
on the Yoginisamcaratantra, for example, repeatedly remarks that the pur- 
pose of identifying the five buddhas with the skandhas is to destroy the 
"ordinary idea of self (prakrtahamkarah) by taking on the "divine idea of 
self (devatahamkarah). This is, of course, the process by which the tantric 
practitioner becomes "united" with his deity (devatayogavan) 4Q1 

Taken altogether, the stages of empowerment and armoring are also 
related to the body mandala described later in the Vajravarahi Sadhana. 
The body mandala correlates deities with the yogin's internal and external 
being in order to identify him with the full mandala, a process that can be 
difficult to distinguish from the armoring. 403 In some texts, the purifying 
correspondences {visuddhis) of body, speech, and mind (with om ah hum) 
are also incorporated into the armoring meditation, a correlation that again 
points to the full mandala, with its three circles of body, speech, and mind 
(kayacakra, vakcakra, and cittacakra). 404 It seems that the armoring there- 
fore forms a specialized application of the broader themes of the body 
mandala. Its particular function is to prepare the yogin-deity for the infu- 
sion of knowledge that is to follow, and it is commonly distinguished by 
its use of mantra syllables and — in most texts — by the preceding empow- 
erment of the self-generated yogin's psychophysical being. 

Pledge and Knowledge Beings 

w. 25d- Having prepared the pledge deity (samayadevata) with the armoring, the 
26, §7 Vajravarahi Sadhana (v. 25d) instructs the yogin to infuse it with the 



knowledge deity (jnanadevata). The pledge deity is the imaginary form of 
the goddess created by the "pledge-holding" initiate through the self- 
generation. In his Tantrdrthdvatdra, Buddhaguhya describes the pledge 
forms (samayasattvah, samayamandalam, samayacakram) as "those [forms] 
discerned by persons pledged (*samayin) [to them] . . .ones imagined as aris- 
ing from the body of a deity and as having the shape of a deity which the 
pledge person has generated in conformity with that [body of a deity], or 
imagined congruently with the latter's parts." 405 Buddhaguhya describes 
the knowledge forms (jndnasattvam, jndnamandalam, jndnacakram) as "the 
self-existent (*svabhdvin) discerned as deity." The knowledge being is said 
to have both form and "inherent nature" (mKhas grub rje: 235, citing the 
Paramddyatantra) . 
v. 16- The Vajravarahl Sddhana now describes how the two "beings" are fused 
§7 together to become one. The prose passage (§7) lists a traditional set of four 
mantra syllables, each of which has a particular function: 406 

1. j ah Summoning the knowledge being (dkarsanam) 

2. hum Causing its entry into the pledge form (pravesanam) 

3. vam "Binding" of pledge and knowledge forms (bandhanam) 

4. hoh Gratification of the fused forms (tosanam) 

In the previous verse (v. 26), however, the Vajravardhi Sddhana prescribes 
a slightly different procedure, one also common in other sadhanas: 

1. Summoning the knowledge being (omitted in the Vajravardhi 

2. Worshiping the knowledge being (v. 26ab) 

3. Causing its entry into the pledge form (v. 26c) 

4. Merging of pledge and knowledge beings (v. 26d) 

In both the verse and prose, summoning or attraction (dkarsanam) is the 
first step, and the yogin (that is, the yogin-as-goddess) must visualize the 
knowledge deity of Vajravarahl standing in space before him. One com- 
mentator explains that there are two kinds of summoning, "invitation from 
the Dharmadhatu Palace of Akanistha, and attraction from the worldly 
realms of the ten quarters" (Padmavajra's Tantrdrthdvatdravydkhydna cited 
by Lessing & Wayman 1978: 236, n. 33). The first is reminiscent of the 
sadhana's preliminary worship visualization and indicates that the knowl- 
edge deity is Vajravarahl in her sambhogakdya form. The summoning of 



deities from the ten directions is typical of the method used in the case of 
bali rituals, and indeed this is the ritual that generally provides the proto- 
type for the summoning here. Thus the meditator is instructed to summon 
the knowledge deity by uttering the syllable phetlphem, making a hand ges- 
ture (mudra) at the forehead, and impelling the deities to descend with 
hooklike rays from the heart to the accompaniment of a scriptural verse 
{krtvdgragranthyd khalu madhyasuci. ..; see n. 505) — the very prescriptions 
laid down for the bali ritual itself. 407 

Once summoned, the Vajravdrahi Sddhana (v. 26ab) instructs the yogin 
to make offerings to the knowledge deity in the manner of the worship 
above (v. 4). The summoning and the worship are anyway interlinked, as 
Padmavajra actually explains summoning as "the invitation by offerings" 
(Lessing & Wayman op. cit.). m In the case of the mantra syllables— -/tf/? 
hum vam hob — it is the last syllable, hoh, that is for worship, or "gratify- 
ing" (tosanam). m There is another well-attested tradition that states that 
hoh is not for gratification, but for the subjection and control of the deity. 
This is evidence of the power orientation typical of cremation-ground 
praxis and another reminder of the influence of the bali ritual. 410 Padma- 
vajra {ibid. n. 36) seems to attempt a reconciliation between these two inter- 
pretations of hoh by remarking that "Subduing means making (them) 
rejoice, pleasing (them)." The Vajravdrahi Sddhana ends the verse by direct- 
ing the yogin to make the knowledge being enter into the pledge being (v. 
26c) and "bind" the two of them together (v. 26d) (with the utterance of 
syllables hum and vam). The verse describes the fusion of the two beings 
as they mingle together, like water in water, or ghee in ghee. Elsewhere, 
texts describe them "becoming one" (ekikaranam, advaita-) or, in the words 
of Padmavajra, "Tying means binding so there is no distinction between 
the evoker [i.e., the pledge form of the yogin-goddess] and the thing evoked 
[i.e., the knowledge deity]" {ibid.: n. 35). 

Considering the overall structure of the sadhana, the infusion of Vajra- 
varahl's outer form with knowledge is perhaps surprising. After all, the self- 
generation stage has already endowed her with the five wisdoms and shown 
her to be a reflex of the dharmakdya. This kind of repetition, however, is 
a hallmark of the sadhana, as it seeks to identify the yogin ever more indis- 
tinguishably with the essential nature of the deity. And it is this tendency 
that seems to have been at work in the evolution of the theory of different 
"beings" {sattvas), which has its roots in the yogatantras. The earlier mate- 
rial constantly expresses the urge to relocate the true essence of the deity 
in a more essential form. For example, in the sadhanas of Manjus'ri, it is 

v. v 


common for a deity to be visualized with the form of another deity or syl- 
lable placed at its heart as its "essence," "nature," or "source." In one 
instance, the text prescribes a visualization of the tathagatas with the bodhi- 
sattva Manjusri at their hearts, and at the heart of Manjusri himself the 
syllable a from which he was himself produced (akdrasambhavah) (Ndma- 
mantrarthavalokinim Tribe 1994: ch. 4). A is thus the most essential form 
of Manjusri, and hence the "limit of reality" (bhutakotih). An 

The same reductionist urge is expressed in yogottara sources (Isaacson 
1996b) as a theory of three "beings": the pledge being (samayasattvah), 
knowledge being (jndnasattvah), and meditation being (samddhisattvah). 
The pledge being bears the more essential knowledge being at its heart, 
and the knowledge being bears the even subtler meditation being at its 
heart. Thus, in the Pindikramasddhana (w. 91-92), the pledge being is a 
self-generated deity bearing six attributes; the knowledge being has the 
same form, but carries only the two most essential emblems; and the med- 
itation being is the seed-syllable in the heart of the knowledge being (Isaac- 
son: ibid.)} u This seems to be the system bequeathed to the yoginitantras 
in the slightly simpler twofold theory of the pledge and knowledge beings. 413 
This type of visualization is depicted in art in the early fifteenth-century 
paintings at Gyantse, which show a series of buddhas with an eight-armed 
deity at their hearts and a two-armed deity within the hearts of each eight- 
armed deity (Ricca and Lo Bue 1993: plates 5-9). 


v. 27 The Vajravdrdhi Sddhana now directs the yogin to visualize enlightened 
~§ 8 beings bestowing consecration upon himself as Vajravarahi (v. 27~§8). The 
meditation begins once again with the emanation of the deities as the yogin- 
deity radiates light from the heart, which summons or impels them into 
the sky before him (§8). 414 Our author states in the verse that these enlight- 
ened beings are tathagatas (v. 27b), but in the prose passsage, he describes 
them as eight yoginis. As both tathagatas and yoginls are traditionally pres- 
ent at the consecration, it is not entirely clear which our author has in 
mind. In the earlier Hevajra system, it is the tathagatas who administer the 
consecration, while ten attendant goddesses sing and dance in praise. 415 But 
in the Cakrasamvara tradition, the tathagatas are summoned only in order 
to emanate the goddesses who will themselves bestow the consecration, or 
it is the yoginis alone who perform the ceremony. 416 In the Vajrayogini 



texts, the yoginls rise still further, and appear in the Abhisamayamanjari as 
a special class often consecration goddesses called vajravildsinis. 417 The shift 
toward feminine power is mirrored by an increasing emphasis on cremation- 
ground symbolism. Thus, the Vajravdrdhl Sadhana describes how the 
yoginis pour out the "nectar of innate knowledge" (that is, the five nectars) 
onto the head of the yogin-as-goddess from the skull bowls they hold in 
their hands; whereas in Hevajra and most Cakrasamvara texts, the vessel is 
instead visualized as a ritual vase (kalasah). 418 
v. 271 As the enlightened beings pour the liquid, they recite a traditional accom- 
panying verse followed by the mantra om sarvatathdgatdbhisekasamayasriye 
hum ("To the glory of the pledge [of?] consecration by all tathagatas!"). 419 
The verse (v. 271) focuses upon the important purificatory function of the 
consecration, which is sometimes said to counteract ignorance and to wash 
away obscurations. In some sadhanas the liquid is imagined flowing through 
the yogin-deity's crown and filling him completely as it transforms into 
buddhas who transform all negativity whatsoever." 20 Here it gives rise to the 
buddha who seals Vajravarahi on her crown — in this case, Vairocana. 

The consecration in the sadhana is, of course, based on the actual rituals 
enacted by the guru when he consecrates a pupil into the practices of the 
highest tantras. Such initiatory rites are divided into two types: the lower 
consecrations, of which there are usually five (pancdbhisekah), and the higher 
consecrations, often starting with the teacher consecration (deary dbhisekah)? lx 
For example, the first of the lower consecrations (the water consecration) 
begins with the pupil's request to his guru that he bestow the consecration 
upon him — an element also included in many sadhanas 422 — and the guru 
then sprinkles water from a vase as he recites an accompanying verse, exactly 
the same format as that in the sadhana. The influence of the teacher con- 
secration can also be seen, as this rite requires the guru to visualize the 
tathagatas bestowing the empowerment from a vase upon the head of a 
pupil who is already "in union with his chosen deity" (svestadevatdyoga- 
yuktah); this is mirrored in the sadhana in all but the third-party interven- 
tion of the guru. The function of the teacher consecration is also significant. 
As the first of the higher consecrations, it permits and obliges the new 
vajrdcdrya to remain in union with his deity, to bestow consecrations upon 
pupils, and to progress to further esoteric consecrations, such as the taking 
of a consort for sexual yoga practice. Similarly, the consecration in the 
sadhana requires the yogin to preserve the form of the goddess (the conse- 
cration in HT1.4 actually ends with just this injunction: devatdmurtyi 
sthdtavyam), and it paves the way for meditations based on sexual yoga. 



u 28 The Vajravarahi Sadhana follows the consecration with typical acts of 
worship (v. 28ab) in which puja goddesses are visualized in space worship- 
ing the newly consecrated yogin-goddess, the practitioner as Vajravarahi. 
This verse also refers to a ritual of worship called the tasting of nectar (v. 
28cd), although the rite's full exposition is reserved for the final section of 
the sadhana, which is devoted entirely to an explanation of the rituals of 
deity yoga. 

Inner Yogic Practices 



With the consecration, the process of self-generation is finally complete. 
What follows in the sadhana is a series of contemplations based on the 
seed-syllable or the mantras of the deity. They contrast to some extent with 
the visualizations of the generation (utpattih) by generally taking place 
within the subtle yogic body that the yogin imagines, or experiences, inside 
his physical body. This type of meditation tends to be non-iconograhical, 
in that the objects of focus include visualized mantra syllables, colored 
"drops" within the yogic body, and the sensations caused by energies or 
"winds" moving within the yogic body. The principal aim of this type of 
meditation is finally to dissolve all visual and oral symbols of reality into 
reality itself and thus to bring about an experience of emptiness that is 
formless and void of any type of proliferation, whether visual, oral, or men- 
tal. This is a goal already familiar to practitioners of the Mahayana 
(paramitanayah), and as Germano (1994: 220) suggests, the tantric tech- 
niques that the yogin applies to achieving it "can also be understood in part 
as attempts to formally incorporate the non-exoteric styles of meditation 
on emptiness (that were increasingly normative in orthodox monastic envi- 
ronments) into tantric practice and ideology." 

Such inner yogic practices are generally considered to contrast with 
generation-type meditations. In a distinction dating back to the eighth 
century and the Guhyasamajatantra, the latter became known as the gen- 
eration stage and the former as the stage of "perfection" or "completion" 
(utpannakramah). A famous exposition of the completion method is Nagar- 
j una's sixfold yoga (sadangayoga) developed in the yogottara exegetical tra- 
dition, and of particular importance in the later Kalacakra system, as expounded 
by Naropa. 423 However, it is worth asking to what extent such labels apply 
within sadhana compositions themselves. Sadhana writers do, on occasion, 
refer to the yoga of the generation stage (utpattikramah/utpattikramayogah), 


but they do not tend to make a distinction within the sadhana between 
those meditations revolving around self-generation and a subsequent "per- 
fection stage" involving the inner yogic practices — even if the latter evince 
features of what they may regard as perfection-stage praxis (GSS33 is an 
exception in our collection; see the appendix). Indeed, although most of 
our authors (although not necessarily all) were evidently aware of these 
classifications — and some, such as Ratnakarasanti or Advayavajra, com- 
ment upon them elsewhere — what scholars/practitioners of the time actu- 
ally meant by the terms utpattikrama and utpannakrama is by no means as 
clear as current secondary literature makes out. In significant research on 
this classification, Isaacson (1999, 2001) has revealed the tremendous com- 
plexity of the distinction, and I can do no more here than summarize a few 
of his key findings (robbing them of the extensive bedrock of his citations 
from the early sources). 

The renowned scholar and tantrika Ratnakaras'anti explains the gener- 
ation stage as "that stage or type of yoga (utpattikramayogah) in which the 
yogin produces, in a series of steps, [himself in] the form of the deity" 
(Isaacson's summary of the author's commentary on Hevajratantra i.8.24cd- 
25ab in 2001: 470). The aim is ultimately to realize nondual emptiness, 
free of the mind's proliferation (prapancah), although to achieve this, the 
meditation itself relies on prescribed sequences involving just such prolif- 
eration. So much, it seems, was generally accepted by tantrikas of the time. 
Nevertheless, on the exact function of the generation stage, and on its value 
relative to the so-called perfection stage, "there is evidence that there was 
a dispute, probably a long-running one" (Isaacson 1999). Thus, while 
Ratnakaras'anti was content to see the utpattikrama as a necessary prelim- 
inary for ensuing higher stages of practice, Isaacson also cites authors who 
were dismissive, even contemptuous, of it. A thornier matter still is deter- 
mining what exactly these higher practices were, and how they were to be 
classified. Again following Ratnakaras'anti, Isaacson explains the perfection 
stage, or utpannakrama, as the yoga of cultivating the sahaja or "innate 
nature of the sadhaka himself, and of other beings. 424 It is called the innate 
nature, Ratnakaras'anti explains, in that it is "[already] arisen," and "does 
not need to arise or be produced. . ." {ibid.: 470). In other words, the deity 
already exists within the practitioner's deepest convictions (svabhavika), 
and is thus already "born" (utpanna)^ — clearly a process that no longer 
needs the meditative apparatus of generation, such as the five awakenings. 
Indeed, in Ratnakaras'anti's terms, it relies upon a cultivation or contempla- 
tion of a sensation of great bliss (mahasukham) that "spreads throughout 


the sadhaka's body, and then is to be imagined pervading the entire uni- 
verse" {ibid.: 471). There is little call here for iconographical visualization, 
and the chief tool for creating the experience of this bliss is a progressive 
form of sexual yoga moving from imaginary, to symbolic, to actual prac- 
tice with a female consort. Ratnakarasanti then goes on to refine the med- 
itations involved in the perfection stage, pinpointing both "ordinary" and 
"extremely profound" (paramagambhira-utpannakrama) stages and stating 
that the latter is itself "of many kinds" {ibid.: 472). But as Isaacson points 
out, Ratnakaras'anti's was by no means the only voice in the debate, and 
other authors defined the perfection stage quite differently. Advayavaira, 
for example, focused on its function as an accelerated means of practice but 
maintained that it is still fully iconographic {ibid.: 471, n. 99). 

A sure indicator of the diversity within the categorization, definitions, 
and usages of utpatti and utpanna is the variety of terms relating to the 
subject. Isaacson (1999) has shown that the term utpannakrama, or "per- 
fection stage," may be used interchangeably with nispannakrama. (The 
term "sampannakrama" sometimes encountered in secondary literature is 
an anomaly, which Isaacson states does not appear in any original Sanskrit 
source and appears to have crept in through another wrong back transla- 
tion from Tibetan.) In addition, the term nispannakrama may have been 
used by some, such as Candrakirti and Ratnakarasanti, to point to the term 
nispannayoga. This usage would have suggested to other scholars of the day 
a deliberate correspondence between the generation and perfection stages, 
and a different system of classification as found in the Mdydjdlatantra, 
namely, a series of yogas called nispanna-, kalpita-, and adhisth ana-yoga. 
Other authors clearly knew of the categories of the Mdydjdlatantra and 
preserved them in their writings, but without attempting to equate them 
with other systems around at the time. Abhayakaragupta, for example, 
opens his Nispannayogdvali (Cycle of Completion Practices) With, a direct ref- 
erence to the Mdydjdlatantra 's "completion yoga" (p. 1: yogo mpannah) 
(ibid.). Other systems and terms were also current, and we have also already 
noted a category of inner yogic practices called the "self-consecration," or 
svddhisthdna method, which corresponds in type to aspects of the perfec- 
tion stage. 

My brief summary of Isaacson's research would be incomplete without 
pointing to his comments on the possible motivation for these early debates. 
In a unique observation, Isaacson (1999) cites the earliest known source for 
the distinction between utpatti and utpanna from the Guhyasamdiatantra 
and reveals that it is unmistakably modeled upon Nagarjuna's declaration 


of the two truths, a doctrine essential to Nagarjuna's philosophy, and key 
to the development of the pdramitdnaya.^ Isaacson writes, "such a con- 
scious parallel therefore suggests that the distinction of the two kramas is 
an equally fundamental one for tantric Buddhism." It is a correspondence, 
moreover, that is taken up by later tantrikas (e.g., Kanha YRM p. 104 gloss- 
ing HT1.1.1). But why should such distinctions be necessary? For Nagarjuna, 
the declaration of the two truths follows his assertion that all categories, 
including Buddhist ones, are empty. In the light of this, he needs to explain 
that on an "ordinary" level, Buddhism still requires its doctrines and paths, 
and that these remain true and effective. In other words, "the verse is actu- 
ally introduced to protect the lower (samvrtisat), not so much to justify the 
higher (paramdrthasat), [the fact of] emptiness, which has been established 
in the preceding chapters" (ibid.). Isaacson suggests that the parallel dis- 
tinction between generation and perfection stages serves a similar function. 
That is, the verse in the Guhyasamdjatantra protects or safeguards the teach- 
ings of the generation stage (which are after all the majority of tantric teach- 
ings) by proposing that they are a first stage, or a necessary preliminary, to 
the higher practices of the perfection stage. This way of framing the (tantric) 
teachings means that they are now being expressed in terms of a path, to be 
trodden step-by-step in hierarchical sequence. The introduction of a tantric 
"path" at the time of the Guhyasamdjatantra was, Isaacson proposes, moti- 
vated by the contemporary debate between gradual and subitist approaches 
to enlightenment, which he shows the Arya school of the Guhyasamdja- 
tantra to have taken very seriously. 

The inner yogic practices of the sadhana, as we have just seen, move 
beyond the iconographical visualizations of the self-generation and focus 
on experiences produced inside the meditator's body. This depends upon 
a complex analysis of the internal, subtle, or "yogic" body into "channels" 
or "veins" (nddts) and "body centers" {cakras), a topic well documented in 
published sources on the highest tantras. 427 In brief, there are three main 
channels within the torso about a quarter of an inch in diameter. The cen- 
tral channel in particular is understood to be very straight (so that it can 
convey airs and liquids), soft like a lotus petal, bright and translucent, and 
either red or blue in color. It runs from the tip of the sexual organ, or at a 
point between the genitals and the anus, up to the top of the crown, usu- 
ally curving down from there to the point between the eyebrows. The side 
channels join the central channel at the navel and run up parallel with the 
central channel to the crown, where they curve away on each side to the 
two nostrils; they are a little thinner than the central channel. The channels 


are known as avadhuti (center), rasana (right), lalana (left), and together 
they serve as conduits for a series of inner "winds," or energies. There are 
different kinds of winds, which are vehicles for different kinds of con- 
sciousness or mind, and those in the outer channels are understood to be 
impure, while those in the central channel are pure. Their flow is consid- 
ered vital to the healthy functioning of the body. The three main channels 
are assisted by 120 principal channels and 72,000 subsidiary channels that 
circulate the winds through the rest of the body. Normally, the winds are 
unable to enter the central vein because the two side veins twist around it 
at four vital points, like knots, obstructing their flow. These points are the 
four cakras (literally, "circles," but variously translated "plexus," "centers 
of veins," "psychic centers," etc.). They are placed along the central chan- 
nel, and depending on the yogic system followed, they are located at the 
head, throat, heart, and navel, or at the head, heart, navel, and sex organ, 
and are represented by different kinds of lotuses. The three main veins also 
carry a flow of "nectar" between the cakras, namely, urine in lalana {d. n. 
217; or sometimes male semen), blood in rasana (the female "semen"), and 
semen, or bodhicitta, in avadhuti (sometimes understood as the fusion of 
the male and female components, wisdom and means; Tsuda 1974: 63). 

The purpose of yogic meditations is to bring the winds from the outer 
channels into the central channel, avadhuti. The winds are said to do this 
naturally at death, so the yogin's ability to manipulate them at will indi- 
cates his transcendence of death. The section on completion methods in 
the Abhisamayamahjari includes prescriptions for such a practice (although 
it refers to the visualization of the complete mandala rather than the sin- 
gle deity as in the Vajravdrdhi Sddhand) . Here the yogin is to use his absorp- 
tion in the vam syllable (or its subtle sound, the ndda) to manipulate the 
flow of the outer winds. When he causes the upward wind (here, prdnah) 
and downward wind to enter avadhuti, an experience of intense heat rises 
through the channel from the navel, characterized as the fire, candall (also 
understood as the red, female essence). Its blazing causes the nectar (bodhi- 
cittam, or male essence) visualized in the topmost cakra to melt, and as it 
does so, it flows down and blissfully pervades the four cakras in turn. Thus, 
the yogin is said to experience four kinds of "joys" or "blisses" (dnandas) 
that culminate in the highest kind of bliss, sahajaov "innate" bliss. In this 
blissful state, dualistic perception is said to be transcended: 428 

If he is unable to fix his mind firmly on so big a mandala circle 
for a long while, then, [he should] make the mind become firm 


[by focusing on the ndda, that is,] on the ray of light in the form 
of a thread of lotus fiber from the vam seed [-syllable], which [he 
visualizes] in the space between the sun and moon disks on the 
lotus at his navel. [By so doing (-dvdrena), he] removes the flow 
in both [left and right] veins of the vital (prdnah) and down- 
ward (apdnah) winds, because of which (-parihdrdt) the [winds] 
enter the central [channel] . When [this happens, pravese] , [then] 
there is the arising of sahaja [which comes about] through the 
sequential [experience of the four] joys etc., [which occurs] 
because (kramena) the cakras are pervaded by the moon [i.e., 
nectar] in the head, which has been made to melt [lit.: "through 
the cakra pervasion of the moon in the head, which has been 
made to melt"] because of the blazing cdnddli. [When this hap- 
pens, sahajodaye], [there comes about] either the nonperception 
(anupalamabhah) of the mandala circle through the sudden 
removal of all proliferating thoughts or [through its] gradual dis- 
appearance (antarbhdvah) into emptiness. 

The Abhisamayamanjari goes on to describe how the entire world, the cre- 
mation grounds, the mandala and its goddesses, and the yogin himself 
(self- visualized as Vajravarahi) each dissolve into each other so that only the 
- vam remains. This also dissolves away, starting from the lowest part of the 
syllable, so that only its uppermost particle, the ndda, remains, but with a 
form so subtle that it is imperceptible. 429 This reaffirms the yogin's inner 
experience of nonduality, expressed here in terms of the "highest point" 
(bhutakotih), clear light (prabhdsvarah), or yuganaddha — "the fusion of the 
pair (emptiness and radiance)" (see n. 281): 


He should also see that ndda as having the form of a one- 
hundred thousandth part of a hair tip, but not even that is per- 
ceptible, due to its extreme [subtlety]. Because the goddess is 
identical with the knowledge circle, [she] enters clear light 
(prabhdsvare). In this way, again and again, [the yogin] should 
enter [clear light] and rise out [of it again]. So it is said: "Just as 
a puff (vdtah) of breath on a mirror dissolves entirely, so the 
yogin should enter the highest point (bhutakotih) again and 
again." By entering and leaving [this clear light] again and again, 
the yogin directly experiences (karoti) yuganaddha [produced] 
from the nondifferentiation of the two truths. 


Another yogic practice is to take the deity's mantra or seed-syllable as the 
object of the internalized meditation and to circulate its syllables through 
the body via the central channel. It is this kind of meditation that the 
Vajravarahi Sadhana now describes. The verses describing the yogic med- 
itation (w. 29-31) are supplemented by a fuller prose description (§9). This 
explains how the mantra is to be simultaneously recited and visualized in 
coordination with the incoming and outgoing breaths. First, the yogin 
visualizes a moon disk at his navel cakra, upon which he sees Vajravarahi's 
seed-syllable vam (or the subtler nada). He then begins to recite her mantra 
in its ten-syllable form (om vajravairocaniye svdhd). As he exhales, he sees 
the syllables of the mantra leaving the vam seed-syllable (i.e., breathing out 
"through" his navel). Through his ongoing recitation, he produces a great 
multitude of syllables, which irradiate the world as goddesses (probably 
still in syllabic form) for the benefit of all beings. As he breathes in, the 
yogin visualizes himself inhaling the mantra. Although our text does not 
say so, the syllables must now be understood to enter his mouth and 
descend down the central channel, avadhuti, until they reach his navel. 
There they are absorbed back, taking on the form once again (v. 29c) of 
the seed-syllable vam (or the nada), ready for the next exhalation of sylla- 
bles from the navel. This process of circulating the syllables is said to be 
like "drawing in a thread" (§9) or like "counting the thread of a rosary" 
(GSS5, cited later). This yogic practice also gives rise to the experience of 
clear light (v. 3id). 

A slightly fuller parallel to our text appears in the Abhisamayamanjarl 
(following the meditations on the winds cited earlier). As it assumes the 
prior generation of the entire mandala, this passage offers the yogin the 
option of using one of the mantras for the goddesses of the retinue 
(mantras that are only described in the later meditation stages of the 
Vajravarahi Sadhana). It also offers alternative methods of visualizing the 
syllables, including their circulation in the reverse direction, so that instead 
of flowing from the mouth down to the navel, the yogin sees them mov- 
ing up the avadhuti, out of the mouth, and back into Vajravarahi's body, 
via her sex: 431 

When he becomes tired, he should make his mind enter the vam 
syllable on the lotus at his navel, [and] simultaneously reciting 
either the heart or the auxiliary heart mantra described below 
(one of the two according to his [own] wishes), he should 
emanate the five [mandala] circles from the nada of that [vam] 


syllable, with the outgoing breath, and make them benefit the 
[entire] world. When the breath enters [his body again], he 
should make it enter into that very [vam syllable on his navel], 
with [the simultaneous recitation of] the mantra, in the way that 
one draws in the thread of a rosary. 

For those who want to recite the mantras of the individual 
goddesses [of the mandala], as given below, [he should do the 
meditation as before, but] when the recitation of the mantras 
of the individual goddesseses is over, he should emanate and 
withdraw [the syllables of each mantra] one by one, as he did 

Alternatively, [he should visualize] that same <syllable> as 
before, as a rosary of syllables rising up via the channel of 
avadhiiti, [and] having emitted [the syllables] from his mouth, 
[they should be seen] going to their own place in [Vajravarahi's] 
sex (padmah/m) [and] whirling around just there. Wfiile he is 
visualizing (bhdvayan) [this], he should [simultaneously] recite 
the garland [i.e., root] mantra given below or either the heart or 
auxiliary heart mantra. 

Alternatively, seeing the garland of mantras like a garland of 
flames placed (sthitdm) winding around that very seed-syllable 
[vam], [he should recite whatever mantra he has chosen] with- 
out haste, without hesitation, and avoiding false notions. 

The Mantra 

v. 32ab, Mantras are usually given at the end of a sadhana, often as an alternative 
§9 to the visualization meditation, "when the yogin has grown tired." Our 
author's inclusion of Vajravarahi's mantras at this point indicates that the 
first meditation stage of the Vajravarahi Sadhana can be performed as a dis- 
crete sadhana, based on the generation of the single goddess, Vajravarahi. 
The Vajravarahi Sadhana (§9) prescribes a version of Vajravarahi's 
mantra with ten syllables: om vajravairocaniye svdhd. Its dative name ele- 
ment — vajravairocaniye — salutes Vajravairocani, a form of the goddess 
otherwise barely mentioned in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, but the pres- 
ence of the name in the mantra points to Vajravarahi's family association 
with the buddha Vairocana. This is the "heart mantra" (hrdayamantrah), 



that is, the mantra that evokes the essence of Vajravarahi. As such, it is the 
mantra most closely identified with her as a single deity and is most com- 
monly recited when she is visualized alone; thus it is also referred to as the 
recitation or japa mantra in some texts (e.g., GSS29, GSS3«GSS3i). 

There are, in fact, two versions of Vajravarahi's heart mantra. The Abhi- 
samayamanjari (Sed p. 137, GSS5 K24V) prescribes a mantra with thirteen 
syllables as the main one, with the ten-syllabled version as an alternative. 
Although manuscripts yield a good many variants (as the manifestations 
described in chapter 2 have shown), the two heart mantras for Vajravarahi 
are generally as follows: thirteenfold: om vajravairocaniye hum hum phat 
svdha, and tenfold: om vajravairocaniye svdha. 432 The Vajravarahi Sadhana 
is precise in giving only Vajravarahi's heart mantra at this point, at the 
close of the first meditation stage. In the following meditation stages, we 
will find that other mantras are required as the visualized mandala increases. 
For the fivefold mandala, the text prescribes another type of heart mantra 
that is auxiliary, secondary, or "near" to the heart mantra 'itself, the 
upahrdaya mantra, and also an eight-part mantra; the full mandala requires 
in addition the chanting of a long root (mula) mantra. The type of mantra 
prescribed therefore depends on the form and size of the visualized 

Table 18. Vajravarahi mantras for thirty-seven-fold mandala 

Lone Vajravarahi 
(meditation stage 1) 

heart mantra 

10 syllables: om vajravairocaniye 
svdha [GSS5, 13 syllables: 
om vajravairocaniye hum hum 
phat svdha] 

Fivefold mandala 
(meditation stage 2) 

[heart mantra, plus:] 
auxiliary heart mantra 

& eight-part mantra 


om sarvabuddhaddkiniye vajra- 
varnaniye hum hum phat svdha 

om namo bhagavati vajravarahi 
vam hum hum phat. . . om namo 
vajravarahi mahdyogini 
kdmesvari khage hum hum phat 

Full 37-fold mandala 
(meditation stages 
3 and 4) 

[heart, auxiliary heart, 
and eight-part mantra, 
plus:] root mantra 

om namo bhagavati vajravarahi 
vam. . . bhutatrasani mahdvire 
paramasiddhayoges'vari phat 
hum hum hum phat svdhd. 




The mantra recitation is in some ways the most significant part of the 
sadhana because it deals with the deity in its most essential, most power- 
ful form. It is an audiovisual refraction of divine reality even more subtle 
and all-pervasive than its iconographic manifestation. In his vision of the 
female deities of the Hevajra mandala, Marpa described the mantra at the 
heart of the consort "like a reflection in a mirror, clearly appeared, unob- 
scured by her outer form." 433 Given its importance, it is often emphasized 
that it should be recited properly, with resonant tone, neither too fast nor 
too slow. 434 

A favorite theme in tantric texts is the supreme power of the mantra. The 
32cd, Vajravdrdhi Sddhana likens it to a wish-fulfilling jewel or a wish-fulfilling 
33cd tree anc [ g Uaran tees that its constant recitation will bring speedy results; 
indeed "success" (siddhih), our author promises, will come about within six 
months. In the Sabara-related sadhanas, one month is said to bring "con- 
firmation of progress" — such as a dream or vision of the goddess — prac- 
tice for six months is said to bring about specific goals, and practice for a 
year is said to bring "magical powers" {siddhis) . 435 

Its rather brief handling of the matter of siddhi is perhaps an indication 
of the Vajravdrdhi Sadhanas liberationist concerns. In its broadest sense, 
siddhi means "success" or "attainment" (the word is etymologically related 
to the verb Vsddh, and hence to sddhana, the "means of attainment"). But 
in the tantras it usually refers to the supernormal or magical powers that 
initated practitioners of tantric deity cults are able to develop. These include 
both white and black magic (although the Indian scheme uses a different 
color coding), the four most basic being the siddhis of welfare (s'dntih), of 
increase or restoring to health (pustih), of subjugating a victim (vasikaranam), 
and of causing death (mdranam). Other powers include drawing victims 
toward one (dkarsanam), paralyzing them (stambhanam), and driving them 
away (uccdtanam). A common list of eight siddhis includes: invincibility 
with the sword (khadgasiddhih), invisibility (anjana°), ointment to make 
one swift-footed (pddalepa °), invisibility (antardhdna °), the alchemical abil- 
ity to transform base metals into gold or the elixir of immortality 
(rasarasdyana , siitaka ), flying (khecara , vidyddhari ), going anywhere in 
an instant (bhucara , "gulikd-/gutikd-°), and going to netherworlds 
(pdtdla ). Other popular siddhis are those that grant oratory powers (kavit- 
vam), the powers of a sword-magician (khadgavidyddharah), and life for 
hundreds of years. Some texts make extraordinary claims for the power of 
the mantra, including its ability to remove even the consequences of the 

v - 3 



"deadly sins" (anantaryakarmani). AiG A siddhi that is particularly relevant 
to the sexual practices of mahamudra (as expounded from the orientation 
of its male practitioners) is the ability to gain power over women (strindm 
vasyakaranam). A yogin who recites the root mantra of Vajravarahi twenty- 
one times during an eclipse of the sun or moon will, it is said, be 
approached by thousands of women (as well as gaining the ability to per- 
form other spectacular siddhis, such as summoning the gods, starting or 
quenching fires, and so on; SM222 p. 436). This is a prominent topos in 
the Candamaharosanatantra (e.g., ch. 12.6.39), i n which the yogin is to go 
to bed, hold his penis in his left hand, and recite the root mantra 108 times 
in order to attract the woman he has in mind. The system of mahamudra 
is so strongly identified with methods of magical attainment that liberation 
itself is classed as the most superior of siddhis. 

Dwelling As Vajravarahi 

w. The overall aim of the Vajravarahi Sadhana is expressed in the final verses 
33 a b- of the "short meditation" (v. 34d) that comprises its first meditation stage. 
34 These are the concluding injunctions of any yoginitantra sadhana, namely, 
that the practitioner should continue to maintain the divine ego 
(ahamkarah) of his chosen deity at all times (v. 33ab). 4r In order to 
strengthen this inner conviction, the Abhisamayamanjari (K3or6-K3ir2) 
integrates the practices of deity yoga into the yogin's everyday activities: 
when he bathes, he imagines that he is receiving consecration; when he 
eats, he imagines that he is offering bali to the deity and her mandala ret- 
inue; while sleeping, he is aware of sleep as clear light. 438 Thus, unless he 
loses his awareness (which is of course a possibility, see above, p. 116), the 
yogin will still imagine himself to be Vajravarahi when he sits down the next 
time to meditate at one of the three junctures (samdhyds) of the Indian tra- 
dition (v. 34cd): dawn, midday, and dusk — and in some tantric texts, also 
at midnight. 439 The "means of attainment" presented by the sadhana is 
therefore a spiraling reinforcement of the tantric initiate's identity with the 
deity — and his eventual inner transformation into Vajravarahi herself. 
v - 35 (See above: "The Cosmos and Temple Palace," p. I44ff.) 

Meditation Stage 2 

w. The second meditation stage describes the fivefold mandala of Vajravarahl. 
3^-37 This begins the prescriptions for the complete thirty-seven-fold mandala 
that will be built up in the remaining meditations of the sadhana, based on 
Cakrasamvara sources. It opens with a pair of scriptural verses that sum- 
marize the various stages of the mandala as follows: 

v. 36cd meditation stage 2 

fivefold mandala 
Vajravarahl plus the four retinue 
goddesses on the petals of the 
central lotus, Ddkini, etc. 

v. 36cd meditation stage 3 thirteenfold mandala 

fivefold mandala plus eight 
outer goddesses, Kdkdsyd, etc. 

v. 37 

meditation stage 4 

thirty-seven-fold mandala 
thirteenfold mandala plus 
twenty-four goddesses of the 
sites (pithds), Pracandd, etc. 

These meditation stages offer the meditator alternative and progressively 
more complex methods of visualizing himself as Vajravarahl within her 
mandala. They do not form discrete sadhanas, as the first meditation stage 
does, but sets of additional instructions that would be inserted optionally 
into the self-generation section of the first meditation stage (following w. 
19-24), depending on the length of the practice the practitioner chooses to 
undertake. 440 


Fivefold Mandala 

§10 The prose prescriptions for the fivefold mandala refer back to the scrip- 
tural verses just cited (v. 36ab). Thus, the meditator is to visualize 
Vajravarahl standing upon the pericarp of an eight-petaled lotus, and sur- 
rounding her he is to see the four principal goddesses of her retinue upon 



the four cardinal petals of the lotus: Dakini in the east, Lama in the north, 
Khandaroha in the west, and Rupini in the south (see plate 12, with fig. 
32). (As a rule in the yoginitantras, installation (nydsah) on the cardinal 
points is performed in a counterclockwise direction, and clockwise in the 
intermediate directions.) 441 This level of the mandala is designated "the cir- 
cle of great bliss" (see below). 
vv. The iconography of the dakinis (w. 38-40) is similar to that of their 
38-4° mandala leader. They are naked kdpdlika deities in warrior stance, with 
three eyes, loose hair, the five tantric ornaments, terrible fangs, garlands 
of oozing heads, corpse thrones (v. 41), and chaplets of vajras (§21). They 
have four arms, holding a skull staff and skull bowl in the left, and damaru 
drum and vajra chopper in the right. Each goddess is a different color, 
according to the direction in which she stands. Following the traditional 
colors of the buddha families, Dakini (east) is blue-black, Lama (north) 
is green, Khandaroha (west) is red, and Rupini (south) is yellow. The 
iconography of the arms is shown in the delightful red dakini from Khara 
Khoto (plate 2). 
§11 The four goddesses are presided over by the buddha Ratnasambhava, 
bearing him as the seal in their crown. Between them, on the intermedi- 
ate petals, are four skull bowls that contain semen (bodhicittam). In simi- 
lar texts, other impure substances are mentioned inside the skull bowls, 
such as menstrual blood, or the five nectars and five lamps (see below), all 
of which are transformed into an elixir like quicksilver. The bowls them- 
selves are pure white ("like a conch, jasmine, or moon") and may be visu- 
alized balancing elegantly on top of ornamental vases. 442 
§12 The mantras for the fivefold mandala are supplied at the end of the sec- 
ond meditation stage, first for Vajravarahi as a mandala leader, and then 
for the four retinue goddesses. Vajravarahi's mantras include the ten- 
syllabled heart mantra given already in meditation stage 1, based on the 
mantra deity Vajravairocani (om vajravairocaniye svdhd), and the auxiliary 
heart mantra, sometimes said to have twenty syllables (e.g., GSS4 Ki4r5: 
upahrdayam vimsatyaksaram) , based on the mantra deities Sarvabuddha- 
dakini and VajravarnanI (om sarvabuddhaddkiniye vajravarnaniye hum hum 
phat svdhd). There is also the eight-part mantra, which frequently occurs 
in a ritual context for praise. 443 The mantras for the four goddesses on the 
petals follow the standard format for all goddesses of the retinue: om, the 
insertion of the goddess's name, then the insertion of the syllables hum 
hum phat. AAA 


The fivefold mandala — like the rest of Vajravarahi's mandala — was orig- 
inally the mandala of the Heruka deity, Cakrasamvara. In his practice, the 
four goddesses on the petals generally appear with the same iconographic 
form as they have in the Vajravarahi mandala, despite dramatic changes to 
the central cult figure. Variations relate principally to whether they are 
two- or four-armed. Occasionally they assume a more radical form, as we 
have seen in the sadhana of the twelve-armed Vajravarahi redacted from 
the Abhidhdnottaratantra (GSS7), where they take the terrifiying theri- 
anthropic form characteristic of that mandala, trampling the corpses of 
Bhairava and Kalaratri in ardhaparyanka pose, and holding a severed head 
(rather than the damaru of Vajravdrdhisddhana) , 445 

The four retinue goddesses are representatives of ideal classes of female. 
The yoginitantras have a special interest in characterizing and categorizing 
such types as consorts for sexual yogic practices. The Samvarodayatantra 
(ch. 31), for example, describes the "beautiful characteristics" of Dakini, 
Lama, Khandaroha, and Rupini, their physical attributes, character, voice, 
and smell, and the way of making love to them. Female types are divided 
into classes and, according to their attributes, belong to particular buddha 
families. A nine-pointed vajra on the lower joint of the fourth finger, for 
example, is said to indicate a member of the Aksobhya family (HT2.2.1-2). 
The Abhidhdnottara has chapters dedicated to the classes of yoginis, dakinis, 
lamas, and others; and Kalff (1979: 44-56; cf. 91-95) — who discusses this 
area in detail — suggests that the goddesses Rupini and Khandaroha (some- 
times interchangeable for Lama) also arose from among these generic clas- 
sifications. 446 As individual goddesses, the goddesses of the petals therefore 
assume a generic quality associated with their type. Dakini represents all 
dakinis, and never appears as an individual goddess outside this set; Lama 
represents all lamas, and so on — in fact, these two only appear as classes of 
female within the Cakrasamvaratantra itself — and in this respect, the god- 
desses are akin to Vajravarahi, the supreme vajra-yogini. Their kinship is 
noted in the Abhidhdnottaratantra: Dakini is described as a vajra-dakini 
who has "arisen in the family of Vajravarahi"; the chapter on lamas 
describes the characteristics of "lamas who are varahis," while the com- 
mentary adds that lamas belong to "the varahi family" or "family of varahi's 
good qualities." 447 Another chapter describes the "practice of the four 
dakinis" (ADUT ch. 19 Caturddkiniyogapatala) in which the goddesses are 
visualized with three faces and eight arms, trampling four maras, and with 
the vajra prefix to their mantras ("vajra-dakini," etc.). Although they are 


I8 5 

in attendance upon Cakrasamvara in union with Vajravarahi, the com- 
mentary draws attention to their close relationship with Vajravarahi by 
describing the mandala as an essentialized form of the complete retinue, 
with Vajravarahi (and not Cakrasamvara) as the chief deity (cited Kalff 
1979: 217, n. 1). 

Meditation Stage 3 

Thirteenfold Mandala 

§!3_§!5 In the third meditation stage, our author points once again to the verses 
v - 4 1 from the Cakrasamvara scriptures (v. 36cd) as the authority for the thir- 
teenfold mandala. 448 This is done by adding a further eight goddesses to the 
fivefold mandala and installing them in the outer portion of the mandala, 
said here to be part of the circle of great bliss. Four of the goddesses are visu- 
alized at the gates (dvaram), that is, at the four central porticoes of the tem- 
ple palace (see plate 12 with fig. 32). They are terrifying in form, with "faces 
to match their names" (§14): a crow's head for Kakasya, an owl for Ulukasya, 
a dog for Svanasya, and a hog for Sukarasya. Otherwise, their accoutrements 
and stances resemble those of the goddesses on the petals^, and like them, 
they are four-armed and carry skull staff and skull bowl in their left arms, 
and damaru drums and choppers in their right. Their colors, we must 
assume, are those of the cardinal directions in which they reside: black, 
green, red, and yellow. 449 (Plate 1 shows therianthropic attendant goddesses 
with two arms. In plate 14, the goddesses are visible at the gates.) 

In the intermediate directions (installed counterclockwise), the medita- 
tor visualizes four more goddesses in each corner (konah) of the mandala 
where the walls intersect. These are the fearsome yoginis of the god of death, 
Yama: 450 Yamadadhi, Yamaduti, Yamadamstrini, and Yamamathani. They 
are similar in every other way to the gate goddesses except that they are 
human-faced and are bitonal because they straddle two directions of space. 
All eight outer goddesses are sealed by Amoghasiddhi, and their mantras fol- 
low the format of the other goddesses of the retinue (om + name element 
+ hum hum phat). No additional mantras are given for Vajravarahl at this 
stage, which suggests they remain the same as those for the fivefold mandala: 
heart, auxiliary heart, and eight-part mantras. 

The outer goddesses have already made an appearance in the Vajravarahl 
Sadhana during the installation of the circle of protection (v. I5ff.), where 
they took on a stakelike form for staking, hammering, and removing obsta- 
cles. Here, their theriocephalic forms again indicate their protective func- 
tion, following a trend set in the earliest yoginitantras. For example, the 
*Guhyakos'a describes a mandala of fifty-eight wrathful deities surrounding 
Buddhaheruka and his consort Buddhakrodhesvari, in which there are eight 
theriocephalic divinities (phra men ma) and four "gate keepers" {*dvdrapdlis), 



plus an outer circuit of twenty animal-headed deities (Sanderson 1995). 
Similarly, in a complex mandala from the Sarvabuddhasamayogadakinijala- 
samvara, the four gate keepers bear the heads of horse, hog, crow, and dog: 
*Hayasya, *Sukarasya, *Kakasya, and *Svanasya (ibid). 45 ' This mandala is 
a forerunner to the mandala of six cakravartins, a Cakrasamvara-based prac- 
tice that includes the eight outer goddesses beginning with Kakasya (e.g., 
NYA p. 79). This, in turn, is the prototype for a rather different Vajravarahi 
mandala drawn from the Vajravarahyabhyudayatantra and found in the 
Guhyasamayasadhanamala (GSS7), the forty-one-fold mandala discussed 
earlier of twelve-armed Vajravarahi that is based upon the four mothers. 
In this mandala the outer goddesses are all strongly individual and pre- 
serve features quite distinct from the other goddesses of their mandala; the 
corner goddesses, for example, have protean (visvariipa-), theriocephalic 
forms, with the faces of buffalo, ass, camel, and horse. 

Terms for Aspects of the Mandala 

The Vajravarahi Sadhana gives the designation "circle of great bliss" 
(mahasukhacakram) for the central lotus with Vajravarahi and the four god- 
desses of the petals (§10) and for the eight goddesses in the outer walls of 
the temple (§13). In other texts, however, the terms seem to vary. In the 
Abhidhanottaratantra, for example, the term "pledge circle" (samaya- 
cakram) covers (both individually and collectively) the central goddess, the 
petal goddesses, and the outer goddesses, and therefore seems to be used 
synonymously with "circle of great bliss." Other terms are also found. The 
goddesses in the outer reaches of the mandala are frequently said to reside 
in the "outer circle" (bahyacakram) (e.g., GSS5 Sed p. 136, K23V3), while 
in the Abhidhanottaratantra, we also find the fivefold central mandala 
referred to as the vagina (bhagah), and the lotus petals distinguished as the 
knowledge circle (jndnacakram).^ 1 The origin of these terms is not alto- 
gether clear. 


Meditation Stage 4 

Thirty-seven-fold Mandala 

§16 At the start of the fourth meditation stage, our author once again cites the 
scriptural verse (v. 37) as the source for the meditation. Here, the medita- 
tor is to visualize three concentric circles (cakras) between the central lotus 
and the outer walls of the temple palace, and upon each circle he is to see 
eight goddesses. With the addition of these twenty-four goddesses, the 
thirty-seven-deity mandala of Vajravarahi is complete. In this meditation 
stage, the Vajravarahi Sadhana first states how to visualize the three circles 
with their twenty- four goddesses (§i6-§2i), then gives instructions for a 
series of meditations on the mandala (§22-§3i), and ends in the usual man- 
ner with the mantras (§32-§34). Through these descriptions, we will see how 
successive layers of meaning and significance are woven into the completed 
mandala so that it represents or "becomes" transcendental wisdom (the 
mandala as wisdom), the thirty-seven bodhipaksikadharmas (the mandala as 
doctrine), and the body of the meditator himself (body mandala, kaya- 
mandala). The structure of the full mandala is shown on plate 12 with fig. 32. 

Circles of Mind, Speech, and Body 

§17- The three circles visualized around the central lotus are called the circles of 
§*9 mind, speech, and body. The innermost circle is the "mind circle" (citta- 
cakram, §17) understood to exist in space. This is blue-black (nila) in color 
and surrounded by a ring of blue-black vajras. It is said to have eight spokes 
or sectors that are aligned to the cardinal and intermediate directions (the 
"eight directions of Mem"). These sectors "have the nature of (GSS5 Sed 
p. 133, K21X2: pithasvabhava-) certain semimythical sacred sites (pithas). 
Their individual names, Pulllramalaya, etc., are given in the text as the 
dwelling places of the eight goddesses of the mind circle, who are referred 
to collectively as the "congregation of sky-dwelling goddesses." The next 
concentric circle is the speech circle (vdkcakram, §18), understood to exist 
on the "circumference of the earth." It is red, encircled with red lotuses, and 
with eight goddesses similarly installed on its eight sacred sites. These god- 
desses are described collectively as the "congregation of earth-dwelling 
goddesses." Finally, the outermost concentric circle is the body circle 


(kayacakram, §19), understood to exist "on the surface of the earth encir- 
cled by the oceans." This is visualized as white and surrounded by white 
wheel emblems (cakras). The goddesses dwelling there are described as the 
"congregation of goddesses abiding in the underworld, or hell (pdtalah)" i54 
The three circles of mind, speech, and body also appear in the Cakra- 
samvara mandala, where they are occupied by twenty-four site gods, 
Khandakapalin, etc., in embrace with their consorts, Pracanda, etc. (see 
table 23). If we compare the structure of Vajravarahi's mandala with that 
of Cakrasamvara, we find that the two mandalas are identical except that 
in the mandala of Vajravarahi all the male gods have been removed. The 
mandala leader, Cakrasamvara, has been superseded by his consort, 
Vajravarahi, and the goddesses appear alone in the twenty- four sites, thus 
reducing the size of the mandala from sixty- two to thirty-seven deities. 
This adaptation of the Cakasamvara mandala to a new, all-female model 
is not without its problems. We will see later how it creates inconsistencies 
in the meditations that correlate the full mandala with the body, and how 
mantras must be adapted to omit the names of the male gods. 

§20 The next prose passage reveals the familiar kdpdlika character of the site 
goddesses. They each have one face and four arms, and hold the same 
implements as the other retinue goddesses: skull bowl and staff (left) and 
chopper and damaru (right). They stand in the warrior stance without a 
corpse throne and wear the five tantric ornaments and a garland of "hang- 
ing human heads." Their colors are determined by the color of the circle 
in which they dwell, itself a reflex of the buddha who presides over it. Thus, 
the goddesses on the mind circle, sealed by Aksobhya, are blue-black; those 
on the speech circle, sealed by Amitabha, are red; and those on the body 
circle, sealed by Vairocana, are white. Some of the names of the site god- 
desses are strikingly un-Buddhist, reflecting the influence of esoteric 
Saivism. 455 

§21 The following paragraph repeats the installation of the eight outer god- 
desses. These protective goddesses have already been visualized in the third 
meditation stage, where they were located at the "gates" and "corners" — 
suggesting the traditional structure of the temple palace walls (§13— §15). 
Here, however, Kakasya, etc., are said to inhabit the eight cremation 
grounds "on the level of the underworld within rings of fire and wind." 456 
The repetition of the outer goddesses is slightly odd. One rationale may be 
that our author is attempting to give them a cosmological bearing akin to 
that of the site goddesses because he wishes to include them alongside the 
site goddesses in the body mandala meditation, for which they will need 



a cosmological status. Another explanation may be the ambiguous pres- 
ence of the temple palace in this sadhana. Umapatideva never actually 
prescribed the visualization of the temple palace. Instead, he located the 
self-generation within the setting of the cremation grounds (v. 16); and 
even when he offered the traditional alternative of Mount Meru, we noted 
that he omitted any reference to the temple palace (v. 35). The location 
he prescribes here for the outer goddesses — the cremation grounds sur- 
rounded by protective rings of fire and wind — in fact harks back to their 
visualization earlier in the sadhana, when they appeared in the construc- 
tion of the circle of protection (at §4). If this cosmological orientation is 
an original contribution by Umapatideva (and it is absent in the other 
sources studied here), it is consistent with his attempt to replace the 
cakravartin-style architecture of the mandala palace with the cremation 

Clearly following, and adapting from, his Cakrasamvara sources, our 
author ends his prescriptions in §21 with a final comment covering all the 
goddesses in the retinue, stating that all of them are to be visualized wear- 
ing chaplets of vajras. 457 It is at this point that the Abhisamayamanjari 
(GSS5 Sed p. 139, K26r5) offers alternatives to the visualization of the full 
mandala, which are credited to the Vajrdvaliby the author's guru, Abhaya- 
karagupta. These include the optional visualization of Vajravarahl as either 
yellow or blue, and changes to the colors and attributes of the deities of 
the retinue. 458 

With the visualization of the retinue goddesses on the three cakras, the 
mandala is complete. 

The Mandala As Wisdom 

Once the full mandala is complete, its interweaving layers of symbolism 
come more clearly into focus. One of the most evident is the association 
with wisdom, as all the goddesses in the mandala are presided over by a bud- 
dha, each indicating a different aspect of enlightened wisdom. The sequence 
in the Vajravarahl mandala is exactly that of the Cakrasamvara mandala 
(excluding the presiding Buddha Aksobhya for Cakrasamvara himself). 459 
The correspondences with the buddha families rarely work evenly through- 
out a given mandala, however. For example, Vairocana, who seals the god- 
desses of the body circle, appears twice in the Vajravarahl mandala, since 
he is also the buddha who seals the central goddess, Vajravarahl (§8). What 



Fig. 32. Thirty-seven-fold Vajravarahi mandala 

Central Lotus 

1. Vajravarahi 

Cardinal Petals 

2. Dakini 

3. Lama 

4. Khandaroha 

5. Rupini 

Mind Circle 

6. Pracanda 

7. Candaksi 

8. PrabhavatI 

9. Mahanasa 
10 ViramatI 

11. Kharvari 

12. Lankes'varl 


13. Drumacchaya 

Speech Circle 

14. AiravatI 

15. Mahabhairava 

16. Vayuvega 

17. Surabhaksl 

18. Syama(devi) 

19. Subhadra 

20. Hayakarna 

21. Khaganana 

Body Circle 

22. Cakravega 

23. Khandaroha 

24. SaundinI 

25. Cakravarmini 

26. Suvira 

27. Mahabala 

28. CakravartinI 

29. Mahavirya 

Outer Mandala (Gates) 

30. Kakasya 

31. Ulukasya 

32. Svanasya 

33. Sukarasya 

Outer Mandala (Corners) 

34. Yamadadhl 

35. YamadutI 

36. Yamadamstrini 

37. Yamamathani 




is more, only the site goddesses of the three cakras reflect the color and 
emblem of their buddha family, while Vajravarahi herself retains the char- 
acter and attributes of a typical vajra family member, despite her allocation 
to the Vairocana family within the Cakrasamvara mandala. 460 The result, 
nevertheless, is that all deities are associated with a different buddha, and 
that the mandala overall is a symbol of perfect wisdom. 

Table 19. Mandala as wisdom 


Aspect of Mandala 

Buddha Seal 

Goddess Color 

central goddess 



petal goddesses 




color of the 

site goddesses 




site goddesses 




site goddesses 



outer goddesses \ Amoghasiddhi ! color of the 
(mahasukhacakra) 1 (green) : directions 

The Mandala As Doctrine 

§22-§29 Following the visualization of the full, thirty-seven-fold mandala, the 
Vajravarahi Sadbana continues with a meditation that correlates the 
mandala with the entire Buddhist doctrine. The text states that this med- 
itation deepens the meditator's conviction of himself as Vajravarahi within 
her mandala and leads to enlightenment (§22). In the course of the con- 
templation, each of the thirty-seven goddesses is equated with one of the 
thirty-seven bodhipaksikadharmas, "factors that favor enlightenment." This 
Abhidharmic grouping of Buddhist doctrines is made up of traditional sets 
of teachings, which are contemplated as follows: 

(§23) The four bringers of awareness (anu-smrtyupasthanas) 
(§24) The four means of mind concentration (rddhipddas) 
(§25) The five empowering faculties (indriyas) 
(§26) The five powers (balas) 



(§27) The seven causes of enlightenment (bodhyangas) 

(§28) The eight factors of the path (arydstdngo margah) 

(§29) The four means of complete abandonment (samyakprahdnas) 

For each set, the text supplies typical commentarial glosses, at one point 
even citing Panini (§23). This is the fullest example of Abhidharmic exe- 
gesis in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld and shows our author's reliance on 
traditional Buddhist sources. There are, however, notable variations — not 
to say, idiosyncracies — in his manner of listing some of the doctrines, which 
are discussed in the notes to the translation. 

The meditation correlating the mandala with Buddhist doctrine is drawn 
directly from Cakrasamvara praxis, in which the yogin identifies the sixty- 
two-deity Cakrasamvara mandala with the thirty-seven bodhipdksika- 
dharmas. However, only the thirty-seven female deities of the mandala are 
correlated, except in the case of the last bodhipdksikadharma, which is 
understood to be Cakrasamvara himself. Perhaps it is because of the tantric 
association of the female consort (sometimes called a vidya) with wisdom 
(vidyd) that the male gods are overlooked. As a result, the practice is easily 
adapted to the all-female mandala of Vajravarahi, although a certain 
amount of juggling is required to accommodate the mandala goddesses 
within the groups of doctrines. 

Table 20. Mandala as doctrine (thirty-seven bodhipdksikadharmas) 

37 bodhipdksikadharmas 

goddesses of the mandala 

4 smrtyupasthdnas 

4 petal goddesses 

4 rddhipadas 

4 site goddesses of mind circle 

5 indriyas 

4 site goddesses of mind circle + 1 site goddess 
of speech circle 

5 balas 

5 site goddesses of speech circle 

7 bodhyangas 

2 remaining site goddesses of speech circle 
5 site goddesses of body circle 

8 angas of astangamarga 

3 site goddesses of body circle 

4 gate goddesses 
1 central goddess 

4 prahdnas 

4 corner goddesses 



The Mandala As Cosmos 

Another major feature of the mandala is its symbolic representation of the 
cosmos. In fact, several cosmological systems are at play within it. First, we 
have seen how the whole visualization takes place within a cosmos con- 
ceived of as eight great cremation grounds — or alternatively upon the more 
traditional cosmic setting of Mount Meru. 

Next, we have seen that the three mandala circles of mind, speech, and 
body are tiered according to the popular division of the world along its 
vertical axis. This is usually understood as the division of the three worlds 
(tribhuvanam) of space, earth, and underworld, as in the Abhisamayaman- 
jari (GSS5 K28r6). However, the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana describes a fourfold 
division of space in order to include the cremation grounds within the cos- 
mological picture: 


(§17) mind circle 

(§18) speech circle 

(§19) body circle 

(§21) cremation grounds 

in space 

in the circumference (valayah) of the earth 

on the surface (talam) of the earth 

encircled by the oceans 

on the surface of the underworld 

within rings of wind and fire 

Our author's adaptation from the usual cosmological scheme is slightly 
awkward because, according to the Abhidharmic system, the underworlds 
are actually located within the element water (illustrated by Brauen 1997: 
20; 1994: 54). It also means that the site goddesses who are collectively 
termed "underworld dwellers" (§19) — and who, in the Abh isamayamahj 'ari, 
are happily located in the underworld — are said, less logically, to dwell on 
the "surface of the earth encircled by the oceans." Table 21 compares the 
Abhisamayamahjari with the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana and shows the slight 
inconsistencies of the latter. By comparing the cosmological structure of 
our mandala with that of the Kalacakra, it also reveals how the Vajravdrdhi 
Sddhana seems to foreshadow that system, in which the cosmos is gener- 
ated upon the elements air, fire, water, and earth (see also fig. 25). 



Table 21. Mandala as cosmos 


of mandala 





mind circle 



site goddesses 

12 winds 
orbiting Meru 

speech circle 


of earth 

site goddesses 

circle of earth 

body circle 


surface of earth 
by oceans 

site goddesses 

circle of 



of underworld 
within rings of 
fire & wind 

outer goddesses 
in cremation 

circle of fire 
& air 

The Sacred Sites (pithas) 

Another important cosmological structure in the full mandala is that of the 
twenty- four sacred sites {pithas), listed §i7~§i9 (and table 23). These, as we 
have seen, are understood to exist within the mandala, on the three circles 
of mind, speech, and body, with eight sites on each. The sacred sites have 
their origins in Saiva myth, which relates how Siva's body was dismembered 
and fell to earth (or how Siva scattered the dismembered body of Sati/Par- 
vati across the world in his grief), thus creating sites of sacred power. v ~ The 
existence of these sites here in the Buddhist tantric systems has its root in 
the accounts of Siva's subjugation, which — as we saw earlier — generally 
begin with MahesVara's (Siva's) demonic tyranny of the universe and end 
with his defeat and conversion at the hands of the Buddhist heroes. In 
Cakrasamvara exegetical literature, however, MahesVara's overlordship is 
represented specifically in terms of his occupation of the twenty-four sacred 
sites, while his subjugation is framed in terms of the Buddhist takeover of 
those sites from the wicked gods of his mandala retinue. The inclusion of 
the sacred sites in the meditation and ritual texts of tantric Buddhism is also 
due to its "pious plagiarism" of tantric Saiva methods, in particular, the eso- 
teric system of the Trika (Sanderson 1994b, 1995). 463 Kalff (1979: 103-4) 
states that the names of most sites are those of towns or countries ''from 
almost every part of India," while the actual pilgrimage sites are holy sanc- 
tuaries within those countries — predominantly of Kali-type deities."" 


The significance of the sacred sites within the mandala is that they con- 
firm the mandala "as" the universe. This plays a vital part in the coming 
meditations, in which the mandala as cosmos is correlated with the body 
of the meditator. 

The Ten Places (desas) 

In the meditations that follow, yet another aspect of the cosmos is woven 
into the symbolic textures of the mandala. This is a set of ten "places" 
{desas) made up of five primary places, and five secondary or "nearby" 
places. Each of the places contains two or four of the twenty- four sacred 
sites (w. 43-53), as shown in table 23. The places are correlated during the 
course of the body mandala with the ten bodhisattva stages (w. 43-53). 
They also appear within a slightly different, twelvefold account in the 
Hevajra system. 465 These are summarized in table 22. 466 

In the semi-mythical world of the highest tantras (and drawing once 
again on Saiva praxis), the places and sites serve as dwelling places for var- 
ious classes of yogini. Such texts devote some time to explaining the means 
of identifying and conversing with these types of women, as in a passage 
from the Samvarodayatantra: "A woman who is always fond of meat and 
spirituous liquors and forgets shame and fear is said to be an 'innate woman' 
(sahajd) born of the dakini family. They are born in each district [i.e., 
place]; (these) yoginis should be worshiped at all times." 467 The idea is that 
the yogin should visit the places in search of his consort. The lord himself, 
in the Hevajratantra (1.7.8— 11), specifically refers to them as the "meeting 
place" (melapakasthanam) for yogins and yoginis who know the "secret 
signs" (choma). The texts clearly suppose that the places and the sacred 
sites that they contain have a real, external existence because, on occasion, 
they make derogatory remarks about such goings-on, complaining that the 
expert yogin need not "tire himself out by wandering around the twenty- 
four sites in person," and emphasizing that the sites are mentioned merely 
"for the benefit of simple fools who wander about the country." 468 

Within the mandala as a whole, the different cosmological systems do 
not fit easily together. A comment by Bu ston illustrates this. In his account 
of the subjugation of the Saiva gods (quoted by Kalff 1979: 68-69), Bu ston 
first describes the Buddhist occupation of the Saiva sites and then states that 
four kinnaris and four phra men ma take control of the eight great crema- 
tion grounds. He then proceeds to cite "the opinion of others" who instead 



of naming the eight cremation grounds mention yet another system, namely 
the pilavas and upapilavas (i.e., the places). Within the mandala of the 
Vajravdrdhi Sddhanawc can also see evidence of some competition between 
the different systems. For example, the cremation grounds are one of the 
categories of place, and as such appear on the body circle (see table 23. This 
is awkward for the overall scheme of the mandala, in which they are other- 
wise located beyond the outer circle, within the circle of protection. 

Table 22. The ten places 

1. site pitha 


nearby site upapitha 

3. field ksetra 


nearby field upaksetra 

5. chandoha chandoha 


nearby chandoha upacchandoha 

pilava (HT) 

nearby pilava (HT) 

7. meeting place meldpaka 


nearby meeting place upameldpaka 

9. cremation ground smasana 


nearby cremation ground upasmasdna 

Body Mandala 

v. 42 Our author now introduces a meditation known as the body mandala 
(kdyamandalam). The practice involves correlating the mandala as cosmos 
with the practitioner's own body. This type of purifying equation (visud- 
dhih) — of a divinity with an aspect of the yogin's body — has already 
appeared in the sadhana, first as a preliminary purification of the practi- 
tioner's psychophysical organism, and again as the armoring. In some scrip- 
tural sources, the correlations of the body mandala serve to generate the 
mandala directly within the body without any prior generation (e.g., in 
ADUT ch. 9). Indeed, mKhas grub rje defines it as a means of self-gener- 
ation ranking above that of the generation method (utpattikramah) and 
completion method (nispannakramah). m The Yoginisamcdratantra empha- 
sizes the importance of the practice in the Cakrasamvara tradition by ascrib- 
ing it to the mythical Laksdbhidhdnatantra (although the practice was in 
fact Saiva in origin). 470 
§30 The method of producing the body mandala is described in an explana- 
tory prose paragraph. This explains that the yogin must begin by uttering 
(and visualizing) the seed-syllable for the site, which is created from its first 
syllable (e.g., pu for Pulllramalaya) with the added nasalization of the 



anusvdra (pum). He should then see the seed-syllable transforming into an 
empty circle that is understood to represent Pulllramalaya itself (and so 
on for all twenty-four sites). Simultaneously, the yogin installs the empty 
circle, Pulllramalaya, on a certain point on his body (in this case, his head), 
as shown in figure 33. Meanwhile the goddess Pracanda, who dwells within 
the site, is transformed into a channel or vein (nddi) inside the head. The 
placing of each site on a body point relocates the external world or cos- 
mos symbolized by the mandala "on" or "in" the meditator's body, so 
that his body actually becomes, or contains, the world of the sacred sites 
and places. In this way, the body mandala internalizes the yogin's prac- 
tice of actually wandering through the sites and places in the real world 
in search of a consort. It is to be undertaken by an "internal yogin" 
(adhydtmayogin GSS5) and is deemed to be superior to ordinary external 
pilgrimage. 471 
w. 43-54 The purifying equations of the sites and their goddesses with points on 
the yogin's body are given in a series of verses. After each verse, the text 
gives a one-line description allocating the sites to the ten places, and cor- 
relating those with the ten bodhisattva stages. These are summarized in 
table 23. 

The vertical division of the cosmos into three (or four) "worlds" also 
transfers to the body through the processes of the body mandala. Once 
again, the correlations are somewhat approximate. The sites of the mind 
circle, equated with the sky, relate to points of the body around the head 
and shoulders. The sites of the central circle, the speech circle, are associ- 
ated with earth (the central world), and this is roughly correlated with the 
midpoints of the body (the tip of the nose and mouth are also included in 
this set). The sites of the body circle (usually associated with the lower 
world) are equated with the lower body. Although in the Vajravogini tra- 
dition the body mandala should be undertaken by the yogin who imagines 
himself as the goddess (fig. 33a), the correlations with the body points fit 
more naturally upon a figure seated in meditation (fig. 33b), perhaps an 
indication that the practice first arose outside the systems of deitv voga. For 
example, the body points for the hands and feet are grouped together for 
a figure seated in meditation, but are forced apart for the body standing in 
warrior stance. Above all, the preservation of the sixteenth body point 
"penis" (medhram) is an anomaly if the meditator is visualizing himself in 
female form. 

By verse 53, our author has finished describing how to install the sites 
and site goddesses (i.e., the circles of mind, speech, and bodv) onto the 


meditator's body, and he has correlated those sites with the ten places and 
ten bodhisattva stages. 

Verse 54 appears only as a marginal insertion in one manuscript, com- 
menting on the value of the correlation with the ten bodhisattva stages (see 
Textual Notes). 

vv. In the following couple of verses, our text widens and extends the prac- 
55-56 tice by equating other points of the body with the outer goddesses (v. 55) 
and the goddesses of the four petals (v. 56). This is not entirely faithful to 
the original method of the body mandala, in which a body point should 
correlate with one of the twenty-four sites. It is also difficult to see any par- 
ticular rationale governing the new body points (except perhaps that the 
petal goddesses are located at the heart), especially since the parallel corre- 
lations in the Abhisamayamanjarl (GSS5) seem just as haphazard, and only 
vaguely related to those offered by the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana} 72 These incon- 
sistencies arise in the VajrayoginI tradition because of its adaptation from 
the Cakrasamvara practice. There, the correlations of the body mandala 
applied to the body of the twelve-armed heruka in embrace with his con- 
sort (e.g., Abhidhdnottaratantra ch. 9), in which scheme the four petal god- 
desses and eight outer goddesses were installed on the twelve handheld 
attributes of the male god. Since these arms and attributes are absent in the 
self-generated form of Vajravarahi, those goddesses are left without a clear 
function in her body mandala. Another inconsistency in the Vajravdrdhi 
Sddhana (as in the Abhisamayamanjarl) is that our author is forced to 
reduce the body mandala by not including the more subtle aspects of the 
yogin's psychophysical body (see table 9). The psychophysical body points 
were correlated with male deities in the Cakrasamvara mandala and are 
therefore inadmissable in the all-female Vajravarahi mandala. 

None of the correlations given here overtly explains the designations of 
the mandala circles themselves as "mind circle," "speech circle," and "body 
circle." However, this correlation of the mandala with the fundamental 
division of the person demonstrates, on the simplest level, that the mandala 
as a whole is understood to "be" the practitioner. Conversely, the practi- 
tioner "is" the mandala and thereby embodies not only the chosen deity, 
but her entire retinue and the worlds in which they dwell. 

§31 The correlations of the body mandala also incorporate the subtle yogic 
body in the form of the channels or veins (nddls). At §30, our text stated 
that the channels are to be established through the "transformation" of the 
site goddesses. In other words, the site goddesses dwell "within" the sites 
identified at a particular point on the body (e.g., Pracanda within Pulliraya- 



Fig. 33. Body mandala. 


Table 23. Body mandala (tabula?- summary, opposite) 

in the 

(as the vein) 

four sites 

Ten places 






Body point 

Fivefold Mandala 



eightfold path 


















Mind Circle (blue-black, sealed 

by Aksobhya; surrounded by blue-black vajras) 






















right ear 







back of the head 






left ear 











2 eyes 






2 shoulders 

Speech Circle (red, sealed by Amitdbha; surrounded by red lotuses) 














2 armpits 






2 breasts 












tip of nose 


























Aspect of body nourished 

by the veins as the hero in the 

Cakrasamvara tradition 


nails & teeth (Khandakapdlin) 


head & body hair 


skin & filth (Kankdla) 


flesh (Vikatadamstrin) 


sinew (Surdvairin) 


bones (Amitdbha) 


kidney? (Vajraprabha) 


heart (Vajradeha) 


eyes (Ankurika) 


bile (Vajrajatila) 


lungs (Mahdvira) 


entrails (Vajrahumkdra) 


coiled gut (Subhadra) 


belly (Vajrabhadra) 


feces (Mahabhairava) 


hair part (Virupdksa) 

Body Circle (white, sealed by Vairocana; surrounded by white wheels) 










sadhumati ° 


. . .sambodhyangas 


sexual organ 












2 thighs 






2 shanks 






fingers & toes 





...eightfold path 


back of feet 






& big toes 






2 knees 


phlegm (Mahabala) 


pus (Ratnavajra) 


blood (Hayagriva) 


sweat (Akasagarbha) 


fat (Heruka) 


tears (Padmanartesvara) 


phlegm (Vairocana) 


snot (Vajrasattva) 

Outer Mandala 












sexual organ 








arising of 

hair curl 

~ ■ — - 








akus'aladharmas" > 




not producing" 



malaya, at the head), but they are imaginitively transformed into channels 
"within" the body. Tantric sources commonly refer to the goddesses "as" 
the channels or veins. 473 The Vajravdrdhl Sddhana makes only an oblique 
reference to the function of the channels within the body mandala: The 
channels are said to be like rivers that "nourish" the sites and so on in the 
external world "with water." The nourishing fluid that flows in the chan- 
nels in the meditation (like the water in the rivers) is not referred to here, 
but according to the Samvarodayatantra (ch. 7, w. 16-18), the contents 
of the central channels are urine (in laland), blood (in rasand) and semen 
(in avadhutt). Another analogy (in §31) touches upon the soteriological 
significance of these yogic correspondences; for just as, in the external 
world, the river Niranjana nourishes the site of enlightenment 
(vajrapitham) upon which the Buddha sat, so in the internal "yogic 
world," the central channel avadhutt nourishes the circle of great bliss 
upon which Vajravarahl stands. 

In the Cakrasamvara version of the body mandala, on which the Vajra- 
varahi materials are based, the function of the channels is more explicit. In 
that system, the twenty-four male gods on the sites (consorts to the site god- 
desses) are said to represent or "purify" certain aspects of the body. For 
example, Pracanda's consort, Khandakapalin, becomes the nails and teeth; 
the channel (Pracanda herself) carries nourishment from the head 
(Pulliramalaya) to the nails and teeth (Khandakapalin). 474 The nddi'is there- 
fore a "channel" (vahd/vdhini; that which flows, samdvaba-lvahati) from an 
external point on the body "through" the related aspect of the body, thereby 
nourishing it. In the Samvarodayatantra (ch. 7 Nadicakrakramopayapatald) 
this is expressed as follows: 4 5 

(3) The point [on the body] for the channels (nadisthanam) and 
the sites [with which they are identified] are known (pramdna- 
tah) to number twenty-four; and between those, three channels 
flow all through [the body]. (4) On the head <=> Pulliramalaya 
[is the body point for the channel that] exists [inside the body] 
as a channel (-vahd) for the nails and teeth. On the top- 
knot^Jalandhara [is] the channel for the head and body hair (? 
kesaroma). (5) On the right ear<=>Oddiyana [is] the channel that 
is the channel for the skin and [its] filth, (etc.) 

The aspects of the body named in the Cakrasamvara version are a tra- 
ditional set, weighted, as Kalff notes, toward the "repugnant," and a set that 


already occurs in the Pali canon in almost the same order. 476 The twenty- 
four aspects of the body are listed in table 23 beside the male god who puri- 
fies them. Once again, this part of the body mandala is omitted in the 
Vajravdrdhl Sddhana because of its references to the male gods. 

In a (presumably) later work in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, the 
inconsistencies noted in the Vajravdrdhl Sddhana s version of the body 
mandala are are avoided by the invention of a new body mandala medita- 
tion that draws exclusively upon the cosmology of the cremation grounds. 477 

This practice finishes the series of contemplations on the mandala. 
The Abhisamayamanjarl ends this portion of text with a reminder to the 
yogin to dwell in meditation, "firmly convinced" of the completed body 
mandala. 478 

Mantras for the Complete Deity Mandala 

§32 The fourth meditation stage ends with the mantras to be inserted within 
the sadhana, as in the first meditation stage. First, our author gives the root 
mantra (mulamantrah) for Vajravarahi as leader of a full mandala, adding 
it to her mantras for earlier stages of the practice (namely, the heart, aux- 
iliary heart, and eight-part mantras). The root mantra is full of terrifying 
epithets, aggressive imperatives, fearsome laughter, and general clamor. 
§33- Next, the text supplies mantras for the site goddesses (§33). These con- 

§34 tain cryptic mantric elements called "vajra words" (kulisapaddni) and owe 
their form to the mantras of the site gods in the Cakrasamvara mandala. 
Thus, in Cakrasamvara sources, the mantras for the site god and the site 
goddess are listed side by side, as follows: 


om khandakapdlina kara kara hum hum phat svdhd 

(for site god, Khandakapalin). 

om pracande hum hum phat svdhd 

(for site goddess, Pracanda). 


Another Cakrasamvara source, Luyipada's Herukdbhisamaya (f. 13O, col- 
lapses the two mantras into one and omits the name of the male deity, 
thereby producing a version closer to the mantras given in the Vajravarahi 
texts: om kara kara hum hum phat pracande hum hum phat {tot site god and 
goddess, Khandakapalin and Pracanda), etc. The Vajravarahi texts take the 



process one step further, and omit both the name element of the male god, 
Khandakapalin, and its following mantra syllables: om kara kara pracande 
hum hum phat {$ot site goddess Pracanda alone), etc. With the discussion 
of the mantras, the fourth meditation stage comes to a close. 

Ritual Practices 

Tantric Ritual 

The next portion of the Vajravdrdhi Sddbana deals with ritual practices. 
These are chiefly rites of worship and offering, but adapted for the context 
of deity yoga. A comment on the nature of tantric ritual in general is found 
in an oblation text in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld attributed to Indra- 
bhuti, the Pradipdhutividhi (GSS14). This draws on the ancient shamanic 
or magical understanding of ritual, namely that: "X here produces Y there" 
(v. 17): "Such is the true nature (dharmatd) of the worlds: for one who acts 
with intensity (lit: 'whose deeds are sharp') it may be only a flower [that he 
offers] here, [but] in the next world it [bears] a great fruit." 480 While ritual 
is a mechanistic process, it does not simply operate on an external plane. 
Indrabhuti describes how mental intention, too (see p. 215), is a means to 
generate results (w. 24-25): "Whatever merit is dedicated with a mind 
firmly convinced, with whichever method, in whatever place, in whatever 
way, <fruit?> arises in a corresponding form, in a corresponding place, in 
a corresponding way, like the pot of a potter." 481 In a Yogacara-Madhyamaka 
environment, such promises are made possible by the infinite possibilities 
of emptiness. Once appearances are understood to be empty and thus unreal 
(in that they lack intrinsic existence), then they are no different from mag- 
ical appearances, which are also empty and unreal. As Indrabhuti explains: 
(v. 26) "Whatever he cultivates further, and whatever more is dedicated, that 
bears fruit, like a reflection in a mirror that is both real and not real," (v. 
28) "Only through the mind, not through anything else, does one resort to 
the dualities 'good' (sreyas) and 'bad'; for samsara is nothing but the mind, 
and nirvana [too] is nothing but the mind." 482 It is not the case, however, 
that the ontology of Mind-only renders external ritual actions meaning- 
less, as they are justified on the basis of Nagarjuna's doctrine of two truths 
(cf. Bentor 1996: 13-21). Although on the level of ultimate truth (para- 
mdrthasatyam), ritual action is empty, it is meaningful because it is under- 
stood to operate on the level of conventional truth (lokasamvrtisatyam). 
This is the basis upon which the yogin proceeds: (v. 22) "The buddhas 
(munisvardh) say that with one hundred and eight oblations, [performed] 
on the basis of an understanding of the two truths, the fruit of universal 
monarch-hood or buddhahood [is attained]." 483 

The rites described by the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana are as follows: 



(v. 57-§4o) offering bali (balividhih) 

(w. 59-66) tasting nectar (amrtdsvddanam) 

(§4i-§49) external worship (bdhyapujd) 

(§46) hand worship (hastapujd) 

(§49) alternative external worship (bdhyapujd) 

(§51) internal oblation (adhydtmahomavidhih) 

(§52) rite for leftover bali (*uccchistabalividhih) 

Our text here is very similar to that of the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5), 
and both works base their prescriptions on rites described in Cakrasamvara 
literature. Their comparison with a series of Cakrasamvara rituals by 
Sasvatavajra (published by Finot in 1934 under the editorial title *Vidbi- 
samgraha, Collection of Rites) demonstrates how simple the redaction of 
material into the Vajravarahi corpus was. The *Vidhisamgraha describes 
the same series of rites, but directs the prescriptions to the yogin in union 
with Cakrasamvara rather than with Vajravarahi. Sasvatavajra' s descrip- 
tions of the rites are very similar to our author's and are almost identical 
with those of the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5), differing from the latter 
sometimes only in phrasing. Despite their close relationship, significant 
differences between the three texts also emerge, and these suggest that the 
authors of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld were probably not redacting 
directly from Sasvatavajra's text, but that all three authors were looking to 
a common Cakrasamvara-based source. 484 (The contents of the three texts 
are compared in table 24.) 

The Bali Ritual 

v. 57 The first ritual taught in the Vajravarahi Sddhana is the bali ritual (bali- 
vidhih), a propitiatory food offering (balih) to local spirits and deities and — 
in our sources — to the principal deities of the mandala. The offering of bali 
is essentially a brahmanical ritual, and probably predates the Vedas; such 
offerings certainly form a large part of Vedic prescription. 485 A more imme- 
diate source for the Buddhist tantras is the bali offering in Saiva and 
Vaisnava rites, in which the bali is often a concluding rite. 486 The 
Vajravarahi Sddhana introduces the bali ritual by stating that rites such as 
worship are to be preceded by bali offerings (v. 57). So if the bali is a pre- 
liminary rite, why do our texts tend to teach it at the end — and not at the 
beginning — of the practice? 487 



Table 24. Rituals in parallel texts 

Vajravarahi Sadhana 


Finot 1934 

following self generation 
(K2 3 n) 

(w. 60-67) 
within balividhi 
(v. 58-§37) 

balividhi (Kiyv?,) 

(without balimantra 
of our §36) 


by Luyipada 
(PP. 49-5i) 

(+ ^//mantra §36) 

midday & 
midnight junctures 


*"Mantrapdtha " 

(PP- 53-54> i-c, 
balimantra as 
GSSn §36) 

bdhyapujd (§38) 

bdhyapujd (K3ir2) 


by SasVatavajra 

(pp. 52-53) 

hastapujd (§40) 

hastapujd (K32n) 

hastapujd by 

(PP- 54-55); 
also SM253 
(pp. 498-500) 

alternative bdhyapujd 
+ implied hastapujd 
(P41: athavd) 

alternative bdhyapujd 
+ implied hastapujd 
(K32V5: yadvd) 
(p. 55-56: yadvd) 


hastapujd 'with 


adhydtmahoma vidhi 
(K 33 vi) 

Cakrasam va ra balividhi 
by SasVatavajra 

(pp. 56-58) 

(with preparation as 

for amrtdsvddana) 

*ucchistabalividhi (§43) 


(pp. 59-61) 

cremation grounds 

(w. 71-75) 

reference to 

desiderative homa rites, 

considered too lengthy 

to be described by the author 

(K33V4: vistarabhaydn 

na likhitdh) 

(pp. 61-62) 


v. 58 Our author (v. 58) answers this supposed question by explaining that 
since the bali must be offered by the practitioner in union with the deity, 
the instructions for self-generation are a necessary prerequisite and must be 
taught first. Despite this careful apology, it is clear that bali rituals are usu- 
ally taught at the end of a text as a concluding rite (as well being a prelim- 
inary ritual), and perhaps his statement is best understood as a comment 
upon ritual within the highest tantras, in which self-generation is a pre- 
requisite to the performance of all rites. 

Tasting Nectar (amrtasvadanam) 

§35 As a preliminary part of the bali ritual itself the Vajravdrdhi Sadhana teaches 
(cf. v. 28) the rite of tasting nectar (amrtasvadanam). Earlier in the sadhana our author 
promised a description of this rite, because it was prescribed as part of the 
worship following the consecration of the newly fledged yogin-deity (v. 
28). The tasting of nectar is also prescribed in the parallel sources (Abhi- 
samayamanjari and Cakrasamvarabalividhi), from which it seems that our 
texts are incorporating an independent ritual of tasting nectar into the bali 
offering and using it to serve as a preliminary for that rite. 488 This is also 
the method employed in the Vajravali (SP f. 1x017), m which 
Abhayakaragupta joins the two rites together by first describing an 
Amrtasadhana for the preparation of the nectar, and then relating how the 
^//should be offered according to the Samaja, Hevajra, and Cakrasamvara 
systems. In contrast, the Advayavajra-based sadhanas clearly treat the tast- 
ing of nectar as a distinct rite of worship. 489 In some Guhyasamayasddhana- 
mdla texts, the two rites are simply sequential, the tasting of nectar first 
comprising an imaginary offering of nectar, and the subsequent bali, the 
offering of real (or imagined) foodstuffs with the recitation of bali 
mantras. 490 

A hint in our texts suggests that our Cakrasamvara-based bali rituals 
may be appropriating the tasting of nectar rite, and thus joining two inde- 
pendent rites together. In the Cakrasamvarabalividhi, the rite of tasting 
nectar requires the yogin to generate an imaginary bowl in which he will 
visualize various substances transforming into the nectarized offering. 
Because the independent bali ritual also requires a bowl for the food offer- 
ings, the text then prescribes the generation of a second — but now strictly 
unnecessary — offering bowl (also GSS16 cited n. 490: dvitiyam bali- 
bhajanam). SasVatavajra perhaps attempts to accommodate this problem 



with a remark that justifies the "transferral" of the nectar from the first 
bowl into the bowl generated for the ball (balisvikarartham). If the balim- 
ual has appropriated the rite of tasting nectar, the reasons for it are clear. 
The relationship between the two rites is close, and the tasting of nectar is 
itself a type of ball offering. It is particularly well suited to the ball offer- 
ings in the Cakrasamvara tradition, in that it describes an imaginary food 
offering resulting in great bliss, to be offered within the context of inter- 
nalized meditative performance. Moreover, it describes a handy means of 
purifying offerings that in our tradition are composed of transgressive sub- 
stances, and of transforming them into nectar fit for the gods. 
w. The first step in the rite of tasting nectar is the preparation of a hearth, 
59-60 whereon the food offerings may be cooked, purified, and turned into nec- 
tar. First, raging flames are generated from the combination of wind and fire, 
represented by their elemental symbols and the syllables yam and ram (v. 59). 
Above this, a hearth {cullikd; v. 60b) is then fashioned from three heads 
arranged like the base of a tripod; these are produced (in our tradition) from 
the syllable kam. m On top rests a skull bowl generated from ah, as the caul- 
dron. 492 (See fig. 34.) 

Fig. 34. Preparation of nectar. 



v. 61 




w. 64-66 

The next verse (plus the following prose) describes the preparation of 
the nectar inside the cauldron. The ingredients are generated from seed- 
syllables and comprise the usual esoteric offerings, namely, the five nectars 
and the five meats, or "lamps" {panca pradipas) . The five nectars are semen 
blood, flesh, urine, and feces, and the five lamps are the flesh of cow, dog, 
horse, elephant, and man. 493 The seed-syllables are not a very stable set, 
and the Advayavajra-based sources, for example, prescribe the generation 
of the ten transgressive substances from the five syllables of the buddhas 
alone. 404 

Our author then describes the cooking process itself. The fire should be 
visualized blazing up and heating the ingredients and turning them bright 
red. The Vajrdvall (seemingly following Cakrasamvara scripture) adds that 
the ordinary color, smell, and potency of the ingredients are removed with 
the syllables ha ho hrih. 495 

Next, a white, inverted skull staff is visualized above the mixture, pro- 
duced from hum. From its contact with the heat or steam rising from the 
liquid below, the skull staff melts and drips into the cauldron, cooling the 
red liquid and turning it white, or "quicksilver," in the process. 496 

It only remains for the liquid to be empowered by the syllables om ah 
hum. These three syllables are generated from the letters of the alphabet and 
visualized above the liquid. The syllables then emanate the deities of the 
mandala into the universe to benefit beings. Finally, the deities are retracted 
and dissolve into the three syllables, and the three syllables themselves dis- 
solve into the nectar below. The liquid is now empowered by the syllables 
and is complete. The meaning of this stage of the visualization is clearer in 
the parallel texts, which imply that the nectars and meats in the cauldron 
are pledge forms, as they require the infusion of knowledge. In the 
Abhisamayamanjari, the three syllables emanate rays rather than deities, 
and these draw out the "knowledge nectar in the hearts of all tathagatas." 497 
The Cakrasarnvara balividhi (based on both male and female deities of the 
Cakrasamvara mandala) reads as follows: 



Xext above that [liquid] , [he should visualize] om ah hum as 
transformations of the vowels and consonants, in sequence, one 
above the other. With the ray[s] emanated from those [three syl- 
lables], using the "method of transferral" (samkramananyayena), 
he should draw down in the form of the three [mandala] circles 
icakrakaram) [the "knowledge" forms of the "pledge" nectars 
nd meats, namely] the "knowledge nectars" and "knowledge 




lamps" (jndnamrtapradipam) of the heroes and heroines in the 
ten directions. 499 Having [caused those deities of the three 
mandala circles] to accomplish the welfare of the world, he 
should visualize them (avalokya) first coming together [in sex- 
ual union] [and then] melting (dravibhilya), and as entered 
accordingly (yathayatham) into those [three syllables] t and that 
in all the oceans t. Then, having seen om, etc. melted in sequence 
(kramavilinam) [i.e., one into the other, and then back into the 
liquid], he should empower [it] for as long as he wishes with the 
three syllables. 

If the nectar had been prepared for an independent rite of tasting nec- 
tar, it would now be fed through tubes of light to the mandala deities, who 
would "taste" it and experience great bliss. 500 In our text (§36), however, 
the nectar becomes the ^//offering, and thus the so-called "tasting of nec- 
tar" has served simply to prepare the offering. 

Bali Offering with Mantras 

§36 The Vajravdrdhi Sadhana now prescribes the method for offering the bali. m 
The first step is to summon the deities to the spot with a hand gesture, simul- 
taneously uttering a mantra syllable. Some texts add that the yogin has an 
upward gaze to the left, so that he projects his powerful yogic stare at the 
deities he wishes to ensnare. 502 The syllable uttered is phet (or in other texts, 
phet or phem), m while the hand gesture is the flame mudra (jvdldmudrd). m 

Fig. 35. Flame gesture (jvalamudra). 

In one Tibetan tradition, the flame mudra is formed by making the trian- 
gular flame symbol with thumbs and forefingers, and splaying out the other 



fingers like flames (see fig. 39; also K. Gyatso 1999: 495). At this point, 
many texts cite a verse that explains that, having made the mudra, the yogin 
"should place it at the center of his forehead and move it around several 
times." 505 This is understood to summon the deities. 

Next, the yogin should generate the imaginary skull bowl that is used 
to serve nectar to the deities. He does this in a sequence that mirrors the 
self-generation of the deity described in the first meditation stage. It begins 
in the same way, with the preliminary worship and mantric contempla- 
tion of emptiness. Then comes the sequence of awakenings. The hands 
are cupped in the gesture of reverence, and these become the sun and 
moon disks (generated from the vowels and consonants in parallel texts, 
as in the first awakening). 506 In between them, the seed-syllable hum arises 
and is visualized transforming into the bowl of nectar. This visualization 
procedure is still followed even in the Cakrasamvarabalividhi, which 
prescribes the use of actual foodstuffs in a real bowl placed between the 
hands. 507 

v. 67 Before the nectar is offered to the gods, our text prescribes the utterance 
of a benedictory verse "for the sake of obtaining the desired siddhi" (cf. 
SUT ch. 8, v. 26). The aim of the same verse in SasVatavajra's Cakra- 
samvarabalividhi is more specific in its application and perhaps makes bet- 
ter sense: it states that the verse is recited for the purpose of "appropriating" 
the bali (p. 57: balisvikarartham) . In other words, the nectar — which has 
been prepared inside a different skull bowl according to the tasting of nec- 
tar — must "belong" inside this bowl (a remark that seems to rationalize 
the appearance of this second offering bowl within the rite). The nectar is 
then offered to the deities of the mandala in the eight directions, passing 
the bowl counterclockwise in the cardinal directions — a prescription pecu- 
liar to the Samvara tradition (it is absent in bali rituals described in the 
Vajravali from the Samaja and Hevajra systems). 508 While the offering is 
made, the yogin must keep the metaphysical basis of emptiness in mind. 
The ontology of nonduality is reflected by the generation of white "vajra 
tongues" for the deities. 
§37 Our text next supplies two bali mantras with which to offer the nectar 
to the deities. Since the Cakrasamvarabalividhi (p. 58) names the deities 
who are to receive the offering with these mantras, we discover that the first 
mantra given in the Vajravarahi Sadhana is for the site goddesses. It is 
recited once only. 
§38, In the same way, we know that the next mantra is for the mandala 

v - 69 leader plus the goddesses on the petals and in the outer circle (i.e., the 



thirteenfold mandala). This is to be repeated five times and is accompa- 
nied by a scriptural verse (v. 69) for the purpose of achieving siddhi (in 
the Cakrasamvarabalividhi, this is visualized with the addition of music 
and betel). 
§39 Our author then names the recipients of the final offering as the ten 
protectors of the directions. The mantra is uttered twice. 

The recipients of the bali offering vary in other texts. In the Samvaro- 
dayatantra (ch. 8, v. 25), it is given to the deities of the three mandala cir- 
cles alone; shorter texts may give a more limited selection (often the 
goddesses of the thirteenfold mandala, or the ten protectors), with or with- 
out verses. In contrast, the ^//offerings described by Abhayakaragupta in 
the Vajrdvali (f. I23r— v) are for many different categories of being, and 
include (1) a general ball mantra serving all beings (sarvabhautika), absent 
in GSS11; (2) ^//mantras begging the beings of the thirteenfold mandala 
to accept the offering (similar to §38); (3) the longer mantra for the site 
deities on the three mandala circles (as given in §37); (4) mantras inserting 
the individual names of the ten krodhas ("wraths"; see n. 513); and (5) the 
mantra for the protectors (as in §39) "outside" the circle of protection. 

As the protectors are offered the bali, they are imagined granting mag- 
ical powers {siddhis) to the yogin (§39). Related texts add that the mantrin 
also sees the protectors experiencing great bliss. 509 This reflects the desider- 
ative function of the bali ritual. The Samaja-based bali ritual in the 
Vajrdvali (SP f. i22r.7ff.) states that the method of performing the rite 
depends upon which class of siddhi is foremost. This will influence the 
time at which the rite is performed, the direction in which bali is offered, 
and the color of the bali offering. For example, a black-magic rite 
(abhicdrah) would be performed at midnight to the south, with black 
balis. 510 A desiderative bali ritual may also be performed on behalf of 
another person. This is described in the Samvarodayatantra (ch. 8, w. i9ff.), 
where the worship of the mandala with food offerings, etc., is performed 
on behalf of a third party (ddnapatih), and the "teacher's assistant" (karma- 
vajrin) 511 therefore meditatively generates the donor as well as the mandala 
(v. 23ab: utsarjayed ddnapatim mandalam ca purahsaram) . The same is true 
in the Vajrdvali accounts, in which the bali mantras from all three systems 
leave the name of the beneficiary to be supplied (amuka-). The Samaja rit- 
ual adds that it is the sadhaka's own name that should be used and not that 
of the third party for whom the ritual is performed. He should instead be 
convinced that he "is" that third party: 512 "Even when offering bali on 
another's behalf, one should just recite 'of me, mine' as appropriate in the 


mantra exactly as it is. And [the ritual performer] should have the firm 
conviction of [the other person] as being himself. Through having the atti- 
tude that 'if he is helped, I am helped,' there is the attainment of benefit. 
Immediately after that he should make the request for him." 

The main function of the balividhi, however, is propitiatory: It is to 
calm obstacles and to appease malevolent influences. This is evident in the 
meaning of the mantras themselves, which focus upon destroying or paci- 
fying negative forces. In the Vajrdvali account, the individual mantras for 
the ten krodhas actually include the name of the person who requires their 
cooperation. 513 This is the function of the ^//offering when it is performed 
as a preliminary rite and when (along with other preparatory procedures) 
it serves to purify the site and to quell obstacles, particularly those of wild 
or malevolent spirits that may impede the practice. 514 The propitiatory 
agenda explains the emphasis in many £4// mantras on the outermost (i.e., 
"lesser") beings of the cosmological mandala. Frequently, it is only the last 
bali mantra (§39: om kha kha khdhi khdhi. . .) that appears in a text, that is, 
the mantra designated in our work for the protectors, overlords of the wild 
cremation grounds. In the Samaja rite, Abhayakaragupta states that after 
all the deities have received their bali offerings, the mandala circle is 
absorbed back into the mantrin, whereas the protectors and krodhas, are 
posted outside the mandala hut in the ten directions, "intent on protec- 
tion and fulfilling desires." 

The fact that the bali rituals in our texts go beyond a merely protective 
function is perhaps the logical consequence of extending the ^/z offerings 
to the complete mandala. The bali becomes another powerful means of 
worshiping deities within the practice of deity yoga for recognized rewards. 
Another feature of the Vajrayogini bali ritual is that actual foodstuffs are 
often superseded by imaginal transgressive offerings, purified and nectarized 
according to the methods given for the rite of tasting nectar. This is again 
symptomatic of an upgrading of the bali, as it transforms the ancient food 
offering into a means of inducing great bliss. The deities so propitiated are 
understood to be all the more powerful in that they fulfill desires on both 
the mundane and transcendental levels. These developments are borne out 
by Abhayakaragupta in a liberationist coda to his account of the bali ritu- 
als of the Samaja, Hevajra, and Samvara systems. He classifies these meth- 
ods as generation-method practices, then adds a final bali ritual to be 
performed according to the superior completion method. The completion- 
method bali ritual intensifies the "internalization" already evident in those 
of the generation method. The visualized forms of the deities are distilled 


in the crucible of pure awareness, and the bali transformed into an offer- 
ing of knowledge itself: 515 

These three bali rituals [of the Samaja, Samvara, and Hevajra sys- 
tems] are within the generation method. In the completion 
method, however, the bali ritual [consists of] an offering of bali 
that is not distinct from the [unique] flavor of knowledge. [It is 
offered] to [the protectors of the directions] starting with Indra 
together with the [mandala] deities, beginning with one's own 
lord of the mandala, whose forms are wisdom and means [and] 
who have been drawn [down] merely by focusing the attention 
on them, with a mind "not shaken" from wisdom and means. 

Rite of Completion 

§40 The bali offering ends with a rite of completion (also taught at §45, §48, 
(§45> and §49), the purpose of which is to compensate for any omission or addi- 
^4 ' tion that the yogin may have accidentally made during its performance. 
(c \ This is an integral part of the ritual system, which is founded on the prem- 
ise that only the correct performance of a prescribed act ensures success. 
Correct performance supersedes all other factors, such as the intention or 
mental state of the ritual performer. If this seems to contravene the Bud- 
dhist canonical definition of action as "intention" (Anguttaranikaya III.415), 
this is somewhat counterbalanced by the emphasis we find in the sadhanas 
on cultivating and maintaining the correct ontological understanding of 
action, with frequent reminders of its basis in emptiness. Thus, the yogin's 
mental attitude is still deemed to be crucial, as he must maintain the cor- 
rect attitude toward his actions, and the texts supply frequent reminders 
of their basis in nonduality (e.g., §36 following v. 6y: pujyapujapujakan 
abhedena pasyei) and frequent injunctions in the course of the rituals them- 
selves to recite the emptiness mantras. 

For the rite of completion, betel and other foodstuffs are first offered to 
the assembled deities all together. Secret hand signals (choma) are per- 
formed, and the bell is rung. The hundred-syllabled mantra is then recited, 
followed by the recitation of an emptiness mantra, and the deities are simul- 
taneously gratified with the gesture of "turning the lotus" (kamalavarta- 
mudra). For this gesture, the sadhaka holds a vajra and vajra bell in his 
outstretched fingers and revolves them with a fluttering motion — a "dance" 



that resembles "a blossoming lotus stirred by the wind." (The bell is another 
symbol of the feminine aspect or consort, and as such is often visualized 
along with the vajra, representing the male aspect.) 516 The deities are then 
dismissed as the yogin moves his arms into the crossed gesture of embrace, 
snaps his fingers (or touches the ground), 517 and then withdraws the mudra, 
while reciting the syllables of dismissal. Finally, the practitioner absorbs the 
mandala into himself. 

External Worship 

§41 The Vajravdrdhi Sadhana now moves on to the external rites of worship 
(bdhyapujd), the essential features of which are (1) the generation of the 
goddess in a locus external to the yogin's own body, (2) her worship in 
that locus, and (3) a rite of completion. Our author describes two rituals 
of worship. The following paragraphs (§4i-§45) give detailed prescriptions 
for the first, and this is followed below (at §49) with a second, briefer 
account, involving the imaginal feasting of deities with food offerings. Both 
optionally involve the "hand worship" (§46). (The parallel texts for these 
portions are cited in full in the Textual Notes to §4i-§52.) 

Like the sadhana meditation, these rites were probably intended to be 
performed three or four times a day. Indeed, the self-generation is the nec- 
essary preliminary to their performance, as they are to be undertaken by 
the yogin in union with the goddess (GSS5 Sed p. 145, K3ir2: vajravairo- 
canlyogavdn mantrt). However, the practitioner of deity yoga may also 
undertake the rites independently from the self-generation meditation, as 
the passage (§41) begins with prescriptions to rise early and to purify the 
place. With the appropriate mantras, the yogin also visualizes a circle of pro- 
tection that imaginally constitutes the ground in front of the yogin as the 
"vajra ground." Next, a mandala diagram is drawn onto the vajra ground. 
Here, the text prescribes a triangle containing a circle, which represents 
the lotus within the dharmodayd, the origin of existents (as in the self- 
generation of the sadhana). In the alternative external worship (§49), the 
yogin draws only the simple (inverted) triangle of the dharmodayd (and 
the shape of the diagram does vary in other texts). 518 The diagram is drawn 
using a paste made of esoteric substances, or failing those, of cow dung 
(and, in the second rite, of wine §49). The nectars are described as a "pill" 
(gulikd; here vatikd or gudikd) made of the five nectars, and sometimes 
called the samaya pill. 519 Elsewhere prescriptions require the yogin to draw 


the diagram "using saffron, bright yellow orpiment, and vermilion powder, 
r with [just] one of them." Other esoteric substances may also be used, 
such as the first menstrual blood of a young girl, a highly valued substance 
in pan-Indian sdkta traditions, or a mixture of blood and onion. 520 The 
yogin draws the diagram by tracing it with the liquid or paste onto the 
ground with the fourth finger of his left hand (§49). According to other 
accounts he does this with an implement such as a golden stylus (GSS35), 
or a brush made of the hair of thieves executed in the cremation ground. 521 
Within the drawn dharmodayd, the yogin then generates the pledge form 
of Vajravarahi from her seed-syllable, vam, which has issued from his heart, 
and the knowledge form is drawn into the pledge form with rays in the 
usual way. Our author adheres to his sequential approach, prescribing only 
the generation of the central deity, Vajravarahi, at this stage. The method 
of doing the practice with the fuller mandala may be inferred (§45) from 
the meditation stages taught above. In contrast, the Abhisamayamanjari is 
faithful to its method of self-generating the mandala in its entirety upon 
the elements and Mount Meru. 

§42 The stage is now set for the worship itself, which constitutes a number 
of different ceremonies. It begins with traditional offerings visualized bil- 
lowing from the sadhaka's heart. Next he makes an actual external offer- 
ing from his left hand of a flower, which has been ritually purified for the 
purpose (perhaps with mantras, or with a rite similar to that supplied for 
the mantra bath). Next the usual mantras for the central goddess are uttered 
along with the eight-part mantra "for praise" (given earlier, §32), and this 
section of the worship closes with a final offering mantra to the eight pro- 
tectors (as in the bali ritual), this time with their names included in the 

§43 Next, the yogin offers a flower to the deities that he has visualized "on 
his hand." This is a slightly ambiguous reference to the hand worship (full 
details for which are only given by the author below, §46) but one con- 
firmed by the parallel texts (see Textual Notes). The hand worship also 
appears in two Nepalese Sanskrit ritual texts of the yoginitantra tradition; 
they confirm its usage in this context. 522 In these works, the opening 
sequence (termed ddiyogd) is similar to the Vajravarahi Sadhana in that it 
includes: preparations, the generation of the mandala and its infusion with 
the knowledge deities (as at §41), the offering of a flower to each deity of 
the mandala with the appropriate mantra followed by the eight-part mantra 
(as at §42), and finally the hand worship (apparently here at §43). 523 The 
practice as described in the Vajravarahi Sadhana (§43) ends with the 


absorption of the deities on the yogin's left hand into himself, which again 
points to the the hand worship. 
§44-§45 The following paragraph continues the worship of the mandala with 
mantras and verses of praise and concludes with the bodhisattva prepara- 
tions. This again mirrors the ddiyoga in the Nepalese ritual texts, which end 
with the supreme worship (it perhaps also overlaps with their mandalddiyoga 
portion, which begins with the brahmavihdras and meditations on empti- 
ness). A rite of completion (§45) marks the end of the external worship. 

Worship on the Hand (hastapuja) 

§46 The hand worship is to be inserted into a rite of external worship in the 
manner just described (§43). Our sources (parallel text is cited in the Tex- 
tual Notes) all state that the hand worship is derived from the Yogini- 
samcdratantra (§48), although this scripture sheds no further light on the 
practice. 524 

The hand worship begins (§46) by stating that the mantrin is "in union 
with his own chosen deity" (svestadevatdyukto mantri), that is, self- 
generated as Vajravarahl. He visualizes her within the festive "circle of the 
assembly and so on" (ganamandalddau) . The gathering of an actual 
ganamandala or ganacakra included a tantric feast at which alcoholic sub- 
stances such as soma were drunk, delectable foods eaten, and sexual yogic 
rites with consorts performed. The orgiastic nature of the rites is explic- 
itly described in the Kriydsamuccaya, for example in its Nisdcakra, which 
recommends eight types of taboo consort — all female relatives. Indeed, 
according to its Ganacakravidhi, "that sacramental circle (ganacakra) that 
is without [sex with] a female partner (prajnd) is a [mere] meeting of rice 
scum" (cited Gellner 1992: 297). 525 In the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana, however, 
the feast is performed imaginally, and the tantric assembly comprises a 
mandala of armor gods and armor goddesses. There is also the alternative 
of visualizing the goddesses of the three mandala circles (whose associa- 
tion with the sites as meeting places for sexual yogic practices has already 
been discussed. 

In the first stages of the rite, six syllables are placed on the fingers on the 
palm side of the left hand. These are the syllables of the armor gods in the 
Cakrasamvara tradition and are represented by the six buddhas (variants 
to the syllables are shown in the footnotes to the translation)^ 26 The San- 
skrit text states that the syllables are placed on the fingers and thumb of 




the left hand, plus their "nails." 527 Sanderson (1999: personal communica- 
tion) notes that in Saiva prototypes, the thumb's mantra is installed with 
the index finger and the mantras of the fingers with the thumb. For the 
nails, one would presumably curl the fingers and run the thumb over the 
nails, so that the sixth buddha (the mantra syllables phat ham) is placed on 
them collectively — much as the sixth kavaca deity is for the "whole body" 
in the armoring. 

Then, in the palm of the hand itself, the yogin sees a lotus with om vam 
on its pericarp, the essentialized form of Vajravarahi as armor goddess. Sur- 
rounding her on a five-petaled lotus (pancadalakamalam) are the syllables 
of the five remaining armor goddesses in sequence. On the back of the hand 
is seen the mirror image of the syllables. As an alternative, the back of the 
hand may be visualized with the three mandala circles (probably indicating 
the visualization of the syllables of the sites, pum, etc., as at §30). 

Table 25. Syllables for hand worship (hastapuja) 







om ha 




first finger 

nama hi 




middle finger 

svdhd hum 




fourth finger 

vausat he 




little finger 

hum hum ho 





phat ham 



Paramds'vdstra 1 
Paramdsva 1 
Hayagriva 1 

Left Palm 


om vam 




ham yom 




hrim mom 




hrem hrim 




hum hum 




phat phat 


smoky gray 


§47 The worship itself (§50) is performed by smearing purified wine on the 
syllables/deities on the hand. This consititutes a transgressive food offer- 
ing so irresistible to the yoginis that they are attracted into the presence of 
the yogin, where they "preside" over him. 

§48 The hand worship concludes with the hundred-syllabled mantra as a rite 
of completion (cf. §45, §48) and verses of supplication that again express 
the wish that the "yoginis preside." The text also tells the yogin how to dis- 
pose of the transgressive liquids that remain after the worship has ended. 
This involves daubing points of his body as he utters the three syllables in 
their inverted sequence: hum (heart), ah (throat), om (forehead). 528 Finally, 
the visualized deities/mantras are absorbed back into the body of the yogin. 

Alternative External Worship 

§49 The Vajravdrdhi Sddhana describes another rite of external worship (bdhya- 
pujd), which is offered as an alternative (athavd. . .) to the previous one (at 
§41). It is conducted along similar lines to the first rite but involves a few 
variations. Here the yogin is to imagine feasting the single goddess 
Vajravarahi with food offerings, but in a different external locus. He visu- 
alizes her within a triangle drawn upon the ground, dwelling in the eight 
cremation grounds. The offerings of food are visualized as the production 
of the nectars and so on, and the beings of the cremation grounds are again 
to be gratified with a final mantra offering in the manner of a final ball rit- 
ual. At this point in the previous rite of worship, the hand worship was per- 
formed, and it seems likely that the hand worship is also intended here 
despite no overt directive, as the final prescriptions (§50) are for the dis- 
missal of the "deity mandala on the hand." 529 

§50 The rite ends with a rite of completion that is very similar to that pre- 
scribed for the hand worship and that states that the goal of the worship is 
for the "deity to preside" (devatddhisthdndrtham). The text then provides 
the option for the external worship to be performed for the fivefold, thir- 
teenfold, or full mandala, according to the sadhana's meditation stages (the 
goal of which would be to induce all the chosen goddesses of the mandala 
to preside). 530 


Internal Oblation 

§51 The final rite described in the Vajravdrahi Sddhana is an oblation (homah), 
and is based upon a traditional external rite of oblation — an offering made 
into fire. In our text, however, the oblation ritual takes the form of a visu- 
alization performed internally, within the yogin. For an external oblation 
ritual within the Vajrayogini tradition, we can turn to the Pradipdhutividhi 
(GSS14). 531 This text describes how the mantrin in union with his deity cre- 
ates a fire pit (v. 5), within which he lights a fire, both by kindling wood 
(v. 7a) and through mentally drawing down the "supreme fire of knowl- 
edge (jndndgni-) oi the conquerors" with the seed-syllable in his own heart 
(v. 6ab). He then visualizes the fire deity in the heart of the fire (the only 
solitary male deity mentioned in the GSS) and his own deity (Vajrayogini) 
seated in its heart. He worships Vajrayogini by making oblations into the 
fire consisting of the five nectars and of scented woods. The Vajravdrahi 
Sddhana adapts and internalizes this kind of external oblation to suit the 
context of meditative yogic performance. Thus we find that the fire pit is 
understood to be the yogin's own navel, and offerings are made to the god- 
dess who is visualized within it engulfed in the "fire of wisdom." 532 

The process of internalizing the oblation ritual can also be observed in 
two other Vajrayogini texts. In an internal oblation described in the Sam- 
putodbhavatantra (w. i8-22ab), the "blazing fire of wisdom" is located 
within the meditator's genitals (while the Vasantatilakd adds that the wind 
that fans the fire is within his feet): 533 

(18) The oblation (homah) should be made into the greatly blaz- 
ing fire of wisdom, with the offering (havis) that inwardly is 
semen [in the central channel, avadhuti,} and [blood in the right 
channel, rasand, and urine in the left channel, laland], and out- 
wardly is [the skandhas] beginning with form. 

(19) [The "outward" worship] of the six sense fields, elements, 
[and] skandhas etc., which have the form of the deities, likewise 
of the dakinis, 

(20) is called yoga worship, since these [deities] are worshiped 
by him. Whereas (tu) [in the "inward" homa], this head skull 
(kapdlam) [where semen (sukra) is stored] 534 is the offering ves- 
sel (bhdjanam). 

(21) The ladle is called rasand; the heart cakra is identical with 


lalana, taught to be the [offering] bowl (patri) (or: the [offering] 
bowl is the mouth), and the fire pit is the navel. 
(22ab) The fire is in the loins (trikati-), fanned up by the winds 
of karma [which are in the feet]. 535 

As this passage shows, the oblations that are to be made into the wisdom 
fire are said to have an "outer" and "inner" value. The "outward" level is 
that of a body mandala, in which the psychophysical body of the yogin is 
identified with the mandala of goddesses. In this oblation, the offering 
consists of the skandhas, which are burnt up as "fuel," 536 while the offer- 
ings into the fire are not to the goddess Vajravarahi but to the buddhas and 
mothers (dakinis) who are equated with the psychophysical organism. The 
"inward" level is that of internal yogic practice, in which the oblation offer- 
ings are understood to be the contents of the three central veins or chan- 
nels (semen, blood, and urine), which will all be drawn into the central 
channel in the course of being offered into the fire. 

In these internal oblation texts, the traditional ritual tools of an external 
oblation rite are also represented. For example, traditional oblation requires 
a ladle (sruvah) held in the right hand, and the vessel holding the oblation 
of ghee ([ghrta] patri) held in the left hand (there is also a larger ladle, the 
sruky sometimes used instead of the sruvah).^ 7 In the internal oblation, the 
ladle and the vessel are understood to be the two lateral channels. Rasand 
on the right is the ladle, and lalana on the left is the oblation vessel (SpUT 
v. i9d: havirbhajanam; referred to in GSSn simply as the "oblation": 
ahutih). This scriptural passage also seems to identify the ritual parapher- 
nalia with yogic cakras, as the heart cakra is said to be lalana (v. 20b). 
§52 The ritual prescriptions of the Vajravarahi Sadhana close (§52) with a 
rite that is concerned with an offering of ball made up of actual foodstuffs. 
(This is probably because the source text continued with a series of exter- 
nal oblation rituals, as shown in the parallel texts and Textual Notes.) 538 The 
bali is offered to the eponymous deity of leftovers, Ucchistavajra (as the 
imperative of the mantra reveals). With the offering of the leftover bali, the 
yogin induces him to preside. This rite appears also in the Samvarodaya- 
tantra (ch. 8, v. 38), in which the remnants of the oblation are offered to 
the spirits (bhiitas) as well as to the god, "Ucchusma." 



Concluding Verses 

vv. The remaining verses of the sadhana append a detailed account of the 
jo-7 6 nature of the eight cremation grounds (discussed above). It is possible that 
Umapatideva's source material included an account of the cremation 
grounds, since the so-called *Vidhisamgraka (Finot 1934) includes the 
Smasdnavidhi by Luyipada. 
v. 77 The text concludes in the proper manner with a dedication of merit, and 
a colophon stating Umapatideva's authorship. 

Edition and English Translation of the 

Vajravdrdhi Sddhana 

by Umapatideva 

from the 
Guhyasamayasddhanamdld (GSSn) 

sri-Vajravarahisadhana by Umapatidevapada 

om namah srivajrayoginyai 

srivaj radevlcaranaravindam {N37r} 

samchinnasamkalpaVibandhapasam I 
pranamya vaksyami yathopadesam 
tatsadhanam t vikramasena t* yatnat I (i*) 

<ghore> 2 smasane girigahvare ca 

srotasvatisagara 3 samnidhau ca I 

anyatra va hrdyatame A pradese 

dhyayad imam yogam abhistasiddhyai I (2) 

vam vlksya bijam hrdi padmamadhye 
bandhukapuspadyutim adadhanam I 
tadrasmisamdiptanabhas 5 talastham 
pasyet samantat sugatadivrndam I (3) 

tadbljarasmiprabhavair vicitraih {K54r} 

sampujya devan kusumadibhis tan I 
krtvarcanam saptavidham jinoktam 
kuryac caturbrahmaviharacintam I (4) 

1 samkalpa] Kpc, N; (sam)kalpa K(mg2), D. 

2 ghore] conj.; omit codd.; Tib. p. 32.3 jigs pa V (*ghora, bhima, raudra qualifying 
* smasane). 

3 srotasvatisdgara] conj.; srotasvatisdra codd. 

4 hrdyatame] conj.; hrdyam me codd. (Tib. p. 32.4: "pleasing" yid du 'ongba'i). 

5 nabhas] Kpc; na(bhas) K(mg); nabhaN, D. 

Vajravarahl Sadhana by Umapatidevapada 

[Meditation Stage i] 

Salutation to the glorious Vajrayogini! 

(i) Having saluted the lotus-like foot of the glorious vajra goddess 
(vajradevl) by which the encircling noose of conceptual thought 
(samkalpah) is broken asunder, I will carefully relate her sadhana 
according to the teaching, f O Vikramasena t- 

(2) In a terrifying cremation ground, on a mountain, in a mountain 
cave (girigahvare) ,™ or (ca) near a river [or] ocean, or elsewhere 
in a place pleasing to the heart, [the practitioner] should con- 
template this practice (yogah) in order to [obtain] the desired 
success (siddhih). 

(3) Having observed the seed-syllable vam in the heart, on the cen- 
ter of a lotus emitting the [red] glow of a bandhilka flower,' he 
should see all about [him] a mass of buddhas and so on in the 
sky, which is irradiated by rays from that [seed-syllable] . 

(4) Having worshiped those deities with manifold flowers, [incense, 
lamps, perfumed powders, and food] 11 issuing from the rays from 
that seed-syllable, he should perform the sevenfold worship 
taught by the conquerors, [and then] he should do the medita- 
tion on the four sublime abodes {brahmavihdras) . 

i Pentapetes Phoenicea (Terminalia tomentosa). Its red flower (bandhilkam, bandhii- 

kapuspam) is one of the commonest similes for the red color of Vajravarahl. 

ii The Sanskrit has "flowers, etc.," a typical abbreviated reference to the traditional 
fivefold offering (pancopacdrab). 


[§i]* tatra saptavidharcana 6 yatha papadesana punyanumodana 
trisaranagamanam punyaparinamana bodhicittotpado 7 
margasrayanam atmabhavaniryatanam ceti. 

etasya papadikadesanader 
nirupanam yat kramato yatha tat I 
esam purastat pratidesayami 
maya samastam yad akari papam I (5) 

{D 39 < 

gurvadibhih punyam uparjitam yat 
tat sarvam evabhyanumodayami I 
krtam karisyami karomi yac ca 8 
sattvdjindh santu^ subhena tena I (6) 

ratnatrayam vai saranam prayami 
sydm 10 dharmarajo jagato hitaya I 
margam jinanam aham asrayami 
grhnlta nathah svatanum dadami I (7) 

caturbrahmaviharas tu maitrikarunamuditopeksalaksanah - te 
canukramato yatha: 

yatha jananam 11 svasute pravrttih 
snehanuviddha 12 niyamena vrtta I 
tatha bhaved yanyasute 'pi tesam 
tarn dvesahantrlm kurutatra 13 maitrim I (8) 

{K 54 v| 



arcana] K; arcana N; area D. 
otpddo] corr.; otpddahK, D; otpddaN. 
yac ca] K; ya ~ N; yatna D. 

sattvdjindh santu] conj.; satvdjindsmanta K, satvd(hn?)indsmanta N; 
satvd* itdsmanta D. (Tib. p. 32.7: sems can ma lus rgyal bar smon, "I pray that all 
beings may be victors.") 
sydm] conj.; syddK, N; sad- D. 

jananam] con].; jindndm codd.; (Tib. p. 33.1-2: jig rten pa "those in the world. ) 
viddhd] em.; vidhd codd. 
hantrim kurutd] K; hantim- N; hanti kuru D. 




[§i] In this, worship is of seven kinds, as follows: [i] confession of faults, 
[ii] rejoicing in merit, [iii] going for threefold refuge, [iv] transfer- 
ence of merit, [v] arising of the will to enlightenment, [vi] resort- 
ing to the path, and [vii] dedication of one's body (atmabhavah). 

(5) The definition of these teachings and [practices] beginning 
with the confession of faults, etc., as it is in the sequence [of 
practice] , is as follows 1 ' 1 — 

[i] I confess before these [deities] all the sins that I have done. 

(6) [ii] I rejoice at all the merit that has been accumulated by the 
teachers, [buddhas, and bodhisattvas]. iv 

[iv] By that good that I have done [in the past] , will do [in 
the future], and am doing [now], may beings become conquerors. 

(7) [iii] I go for refuge to the Three Jewels. 

[v] May I be a king of righteousness for the welfare of the 
world. 540 

[vi] I resort to the path of the conquerors. 

[vii] Accept [it] , lords — I offer my own body! 

As for the four sublime abodes — namely, [i] loving-kindness (maitri), [ii] 
compassion (karuna), [iii] rejoicing [in the attainments of others] (muditd), 
and [iv] equanimity (upeksa) — those are also (ca) [defined] in sequence as 

(8) [i] Just as the conduct (pravrttih) of [ordinary] people toward 
their own son is (vrtta) invariably permeated with affection 



I have numbered the successive stages listed in the prose (§1). This shows that the 
verses (w. $cd-7) are not, in fact, in sequence. However, the stages of the puja 
in sadhana texts are very unstable. 

Literally, "teachers and so on (ddi-). n This refers to the tantric list, "teachers, 
buddhas, and bodhisattvas" (gurubuddhabodhisattva-). 


duhkhat tatha duhkha 14 nimittabhutat 
proddhartum iccham 15 sakalan 16 janaughan I 
aghata 17 cittapratipaksabhutam 
vibhavayet tarn 18 karunam jagatsu I (9) 

anantasattvoddharanam na sakyam 
evam visadasya vighatadaksam I 
kito 'pi buddho 'bhavad ity aveksya 
samjatavlryo muditam vibhavya I (10) 

mamedam asyaham iti pravrddham 
cittam yad etat sa ca moha eva I 
tasyopahantrim aparigrahatvad 
imam upeksam paricintaya tvam I (11) 

pratltyajatvaj jalacandratulyam 
pasyed alikam bahir antaram ca I 
svabhavasuddhadikamantrapathat 19 
sunyadhimoksam 20 vidadhita mantri I (12) 

[§2] tatredam 21 mantradvayam. om svabhavasuddhah 22 sarvadharmah 
svabhavasuddho 'ham. om sunyatajnanavajrasvabhavatmako 'ham 
iti. {D4.01-} 

14 tatha duhkha] N; ^duhkbdK; athdD. 

15 iccham] corr.; icchdcodd. 

16 kaldn] N, D; kdldn K. 

17 dghdta] K; adydta N, D. (Tib. p. 33.3: srog gcod las dang mi mthun phyogs kyi 
bsampa "thought that is contrary to the act of killing.") 

18 tdm] em.; tdK, N; dm D. 

19 mantrapdthdi\ N; mantrapdtK; mantred yd(va)t D {add). 

20 sunyadhimoksam] conj.; s'unya(vi?)kamoksam K; s'unyddhikamoksam N; 
sunyadhikamoksa D. 

21 tatredam] conj.; tatreyam K, D; tatrdyam N. 

22 svabhavasuddhah] em.; svabhavasuddhah N; subhdvasuddhdD. 


(snehd), so they should also have that (yd) [loving-kindness 
(maim)] toward the son[s] of others: you should now (atra) 
cultivate that loving-kindness that destroys hatred. 541 

(9) [ii] He should cultivate that compassion with regard to the 
world that is the antidote to cruelty (dghdtacitta)? [namely] 
the wish to extract the entire mass of beings from suffering 
and the causes of suffering. 

(10) [iii] "It is not possible to extract numberless beings [from suf- 
fering]!" He should cultivate rejoicing that is skilfull at 
destroying this kind of depression, being [himself] one who 
has gained energy [by] considering that "Even a worm became 
a buddha!" 

(11) [iv] "This belongs to me!" [or] "I belong to that!" It is a 
puffed-up mind that thinks so (iti) — and this is just delusion! 
Contemplate equanimity that destroys such [thoughts] 
because it is free of grasping. 

(12) He should see [everything, both] external and internal, as false 
like the moon [reflected] in water, because it is produced in 
dependence [upon causes]. The mantrin should establish the 
conviction of emptiness through the recitation of the mantras 
that have the opening "[om] svabhdvasuddhd. . .. " 

[§2] For this there are the following two mantras: 

om svabhdvasuddhdh sarvadharmah svabhdvasuddho 'ham: 1 


om sunyatdjndnavajrasvabhdvdtmako 'ham: 1 ' 

v Literally, "a mind of striking." 

vi "All existents are pure by nature; I am pure by nature. 

vii "I am identical with the essence of the nondual (vajra, knowledge of emptiness." 


athatra humkaraj avis vavaj ram 
drstva samantat sphuradamsu 23 jalam I 
tenaiva bhumlm 24 atha panjaram 25 ca 
pasyed vitanam sarajalakam ca I (13) 

purvottaradikramato disasu 
sumbhadimantrams 26 caturo nivesya 

tadras'mijalaprabhavan vidadhyat 27 {K55r} 

prakaranamnas caturo bahir 28 vai I (14) 

kakasyakadyah punar astadevih 

sumbhadimantraprabhavah prapasyet I 

humjdstakupesu nivesya mdrdn 

dkotanarrP kilanam dcarantilf Q I (15) {N381:} 

[§3]- tatrami te mantrah. om sumbha nisumbha hum hum phat. om 
grhna* grhna hum hum 31 phat. om grihnapaya grihnapaya hum 
hum phat. om anaya ho bhagavan vajra 32 hum hum phat. 
atrastau devyo 33 yatha kakasya ulukasya svanasya sukarasya 
yamadadhi yamaduti yamadamstrini 34 yamamathani ceti. 

23 sphuradamsu] conj.; prasphuradamsu K; pras - amsu N; prasphura(m<)dasum D. 

24 bhumlm\ codd. (metri causa, understand bhumim). 

25 panjaram] codd.; Tib. translates "walls" (p. 33.6: ra ba), also in v. 14 (p. 33.7). 

26 mantrams] K; mantras r N, D. 

27 prabhavan vidadhyat] conj. Isaacson; prabhavan vibadhydtK; 
prabhavdndhivadhydtN; prabhavandhivandhyatD . (Tib. suggests "he should 
meditate" p. 33.7: bsgom par bya. Cf. GSS35: raksddigbandhadikam vidadhyat.) 

28 caturo bahir vai] em.; caturo diksu bahi vai K; caturo " diksu. bahi — N; caturo 
diksu bahi D. (Possibly diksu was an explanatory gloss that became incorpo- 
rated into the text.) 

29 hum—*dkotanam] conj.; humjdstakupesu nivesya mdran dkotanam Kpc; 
~mdra(ko)n dkotanam Kac.(del); humjdstadevih kupesu nivesya mdrdn dkotanam 
N; humjdstakupesu nivesya mdrakotanam D. (Tib. p. 34.1 bdud rnams = mdrdn). 

30 dcarantih] em.; dcarenti codd. 

31 hum hum] N; hum K, D. 

32 vajra] K, N; vidydrdja D (The reading vidydrdja replaces bhagavan vajra in 
some texts, see n. 300). 

33 devyo] D; devyau K, N, {ditto) 

34 yamadamstrini K, N; yamadusti D. 


(13) Next in this [meditation], he should visualize a hum syllable 
transforming into (-ja) a double vajra, having all about it a net 
of quivering rays. It is with this [net of rays] that he should 
then visualize the ground, and then the domed roof (pan- 
jaram), [then] the canopy and the [outer] shield (jalam/" 1 of 
arrows [as the circle of protection] . 

(14) He should cause the four mantras beginning with "[om] 
sumbha" 'to enter the directions, east, north, [west, and south] 
in [a counterclockwise] sequence; he should fasten in place 
(vibadhyat) four walls that have been produced from a net of 
rays [issuing] from those [four mantras] at the very exterior 
[of the circle of protection] . 

(15) Moreover, he should visualize eight goddesses, Kakasya and 
so on, produced from the mantras beginning "[om] sumbha." 
[He should see them] hammering and nailing down the evil 
ones (mdras), which they have made to enter eight wells pro- 
duced from hum. 

[§3] In this [visualization], these are the [four] mantras: 

om sumbha nisumbha hum hum phat. 

om grhna grhna hum hum phat. 

om grihnapaya grihnapaya hum hum phat. 

om anaya ho bhagavan vajra hum hum phat.'* 

Here, the eight goddesses are as follows: Kakasya, Ulukasya, 
Svanasya, [and] Sukarasya* [in the cardinal directions]; Yamadadhi, 
Yamaduti, Yamadamstrini, and Yamamathanf 1 [in the intermedi- 
ate directions] . 

viii Literally, "net." 

ix "O [demon] Sumbha! O [demon] Nisumbha! Seize! Make [them] seize! Take! O 
Blessed One! O Vajra!" 

x Crow-face (Kakasya), Owl-face (Ulukasya), Dog-face (Svanasya), and Hog-face 

xi Death's Tooth (Yamadadhi, dadha is probably from damstrd, but may also mean 
"wish, desire." The Tibetan text consistently translates Yamadadhi brtan ma "the 
Stable One," as if from drdhd), Death's Messenger (Yamaduti), Death's Fang 
(Yamadamstrini), and Death's Destruction (Yamamathani). 




[§4] atropadesah. vamahastasyangusthatarjanibhyam chotikam dattva 
"om sumbha nisumbha hum hum phad" ityadimantran 
uccarayan 35 krsnaharitaraktapltavarnan patalabrahmandavyap 
jvalanmahakayan <vajraprdkdrdtf> vamavartena purvadidiksu 
yathakramam nivesayet. panjarad bahih 
etanmantracatustayanispannah kakasyadicatasro devih, 
etannispattikala eva daksinavartenagneyyader 37 ubhaya- 
mantrakonasya rasmisambhuta yamadadhyadicatasro devih 
pasyet. {D40V} eta astau dvibhujaikavaktrah. {K55V} atra prastave 
nabher adhah sulakarah, daksine vajramudgara 38 dharah, vame 
atmarupakilakahastah. spharanayogena gatva digvidiksthita- 
sakalavighnavrndam 39 aniya humkaranispannesv astasu kupesu 40 
svamantrasamanavarnaprakarasamipavartisu pravesya 
kilanakotana 41 mantroccaranapurvakam vighnavrndam kilayitva 
kotayitva ca prakaresu liyamanas tah pasyet. {N38V} 

35 uccarayan] K, N; uccarayetD. 

36 purvadidiksu] N; purvadiksu K, D. 

37 agneyyader] corr.; dgnydder codd. 

38 mudgara] em.; mudgardK, N; mudgaro D. 

39 vighnavrndam] K; vrndam N; vighnavpidakam D. 

40 kupesu] em.; kupe codd. 

41 kotana] em.; kotana codd. 



!.. ,J. t 

[§4] The teaching on this [is as follows]: He shoul.J gi ve a snap of the 
forefinger and thumb of the left hand, [and while] uttering the 
mantras beginning "om sumbha nisumbha bum hum phat, " he 
should make <the vajra walls> enter into the directions starting in 
the east in a counterclockwise sequence; [they ,»re] colored black, 
green, red, [and] yellow, extending from the underworld to the 
sphere of Brahma, burning [and] vast. 

Outside the [vajra] zone (panjaram),™ he should see the four god- 
desses starting with Kakasya who are produced from these four 
mantras. At the same time that they are produced [he should visu- 
alize] the four goddesses starting with Yamadadhi produced from 
rays [issuing] from the corner angles of the two (ubhaya) mantras 
[that intersect at the intermediate points], starting from the south- 
east [proceeding] in a clockwise direction. 

These eight [goddesses] have two arms and one face. In this con- 
text, Xi " they are [described as] spike-shaped beneath the navel. In 
their right [hands] they hold a vajra hammer; in their left they have 
in their hands a stake that has their own form. He should visual- 
ize those [eight goddesses] going forth through self-projection [to 
the limits of the universe] (spharanayogena gatvd), 542 fetching the 
entire mass of obstacles found (sthita) in the cardinal directions 
and intermediate directions, placing [the mass of obstacles] in eight 
wells that have been produced from the syllable hu?n [and that are] 
located (-vartisu) near the walls of the same color as the respective 
(sva) mantras [from which they were produced], staking and ham- 
mering the mass of obstacles with the recitation of the mantras for 
staking and hammering down, and [finally he should see those 
eight goddesses] dissolving into the [vajra] walls. 


The domed "roof or (literally), "cave" (panjaram) of the circle of protection is 
that which surrounds the structure on the top and on the sides, and which defines 
the space within. K. Gyatso (1999: 119) describes it as having "the shape of a Mon- 
golian tent." 
xiii The text is distinguishing the appearance of the eight goddesses here within the 
topic (prastdvah) of the expulsion of obstacles from the circle of protection, from 
their later appearance within the deity mandala. 


[§5] atra kllanamantro yatha - om gha gha ghataya 42 * ghataya sarva- 
dustan phat. 43 om 44 kilaya kilaya sarvapapan phat hum hum 
hum. vajrakila vajradhara ajnapayati. 45 sarvavighnanam 
kayavakcittavajram kilaya 46 hum phad iti. akotanamantro yatha - 
om vajramudgara vajrakilakotaya 47 hum phad iti. 

madhyasthitam 48 urdhvavisalarupam I 
pasyet trikonam saradindugauram 49 
dharmodayam raktasarojagarbham I (16) 

tatpadmamadhyasthitayo ravlndvor 50 
madhyasthitam visphuradamsujalam I 
vamkarabijam sphutavidrumabham 
vibhavayet spastataram yatha syat I (17) 

mihsrtya 51 bijodbhavarasmijalat 
krtva janaughan jinabodhibhajah I 
*tatraiva bije <hi> nivesitantar- 
buddhadikam samparibhavayed vai 52 I (18) 


{D 4 ir} 







ghataya] K, ghataya N, D. 

phat] K, N; hum phat D. 

om] N; omitted K, D. 

dhara djnd°] D; dharo djndK; dhardjndN. 

vajram kilaya] N; vajram kllam K; vajrakllaya D. 

vajrakilakotaya] K, N; kilakotaya D. 

tatpanjard-* sthitdm] conj. Sanderson; -jard(r?)nti nirvvisatasmasdnamadhya- 

K;-jard- r nirvvisatasmasdnamadhye - N; -jardn nirvisatasmasdnamadhye- D. 

(cf. GSS42 v. 4b: smasandstanivdsini) 

gaurdm] K, D; gaurlm N. 

tatpadmamadhyasthitayo ravlndvor] em.; tatpadmadhyasthitayo ravlndundorK; 

tatpadmamadhyasthitayo ravlndundorK; tatpadma(ma)dhyasthitayd ravindudor 


nihsrtya] conj.; naihsrtya codd. 

tatraiva bljehi—*vai] conj. Sanderson; - nivesitdr aneka(cdga)buddhdbhikdh 

samparibhavayed vai Kpc.(add); -nivesitdr aneke (b,y?)uddhdbhi(k?)dh 

samparibhdsaye vai. N; - nirvesitdr anekabuddhdbhikdh samparibhdsayed vai D. 


[§5] In this [meditation] the "staking mantra" is as follows: 

m gha gha ghataya ghataya sarvadustdn phat. om kilaya kilaya 
sarvapdpdn phat hum hum hum. vajraklla vajradhara djndpa- 
yati. sarvavighndndm kayavdkcittavajram kilaya hum phat™ 

The "hammering mantra" is as follows; 

om vajramudgara vajrakildkotaya hum phat™ 

(16) Placed in the center of [eight] cremation grounds dwelling 
(-vasat-)™ within the zone (pahjaram) of that [circle of pro- 
tection], he should visualize, with its broad side uppermost 
[i.e., inverted], a triangular dharmodayd, white as the autumn 
moon [and] containing a red lotus. 

(17) In the center of that lotus, between a sun disc and a moon 
disc, he should visualize a vam seed-syllable in such a way that 
it is [all] vividly clear, with a quivering net of rays [emanat- 
ing from it, and] with the color of blossoming [red] coral. 

(18) Having sent forth [the buddhas and so on] from the net of 
rays produced from the seed-syllable, he should make multi- 
tudes of people share the awakening of the conquerors; then 
(hi) he should imagine [Vajravarahl] with the buddhas and so 
forth retracted inside [her] (nivesitdntar-) into that same seed- 

xiv "Kill all evils! Stake all sinners! O Vajraklla! O Vajradhara! — He commands [it] 

for the body-, speech-, and mind-vajras of all obstacles. Stake [them]!" 
xv "O vajra hammer! O vajra stake! Hammer [them]!" 
xvi In v. 73, the cremation grounds are also said to "dwell" Vvas. 


candrarkablja 53 *prabhavam trinetram 
kasmiravarnam 54 dvibhujaikavaktram I 
alidha-m-akranta 55 sirahkucagram 
uttanayor bhairavakalaratryoh 56 I (19) 

patatpravaham 57 rudhiram pibantim I 

*savajrasavyetara /*- w f 58 

bhutarjani 59 tarjitadustavrndam I (20) 

khatvangasamsobhitavamabhagam 60 
vilambiraktdkta GX nrmundamalam I 
nagnam kvanannupura 62 bhusitanghrlm 63 
damstrakaralam vadanam vahantim 64 I (21) 

vajrena visvadhvanipurvakena {N39r) 

krantottamangam 65 cyutakesabandham I 
vaj ravalimadhyaviraj amana- 
lalatapattasthitapancamundam I (22) 

53 candrdrkabija] Kac; candrdrka(vahni) Kpc.(add), N, D. 

54 kasmiravarnam] em; kdsmiravarndK, D; kdsmlravarna N . 

55 dlidhamdkrdnta] N; dlidhamdkrdnta K, D. 

56 rdtryoh] em.; rdtrydh codd. 

57 bhdnddt patatpravaham] Kpc.; bhd(nda) nddta patat (v-). pravdham K(del); 
bhdnde. te patat^ N; bhdmdat patat. pravyaham D. 

58 savajrasavyetara f— " f\ conj. Sanderson; savajravdrdhlmdlyakara prasrtiK; 

savajravdrahi -4- kara prasrti N; savyakaraprasrti D. 

59 bhutarjanl] conj. Sanderson; bhut tarj 'am codd. 

60 vdmabhdgdm] Kpc. (vdma add); (vpiddm) bhdgdm K(del); twwtf -4- bhdgdm N; 

61 vilambiraktdkta] conj. Sanderson; vilambinim rakta codd. 

62 nagndm kvananniipura] em.; nagnd kvanannu- K; nagnd — no- N; nagnd 
vanannaii" D. 

63 drighrim] K; dnghrim N, D. 

64 vadanam vahantim] N; vadana vahantiYL, D. 

65 piirvakena krantottamangam] em. purvamkena krdntottamdnga K; piirvakena 
krdntottamdnga N\ piirvakena krdntonumdrigl D? (indistinct). (Tib. p. 34.6: j«tf 
tshogs rdo rjes dbuyi steng nas mnan par mdzad"z. double vajra is pressing down 
from the top of her head.") 


(19-24) He should visualize himself (dtmatanum) as [Vajra] varahl 
(v. 24c!), who is produced from the moon, sun, and seed- 
syllable [vam], with three eyes, having the color of [red] saf- 
fron, with two arms and one face, trampling in the warrior 
pose on the head and breast of Bhairava and Kalaratri, who 
lie face up [beneath her] (v. 19); drinking blood that streams 
down from the "lotus bowl" (padmabhdndah)™ placed in her 
upraised left hand, with a vajra in her right hand f... /"threat- 
ening all who are wicked with the index finger pointing 
threateningly to the ground (bhutarjani) (v. 20); [her] left side 
adorned with a skull staff (khatvdngah), with a bloody 
(raktdkta) garland of human heads hanging [around her 
neck] , naked, her feet decorated with tinkling anklets, [and] 
with a face terrible with its tusks (v. 21); with her head topped 
by a double vajra,™" 1 with her hair- tie fallen off, [and] with 
five skulls in her headband gleaming in the midst of a row of 
vajras (v. 22); with head, ears, throat, both wrists, [and] hips 
glistening with the chaplet, swinging earrings, charming neck- 
lace, glittering bracelets, [and] girdle [respectively] (v. 23); 
covering the three worlds with quivering rays, with a body 
full (dkrdnta-) of fresh youth, [and] filled with the single taste 
of great bliss xix (v. 24b-d). 

xvii The "lotus vessel" is the tantric term for skull bowl, e.g., HT2.3.58b: kapdlam 

xviii Literally, "having her topmost limb (uttamdngam) passed over (or 'subjected,' 

krdntd) by a vajra preceded by the word visva [i.e., a vis'vavajra]." 
xix Literally (v. 24c): "She is filled with the single taste (rasaika) that has the aspect 

(dkdrah) of great bliss (mahdsukham)." 




samullasadrocaka 66 mekhalabhih I 
abhyullasan 67 mastakakarnakantha- 
hastadvayagranthikatipradesam I (23) 

sphuradgabhastisthagita 68 trilokam {K56V} 

akrantadeham 69 navayauvanena I 
varahikam atmatanum vidadhyat I (24) 

athatra nabhau hrdaye ca vaktre 
sirah 70 sikhayam sakaletarange I 
mantrais tu sadbhih kavacam vidhaya I 
jnanapravesam samaye vidadhyat I (25) 

ami te san mantrah 71 * - om vam, ham yom, hrim mom, hrem 
hrim, hum hum, phat phad 72 iti. ete 

vajravarahiyaminImohinisamcalini 73 samtrasinicandikasvarupah 
{D41V} raktanllasveta<pita 74 >haritadhumradhusaravarnas ca. 

prabhutapuspadibhir arcayitva I 
pravesayet tarn samaye nabhahstham I 
sarpir yatha sarpisi vari vari 75 I (26) 

66 rocaka] codd. (metri causa); roca(ka) Kpc.(mg). Understand °rucaka. 

67 abhyullasan] K; -6- san N; sat D (no gap or marked omission in D). 

68 sthagita] K; stha -4- N; stha " " D. 

69 dehdm] em.; dehan codd. 

70 sirah] codd. {metri causa). Understand sirasi (singular locative) or 
sirahsikhayam (dual locative). 

71 mantrah] conj.; mudrah codd. 

72 phat phad\ conj. ; phat codd. 

73 samcalini] N; sancdlini K; samcdriniD. 

74 svetapita] conj. sveta codd.; Cf. suklapita §46; sitapita GSS5 Knv(mg) 

75 zw7 tvm] codd. (loose syntax for vari varini). 


(25) And then on this [body], on the navel, heart, mouth, head, 
crown, and on all the other limbs, he should establish the 
armor with the six mantras, [and then] introduce the knowl- 
edge [deity] into the pledge [deity] . 

[§6] The six [armor] mantras here are: om vam, ham yom, hrim mom, 
hrem hrim, hum hum, phat phat. They embody Vajravarahi, 
Yamini, MohinI, Samcalini, Samtrasini, and Candika** and are col- 
ored red, blue-black, white, <yellow>, green, [and] smoky-gray. 

(26) He should [first] honor [the knowledge deity] with flowers 
and so on™ that are produced from rays [which themselves 
issue] from the vam [syllable] on the circle [of the lotus peri- 
carp] in his heart. [Then] he should cause that [knowledge 
deity], which is [visualized before him] in the sky, to enter into 
the pledge [deity], just like ghee into ghee, or water, water. 

xx Lady of Night (Yamini), Deluder (Mohini), Agitator (Samcalini), Terrifier 

(Samtrasini), and Terrible One (Candika). 
xxi This is another reference to the traditional offerings. See ch. 3. 



[§7]* jnanasattvapravese tu akarsanapravesanabandhanatosanakarah jah 
hum vam hor iti catvaro mantra™ boddhavyah. 


mantrena sekam dadhato nabhahsthan 
tathagatams tan 78 vyavalokya samyak I 
vairocanam pasya sironivistam 79 I (27) 

{N 39 v} 

*tatrayam sekamantrah: 

yatha hi jatamatrena snapitah sarvatathagatah 80 I {K57V} 

tatha 'ham snapayisyami suddham divyena varina I (27!) 

*"om sarvatathagatabhisekasamayasriye hum" iti. 

[§8] atrayam upadesah. hrdbijarasmina, astabhir yoginibhir yatha 
hltyadikam varinetyantam 81 pathantibhir 
isadavarjitapancamrtabhrta 82 vamakarakapalebhyo* 
nijajnanamrtavaridharabhir abhisicyamanam mahasukhamayam 
atmanam vibhavya, sesambunispanna<m> sirasi vairocanam 
drstva, om sarvatathagatabhiseketyadimantram uccarayed iti. 





mantra boddhavyah] conj.; mudra boddhavyah K; mantra boddhavyah N, 

mantro boddhavyah D. (See Textual Note to §6.) 

dadhato nabhahsthan] em.; dadhato nasthdsYLac, D; ~na(bha)sthds K.pc.(mgi)'> 

dadhatd na ~ sthds N. 

tathagatams tan] conj. Sanderson; tathdgatdn codd. 

sironivistam] em.; sironivestim K, N; sironivestim D. Tib. p. 35.4 gtsug tor nyid 

du "on the very crown of the head (gtsug tor)" 

sarvatathagatah] corr. (hyper.); sarvatathdgatds codd. 

varinetyantam] conj.; vdrine codd. 

bhrta] conj.; bhuta codd. 




Know that when the knowledge being enters, there are four 
mantras [to be uttered], namely, jah hum vam [and] hoh. These 
attract [the knowledge being], make [it] enter, bind [it in place], 
and propitiate [it]. 

(27) Correctly visualize the tathagatas in the sky consecrating [you ] 
with the mantra. [Then] visualize Vairocana on [your] head 
[imagining that he has] come forth from the drops of the 
water remaining from the consecration. 

The consecration mantra here is: 

(27O "For even as the tathagatas were bathed as soon as they were 
born, so I will wash [you], purified,™ with heavenly water." 

om sarvatathagatdbhisekasamayasriye hum™ 1 

In this [rite] there is the following instruction: With [the transfor- 
mation of] a ray from the [vam] syllable in the heart, he should 
[first] visualize himself being consecrated by eight yoginis 544 who are 
reciting [the verse invocation] beginning "For even as..." ending 
". . • with [heavenly] water. " [He should visualize them consecrating 
him] with streams of water, which is the nectar of innate knowl- 
edge, from the slightly inclined skull bowls full of the five nectar, 
in [their] left hands, [so that he is] full of great bliss. [Next], havinp- 
visualized Vairocana on [his] head produced from the remaining 
liquid, he should recite the mantra beginning " [om] sarvatathagatl 
bhiseka etc." 

xxii "To the glory of the pledge [ofi] consecration by all tathagatas!" 



nabhahsthadevlr abhipujayantir 83 
varahikam 84 tarn stuvatlr 85 ca viksya I 
yad vaksyamanakramasadhitam vai 
plyusam asvadanam asya kuryat I (28) 

gatva samastam 86 spharanena kastham 
krtva ca sarvam jagadarthakrtyam I 
bije svamurtim 87 visatlh prapasyed 
*akhedam evam punar eva 88 kuryat I (29) 

atha svacittam sthiratam vinetum 
pasyet susuksmam 89 sphuradamsurekham 
nabhisthacandrarkasamudgavarti- 90 
susuksmavamnadasamucchritaya 91 I (30) 

{D 4 2r} 

atropadesakramalabdha 92 margo 
vibhavanlyo 'nupalambhayogah I 
prabhasvaratvapratilambhahetoh I (31) 









nabhahsthadevlr abhipujayantir] conj.; nabhasthadevibhir abhipujayanti(bhi) 

Kpc.(del); nabhasthadevibhir abhipujayantih N; nabhasthadevibhir abhipiija- 

yantibhi D. 

varahikam] K, N; varahikam D. 

stuvatir] em.; stuvaticodd. 

samastam] em.; samastam K, N; samasta D. 

bije svamurtim] conj.; bijesu murtim codd. (Tib. p. 35.5 has no plural marker on 


akhedam evam punar eva] conj. Sanderson; a khedaparyantam evam punar eva 


pasyet susuksmam] K, N; pasyat susuksmydm D. 

nabhisthacandrarkasamudgavarti] conj. Sanderson; nabhisthacandrarkasamud- 

bhavarti codd. (Tib. p. 35.6: Ite ba la gnas nyi zla kha sbyar dbus nyid du. 

"[being] in the center (dbus nyid du < varti) of the conjoined sun and moon 

(kha sbyar < samudgah) at the navel." 

susuksmavamnadasamucchritd yd] conj. Sanderson; susuksmavamnddasamuc- 

chritddyai codd.; Tib. p. 35.6: bam gi nd da shin tuphra ba las bzhengs pa 

"arisen from the very fine ndda of the bam." 

labdha] K; lartha N, D. 


(28) [Then] having visualized goddesses in the sky worshiping 
[Vajrajvarahi and praising her, he should perform the tasting 
of nectar — for which the method of production will be taught 
below [w. 59-66]. 

(29) Having pervaded all the limits [of the universe] by emanat- 
ing [goddesses in mantric form],'™" and having [thereby] 
accomplished all the needs of sentient beings, he should visu- 
alize them entering [i.e., assuming] a form according to the 
seed-syllable [vam]. He should repeat this procedure until 
he tires. 

(30) In order to make his mind firm he should visualize a very fine, 
brilliant ray of light rising from the subtlest resonance [of the 
visualized syllable] (nadah), [or from] the syllable vam 
[itself], 545 which is located in (varti) the enclosed space 
(samudgah) between the moon and sun at his navel. 

(31) In this [yogic practice], he should meditate upon the yoga of 
nonperception, the path that is obtained through (krama) 
instruction [from a guru], in order to obtain the state of clear 
light (prabhdsvarah), which is (bhuta) the cause of fulfilling 
the aims of all beings. 

xxiii A prose explanation of this yogic practice appears below [§9], 


vibhavanayam parijatakhedo I 
mantri japen mantravaram vidhanat I 
vrksena cintamaninopamokta 93 I 
svayam jinair yasya dasaksarasya I (32) 

{N 4 or} 


tato 'pi khinno vihared yatheccham 94 I 
svadevatahamkitim adadhanah I 
ittham japadhydna^szdabhiyogat 
sanmasatah siddhim upaiti yogi I (33) 

yo 'naratam 96 bhavayitum na saktah 
so 'pi prasidhyed yadi tasya samyak I 
samdhyakhyakale 97 ksanabhavana syat I (34) 

tatrayam dasaksaro hrdayamantrah. om vajravairocanlye svaha. 
asya japavidhir yatha, bhavanayam khede sati jhatiti devatim 
adhimucya, tannabhicandre raktavamkaram nadam va drstva, 
mantram uccarayan, tasma<d bijan> nadad va 98 nirgamavayuna 
devisamuham samspharya, jagadartham krtva ca punar mantram 
uccarayan t sahaiva mala t sutrakarsananyayena pravesavayuna 
tasminn eva bije nade va pravesayen mantri. 99 {D42V} evam 
punah kuryad yavat khedo bhavatlti. {K58r} 

93 opamoktd] K; opamoksdN, D. 

94 eccham] em.; ecchdm codd. 

95 ittham japadhyana-] conj.; itthem jape dhyanaK.; ittham japed dhydnaN; ithe 
jape dhyana D (Tib. p. 36.1: sngags dang bsam gtan "mantra and meditation.") 

96 yo naratam] conj. Isaacson (Tib. p. 36.1: rgyun du); maunaratam codd. 
9 7 samdhyakhyakale] co n j . ; samdhyakhyakala codd . 

98 tasmad bijan nadad va] conj. Sanderson; tasman ndddn codd. 

99 mantri] em.; mantra codd. 



(32) When he has grown tired in the meditation, the mantrin 
should utter, according to the rules, the best of mantras, the 
ten-syllabled [heart mantra of Vajravarahi, §9], which has 
been compared (upamoktd) by the Buddha himself with the 
[wishing] tree [or] wish-fulfilling jewel. 

(33) When he is tired of that, too, he may [end the meditation 
and] dwell as he wishes, providing that he preserves the [con- 
viction of his] identity (aba mkrtib) with his chosen (sva) deity. 
In this way, through constant practice of mantra recitation 
and meditation, the yogin attains siddhi after six months. 

(34) Even one who is not able to practice (bhdvayitum) continu- 
ously may attain success if he performs a short meditation 
(ksanabhdvand)™" in the correct [way] at dawn, midday, and 
the close of day, [that is,] at the times called the "junctures." 

[§9] In this [meditation], the ten-syllabled heart mantra is: 

om vajravairocaniye svdbd 

The procedure for its utterance is as follows:™ When [the practi- 
tioner] becomes tired in the meditation, he should immediately be 
convinced of [himself as] the deity, [and then, on the basis of this 
conviction], he should see on the moon [disc] on his navel a red 
vam syllable, or the [even more subtle] ndda. Uttering the mantra 
[as given], he should emanate the multitude of goddesses from that 
seed-syllable, or from the ndda, with his outgoing breath. Once 
(ca) he has fulfilled (krtvd) the welfare of [all beings in] the world 
[through them], the mantrin, once more uttering the mantra, 
should make [the goddesses] enter into that very seed-syllable or 
ndda [on his navel] with his incoming breath t • • • t in the way that 

xxiv This "short meditation" is probably a reference to the first meditation stage, com- 
prising the self-generation of Vajravarahi alone, without her mandala. 
xxv This rite was described in v. 29 above. 


vayvagiiivariksitimandalanam I 
svabijajanam uparisthamerau 
rathaiva devlm api 100 bhavayed va I (35) 


iti> prathamo bhavanakramah. 1. 

^akinv^dicaturdevls 101 catuskarotamadhyagah I 
♦ciklsvldvastadevlr va, adhikatvena 102 bhavayet I (36) 

vac vl cakratrayasina 103 pracandadivibhavanam I 
scmadvrikam sudhih kuryad iti syat purnamandalam I (37) 
■N\tcv : - 

[§10 : vajravarahlm 

?L- o~ara:?a5cimadaksinadiksthitabhir 
iJ^^rJil^.lkhandaroharupinibhih sahitam bhavayitum icchan- 

ilkir.vadicarurdevis catuskarotamadhyaga" iti [v. 36ab] 

100 .Jc" • „-_-_-* j;r_ .: .:/:>; ' r/°N; devV vi°K, D (hypo. codd.). The Tibetan for 
:~__ • J.— :c-i.jLi "meditate on the goddesses as before, in the order as before." 

r ",r ^ r-.-. r : rzr:*: ./;.; mo mams ni sngon bzhin rim pas bsgom) 

101 cur.--', trr..: .zni zc*zd. ct. below where K reads ° devirhwx. N & D retain the 

z~zsz :- : I ^\ conj. (syncop.); adyastadevi bodhisattvena K; 

~j^ " : : r-:<i.rissrn.-e?ia N; ddi astadevi bodhisattvena D. Cf. §13. Tib. p. 

. '.- tv r.'™~. -z r: ?aong sogs brgyad I de kar lhag ma V bdag nyid ("nature of 

ii:::..* i.e.. iddition-ness > adhikatvena) dam. 

r%n JL-f--^ jc~.: czkratraya(m?)sinaYj, cakratrayamsina N , D. 

\:s~: r-zrt IrS conj.; iccha v (ti)r aha. K(del); icchati tad aha. N; icchatir 

? C: §:;, §:c- cv Textual Note. 




;<?. -: 






(nydyena) one draws in a thread.™ 1 He should repeat [the medita- 
tion] in this way until he becomes tired. 

(35) Alternatively,™" he should visualize the goddess herself (api) in 
the same way, [but she is to be generated instead] upon 
Mount Meru, which is situated on top of the [four] elements 
of wind, fire, water, and earth; [these are] to be visualized 
inside the [vajra] zone, produced from their own seed-syllables 
[one on top of the other] . 

Here ends meditation stage 1. 

[Meditation Stage 2] 

Next: 546 

(36) He should visualize the four goddesses starting with Dakini 
in between four skull bowls, or, in addition, eight goddesses 
beginning with Kakasya. 

(37) Alternatively, the knowledgeable [practitioner] should do the 
extended meditation [with the twenty-four goddesses] , start- 
ing with Pracanda seated on the three circles [of body, speech, 
and mind] . This would be the complete mandala.*™ 1 ' 

[§10] For someone wishing (icchantam) to visualize Vajravarahi on the 
circle of great bliss, accompanied by Dakini, Lama, Khandaroha, 
and Rupini in the cardinal directions to the east, north, west, and 
south [respectively], [scripture] says: "the four goddesses starting 
with Dakini in between four skull bowls." [v. 36ab] 

xxvi GSS5 describes this as like drawing in the thread of a rosary. For a similar but 

extended rite in this Sadhana, see p. 177 above, 
xxvii This verse gives an alternative location for the generation of Vajravarahi from that 

described above in v. 16. The syllables for the visualization of the elements are: 

yam, ram., vam, and lam. 
xxviii Prescriptions for the complete mandala are given in meditation stage 4 below. 


tad uktam - 

*dakinl ca tatha lama khandaroha tu rupinl I 

nyaset padmadisah sthane sarvasiddhipradayikah I (38) 

krsna syama rakta gaura ekavaktras caturbhujah I 

vame khatvangakapalah 105 daksine 106 damarukartrikah I (39) 

trinetra muktakesas ca 107 alldhasanasamsthitah 108 I 
damstrakaralavadanah pancamudravibhusitah I (40) {K58V} 

[§n] Vidiksu <caiva> catvaro bodhicittakarotakah 109 I iti. 

dakinyadicatustayam 110 ratnasambhavamudritam boddhavyam. 

[§12] tatra bhagavatya hrdayamantra uktah.* {D43r} upahrdayamantro 
yatha - 

om sarvabuddhadakinlye vajravarnanlye hum hum 111 phat 

astapadamantras 112 tu yatha — 

om namo bhagavati vajravarahi vam 113 hum hum 114 phat. 

ion vam^-^kapalah} em. (unmetric); vame-* kapalam K; pasakhatvarigakapaiamN, 

100 daksine] codd. (hyper.). A conjectural emendation to dakse is possible, but 

unnecessary in this type of Sanskrit, probably considered scriptural. 
10- muktakesas ca] em.; muktakesa K; raktakesaN, D. 
10S sthinlh] corr.; it^z'/tf codd. 
100 karotakah] conj.; ^rc^codd. (Tib. p. 36.7: phyogs dang bral ba'i mthams bzhi 

na I byang chub sems gang thodpa bzhi I zhespa 0.) 

110 catustayam] em.; catustay dm codd. 

:n hum hum] codd. The Tibetan text (p. 37.1) reads: hum hum. 

111 mantras] em.; mantras codd. 
1:3 vam] codd., omit Tib. 

::-t hum hum] codd. The Tibetan text for each mantra of the eight-part mantra 
reads: hum hum. 



So it is said [in scripture] : 

(38) Dakini, Lama, Khandaroha, and Rupini: he should place 
[these goddesses], who grant all siddhis, in position (sthdne) 
in the cardinal directions of the lotus. 

(39) They are black, dark- [green], red, and white (gaurd), they 
have one face and four arms; in [their] left [hands] they have 
a skull staff and skull, in their right they have a damaru and 

(40) They have three eyes [and] loose hair, stand in the warrior 
stance, have fanged, grimacing faces, [and] are adorned with 
the five signs of observance {mudrds). 

[§11] [Scripture also says:] "In the intermediate directions there are four 
skull bowls [full] of semen." 

The fourfold group [of goddesses] starting with Dakini are to be 
understood as sealed (mudrita-) by Ratnasambhava [on their 
crowns] . 

[§12] In this [fivefold mandala], the [ten-syllabled] heart mantra of the 
[central] goddess has already been taught [§9]. The auxiliary heart 
mantra is as follows: 

om sarvabuddhaddkiniye vajravarnaniye hum hum phat svdhd. 

As for the mantra in eight parts, 547 [it is] as follows:'™" 

i) om namo bhagavati vajravarahi vam hum hum phat. 


xxix (The numbering is mine.) (i) Homage! Blessed Vajravarahi! (ii) Noble invinci- 
ble! Mother of the three worlds! O goddess of great knowledge! (iii) You who are 



om nama aryaparajite trailokyamate 115 mahavidyesvari hum hum 

om namah sarvabhutabhayavahe mahavajre hum hum phat. 
om namo vajrasane 116 ajite 'parajite vasamkari 117 netrabhramini 

hum hum phat. 
om namah sosani 118 rosani krodhani karalini 119 hum hum phat. 
om namah samtrasani 120 marani suprabhedani 121 parajaye 122 hum 

hum phat. {N4.11:} 
om namo jaye vijaye 123 jambhani <stambhani> mohani 124 hum 

hum phat. 
om namo 125 vajravarahi mahayogini kamesvari khage 126 hum 

hum phat. 

dakinyadinam mantra yatha. om dakinrye hum hum 127 phat. om 
lame hum hum phat. om khandarohe hum hum phat. {K59r} om 
rupiniye hum hum phat. 


iti dvitiyo 128 bhavanakramah. 2. 

115 trailokyamate] codd.; understand trailokyamdtar. 

116 vajrasane] GSS5; vaj rdsani GSS11 codd., Finot. 

117 vasamkari] GSS11 codd.; vasyamkari GSS5, Finot. 

118 sosani] K; sosani N; sokhaniD. 

119 krodhani karalini] GSS11 codd., Finot; krodhakarale GSS5. 

120 samtrdsam] GSS5; samtrasani K, N; samtrasani D; trasani Finot. 

121 suprabhedani] GSSn codd.; prabhedani GSS5, Finot. 

122 parajaye] codd.; apardjayeT'ib. 

123 jaye vijaye] conj. (§32); 'parajaye vijaye GSSn coAAr, jayavijayeGSSy, vijaye 
Finot, Tib. 

124 jambhani <stambhani> mohani] §32, Tib.; jambhani mohani codd. 

125 namo] N, GSS5, Finot; omitted K, D. 

126 mahayogini kamesvari khage] K, N, Finot; mahdyogesvari kha(r)ge D(del). 
(GSS5: vajravarahi mahdyogesvari khage - eyeskip between mahayogini & 

127 hum hum] codd. The Tibetan text for all four mantras reads: hum hum. 

128 dvitiyo] em.; dvitiya codd. 


ii) om nama drydpardjite trailokyamdte mahdvidyesvari hum hum 

iii) om namah sarvabhiitabhaydvahe mahdvajre hum hum phat. 
iv) om namo vajrdsane ajite pardjite vasamkari netrabhrdmini 

hum hum phat. 
v) om namah sosani rosani krodhani kardlini hum hum phat. 
vi) om namah samtrdsani mdrani suprabhedani pardjaye hum hum 

vii) om namo jay e vij aye jamb hani stambhani mohani hum hum 

viii) om namo vajravdrdhi mahdyogini kdmesvari khage hum hum 


The mantras for Dakini etc. [are] : 

om ddkinlye hum hum phat 
om lame hum hum phat 
om khandarohe hum hum phat 
om rupinlye hum hum phat 

Here ends meditation stage 2. 

terrifying to all creatures! You with a mighty vajra! (iv) Vajra-throned! Invinci- 
ble! Invincible to others! Subduer! Eye-roller! (Lit: "you who cause [your own] 
eyes to roll!") (v) Withering one! Angry one! Enraged one! Gaping one! (vi) Ter- 
rifying one! Exterminator! Finely piercing one! Invincible! (vii) Victorious one! 
Very victorious! Crushing one! Paralyzing one! Bewildering one! (viii) Vajravarahi! 
Mighty yoginl! Mistress of love! Sky-goer! 


[§13] idanim eva mahasukhacakram 129 purvottara 130 pascimadaksina- 
dvaresv avasthitabhih kakasyolukasyasvanasya 131 sukarasyabhir 132 
yamadadhiyamadutlyamadamstrinlyamamathanlbhis 133 ca 
sahitam 134 bhavayitum icchantam 135 praty aha - 

"kakasyadyastadevir 136 va, adhikatvena bhavayed" 137 iti. [36cd] 

[§14] kakasyadayas 138 catasrah sva 139 namamukhah. {D43V} 

yamadadhyadayas 140 tu manusyamukha 141 dvivarnas ca. eta astav 
amoghasiddhimudritah, dakinyadisamas ca savasanatvam param 
asam visesah. tad uktam 142 - 

*yatha dakinijanasya tatha kakasyadi tu bhedatah I 
vidiksthas 143 <tu> tatha devyo, dvau hi rupau 144 manoharau I 
pretasana mahaghorah 145 sattvarthakaranodyatah 146 I (41) 

129 mahdsukhacakra] em.; mahasukhacakram codd. 

130 purvottara] D; purvottara ca K; puvettira ca N. 

131 s'vdnd] K, N; svdndD. 

132 silkard] K, D; sukardN. 

133 mathanibhis] corn; mathanlcabhis'K, N; mathanicebhis'D. 

134 sahitdm] K, N; sahitd D. 

135 icchantam] em.; iccham codd. (see Textual Note to §10.) 

136 devlr] K; devlN, D. 

137 kakasyadyastadevir va, adhikatvena bhdvayed\ conj. (syncop.); kdkdsyddyas adevir 
va dtrddhikatvena vibhdv ayed codd. (See v. 36cd.) 

138 ddayas] D; dsyddyas'Kpc, N; dsyd(dya)s'K(mgi). 

139 sva] K, D; svasvaN. 

140 dddhyddayas] em.; dddhyddiK, dddhyddisN, D. 

141 mukhd] em.; mukhau codd. 

142 tad uktam] Kpc.(mg2), N; tad ukta D; omit Kac. 

143 sthds] D; sthdK, N. 

144 rupau] K; " pau N; dvayau D. 

145 ghordh] corr.; ghord codd. 

146 odyatdh] corr.; odyatd codd. 


[Meditation Stage 3] 

[§13] Now for someone wishing (icchantam) to visualize the circle of 
great bliss [namely, Vajravarahl], along with [the goddesses] 
Kakasya, Ulukasya, Svanasya, [and] Sukarasya installed at the gates 
to the east, north, west, [and] south [i.e., in the cardinal points, 
counterclockwise], and Yamadadhi, Yamaduti, YamadamstrinI, 
[and] YamamathanI placed in the corners to the southeast, south- 
west, northwest, [and] northeast [i.e., in the intermediate points, 
clockwise], [scripture] says: 

Or, in addition, he should visualize eight goddesses begin- 
ning with Kakasya. [v. 36cd] 

[§14] The four [goddesses] Kakasya (Crow-face), plus [Ulukasya (Owl- 
face), Svanasya (Dog-face), and Sukarasya (Hog-face)] have the faces 
of their names, but [the four goddesses] Yamadadhi (Death's Tooth), 
plus [Yamaduti (Death's Messenger), Yamadamstrini (Death's 
Fang), and YamamathanI (Death's Destruction)] have human faces 
and are of two colors. [All] eight are sealed with Amoghasiddhi [on 
their crowns] . They are similar to [the four goddesses on the petals] 
starting with Dakini, and have the further (param) distinguishing 
feature of corpse thrones. It is taught [in scripture]: 

(41) Just as of Dakini and her crew, so, with some differences, [the 
four goddesses] Kakasya, etc., and the [four] goddesses of the 
intermediate directions with their charming two colors. ^ [All 
eight] have corpse thrones. They are very fearsome [and are] 
intent upon accomplishing the welfare of [all] beings. 

xxx These four goddesses are bitonal as they occupy the corners of the mandala where 
the colors of the four directions meet. 




[§15] asam mantra yatha. om kakasye hum hum 147 phat. om ulukasye 
hum hum phat. om svanasye hum hum phat. om sukarasye hum 
hum phat. {N41V} om yamadadhiye 148 hum hum phat. {K59V} 
om yamadutiye hum hum phat. om yamadamstrinlye hum hum 
phat. om yamamathaniye hum hum phat. 

iti trtiyo bhavanakramah. 3. 

[§16] adhuna sampurnam eva devicakram bhavayitum 149 icchantam v 
praty aha - 

"yad vetyadi" [v. 37] 

cakratrayasabdena cittacakram vakcakram kayacakram ucyate. 

147 hum hum) codd. The Tibetan text for all four mantras reads: hum hum. 

148 dddhiye) K; dddiye N, D. 

149 bhavayitum] K, N; bhavanatum D. 

150 icchantam] em.; iccham codd. (cf. Textual Note on §10.) 


[§15] Their mantras are as follows: 

[gate goddesses] om kdkdsye hum hum phat; om ulukdsye hum 
hum phat; om svdndsye hum hum phat; om sukardsye hum hum 

[corner goddesses] om yamadddhiye hum hum phat; om 
yamadutiye hum hum phat; om yamadamstriniye hum hum 
phat; om yamamathaniye hum hum phat 

Here ends meditation stage 3. 

[Meditation Stage 4] 

[§16] Now for someone wishing (icchantam) to visualize the circle of 
deities actually complete, [scripture] says [the verse beginning]: 

Alternatively. ..etc. [v. 37] 

By the expression "the three circles" [in v. 37] is meant the mind 
circle, the speech circle, [and] the body circle. 



[§17] tatrakas'e meror astadiksu 151 cittacakram astaram nllavarnam 

nlla 152 vajravaliparivrtam, 133 tasya purvottarapascimadaksinaresu 

pulllramalayaj alandhara-oddiyanarbudakhyesu yathakramam 

pracandacandaksiprabhavatl 154 mahanasadhyeyah, 

agneyanairtyavayavyais'anaresu 155 


varidrumacchayah. {D44r} iti cittacakram. khecarlnam 


[§18] tatra bhumivalaye meror astadiksu vakcakram astaram raktam 
raktapadmavaliparivrtam. tasya purvottarapascimadaksinaresu 

airavatimahabhairava 157 vayuvegasurabhaksyo 158 bhavyah, {K6or} 
kalingalampakakancihimalayasamj fiakesu 
syamadevisubhadrahayakarnakhagananah. 159 iti vakcakram. 160 

bhucarinam 161 samgr 










diksu] N; diksuh K, D. 

nila] N; nilam K, D. 

vajrdvaliparivrtam] codd.; emendation to nilavajravalim parivrtam is perhaps 

desirable, but the phrase re-appears below (§18: padmavaliparivrtam; §19: 

suklacakrdvallparivrtarri) . 

prabhdvatl] K, N; prabhamati D. 

aisandresu] conj.; aisdnesu K, N; esdnesu D. 

odra] Kpc, o(dra) K(mg); - mdlava - N; omit D. 

bhairavd] K, D; bhairavlN. 

surdbhaksyo] conj.; surdbhaksiK, D; surd- bhaksiN. 

khagdnandh.] corr.; khagdnand codd. 

vakcakram) em.; vdkcakra codd. 

bhucarinam) K; bhucardndm N, D. 





[§17] Of those [three circles of the full mandala], the mind circle is in 
space in the eight directions of Meru, 549 with eight "sectors" 
(dram)™ blue in color [and] surrounded by a ring of blue vajras. 
On its sectors in the east, north, west, [and] south, in those [sites] 
called Pulliramalaya, Jalandhara, Oddiyana, [and] Arbuda respec- 
tively [i.e., installed counterclockwise] are to be imagined [the god- 
desses] Pracanda, Candaksl, Prabhavati, [and] Mahanasa. 50001 On the 
sectors in the southeast, southwest, northwest, [and] northeast [i.e., 
installed clockwise], in those [sites] called Godavarl, RamesVara, 
Devikota, [and] Malava are [the goddesses] Viramati, Kharvari, 
Lankesvari, [and] Drumacchaya. xxxul This is the mind circle, the con- 
gregation of sky-dwelling [goddesses] . 

[§18] The speech circle is on the circumference of the earth in the eight 
directions of Meru, with eight sectors, red, surrounded by a ring 
of red lotuses. On its sectors in the east, north, west, [and] south, 
in those [sites] called Kamarupa, Odra, Tris'akuni, [and] Kos'ala 
are to be visualized [the goddesses] Airavati, Mahabhairava, 
Vayuvega, [and] Surabhaksi.**™ On the sectors in the southeast, 
southwest, northwest, [and] northeast, in those [sites] designated 
Kalinga, Lampaka, Kanci, [and] Himalaya are [the goddesses] 
Syamadevi, Subhadra, Hayakarna, [and] Khaganana.^ This is the 
speech circle, the congregation of earth-dwelling [goddesses] . 

xxxi Literally, dram means "corner," or perhaps "spoke" if the circle (cakram) is 
thought of as a wheel. 

xxxii Terrible One (Pracanda), Fierce-eye (Candaksl), One Who Has Light (Prabha- 
vati), and Great-nose (Mahanasa). 

xxxiii Heroic One (Viramati), Dwarfish One (Kharvari), Queen of Lanka (Lankesvari), 
and Tree Shade (Drumacchaya). {Lankesvari may mean "Queen of Demons," as 
Lahkesvara is another name of the demon king, Ravana. The Queen of Lanka is 
associated with cremation-ground-dwelling rdksasas and meat-eating dakinls 
whose main dwelling was Lanka.) 

xxxiv Elephant Queen? (Airavati; feminine of Indra's elephant), Greatly Terrible 
(Mahabhairava), Wind Turbulence (Vayuvega), and Wine Drinker (Surabhaksl). 

xxxv Blue Queen (Syamadevi, Tib.: sngo bsangs, pale blue), Good Lady (Subhadra), 
Horse-ears (Hayakarna), and Bird-face (Khaganana). 




[§19] tato bhumitale samudravalaye kayacakram astaram suklam sukla- 
cakravaliparivrtam. {N42r} tasya purvottarapascimadaksinaresu 
cakravegakhandarohasaundinicakravarminyo dhyeyah, 

suviramahabalacakravartinimahavlryah. 163 iti kayacakram. 
patalavasinlnam samgrahah. 


[§20] tatra cittavakkayacakrastha devyo 'nukramat krsna raktah sukla 
aksobhyamitabhavairocanamudritas ca, sarvah 165 pracandadayo 
devya ekavaktras caturbhujah vame khatvangakapaladharah 
daksine kartridamarudharas trinetra muktakesa nagnah panca- 
mudravibhusitas ca kanthavalambinarasiromala alldhapadas ca. 

{K6ov} {D44V) 

[§21] tatah patalatale 'gnivayuvalayamadhye meror astadiksu astasu 
smasanesu kakasyadayo bhavyah. 
sarvasam eva vajravarahyadinam lalate vajramala. 


162 vdyavyais] K; vdyuvyaisN; vdyuvyesD. 

163 mabdvirydk] corr.; mahdviryd codd. 

164 kayacakram] em.; kdyacakra codd. 

165 sarvah] em.; sarvd codd. 

166 astasu] Tib. (p. 39.7: brgyadrnams la); su codd. 


[§19] Then (tato), on the surface of the earth encircled by the oceans, is 
the body circle, with eight sectors, white, surrounded by a ring of 
white wheels (cakras). On its sectors in the east, north, west, [and] 
south, in the [sites] Pretapuri, Grhadevata, 550 Saurastra, [and] 
Suvarnadvipa, are to be imagined [the goddesses] Cakravega, 
Khandaroha, Saundini, [and] Cakravarmini. xxxvi On the sectors in 
the southeast, southwest, northwest, [and] northeast, in those [sites] 
called Nagara, Sindhu, Maru, [and] Kulata 551 are [the goddesses] 
Suvira, Mahabala, Cakravartini, [and] Mahavlrya. 500 "" 1 This is the 
body circle, the congregation of [goddesses] abiding in the under- 
world (pdtdlam). 

[§20] In that [mandala] the goddesses placed in the mind circle, speech 
circle, and body circle are [colored] respectively, black,**™" red, 
[and] white, and are sealed with Aksobhya, Amitabha, and Vairo- 
cana [on their crowns] . All [twenty-four] goddesses beginning with 
Pracanda have one face [and] four arms. In their [two] left [hands] 
they hold a skull staff and a skull bowl; in their [two] right [hands] 
they hold a chopper and a damaru. They have three eyes, loose 
hair, they are naked, and are adorned with the five signs of obser- 
vance (mudrds). They have garlands of human heads hanging 
around their necks and are in the warrior stance. 

[§21] Then, on the surface of the underworlds within rings of fire and 
wind, in the eight directions of Meru, in the eight cremation 
grounds, are to be visualized [the goddesses of the outer mandala] 
starting with Kakasya. 552 

All of the [thirty-seven goddesses of the mandala], from Vajravarahl 
on, have a garland of vajras on their foreheads. 

xxxvi Discus Speed (Cakravega), Khandaroha (literally, "sprouting in bits," also the 
name of a goddess of the cardinal petals), Wine-seller's Wife (Saundini, Tib. 
"wine-seller" chang 'tshongma), Armored with Cakras (Cakravarmini). 

xxxvii Great Warrioress (Suvira), Mightily Strong (Mahabala), One Who Rules with 
the Wheel (Cakravartini, Tib. 'khor los sgyur ma), Mighty Energy (Mahavirya). 

xxxviii For black (krsna), the Tibetan reads "blue" (sngon mo). 


[§22] *atha - 

devatahamkara^/;^ 167 sarvajnataptaye tatha 
devatayogato yojya bodhipaksikadharmah. 
ete punar dharmah saptatrimsat. 

[§23]* tatra caturviparyasanam sucisukhanityatmanam pratipaksataya 
catvary anusmrtyupasthanani 168 * bhavanti. tad yatha 
kayanusmrtyupasthanam dakini, {N42V} vedananusmrtyu- 
pasthanam lama, dharmanusmrtyupasthanam khandaroha, 
cittanusmrtyupasthanam rupini. 

grhitagrahi 169 jnanam smrtih smaranam, tasya upasthanam 
upasthdpakam,™ bahulavacanat antarbhavitanyarthat 171 kartari 
lyut. 172 tat punah purvanubhutasyopasthapakatvad 1 ' 
^/??^^ < g■w«^*vismaranap^atipaksabhutam. , 




bhutendriyasamghatah kayah, sukhadyanubhavo 175 vedana, 
bhutakotir dharmah, pratibhasamatram 176 cittam. {K6ir} tesam 
mayopamatvenanusmaranam, 177 tasyopasthapakam 

167 labbdya] conj. (Tib. p. 40.1: translates dgodpa "to stabilize," i.e., as if reading 
* sthdpaniya); ndsdya codd.; cf. GSS5 K26V4: devatdhamkdratydgdya. 

168 catvary a<nu>smrtyupasthdndni or catvdri smrtyupasthdndni\ conj.; 
catvdryasmrtyupasthdndni codd. 

169 grbitagrdhi] em.; grhitagrahi codd. 

170 upasthdpakam] conj.; upasthanamyakam K, D; upasthdnayakam N . 

171 nyarthdt] K, N; nyamarksdtD. 

172 kartari lyut.] K, N; kartdnyutd D. 

173 purvdnubhutasyopasthdpak<atvdd>\ conj. Sanderson 
purvddbhiitdrthasyopasthdyak- codd. 

174 bhutam] em.; bhiitah codd. 

175 anubhavo] K, D; anubhaiyeN. 

176 mdtram\ em.; mdtra codd. 

177 smaranam] em.; smaram codd. 




[§22] [The thirty-seven factors that favor enlightenment (bodhipdksika- 
dharmas) §§22-29] 553 
Next, in order to establish the ego identity (ahamkdrah) of the deity, 
also to gain omniscience, the factors that favor enlightenment (bod- 
hipdksikadharmas) are to be applied through [the practice of] deity 
yoga. Moreover, these factors are thirty-seven [in number]. 

[§23] [The four bringers of awareness (anu-smrtyupasthdnas)] 554 

[The first] of these are the bringers of awareness (anusmrtyu- 
pasthdnas) because they oppose the four inverted views (viparydsas) , 
[namely: that what is not pure, pleasurable, permanent, or possess- 
ing a self really is] pure, pleasurable, permanent, [and possessing] a 
self. 555 They are four [in number and are embodied in the mandala] 
as follows: (i) bringing awareness of the body, as Dakinl, (ii) bring- 
ing awareness of feelings, Lama, (iii) bringing awareness of reality, 
Khandaroha, and (iv) bringing awareness of mind, Rupini. 

"Awareness" (smrtih > smaranam) means a cognition (jndnam) that 
grasps what has already been grasped [on a previous occasion] . [The 
compound smrtyupasthdnam means] "the upasthdnam of this 
awareness" [where] upasthdnam means "that which brings" 
(upasthdnam > upasthdpakam). The term bahula "in diverse cir- 
cumstances" (in Panini 3. 3. 113) allows this suffix lyut[> -ana] to be 
added in the sense of the agent to this root ("to come forth") in a 
causative sense ("that which causes to come forth") without that 
causativity (ni) being explicit in the form itself [i.e., upasthdnam 
rather than upasthdpanam] . Because it brings back (punah. . . 
upasthdpakatvdd) what has been previously experienced, it is the 
antidote to forgetting qualities of oneself (? dtmagund) [such as 
body, feelings, reality, or mind] 


"Body" (kdyah) is a conglomeration of elements and senses. "Feel- 
ing" (vedand) is the experience of pleasure and so forth. "Reality" 
(dharmah) is [in the sense of] highest reality. "Mind" (cittam) is 
mere appearance (pratibhdsah). [In compound], the bringers of 
awareness of body, [feeling, reality, and mind] indicate a genitive 
relationship, [namely] the bringing (upasthdpaka) of that [aware- 
ness], i.e., recollection (anusmaranam) that (-tvena) those [four 
"qualities of oneself," body, etc.] are [all] like an illusion. 557 


[§24] catvara 178 rddhipadah. tatra chandarddhipadah pracanda, vlryard- 
dhipadas 179 candaksl, mimamsarddhipadah 180 prabhavatl, 181 citta- 
rddhipado mahanasa, iti. {D45r} 

saddharmavisaye srutadyabhilasas 182 chandah.* 

rddhih samrddhih 183 cittasya samadhanam, tasyah pada angani 184 
rddhipadah. chandas casau rddhipadas ceti vigrhya samasah. 
evam vlryarddhipadadisu ca boddhavyam. 185 "rty aka," 186 iti 
prakrtibhavad gunabhavah. kusale karmani cetaso 'bhyutsaho 
viryam, 187 mlmamsatyantavicarana, cittam jiianam. 

[§25] indati jnanam 188 yasmin sati tad indriyam caksuradi. 189 

tatsadharmyat sraddhadikam apindriyam 190 ucyate. tat panca- 
vidham, tad yatha sraddhendriyam vlramati, {N43r} viryen- 
driyam kharvari, smrtindriyam lankesvari, samadhindriyam 
drumacchaya, prajnendriyam airavati. 

178 catvara] D; catvdriK, N. 

179 pddas] N, D; pddds'K. 

180 pddah] corr.; pada codd. 

181 prabhavatl— * rddhipadas ceti\ Kmgi, N, D. 

182 srutddyabhi] K, N; srutd abhiD. 

183 rddhih samrddhih] conj.; rddhi {sal nga?) rddhih. K; rddhipadah N, D. 

184 pddd angdni\ K; pdddngani N, D. 

185 boddhavyam] K; bodhyangahN, D. 

186 rty aka] Kpc; rtha- ty aka Kac; rthaty aka N, D. 

187 sdho viryam] K; sdhd virya N, D. 

188 indati jnanam] K; omit N, D. 

189 caksuradi] K; caksurddikam D, N. 

190 apindriyam] corr.; api indriyam codd. 



[§24] [The four means of mind concentration (rddhipddas)]' 

[Then] there are the four means of mind concentration {rddhi- 
pddas). Of these, (i) desire (chanda rddhipddah) is Pracanda, (ii) 
energy (virya rddhipddah), Candaksl, (iii) investigation (mimdmsd 
rddhipddah), Prabhavati, and (iv) mind (citta rddhipddah), 

[In the compound chanda rddhipddah], chandas (desire) means 
longing for [the development of wisdom by] learning, [reflection], 
and [meditation] 559 in the sphere of Buddhist (sad) teaching. 

[In the compound rddhi pdddh], rddhi means samrddhi, i.e., con- 
centration of the mind. 560 The rddhipddds are the means (pdddh > 
arigdni) 561 of [accomplishing] rddhi [so understood]. The com- 
pound chanda rddhipdda should be analyzed (vigrhya) as a karma- 
dhdraya compound [meaning, the means of mind concentration 
that is desire]. The terms virya rddhipddah, etc., should be under- 
stood in the same way. [The application of the grammatical rule 
means] there is no substitution of the guna vowel [ar in the place 
of r- (in rddhih)] because [it] remains in its natural state by the rule 
rtyakah (Panini 6.1. 128). 562 [In compound with rddhipddah], viryam 
(energy) means mental energy with regard to [the ten] skillful 
actions, mimdmsd (investigation) means the deepest cogitation, cit- 
tam (mind) means cognition (jndnam). 

[§25] [The five "empowering" faculties (indriyas)] 563 

The eyes and other [sense organs] are called indriya because when 
they are present [and active], cognition is empowered (Vind). 
Because they share this character, the term indriya is also used for 
faith, [energy, awareness, meditation], and [wisdom]. This 
["empowerer" (indriyam)] is of five kinds: (i) faith (sraddhen- 
driyam), which is Vlramati, (ii) energy (viryendriyam), Kharvari, 
(iii) awareness (smrtindriyam), Lankesvari, (iv) meditation 
(samddhindriyam), Drumacchaya, and (v) wisdom (prajnendriyam), 


tatra viryam uktam. 191 smrtis cokta. sraddha tu 
laukikalokottarayam samyagdrstau karmaphalopabhoge ca citta- 
prasadah. samadhis 192 cittaikagrata. heyopadeyasyavadharika 
buddhih prajna. 

sraddhendriyasritan 193 dharman yad udanayaty 194 upadhaukayati 
tad viryendriyam. {K6iv} 

vlryopadhaukitasyarthasyasampramosah smrtih. smrtindriyam 
asritan dharman yad abhimukhi 195 karoti tat samadhindriyam. 
samadhindriyenaikagrikrtan 196 dharman yad vidhyati tat prajnen- 

[§26] indriyany eva taratamadibhedena prakarsapraptani balany 
ucyante. tad yatha sraddhabalam mahabhairava, viryabalam 
vayuvega, smrtibalam surabhaksi, samadhibalam syamadevi, 
prajfiabalam subhadra ceti. {D45V) 

[§27] *samyag bodher angani karanani sambodhyangani. 197 tani punah 
sapta, tad yatha samadhisambodhyangam hayakarna, 
vlryasambodhyangam khaganana, pritisambodhyangam 
cakravega, prasrabdhisambodhyangam khandaroha, dharmapra- 
vicayasambodhyangam saundini, smrtisam 198 bodhyangam 
cakravarmini, 199 upeksa sambodhyangam suvireti. 

191 viryam uktam] K; viryendriyam ukta - N, virya(m?) indriyam ukta D. 

192 samadhis] K; samddhiN, D. 

193 s'raddhendriyds'ritdn] conj. Sanderson; s'raddhepayam codd.; cf. Asu ch. 16, p. 32 
(cited in full in n. 565 to Translation). 

194 yad udanayaty upa\ conj.; yady udanayaty upa codd. 

195 abhimukbi] em.; abhimukhi codd. 

196 tat—>aikd] Kpc; ta v t (samadhindriyam) sam- K(mg2); tat samadhindriyer aikd 
N, D. 

197 samyag bodher angani karanani sambodhyangani] conj. Sanderson; sambodhye 
kdrana samyaksambodher angani karanani bodhyangdni K, N; sabodhyemga 
kdrand-^ bodhyangdni D. 

198 sam] N, D; sa K. 

199 cakravarmini] K, N; cakravarmani D . 


Of these, "energy" has [already] been discussed [under virya 
rddhipddah, §24]; "awareness" too has been discussed [under 
smrtyupasthdnam, §23]. As for "faith," this is clarity of mind (citta- 
prasddah) in respect of the correct view in its worldly and supra- 
mundane [sense] , and in respect of the experience of the fruits of 
one's actions. "Meditation" is one-pointedness of mind. "Wisdom" 
is understanding what is to be abandoned and what is to be 
taken up. 564 

The faculty of energy is that which "presents" (uddnayati > 
upadhaukayati) those existents (dharmas) that rest on the faculty 
of faith. Awareness (smrtih) is the nondestruction of things (arthah) 
[i.e., existents] presented by [the faculty of] energy. The faculty of 
meditation is that which makes actual those existents that rest on 
the faculty of awareness. The faculty of wisdom is that which 
imbues (vidhyati) those existents that have been brought into focus 
(ekdgrlkrta) through the faculty of meditation. 


[§26] [The five powers (balas)} 

These same faculties, when they have reached their highest degree 
through gradual intensification, are called the "powers" (balas). %G 
Accordingly, (i) the power of faith (sraddhdbalam) is Mahabhairava, 
(ii) the power of energy (viryabalam), Vayuvega, (iii) the power of 
awareness (smrtibalam), Surabhaksi, (iv) the power of meditation 
(samddhibalam), Syamadevi, and (v) the power of wisdom 
(prajridbalam), Subhadra. 

[§27] [The seven causes of complete enlightenment (sambodhyarigas)] 567 
[The next elements in the list of thirty-seven are] the sambo- 
dhyarigas, the causes (arigdni > kdrandni) of complete enlighten- 
ment (sambodhih > samyag bodhih). They are seven [in number] : 
(i) meditation (samddhisambodhyarigam), which is Hayakarna, (ii) 
energy (viryasambodhyarigam), Khaganana, (iii) joy (pritisambodh- 
yarigam), Cakravega, (iv) serenity (prasrabdhisambodhyarigam), 
Khandaroha, (v) investigation of dharmas (dharmapravicayasam- 
bodhyarigam), Saundini, (vi) awareness (smrtisambodhyarigam), 
CakravarminI, and (vii) equanimity (upeksdsambodhyarigam), 


samadhis' cittaikagrata. 200 sa casau bodhyangam ceti vigrhya 
samasah. {N43V} evam <virya>sambodhyangadisu 201 boddha- 
vyam. {K62r} kausidyanavakasam 202 * viryam. manaso dharmai- 
kagrata pritih. atmatmiyadi 203 vasanocchedat 204 kayavakcittanam 
kusale karmani 205 saktatvam prasrabdhih. dharmanam 
nairatmyarupenavadharanam dharmapravicayah. 206 

sakalasatt^arthanimitta 207 sambodhipranidhanasrutacintabhavana- 
der asampramosah smrtih. audasinyacittatopeksa. 

[§28] klesavaranasya pratipaksabhutatvad aryani samyagdrstyadiny 
astangani yasya sa aryastango 208 margah. 

jneyavarana 209 prahanabhavanayai mrgyate 'nvisyate, iti margah. 
asyangani yatha samyagdrstir 210 mahabala, samyaksamkalpas 
cakravartinl, {D46r} samyagvag mahavirya, samyakkarmantah 
kakasya, samyagajiva ulukasya, samyagvyayamah svanasya, 
samyaksmrtih sukarasya, samyaksamadhir bhagavati vajravarahi. 

tatra buddhavakye paramagauravam samyagdrstih. prarabdhasya 
krtyasyaparityagah samyaksamkalpah. sattvarthavisamvadakam 211 
vacanam samyagvak. {K62v} dasakusalanatikramena krtyam 
samyakkarmantah. nyayarjitavittenajivanam 212 samyagajivah. sva- 
pararthasampannimittam kayavanmanasam karma 
samyagvyayamah. buddhavacananusmaranam samyaksmrtih. 
s'rivajravarahirupalambanam samyaksamadhih. {N44r} 

200 samadhis cittaikagrata] em.; samadhicittekdgrata K, samddhicitta**ata~N; 
samadhicitakaya D. 

201 <virya>sambodhyangddisu\ conj.; sambodhyangddisu K, N; sambodhyanganidisu D. 

202 kausidyanavakasam\ N.; kausidyenavakasam D; kosidyavakasam K. 

203 dtmdtmiyddi] em.; dtmd dtmiyddi codd. 

204 occheddt] conj.; occhedakdt codd. 

205 kusale karmani] K; kusaladharmani N, D. 

206 dbarma] em.; pradharma K; pra " rmma N, pratidharma D. 

207 nimitta] em.; nimittam codd. 

208 aryastango] K, N; drydstdngdni D. 

209 jneydvarana] K; yo jneyavarana N; yogeydvarana D. 

210 drstir] K, N; drsti D. 

211 visamvddakam] K; visamvodakamN; visamvadarakam D . 

212 nyayarjitavittenajivanam] K; nyayorjitacittend^ N, D. 


Meditation (samadhih) is one-pointedness of mind. Samadhibodh- 
yanga, the cause of complete enlightenment that is meditation, is 
to be analyzed (vigrhya, cf. §24) as a karmadharaya compound. The 
same [type of compound] is to be understood in relation to the 
cause of complete enlightenment that is energy, and so on. 
"Energy" gives no opportunity for sluggishness. "Joy" is the state 
of focusing the mind on dharmas. "Serenity" is the adherence of 
body, speech, and mind to [the ten] good actions because of the 
cutting off of latent impressions (vasana), such as those related to 
[the ideas of] self and ownership. The investigation of existents 
{dharmas) is ascertaining that existents are by nature without self. 
"Awareness" is not losing hold of [one's] learning, reflection, and 
meditation, [nor of one's] vow to attain enlightenment caused by 
[one's desire for] the welfare of the entire [mass of] beings. "Equa- 
nimity" is the state of having [one's] mind uninvolved. 

[§28] [The eight factors of the path (astangamarga)] 

In the term aryastango margah (the path having eight noble fac- 
tors), the word margah (path) is qualified by the bahuvrihi adjec- 
tive, aryastango ([that] whose eight factors are noble). This refers 
to the fact that the path has eight (asta-) factors that promote it 
(angani), namely right view and so on. These factors are termed 
arya (noble) because they oppose the barrier of the defilements 
(klesavaranam). The word marga (path) is from the verb Vmrg" to 
seek" as it is that which is sought (mrgyate > anvisyate) as the means 
of accomplishing [the stage of] meditation through which one may 
remove the barrier of [the perception of] objects [as other than 
consciousness] (jneydvaranam). 568 

The factors of that [eightfold path] are as follows: (i) right view 
(samyagdrstih) is Mahabala, (ii) right resolve (samyaksamkalpah), 
Cakravartini, (iii) right speech (samyagvak), Mahavirya, (iv) right 
action (samyakkarmantah), Kakasya, (v) right livelihood (samyaga- 
jivah), Ulukasya, (vi) right effort (samyagvyayamah), Svanasya, (vii) 
right mindfulness (samyaksmrtih), Sukarasya, and (viii) right med- 
itation (samyaksamadhih), the goddess Vajravarahl. 

Of these, right view is supreme respect for the Buddha's word; right 
resolve is not giving up a task that has been begun; right speech is 



[§29] ragadayah samyak prahlyante ebhir 213 iti krtva samyakprahanani 
catvari, tad yatha anutpannanam kusalanam dharmanam 
utpadanam yamadadhi, 214 utpannanam kusalanam 215 dharmanam 
raksanam yamaduti. utpannanam akusalanam dharmanam 
prahanam 216 yamadamstrinl, 217 anutpannanam akusalanam 
dharmanam anutpadanam yamamathani ceti. 

athatah 218 sampravaksyami kayamandalam uttamam I 
pithadikramayogena das'abhumivis'uddhitah I (42) 

[§30] 219 pu ja o a go ra de ma ka o tri ko ka la ka hi pre gr sau su na si 
ma ku. ity agamah. {D46V} atrarthah, pulliramalayadlnam 2 
adyaksarani </?« : /^>-ityadini 221 sanusvarany uccaryante. 222 
pumkaradyaksaraparinatani {K631:} agre s'unyani cakrani, 
pulllramalayadini plthadisthanani s'irahprabhrtini jhatiti 
boddhavyani. tesu 223 s'irahprabhrtisv 224 avasthita nadyah, 223 
pracandadidevataparinamena vyavasthita bhavya iti. 


■\ 1 

213 ebhir] Kac; ebhi"(vi)r K(mgz), N(mgi); evirD. 

214 yamadadhi] K; yamada(d?)i N; yamadddi D. 

215 kusalanam] N, D; kus'aldm K. 

216 prahanam] corr.; prahana N; nasanam Kmg; omit D. 

217 yamadamstrint] K, N; yamadustri D. 

218 athatah] K, N; atha D. 

219 pu^ku] K, N; pum-*kum D. 

220 pulliramalayadinam] K; pulliramalaye. dinam N, D. 

221 <pu-jd>-ityddim] conj.; ityddiniK, N; ityddiniD. 

iiz sanusvarany uccaryante] K; sdnu - ranicchdyante N; Idnugdranyic codyante D. 

223 tesu] K; teN, D. 

224 s'irahprabhrtisv] Kpc; (s'irah)prabhrtisvK(mgi); s'irahprabhrti ty'N; sirah- 
prabhiti vy°D. 

225 nddyah] K; na - h N; ndmah D. 


speech that is not contradictory to the welfare of beings; right action 
is an act [performed] without transgressing the ten virtuous acts; 
right livelihood is supporting oneself with income (vittam) that has 
been honestly acquired; right effort is bodily, spoken, or mental 
action that aims at fulfilling the welfare of oneself and others; right 
mindfulness is recollection of the word of the Buddha; right med- 
itation is assuming the form of Vajravarahi. 

[§29] [The four means of complete abandonment (samyakprahdnas)]™ 
[Then] there are the samyakprahdnas, "the means of complete aban- 
donment," passion and the other [defilements] being what is com- 
pletely abandoned. They are four [in number] : (i) The giving rise 
to skillful dharmas that have not [yet] arisen, which is Yamadadhl, 
(ii) the protection of skillful dharmas that have [already] arisen, 
Yamaduti, (iii) the abandoning of unskillful dharmas that have 
[already] arisen, Yamadamstrini, and (iv) the nonarising (anut- 
padanam) of unskillful dharmas that have not [yet] arisen, Yama- 

[The body mandala (kdyamandala)} 

(42) Now I shall teach the highest body mandala; [I will do this] 
through the sequence that begins with the sites (pithddi), xxxix 
with their purifying correspondences (visuddhita-) for the ten 
stages (dasabhumi-). 

[§30] Scripture relates: 


puja a go ra de ma ka tri ko ka la ka hi pre gr sau su 
na si ma ku 

xxxix The meaning of the abbreviation pithadi is expanded upon in the prose below 
(§30) and the following verses (w. 43-53). It indicates the correlations of the 
twenty-four sites with the twenty-four goddesss of the three mandala cakras of 
body, speech, and mind. These are further equated with points on the yogin- 
deity's body. Table 23 gives a summary of the following correspondences. 



pulliramalaye candam prapurvam 226 sirasi sthitam I 
jalandhare sikhayam tu candakslm paribhavayet I (43) 

daksinakarnato dhyayad 227 oddiyane prabhavatim I 
arbude sirasah prsthe mahanasam vibhavayet I (44) 

iti pitham pramudita bhumih. 


vame godavari karne 228 vlramatim vicintayet I 
ramesvare ca bhrumadhy^ kharvarim pasya samsthitam 
caksurdvaye ca devinam kote lankesvarim imam I (45) 


skandhadvaye samakhyatam malavadesasamjnakam 2 
tatra vai cintayet devlm 231 drumacchayeti namikam I (46) 





prapiirvdm] K, N; prapurna D. 

dhydydd\ em.; dhyeydd codd. 

vdme godavari karne] codd. (loose Sanskrit). Understand vame goddvarydm 

karne, or an infelicitous karmadhdraya, "goddvari-karne. " 

ca bhriimadhye] conj.; bhrumadhyeYc, t?hru(tdr)madhyeN, rdmesvaramadhyeD. 

malavadesasamjnakam] conj.; mdlavam vesasamjnakam codd.; Tib. p. 41.7: 

dpung mgo g.yas dangg.yon pa nyid I ma la ba zhes by a ba ste "The right and left 

upper-arms (no case) known as (zhes bya ba) Malava (short a-)." 

devlm] em.; ^mcodd. 




The meaning here is that the first syllables of [the sites] beginning 
with Pulliramalaya, pu, ja, etc., are [to be] pronounced adding a 
nasal ending (anusvarah) [i.e.,pum,jdm, etc.]. One is to understand 
the syllables pum, etc., transforming into [twenty-four] empty cir- 
cles in front [of one], simultaneously [perceived to be identical 
with] the places beginning with the sites, Pulliramalaya etc., [which 
are themselves understood] as [the points on the body] starting 
with the head. [Finally] one imagines that the goddesses Pracanda 
and so forth [reside in the sites, and that they] have transformed 
into the channels (nddis) [that issue] within those [points on the 
body] starting with the head. [As follows:] 

(43) One should visualize Pracanda* 1 in Pulliramalaya in one's 
head, 571 Candaksi in Jalandhara at the crown (sikhd). 

(44) On the right ear he should imagine Prabhavati in Oddiyana; 
in Arbuda, on the back of the head (sirasah prsthe), 572 he 
should visualize Mahanasa. 

These are the sites {pithas) [that correspond with] the [first bodhi- 
sattva] stage (bhilmih), "joyful" (pramuditd)^ 

(45) On the left ear in Godavari he should visualize Viramati; and 
in Ramesvara, the point between the eyebrows (bhrumadhye), 
see Kharvari positioned; and on the two eyes (caksurdvaye) b7i 
in Devikota, Lankes'vari. 

(46) On the two shoulders (skandhadvaye)' 7 ^ is the place known as 
Malava; just there, he should imagine the goddess named 


Literally, "[The goddess called] Candd preceded by Pra-. n 
Literally, "Thus the site, joyful stage." The twenty-four sites, Pulliramalaya, etc., 
are further divided into ten kins of "places": pithas, upapithas, ksetras, upaksetras, 
chandohas, upacchandohas, meldpakas, upameldpakas, smasanas, and upasmasanas. 
These are now equated with the ten bodhisattva states {bhumis). Umapatideva 
gives the fifth and sixth bhumis as sudurjayd and abhimukhi° y which, according 
to the Dasabhumikasutra (Dayal 1932: 283-91), is in reverse order. The text for 
the eighth bhumi (acala°), has dropped out, as shown in Textual Note to <v. 
5ii>. The places are also shown in table 23. 


ity upapltham vimala bhumih. 


kaksayoh kamarupe tu dhyayad airavatim imam I 
odre 233 stanadvaye devim mahabhairavikam tatha I (47) 

iti ksetram prabhakari bhumih. 

nabhau trisakunau pasyed vayuvegam sphuraddyutim I {K63V} 
kosale nasikagre tu surabhakslm imam tatha I (48) 

ity upaksetram arcismati bhumih. 

kalinge vadane devim syamakhyam tu vibhavayet I {D471;) 

lampake kanthadese tu subhadram devatim tatha I (49) 

iti chandoho 'bhimukhi bhumih. 

kancyam tu hrdaye devim hayakarnam vibhavayet I 
medhre m himalaye sthane khagananam imam tatha I (50) 

iti upacchandohah 235 sudurjaya bhumih. 

pretapuryam smarel 236 linge cakravegam lasad 237 dyutim I 
ya grhadevata tasyam gude syat khandarohika 238 I (51) 

232 vimala bhumih] K; prabhakari bhumih N; vimala bhumih D. 

233 odre] K, N; om D. 

234 medhre] medreK, N; medra D, Tib. p. 42.3: mdoms "groin." 

235 upacchandohah] N; upacchandoha K, D. 

236 smarel] em.; smareK, N; smara D. 

237 lasad] em.; lasata codd. 

238 khandarohika] em.; khandarohikam codd. 


These are the secondary sites (upapithas), the [second bodhisattva] 
stage, "stainless" (vimald). 

(47) In the two armpits (kaksayoh), 575 in Kamarupa, he should 
imagine Airavati; similarly in Odra, on the two breasts, the 
goddess Mahabhairavika. 

These are the fields (ksetras), the [third bodhisattva] stage, "illu- 
minating" (prabhdkari). 

(48) On the navel in Tris'akuni, he should see Vayuvega of scin- 
tillating light (sphuraddyutim); and similarly in Kos'ala, on the 
tip of the nose, Surabhaksi. 

These are the secondary fields (upaksetras), the [fourth bodhisattva] 
stage, "blazing" (arcismati). 

(49) In Kalinga, on the mouth (vadane)? 7G he should visualize the 
goddess called Syama; and similarly in Lampaka, at the throat, 
the deity Subhadra. 

These are the chandohas, the [fifth bodhisattva] stage, "confident 
approach" (abhimukhi).^ 1 

(50) In Kaiici, at the heart, he should visualize the goddess 
Hayakarna; similarly on the penis (medhref 11 in Himalaya, 

These are the secondary chandohas (upacchandohas), the [sixth 
bodhisattva] stage, "invincible" (sudurjayd). 

(51) In Pretapuri (pretapuryam), 578 on the sexual organ, he should 
recollect Cakravega, of glistening light (lasaddyutim); in that 
[site] that is Grhadevata, in the anus, should be Khanda- 

xlii Literally, "turning toward," but also confidence in, firm belief, or conviction. 
Note that, traditionally, the fifth bhumi is sudurjayd, which is followed by 
abhimukhi as the sixth. 



iti melapako durangama bhumih. 

<v. 5ii>* 

nagare 'ngulikasv esa suvlra nama yogini I 

sindhau tatpadayoh prsthe 239 yoginim tarn mahabalam I (52) 

{N 45 r} 

iti smasanam sadhumati bhumih. 

marav 240 angusthayor dhyayad yoginim cakravartinim I 
kulatayam mahavirya janudvaye mata tatha I (53) 

ity upasmasanam dharmamegha bhumih. 

(v. 54)* 

kakasyadya 241 mukhe nabhau linge gude kramat sthitah I 
urnakarnaksinase tu yamadadhyadayas 242 tatha I (55) {K641:} 

239 prsthe] N, D; prstha K. 

240 marav] K, N; merav D. 

241 kakasyadya] K, N; kakasyddi D. 

242 yamadadhya] K; yamadddydN, D. 


These are the meldpakas, the [seventh bodhisattva] stage, "far-going" 

(5ii) <In Saurastra, on the two thighs, he should visualize the god- 
dess Saundini; and similarly in Suvarnadvipa, on the two 
shanks, the goddess CakravarminL> 

<These are the secondary meldpakas (upameldpakas) , the eighth 
bodhisattva stage, "immoveable" (acald).> 

(52) In Nagara, on the fingers and toes (angulikdsu) 579 [is] this 
yogini called Suvlra; in Sindhu, on the back of the two feet, xllil 
that yogini Mahabala. 

These are the cremation grounds (smasdnas), the [ninth bodhi- 
sattva] stage, "good [thoughts]" (sddhumati). 


(53) In Maru, on the thumbs and toes (angusthayoh),™ 1 he should 
imagine the yogini CakravartinI; similarly Mahavirya is con- 
sidered [to be] in Kulata on the two knees. 

These are the secondary cremation grounds (upasmasdnas) , the 
[tenth bodhisattva] stage, "cloud of Dharma" (dharmameghd). 

(54) xl,v 

(55) Kakasya, [Ulukasya, Svanasya, and Sukarasva] are placed on 
the mouth, navel, sexual organ, [and] anus respectively; and 
similarly, Yamadadhl, [Yamaduti, Yamadamsrrini, and Yama- 
mathani] are on the hair-curl between the eyebrows, the ears, 
the eyes, [and] the nose. 

xliii The "back" of the foot is the upper part above the toes, opposite to the sole 

(equivalent to the "back" of the hand), 
xliv This verse seems to be an incorrect marginal insertion in ~s. K. See Textual 



dakinyadyas caturdevyo hrdayam 243 asritya samsthitah I 

iti sampurnam 244 sada bhavyam kayamandalam uttamam I (56) 

[§31] * bahye 245 pithadisu nadyd 1 ^ yatha toyena posanam 247 kurvanti 
tatha dehe nadyo 248 sravantyo nakhadikam posayanti. bahye 
vajrapitham mahabodhisthanam, 249 niranjana 250 nadi, dehe tu 
mahasukhacakram vajrapitham 251 avadhuti niranjaneti matam. 

{D 47 v} 

[§32] idanim devatanam mantra 252 ucyante. tatra vajravarahya hrdayopa- 
hrdayastapada 253 mantra uktah. mulamantras tv asyah 254 kathyate: 

om namo bhagavati vajravarahi vam - aparajite 255 trailokyamate 
mahavidyesvari - sarvabhutabhayavahe mahavajre - vajrasani 
ajite 'parajite 256 vasamkari netrabhramini 257 - sosani rosani 258 
krodhani karalini - samtrasani 259 {N45V} marani suprabhedani 
parajaye 260 - jaye vijaye jambhani stambhani mohani — 
vajravarahi mahayogini kamesvari khage - 

243 hrdayam] K, N (hyper.); hrdayem D. (One could emend to hrdam, but the fol- 
lowing pdda is also hypermetrical, and neither fault is in the even pdda.) 
f 244 sampurnam] em.; sampurna codd. 

** 245 bahye] K, N; bahya D. 

4; 246 nddyd] conj.; nddyoK; ndnyoN, D. 

247 posanam] K; to(va?)nam N; tosanam D. 

248 nadyo] conj. Isaacson; nddyahYc, ndnyah- N, D. (cf. GSS5 K28V6 in Textual 

249 mahabodhisthanam] K; mahdbodhisthdna N, D. 

250 niranjana\ K, N; nirasandD. 

251 vajrapitham] em.; (vajra)pitham azK(mg2), codd. 

252 mantra] K, N; mantra D. 

253 hrdayopahrdaydsta] conj.; dayopahrdayddyasta codd. (For the omission of ddi'm 
the compound, see the Translation and explanations of the mantras.) 

254 mulamantras tv asyah] corr.; mulamantra tv asyah K; mulamantra tasydh N; 
mulamantra tv asyd D. 

255 aparajite] codd.; arydpardjite Tib. 

256 ajite parajite] corr. (as for eight-part mantra §12, codd.); ajite (aparajite) 
K(mg2); ajiteYizc, N, D. 

257 bhrdmini] corr.; cf. §12, GSS5; bhrdmani codd. 

258 s'osani rosani] codd.; visani sosani rosani Tib. 

259 samtrasani] corr.; samtrdsiniK, N; samtrasani D. 

260 suprabhedani parajaye] codd.; prabhedani apardjaye Tib. 


(56) The four goddesses Dakinl, [Lama, Khandaroha, and Rupini] 
are in place (samsthitdh) at the heart. Complete in this way, 
the supreme body mandala is to be visualized at all times. 

[§31] Just as outside there is nourishment in the sites [and other places] 
with the water of the river, so in the body, the flowing channels 
(nddis) nourish [aspects of the body, beginning with] the nails [and 
teeth] . 

"Outside" [refers to] the vajra seat (vajrapitham), the place of great 
enlightenment, [and] the river [is] Niranjana. Whereas (tu) in the 
body, the circle of great bliss, is held to be the vajra seat, and [the 
central channel] Avadhuti, Niranjana. 

[§32] Now the mantras for the deities [of the mandala] are taught. 
Among these, Vajravarahi's heart mantra [§9], auxiliary-heart 
mantra, and eight-part mantra [§12] have been given above, but her 
root mantra is told [here]: 582 

om namo bhagavati vajravdrdhi vam - apardjite trailokya- 
mdte mahdvidyesvari — sarvabhiitabhaydpahe mahdvajre - 
vajrdsani ajite 'pardjite vasamkari netrabhrdmini — sosani 
rosani krodhani kardlini — samtrdsani mdrani suprabhedani 
pardjaye —jaye vijaye jambhani stambhani mohani - 
vajravdrdhi mahdyogini kdmesvari khage — xlv 

xlv This is an abbreviated form of the eight-part mantra (see §12) 




Li V^O., 


prottunge 2GX hana hana pranan, kini kini khinkhini khinkhini 
dhuna dhuna m vajrahaste sosaya s'osaya vajrakhatvangaka- 
paladharini mahapisitamamsasini {K64v} manusantrapravrte 
samnidhya 2(A narasiromalagrathitadharini, 265 sumb- 
hanisumbhe 2GG hana hana papam mama sarvasattvanam ca 
sarvapas'unam 268 mahamamsacchedani krodhamurte 
damstrakaralini 270 mahamudre sriherukadevasyagramahisi 
sahasragrive sahasrabahave 271 satasahasranane 272 jvalitatejase 
jvalamukhi 273 pingalalocane vajrasarire vajrasane 274 mili mili 
timili timili he he he he 275 hum hum 276 kha kha dhu dhu 277 ru 
ru, 278 dhuru dhuru muru muru 279 advaite mahayogini pathita- 
siddhe om dhram 2 * he he ha ha bhime hasa hasa ha ha ho ho 

261 prottunge) GSS11 codd., GSS5; om vajravdrahi protange Finot. 

262 kini 2 khinkhini 2] conj. Sanderson (cf. SM221 ms. AC p. 435: kinkini 2 
khikhini 2); kinkini khinkhini GSS11 codd.; kini 2 khikhi 2 GSS5. 

263 dhuna dhuna) corr.? (cf. dhuna 2 GSS5, Finot); dhuna K; muna N; punar D. 

264 samnidhya] Finot; sdnnidhma K, N; sdnidhyeD; samnidhye GSS5. 

265 grathitadhdrini] K, N; grathitadhdrini D (for narasiromalagrathitadharini 
understand naras'irograthitamdlddhdrini) . 

266 sumbhanisumbhe) GSS11 codd., GSS5, Finot. (Possibly emend to sumbha 
nisumbha, or to sumbhe nisumbhe, for the usual form of these mantric elements 
in the Buddhist tantra, see §3.) 

267 ca) K, D; 2 N. 

268 hana-* sarvapasunam) codd.; hana hana prdndn sarvapdpa<m> sattvdnam 
sarvapuspdnam Tib. 

269 hana-^-murte) GSS11 codd.; hana hana prdndn sarvapasavdndm mdmsacchedam 
krodhakrodhamilrte GSS5; hana 2 prdndn sarvapisdcdndm mahamamsacchedani. 
krodha murte Finot. 

270 damstrakaralini] GSS5, Finot; damstrdkardli GSS11 codd. 

271 sahasragrive sahasrabahave) GSS11 codd. (bdhave: for dative understand voca- 
tive); sahasras'irosahasravdhave Finot; sahasrasive sahasravdhave GSS5. 

272 satasahasranane) K, N; satasahasranetre D. 

273 jvalamukhi) K, N; jvalamukhi D. 

274 vajrasane) GSS5, Finot; vajrdsani GSS11 codd. 

275 he he he he) GSS11 codd.; he he ha ha GSS5, Finot, Tib. 

276 hum hum) codd.; hum hum Tib. 

277 dhu dhu) N, D; dhu(ru) dhu(ru) dhu K(del). 

278 ru ru) codd. omit Tib. 

279 ru-^muru) GSS11 codd.; ru ru sum sum GSS5; ru 2 muru 2 dhuru 2 Finot 

280 om dhram) K; om - N; om D; drem (vrem, dhrem?) drem pram GSS5 codd. (for 
which Sed reads draim dham draim dham but reports codd. reading dram vram 
dram pram); drem dham 2 gram 2 Finot; drem dham drem dham gram gram Tib. 



xWl prottunge — hana hana prdndn — kini kini khinkhini 
khinkhini — dhuna dhuna — vajrahaste — sosaya sosaya — vajra- 
khatvdngakapdladhdrini — mahdpisitamamsasini — mdnusdn- 
traprdvrte — sdmnidhya - narasiromdldgrathitadhdrini — 
sumbhanisumbhe — hana hana pdpam mama sarvasattvdndm ca 
— sarvapasundm mahdmamsacchedani — krodhamurte — 
damsprdkardlini — mahdmudre — sriherukadevasydgramahisi — 
sahasragrive - sahasrabdhave — satasahasrdnane — jvalitatejase 
— jvdldmukhi — pingalalocane — vajrasarire — vajrdsane — mill 
mili timili timili he he he he hum hum kha kha dhu dhu ru ru, 
dhuru dhuru muru muru — advaite — mahdyogini — pathita- 
siddhe — om dhram he he ha ha — bhime — hasa hasa ha ha ho 


Elevated <?>, kill creatures! O female jackal!. . .O vajra hands! Parch! O holder of 
vajra-staff and skull! O eater of human flesh! O you who are enveloped by human 
entrails! Be present! {sdmnidhya: Sanderson [1998: personal communication] sug- 
gests this is a denominative form from sdmnidhyam, "presence"), O you who 
carry a garland with human heads tied together! O Sumbhanisumbha! (or: "O 
Sumbha Nisumbha," see §3); kill evil for me and all [evil] beings! O cutter of 
human flesh of all creatures (pasuh)\ You with anger-form! Fanged one! Great 
consort! Foremost queen of the glorious god Heruka! Thousand-necked! Thou- 
sand-armed! One hundred thousand-faced! Flaming brilliance! Flame-faced one! 
Red-eyed one! Vajra-bodied! With vajra stance!. . . Nondual one! Great yogini! O 
you who are realized when recited!... O terrible one!... Destroyer of the three 
worlds! O you with a retinue of 100,000 kotis of tathagatas!... You with lion 
form!. . . You with elephant form!. . . O you who have swallowed the three worlds! 
Whose girdle is the great ocean! Eat, eat!. . . One with heroes!. . . Stunner of great 
beasts! You are Mahayoges'varl! Dakini! Saluter of all worlds! Creator of instant 
proof 1 .... Terrifier of spirits! Great heroine! Peerless-magic yogini!... 


hum hum 281 trailokyavinasini 282 {D48r} satasahasrakoti- 
tathagataparivare hum hum hum phat phat 283 simharupe khah 
gajarupe ah 284 trailokyodare mahasamudramekhale 285 grasa 
grasa hum hum phat phat 286 vlradvaite hum hum ha ha 287 
mahapasumohani, mahayogesvari tvam, dakini sarvalokanam 
vandani 288 sadyahpratyayakarini hum hum phat 289 bhutatrasani 
mahavire paramasiddhayogesvari phat hum hum hum phat 
svaha. 290 }K65r} 

[§33] dakinyadinam mantra 291 uktah, {N46r} kakasyadinam castanam, 
pracandadinam tu kulisapadakramena^ 1 mantrah, yatha - 

*om kara kara pracande hum hum phat. om kuru kuru 
candaksiye hum hum phat. om bandha bandha 293 prabhavatiye 

281 ha ha ho ho hum hum] GSS11 codd., GSS5; vire ha 2 hoh 2 Finot, vire ha ha hoh 
hoh hum hum Tib. 

282 trailokyavinasini\ GSSn codd.; trailokyavindsaniGSS^. 

283 hum hum hum phat phat] GSSn codd.; hum hum phat GSS5, Finot. 

284 ah] GSSn codd., Finot; gah GSS5, Tib. 

285 mahasamudramekhale] conj.; mahasumudra- GSSn codd. & GSS5; samudra- 
mekhale Finot. 

286 grasa-^-phat] GSSn codd.; grasa 2 hum hum phat GSS5; grasa grasa hum hum 
phatTib. grasa om hum om phat Finot. 

287 hum hum ha ha] GSSn codd., GSS5; hum he 2 Finot. 

288 mahayogesvari-* vandani] GSSn codd.; yogesvari tvam dakini lokanam vandani 
GSS5; yogesvari tvam dakini sarvalokanam vandani Finot. 

289 hiim hum phat] GSSn codd.; hum hum GSS5, hum hiimphatTib. 

290 paramasiddha-^svdhd] GSSn codd.; paramasiddhe yogesvari phat hum hum phat 
svaha GSS5; paramasiddhayogesvari phat hiim 2 phat hiim 2 phat svaha Finot, 
paramasiddhe yogesvari hum hiim phat hum hum hiim phat svaha Tib. 

291 mantrdK, N; mantra D. 

292 kulisapadakramena] ?conj.; kulisapadakramena K, N; kulisaparakramena D . 
Tib. p. 43.6-7: rab gtum ma la sogs pa rnams kyi sngags ni rdo rje mams kyiji Ita 
ba bzhin du go bar bya "The mantras of Pracanda etc. should be understood as 
being just like those of the vajras." 

293 bandha bandha] K, N; badha badha D. 


ho hum hum - trailokyavindsini — satasahasrakotitathdgatapari- 
vdre - hum hum hum phat phat - simhariipe - khah -gajarilpe 
— ah — trailokyodare — mahdsamudramekhale - grasa grasa — 
hum hum phat phat - vlrddvaite - hum hum ha ha - 
mahdpasumohani — mahdyogesvari tvam — ddkini - sarva- 
lokdndm vandani — sadyahpratyayakarini — hum hum phat — 
hhutatrdsani - mahdvlre — paramasiddhayogesvari^ - phat 
hum hum hum phat svahd. 

[§33] The mantras of Dakini [Lama, Khandaroha, and Rupini] have been 
taught [§12], and of the eight [goddesses] starting with Kakasya 
[§15]; but the mantras of [the twenty-four goddesses] starting with 
Pracanda are as follows, with vajra words (kulisapadakramena)™ 
in sequence [after the om and before the vocatives] : xlvil 

(1) om kara kara pracande hum hum phat 

(2) om kuru kuru canddksiye hum hum phat 

(3) om bandha bandha prabhdvatiye hum hum phat 

xlvii (1) Do! (2) Act! (3) Bind! (4) Terrify! (5) Make [them] shake!... (10) Burn! (11) 
Cook! (12) Eat! You with a hanging garland of fat (vasa = vasa), blood, [and] 
entrails! Wine Drinker! (13) Seize the snake in the seven netherworlds, or the ser- 
pent! Threaten! (Note KalfFs translation 1979: 209: "Seize, seize the snake-demon 
gone to the seven regions under the earth or else threaten, threaten the serpent.") 
(14) Make them Eat (? dkadda?/dkddya). 



hum hum phat. om trasaya trasaya mahanase hum hum phat. 
om ksobhaya ksobhaya vlramatiye hum hum phat. om hrem 
hrem 294 kharvarlye hum hum phat. om hrah hrah 295 
lankesvarlye hum hum phat. om phem phem drumacchaye 
hum hum phat. om phat phat 296 airavatiye hum hum phat. om 
daha daha mahabhairavlye hum hum phat. om paca paca 
vayuvege hum hum phat. om bhaksa bhaksa 
vasa 297 rudhirantramalavalambini 298 surabhakslye hum hum 
phat. om grihna grihna saptapatalagatabhujangam sarpam va 21 ^ 
tarjaya tarjaya syamadeviye hum hum phat. om akadda 
akadda 300 subhadre hum hum phat. om hrlm hrlm 301 
hayakarne hum hum phat. om jlom jlom 302 khaganane hum 
hum phat. om ksyam ksyam 303 cakravege hum hum phat. om 
ham ham 304 khandarohe hum hum phat. {D 4 8v} om 305 him 
him 306 saundiniye hum hum phat. om hum hum 307 
cakravarm'iniye hum hum phat. om kill kili suvire hum hum 
{K6 5 v} phat. om sili sili 308 mahabale hum hum phat. om cili 

294 hrem hrem] GSSn codd, hraum 2 §37, Tib,, hrau 2 HA; Finot p. 53, P- 57 (for 

295 hrah hrah] K, N; hra hrah D; ha 2 HA. 

296 phat phat] K,D; pha phaN. 

297 vasa] GSSn codd.; understand vasd- (fat, marrow), although Finot (pp. 53, 57) 

reads vama (vomit). 

298 dvalambim] GSSn codd, avalambino Finot (pp. 53, 57); ADUT ch.14; avalam- 
bine, §37, HA (for Vajrahumkara). 

299 bhujangam sarpam vd] K, N; bhujanga D; bhujangasarpam va, ADU 1 ; 
bhuiangdn sarpam vd HA. 

300 akadda akadda] GSSn codd. (possibly "dkam 2" K §37); dkadya 2 §37 (N, D); 
HA' (for Vajrabhadra); dkadya 2 em. KalfT ADUT (p. 325, with mss. reading 
variously, ADUT; dkaddha? 2; dkadha x 2; dkaddhya 2); dkattha Finot p. 57; 
dkarirF'mot p. 53. 

301 hrlm hrlm] GSSn codd.; om hrl An ADUT (some mss.). 

302 jlom jlom] K, N; jnomjnom D; jhomjnom ADUT; jtraum 2 Finot (p. 54), 
jraum Finot (p. 57 for Virupakse), jnaum jnaum Tib. 

303 ksyam ksyam] GSSn codd.; ksmdm 2 (with variants ksmom 2, ksmam 2) 
ADUT; ksdm 2 Finot (p. 53 for Mahabala), ksmam ksmamTib. 

304 ham ham] GSSn codd.; dam 2 Finot (p. 54); ham 2 Finot (p. 57). 

305 om] N, D; ha omK. 

3 06 him him] codd.; him him ADUT, Finot (p. 57); dim 2 Finot (p. 54). 

307 hum hum] K, N; hum hum D. 

308 sili silt] K, N, (§37); sin sin D, ADUT; mill 2 Finot (p. 57; a misreading.). 



(4) om trdsaya trdsaya mahdndse hum hum phat 
($) om ksobhaya ksobhaya viramatiye hum hum phat 

(6) om hrem hrem kharvarlye hum hum phat 

(7) om hrah hrah lankesvariye hum hum phat 

(8) om phem phem drumacchaye hum hum phat 
(p) om phat phat airdvatlye hum hum phat 

(10) om daha daha mahdbhairavlye hum hum phat 

(11) om paca paca vdyuvege hum hum phat 

(12) om bhaksa bhaksa vasarudhirdntramdldvalambini surdbhaksiye 
hum hum phat 

(is) om grihna grihna saptapdtdlagatabhujangam sarpam vd tarjaya 

tarjaya sydmddevlye hum hum phat 
(14) om dkadda dkadda subhadre hum hum phat 
(1$) om hrim hrlm hayakarne hum hum phat 

(16) om jlom jlom khagdnane hum hum phat 

(17) om ksydm ksydm cakravege hum hum phat 

(18) om ham ham khandarohe hum hum phat 
(ip) om him him saundiniye hum hum phat 

(20) om hum hum cakravarminiye hum hum phat 

(21) om kili kili suvire hum hum phat 

(22) om sili sili mahabale hum hum phat 

(23) om cili cili cakravartiniye hum hum phat 

(24) om dhili dhili mahdvirye hum hum phat 


cili 309 cakravartiniye hum hum phat. om dhili dhili 310 
mahavirye hum hum phat. 

[§34] atra pracandadimantresu prathamo humkaro 311 hrasvah, dvitiyo 
dirghah. *etac ca gurupadesad boddhavyam. 312 bhavyadimatena 
tu 313 "om pracande 314 hum hum phat, om candaksi 315 hum hum 
phat" ityadi ca asam mantra 316 iti vaksyate, tatha hi - {N46V} 

svanamoccaranam 317 mantranam humhumphatkarayojitam 318 I 

ity asyagamasyayam arthas tair upadarsitah. asam yogininam 
svanama 319 mantrah. adau paramaomkarah, 320 ante ca 
humhumphatkarah karya, iti svanametyadina darsitam. 

iti cathurtho bhavanakramah. 

pujadividhayah sarve 321 ye kecid agamoditah i 
balipradanapurvas te kartavyah 322 siddhikanksibhih I (57) 

devatayogayuktena balir deyo yato matah I 
tasmat tadyogatah pascad balir esa nigadyate I (58) 

309 cili ah] GSS11 codd.; dhili 2 §37; hili hili HA, ADUT, Finot (p. 57), Tib.; vili 
2 Finot (p. 54). 

310 dhili dhili] K, N (§37); dhiri dhiri D; ADUT; angam 2 Finot (pp. 54, 57). 

311 humkaro] K; humkdroN, D. 

312 boddhavyam] K, N; boddhavydD. 

313 bhavyadimatena tu] conj. Sanderson; bhavyadimattena tu K; bhavyddimantre na 
tu N; bhavyddimantresu(ra?) tu D. 

314 pracande] N; pracando K, pracando D. 

315 dksi] em.; dksi codd. 

316 mantra] em. Sanderson; mantrdhN; mantrahK; mantraD. 

317 svanamoccaranam] conj. (hyper.); svandmoccdrana codd. (hyper.) 

318 humhumphatkarayojitam] em.; humhumphatkdrayojitd codd. 

319 svandma] N, D; svandK. 

320 parama omkdrah] em.; param omkdrah K, N; paramo kdrah D. 

321 pujadividhayah sarve ] conj. (ddi is not translated in the Tibetan p. 44.4: mchod 
pa'i rim pa ma lus pa'i "of the stages of offering without exception"); pujd- 
vidhayah sarvd codd. (unmetric.) 

322 kartavyah] em.; kartavy d codd. 



[§34] In these mantras of Pracanda and the rest, the first hum is short [i.e., 
hum] and the second is long [i.e., hum]. This is to be learned orally 
from the guru. But it will be stated below that according to the view 
of Bhavya[klrti?] and others their mantras are om pracande hum 
hum phat. om canddksi hum hump hat, etc. This is how they explain 
the text of scripture: 

for [these] mantras there is the utterance of [the goddess's] 
own name with hum hum phat. 

The mantra of each of these yoginis is her own name, but om is to 
be placed before it and hum hum phat after it. This is what is 
demonstrated by this line of scripture.' 


Here ends meditation stage 4. 

[Ritual Practices] 

(57) Those who desire siddhi should perform all rites of worship 
and so on that are taught in the scriptures, with a preceding 
offering of ball. 

(58) Since it is held that a ball should be offered by one engaged 
in deity yoga, the [ritual of offering] bali is taught here, after 
[teaching] union with that [deity, and not before it]. 



§35 tatra balyamrtasvadanam' 15 ucyate, tad yatha - 

krsnayamkarasambhutam dhanvabham vayumandalam I 
raktam asyopari madhye ramjatam 324 vahnimandalam I (59) 

tasyopari sthitam suklam ahkarajam karotakam I 
*akrantakamtrayodbhuta 325 trimundakrtacullikam 326 I (60) 

{D 4 9r} 

pancamrtadi omadibijajam 327 tadadhisthitam I 

tadrupena karotastham 328 raktadyam 329 ca 330 vicintayet I (61) 

*omadlti: om <bum/vum> am jrim 331 kham hum 332 lam mam 
pam tarn iti pancatathagatacaturdevlnam bljani. 

vayuddiptagnitapena 333 vilinam tatra bijajam 334 I 
viksya 335 tad dadimlpuspa 336 varnena sadrsa 33 Myutim I (62) 















balyamrtasvadanam] conj.; baldrtham amrtasvadanam codd. (or conj.: 

balyadyamrtdsvddanam). The Tibetan text (p. 44.5) reads gtor ma bdud rtsir 

bsgrub par bya ba "the practice of making the bali into nectar." 

ramjatam] em.; yamramjdtam codd. 

bhuta] K, D; bhuta N. Sanderson notes that the Tibetan indicates the Sanskrit 

* akrantatattrayodbhuta- {de nyid > tat, sa eva, tad eva etc.). (p. 44.6: de nyid 

gsum lasyongs su gyur I thod pa gsum gyi rgyed pu stel de'i stengayig las 'byungpa 

I thod pa dkar poyongs su brtag). 

cullikam] em. Sanderson; cullikam K, cullikam N; culikam D. 

bijajam] K, N; bijam D. 

tadrupena karotastham] K, N; ta(tta?)pena karotakam(tyam?) D. 

raktadyam] codd.; Tib. reads "food etc." (*bhaktddi, p. 44.7: bza' ba la sogs). 

ca] K, D; caram?N. 
jrim] K, N;jim D. 

hum] K, D; hum - N (marked omission suggesting a missing bijdZ). 

vdyild] N; vdyudK, D. 

bijajam] em.; sabijajam codd. 

viksya] D; viksye K, N. 

tad dadimipuspa] conj; tadd dimipuspa codd. 

sadrs'a] K, N; sadrsam D. 



[§35] In that [ball ritual], the tasting of nectar with the bali (balyamrta- 
svadanam) is taught as follows: 

(59) [The practitioner should visualize] a bow-shaped wind 
mandala arisen from a black yam; above it, in the center, a red 
fire mandala as a transformation of ram. 

(60) [He should visualize] a white skull bowl generated from ah 
above (akranta-) a hearth (-cullikam) that has been fashioned 
from three heads (mundam) produced from three kam [sylla- 
bles]. 586 

(61) In the skull bowl, he should visualize the five nectars and so 
on, produced from the seed-syllables om, etc.; [he should see 
them] presided over by those [same syllables] in their [alpha- 
betic] form, and red, etc. [in color] . 

om, etc." means: om <bum/vum> am j rim kham hum lam mam 
pam tarn, [namely om plus] the seed-syllables of the five tathagatas 
and four [mother] goddesses. xlviii 

(62) With the heat of the fire blazing up because of the wind, he 
should see [the nectars and so on] that have been produced 
from the seed-syllables [being] dissolved in that [skull bowl], 
then [taking on] a bright luster like the color of a pomegran- 
ate flower. xl,x 

xlviii The ten syllables (om plus the rest) refer to the five nectars and five meats, 
xhx A bright red color is intended; elsewhere the heated liquid is compared in color 

to the "very early morning sun" (GSS5 Sed p. 135, Ki^i = Cakrasamvarabalividhi 

p. 57: abhinavabhdnuvarnadravarupam) . 


tato humbhavakhatvange 338 sudhatmadhomukhe 339 site 
viline suklasitalam dravam tasydvalokayet 540 1 (63) 

tasyopary alikalinam 341 parinamasamudbhavat 342 I 

om ah hum ity ato mantrat kramoparyuparisthitat I (64) 

{N 4 7r} 
spharitva devatacakram krtva sattvaprayojanam I 
viliya tryaksare vistam tryaksaram camrte 343 tatha I (65) 

tarn amrtam 344 dravam pasyet tryaksaraih samadhisthitam I 
t nispddite 345 tasmin balim dadydt vidhindmund. t (66) 

[§36] *yW^raz^m 346 phetkarabhyam anitam 347 devatacakram 
arghadipurahsaram pujayitva {K66v} - 

*<om> anyonyanugatah sarvadharmah parasparanupravistah •* 

sarvadharmah hum 

338 khatvdnge] K, N; sadvdmgam D. 

339 mukhe] em.; mukho codd. 

340 viline suklasitalam dravam tasydvalokayet conj.? (unmetric); villye dravam 
suklasitalam sya* avalokayetK; - suklasitalam avalokayetN; - suklasitalam. 
*valokayet D (cf. Finot p. 57: -suklakhatvdnge viline tarn dravam 

pdradavarna<m> sitibhutam drstva..). 

341 tasyopary dlikdlindm] conj; tasyopariryy dlikdlindm codd. 

342 parinamasamudbhavat conj.; pariname samudbhavat K; parindme samudbha- 
vatiN, D. (hyper.) 

343 cdmrte] N; (pam)cdmrtaK(mgi); cdmrtamD. 

344 tarn amrtam] corr.; tarn amrta K, D; tarn amrteN (possibly pahcdmrtam, if the 
pam that was added to -camrta in the previous pada by a second hand was 
intended here). 

345 nispddite tasmin] em.; nispddite tan asmmin K; nispdditena tasmin N; nispdditte 
tena asmin D; Tib. de Itar yongs su rdzogs byas nas. 

346 jvdldmudrd] ?conj., Tib. (p. 45.2) 'bar ba'i phyag rgyas; jdldmudrd codd. 

347 anitam] em.; dnita K, N; dnite D. 



(63) He should visualize a skull staff [above the skull bowl], pro- 
duced from hum, filled with nectar, inverted, [and] white [like 
quicksilver]; [he should see it] melting [because of the heat 
below], and then [visualize] its liquid form as white and cool. 

(64) [He should visualize] om dh hum, one on top of the other in 
sequence, [the three syllables of which have been] produced 
through a transformation of the vowels and consonants [visu- 
alized] above that [liquid], [and] from this mantra, 

(65) he should emanate the circle of deities, and then fulfill the 
aim of [all] beings. [He should see] the circle of deities dissolve 
and enter the three syllables [and] the three syllables dissolve 
and enter the nectar, 587 

(66) [and, finally,] he should see that liquid nectar empowered by 
the three syllables. When this has been produced, he should 
offer the ball according to the following method: 

[§36] He should draw down the circle of deities with the flame hand ges- 
ture (jvdldmudrd) and the syllable />>W, and honor them with guest 
water and the other [offerings] . After reciting the mantra 

<om> anyonydnugatdh sarvadharmdh paraspardnupravistdh 
sarvadharmdh hum 1 

1 "All existents {dharmas) mutually accord with each other; all existents are mutu- 

ally interpenetrating." 


iti mantrapathapurvakam candrasuiyarudha 348 humkaradvaya- 
parinamena vajranjalikrtakaratale 349 amrtabhandam avasthapya 
dhyatva va 350 * abhimatasiddhyartham pathed idam - 

devyah pramanam samayah pramanam taduktavacas ca param 

pramanam I 
etena satyena bhaveyur eta devyo mamanugrahahetubhuta<h> 

I (67) 

iti. tatah pujyapujapujakan abhedena pasyet. 351 {D49V} 
purvadidiksu 352 vamenavartena vidiksv agnikonam arabhya 
daksinenavartena 353 bhandam bhramayan 
humbhavavajrajihvanam* devatanam mantradvayam pathams 
tad amrtam upadhaukayet. 

<v. 68* 354 > 

[§37] tatrayam mantrah - 

om kara kara, kuru kuru, bandha bandha, trasaya trasaya, 
ksobhaya ksobhaya, hraum hraum^ < 356 > hrah hrah, 357 phem 
phem, phat phat, 358 daha daha, paca paca, bhaksa bhaksa 
vasa 359 rudhirantramalavalambini, 360 grihna grihna 361 

348 drudha] K; a - dha N; o(ru?)dha D. 

349 karatale] ?em.; karatalam codd.; {vajranjalikrtakaratale Fmot p. 57). 

350 avasthapya dhyatva vd] conj.; avasthdpayitva vd K, D; apasthdpyayitvd vd N. 

351 pasyet] Kac; pasyet *Kpc. (see "v. 68" for insertion); pasyet. suktijam-^ ddpayet 


352 purvadidiksu] N; purvddiksu K, D. 

353 daksinenavartena] conj.; daksindvartena codd. 

354 suktijam-^ ddpayet] omit, ed.; K(mgi or 2), incorporated into text in N & D 
but omitted in Tibetan translation. The verse is given in the Textual Note. 

355 hraum hraum] codd.; hrem hrem §33 (see variants). 

356 omit] conj. (§33); ksmdm 2 K, N; (*) 2 D(del). 

357 hrah 2] K, N; hre 2 D. 

358 phat 2] N, D; phat V K. 

359 vasa] Kpc, N, D; (bhaksa 2 vasa) K(del?) bhaksa 2 cara K(mg2) (for vasd\ cf. §33) 

360 lambini\ em. (as §33); lambine codd. 

361 grihna grihna] K, N; grhna D. 


[he should visualize his hands as] a moon and sun disc [themselves 
produced from the vowels and consonants 588 ] with a hum syllable 
on each in order to make them into (-parindmena) the vajra ges- 
ture of offering. Between the palms of his hands he should [then] 
place or visualize the bowl of nectar. He should [then] recite this 
[verse] in order to achieve his desired goals: 

(67) "The goddesses are the authority, the pledge is the authority, 
and the words spoken by them are the supreme authority. By 
the virtue of this truth may these goddesses bring me grace." 589 

Then he should see the object of worship, the worship, and the 
worshiper without [any] difference [from each other] . Circulating 
the bowl in the cardinal directions beginning in the east in a 
counterclockwise direction, [and then] in the intermediate direc- 
tions starting from the southeast corner in a clockwise direction, 
he should offer that nectar to the deities whose tongues [should be 
visualized] as [white] vajras produced from hums. [He should do 
this] while reciting the two mantras [given below] . 

<v. 68> n 

[§37] Here is the [first ] mantra [for the twenty-four goddesses of the 

sites]: 590 

om kara kara, kuru kuru, bandha bandha, trdsaya trdsaya, 
ksobhaya ksobhaya, hraum hraum, hrah hrah, phemphem, phat 
phat, daha daha, paca paca, bhaksa bhaksa vasarudhirdntra- 
mdldvalambini, grihna grihna saptapdtdlagatabhujangam 

li A verse inserted into the lower margin of ms. K. See Textual Notes. 



saptapatalagatabhujangam 362 sarpam va tarjaya tarjaya, {N47V} 
akadda akadda™ hrim hrim, < 364 > j lorn j lorn, 365 ksmam 
ksmam, 366 ham ham, 367 him him, 368 <hum hum 369 >, kili kili, sili 
sili, dhili dhili 37 " dhili dhili, 371 hum hum 372 phat 

iti. ayam mantra ekavaram pathitavyah. 


[§38] {K67r} tad anu ca - 

'om vajraralli hoh jah hum 374 vam hoh, vajradakinyah samayas 
tvam drsya hoh. 

ity ayam mantra, ekadvitricatuhpancavaran uccarya dhaukayed 
amrtam. tata acamanadikam krtvabhimata 375 siddhyartham 
slokam idam pathet - 

bhavasamasamasanga 376 bhagnasamkalpabhangah 377 
kham iva sakalabhavam 378 bhavato viksamanah I 
gurutarakarunambhah 379 sphitacittambunathah 
kuruta kuruta devyo mayy ativanukampam I (69) 

362 bhujarigam] K; bhujanga N, D. 

363 akadda 2 OR akatta 2] K; akadya 2 N, D, dkaddhya akaddhya Tib. (See vari- 
ants §33.) 

364 omit] conj. (§33); blaum codd. 

365 jlom 2] N, (§33); jlaum 2 K; jrom 2 D, jhaum jnaum Tib. (See variants §33.) 

366 ksmam 2] K; omit N, ksydm 2 D; ksyam, ksmam ksmam Tib., §33 (See variants.) 

367 ham 2} K, N; ham D. 

368 him 2] K, him D; omit N (See variants §33.) 

369 hum hum] conj. (§33); omit K, N; hi-um D (for Cakravarmini). 

370 dhili 2] K; hili hiliN, D; cili n/z'Tib, §33 (See variants for Cakravartini.) 

371 dhili 2] K, N; dhiri 2 D. 

372 hum hum] K, N; hum hum D, hum hum Tib. 

373 ekavaram pathitavyah] em.; ekavarah pathitavya codd. 

374 jah hum] K, N; ja hum D. 

375 krtvdbhimata] corr.; krtva 'bhimata K, N; krtvd abhimata D. 

376 bhavasamasamasanga] N, D; w bhavasamasangd. masarigdK (The insertion mark 
may relate to the cursive Tibetan in upper margin.) 

377 bhangdh] K, N; sangdh D. 

378 sakalabhavam] codd.; bhdvdn SUT 8.28 (ed.). 

379 dmbhah] em.; ambha codd. 



sarpam va tarjaya tarjaya, akadda akadda, hrim hrim, jlom 
jlom, ksmdm ksmdm, ham ham, him him, <hum hum>, kili 
kili, silisili, dhili dhili, dhili dhili, hum hum phaf n 

This mantra is to be recited once. 

[§38] And then this mantra [for the thirteenfold mandala]: 

m vajraralli hoh jah hum vam hoh, vajradakinyah samayas 
Warn drsya hoh" 11 

Having recited [it] once, twice, three, four, [or] five times, he 
should offer the nectar. Then having performed the sipping 
(acamanam) [of nectar, accompanied by the mantra recitation and 
other rituals (?)], 591 he should recite this verse in order to gain siddhi. 

(69) "O ye who are equally conjoined to existence and to quietude, 
by whom the obstacles of conceptualization have been broken, 
regarding all existing things as [like] space because of the state 
you have realized (bhavatah), the oceans of whose hearts are 
filled with the water of extreme compassion: Pray, goddesses, 
bestow immeasurable compassion upon me!" 592 

lii See §33 for translation, and chapter 3 for a discussion of its structure, 
liii "O Vajraralli!. . . Vajradakinis! You [singular] are the pledge! Ah, pleasing! 




[§39] tato 'stasmasanasthitadikpaladlnam diksu vidiksu ca purvavat 
bhramayan 380 mantram dvitrivaran pathann 381 upadhaukayed 
amrtam. 382 
tatrayam mantrah - {D50r} 

om kha kha khahi khahi 

daya 383 imam balim grhnantu samayam raksantu mama 
sarvasiddhim prayacchantu yathaivam yathestam bhunjatha 
pibatha jighratha matikramatha mama sarvakarataya satsukha- 
vivrddhaye 384 sahayaka bhavantu hum hum phat svaha. 

iti dikpalah samtustah santo bhavakasya siddhim dadato 
drastavyah. {K67V} 

[§40] tad anu tesam samudayena tambuladikam dattva cchomakahas- 
tena samcchomya vamena nyunadhikavidhiparipuranartham 
ghantam vadayan purvam pathen mantram amum - {N48r} 

om vajraheruka samayam anupalaya, herukatvenopatistha, 
drdho me bhava, sutosyo me bhava, suposyo me bhava, anu- 
rakto me bhava, sarvasiddhim me prayaccha, sarvakarmasu ca 
me cittam sreyah kuru hum, ha ha ha ha hoh bhagavan vajra- 
heruka ma me munca, heruko bhava mahasamayasattva ah 
hum phat 

380 bhramayan] K, N; bhrdmayetD. 

381 pathann] K; pathan N; omit D. 

382 amrtam] N; amrtah K; amrta D. 

383 dakinyadaya] GSS11 codd.; ddkinyddayahYSCT (A51-, B7O. 

384 satsukhavivrddhaye] GSS11 codd., GSS5 (K29V6); satsukhavisuddhaye YSCT. 
(B7f2), HA (f.i4vi); pravrddhaye; YSCT (A5r4). 



[§39] Then, circulating [the bowl] as before in the cardinal directions 
and intermediate directions, uttering the mantra twice or thrice, he 
should offer the nectar to the protectors of the quarters who are in 
the eight cremation grounds. This is the mantra [for the protectors]: 

om kha kha khdhi khdhi sarvayaksardksasabhutapretapisd- 
conmdddpasmdraddkaddkinyddaya imam balim grhnantu 
samayam raksantu mama sarvasiddhim prayacchantu yath- 
aivam yathestam bhunjatha pibatha jighratha mdtikramatha 
mama sarvdkdratayd satsukhavivrddhaye sahdyakd bhavantu 
hum hum phat svdhd lw 

With this (iti), the protectors of the quarters should be seen being 
gratified [and thus] granting siddhi to the meditator. 

[§40] Next, 593 having given the betel and so on to those [deities and pro- 
tectors] collectively (samuddyena), he should make the signals 
(samcchomya) using hand signs (cchoma), [and then] he should first 
recite this mantra, ringing the bell with his left hand in order to fill 
out omissions or [to counteract] additions in the rite: 

om vajraheruka samayam anupdlaya, herukatvenopatistha, 
drdho me bhava, sutosyo me bhava, suposyo me bhava, anurakto 
me bhava, sarvasiddhim me prayaccha, sarvakarmasu ca me 
cittam sreyah kuru hum, ha ha ha ha hoh bhagavan vajraheruka 
ma me munca, heruko bhava mahdsamayasattva dh humphat u 

liv "...Eat! All yaksas, demons, spirits, hungry ghosts, pisdca demons, madness 
[demons], epilepsy [demons], dakas, dakinis etc.! May you accept this bali\ May 
you protect the pledge! May you grant me all siddhis! As you like it, as you want 
it, eat, drink, savor! Do not transgress [your pledge]! May you be my helpers so 
that [my experience of] excellent bliss may increase all-encompassingly (sarvd- 

lv "O Vajraheruka! Guard the pledge! Be present to me as Heruka! Be firm for me! 
Be very glad for me! Be very abundant for me! Love me deeply! Grant me all sid- 
dhi! And in all actions, make my intention better!. . .(laughter). . .O blessed one, 
Vajraheruka! Do not desert me! Be a Heruka, great samaya being!. . ." This invo- 
cation of Heruka is an adaptation from the more frequent invocation of 
Vajrasattva, also found in Vajravarahl texts (e.g., SM218 p. 430). 


iti. tatah om yogasuddhah sarvadharmah yogasuddho 'ham iti 
pathan kamalavartamudraya samtosya 
lqt^anamikangustha 385 cchotikadanapurvakam, om mur iti 
mantram pathan visarjya tac cakram atmani 386 pravesayet. 

[§41] *atha bahyapujavidhir ucyate. pratar utthaya svadevatayogavan 
yogi 387 sucipradese vamahastam dattvd™ {D50V} om sumbha 
nisumbhetyddimantracatustayam uccdrya 
pancamrtasugandhddivatikayd™ {K68r} pancdmrtddyabhdve 
nyatamamisritayd vd gomayamisritayd vd madhya 390 vartulam 
trikonam mandalam krtva 

tanmadhyavasthita 391 rakta<padma 392 >karnikayam hrdayanirgatam 
vamkaram avasthapya tadbijarasmibhir 393 jiianasvabhavam bhaga- 
vatim aniya vamkare pravesya tatparinatam bhagavatim pasyet. 

[§42] *tato hrdbijavinirgatapuspadyaih sampujya 

yathaw^/7/sodhita 394 vamakarena om ah hum iti mantram 
uccarayan puspam dadyat tad anu {N48V} 
hrdayopahrdayastapadais ca puspam dadyat. tad anu 

385 dlingandbhinayam krtvdndmikdrigustha] conj.; dlingandbhinayendndmikdngustha- 
K, N; dbhinayand^ D; cf. dlingandbhinayam krtvd cchotikdm ca dattvd (GSS11 
§45); dlingandbhinayapurvakam (GSS5=Finot). 

386 atmani\ GSS11 codd.; cf. atmani sarvdtmand (GSS5) . 

387 sucipradese-^- gomayamisritayd vd] GSS11 codd. » GSS5. (Possibly emend as per 
Finot: sucipradese pahcdmrtasugandhddivatikayd pancdmrtddyabhdve 'nyata- 
mamisritayd vd gomayamisritayd vd vamahastam dattvd om sumbha nisumbhe- 
tyddimantracatustayam uccdrya) 

388 vamahastam dattvd] codd. GSS11; cf. hastam dattvd (GSS 5) ; samputahastam 
dattvd (Finot) . 

389 vatikayd] K, N; vatikayo D (see Translation). 

390 vd madhya] K; madhye N, D. 

391 tanmadhydvasthita] em.; madhya(va)sthita K(add); madhyevasthitaN; tatma- 
dhyevasthita D. 

392 padma] Tib. (p. 47.2: padma'i), omit codd. 

393 rasmibhir] N; rasmibhi K; rasmibhi D. 

394 yathdvi<dhi>sodhita] conj.; yathdvisodhita codd.; cf. yathdvidhis'odhitamadanena 
(§46 in apparatus & GSS5 ^§42 & «§46); but yathdsodhitamadanena (§49, & 
Finot p. 52). 



Then reciting [the emptiness mantra] 

om yogasuddhdh sarvadharmdh yogasuddho 'ham 


he should gratify [the deities] with the lotus-turning gesture 
(kamaldvartamudrd)}™ [then] releasing that mudra, he should 
make the gesture of embrace; [then] he should dismiss [them] 
with a snap of the thumb and fourth finger while reciting the 
mantra om muh, m [and finally] he should make that circle [of 
deities] enter into himself 

[§41] Next 595 the rite of external worship is given. The yogin in union 
with his chosen deity should rise before sunrise (prdtah); WlVl [then] 
having placed his left hand on a pure spot 596 [and] having recited 
the set of four mantras beginning om sumbha nisumbha [§3], he 
should make a mandala [of] a triangle [V] with a circle inside, using 
a pill (vatikd)^ composed of the five nectars, fragrant powders, and 
so forth, or if [the full range of substances starting with] the five 
nectars cannot be found, [using a paste] mixed with [just] one of 
them, or with cow dung. [Having then traced a red lotus in the cen- 
ter of the mandala within the triangle V], he should install, on the 
pericarp of that red lotus within the mandala, a vam syllable, [which 
he should visualize as having] emerged from his heart. Having 
[then] drawn down the goddess in her wisdom form (jndnasva- 
bhdva) with the rays from that seed-syllable, and having made her 
enter into the vam syllable, he should visualize her transformed out 
of that [vam]. 

[§4 2 1 Next, having worshiped [her] with flowers [and the other tradi- 
tional offerings] issuing from the seed-syllable in [his] heart, he 
should offer a flower with his left hand that has been purified 
according to the [correct] method, while reciting the mantra om ah 
hum. Then he should also (ca) offer a flower with the heart, 

lvi "All existents are pure by yoga; I am pure by yoga." 
ivii For kamaldvartamudrd, the lotus-turning gesture, see chapter 3. 
Iviii An hour and a half, or two hours, before dawn. 

lix Sometimes vatikd is interchangeable for gudikd or gulikd, meaning "pill," or as 
here, something more paste-like. 




smasanasthita 395 dikpaladikam tryaksarena sampujya namavidar- 
bhitena pujayet. 

*tato vamakaravinyastanam devatanam tattat 396 sthanesu tattan- 
mantrena 397 vaksyamanena 398 om ha ityadina 399 puspam dadyat. 
<tatas tad vamakaragatapuspam astapadamantroccarana>- 
purvakam mandale praksipya sirasi puspanjalim baddhva 
vamakaragatam 400 devatacakram 401 atmani pravesayet. 

[§44] *tato hrdayastapadamantrair anyais ca stotraih 402 stutim {K68v} ca 
krtva papadesanadikam dhyanajapapranidhanadikam ca krtva - 

[§45] *nyunadhikavidhicchidrapuranartham sataksaramantram pathet. 
tad anu om yogasuddhah sarvadharma yogasuddho 'ham {D511:} 
iti mantrapatha 403 purvakam kamalavartamudraya samtosya tan- 
mudropasamharenalinganabhinayam 404 krtva cchotikam ca dattva 
bhumim 405 sprsan om mur iti mantrena visrjya tarn devatim 
atmani pravesayet. tato mandala 406 rekham lumped 40 " iti. 

395 sthita] Kac; (sthita) K(del2?); omit N, D. 

396 vamakaravinyastanam devatanam tattat] em.; -vinyasta nai tattatK; -vinyasta 
~ ' - N; ^vinyasta (da?)ksinakare D. 

397 mantrena] codd., Kpc; mantre(su)na K(del). 

398 vaksyamanena] conj. Sanderson; raksamanena codd. 

399 puspam-^purvakam] conj . ; puspam dadyat \ (tadargha?* tasme vamakaragat- 
apuspamadhupadoccarana){m%L) tad anu smasanasthitadikpalddikam 
tryaksarenapurvakam K; puspam dadyat tad anu smasanasthitadikpalddikam 
tryaksarenapurvakam N, D. Cf. GSSs/Finot in Textual Note. 

400 gatam] codd., Kpc; (ga)gatamK(dd). 

401 devatacakram] corr.; devatdcakramm codd. 

402 stotraih] N, D; stautraih K. 

403 pdtha] K, N; pdtha D. 

404 samharendlingandbhinayam] corr.; samhdrend(iingand)linayam K(add2); 
samhdrendlinayam N; samhdrandlinayam D. 

,y>S bhumim] em.; bhiimi codd. 
,jo6 mandala] K, N; mandale D. 
,j<>7 lumped] K, N; lumedD. 




auxiliary-heart, and eight-part [mantras]. Then having worshiped 
the protectors of the quarters [and other inhabitants] in the cre- 
mation grounds with the three syllables, he should worship them 
by uttering their name followed by a single recitation of the three- 
syllabled mantra (namavidarbhitena).™ 

Next, [according to the method of the hand worship to be 
described below, §46], 598 he should offer a flower to the deities 
placed on his left hand in their respective positions with their 
respective mantras om ha, etc., 1 * which I shall state presently. <Then 
(tatas)> having thrown onto the mandala <that flower in [his] left 
hand> with (purvakam) <the recitation of the eight-part mantra>, 
he should form the flower gesture of offering at his head, [and then] 
he should cause the circle of deities on his left hand to enter into 

[§44] Next, having performed a praise [ritual] with the heart and eight- 
part mantras and with other verses of praise, he should perform 
[the "bodhisattva preparations," namely, the sevenfold worship] 
starting with the confession of faults and the [brahmavihdra] med- 
itations, the recitation [of the emptiness mantras], and the [bodhi- 
sattva] vow (pranidhdnam) , lxi 

[§45] [And having performed these] he should recite the hundred- 
syllabled mantra in order to fill out omissions or [to counteract] 
additions in the rite. Then, to the accompaniment (purvakam) of 
the mantra rectitation 

om yogasuddhah sarvadharmdh yogasuddho 'ham [xu 

he should gratify [the deities] with the lotus-turning gesture 
(kamalavartamudra), [then] releasing that mudra, he should make 
the gesture of embrace, and having given a snap [of the thumb and 


The syllables are those of the armor (kavaca) deities and are thus a means of pro- 
tecting the deities generated on the hand by armoring. 

Ixi The list describes the meditations preparatory to the sadhana. 

Ixii Translated as above §40. 


evam anaya 408 disa dvitiyadibhavanakramesu devatlnam 
pujakramah svayam uhanlyah.' 


[§46] *atha hastapujavidhir ucyate. ganamandaladau svestadevatayukto 
mantri vamahastavrddhatarjjanl 410 madhyamanamikakanisthasu 
nakhesu satsu 411 yathakramam vajrasattvavairocanamitabhakso- 
bhyaratnasambhavamoghasiddhirupan suklasita 412 raktakrsna- 
pltasy ama 4 1 3 var nan . 

{N 49 r} 

*om ha, 414 nama hi, svaha hum, vausat he, hum hum ho, phat 
ham 415 

iti mantran nyaset. karodare tu jhatiti nispannam raktam 
paiicadalakamalam {K69r} dhyatva karnikamadhye 
vajravarahlsvarupam raktam "om vam" iti <bijarrf XG > pasyet. 
purvottarapascimadaksinakonadalesu 417 yathakramam 
yamini 418 mohinisamcalini 419 samtrasinicandikasvarupani 
nilasuklapitaharitadhumradhusaravarnani - 

408 evam anayd] K, N; evam mataydD. 

409 svayam uhanlyah] K, N; svayam muhuniyah D. 

410 hastavrddhdtarjjanl] Kpc, D; ha(stavrddhdtarjjanivdmaha)statarjjani ^K(del); 

411 kanisthasu nakhesu satsu] K, N; ^sa(ta)su D(correction mark). The Tibetan 
reads "the thumb's face" * angusthamukha (p. 48.2 mthe bo'igdong). (See 
Textual Note for Sanskrit parallels.) 

412 sita] Kac, N; «'ta'Kpc(mg2); (Tibetan aksaras in the lower margin of K68v 
read sita); sita v D.; cf. suklapltaraktakrsnaharita (SM253=GSS5, i.e., omiting 
sita); Finot's ms. is missing here altogether. 

413 pitasydma] Kac; pita v sydma K(mg3) (Tibetan aksaras on K68v6 gloss sydma as 
harita at the insertion mark); pitaharita N (=GSS5=SM253); pita D. 

414 om ha] K, D; om hah N. 

415 phat ham] K; phat 2 ham N, D. 

416 bijam] GSS5 (understand dual); omitted GSS11 codd. 

417 daksinakonadalesu] conj.; daksindsu konadalesu K, N; daksinesu konadalesu D; 
GSS5«Finot reads: purvddidigdalesu vdmdvartena yathakramam. Tib p. 48.4: 
shar phyogs dang I byangphyogs dang I nub phyogs dang I Iho phyogs dang I me 
mtshams kyi 'dab ma rnams la "in the petals of the east, north, west, south, and 
fire direction (me mtshams) [i.e. southeast]." 

418 ydmini] K, N; yogini D. 

419 samcdlini] K, N; samcdriniD. 



fourth finger (§40)], he should dismiss [them] with the mantra om 
muh, [uttered] while touching the ground, [and then] make that 
goddess enter into himself. Then [finally] he should erase the out- 
line (rekha) of the mandala. 

Along the same lines (evam anayd disd), he should infer for him- 
self the sequence of worship for the deities in the second, [third], 
and [fourth] meditation stages. 

[§46] And now 599 the rite of hand worship (hastapujd) is explained. The 
mantrin, who is unified with his chosen deity in the festive mandala 
(ganamandala) {xni and so forth, should place the mantras on the six 
[places of his hand, namely]: the thumb, first finger, middle fin- 
ger, fourth finger, and little finger of the left hand [and] on the [tips 
of their] nails, 600 in sequence, in the form of [the buddhas] Vajra- 
sattva, Vairocana, Amitabha, Aksobhya, Ratnasambhava, [and] 
Amoghasiddhi, with the colors [pure] white (sukla), white (sita), 
red, black, yellow, and dark [green] : 

om ha, nama hi, svdhd hum, vausat he, hum hum ho, phat 
ham hlv 

But in the hollow of the palm, having meditatively produced 
(nispannam. . .dhydtvd) a red five-petalled lotus all at once, he 
should see at the center of its pericarp the red <syllable(s)> om vam 
as Vajravarahi. In the eastern, northern, western, southern, <and> 
[southeastern] corner petals accordingly, he should see the syllables 

lxiii The term ganamandala is parallel to ganacakra, the gathering of those who meet 
on the occassion of a tantric feast. 

lxiv These are the Cakrasamvara male armor (kavaca) syllables that appear with many 
minor variants in the texts (and are represented iconographically in the Mongo- 
lian icons). See Textual Notes for details. 







ham yom, hrim mom, hrem hrim, hum hum, 420 phat phat 

iti bijani pasyet. etatkarasthabijaksarapratibimbam tricakram 
vadhah karaprsthe 422 parisphuvam pasyet. 

t423 tatah karagatani sakala 424 bijaksarani {D51V} dravadravyena 
mraksayitva karatalam sarvayoginlbhir adhisthitam dhyatva tad- 
dravadidravyam* tryaksarenastapadamantrena va dadyat. 

* tatah sampujya nyunadhikavidhicchidrapuranartham 426 
sataksaramantram pathitva vajrayoginya adhisthanartham 427 

devyah pramanam samayah pramanam I (cf. v. 68) 


ityadinadhyesya tatkaragatadravyam aparadravye patre va 4 
sthapayitva, hasta 429 lagnena dravyena vamanamikagrhitena 
hrjjihvasiramsi hum ah om ity {K69V} uccarya mraksayams tad- 
devatavrndam atmani pravistam adhimunced iti. esa tu vidhih 
samcaratantrokto 430 boddhavyah. 

420 hum hum] codd.; hum hum Tib. 

421 tricakram] codd. GSS11; cf. trayacakram (GSS5=SM253). 

422 karaprsthe] GSS11; cf. karaprsthe pi (GSS5=Finot). 

423 tatah karagatdn -* adhimuhcet] added GSS5 («SM253); omit GSSn 

424 sakala] K, N; kara D. 

425 dravadravyena] conj.; yathavidhis'odhitamadanena codd.; cf. dravadravyena 
(GSS5); dravadravyena (SM253 ed.); upadravadravyena (SM253 mss. AC); 
dravadravydni (Finot, who mistakenly records SM253 as reading: 
dravasravyena); Tib. p. 48-6 dag par hyaspai myos byed"whh the intoxicant 
that purifies." 

426 nyunddhika] K, N; nyund'purana**D. 

427 vajrayoginya adhi] conj.; vajrayoginyddhi codd. 

428 aparadravye pdtre vd] conj.; aparadravyapdtre wzcodd.; cf. aparadravye nyatra 
va (GSS5); aparasmin dravye 'nyatra vd (Finot, SM253), Tib. (p. 49.1). 

429 hasta] K, N; haste D. 

430 tantrokto] K; tantroktd N, D. (Tib. omits esa tu -> boddhavyah.) 


hdmyom, hrim mom, hrem hrim, hum hum, phat phat 

in the form of [the remaining five armor goddesses], Yamini, 
MohinI, SamcalinI, SamtrasinI, [and] Candika, blue, white, yel- 
low, green, and smoky gray in color. 

On the back of his (etat) hand, underneath, he should see very 
clearly the mirror image of these seed-syllables on [the palm of] his 
hand, or alternatively, the three circles [of the mandala, with their 
mantra deities]. 

[§47] < lxv > Then he should smear with liquid ingredient [s] (drava- 
dravyena) all the seed-syllables in his hand, [and] having contem- 
plated the palm of his hand as presided over by all the yogims, 1 ™ 
he should offer these liquids and other substances [that he has 
smeared onto his hand] (taddravadidravyam) with the three syl- 
lables or with the eight-part mantra. 

[§48] Then, having worshiped [the deities] [and] having recited the hun- 
dred-syllabled mantra in order to make good any defects of defi- 
ciency or excess in the rites, he should entreat [the goddesses] in 
order that Vajrayogini [may] preside, with the [verse] beginning: 

The goddesses are the authority, the samaya is the auth 
ity... (v. 67) 


He should [then] place the substance on his hand into the other 
offering substance[s] or into [another] vessel. [Then,] smearing 
[himself] with the liquid [still] stuck to his hand — which has been 
dabbed (grhita) by the left fourth finger onto the heart, tongue, 
and head — [while] pronouncing the syllables hum ah om, he should 



An additional sentence is added here in GSS5, cited in the Textual Note: "Next, 
he should be convinced that the elements earth, water, fire, wind, and space, hav- 
ing the nature of [the goddesses] Patani, MaranI, Akarsani, Nartesvari, [and] 
Padmajvalini, are on his hand." 

The parallel texts read: "...being convinced that the palm of his hand has the 
nature of the three [mandala] circles presided over by all the yoginls." (See Tex- 
tual Note.) 



[§49] *athava 431 purvoktavidhisodhitavamakarasyanamikaya 432 {N49V} 
yatha<^/W/;/>sodhita 433 madanena 434 sahitaya trikonam 
vamavartena bhumau mandalakam 433 krtva tanmadhye 
hrdayavinirgatabijanispannam vajravarahim astasmasanaso- 
bhitam drstva etasyai pancamrtadirupena nispaditam 
khadyadikam 436 tryaksarenastapadamantrena va 437 dhaukayitva 
padmabhandadigatadravyam amrtayitam madanam 
vrddhanamikabhyam grhitva bhagavatlm tryaksaramantrahrday- 
opahrdayastapadamantraih samtarpayet. smasanadevatas 438 
tryaksarena tarpayet. 

[§50] t evam sampujya nyunadhikavidhicchidrapuranartham sataksara- 
mantram pathitva {D52r} devatadhisthanartham purvavad 
adhyesya ca <om> yogasuddhah sarvadharma yogasuddho 'ham 
iti pathan kamalavartamudraya samtosya 
* mudropasamharenalinganabhinayapurvakam tricchotikabhir 
om mur iti visrjya devatam atmani 439 pravesayet. {K701:} tato 
bhumigatamadanam vamanamikaya 440 grhitva hrjjihvasiramsi 
hum ah om ity uccarya mraksayet. karagatam api devatacakram 
atmani pravistam avalokayed iti. 






athavd] codd. GSSn; cf. atha {SMz^)\yadvd{GS^ Finot). 

dndmikayd] conj.; dndmikd codd. 

yathdvidhisodhita] conj.; yathdsodhita codd.; cf. §41 with apparatus. 

madanena] K, N; madanene D (madanenal madanam occurs sevaral times in the 

text [see §49, cf. GSS5 K32V-331:] and is therefore left unemended; probably 

madanam is a mistake for madand rather than madah or madyah.) 

mandalakam] K, N; mandalam D. 

nispaditam khadyadikam] conj.; nispddita khadyadikam K, N; nispdditakam D. 

va] conj.; (^>"K(del. of kx.o v>); praN, D. 

devatds] conj.; devatam codd. 

devatam atmani] conj.; devatdtmani codd.; cf. devatim atmani (§45). 

madanam vdmdndmikayd] K, D; (dhra)danam (pya)mdndmikayd N(faint). 




have the firm conviction that the mass of deities on that [hand] has 
entered into himself. Know that this ritual is that which has been 
taught in the [Yoginijsamcdra Tantra. 


[§49] Alternatively, with the fourth finger of his left hand, which has 
been purified according to the rite described above using wine 
made pure according to the [correct] rite, he should trace (krtvd) 
on the ground, in a counterclockwise direction, a triangular 
mandala (mandalakam). GQ2 [Then,] in the center of that [triangle], 
he should see Vajravarahi produced from the seed-syllable emanated 
from his heart, beautified by the eight cremation grounds [around 
her]. [Then] he should offer to this [goddess] food and so on that 
has been generated in the form of the five nectars and so on, with 
[the recitation of either] the three syllables or the eight-part mantra. 
[Then,] having taken, with the fourth finger and thumb, the sub- 
stance in the skull bowl or other vessel (?) (ddi), [that is,] the wine 
that has been turned into nectar, he should gratify the goddess 
[with it], with [the simultaneous recitation of] the three-syllabled 
mantra, the heart and auxiliary-heart, and eight-part mantras. He 
should satisfy the deities in the cremation grounds [i.e., the pro- 
tectors of the quarters] with the three syllables. 

[§50] Having worshiped [her] thus, he should [first] recite the hundred- 
syllabled mantra in order to make good any defects of deficiency 
or excess in the rites, and [then], having prayed [to the goddess] as 
before for the deities to preside (devatddhisthdna)^ he should grat- 
ify [her] with the lotus turning gesture (kamaldvartamudrd), [while] 
reciting the [emptiness] mantra: 

om yogasuddhdh sarvadharmdh yogasuddho 'ham***" 

lxvii Presumably he prays as above, with the verse beginning, "The goddesses 

authority etc." (v. 67) 
lxviii Translated as above §40. 




J I 



evam anaya 441 disa dvitlyadibhavanakramesu svasvamantrair 
devatah 443 pujayed iti. 

[§51] *tad anu sukiahumkaraparinatasuklavajrajihvam 444 1 daksinahas- 
tasruvetarahutih t 445 svanabhikamale {N5or} karnikavyavasthitam 
jvalamalakulam devim juhuyad it/^adhyatmahomavidhih. 

[§52] * tad anu - 

om ah ucchistavajradhitisthemam 447 balim hum hum hum 
phat svaha, 

iti mantrenocchista^/iw adhisthdpayet i4s bahir gatveti. 

441 evam anaya] Kpc; evamm v (an)aya K(add); evamm - N; evammasa D. 

442 svasvamantrair] K; svasvamantra N, D. 

443 devatah] D; devatyah K, N. 

444 jihvam] conj. ; jihvd codd. 

445 sruvetard] con.; sruvetardK; (chu?)vatardN; s'ruvatardD. 

446 juhuyad ity] corr. ; juhuyad iti K; juhuyadi N ; juhuyat iti D . 

447 ucchistavajradhitisthemam] conj.; utsistavajradhisthemam codd. 

448 occhistabalim adhisthapayet] conj.; otsistabalir adhi(ti-)sthed K(unfinished) ; 
otsistabalir adhisthedN; atsistabalir adhisthadD. (See Textual Note.) 



He should [then] dismiss [ the goddess] first b withdraw A 

ttnTh 7^Tf 3nd makIng the «««™ <* embrace § [and 
thenj by [g,vmg] three snaps [of the thumb and fourth finger Un] (ttt) [the syllables] om muh. He should [then] make Tt god 
dess enter into himself. B 

Next having taken the wine on the ground [used for tracing the 
mandala] on the fourth finger of the left hand, he should smear [i t] 
onto his heart tongue, and head uttering hum ah om. He should 
also vsuahze the assembly on his hand entering himself. 

In the -me way he should worship the deifies in the second and 
Me thud and fourth] meditation stages, usmg the mantras of 

Next, [the practioner] should make oblations to the goddess [who 

s vtsuahzed] standing (vyavasthita) on the pericarp on the lotus in 

hts own navel, engulfed m flames, [and] with a white vajra tongue, 

whtch he has vtsualized] transformed from the white syllable turn 

ladle (sruvah)^ and [Lalana as] hrs lefi hand holdtng the obLon 
[vessel] (ahunh); his navel [at the Avadhiiti] is the fire pit™ t This 
is the rite of internal oblation. ' 

[§52] Nex[ 

omah uechistavajrddhitmhemam halim hum hum hum phat 


-with this ^mantra he should go outside and make [the deity 
of leftovers, Ucchistavajra], preside over the leftover ball 




e«° r ::;^; ,a :: (l8 f f nes r 4 *- " a smdi w °° den ^ <** • « 

extreme, or two oval collateral excavations, used for pouring clarified melted 
>:ZZt 8C ' adle " Smk; S ° metimeS ak ° ^ d ^-d She £ 

"Om ah Ucchistavajra, preside [over] this ball..." 



*idanim praguddistam^ smasanam ucyate - 

pracyam udicyam varunanvitayam 
yamesvarayam dis'i vai smasanam I 
candograndmdtba ca 450 gahvaram ca 
*karankakakhyam ca subhlsanam ca I (70) 

esu s'mas'anesu 451 s'irisabodhl 452 
kankelicutau kramato drumah syuh 453 I 
indrah kubero 454 varuno yamas' ca I 
pracyadikone patayo 455 'nubodhyah I (71) 

s'rivasukis taksakasamjnakas' ca 
karkotapadmav iha santi nagah I 
meghas tv ami garjitaghurnitau ca 456 
ghoras tathavartakas'abdavacyah I (72) 

{K 7 ov} 

{D 5 2V} 

Is'anavaisVanarajatudhana 457 - 
prabhafijananam 458 atha konakesu I 
catursu catvary atibhisanani 459 
kramac chmas'anani vasanty amuni I (73) 

449 prdguddistam] ?co n j . ; prdguddista codd . 

450 ndmdtha ca] conj.; ndtham dtha ca codd. 
s'mas'anesu] conj.; s'masdne codd. 
s'irisabodhl^ K; sirisabodhiN; s'irisabodhiD. 

drumah syuh] em.; drumd (syu)h K(unclear); drumds ca N; drumah D. 
kubero] K; kubera N; kuberau D. 
kone patayo] conj.; ko(ne)sthdyatayo K(de\); kosthdyata(py?)oN; (kd?)sthdyatayo D . 

456 garjitaghurnitau ca] Kpc; garji(taghurni)tdu ca K(add2); garjita ca Kac; garjitd 
caN, D. 

vaisvdnarajdtudhdna-] em.(unmetric); ~ (jdjtudhdnah K, D(corr. mark); 
vais'vanala - ydt tu dhdne N. 
jandndm] K, D;jandpramN. 
atibhisanani] conj.; atibhisanesu codd. 






[Cremation Grounds] 

Now the cremation grounds are taught, as indicated above [v. 16]. 

(70) In the eastern, northern, western, [and] southern direction 
are the cremation grounds Candogra, Gahvara, Karankaka, 
and Subhisana. lxxi 

(71) In these cremation grounds there are the trees Sirisa, Bodhi, 
Kankeli (As'oka), and Cuta, respectively. Know that Indra, 
Kubera, Varuna, and Yama are the lords [dwelling] in the 
"area" (? kone) 1 ™ 1 of the east, [north, west, and south]. 

(72) Vasuki, Taksaka, Karkota, and Padma are the serpents (ndgas) 
here. The clouds are Garjita and Ghurnita, Ghora, and 
Avartaka. 1 **" 1 

(73) Then in the four intermediate points belonging to Is'ana (Siva, 
NE), VaisVanara (Agni, SE), Jatudhana (Nairrti, SW), and 
Prabhanjana (Vayu, NW) dwell these very terrifying crema- 
tion grounds, in order: 

lxxi "Fierce/Formidable" (Candogra, east); "Deep/Impenetrable" (Gahvara, north); 

"[Place] with bones" (Karankaka, west); "Very Frightening" (Subhisana, south), 
lxxii (?) kone cannot here mean "intermediate point" or "corner(s)," but must be "part" 

or "area" encompassed by the cardinal directions, or possibly the corner of each 

cremation ground, 
lxxiii "Thundered" (Vgarj: to thunder, roar), "Rolled" (Vghiirn: to roll, shake), "Awful 

Cry" (Vghur: to frighten with cries), Avartaka, "Thunder Cloud" (personified). 



attattahasadhvanivacyam ekam 
laksmlvanam nama tatha dvitiyam I 
ghorandhakaram ca yatharthanama 
kilaravakhyam 460 kila sabdapurvam 461 I (74) 


vrksah kramena trivatah karanjah 4 
srlmallataparkatir arjunas ca I 
Isanavaisvanaraj atudhana- 463 
prabhanjanan konapatin 464 pratihi I (75) 

nagas 465 tu padmo mahata visisto 
hulur dvir uktah kulikas 466 ca samkhah 
eko ghano 467 dvau prapurana^vzrsau 
candas caturtho 469 jaladah 470 syur ete I {76) 


idam vidhayopacitam madiyam 
punyam saraccandramaricigauram I 
srivajradevipadavim labhantam 471 I (77) 

< 472 > 

srivajravarahlsadhanam samaptam. krtir iyam panditama- 
hopadhyayasn-umapatidevapadanam iti. {K711-} 

460 vakhyam] em.; vdkhyaK; vakhya(m)N {del?), D. 

461 kila sabdapurvam] Kpc; kila sabda w (purvam) K(add2); kila sabda N; sabda 


462 trivatah karanjah] K; trivataka karanja N; trivatah karahja D. 

463 j atudhana] K; (ja)tudhdneN, D(corr. mark). 

464 prabhanjanan konapatin] K; prabhanjanana konapatina N; prabhahjandna 
konayatina D. 

465 nagas] em.; nagas codd. 

466 kulikas'] ?em.; kulisas codd.; (Kulika is given in SUT ch. 17, v. 40c! and 
Smasanavidhi v. 17; also in HT texts.) 

467 ghano] em.; ghane K; ghana N. 

468 prapurdna] codd.; prapurana SUT ch. 17, v. 42c. 

469 candas caturtho] Kpc; candas catu(lya)rtho K(del); catulyatho N, D. 

470 jaladah] em.; jaladd codd. 

471 labhantam] K; labhanteN, labhante-D. 

472 />/' sriguhyasamayatantre] D; omit K, N. 


(74) First is Attattahasa, 1 *™ Laksmivana is second, [then] the 
appropriately named Ghorandhakara (Terrible Darkness), 
and [finally] Kilakilarava. lxxv 

(75) The trees, in order, are the Trivata (Triple Banyan), Karanja, 
the glorious creeper Parkati, and Arjuna. Know Isana (Siva), 
Vais'vanara (Agni), Jatudhana (Naimi), and Prabhanjana 
(Vayu) as the lords of the intermediate directions. 

(76) The ndgas are Mahapadma, 1 *™ Huluhulu, Kulika, and Sankha. 
These are the clouds [in the intermediate directions] : Ghana; 
Prapurana (or: Prapurana), m Varsa, and Canda as the fourth. 1 *™ 1 

{yy) Having composed this [sadhana] , I have accumulated merit 
that is as fair as the rays of the autumn moon. By it may [all 
beings], with the entire faults of conceptualization destroyed, 
attain the state (padavi) of the glorious vajra goddess (vajradevi)l 

Here ends the sadhana of the glorious Vajravarahi. 

It was written by Pandita Mahopadhyaya lxxviii Umapatideva. 

Ixxiv Literally, "denoted by the name Attattahasa" {attatta is the sound of boisterous 

laughter especially associated with Siva), 
lxxv Boisterous Laughter (Attattahasa, NE), Fortune Forest or Spring of Splendor or 

Abundant Wealth (PLaksmivana, SE), Terrible Darkness (Ghorandhakara, SW), 

and Kila-kila Clamor (Kilakilarava, NW). 
lxxvi Literally, "Padma is distinguished by his 'greatness'" (i.e., because of the word 

lxxvii Cloud Mass (Ghana, NE), Very Old/Very Full (Prapurana/Prapurana, SE), Rain 

(Varsa, SW), Deluge Cloud (Canda, NW). 
Ixxviii Pandita (scholar) and Mahopddhydya (great teacher) are academic titles. 

Conventions, Abbreviations, and Symbols 

Conventions in the Translation 


endnotes (n.) 

English text 

footnotes (fn.) 


Translation of terse Sanskrit passages dealing with 
the analysis of terms tends to be generous. The trans- 
lation of the term under discussion is given in dou- 
ble quotation marks, with its Sanskrit original 
appearing beside it in parentheses. If the author pro- 
vides an additional gloss of the Sanskrit word, this 
will be contained within parentheses with the sym- 
bol > showing that it is a gloss, thus: "Awareness" 

(smrtih > smaranam) means 

Endnotes provide additional comment on the trans- 
lation where necessary, although the main discussion 
of the text is found in chapter 3. 
Square brackets [ ] enclose material that is additional 
to the Sanskrit text, e.g., -ddi ("beginning with," 
"and so on") is often filled out with the intended or 
implied referents. 

Footnotes translate terms and names not given in the 
main text of the translation. 

English words in italics indicate that the text, or an 
emendation to the text, is uncertain at this point. 
Some untranslated Sanskrit terms are also in italics. 
Mantras and seed-syllables are supplied in lowercase 
in italics. Where necessary, a summary translation is 
supplied in the footnotes, omitting seed-syllables and 
onomatopoeic syllables, and aiming to represent the 
lack of syntax. 


3 i6 


Sanskrit text 

proper names Where a name seems to be an attempt to commu- 

nicate the nature of a deity, a loose translation is 
given, using English compounds or phrases that 
reproduce the sometimes ambiguous compounding 
of the Sanskrit. 

prose paragraphs [§] The numbering and arrangement of prose para- 
graphs (§) is editorial. 

Sanskrit text in parentheses indicates the word or pas- 
sage translated, either because the translation needs 
clarification because the word is polyvalent, or 
because the translation is loose. Nouns in parenthe- 
ses usually appear with their nominative inflections. 
Numbering of verses is editorial. 
Daggers enclose text that the editor judges corrupt 
but cannot emend. 

A double dagger in the text refers to the Textual Notes 
covering linguistic points, problems, and parallels. 

verse (v.) 

t t 


Abbreviations and Symbols in the Sanskrit Text 

§ [e.g., §i] 
v., w. 


< > 

t t 

- or v or 



Prose portions of text are numbered editorially. 
Verse numbers are added editorially. 
A double dagger indicates that there is a note in the 
Textual Notes on the associated word or passage. 
Braces contain new folio numbers for each ms., e.g., 

{d 39 v} 

Angle brackets indicate text added editorially to the 
Sanskrit text or contain text added by a second hand 
in the manuscripts (as indicated). 
Daggers enclose letter(s) that the editor judges cor- 
rupt but cannot emend. 

Indicate the missing heavy, light, or optionally 
weighted syllables respectively in a hypometrical 
verse, e.g., tathdgatdn — vyavalokya samyak. 
A syllable in bold indicates faulty meter that is left 

Words in italics indicate that the text, or an emen- 
dation to the text, is uncertain at this point. 




Punctuation is used only where the Sanskrit requires 
elucidation, e.g., a comma may be used where a full 
stop (dandah) is inappropriate, but where the silent 
omission of the danda would be confusing. Hyphens 
are used for word breaks, to introduce quotes, or for 
some recitation passages. 

Abbreviations and Symbols in the Apparatus 





conj./conj. X 
corr. mark 






em. /em. X 
f., ff. 



"Before correction" (ante correcturam), e.g., kdkdsya- 
kddydh] Kpc; kdkdsyodydh Kac. 
Added in the manuscript on the same line/added by 
a second hand on the same line, e.g., iddnlm (idam) 

Identifies allusions to testimonia for comparison, 
either identical (=) or similar («), that throw light 
upon the text, e.g., a paraphrase of its subject mat- 
ter or a passage in the same or another text sup- 
porting the editor's choice of reading. 
The manuscripts K, N, and D (codices). 
"I have conjectured. "/"X has conjectured." 
"I have corrected." 

Correction mark of three dots over an aksara (found 
only in ms. D). 

Devanagari paper ms. (ff. 39r3~52v8). 
Damaged text. 

Deletion of letters in the manuscript by the first 
hand, or by a second hand, e.g., sthd(nam) K(del2). 
The reading in the manuscript is due to the scribal 
error of dittography. 
Edition by X. 

"I have emended"/ "X has emended." 
Folio, folios. 

The reading in the manuscript is due to the scribal 
error of haplography. 

A line of verse is hypermetrical, e.g.,... snap itah 
sarvatathdgatdm is shown in the apparatus, sarva- 
tathdgatdh] corr. (hyper.); sarvatathdgatds codd. 

3 i8 





metri causa 

omit. X 






§ [e.g., §i] 



A line of verse is hypometrical. 

Kutila Newari palmleaf ms. (ff. 5^4-7111). 

The reading in the manuscript is due to the scribal 

error of metathesis. 

"For the sake of the meter." 

Text is placed in the margin by the first hand/by a 

second hand, e.g., (sam)kalpa K(mg2). 


Newari paper ms. (ff. 36V7-50V2). 

Omitted by X. 

"After correction" (post correctionem), e.g., sthdnam] 

Kpc; stha(nam) K(add2). 

folio recto. 

A line of verse is syncopated. 

Tibetan translation of Vajravarahisadhana by Uma- 

patidatta. Toh 1581/Ota 2292, N (T) 292. 

The reading or suggested emendation is unmetrical. 

folio verso. 

Used inclusively to indicate a passage of text, "from 

X to Y," e.g., pratitya-* allkam, "The passage start- 
ing pratitya and ending alikam." 
A syllable in bold indicates faulty meter that is left 

Prose portions of text, numbered for cross reference. 
The square bracket encloses the lemma, presented as 
the accepted reading. 

All letters prior to or following ° in the lemma are 
as they appear in the edited text. (The symbol is not 
reused for the variant readings or where the lemma 
is clear.) 

A tilda in the variant readings indicates the contin- 
uation of text as in the lemma, e.g., hantrim kuruta] 
K; hantim - N; hantl kuru D (where tilda indicates 
"kuruta" in N). 

In a variant, parentheses enclose the letters that are 
described beside the, e.g., na(bha)stbdsK{mgi) means 
that bha has been added in K's margin by a second 
hand; mantredya(va)tK(2idd) means the aksara "va 
has been inserted into the line of text in K. 





- (e.g., -7-) 

In a variant, the letter x is uncertain in the manu- 

In a variant, the letter x is an unfinished aksara in the 

A hyphen above the line indicates a marked omis- 
sion in the text, e.g., ya ~ . 

A hyphen on the line indicates an unmarked omis- 
sion in the text of approximately one aksara. The 
estimated number of aksaras that the lacuna repre- 
sents will be given for larger gaps, e.g., vama -7- N 
Illegible syllables in the text are indicated by 

Omission marker in the text. 
Decoration in the text. 

Other Editors 

Finot L. Finot {Cakrasamvarabalividhi ed. 1934). 

Isaacson Dr. Harunaga Isaacson (personal communication). 

Meisezahl R. O. Meisezahl {Geist und Ikonographie, 1980). 

Sanderson Professor Alexis Sanderson (personal communication) 

Tsuda S. Tsuda (The Samvarodaya Tantra: Selected Chapters, 

Silent Editorial Standardizations 

The text has been regularized in the following respects: 

1. Final m > m. 

2. Homorganic nasals in external sandhi of m > m. 

3. Seed-syllables are shown without external sandhi. 

4. Avagrahas have been added. 

5. Consonants after r, frequently doubled in the mss., are single. 

6. Double ts before v (e.g., tattva, bodhisattvd) where the scribes regu- 
larly write a single consonant (tatva, °satva). 

7. Dandas are not shown, unless significant to the accepted reading or 
suggestive of the cause of corruption in a variant reading. 



8. Numbered repetitions of mantra syllables within a mantra are written 
out in full, e.g., hum 2 > hum hum. 

Scribal variations in these matters have not been recorded unless they are 

Plate i: Vajravarahl tangka. Central Tibet, twelfth-thirteenth century. 
Courtesy of Anna Maria Rossi and Fabio Rossi. 

Plate z: Red Dakini. Khara Khoto, twelfth-thirteenth century. 
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 

Plate 3: Blue Dakinl (Nairatmya?) . Khara Khoto, twelfth-thirteenth century. 

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Plate 4: Vajravararu (Tib.: rDo rje phag mo). 

Tibet, fifteenth century. Gilt copper, fit. 41.5 cm. 

Photo by Ulrich von Schroeder. 

Plate 5: MaricI (Tib.: 'Od zer can ma). 

Tibet, c. 1700. Gilt copper, ht. 13.8 cm, 

Photo by Ulrich von Schroeder. 

Plate 6: Animal -headed Vajrayoginl. Tibet, nineteenth century. 
Painted clay. Courtesy of the British Museum (0Ai948.7-16.24). 

Plate 7: Vajrayogini, Naro-khechari. Eastern Tibet, eighteenth century. 
From the collection of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. 

Plate 8: Vajravarahl tangka (with detail of Severed-head Vajrayogini) 
Nepal, fourteenth century. John and Berthe Ford Collection. 

Plate 9: Severed-head Vajrayogini (Chinnamasta/Chinnamunda) tangka. 
Tibet/Nepal, c. 1900. Linden Museums, Stuttgart. 


■■■■■■^—i»«M— lil**^.WN«ltilli 

* ■ I 

«"5'*e , '^\ 




* ■>-* -v ?-rr 

Plate 10: Painted Mongolian woodblocks. Tibet, c. 1850. 
Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich. 

Plate n: Tangka of Cakrasamvata in union with Vajrav 
Khara Khoto, twelfth- thirteenth century. 
The State Hetmitage Museum, St. Petersbutg. 

Plate 12: Tangka of Cakrasamvara Mandala. 
Central Tibet, c. 1100. Private Collection, Photograph by John Bigelow Tavk* 

Photograph © 1998 the Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Plate 14: Tangka of "Vajrayogini in Kechara 

Tibet, eighteenth century. 
Collection of Tibet House, New York. 



Plate Tyi Tangka of the cosmos according to the Abhidharmakom, 

Tibet. Ethnographic Museum of the University of Ziirich, 

inventory number 13560 (92.5cm x 60cm). 






1*6*18* i 



Plate 16: Palm leaves from kutilaNtwari manuscript (K) of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld 

Nepal, twelfth-thirteenth century. Copyright Bodleian Library, 
University of Oxford (rns. Sanskc, 15 (R)). 

Manuscript Sources 

The Manuscripts of the Guhyasamayasadhanamala (GSS) 

Ms. K Oxford, Bodleian Library. Ms. Sansk c. 16 (R). No. 1455 (Winter- 
nitz and Keith 1905). Palm-leaf, cataloged as probably fourteenth century, 
although it may date from as early as the twelfth or thirteenth centuries 
(Sanderson 1995: personal communication). The last folio is numbered f 
147. The script is kutila-newdri. 1 K is the oldest and most reliable witness 
for the collection of sadhanas, written in a clear, bold hand. Due to the 
derivative nature of the later manuscripts, citations from the GSS in the 
footnotes to the Edition are from manuscript K only, unless other manu- 
scripts contribute to the sense (significant variants alone are recorded). 

Each sadhana in K has a short colophon, but K does not provide an over- 
all title to the collection as a whole. The last work in the series is the 
Ddkiniguhyasamayasddhana (GSS46), which seems to have given its title to 
the collection as a whole in a later manuscript (D). The Bodleian catalog 
calls the collection the Sddhanamdld Tantra. The sadhanas themselves are 
not numbered (the scribe leaves a small gap between them), and the num- 
bering of the GSS collection (GSS1-GSS46) is thus entirely editorial. 

There are fifteen missing folios (ff. 96-100, and ff. 29-38 inclusive). Four 
highly damaged folios in a second hand have been placed at the bottom of 
the pile of leaves, and these may contain some of the missing passages of 
text. Most palm leaves have been reduced around the edges, and some are 
a little split, although this rarely impedes legibility. Most folios have cor- 
rections written in by either the first or a second hand, some with evidence 
of several hands, such as the addition of the mantra syllables to be extracted 
with a mantroddhdra (e.g., f. 52r-v, GSS10). Red sindiira powder appears 

1 The term kutila (curved) was coined by Bendall; Sankrtyayana calls it "circular" 

(vartula) (Biihnemann 1994: 21). 


on a number of leaves. Tibetan script is found in some of the margins, 
often bearing the colophon to a sadhana. 2 The foliation is problematic. I 
found the folios of the manuscript out of sequence, a confusion that has 
been transferred to the photographs of the Bodleian microfilm (Reel No. 
SF. Or. 2584). I have now corrected the sequence of the folios and have the 
following observations to make on the foliation (and misfoliation) of the 


1) The original foliation probably occurred after the text was first copied, 
because some folio numbers are not in text sequence, and because the 
hand of the first foliator may be different from that of the main scribe. 

2) At some stage, the sequence of the leaves was disordered, and the orig- 
inal foliation was tampered with by a second foliator without reference 
to the sequence of the Sanskrit text. This gave rise to the following 


• There is a folio without a number containing the middle portion of 
GSS2. I have numbered this folio V (o.r. and o.v.). 

• The colophon Vajravarahisadhanam appears twice in the collection 
(GSS2 and GSS11). The two leaves containing the folios were placed 
together, the second colophon (for GSS11 on f. 70) being placed before 
the first (for GSS2 on f. 11). The folio number on the former was altered 
from 70 to 10, to accord with its new position prior to folio 11. 

. The missing folios 96 through 99 were "replaced" with folios from the 
bottom of the pile (belonging to GSS46), and the numbers on these 
folios altered to read 96, 97, 9^> 99> regardless of the actual text. (Folio 
100 remains missing.) 

• Folio 102 was misplaced under 128 and corrected to read 129. 

• Folio 80 was upside down and found following folio 70. It was num- 
bered by a second foliator after it had been put upside down since the 
numeral appears on the recto. 

• The number 139 was altered to 129 by a second foliator who didn't real- 
ize there were folios missing following folio 128. 

Folios bearing Tibetan script: folio ii recto and verso, 279V, 4r, nr-v, I3r, 14V, 
z8r-v, 2 9 r, 3 ir, 39 r, 4 or, 4 3v, 45^ 53v, 6 4 r, 66v, 6 7 r, 6 7 r, 70acv, 7ir, 7™, 74V> 
75 v- 7 6r, 8ir, 8iv, 8 3 r/v, 8 4 r, 8 5 r, 8 7 r, 88r-v, 9 ir, 9 zv, 94 r, 95V, ioir, io 4 v, 1051:, 
io6v, 107V, io8r, io8v, nzr, 115V, n8r, nov, iziv, izir, 1231:, I2 4 r, 125V, 1x71, 128, 
i3 9 acv, 1401:, i 4 3acv, I44acv, I45acr, i45acv, 147V. 


Because the Bodleian microfilm has photographed the folios out of 
sequence, and without a logical progression of recto and verso, I describe 
them here in text sequence (* = my foliation): 

folio *i Perhaps a leaf reused by a second scribe, as it contains two center 
holes (all other leaves have one center hole), and on both sides looks 
as if it once contained writing that has now faded or been washed off. 
On one side is a faint om and hum, and possibly a smudged vam. Two 
items of a list also appear in the top right corner, possibly a continu- 
ation of the "index" from the folio beneath (folio *ii). On the other 
side is a s'loka saluting the Buddha, Lokanatha, and Vajrasattva, deli- 
cately written, perhaps in the first hand but corrupt/illegible. 

folio *ii This leaf is discolored and may have suffered damage from water. 
It also appears to have been reused by the current scribe; its contents 
are smudged and faded. The side bearing the Bodleian stamp holds a 
list of numbered sadhanas (a few titles are legible). This list is contin- 
ued on the reverse of the leaf, which also contains some Tibetan script 
(and possibly on folio *i). 

folio 2jgr Also discolored, as by water, with evidence of older writing 
underneath. A few lines on the left contain a salutation to the Bud- 
dha, Dharma, and Sahgha. A numbered list on the right contains a leg- 
ible list of the ten knowledges (dasajndna). 

folio 279V GSSi(i) — the first side of GSSi. 

folio 2jir-v, or 2jpr-v GSSi(2)-GSSi(3). The leaf is slightly discolored 
with the number added by a different hand, as the last numeral 1 or 9 
(?) is not like those of the other foliators. 

folio 80 (upside down) GSSi(4). The numbered side contains the earlier text, 
and the unnumbered side contains the later text. The leaf was upside 
down when the curvaceous numerals were added by a second foliator. 
I found the leaf following folio 70. An ink smudge approximately one 
inch across on the lower left happened once the leaf was upside down 
and ran through several leaves, but it doesn't obscure the text. 

folio 4r GSSi(6)-GSS2(i) and folio 4V GSS2(2). Ink stain continues. 

folio *o.r-v: GSS2(3)-GSS2(4). Ink stain continues. 

folios iir-6pv GSS2(5)-GSSn. These folios appear in the correct numer- 
ical sequence until folio 70ac/iopc (GSS11). 

folio yoacl folio iopc I found this leaf located before folio 11 and erro- 
neously renumbered 10. It contains the colophon for GSS11 
(Vajravdrdhisddhana), which has the same colophon as GSS2. It was 


mistakenly inserted before the colophon page of GSS2 (f. 11) and given 
the new number (f. 10). 
folios 71-95V The folios are in their correct sequence. Folio 95V contains 
the incomplete colophon to GSS27. 

folios 96-100 Missing folios of text containing at least one sadhana. The 
next available text is the bali mantra and colophon for GSS28, which 
appear on f. ioir. A second foliator took folios from the bottom of the 
pile of leaves (i.e., from GSS46) and "replaced" the missing folios 
96-99 (but not f. 100). He then refoliated these folios to read accord- 
ingly (96, 97, 98, and 99). This botched arrangement appears on the 
Bodleian microfilm. 

folio ioir End of GSS28 to the start of GSS29. 

folio loiacl folio I2ppc GSS29 continues. I found this folio placed under 
f. 128 and refoliated to read 129. It appears like this on the Bodleian 

folios 103-28 Folios in correct sequence. 

folios 129-38 Ten lost folios in GSS44. N recognizes the lacuna (N91V1: 
parihrtadasa. atrapi trutitam asti. sya°)\ D inserts nonsense (D94V4: 
parihrtadasdmagdka syd°). 

folio i39ac/folio i2(?)9pc The verso contains the end of GSS44 and the start 
of GSS45. The original number 139 was altered to 129 by a scribe who 
didn't realize there were folios missing following folio 128. 

folio 140 Start of GSS46. The folios for this sadhana were found scattered 
throughout the collection, as shown above, and refoliated by a misguided 
second foliator. This is how they remain in the Bodleian microfilm. 3 

3 I have reconstituted the sequence of folios for GSS46 following the sequence of 

the text (and corrected the order of the folios in the Bodleian manuscript), as fol- 
lows: f. nor-v: GSS46(i)-GSS46(2) -* f. I290?pc/i4iac recto: GSS 46(3) (on micro- 
film found below f. I02v) -» f. I290?pc/i4iac verso: GSS46U) (on microfilm found 
above i39rac) -*• f. 98pc/i42ac recto: GSS46(<>) (on microfilm found following 
97^pc) -* f. 98pc/i42ac verso: GSS46(6) (on microfilm found following 99rpc) -» 
f. 43pc/i43ac recto: GSS46(7) (on microfilm found under f. 141V) -> f. 43pc/i43*c 
verso: GSS46(8) (on microfilm found mysteriously at the start of the collection 
above GSSi) -* f. 99pc/i44ac recto: GSS46(9) (on microfilm following f. 142*); 
-* f. 99pc/i44ac verso: GSS46 (10) (on microfilm preceding f. ioir) -» f. 97pc/i45 ac 
recto: GSS46(n) (on microfilm following i46ac/ p6vpc) -* f. 97pc/i45* c verso: 
GSS46(i2) (on microfilm above i42acr/98rpc) -» f. 96pc/i46ac recto: GSS46(i3) 
(on microfilm beneath 95V) -> f. 96pc/i46ac verso: GSS^6(\^ (on microfilm after 
f. 95V, as if *f. 96) -*• f. 147 recto: GSS46(i5) (on microfilm found following f. 
140V) -> f. 147 verso: GSS46(i6) (on microfilm found preceding 1431:). 


Ms. N IASWR MBB 1972 I-140. Nepali, paper. N.S. 1038 (=1918 c.e.). 
98 folios. Newdri script. (Manuscript ^f of Sarnath edition of Abhisamaya- 
manjari) A faint, delicately written manuscript, difficult to read but fairly 
correct. There is one leaf missing containing the end of GSS7 and the start 
of GSS8 (f. 29, with marginal note on f. 28: atra dvipatrakhanditaii) . There 
is no collective title for the series of sadhanas. Following the colophon to 
the last sadhana (f. 98r4: iti sriddkiniguhyasamayasddhanam samdptarri), a 
second colophon states the year, month, and day of completion, and names 
the scribe as Nilavajra. On the first leaf (recto) there are four lists, a 
namaskdra with four verses, and an illegible colophon. The four lists are 
the ten knowledges (as in K), the ten paramitds, the ten dhdtus, and the ten 
kayos. The text of GSSi begins on f. iv, which also contains an attractive 
line drawing of two-armed ardhaparyanka-pose Vajravarahi trampling a 
single prone corpse, her hog's head clearly visible. The IASWR supplies a 
handwritten list of contents, with the sadhanas numbered 1 through 40. 
There are some mistakes in this handwritten index, and the numbering 
differs from that given editorially to K (GSS1-GSS46). 4 

Ms. D IASWR Guhyasamayatantra MBB-II-126. Paper. Twentieth cen- 
tury. Although copied clearly and in good condition, the manuscript is the 
most corrupt and suffers from a large number of scribal errors. It omits GSS8 
(sri-Vajravdrdhigopyahomavidhi) y the sadhana for which the first portion is 
lost in N due to a missing folio. Like N, it also omits GSS28, the sadhana 
for which the early folios are lost in K. This manuscript supplies an indi- 
vidual colophon to each sadhana that records the name of an overall title 
for the collection, namely, the sri-Guhyasamayatantra (e.g., iti sriguhya- 
samayatantre srivajravdrdhisddhanam samdptam). This is a title drawn from 
the final sadhana in the collection (GSS46). This last colophon contains 
both the name of the final sadhana (Ddkiniguhyasamayasddhanamdldtantra- 

The handwritten index is incorrect in the following respects: (i) GSS7 is incom- 
plete, and the leaf containing its colophon (f. 29) is missing; (2) The s'ri- 
Vajravdrdhisddhana by Umapatideva (GSS11) is not recorded in this list, although 
appearing on ff. 36V-50V in the ms; (3) The Vidyddharikramabhdvand (GSS22) 
is not recorded as a separate work (see appendix); (4) the final bali mantra and 
colophon to the missing Vajrayoginisddhana GSS28 are omitted in N, which 
leaves no trace of this sadhana in the collection; (5) there is no record in the 
index of GSS40, the commentarial passage upon GSSi, although this appears in 
the ms. (ff. 87-88); (6) there is no record in the index of Vajravdrdhikalpa 
(GSS41), although this appears in the ms. with colophon (ff. 88—89). 


raja), and the overall name for the collection, Guhyasamayasddhanamdld- 

Tibetan (Tib.) The Tibetan translation of sri-Vajravdrdhisddhana by 
"Umapatidatta" (GSSn). Toh 1581/Ota 2292, N (T) 292. (Bodleian refer- 
ence: Tibetan blockbooks a. 68 vol. 24, pp. 32-49). The colophon states that 
the sadhana was translated by Vaglsvaragupta with Lotsawa Chos-rab, and 
was composed by "One who has the lineage of the instructions of Virupa, 
sri-Umapatidatta" (p. 49.7). The translation omits many of the prose expo- 
sitions that interrupt the verses in the Sanskrit, also the Abhidharmika glosses 
on the body mandala and the final verses describing the cremation grounds. 6 
It may therefore represent an older version of the text. It is cited here where 
it helps clarify the Sanskrit text, but minor variations from the Sanskrit text 
are not recorded. (My thanks to Dr. Peter Alan Roberts, Professor Sander- 
son, and Dr. Isaacson for helping me record the Tibetan variants.) 

Textual Transmission 

The three manuscripts, K, N, and D, are closely related. N is derivative of 
K. It shares the same colophons (different from those in D), and where K 
has been corrected or enlarged by text in the margins, N often incorporates 
the correction or the marginal text into itself 7 In places N does not incor- 
porate a marginal gloss, suggesting that, on those occasions, the transmis- 

5 Dioiv: samdpto yam ddkiniguhyasamayasddhanamdldtantrardjeti. vipravamsairi- 
vajrdcdryajlvaratnena guhyasamayasddhanamdldtantrardja<m> likhitam, subham 
bhiiydt. • ratnena] corr.; ratnenena D. 

6 The Tibetan translation includes the following Sanskrit text: (omits om) "Homage 
to Bhagavan Vajrayogini," w. 1-4, (omits §1), w. 5-7, (omits v.8§), w. 8-12, §2, 
w. 13-15, (omits §3— §5), w. 16-25, (omits §6), v. 26, (omits §7), v. 27, (omits 
tatrdyam sekamantrah -»• v.27§, §8), w. 28-34, (omits §9), v. 35, (omits prathamo 
bhdvandkramah.-^ atha), §i6-§22, §23-§29 (omits all exegetical glosses of doc- 
trinal terms; see Textual Note for details), v. 42, §30, v. 43-53, (omits v. 54), w. 
55-56, (omits §31), §32-§34, (omits §34 etac ca gurilpadesdd boddhavyam -* darsi- 
tam), w. 57-61 (omits om <bum> dm . . .), w. 62-66, §36, (omits v. 68), §37-§4°> 
(omits §48 esa tu -*■ boddhavyah), §49 athavd-* kamalavartamudrayd samtosya 
(omits mudrop >asamh >drend c '-» §51 juhuydd ity) , §51 adhydtmahomavidhih -* bahir 
gatveti, (omits iddmm...w. 70—76), v. 77. 

7 E.g., ebhir] Kac; ebhi v (vi)rK{mgi), N(mgi); evirD. cf. candrdrkabija] Kac; 
candrdrka(vahni) Kpc(add), N, D. cf. also the text of v. 68. 


$ion occurred before the latter was added in K. 8 N tidies the text of K on 
some occassions, as when it admits that the text of sadhana GSS28 is lost, 
and omits the final ball mantra and colophon that remain in K (N91V1). 
Occasionally, it provides the correct reading where K fails. It does not 
descend directly from K, for it appears to rely upon an intermediary that 
on occasion is more correct 9 and on others, more problematic. 10 

Manuscript D is also very close to K and N, but introduces many more 
errors. The scribe may have been copying from the newdrl script, since on 
many occasions he misreads a short vowel for a long. 11 D is more closely 
derivative of N, and shares many of its errors. 12 However, it also blurs the 
text of N, as when it fails to record lacunae carefully marked in N. 13 D 
sometimes seems to rely on a transmission closer to K, or produces a dif- 
ferent reading altogether, thereby suggesting that it is not N's direct descen- 
dant, and/or that it also had access to other sources, and/or that it 
innovates. 14 This may be illustrated by two points: 

• There is a problem in N produced by a missing folio (f. 29). This loses 
the end of GSS7 including the colophon (in K: vajravdrdhyd dvddasa- 
bhujdydh sddhanam) and the start of GSS8. At this point, D ascribes a dif- 
ferent (corrupt) colophon to GSS7 (oddiydnapithddisthitadevisddhanam) 
and omits GSS8 altogether. If it was reliant solely upon N after f. 29 had 

8 E.g., garjitaghurnitau ca] Kpc; garji(taghurni)tdu ca K(add2); garjitd ca Kac; gar- 
jitdcaN, D. Note that N also omits the mantra syllables that have been included 
in the margins to reveal the result of mantroddhdra in GSS10. 

9 E.g., mantrapathat] N; mantrapdt K; mantred yd(va)t D(add). cf. purvddidiksu] 
N; purvddiksu K, D.; pddas] N, D; pddas K. cf. diksu] N; diksuh K, D; 
upasthdpakam] conj.; upasthdnamyakam K, D; upasthdnayakam N . 

10 E.g., abhyullasan] K; -6- san N; satD (no gap or marked omission in D); dadhato 
nabhahsthdn] em.; dadhato nasthdsKac, D; ~na(bha)sthdsKpc(mgi); dadbatd nah 
sthds N; vlryam uktam] K; vlryendriyam ukta - N, virya(m?) indriyam ukta D; 
dharma] em.; pradharma K; pra ~ rmma N, pratidharma D. 

11 E-g-> vindsdc] N; vindsdcK; vindsayaD; asydgamasydyam] K, N; esydgamasyoyam 
D; bhutdi[ K, N; bhutdte D. See also Insignificant Variants. 

12. E.g., dddhiye] K; dddiyeN, D; punar] K, (su?)narN; su na D (marked faulty); 
ebhir] Kac; ebhi v (vi)rK.(mgi), N(mgi); evirD. 

13 E.g., kila sabdapurvam] Kpc; kila sabda v (purvam) K(add2); kila sabda N; 

sabda D. 

14 E-g-> jandndm] K, D; jandpram N; vlryam uktam] K; vlryendriyam ukta - N, 
vlrya(m?) indriyam ukta D; vighnavrndam] K; vpidam N; vighnavrndakam D; 
catvdra] D; catvdriK, N. cf. yamadamstrinl] K, N; yamadustrl D; daksinesu] D; 
daksindsu K, N. 



been lost, it would not have been able to finish GSS7. It seems at this 
point to draw upon another source that attributes a different colophon 
to GSS7. The subsequent omission of GSS8 is also suspicious, as the 
start of this sadhana is lacking in N. 
• As stated above, D employs different colophons for each sadhana 
attributing each to the Guhyasamayatantra, its overall title for the whole 
collection; perhaps a late innovation. 

Editorial Policy 

Except in the edition to GSS11, K is the only manuscript cited in the foot- 
notes to this book, unless the other manuscripts afford important contri- 
butions to the sense. Variants from the various (late) manuscripts relied 
upon in the Sarnath Edition (Sed) of Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5) af e not 
given, where clear readings from K exist. 

Textual Notes 

' + >", 

The Textual Notes (* in Edition) attempt to clarify linguistic problems and 
remark on textual matters. Parallel text for the ritual portion of the sadhana, 
from §41 to §52, is reported in full from the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5) and 
*Vidhisamgraha (Finot 1934); see chapter 3 for details. 

v.i Verse numbers: All verse numbers are editorial. The meter is upajati (w. 
i-35> ^7 y 70-77) with some verse citations in anustubh (v. 8§; v. 27§; w. 
36-67; v. 68§) and malinliy. 69). 

v.i vikramasena: Umapatideva addresses Vikramasena in his benedictory 
verse. Proper nouns in a benedictory verse would normally be those of the 
deity or the guru. Although "Vikramasena" may be the name of an 
unknown Buddhist preceptor, it is famously the name of the industrious 
and pious brahmanical king whose exploits are recounted in the Kathasarit- 
sagara. If it were "King Vikramasena" who was addressed, it would suggest 
that our author is teaching — indeed, converting — the king. This epic-type 
frame story is not found in sadhana literature, and a "conversion" would 
be antithetical to the esoteric, initiation-based systems fundamental to 
tantric sadhanas. However, there is some doubt as to whether Umapatideva 
was himself an ordained monk, and it is just possible that the naming of a 
lay personage may have some significance. The Tibetan text is unconvinc- 
ing; it attempts a literal translation of Vikramasena, rendering vikramasena 
yatnat" Tor the benefit (*artha)ot the one(s) having the section (sde = *sena) 
offeree (rnampargnonpa = *vikrama) n (p. 32.3: rnam par gnon pa'i sde Idan 
don du), indicating that the work is written for the sake of a student who 
may have asked him to compose the sadhana. Another possibility would be 
that the text is a corruption of the logical kramena, a reading that would 
accord with the careful divisions of the sadhana into meditation stages 



§i Omitted in the Tibetan translation. 

§3— §5 tatrami te mantrah -» vajrakildkotaya hum phad hi: Omitted in the 
Tibetan translation. 

§3 grihna: The orthography here is variable. K uses grihna; N and D both 
use the more correct grhna. These mantras in the Varahyabhyudayatantra 
(after v. 30) read long vowels in hum (rather than hum). 

§4 <vajraprdkarandn>\ Umapatideva's text is ambiguous here, since with- 
out this conjectural addition it is not clear what exactly is projected into 
the four directions. The nearest available object is the "mantras" in the 
previous sentence. In contrast, the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 Sed p. 129 14 , 
Ki7v-i8r, cited above: . . . caturo vajraprdkdrdn) states unambigously that it 
is the walls that are projected into the directions (the adjectives that describe 
their color and size are the same as those used by Umapatideva). 
Umapatideva's prior verse description of the visualization also prescribes 
the erection of four vajra walls (v. I4d: vajraprdkdrandmnah) . I therefore 
insert this object into the prose text at §4. 

§5 om gha gha ghdtaya: GST ch. 14 also reads ghdtaya rather than ghdtaya 
(Matsunaga 1978: 69): om gha gha ghdtaya ghdtaya sarvadustdn phat kllaya 
kilaya sarvapdpdn phat hum hum hum vajrakilaya vajradhara djndpayati 
kdyavdkcittavajram kilaya hum phat. (Note that Candrakirti glosses the 
syallables gha gha as vocatives, PU p. 158: ghdtakety dmantranam) The plu- 
ral genetive sarvavighndndm in our mantra (§5) is attested by the 
Pindikrtasadhana (facsimile edition in Mimaki and Tomabechi 1994 p. 2* 
ms. A f.2v, p. 31* ms. B f.2r-v). Both the "staking" and "hammering" 
mantras are found in the Varahyabhyudayatantra: (after v. 30 and v. 31), 
with some corruptions and variants. 

v.i6a panjardntar: As in v. 13 and also in v. 35, the Tibetan text reads 
"wall" (ra ba) for panjara: "The cremation grounds are (gnas = -stha/sthita) 
within that very wall (ra ba de nyidf (Tib p. 34.1: ra ba de nyid nang na 
dur khrodyang dag gnas). The reading with panjara (Sanskrit mss.) rather 
than *prdkdrah (ra ba) is supported by two passages elsewhere in GSS11: 
(a) "within the canopy" (panjardntar) appears here in contrast to the pre- 
ceding passage that begins "outside the canopy..." (paiijardd bahih.- 
yamadddhyddicatasro devih pasyet); (b) the alternative method of generation 



supplied below also reads "within the canopy" (GSS11 v.35: tatpanjardn- 
tah...devim vibhdvayed va) , although here the Tibetan again reads ra ba. 
Other Vajrayoginl/Samvara sources also read panjara, e.g., GSS5 (Sed p. 
130 15 , Ki9n): vajrapanjaramadhye dharmadhdtusvabhdvdm dharmodaydm 
ekdrdm upari visdldm adhah suksmdm vicintya; SUT ch. 17, v. 36ab: vajra- 
panjaramadhye tu smasdndstakabhusitam. However, the reading with 
prdkdra is also found, cf. YRM on HT 1. 3. 16: vajraprdkdrdsv antare 
ghordstasmasdndni tanmadhye kutdgdrodare viharati. 

v.i8a nihsrtya bljodbhavarasmijdldt: The Tibetan has instead "countless" 
dpag med (* ameya, aparimita, aprameya, etc.). Tib p. 34.3: sa bon las byung 
'odzer dpag med 'phrospayis I skye bo ma lus byang chub snoddu mdzad 'gyur 
bas, "Countless light rays that have radiated from the seed-syllable trans- 
form all beings into vessels (snod < bhdjana, etc.) of enlightenment." 

v.i8cd tatraiva bije hi-^vai: The Tibetan text has (p. 34.3): slaryangsa bon 
de nyid las ni rnal 'byor mas I ma lus pa mams 'dus par yang dag bsgom bya 0. 
"Again (slar yang) meditate (bsgom bya 0) correctly (yang dag) that the 
yogini(s) {rnal 'byor mas, instrumental) from (las) that very (de nyid) seed- 
syllable (sa bon) gathers in Cduspar) everything (ma lus pa rnams)" Sander- 
son (1998: personal communication) suggests that the feminine 
°buddhddikdm would explain the Tibetan's "yogini." 

v.i9a candrdrkabljaprabhavdm trinetrdm: The earlier reading (with bija) 
is a reference to the third stage of the series of awakenings (pancdbhisam- 
bodhikramah) that has just been described (from w. 16-18) and therefore 
seems likelier than the corrected text reading vahni (probably inserted 
because it suggests the yogic symbolism of the three eyes as moon, sun, and 
fire; see ch. 3). The Tibetan supports °bija (p. 34.4: sa bon). 

v. 2ocd savajrasavyetara — > dustavrnddm: A literal translation of the Tibetan 
reads "[Her] other-than-left [hand, i.e., * savyetaral* vdmetara] is together 
with a chopper [shaped] like a leaf; through pointing made at the ground, 
the hosts of the angry [ones] are defeated." (Tib. p. 34.5): gyonpa las gzhan 
gri gug dang bcas shing lo 'dra I sdigs mdzub sa gzhir mdzad pas sdangpai 
tshogs rnams joms. The Tibetan strongly supports Sanderson's conjecture 
in the first half of v. 20c, sa- (dang bcas) -vajrasavyetara . However, Sander- 
son states that he sees no metrical solution to the second half of the c-pdda. 
He notes that the word prasrtih means the palm of the hand when the 



fingers are contracted (Amarakosa 2.85c: 152), as when it is holding some- 
thing — here, the vajra. (The Tibetan has "chopper" rather than vajra, which 
is interesting because the texts of the GSS prescribe a vajra for warrior- 
stance Vajravarahl and a chopper for ardhavaryarika-pose Vajravarahl and 
VajrayoginI, an iconographical distinction that seems to be lost in Tibetan 
sources; see ch. 3). 

Sanderson also points out that the reading bhutarjani 'at the start of v. 
2od (supported by the Sanskrit mss.) is consistent with the Tibetan, which 
indicates the gesture to the ground (mdzub sa gzhir mdzad pas), and also 
with the Sanskrit, which clearly specifies the vajra — an implement for 
which a bhutarjani (presumably the finger pointing threateningly to the 
ground) is entirely appropriate. 

§6 ami te san mantrah: This prose paragraph is omitted in the Tibetan 
translation. The corruption san mudrah (for san mantrah) appears again in 
K when supplying mantras (below, §7), although N and D there have the 
variant mantra-. Other texts refer to six "mantras," e.g., GSS3 (Ki3r3): 
saddevatisuddhair mantrapadair bhagavatim kavacayet, but the mantra syl- 
lables may have been accompanied by hand gestures (mudrah), and it is just 
possible that the reading ° mudrah in the mss. is correct. In a corrupt pas- 
sage, the YSCT uses both mudra and mantra to describe the armoring in 
patala 7 (A4X.7, B5V): tatah kavacadvayam dtmdnam jnanacakram 
vibhdvitam. samayacakre pravisy(dsysa?) mudramantrena yogind. Some 
sadhanas supply the syllables and describe their accompanying mudras, 
e.g., SMi (p. 5); SM28 (pp. 68-69): tatah pancdngavinydsam mudrdbhir 
mantrasamhatdbhih kurydt; etc. 

§7 jndnasattvapravese tu: §7 is omitted in the Tibetan text. 

v.27i tatrdyam sekamantrah — »v. 27i, §8: Omitted in the Tibetan text. 

v.27i "om sarvatathdgatdbhisekasamayasriye hum " iti: There seem to be two 
traditions in the formulation of the mantra. Our texts (of the Cakrasam- 
vara/Vajravarahl tradition from Luyipada) provide a single hum following 
the dative, °s'riye, e.g., HA (fi4r); GSS5 (Sed p. 135 5 , K22V4), SM218 (p. 429), 
SM251 (p. 493). Elsewhere, other syllables are found, including svahd, dh, 
and phat as, for example, in ADUT ch. 9 (p. 287): om sarvatathdgatd- 
bhisekasamayasriye svahd dh hum, with variants svdhdh hum or hum hum; cf. 
ADUT ch. 14 (p. 321): a hum phat svahd (with variant hum hum). 



§8 Isaddvarjitapancamrtabhrtavamakarakapalebhyo: The reading of the 
mss. (°amrtabhuta) is a scribal error due to the orthographical similarity 
between bhii- and bhr-. The skull bowls are "full" and do not themselves 
"become" the nectar; cf. SM250 (p. 489): pancamrtadravapurnaih kapalair. 
The scribal error is found elsewhere, e.g., in Kumaracandra's^w/'/^to the 
KYT (p. 127): pancamrtabhutakalasairabisicyate. The reading with V bhr is 
well attested; see HT 1.4.2 pancamrtabhrtaih pancatathagatatmakaih 
kalasaih; cf. SM97 (p. 199); Ratnakarasanti's Vajratdrasadhana (SM110 p. 
231); SM228 (p. 446): pascdd amrtabhrtaih kumbhair abhisicyate, etc. 

v.29d akhedam evam punar eva kurydt: Sanderson's conjecture is sup- 
ported by the prose (§9) and the meter. He notes (1998: personal commu- 
nication) that the corrupt reading — the more usual way of stating the idea 
in prose (a ... paryantam) — may have entered the text by a substitution of 
an explanatory gloss for a less familiar term, the adverbial bahuvrihi, 
"akhedam. " 

§9 Omitted in the Tibetan translation. 

<iti> prathamo bhdvandkramah.-^ atha: Omitted in the Tibetan transla- 
tion. (The other divisions into meditation stages are noted in the Tibetan.) 

§10 icchantam: The accusative present participle is correct Sanskrit, but the 
emendation is doubtful. The passage appears three times (§10, §13, §16), 
with the reading iccham in the second and third occurrences. Perhaps 
iccham should be preserved, taken loosely for icchantam? 

The Tibetan text from mahdsukhacakrastham^>iti\y. 36ab} reads "The 
above [i.e., w. 36-37?] is for the benefit of one who wishes to meditate on 
the four skull bowls in the four intermediate directions together with 
Dakini, Lama, Khandaroha, and Rupini, in the east, north, west and south 
of Vajravarahi, who resides in [the cakra of] great bliss." (p. 36.4-5): bde 
ba chen po la gnaspa 7 rdo rje phag mo 7 shar dang byang dang nub dang Iho 
phyogs mams la gnaspa / mkha ' 'gro ma dang Id ma dang khanda ro ha dang 
gzugs can ma mams dangl mtshams bzhir thodpa bzhi dang bcas pa mams 
bsgompar 'dodpa'i don duo. At §13, the Tibetan text lists the goddess and 
their directions "Now Crow- face... residing on east..." and concludes: 

That was said for the benefit for those wishing to meditate [on all the 
above] and the eight goddesses." (p. 37.5): ...danglha mo brgyad sgom par 

dodpa rnams kyi don du gsungs zhespao. At §16, the Tibetan text reads: 



"Now for the purpose of completing the circle of the goddesses, three cir- 
cles that are like this, the mind circle, speech circle, body circle," (p. 3 8. 2 ) : 
da ni lha mo'i 'khor lo yongs su rdzogs par bya ba'i don du 'khor lo gsum di 
Ita ste I thugs kyi 'khor lo dang I gsung gi 'khor lo dang I sku V 'khor lo mams 
zhes bya 'o. 

w.38-40 The first verse (v. 38 dakini ca tatha lama) is scriptural, found 
in the Yoginisamcdratantra (A3r.2, B3V.2) with the reading dakini tu.... 
(The scripture continues with a few words qualifying the goddesses as four- 
armed and one-faced, etc., and then gives a pdda similar to that cited at §11.) 
Luyipada also cites this verse in his HA (with ca: f 6ri), and follows it with 
prose (or corrupt verse) similar to w. 39-40 plus the line opening §11. The 
metrically correct version produced by Umapatideva may be an example 
of "polishing." See also GSS12 (K71V1): the z-pdda by itself as in GSSn 
with ca; SM225 (p. 439): dakinim tu... cited immediately below. These 
verses seem to form the basis for the prose exposition in GSS3 (Ki2v6) and 
GSS5 (Sed p. 132 16 , K20V3). 

§11 vidiksu <caiva> catvaro. . . : This is another scriptural citation describ- 
ing the fivefold mandala. It was probably once anustubh, as reflected in the 
Tibetan upon which the conjecture is based (p. 36.7). A similar line appears 
in the YSCT (a possible source text) preserving the anustubh meter (A f.3r.2; 
B f3v.2): vidisena tu catvarah pancapurnakarotakam. It also appears in the 
SUT ch. 13, v. 28ab vidiksu ca catvaro bodhicittddibhdndakdh, which is cited 
in Luylpada's HA (f 6r4-5, omitting ca). Cf. SM225, in which the first pdda 
is that of v. 36a, followed by a hypermetrical b-pdda describing the inter- 
mediate petals (p. 439): dakinim tu tatha lamdm khandarohdm tu rupinim 
Ividikpatre tatha bhdvydh karotds catvarah sobhandh. This sadhana is repro- 
duced in the GSS collection (GSS12, K71V), but the first pdda appears 
alone without the b-pdda mentioning the skull bowls in the intermediate 

§12 hrdayamantra uktah The Tibetan text cites the heart mantra in full. 

v.41 yatha ddkinijanasya. . . : This verse, with its unusual syntax, is attested 
elsewhere, e.g., the HA (f. 8r.6-8v); also in GSS44 (Ki39(ac)n) as follows: 

yathd ddkinijanasya tatha kakdsyddi tu bhedatah 


vidiksthds tu tatha devyo 15 dvau hi rilpau^ manoharau 
pretdsand mahaghordh sattvdrthakaranodyatdh 

The latter pddas also occur in the SUT ch. 13, v. 32: vidiksthane 17 tatha devi 
dvau hi rupau manoharau I pretasanamahdghordh pancamudravibhusitah, 
and a portion of the verse in the YSCT, but with a different verse describ- 
ing the corpse thrones (A^, B5r): savam dkramya pddena dlidhdsanam f 
asram? te f. 

§22-§29 atha devatdhamkdraldbhdya. . . : The opening line (devatdham- 
kdraldbhdya-^ °dharmdh) was probably originally intended to be metrical, 
as it is translated into Tibetan in four pddas within quotation marks (p. 40.1). 
The same list of equations between the thirty-seven bodhipdksikadharmas 
and the site goddesses appears in GSS5 (Sed p. I40 6 ff., K26V4-28O. These 
texts draw on the YSCT (Aiv6-2r, B1V7): atha saptatrimsadbodhipaksika 
dharma devatayogena (?) pujaniyah • ms. A may read yunjaniydh. . . and even 
more directly on the HA (ff. 8V3-9V5): -bodhipaksadharmadevatayoga. ... 

§23~§29 The Tibetan text omits all exegetical glosses of doctrinal terms, 
as follows: omits tatra caturviparyasanam -* anusmrtyupasthanani bhavanti; 
continues tadyatha kayanusmrtyupasthanam — > rupini; omits grhitagrdhi -> 
tasyopasthapakam kayadyanusmrtyupasthanam; continues §24 catvdra- 
rddhipaddh — > mahanasa, iti; omits saddharmavisaye ^> §25 tadyatha; con- 
tinues sraddhendriyam viramati — > airdvati; omits tatra viryam uktam — » 
§26 tadyatha; continues sraddhdbalam mahdbhairavd -* subhadra ceti; 
omits §27 sambodhyai — > tad y atha; continues samadhisambodhyangam 
hayakarnd^ suvireti; omits samadhis cittaikdgratd^ §28 asydngdni yatha; 
continues samyagdrstir mahdbald —> vajravardhi; omits tatra buddhavdkye 
~* §29 /#*/ yatha; continues anutpanndndm kusaldndm dharmdndm 
utpadanam yamadddhi — > yamamathani ceti, v. 42 etc. 

§23 catvary anusmrtyupasthanani: The usual Abhidharmic term for this 
doctrinal formula is smrtyupasthdnam. Umapatideva uses the variant anu- 

l 5 devyo] em.; deviK. 
J 6 riipaii} em.; r#/>0 K. 

l 7 Tsuda reports vidiksthane as an insecure reading, with certain mss. rendering 
something nearer to ours (e.g., -stham, -sthdm, -stha). 



smrtyupasthanam consistently (kdyanusmrtyupasthdna, etc.), and so I l eaV e 
the term unemended, although it is unattested in the mainstream Abhi- 
dharmic sources. It is noticeable that when Umapatideva explains the com- 
pound (citing Paninl), he gives it its usual form, smrtyupasthanam, and it 
may be that he is drawing on another source at this point. Following the 
Paninian passage, he returns to his previous usage, anu-smrtyupasthdnam. 
The addition of the prefix anu- may be a tantric peculiarity; it appears in 
the Vasantatilakatikd, which also glosses anu, e.g., (p. 52): tatra katamdni 
catvdri smrtyupasthanani? aha - kayanusmrtyupasthanam. . . ; (p. 53): tasmdd 
ubhayadharmarahitatvdc chunyo 'yam kdya itiya nusmrtis tasyd upa samipe 
cittasya sthdpanam kayanusmrtyupasthanam; cf. Vimalaprabhd vol. 2, p. 129 
(the sequence of the 37 bodhipdksikadharmas is different here because the 
correlations with the mandala deities are different; however, the commen- 
tary follows the traditional sequence for the smrtyupasthanam). The form 
anusmrtyupasthdnam may have arisen from its similarity to the appellation 
of a popular Mahayana formula, the "recollections of the Buddha" 
(buddhdnusmrtayah). The anusmrtis are listed in Edgerton's Buddhist 
Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary 1953 (buddha , dharma° y samgha , sila°, tydga , 
devata ); an extended version of this set in the Visuddhimagga includes 
kayagata . However, Edgerton notes that kayagata is usually compounded 
with sati rather than anussati, which makes it a distant contender as a pos- 
sible source of confusion with kdyasmrtyupasthana. 

§23 atmagunavismaranapratipaksabhutam: Sanderson (1998: personal 
communication) comments that in the absence of parallels, dtmaguna is 
uncertain. The first syllable at- may be the survival of his conjectured -tvdt 

§24 saddharmavisaye. . . chandah: Sanderson (ibid.) notes that the gloss of 
chanda-rddhipdda given in the first sentence of this paragraph would nor- 
mally follow the gloss of rddhipdda supplied here in the second sentence. 
However, a similar structure is found below (§27), and so the text is not 

§27 samyag bodher-*tadyathd: Omitted in Tibetan translation. Sander- 
son notes that the corruption in the Sanskrit mss. (sambodhye/sabodhyemga 
kdrana/d) is highly suspect. It seems to be a corruption of part of the com- 
plete sentence that follows, which is itself corrupted by a misplaced sam 
(samyaksambodher. . . bodhyangani). 



§27 °avakasam: Edgerton (1953: 69) notes that avakasam appears once as 

<v.5ii> There is a verse missing in the Sanskrit mss. but present in the 
Tibetan text (p. 42.4), which should supply the places Saurastra and 
Suvarnadvipa. The goddesses at those places are Saundini and Cakra- 
varmini, to be placed on the body at the two thighs and two shanks, respec- 
tively. This pair represents the places known as the upamelaka, which are 
in turn equated with the acalabhumih. The missing correlations are sup- 
plied from other texts, e.g., SUT ch. 7, v. 13: saurastra uruyugale sonitam 
ca sadd vahd I suvarnadvlpe janghasthdne nddi prasvedavdhini; ADUT ch. 
9 (p. 286): saum urudvaye hayagrivasaundini / sum janghdydm dkdsagarbha- 
cakravarmini I upamelapakah; ADUT ch. 14 (p. 320): saurdstre urudvaye 
saundini. suvarnadvlpe janghddvayos cakravarmini. upamelapakah. For the 
correlating bodhisattvabhiimi, see HA (ff. iov6-nr):. . . upameldpakadvayam. 
acalabhumih; ff. 6r6~7.v4; also YSCT A6V5, B9V6 cf. fifth patala A^t dam- 
aged, B4r3. 

v.54 Omitted in the Tibetan text, and in the Sanskrit mss. N and D, the 
verse only is included in a marginal insertion in K63V: dasapapavinasac™ ca 
dasabhumisvari^ matd I dasajndnavisuddhdtmd tendpi hi dasahara. "And 
because [Vajravarahi] destroys the ten bad deeds she is deemed the lady of 
the ten [bodhisattva] stages. Her nature is purified by the ten knowledges, 
and therefore she removes the ten [bad deeds] (dasahara)!" The reference is 
to the canonical list often bad deeds" (akusalakarmas) . (The ten knowl- 
edges are listed in a second hand on one of the unnumbered folios at the 
start of K and on the first leaf in N.) 

§31 bdhye pithadisu. . .: It is doubtful whether this passage belonged to the 
original Bhdvandkrama because it deals with the correspondences belong- 
ing to the male gods of the Cakrasamvara mandala. It should perhaps be 
dropped. In addition to its evidently corrupt state (and the divergences 
between ms. K and mss. N and D), it is also lacking in the Tibetan trans- 
lation, and there are no related lines in YSCT, HA, or edited portions of 
SUT. However, a similar passage appears in GSS5 (Sed p. 142 19 , K28V6): 
tesu pithadisu tattatsthdnagatd nddyas tattaddevatdrupena parinamayya 

18 vindsac] N; vinasac K; vinasaya D. 

19 is'vari] K, N; isvard D. 

33 8 


vyavasthitd bhdvydh —yathd bdhye pithddisamipasthd nadyas toyena posanam 
kurvanti tadvad dehe 'pi nddyo nakhddindm posanam kurvantlti samdnatd. 
bdhye vajrapitham mahdbodhisamjnakam sthdnam niranjand ca nadi. dehe 
mahdsukhacakram vajrapitham avadhuti niranjand: 

w 20 

§33 om kara kara pracande hum humphat: Both /-stem and tf-stem femi- 
nine nouns appear in this mantra with the suffix -ye. The dative inflexion 
-iyeis discussed in n. 432. All feminine proper nouns are unemended here. 

§34 etac ca gurupadesdd boddhavyam^ darsitam: This is omitted in the 
Tibetan text. The Tibetan text transcribes all mantras with the distinction 
commented upon by the author here: hum humphat (as noted in the foot- 
notes to the edition at §12). The distinction between hum and hum that 
Umapatideva makes here is clearly differentiated in K, but seems to be lost 
in other mss. N is small and faint but seems to read hum hum. D also reads 
hum hum. Umapatideva's statement is also not borne out in other sources 
examined for this book. A scriptural parallel for the key to the mantras is 
cited in another GSS sadhana extracted from the ADUT, in which the 
mss. supply a long vowel in hum (GSS7 K43V4— 5): pranavam ndmasam- 
yuktam humhumphatkdrasamyutam. 

v.6o dkrdntakamtrayodbhuta. . .: Sanderson (1998: personal communica- 
tion) notes that although our Tibetan witnessess prescribe ah, Stein records 
a different Tibetan tradition that supports kam (1976-77, p. 533: Puis trois 
tetes humaines issues de ka servent de pierres du foyer); Sanderson adds that 
the reading kam is supported in the Sanskrit by the Kriydsamuccaya (SP 
405.1: kamjatriculikam dhydydt tadurdhva<m> prthubhdjanam d<h>kdra- 
bijasambhutam). Therefore, this is probably the better reading. 

Our Tibetan witnesses are following a Sanskrit tradition attested by the 
ritual texts related to GSS11 and GSS5 (Sed p. 135 7 , K22V6): pascdd 
amrtdsvddanam kurydt. yamkdrena vdyumandalam tadupariramkdrajdgni- 
mandalam. tatra sukla-dhkdrajam suklapadmabhdjanam mundatrayakrta<m> 
cullikdvasthitam; also Cakrasamvarabalividhi (p. 56 11. 25-26): tatra purato 
yamkdrena vdyumandalam tadupari ramkdrajdgnimandalam tatra sukla- 
dhkdrajamunaatritayaknacullikdrudham suklapadmabhdjanam. • yam] em.; 
yam Finot • ram] em.; Finot ram; SM251 (p. 494): yamkdraparinatam 
vdyumandalam tadupari rephaparinatam agnimandalam tadupari rakta- 

20 niranjana] em.; niranjanam K. 


dhkarajampadmabhdjanam. Different syllables altogether are given in the 
VA om ah hum {Amrtasddhanam SP f.izov): tatrayamjavdyupari ramjdgnau 
d<h>kdrajasubhrdbjabhdjanam omdhhumjatrimundastha<m>. 

v.6iff. omdditi-*bijdni: Omitted in the Tibetan translation. The seed-syllable 
for Vairocana (bum/vum) must have dropped out of the set in the Sanskrit 
since ten syllables are required. It is also absent from the parallel texts (GSS5 
Sed p. 135 9 , K2 3 n, and Finot 1934: 57). However, it is present in other texts, 
e.g., GSS16 (K8ir6) and SM251 (p. 494) cited in notes to chapter 3. 

§36 jvdldmudrd: The GSS mss. read jdldmudrd, along with the majority 
of Cakrasamvara/VajrayoginI texts. As stated (ch. 3), this is something of 
a hybrid between jvdld° and jdla°. The former (jvdldmudrd) is the version 
attested in Abhayakaragupta's Sdmvarikah Sdrvabhautikabalividhi in the VA 
(SP f. I23r4): laldtopari jvdldmudrdm krtvdphed iti sdtopam trir uccdrya. 
and is that transmitted into the Tibetan tradition. However, it appears 
only once in the GSS (GSS35), as shown in the (unemended) citations in 
notes to chapter 3. 

§36 <om> anyonydnugatdh sarvadharmdh: The om is omitted in all GSS11 
mss. but included in the Tibetan translation (p. 45.3). It also appears in the 
Cakrasamvarabalividhi (p. 57) and GSS5 (Sed p. 143 10 , K2 9 r 5 ) where the 
mantra is given in a slightly different form (om anyonydnugatdh sarvadharma 
atyantdnupravistdh sarvadharmd hum). In other texts, (e.g., GSS4) the more 
common mantra appears (om yogasuddhdh sarvadharmdh yogasuddho 'ham), 
while other <W/ rituals omit the mantra altogether (e.g., GSS31, GSS35). 

§36 amrtabhdndam avasthdpya dhydtvd vd (conj.): The missing alternative 
verbal action is found in parallel texts cited ch. 5, e.g., GSS5 (Sed p. 143 12 , 
K29V1): tad amrtabhdndam avasthdpya dhydtvd vd~ Cakrasamvarabalividhi 
(Finot 1934: 57): tad amrtabhdndam avasthdpya dhydtvd ca; Sdmvarikah 
sdrvabhautikabalividhi (VA SP f.i2 3 r-v) : amrtabhdndam dropya dhydtvd vd. 

§36 humbhava vajrajihvdndm: The tongue is often described as white; cf. 
the parallel passages in GSS5 (Sed p. 143 17 , K29V3): humbhavasukUzvajra- 
jihvdndm; 2 ' Cakrasamvarabalividhi (p . 57): humbhavasuklavajrarasandndm 
tricakradevatdndm. Other rites involving the transformation of the tongue 

21 jihvdnam] em.; jihvaydnam K. 



also include the adjective, e.g., GSSn §51: s'uklahumkaraparinatasuklava- 
jrajihva-; GSS5 (Sed p. 145 3 , K30V3): humkaranispannam suklavajramaylm 
jihvam vidhaya ...; GSS5 (Sed p. 148 6 , K33V1): oms'ukla-omkaraparinatava- 
jrajihva-; cf. GSS5 (Sed p. 150 8 , K35r4): ahkarajasarojadalabhasvajihva- 
yam. . . . 

v. 68 s'uktijam^ ddpayet: Inserted into the lower margin of K66v (possibly 
by the first hand?): 

suktije 12 narikele 15 tu kurmaje kicaje 2A tatha 
bhukhevaricaranam ca pancamamsani ddpayet iy . 68). 

"He should offer the five meats of creatures moving on the earth, in 
the air, and in water [i.e., animal, bird, and fish] in [a vessel] made of 
mother-of-pearl (suktija), coconut shell (narikela/narikera), turtle 
shell, and bamboo" (trans. Sanderson). 

There are several problems with this verse: (1) The insertion mark is on line 
3 of ms. K following pasyet (and incorporated at this point into the text of 
N and D). I have moved the insertion in the edition here to a more logi- 
cal position, following upadhaukayet on line 4. The text to be inserted actu- 
ally states that it belongs on line 4, so it seems that the insertion mark itself 
is wrong. It does not appear in the Tibetan translation. (2) The inserted 
text is metrical in the middle of a prose passage. (3) Its relevance is ques- 
tionable because it describes a different kind of vessel and seems to refer to 
an alternative set of lamps rather than five nectars. 

§38 m vajraralli hoh -* samayas warn drsya hoh: cf. YSCT (A5r3) : om aralli 
hoh jah hum vam hoh vajradakinyah samayas tvam drsya hoh. evam tri~ 
catuhpancavaranuccarya samayadravyani. . . (dam). . . om kha kha khahi etc.; 
HA (f. I4r6): om aralli hoh jah hum vam hoh vajradakinyah samayas tvam 
drsya hoh vajranjalyorddhvavikaca? balim dadyan nisarddhake. om kha kha 
khahi etc.; GSS5 (Sed p. 143 19 , K29V3): om aralli hoh jah hum vam ho<h> 
vajradakinyah samayas tvam drsya ho<h> ity anena ekadvitricatuhpanca- 

22 suktije] conj. Sanderson; suktijam K, N; muktijam D. 

23 ndrikele] conj. Sanderson; ndrikelas K, N, ndrikela D. 

24 kurmaje kicaje] conj. Sanderson; kurmajam kisajam codd. 



vdroccdritena dhaukayet;F'mot (1934: 58); GSS16 (K81V4): om vajraralli hoh 
jah hum vam hoh vajraddkinyah samayas warn drsya hoh. 

The sequence jah hum vam hoh has been discussed in chapter 3. Other 
elements of this mantra also appear in earlier texts, such as samayas warn, 
e.g., Sarvatathdgatatattvasamgraha (p. 23); Sarvadurgatiparisodhanatantra 
(p. 152): samayas Warn, (p. 181): drsya hoh. The mantra element vajraralli 
or aralli is obscure. There is no dictionary entry in Sanskrit for the word. 
Sanderson (1998: personal communication) has noted that aralli may be 
derived from Tamil and Malayalam arali meaning "oleander" (Burrow and 
Emeneau 1961. A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. Oxford: entry 173), 
but that there are also other Dravidian possibilities, namely, Tamil aral 
"to be terrified" {ibid. s.v. entry 2980), and aral, "to burn," "to become 
angry" / arali, "fire" {ibid. s.v. entry 234); drral "power," "wisdom" {ibid. 
s.v. entry 239). 

The word appears in compound in GSSi«GSS2, cited in full in chapter 2 
(p. 53) (K28ov/ov): trikonamandalam ramyam vajrarallivinihsrtam. Here it 
may be equivalent to padma, and hence the term would mean: "produced 
from [the union of] vajra (penis) and padma (vagina)." Isaacson (1996) has 
shown other instances of the term, including a possibly similar usage in 
Mahasukhavajrapada's commentary to the Canddmahdrosanatantra, in 
which the lord of the mandala is said to have "arisen from the vajrdrall? 
(ms. NAK 3-402 NGMPP B 31/7 f. 6v2). Here its function seems to be that 
of the dharmodayd, as in the Samputatantra ch. 1 (p. 238): ekdrdkrtimadhye 
rasasyaivam yathd bhavati I trikone mandale ramye vajraralivinismrtam I 
dharmodayeti vikhydtam yositdm bhaga ityapiltasya madhye gatam padmam 
astapatram sakarnikam; cf. Vasantatilaka ch. 9, v. 6 (p. 73): vajrdrallau 
padmagatdni pratidaladiksuvidiksu vinirgatdni, in which the commentator 
does not gloss the word and the Tibetan translation transliterates. There is 
a group of Vajrdrallitantras in the tantric canon (e.g., the Rgi-dralli), now 
known only through quotations in surviving literature (Isaacson 1997: per- 
sonal communication; cf. Bendall 1885: 171). The "A ra //"tantras appear 
in Bu ston's analysis of the Tibetan canon within the Yeshes rgyud (wisdom 
tantras) within the Samvara (bDe mchog) groupings, that also contain the 
Laghusamvara and the Samvarodayatantra (see Tsuda 1974: 28 and Dawa- 
Samdup 1919: 7-8). 

Ǥ4i GSS5 (Sed p. 145 15 , K3ir2): bdhyapujdvidhir ucyate. iha bhagavatim 
pujayitukdmah prdtar utthdya yathdvasaram vd vajravairocaniyogavdn 
mantri sucipradese hastam dattvdom sumbha nisumbhetyddimantram uccdrya 



pancdmrtasugandhddivatikayd anyatama*dravyamisritagomayavatikayd 
caturasramandalam upalipya tanmadhye bastam dattvd pujetyddicaturvim- 
uccdrayet'. tatas tatra mandalake jhatiti caturmahdbhutasthasumerupari 
raktapadmasthasuryavamkdram drstvd tadrasmibhir jndnamandalam dnlya 
tatra pravesya tatparinatdm bhagavatim saparivdrdm sarvdkdranispanndm 

pasyet. [cont. below =§42] 

Cf. BahyapujdvidhiSziyzx.^^ (Finot 1934: 52). This text outlines the 

ritual for the yogin in union with Cakrasamvara. GSS5 is closely related to 

the Cakrasamvara text, although SasVatavajra's text is longer, describing 

the preparatory acts more elaborately. There is also some difference in word 

order in the following problematic passage: srisamvarayogavdn sucipradek 

pancdmrtasugandhddivatikayd tadabhdvenyata[ma]dravyamisritagomaya- 

vatikayd vd samyuta[m] bastam dattvd, om sumbhanisumbhetyddikam 

uccdrya, caturasramandakkam upalipya, om ah vajrarekhe hum ity adhisthdya, 

tanmadhye hastamdattvd pujetyddicaturvims^tyaksardnipithopapithddidasa- 

bhumisvabhdvdni tattadbhumyadhimohapurvakam uccdrayet. 

=§42 GSS5 cont. (Sed p. 146', K 3 ir6) (=Finot 1934: 52-53): tato hrdbijanir- 
gatavinddidevibhih sampujya saptaratnddini ca tannirgatdni* dhaukayitvd 
yathdvidhisodhitavdmakarena mandalamadhye bhagavatyai tryaksarena 
puspam dadydt. punas tatraiva bhagavatihrdayopahrdayamantrdbhydm. tato 
ddkinyddinam yamamathaniparyantandm svasvamantrena diksu vdma- 
'vartena vidiksu daksindvartena yathdsthdnam mandalake puspa<m> deyam.^ 
=§43 17 tato 'vaksyamdnahastapujdkramena karavinyastdndm devatdndm 1 ' 
tattatsthdnesu tattanmantrena om ha ityddind puspam dadydt. tatas tadvdma- 
karagatapuspam astapadamantroccdranapurvakam mandalake praksipya 
s'irasy ahjalikaranapurvakam karatalagatadevatdcakram dtmani pravesayet. 
=§44 tadanu hrdayddyastapadamantrastutipurvakamyathdvartitastutibhih 

ca vidhdya - [cont. below =§45] 

»§ 45 GSS5 cont. (Sed p. 146 10 , K 3 iv6) (»Finot 1934: 53): - s'atdksaram 




anyatama] corr.; anyatamdK. 

tannirgatdni] em.; tannirgatddi K. . 

tato vaksyamdnahastapujdkramena karavinyastdndm devatdndm] GSS5; >ata<. 

karavinyastdndm devatdndm Finot. 
devatdndm] Finot, devatdndm ca GSS5. 


uccdrya om yogasuddhdh sarvadharmd 19 yogasuddho 'ham iti mantrasahita- 
kamaldvartamudrayd samtosya mudropasamhdrendlingandbhinaya 30 purah- 
saram chotikdddnasahitam 31 om vajra mur iti pathan 32 visarjya tac cakram 
dtmani pravesayet. tato mandalarekham lumped iti. 55 [cont. below ^§46] 

Ǥ46 GSS5 cont. (Sed p. 146 14 , K^zrz) (-Finot 1934: 54~56): hastapujd- 
vidhir ucyate. 34 tatra ganamandalddau srivajravdrdhiyogavdn yogi vdmakare 
vrddhdtarjanimadhyamdndmikd 3b kanisthdtannakhamukhesu 3G vajrasattva- 
vairocandmitdbhdksobhyaratnasambhavdmoghasiddhisvarupdn 31 yathdkramam 
suklasitaraktakrsnapitaharita 3% varndn om ha. 39 nama hi. 40 svdhdhum. vausat 
he. hum hum ho. phat hamkdrdn vinyaset. karatale jhatiti nispannam^ rakta- 
pancadalakamalam dhydtvd purvddidigdalesu vdmdvartena yathdkramam 
ydminimohinisamcdlanisamtrdsanicandikdsvarupdni nilasvetapitaharita- 
dhumra A1 dhusaravarndni. ham yom hrim mom hrem hrim hum hum phat 
phad iti bijdksardni pasyet. karnikdyam 43 vajravdrdhisvabhdvam 44 rak- 
tavarnam om vam iti bijam. 45 etatpratibimbam" tricakram vddhah 4 ^ 
karaprsthe 'pi parisphutam pasyet. [cont. below Ǥ47]. 

29 sarvadharmd] corr.; savadharmd K. 

30 abhinaya\ em, dbhinaye K. 

31 purahsaram chotikaddnasahitam] GSS5; cf. purvakam andmikayd bhumim sprsan 

32 pathan] em.; path ana K. 

33 tato mandalarekham lumped iti] GSS5; cf. mandalarekhapronchanadikam kurydd 
iti. bdhyapujdvidheh punyam samgrahddyan maydrjjitam I ' tena bhuydj jagat sarvam 
buddhapujdparayanam (plus colophon) Finot. 

34 hastapujdvidhir ucyate] GSSy, atha hastapujdvidhir ucyate GSS11; pranamya 
vajravardhim yoginicakrandyikam I ' samgrhyate yathdnydyam hastapujdvidhir mayd 

35 ndmikd] corr.; 'ndmikdK. 

36 tannakhamukhesu] GSSy, tannakhesu SM253. 

37 siddhisvarupan] GSSy, siddhisvabhdvdn SM253. 

38 suklasitaraktakrmapitaharita] em.; suklapitaraktakrmaraktaharita K; suklaplta- 
raktakrmaharita SM253. 

39 om ha GSSy, om hah Finot. 

40 nama hi] GSS5; namah hi Finot. 

41 nispannam] em.; nispa(nndm) K(mg2) . 

42 dhumra] corr.; dhumrava K. 

43 karnikdyam] GSSy, karnikdyam ca Finot. 

44 svabhdvam] em.; svabhdvam K. 

45 bljam] understand dual. 

46 bimbam] em.; bimbdm K. 

47 tricakram vddhah] corr.; tricakram vd adhah K; cakratrayam vddhah Finot. 



§46 om ha, nama hi. . . ; The form chosen here is that which follows our 
ms. K most closely, and which seems to represent one tradition (while our 
ms. N follows another in some instances). In all cases but one, GSS11 agrees 
with Luylpada's HA (f. 11V3): hum hum hoh. Sanderson (1994a n. 88) exam- 
ines the form of the kavaca syllables with reference to the Tibetan translit- 
erations and their description in the Cakrasamvaratantra and its Panjika, 
and these are found to agree with K in all instances except svdhd hum, 
which Sanderson reports as svdhd hu. He notes (2001: personal communi- 
cation) that the short vowel u (in hu) is required to fit the sequence ha, hi, 
<hu> he ho, ham. Sanderson adds, "These vowels (a, i, u, e,l, with the syl- 
lable am) are known in the Saiva technical terminology of mantrasdstra as 
the "five shorts" (hrasva-). They are used to form the five "face mantras" 
of any mulamantra, when they are substituted for the vowel of the seed- 
syllable (bijam). In the light of this, the presence of the syWdkAchum in our 
texts (in svdhd hum) "is evidently the result of a scribe's error, a substitu- 
tion of the common for the exceptional." 

The YSCT (A4r4~5) represents a different tradition, however, and its 
variants are shown here in table 26, followed by variants from other texts 
(including mss. of SM251 and Kalffs mss. of the ADUT, pp. 286-87 and 
p. 301): 

Table 26. Variants in Cakrasamvara armor syllables 


ms. A/ch. 7, v.2 

other variants 

om ha 

om hah 

om hiim, om horn 

nama hi 

namah hih 

nama hih, nama hri 

svdhd hum 

svdhd hum 

svdhd hie 

vausat he 

vausat he 

vausat 1 vausat hem 

hum hum ho 

hum hiim horn 

hiim hiim ho 

phat ham 

phat phat ham 

Ǥ47 GSS5 cont. (Sed p.147 4 , K32V1): tatah karagatdn prthivyaptejo- 
vdyvdkdsadhdtun pdtanimdrani-dkarsaninartes'varipadmajvdlinisvabhdvdn 
adhimuncet.^ tatas tatkaragatdni bijdksardni dravadravyena® mraksayitvd 



tatah-* adhimuhcet] GSS5; this appears at the start of the rite in Finot. It is omit- 
ted altogether in GSSn. 
dravadravyena] GSS5; dravadravydni Finot. 



tatkaratalam™ sarvayoginyadhisthitatricakrasvarupam^ adhimucya taddravadi- 
dravyam tryaksaramantrendstapadamantrena vddadydt. [cont. below Ǥ48] 

§47 taddravadidravyam: All the sources read taddravadidravyam. Finot 
(i934 : 55) emends to tatra dravadidravyam. The SM edition (p. 498) inter- 
prets it tad dravadidravyam. The Tibetan text implies taddravddidravya- 
tryaksarena, "the three syllables of that which has melted, etc." (p. 48.7: zhu 
ba V de nyid la sogspa 'iyigegsum). I preserve tad- in compound, as this yields 
some sense, although the passage as a whole includes a number of ques- 
tionable demonstrative pronouns in compound. 

Ǥ48 GSS5 cont. (Sed p. 147 8 , K32V3): tatah sampujya nyunddhikavidhi- 
purandrtham satdksaram pathitvd cakrddyadhisthdndrtham 51 adhyesya 
taddravam aparadravye nyatra vd sthdpayitvd^ hastalagnena dravyena vdmd- 
ndmikdgrhitena hrjjihvdsirdmsi hum-dh-omkdroccdranapurvakam mraksayan 
taddevatdvrndam dtmani pravistam adhimuncet. etat tu vidhdnam samcdra- 
tantre^ prasiddhamP hastapujdvidhih/' 6 [cont. below Ǥ49] 


«§49 GSS5 cont. (Sed p. 147^, K32V5) («Finot 1934: 55-56; SM253): yadvd 
purvoktavidhisodhitavdmakardndmikayd pithopapithddidas'andmdny™ 
uccdrayan yathdvidhi sodhitamadanena trikonacakradvayam abhilikhya^ 
tanmadhye vartulam mandalam tatra svahrdbijanirgatdm tatkirandkrstdm 
vd sddhdrddheyamandaldm m bhagavatim vicintya tasyai pancdmrtddirupena 

50 tatkara(talam)] K(mg); tatkara(gatam) K(del). 

51 svarilpam] em.; svarupdmK. 

52 cakrddyadhisthdndrtham] em.; cakrddyadhisthdnddyartham K, Finot ms. (possibly 
retain this reading); cakrddhisthdndd bandham Finot ed. 

53 sthdpayitvd] Kpc; sthdpayet Kac. 

54 tantre] em.; tantra K. 

55 prasiddham] em.; pratisiddham K. 

56 etat tu vidhdnam -*hastapujdvidbih.] GSS5; iti likhitd haste pujd samasya samcdra- 
tantrasambaddhd I smrtaye mandadhiydm api Sdsvatavajrena guruvardmndydt 
Finot; iti likhitd haste pujd mayd sya (etc. as Finot) SM253 (unmetric). 

57 yadvd] GSS5=Finot; athavdGSSu; athaSMift. 

58 pithopapithddidasandmdny] GSS5; pithopapithddisvabhdvapujetyddi caturvimsaty 
aksardny Finot; pithopapithadicaturvimsaty aksardny SM253. 

59 abhilikhya] GSS5; abhilekhya K; alikhya Finot. 

60 tatra-^sddhdrddheyamandaldm] GSS5= SM253; tatra svahrdbljanirgatam tatra 
kirandkrstam vd ddhdrddheyamandalam Finot; (GSS5 Sed reads vdsddhdrddheya- 



nispdditam khddyabhojyddikam 61 tryaksarendstapadamantrena vd dattvd 
padmabhdjanagatam amrtdyitam madanam vrddhdndmikdbhydm grhitvd 
bhagavatim svahrdayopahrdaydbhydm ddkinyddiyamamamathaniparyantds %l 
cayathdsvam etdsdm eva mantraih samtarpayet. [cont. below Ǥ5o] 

Ǥ50 tatah sampujya nyundtirekavidhipurandrtham satdksaram pathitvd 
ganacakrddhisthdndrtham cddhyesya - om yogasuddhdh sarvadharmd yoga- 
suddho ham iti-pathan kamaldvartanamudrayd^ samtosya tanmudropasam- 
hdre<na> GA dlingandbhinayapurvakam andmikayd bhiimim sprsan om vajra 
mur iti pathitvd visarjya taccakram dtmani pravesayet. tatas tad^ bhumigata- 
madanam^ vdmdndmikayd grhitvd tena hrjjihvdsirdmsi hum-dh-om- 
kdroccdranapurvakam mraksayan, tat karagatam api devatdcakram dtmani 
pravistam dlokayediti hastena pujoktd. 67 [cont. below Ǥ5i] 

§49 mudropasamhdrend -* §51 juhuydd ity: Omitted in the Tibetan text. 

Ǥ5i GSS5 cont. (Sed p. 148 6 , K33V1): tatah f omsukla-omkdraparinata- 
vajrajihvdh daksinasruvenetardhutim svandbhikamalakarnikdydm avasthita- 
jvdldmdldkulacakresu fjuhuydt. ityadhydtmahomah sesah. [cont. below Ǥ 52] 

§52 tadanu - om ah ucchistavajra. ..: The closing remark, bahir gatvd, in 
GSS11 is strange, and it is at this point that Umapatideva finishes his redac- 
tion from the source text. However, it is explained in the parallel text in 
GSS5, that also ends at this point (with a slightly extended text), giving an 
indication that the source text continues with a description of bdhyahoma 
rituals, as follows: 

61 khadyabhojyadikam] GSS5; khadyapeyddikam Finot, SM235. 

62 dakinyadiyamamathaniparyantam\ Kpc2, Finot, SM253; ddkinyddiyamadddhi- 
paryantds Kzc. 

63 kamaldvartanamudrayd] GSS5; kamaldvarttamudrayd Finot, SM253. 

64 tanmudropasamhdre<na>] GSSn; tanmudropasamhdra GSS5; tanmudropasamhdre 
Finot, SM253. 

65 tad\ com; tata K. 

66 madanam] cbrr.; madamnam K. 

67 hastena pujoktd] GSS5; cakrasamvarandthasya tryasramandalavarttinah I esd has- 
tena pujoktd yogindm hitakarini I samgrhya (SM253: sampujya) yan maydvdptam 
hastapujdvidheh (SM253: vidhim) s'ubham I tena sarvejanah (SM253: sarvajandh) 
santu hastapujdpardyandh I ' hastapujavidhih samaptah. krtih Sdsvatavajrapdddndm 
iti. (SM253: Sdsvatavajrasya) Finot, SM253. 


GSS5 cont. (Sed p.148 8 , K33V2): om ah ucchistavajra 6 * adhitisthemam 
balim hum svdhd. sunyatdkarunddvayatraidhdtukacakrdkdrajndnavahnau tu 
yathopadesam skandhddindhanadahandn niruttarahomah. sdntikapaustikddi- 
bdhyahomas tu homavidhau karmdnurupavihitakundakusumasamidha- 
sosanddikam anusrtya vidhayo vistarabhaydn na likhitah. evam tdvat 
pujdbalividhdnddisametam vistarena bhagavatyd bhdvandmandalam 

iddmm-^w. 70-77: Omitted in Tibetan text. 

v.70 karankakakhyam ca subhisanam ca: For the textual sources referred to 
here, see chapter 3. Various names are given for the western and southern 
cremation grounds in these sources, and there is some confusion between 
them. For the western cremation grounds, texts give Vajrajvalakula- 
karankaka, Jvalakulakarankaka, Karankaka, and Jvalakula. For the south- 
ern cremation grounds, they may give Subhlsana or Vibhisana, or omit 
Subhisana/Vibhisana altogether and split the compound for the western 
cremation grounds, to give Karankaka (west) and Jvalakula (south). More 
textual research is needed to solve the problem, which may have arisen 
because both jvalakula and subhlsana, > vibhisana are possible qualifications 
of the proper nouns that designate the cremation grounds. From the 
sources examined so far, the names Jvalakulakarankaka (west) and 
Vibhisana (south) are the most common (perhaps corroborated by the 
inclusion in this western cremation ground of the asoka/kankeli tree, whose 
flaming red flowers also suggest a motif of flame), e.g., SUT ch. 17, v. 36cd: 
candogram gahvaram caiva vajrajvdldkarankinam, which suggests Vajrajvala 
west and Karahkin south, although the text should read a dual 
(. . . vajrajvdldkarankini). GSS16, although corrupt, seems to cite the SUT 
text (i7-36cd) but, confusingly, adds Vibhisana in what may have once 
been an insertion or qualifying gloss (GSS16 K76V6): candogra<m> gahva- 
ram caiva vajrajvdldkarankakah. vibhisanam ca purvddidiksu vdmena 
samsthitam. GSS34 (Kii3r5) gives Jvalakula west and Karankaka south. The 
Adbhutasmasdndlamkdra (reported by Meisezahl 1980: 19) gives Karankakin 
west and Vibhisana south. Luylpada's Smasanavidhi (v. 8) gives 
Jvalakulakarankaka west and (v. 10) Vibhisana south. Cf. K. Gyatso (1999: 
120-22). This is possibly corrupt, since the verse with the compound 


ucchistavajra] corr.; utsistavajra K. 


Jvalakulakarankaka actually omits the name of the protector, Varuna (v.8): 
pracydm pddapo 'soko jvdldkulakarankake I svetah saptaphanah pan 
makarasthah kapdladhrk 69 

69 Finot takes the qualification "having a noose," past, in the third pdda to indicate 
the proper name of a god Pasin = Varuna. Meisezahl notes that this is not the 
reading in the Tibetan, but he still translates past as "Varuna" on the ha: ,..:■ : ! ^ 
Mailman's identification of the noose-bearing god Pasin as Varuna in the 
Mahabharata (1980: 42 n. 33). 

Insignificant Variants 

A variant is judged "insignificant" when it is suggestive of scribal practice 
or scribal error rather than a separate manuscript lineage. (Variants in proper 
nouns are shown in the apparatus, however, except those showing faulty 

Typical examples of insignificant variants: 

In allmss.: 

• scribal errors such as dittography or metathesis, e.g.,yadakdn] K, N; day 
akdriD (meta.) 

• some omission of anusvdra or visarga, e.g., sthdnam] N; sthdna K, D 

• omission of "r," e.g., sarva] N, D; sava K 

• "invisible" virdma, e.g., vidadhita] N; vidadhitK, D 

• some corrections to samdhi, e.g., phat] com; phad codd. 

• confusion between sibilants, e.g., sarpisi] em.; sarpisi codd. 

• confusion between i/I, u/u, e.g., °varahi] K, N; vdrdhi D 

• lacuna, or confusion in the source-text of a ms. that makes no difference 
to the reading, e.g., surdbhakst] K, D; surd - bhaksi N 

• intentional lacunae or decoration dividing sections of the text, eg - ® 
- K; -7- N. 

• additions or corrections by the first or second scribe in K that have been 
preserved in transmission, e.g., etasya] codd., Kpc; (e)tasya K(add2) 

• regular orthographical "mistakes," e.g., nairtya (codd.) for nairrtya; datvd 
(codd.) for dattvd; satva- (codd.) for sattva-. 

In ms. D: 

• haphazard addition and omission of strokes of the aksara producing long 


vowels, e.g., asydgamasydyam] K, N; esydgamasyoyam D, or bhiitdt] K, N; 
bhiitdte D 

• confusion between r and 1, e.g., siro°] K, N; s'ila D 

• nonsense probably produced through sloppy copying, e.g., visddasya] 
K, N; vivyadasma D 

Insignificant Variants to GSSii 

v.2d abhista] K, N; abhista D; v.3b °dyutim] K, N; °dyutitD; v.4a 
°bhavair] N, D; °bhavaiK; v.4d catur] N, D; cata K; §1 °dsrayanam] 
corr.; dsrayanam K, N; dsayanam D; v.5a ftajrya] codd., Kpc; (e)tasya 
K(add2); v.5d samastam] corr.; samastam codd., Kpc; sa(pta)mastam 
K(dd); yad akdri] K, N; day akdriD (WtaJ;v.8§a caturbrahmavihdrds] 
N, D; catubrahmdvihdrds K; v.9a bhiitdt] K, N; bhiitdte D; v.lOa °ranam 
na s'akyam] K, N; ranam na sakyam D; v. 10b visddasya] K, N; 
vivyadasma D; v.lOd o i//rj/0 muditdm] K; wjw- N; wirj/a muditdD; 
°hantrim] K, N; hamtim D; v.l2ab pratitya-^alikam] K, N; pratitejatvdj 
(vra?)lacandratubhyam pasyad alikam D; v,12d vidadhita] N; vidadhitYi, 
D; §2 &zmz] N, D; azw* K; svabhdvasuddho] N, D; svarvvadhabhavasud- 
dho K (ditto.); sunyatd] K, N; sunyatdm D; \A3A.pasyed vitdnam] K, N; 
pasyad vitdna D; v.l4a *&$&«] K, N; awa/w D; v.l4b cataro nivesya] K, 
N; caturdm ivesya D; v. 15a kdkdsyakddydh] Kpc; kdkdsyodydh Kac; 
kdkdsydkddyoh N; kdkdsydkddyoh D; v. 15b />rf/yrt] K, N; />ar)/^ D; §3 
mantrdh] K, N; mantrah D; sukardsyd] K, N; sukaldsyd D; §4 ^zrtw*] 
em.; dWa codd.; v. 17b visphuradamsujdlam] K, N; visphuratadasujdlam 
D; v.20b pibantim] K, N; pibantiD; v.22c ° virdjamdna] K, N; 
virdjamdndD; v.23d °granthi] Kac, N; gra(nthi?) Kpc2. (correction 
obscure); granthiD; §6 °vdrdhi] K, N; vdrdhiD; samtrdsini] em.; 
satrdsiniK.; v.26a mayukha] K, N; mayukha D; v.26c nabhahsthdm] em.; 
nabhasthdm codd.; v.26d sarpisi] em.; &wpz« codd.; v.27c °sekodaka] K, 
N; khebhyedaka D; §7 samaya] K, N; jawa D; §8 astdbhir yoginibhir] K, 
N; astdbhi yoginibhi D; v.28d piyusam] K, N; piyusam D; v.30d 
susuksma] K, N; susuksmya D; v.31c sampddana] K, N; sapddana D; 
v.34c pratyiisa] K, N;pratyusaD; §9 °dksaro] K, N; dksardD-Jhatiti] K, 
D;jhatatiN; nirgama] K, D; »/rga "waN; tasminn] K; tasminN, D; 
£/>«fo] K, N; Ar/ra&K D; v.35a fctf] em.; tata K, D; /ateA N; prathamo 
bhdvandkramah 1.] K; - - prathamo bhdvandkramah — N; prathamo 


bhdvandkramah - - D; v.36 atha] codd., Kpc; a(tha) K(mg); °karota] K, 
N (syncop.); karota(ka) Dpc(add2); v.37c samadhikdm] K, N (unmetric); 
samadhikyamD; kurydd] N, D; kurydtdK; v.37d purnamandalam] codd. 
(^«a?/>.;;§10 vajravdrdhim] K, N; vajravardhiD; purvottara] K. D; 
purvd - ttaraN; °dbhir] K, N; aM/D; ^«/] Kpc, N, D; dakini(bhi) 
K(del); sahitdm] K, N; sahitdD; °devis] K; aWN, D; v.38a <ra] K, N; <:a 
D(add); v.38b ft/] K, N; /» Dadd; v.40c aWftvz] K, N; dustrdD; §11 
raft^™] codd., Kpc; catvd(ri)ro K(del); §12 bhagavati] N; bhavatiK; 
bhagavati D; °vdrdhi] K, N; vdrdhiD (vajravdrdhi-^phat in] K, N read - 
/;D reads -/unless otherwise stated.); °»/] K; esvariN; es'variD; 
'pardjite] K, N; apardjite D; ^aw] K, N; tWj/ara D; namah] N; mo K, 
D; />VJ N, D; />A* K; mantra] K, N; w^ftY? D; phat.] corr.; />>W /'ft 
codd.; 2.] K, D; - 2 -N; §13 wfoww] Kac, N, D; iddnim (idamj 
Kpc(add2); nairrtya] corr.; nairtyaK, N; nairtyeD; aisana] K, N; <?&»<? 
D; °^/>] K, N; M*>D; °dddhl] K; aW/N, D; §14 °samds] K, N; &/«*' 
D; savdsanatvam] K, N; savdsanatvam D; i/i&wA] K, N; vise*D; v.4le 
fltfftw*! em.; satod codd.; §15 svdndsye] K, N; svdndsye D; sukardsye] K, 
N; MardsyeD; °damstriniye] K, N damstriyeD; phat.] corr.; phad codd.; 
3] K, -5-N; §16 devicakram] K; devicakraN, D; cakratraya] K, N; r^ra- 
mg^D; §17 °«H K, N; r^r«w D; iW/] K; zW/'N, D; 
pulltramalaya] K, N; puIliiamalayeD; °kramam] K, N; kramaD; °ndsd°] 
D; «*&K, N; nairrtya] corr.; nairtya codd.; mdlava°\ K, N; molavdD; 
samgrahah- K; samgrahah - 1- N; samgrahah-- D; §18 wrf/my*] em.; 
wrf/rtjwcodd.; ^z^/*°] K, N; w*yf«/<?D; samgrahah- K; samgrahah- - 2 - 
- N; samgrahah- D; §19 /z^w] K, N; j«^ D; <&/>*] K, N; </w>* D; 
varminyo] codd.; ^rw//»/;«yoK(del); nairrtya] em.; /w/njwcodd.; 
samgrahah] K, D; samgraha. 3 N; §20 cittavdkkdya] codd.; 
aft^Y^%rfD(add); vibhusitds] K, N; vibhusitds D; siro°] K, N; //'/a 
D; §21 Wwa ] K, N; sufmaD; §22 ndsdya] K; ^a>*N, D (Wta.;; 
"yogato yojySi K; yogatoyo - N; yogatayo - D; />w/wr] K, (su?)narN; su na 
D (marked faulty); §23 sthanam] N; rfA/wi* K, D; *«*ar] K, N; ^ D; 
/wmafl corn; /wmfr codd.; °^;/>] K, N; kotiD; tesdm] K, N; fcraD; 
A "H Kpc, N, D; sthd(nam) K(addi); §24 pdddh] codd., Kpc; ^A 
Kac; r<M>/°] K, N; rddhiD; °chandah] codd., ^Wa^N(add); rddhi°] 
K, N; rddhiD; ceti] codd., f^ftj rcft Kpc(mg); §25 tat pancavidham] K, 
N; tat pancavidham tat pancavidham D (ditto.); viryendriyam] K, N; 
viryindriyam D; V^/a^ ] K, N; dayasyora D; ° kitasydrthasyd] Kpc; 
*//a^rt*4;^K(add); kitasydrthasyo N , D; w«mA] K, N; D(add); /»/■ 


prajne-] N, D; tataprajne- K; §27 sapta] K, N; saptah D; ° bodhyangam] 
Kpc, N, D; dhy-bodhyarigamKzc; upeksd] codd.; w/*(fe*J K(add); 0/><?te] 
K, N; 0/^0 D; §28 sukardsyd] K; MardsydN, D; samddhir] K, N; 
samddhiD; nimittam] K, N; rc/w/'fczw D; §30 r*| K, N; tow D; kd] K, 
N; few D; gr] K; £w N, gum D; ddydksardm] K, N; ddyoksardni D; 
pulliramalayddini] codd.; pulliramala(yd)dini D(mg); sirahprabhrtini] K, 
N; sirahprabhitini D; jdlandhare] K, N;jdlandhara D; canddksim] K, N; 
canddksiD; dhyeydd oddiydneK, N; dhydyddauddiydneD; mahdndsdm] 
corr.; mahdndsdm codd.; />#*/»] K; />/;/;* N, D; Www/'/; - ® - K (decora- 
tion); Www/'/; -7- N; Www/'/; no gap in D; v.45 vdme goddvari karne] K, 
N; vdme goddvari karnaD; virzmatim] K, N; vi(ra)matim D(add); W*r- 
z/jr/w] K, N; kharvariD; samsthitdm] K, N; samsthitdD; v.46 «»/a^ 
K, N; «»**;* D; Www/> ® - K; bhumih-y N; Www/'/; - ® - D; v.47 
<£w//w] K, N; *fcw D; Www/'/; - ® - K; Www/'/; -J- N; Www/'/; - ® - D; 
v.48 'ndsikdgre] corr.; nds'ikdgreK, D; «aw%*N; Www/'/; - ® - K; 
fcii; -/- N; Www//; - D; v.49 subhadrdm] K, N; subhadrdm D; 
Www/'/; - ® - K; Www/'/? -7- N; Www/'/; D; v.50 ^/w] K, N; devi D; 
A/^%] K, N; /;/'w^ D; Www/'/;] K, N; Www/ D; ® - K; - 7 -N; v.51 
pretapurydm] K, N; pretapuryd D; cakravegdm] K, N; cakravegd D; ;w] K, 
N; 70 D; - ® - K; -7- N; v.52 yoginim] K, N; j/0£/w D; mahdbaldm] K, N; 
mahdbald D; sddhumati] K, N; sddhumati D; - ® - K; -7- N; v.53 
dhydyddK, N; dhydydD; v ® - K (omission mark applies to v. 54); -7-N; 
v.54 °visuddhdtmd] K, N; visuddhdtmdD; v.55 «**] em.; wa&codd.; 
v.56 °mandalam] N, D; mandalamam K; wtazw^w - K, wtazw^w -tf-N; 
v.57 />wi»ftl K, N; /> ^witf D; §31 &*%] K, N; bdhya D; *zW/;wY/] 
K, N; avadhuti D; «w/aw - K; matam -5- N; wataw - - D; §32 iddnim] 
N, D; wfcw/ K; bhagavati] K, N; bhagavaftD; mahdvidyesvari] K, N; 
mahdvidyesvari D; vasamkari] K, N; vasamkari D; stambham] codd.; 
sta(ni)mbhani K(dd); mahdyogim] K, N; mahdyoginiD; kdmesvari] K, N; 
kdmefvariD; sosaya] K, N; / W f D; kapdladhdrim] K, N; kapdladhdrini 
D; mahapisita ] corr.; mahdpisitaK, N; mahdpisiD; mdnusdntraprdvrtte] 
K, N; mdnusdncaprdvrte D; narasiro] K, N; /wrrfHro D; °ww>#] K, N; 
°murteD; dgramahisi] K, N; dgramahisi D; vajrasarire] K, N; vajrasarire 
D; mahdyogim] K, N; mahdyoginiD; hum hum] K, N; /;ww /;ww D; 
trailokyavindsim] K, N; trailokyavinds'iniD; satasahasra] K, N; fltfao*- 
tew D; /;ww /;ww] K, N; /;ww /;ww D; virddvaite] K, N; virddvaiteD; 
°pasumoham] K, N; pasumohaniD; vandam] K, N; vandaniD; 
opratyayakdrim] K, N; pratyayakdrini D; /;ww k>] K, N; /;ww /;ww D; 

:*• ' 


bhutatrdsam] corr.; bhutatrds'ani K, N; bhutatrdsam D; paramasiddha- 

yogesvan] K, N; paramasiddhayogesvari D; svaha K; svaha -$- N; §33 

°ndse] corr.; tas'eK; suvlre] K, N; suvireD; cakravartiniye] K, N; 
cakravartiniD; phat- K; phat -6- N; />/w;- - D; vaksyate] K, N; ***£&«* 
D; asydgamasydyam] K, N; esydgamasyoyam D; *wa] K, N; rf/zto D; kdrya] 
K, N; kdrydD; bhdvandkramah - K; bhdvandkramah -7- N; 
bhdvandkramah - D; v.60a °yamkdra] K, N; jwfera D; v.64cd w'//>? K, 
N; w'% D; v.67b tryaksaram] K, N; tryeksaram D; v.67d tryaksaraih] K, 
N; tryeksaraihD; §36 foiZwi] N, D; baliK; purvakams] corr.; purvakam 
codd.; v.68cd <?*«] K, N; *D; grahahetu] N, D; £7»A<?*w K; §37 mantrah] 
K, D; 77w»*r* N; £W/w 2] K, N; (W^/v* 2 D; §38 dcamanddikam] 
codd., Kpc; dcam(d)nddikam K(del); §39 upadhaukayed\ codd., Kpc; 
upadhau(pa)kaye(*)dK(de\); mdtikramatha] codd.; md*-tikramatha¥L; 
prayacchantu-*mdtikramathaN(hmt); hum hum] K, N; /?ara A«w D; 
§40 nyunddhika] K, N; nyuvddhikaV; °vidhi] codd., Kpc; w^z'K(add); 
/xtf/wi] K, N; /w/A<? D; «flaw sreyah] K, N; ataz /rgwra D; yogasuddhdh] 
K, N; yogasuddhd D; toe] K, N; to D; pravesayet- K; pravesayet -7- N; 
§41 utthaya\ K, N; utsthdyaD; yogi] K, N; j/ag/D; misritayd] K, N; 
misritayoD; vd gomayamisritayd] codd., K(add); *»z)«] N, D; *(%* 
K(del); §42 puspddyaih] K, N; puspddyaisD; vdmakarena] codd., Kpc; 
vdm(arnn)akaremK(feY)\ hrdayopahrdayd ] K, N; hrdayo*daydD; 
°dikpdld°] K, N; digpdld°D; °gatam] codd., Kpc; (ga)gatam K(del); 
devatdcakram] corr.; devatdcakramm codd.; §45 nyunddhika] K, N; 
nyunddhika D; to^H codd.; /*&£*»« Kac and Kpc2; kamaldvarta] 
codd.; kam(d)ldvarta K(del); tow] K, N; to^D; uhaniyah-K; uhaniyah 
-7-N; uhaniyah-- D; §46 /w] codd.; (jrawj /w D(correction mark); 
vajravdrdhi] K, N; vajravdrdhi D; °bimbam] K, N; bimbaD; °prsthe] K, 
N;prsthaD; §47 tryaksarendstapadamantrena] codd.; §48 Kpc (ditto.); 
tryaksare(ndstapadamantre)ndstapada^ K(del) ; grhitena] K, N; hrhitenaD 
(haplo.); §49 tanmadhye] K, N; tatmadhye D; °sobhitdm] K, N; sobhitdm 
D; rtagw/] K, N; yetasyai D; °rupena] K, N; rtf/wi* D; tryaksarend] K, N; 
tryaksarandD; tricchotikdbhir] N; tricchotikdbhi K, D; §51 *wb<£«w 
^w/w] K, N; dkuld deviD; juhuydd ity] con.; juhuydd itiK; juhuyddiN; 
juhuydt iti D; homavidhih - K; homavidhih -5- N; homavidhih -4- D; 
§52 &*A/>] K; bahiN, D; gatveti- K; ^aft/*// -4- N; gatveti- D; v.71 
prdcydm udicydm] K, N; /racjw w mudicydm D; dnvitdydm] K; 
d(nv?)itdydm N; dndhitdydm D; subhisanam] K, N; subhisanasD; v.74 
konakesu] codd., Kpc #/#0.J; kona(kona)kesu K(del); <*tfwrc«] K; r^tow 



N, D; kramac chmasanani] corr.; kramat smasdnani codd.; amuni\ N; 
amuniK, D; v.75 attatta] K, N; ^«a«a D; °kdram] codd., Dpc; (kd)ram 
D(add); v.76c #*»*] codd., Kpc; *^wKac(del); (7.&>tf K(addz); 
vaisvdnard\ K, N; vaisvdnala D; v.77 wtfgtff *w] K; wdgtf/w /w N; «^w ^ 
D; hulur] K, N; /w/« D; v.78 ° marlcigauram] K, N; maricigoram D; 
°4&/^] K, N; dfaw/? D; samdptam - K; samdptam -5- N; samdptam D. 

Appendix: Summary of Sadhanas 
in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdla 

The following summary of the contents of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdla 
(GSS) provides a brief description of each sadhana and notes witnesses and 
publications where I am aware of them. I also give the reference to the work 
in BBK. A list of contents of the GSS (with citations) may also be found 
in Dhih I (Review of Rare Buddhist Texts, Sarnath: 7-41). For references 
to further discussions of the sadhanas, see the index. 

gssi Vajrayoginimukhdgama (Oral Transmission ofVajrayogini) by 

Indrabhiiti ' 
The sadhana begins with a benedictory s'loka and proceeds with the prepa- 
rations upon rising, including a mantra bath (mantrasndnam). The empti- 
ness mantras follow, and the sudden self-generation of ardhaparyarika-posz 
Vajravarahi at the navel. Her mantra is visualized whirling and blazing in 
her sex and is supplied in a mantra extraction (mantroddhdrah). This is fol- 
lowed by an external worship (parvapujd) and ten traditional frame verses 
on the topics of secrecy, transgressive discipline, Yogacara metaphysics, the 
success of the practice, and the guru. The bulk of this text (up to and includ- 
ing the mantra extraction, but excepting the concluding worship and frame- 
verses) is the same as the Vajravdrdhisddhana (GSS2) by Luyipada. The 
only commentarial text in the collection (GSS40) is a loose collection of 

Witnesses: GSS K (the foliation in K is f. 279VI -» f. 2711--V -* f. 80 -» f. 4 r< , 
Nin-3vi, Dro-3v6; cf. GSS2; Yum skor in which Sahara is given as the author 
(Toh 1545, Ota 2253, BBK: 275); s'ri-Vajrayoginirahasya-kamakarnamukhamuk'-j 
IASWR MBB-III-13 (BBK: 282). Tokyo University Library 307 rMnuju^- 
tiniyojana and Other Texts"); this ms. attributes the work to Srisabarapada. \s 
does the Tibetan translation above. 



glosses upon Indrabhuti's text, including his parvapujd and final verses. 
The work probably owes its title to its emphasis upon the role of the trans- 
mission lineage in the opening verse (K279V1) and the concluding line 
(K4r4): srlvajrayoginlrahasyam karndt karnam mukhdn mukham. 

GSS2 Vajravdrahisddhana by Luyipada 1 

The text is nearly identical to GSSi until the end of the mantra extraction. 
The ritual injunctions then include a puja and the offering of transgressive 
substances to a two-armed, dlldha-stance Vajravarahl. The sadhana ends 
with the promise of siddhi, and external food offerings as the ball 

GSS3 Vajravdrahisddhana by Advayavajra? 

The work begins with the standard preliminaries and bodhisattva prepa- 
rations. Following the emptiness mantras, the cosmos is visualized with 
Meru and the temple palace, and the circle of protection is installed. The 
self-generation through the sequence of awakenings is of a two-armed, 
pratydlidha-stance Vajravarahl within the fivefold mandala. The following 
prescriptions include the entry of the knowledge circle, armoring, mantras, 
and a concluding ball GSS3 is almost identical to GSS31, except that the 
latter has an extended bali section. 

GSS4 Samksiptavajravardhisddhana (Brief Vajravarahl Sadhana) by 

Vildsavajra(?) A 
Brief prescriptions cover the preliminaries, bodhisattva preparations, awak- 
enings, visualization of the cremation grounds, and the self-generation in 
that place of a two-armed pratydlldha-stzncc Vajravarahl. After worship, 
the yogin-as-goddess puts on the armor with the armoring mantras, sum- 

Witnesses: GSS K (the foliation in K is f. 4^ -» f. 4V -* f. o.r-v -» f. IK-V7), 
N3V2-5V3, D3v6-6r7; cf. GSSi. Two authors in the GSS refer to Luyipada: (1) 
Sakyaraksita in the Abhisamayamahjari (GSS5 Sed p.i39 15 > K26r4; see ch. 1); and 
(2) Dhyayipada, who refers three times to Luyipada as the source of the teaching 
(GSS34 Kiiivi, Kii5r6, K116V4). Toh. / Ota. - ? 

Witnesses: GSS Knv7-i3r6, N5V3-6V5, D6r7~7V4 « SM217; cf. GSS31. Yum skor 
(BBK: 273-74); Toh 3607, Ota 4429 (SS, BBK: 273-74, 463). Edition of the San- 
skrit text by Meisezahl (1967, 1980, with Tibetan text) and Finot (1934: 59-61). 
Witnesses: GSS Ki3r6-i4vi, N6V5-7V4, D7V4-8V4 - SM226; Jvalavali 10; Toh 
3300; Ota 4122 « 5130 (SS, BBK: 465); Jvalavali 10 (BBK: 493, but erroneously 
recorded as SM3, instead of SM226.); cf. GSS29 « SM227. For authorship, see 
GSS29 below. 


mons deities, and offers bait with the fe// mantra. The heart and auxiliary- 
heart mantras are followed by a concluding yogic meditation. See GSS29 
below in this list for parallels. 

GSS5 AbhisamayamanjarP (Flower Cluster of the Method of Realization) 

by Sakyaraksita 6 
The sadhana falls into two main parts. The first portion (K14VI-K33V5) 
describes the entire practice for the self-generation of the thirty-seven-fold 
mandala, from its preliminary prodedures to its closing rites. This includes: 
preliminaries, purification of speech (vaguisuddhih) and skandhas (skandha- 
visuddhih), bodhisattva preparations, visualization of the cosmos with 
Mount Meru and temple palace, circle of protection, self-generation with 
awakenings of two-armed alidha-stance Vajravarahi within a thirty-seven- 
deity mandala, armoring, entry of knowledge circle, consecration, tasting 

Witnesses: GSS Ki 4 vi-39r2, N 7 v4-2 5 r6, D8v 4 -28r8. Toh. 1582. Ota. 2294. A 
Sarnath edition (Sed) of the text (attributed to Subhakaragupta) has been pub- 
lished in Dhih (no. 13 1992: 123-154), and again as a separate booklet with a 
Tibetan edition in the Rare Buddhist Text Series no. 11, 1993. References to the 
1992 edition are given in citations in this book, but without noting variants, as 
our manuscript K is the oldest and most reliable witness. The Sarnath edition is 
based on four Sanskrit manuscripts, as follows: ^> the Guhyasamayasddhana- 
samgraha (Microfilm Catalog of the Buddhist Mss. Nepal 1981.;^the 
Ddkiniguhyasamyasddhanamdldtantrardja (a photocopy of a manuscript related 
to our ms. D); ?r tne Guhyasamayasamgraha (our ms. N); and ^T the Abhisamaya- 
manjari (1ASWR, MBB11-243) described as prdcina newdri. There are many por- 
tions of text in GSS5 that are found in similar or identical form in other sadhanas 
of the GSS and SM, listed as appropriate elsewhere in this book. 
Mss. K, N, and D all refer to the author as Sakyaraksita (K39r2). The same 
colophon appears in the Nepali paper ms. (Sed ms. ^ ) but reading "Santaraksita," 
while the colophon to Sed (p. 154) reads "Subhakaragupta," although the source 
of this reading is unclear. According to BBK (p. 279), different mss. of the 
Tattvajndnasamsiddhi attribute the work to Santaraksita and Subhakaragupta. 
The antiquity of the GSS manuscript K supports the authorship of Sakyaraksita. 
Moreover, Sakyaraksita states that his guru was Abhayakaragupta (see ch. 1), while 
Subhakaragupta was a scholar associated with Jagaddala at the end of the twelfth 
century just before its destruction (Dutt 1962: 378), and probably too young to 
have been Abhayakaragupta's pupil. Similarly, Santaraksita, the famous abbot of 
bSam yas in the latter eighth century is too early to be associated with Abhaya- 
karagupta. (For the dating of Santaraksita, see Snellgrove 1987: 366 and 43off., 
Dowman 1985: 233, Dhih on Tattvasamgrahano. 11, pp. 146-57, including notes 
in Hindi upon his authorship, and accounts of his reputed guru, Virupa.) 


of nectar, yogic meditations, mantras, alternative iconography drawn from 
VA (Ki6r5), correlations with the thirty-seven bodhipdksikadharmas, the 
body mandala (kdyamandakm), a ball rite, rituals to be undertaken at dif- 
ferent times, and finally, the external worship, hand worship, and internal 
oblation (cited in full in the Textual Notes). 

The second part of the sadhana (K 33 v 5 -K 3 8r 4 ) forms a compendium 
of alternative manifestations of the goddess with their associated mantras 
and ritual applications. These include the ekavird VajravairocanI within 
a fivefold mandala (Oddiydnavinirgatakrama), ekavird VajravairocanI, two 
forms of Vaj'raghona,' rites associated with a white form of Vajravarahl 
(see GSS38), red warrior-stance Vajrayogini, Trikayavajrayogini, and 
ardhaparyanka-pose Vajravarahl. The work closes with frame statements 
(K 3 8r-v) in praise of transgressive discipline and the guru, and with a ded- 
ication of merit. 

gss6 Raktavajravdrdhisddhana (Sadhana of Red Vajravarahl) 7 
The GSS text opens with two sdrdulavikridita verses of homage to Vajra- 
varahl and to Cakrasamvara. The text following (K 3 9r 5 : athdnyam <sam>- 
pravaksydmi vdrdhydh sadhanottamam) is lifted, with some editing by the 
redactor, from the ADUT (Guhyasamayottamapatala). It describes the visu- 
alization of a six-armed form of Vajravarahl seated in embrace with 
Cakrasamvara and in the center of a thirteenfold mandala, with a retinue 
of eight goddesses of the petals and four goddesses at the gates. The sadhana 
also prescribes the entry of the knowledge deity, and some mantras. (The 
ADUT provides the mantras for the goddesses of the petals longhand, 
whereas GSS7 gives the formula for the mantra. It also finishes with verses 
on the nature of dharmatd absent in the GSS redaction.) 


Witnesses: GSS K 3 9r2- 4 or 3 , N2 5 r6-26r 4 , D28r8-2 9 r 7 ; ADUT Guhyasamayot- 
tamapatala ch. 33 (NGMPP E 695/3 f- i6ov 3 -i62v 3 . Toh 1541, Ota. 2286 
(Toh/6ta. by Prajfiabhadra); from chapter 3 6 of the Tibetan translation of the 

ADUT (Toh 369, Ota. 17). 

Herrmann-Pfandt (1997: 21 with n. 40) states that this appears in ADUT ch. 
36 (Lokesh Chandra's edition pp. 201.7-204.2; iconography pp. 202.1-203.1), 
with the Tibetan translation in Peking Kanjur no. 17, fol.i8oai-b8. She also traces 
this form to the Sri-Vajravarahi-sadhana by Prajfiabhadra, Peking bsTan 'gyur 
no. 2286. She goes on to show that the tradition was known to Taranatha in the 
seventeenth century, and that it appears within the nineteenth-century Sa skya 
pa collection by 'Jam dbyangs bio gter dbang po, where the transmission is cred- 
ited to Virupa {ibid.: 23, with nn. 43, 44)- 


GSS7 Dvddasabhujavajravarahisadhana* (Sadhana of the Twelve-Armed 

Vajravarahl) 3 
The GSS text redacts from the ADUT7 Varahyabhyudayatantra, correcting 
the Sanskrit in places and omitting a dozen or more verses. Its starts 
abruptly with the self-generation, omitting the opening two verses from the 
source text praising the work (ADUT ch. 9: atha yogam pravaksyami...). 
It prescribes the visualization of an ardbaparyarika-pose, twelve-armed 
Vajravarahl in the midst of an extended forty-one-deity mandala with the 
addition of the four mothers, and with the visualization of therianthropic 
features for the retinue goddesses. It continues with the installation (nyasah) 
for the body mandala, including correlations of the skandhas and ayatanas 
with male deities. There is a brief closing reference to the entry of the 
knowledge deity, consecration, mantras, and a yogic meditation. The text 
in the ADUT is problematic, and its difficulties have been inherited by the 
GSS text, The problem lies in the order in which the mothers — Mamaki, 
Locana, PandaravasinI, and Tara — are listed; this affects the directions they 
occupy, their cihna, and their membership in the respective buddha fam- 
ilies. A fourteenth-century Tibetan mandala painting (Rossi and Rossi 1993) 
depicts the mandala described in this text (see plate 13). 

dvadasabhujavajravarahisddhana) conj.; vajravarahya dvadasabhujah sadhanam K, 
oddiyanapithadisthitadevisadhanam D ("Sadhana of the Goddess in Oddiyana and 
the Other Power Places [pithas]"). The colophons in D and K do not relate directly 
to the colophon to chapter 9 in ADUT (yoginipithasiddhikramanimittanirdesa), 
while the colophon in N is missing due to a missing folio (f. 29). 
Witnesses: GSS K4CT3-43V7, N26r4~28vi incomplete, D29ry-^iv6; ADUT 
Yoginipithasiddhikramanimittanirdesapatala 9 (mss. details ms. A: NGMPP E 
695/3 ff 64r6-7iv4) = ch. 12 in Tibetan Toh. 377, Ota. 22, and ADUT 37. The 
sadhana is based upon Varahyabhyudayatantrawv . 45fF. (as reconstructed from the 
Tibetan translation of this text, and from patala 9 of the ADUT by Professor 
Sanderson, unpublished). For the Tibetan mandala painting reproduced in plate 
13 (from Rossi and Rosssi 1993), the accompanying entry by Jane Casey Singer 
(unnumbered sheet) describes it as the "Vajravarahl Abhibhava Mandala" 
(phagmo mnob 'byung gi dkyil 'khor). Sanderson (annotations to his edition of the 
Varahyabhyudayatantra, before v. 45) writes "The Sanskrit is evidently another 
mistaken Tibetan reconstruction, the original name, which the Tibetan exactly 
renders, being Varahyabhyudaya" Singer identifies only the five deities of the 
inner circle; the remainder are identified above in chapter 2. 



gss8 Vajravdrdhyd Gopyahomavidhih" (Secret Oblation Rite of 

GSS8 includes oblations and mantras for black-magic rites of subordina- 
tion, attraction, inciting hatred in a named person, and stunning; it also 
includes desiderative oblations for prosperity and increase of wealth. 

GSS9 Vajrayoginisddhana (lineage ofVirupa?)" 

This is a short form of aTrikayavajrayogini sadhana but without reference 
to a severed head. The text includes self-generation in a red dharmodayd, 
mention of two attendants flanking the central goddess, and offerings to 
the center, front, behind, and center again. Apart from a couple of minor 
variants, the text of GSS9 is identical to that of GSS 3 o, except that GSS9 
describes the two attendant goddesses as dakinis, where GSS30 appears to 
intend saktis (saktidvayam) conj.; sdntadvayam K, s'dktadvayam N). The 
same text, under the same tide, in appears in the Sddhanamdld (SMzh=GSS 9 ) 
following the "dakinl" recension. The central goddess may be a red form 
of the severed-head Vajrayogini. 

gssio Gubyavajravildsinlsddhana by Sahara' 1 (Sadhana of Secret 

A lengthy sadhana of 152 predominantly s'loka verses (verse numbers are 
editorial), prescribing erotico-yogic techniques to be practiced on the bas.s 
of the self-visualization of Vajravilasini and her consort Padmanartesvara 
in the lovely mountainous setting of Manobhanga and Cinavis'rama. After 
a vasantatilakd verse of homage to Lokanatha (v. 1), and a sdrdulavikndtta 
verse of homage to Vajravilasini (v. z), Sahara states that he speaks the fol- 
lowing (s'loka) verses through the power of Lokanatha (v. 3). The body of 
the text is as follows: w. 4-7 describe the bejeweled mountainous setting 
of Manobhanga and Cittavisrama where guru Karuna taught [the sadhana 
of] Vilasim, and where "I practiced it with [my consort] Sabari"; w. 8-10 
guarantee siddhis including mahamudra; w. 11-16 list those whose physi- 
cal and ethical qualities disqualify them from practice, and those who qual- 




Witnesses: GSS K44n~44v5; N has missing folios until the final lines of the 

sadhana (f. 3012), D31V6 omits the sadhana. Toh/Ota.-? 

Witnesses: GSS K44V5~45r6, N 3 or2- 3 ov2, D3iv6-32r 7 ;«GSS 3 o«SM234. ^or 

authorship, see Nihom (1992: 226). Toh./Ota.-? 

Witnesses: GSS K45r5"53V4> N 3 ov2- 3 6v 7 , D 3 2r 7 -39r2; Jvdldvali no. 2 (Br3R: 

493); Dhih no. 17 Pp.5-!7- Toh./Ota.-? 


ify; w. 17-24 prescribe preliminaries: the site of a fragrant cave or glade in 
which the sadhaka and consort wash themselves, rub their bodies with fra- 
grant flowers, put on eye liner and hair oil, adorn their naked bodies so that 
they resemble Padmanartesvara and his consort, and then make love as 
long as the mind is not disturbed; w. 25-29 give times for the worship of 
the goddess (four times per month, etc.), to be done in a well-lit place so 
that the details of the body are illuminated, abandoning negative states, shy- 
ness, or inhibition for the attainment of mahamudra; w. 30-32 prescribe 
the positioning of the sadhaka with his consort modeled on the poses of 
the deities; w. 33-36 prescribe preparatory rites: the yogin draws a circle 
on his consort's dharmodayd-yantra using saffron and red-sandal, and 
within that, a dharmodayd triangle enscribed with the [five-syllabled] mantra 
(to be taught in the mantra extraction below), he then offers a flower, prac- 
tices the four brahmavihdras, and meditates on emptiness; w. 37-38 pre- 
scribe the armoring with the five-syllabled mantra on the sadhaka's body; 
w- 38-45 give the visualization of a blazing dharmodayd into which the 
whole world is seen to dissolve; w. 46-53 prescribe the visualization of the 
sadhaka's consort as VajravilasinI in sexual play; w. 54-62 prescribe the 
visualization of the sadhaka as Padmanartesvara in sexual play; w. 63-64 
describe the fusion of the three worlds into an ocean of blood, with the 
sadhaka playing with the goddess in the center in the bliss of great passion; 
w. 65-66 give the consecration of the self-generated couple; w. 67-73 
detail the rites of worship, i.e., worship of the mandala (while uttering the 
mantra and the goddess's name), of the ^w^-mandala with flowers, fruit, 
etc., of the sadhaka's own penis (which has been fondled and is erect, 
svaklyam kulisam . . . Idlitonnatam) , of the goddess' mantra, and of the parts 
of the consort's and the sadhaka's own body by waving incense; w. 74-79 
describe how the couple offer betel, etc., and recite loving verses to each 
other; w. 80-92 prescribe the embrace and practice of the navapuspl (nine 
kinds of sexual play) with the arising ofsahajdnanda;w. 93-95 describe the 
pervasion of the world with rays (from lovemaking) and the propitiation 
of deities with sexual fluid (golakam); w.96-100 give an explicit descrip- 
tion of the lovemaking, which is accompanied by the yogin's visualization 
that he plays with the goddess VilasinI; this includes a yogic meditation of 
his body as empty; w. 102-9 describe the pendulum recitation (doldjdpah), 
a yogic meditation in which the couple is in union, each imagining the five 
blazing syllables of Vilasinf s mantra circulating through their bodies. The 
syllables start on the lidyas sex, enter the male via his penis, exit through 
his nostril, enter the 1 /^W via her nostril and again pass into her sex. The 


mantra is recited up to five hundred times as it revolves through the bod- 
ies united in lovemaking. The recitation results in the fusion of ndda and 
bindu; it is followed by a repeated "mutual sucking" of the male and female 
sex; w. 110-18 prescribe the visualization of the "fusion of the identities" 
of the couple and the entire world in the lovemaking (dtmamelakah) with 
the result that the defilements are cut off, all kles'as are burnt up, and every- 
thing is dissolved into the ocean of awakening with the end of conceptu- 
alization; w. 119-20 describe how the female consort does the practice on 
the yogin, making the mandala on his penis and practicing the meditation 
and mantra recitation as described; w. 121-22 enjoin that the couple abide 
outside this meditation as Nartesvara and VilasinI and recite the mantra; 
w. 115-28 give prescriptions for practice when no male/female consort is 
available; w. 129-37 give the mantroddhdrafor the five-syllabled mantra (em 
nllm rim rum blim) and the ball mantra to be recited while making the ball 
offering; w. 138-51 comprise various frame verses praising the practice, 
guaranteeing mahamudra in twelve years, warning against undertaking the 
practice with illicit passion, prescribing secrecy, naming the teachers of the 
practice as Lokanatha (v. 146) and Karuna (v. 147), and advocating passion 
to destroy passion; v. 152 is a benediction, and is followed by the colophon. 

gssii Vajravdrdhisddhana by Umdpatideva 15 

See chapter 3 for a study of the sadhana and above for an edition and trans- 
lation, with textual notes. 

13 Witnesses: GSS K53v4-7in (Bodleian reference: ms. Sansk c.16 (R)), N36V7- 
50V2, D39r3-52v8; Toh 1581, Ota 2292, NOO292 (BBK: 279, 287); cf. Toh 1584, 
Ota. 2293. 

The author's name in the Tibetan is transliterated as *Umapatidatta (BBK: 
279): s'rl U ma pa ti dattahi shabs. The Tibetan colophon to GSS11 (Toh 1581/Ota 
2292, N (T) 292. Bodleian Tibetan blockbooks a.68, vol. 24, pp. 32-49) states that 
the sadhana was translated by Vaglsvaragupta with Locchava (Lo tsa ba) Chos rab 
(i.e., Rwa Chos rab), and written by "One who has the lineage of the instructions 
of Virupa, sri Umapatidatta" (p. 49.7). The only other work known to be by this 
author is Umapatidatta's Vajrayogini mandalavidhi-ndma (Toh. 1581, Bodleian 
Tibetan blockbooks a.68, vol. 24, pp. 96-135), translated by the same translators. 
In total, Rwa Chos rab translated two texts in the bKa' 'gyur and ten in the bsTan 
'gyur. Vaglsvaragupta translated a total of four texts with Rwa Chos rab, includ- 
ing the two by Umapatidatta. 



GSS12 Oddiydnavinirgatavajrayoginisddhana u (Vajrayogini Sddhana 

from Oddiydna) 
The text starts with the visualization of the cosmos with Mount Sumeru 
and is followed by the self-generation of the red two-armed Vajravarahi in 
urdhvapdda pose in the center of the fivefold mandala. It supplies heart and 
auxiliary-heart mantras (although SM225 gives only the latter). GSS12 
(K71V1) and SM225 both share pddas from the textual tradition of the YSCT 
(SM225 p. 469, ddkintm tu tathd Idmdm. . . cf. GSS11 v. 38a, with Textual 
Note). The z-pdda from GSS12 (Kyu6: tarjayanti disah sarvd dustatarjana- 
vajrikd) is also attested in the visualization of warrior-stance Vajravarahi 
(GSS4 K13V2, reading accusatives). 

GSS13 Vajrayoginimatena Gopyahomavidhi (Secret Oblation Rite 

According to the System of Vajrayogini) by Buddhadatta' 5 
The text prescribes the generation of a red fire deity from ram in a trian- 
gular fire pit (he is four-armed, making the "fearless gesture" (abhaya- 
mudrd), and holding a pitcher, a firebrand, and a rosary; he is then merged 
with the knowledge deity. There follow oblations of transgressive sub- 
stances, the recitation of mantras, and the worship of Vajrayogini with her 
mandala retinue in the center of the fire. The text explains the different sub- 
stances to be offered for rites of different kinds and concludes with the 
mandala cakra entering the practitioner's body, bali offerings, a supreme 
worship (lokottarapujd), and the request for siddhi. Two frame verses guar- 
antee siddhi and mahamudra. 

GSS14 Pradipdhutividhi (Glorious [ly Elucidated] Oblation Rite) by 

Indrabhuti) XQ> 
The thirty-seven (unnumbered) verses are ascribed in the colophon to 

14 Witnesses: GSS K7KI-71V2, N50v3~5ir3, D52v8-53r8~SM225 (m-Odiyanavajra- 
pithavinirgata-urddhvapadavajravarahisadhana);'! oh 3299, Ota 4121*5129 (BBK: 
465); cf. GSS5 (Sed p.148 16 , K 3 3v6-3 4 r). 

15 Witnesses: GSS Kyivz-yirf, N5ir3-5iv4, D53r8-54r2; Toh 1556, Ota 2264 (BBK: 
278). This is the sixth of the Six Texts of Vajravarahi. A passage in the Blue Annals 
(pp. 393-97) describes how Buddhadatta came to compose the sri-Vajrayogini- 
homavidhi. A layman receives initiation of Paindapatika and then requests that 
he write down the sri-Tattvajnanasiddhi, the Sarvarthasiddhi-sddhana-nama, and 
the sri-Vajrayoginihomavidhi. The guru refuses, but permits his nephew Buddha- 
datta to write down the Vajrayoginihomavidhi. 

16 Witnesses: GSS K72r6~74vi, N5iv4-53r7, D54r2-55V5. Toh, Ota.-? 


Indrabhuti and, in the opening verse, to his lineage (Kyzr6). There are two 
further references to the doctrine (matam) of "King Indrabhuti" (v. 16 
K73r4, v. 35 Ky^). The meter is mainly anustubhwith two verses in upajdti 
and two in sragdhard. The text describes the preparation of the firepit, its 
shape depending on the rite (v. 5), the drawing down of the knowledge 
deity into the middle of the firepit (v. 6), and the visualization of the fire 
deity as a young man, colored red and mounted on a goat (cf. SM36, where 
a red Avalokitesvara is seated on two rams). The fire deity is seen as four- 
armed, making the varadamudra, with a rosary, a pot (kamandalu), and a 
firebrand (w. 7-8). The following verses enjoin offerings of wood, etc., to 
be made into the fire to the chosen deity (Vajrayogini) in the heart of the 
fire-deity (w. 9-11), also a hand worship (v. 12), the recitation of mantras, 
and various oblations (w. 13-15). The author then comments upon the 
method of the ritual (w. 16-33) and concludes with dedications of merit 
(w. 34-37)- 

GSS15 Sarvarthasiddhisddhana (Sadhana for [Gaining] Siddhi in All 

Things) by Advayavajra 17 
The text opens with a iW/ offering and prescribes the generation from hrih 
of a hog-faced wrathful Vajravarahl in the alidha stance (Vajraghona). This 
is followed by the entry of the knowledge deity and rites of worship for 
Vajrayogini to preside. 

gssi6 Trayodasatmikavajradakinivajravarahisadhana}* (Sadhana of the 
Thirteenfold Vajradakini-Vajravarahi) (in the lineage ofAdvaya- 

vajra?) 19 
The text opens with seven verses praising Vajravarahl and stating that the 


Witnesses: GSS K74VI-75VI, ^3^-540, D5$v$-56r9; Ton 1552, Ota 2260 (BBK: 
278). This is the second of the Six Texts of Vajravarahl Cf. GSS18; GSS 5 (Sed 
p.149 3 , K34r4). A translation of the self-visualizaton section from the Sarvartha- 
siddhisadhana appears in the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa (Willson and Brauen 2000: 
259), with some slight differences. Another sadhana with a similar name appears 
in the bsTan-'gyur, Vajravarahikalpasarvarthasiddhisadhana (Toh 1578, Ota 


18 trayodasatmika] D; trayodasatmikaK, N. 

19 Witnesses: GSS K75vi-82r5, N54r3~59v2, D56r9-6iv7. Sanderson (1997: per- 
sonal communication) notes that the source for this sadhana is ADUT patala 56 
(NGMPP, E 695/3 fif. 220v3-222r3: hrdayamantrakavacau devya hrdayabhavana- 
patalah). Toh 1595, Ota. 2306. 


sadhana was taught by the lord in the Laksabhidhanatantra, on Mount 
Manobhanga/Cittavisrama. The visualization is of a six-armed warrior- 
stance Vajravarahl and her generation from the thirteen syllables of the 
Vajravarahl/Vajrayogini heart mantra. The sequence of the prescriptions 
in the text is as follows: preliminaries (« GSS3/GSS31) ending with a bodhi- 
sattva vow, armoring, circle of protection, temple palace (mahavimana) 
surrounded by cremation grounds (with a short description of the crema- 
tion grounds drawing on SUT), visualization of the thirteen-syllabled 
mantra as the thirteenfold mandala, the generation through awakenings of 
Vajravarahl in iconographic form surrounded by Vajradakinl goddesses 
produced from syllables, the worship of the goddesses with imaginary offer- 
ings, entry of knowledge deities, armoring, praise, and bodhisattva vow, 
sevenfold worship with the recitation of flower-offering mantras followed 
by another bodhisattva vow, emptiness mantras with nonabiding, the rep- 
etition of the installation of the circle of protection and the subsequent 
visualization of Vajravarahl produced suddenly with the mandala retinue 
placed on points on the body, worship, the tasting of nectar, external ball 
offerings, another bodhisattva vow, concluding verses possibly by 
Advayavajra, and dedication of merit. 

This sadhana combines several important themes. In its preparatory 
stages, it describes the cremation grounds in detail, as well as prescribing 
the visualization of a palace (vimanah/m). The erotic overtones of the 
sadhana may be associated with the fact that the sadhana was supposedly 
taught by the Buddha in the location of Mount Manobhanga and the pavil- 
ion, Cittavis'rama, a place associated with erotic manifestations of Vajra- 
yogini. The structure of the sadhana is also unusual. The mandala is first 
produced through an externalization of the thirteen syllables of the deity's 
mantra. This is then intensified by its transformation from mantric to 
iconographic form. The emanation of the iconographic mandala is then 
repeated in a completion-stage practice, by self-generating it "all at once" 
(jhatiti), thus indicating the sadhaka's complete integration of the external 
forms within himself. Finally, the mantra syllables of which the dakini god- 
desses are representations are placed upon his body in a short body 
mandala, thus internalizing the mandala back into the body of the yogin. 
Every step in this process includes an armoring, and the sadhana therefore 
includes far more armor sections than is normal. This may be related to the 
fact that its central form of six-armed Vajradakinl- Vajravarahl seems to 
have emerged from the form of the armor goddess, Vajravarahl. 


GSS17 Urdhvapddasuklavajrayoginisddhana 20 (Sadhana of White 

Vajrayoginl with Foot Raised) 
In a deserted cemetery, the sadhaka is to generate the raised-foot-pose 
Vajrayoginl from a white syllable am. This short text also provides mantras 
for the japa, and a bali offering. 

gssi8 Vajravarahikalpa 2X (Vajravarahi Ritual) 

After an initial bali offering, the text prescribes the self-generation of a 
Vajraghona form of Vajravarahi, with an accompanying offering rite for the 
vajrayoginis to preside. 

GSS19 Vajrayoginisadhana 22 (according to Sabara) 23 
The text opens with the self-generation of Vajrayoginl through a series of 
awakenings, and the four goddesses of the petals are installed with flower- 
offering mantras. The bhavana that follows provides iconographic details 
for the visualization and is followed by mantras and a bali mantra for per- 
formances on specified auspicious days. This may have been the manifes- 
tation prescribed in *GSS28 (Vajrayoginisadhana), which appears in a string 
of repeated sadhanas, but of which only the latter part of the ^//mantra 
survives. The surviving fragment proves to be identical with the bali mantra 
in SM236, a text nearly identical to GSS19. SM236 differs from GSS19 in 
its offering section and in a few variants to the mantras. 

GSS20 Vajrayoginisadhana (lineage ofVirupa?) 1A 

The text covers the self-generation of Trikayavajrayogini with attendant 

goddesses, VajravairocanI (left) and VajravarnanI (right), and prescribes an 





Witnesses: GSS K82F5-82V5, N59V2-6on, D6iv7~62r6 - GSS45. Toh., Ota.-? 
Witnesses: GSS K82V5-83VI, N6on-6ovi, D62r6-62v 7 - SM224 (Vajravarahi- :j| 

sadhana); Cf. GSS15; GSS5 (Sed p.i 4 9 3 > ^>AH)- Toh 3298, Ota 4120 (in SS, BBK: 
465); Toh 1578, Ota 2289 (BBK: 278 s'ri-Vajravarahikalpasarvatha-sadhaka)\ Toh 

3610, Ota. 4432. 

Witnesses: K83v-84r, N6ov-6ir, D62v-63r - SM233 and SM236; Toh 1548, Ota 
2256 (BBK: 276), Yum skor (BBK: 276). Cf. GSS5 Sed p.151 6 , K 35 v6; *GSS28. 
K84r3: siddhasabarapddadesitam {D6y9 is without its usual colophon itisriguhya- 
24 Witnesses: GSS K8 4 r 4 -85r4, N6ir 3 -62r2, D6 3 r 9 -64r7 - SM232. Close witnesses, 
and the relationship between them, are discussed in chapter 2, namely: SM238 
(for bali mantra), GSS24 and GSS25; and GSS9«GSS 3 o«SM2 3 4. I also discuss 
a Sanskrit edition of a text similar to GSS25 by Nihom 1992. 



external puja within a drawn mandala. This is accomplished with four 
offering mantras to the goddesses, to four sites, and to the four bodies of 
the Buddha, with the subsequent utterance of a tripartite root mantra and 
a concluding bali mantra. 

GSS21 Vidyddharikramavajrayoginisddhana 2 '' (Vajrayogini Sadhana with 
the Vidyddhari Method) (in the lineage of Sahara? See GSS23 below) 
The text opens with an emptiness meditation ascribed to the Mahamaya tra- 
dition (cf. the namaksara emptiness meditation in Mahamaya sadhana, SM240 
p. 466). It then supplies a short description of Vidyadhari Vajrayogini, a 
traditional Vajravarahl armoring and a bali mantra, drawn from the Mahamaya 
tradition. The bali mantra is nearly identical to SM249 (mahdmdydtantrasya 
balividhih) but with the addition of bali mantra elements from the Vajra- 
yogini/Cakrasamvara tradition. The Mahamaya version in SM249 ends with 
two vocatives (om sarvayogini), while the GSS version 
contains more "laughing" syllables (ha ha hih) and includes the coercion 
syllables om jah hum vam hoh. The text shares some features of other 
Mahamaya sadhanas, and apart from the general affinity between the 
Vajrayogini tradition and that of Mahamaya, another association may be 
one of Mahamaya s four attendant goddesses, Vajradakini, on the eastern 
petal of the lotus in the Mahamaya mandala. Here, she is a recipient of bali 
offerings in the mantra, and in the white urdhvapdda forms of Vajrayogini, 
Vajradakini is the epithet in the heart mantra. 

GSS22 Vidyddharikramabhdvand 2G (Vidyddhari Method Meditation) (in 

the lineage of Sahara? See GSS23 below) 
The bhdvand opens by describing itself as a "Vidyadharl-method meditation" 

The Chinnamundavajravarahisadhana by Srimatidevi (Toh. 1554 = GSS24) is 
the third of the Six Texts of Varahi. Chinnamunda texts in the bsTan-'gyur are 
discussed and summarized by de Mallmann (1975: 432 on SM234) and Meisezahl 
(1967), and touched upon by Benard (1994: 18, n.35). BBK refers to: Toh 3301, 
Ota 4123 « 5131 (BBK: 467) also Toh 1547, Ota 2255 (BBK: 276), Yum skor (BBK: 
276). A summarized translation of the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa sadhana of * Chin- 
namunda Vajrayogini (rDo rje rnal 'byor ma dbu bead ma) is published by Will- 
son and Brauen (2000: 260, n. 1), with references. 

25 Witnesses: GSS K85r4-86n, N62r2-62V3, D64ry-64v8; Toh 380, Ota 25 (BBK: 
259). Cf. SM249 (mahaymdyatantrasya balividhih); cf. GSS22, GSS23. Cf. Ota 
4M (?)• 

26 Witnesses: K86n-87n, N6iv3-63r7, D64V9-65V4; cf. GSS21, GSS23. Toh., 
Ota.-? The rite also appears in GSS5 K38n~5 « SM235. 


(om siddhih. vidyddharikramabhdvana). It has no colophon (ending sim- 
ply: hi dmndyah). Since the previous sadhana (GSS21) ends with a typical 
concluding balividbi and colophon, and the text that follows (GSS23) starts 
with an opening salutation, GSS22 is treated here as a separate text. Its 
contents also follow the standard structure of a sadhana except that it begins 
with a yogic emptiness meditation in which the body is dissolved in stages 
into clear light. See chapter 2 for a description of the "mad observance" 
(unmattacaryd) prescribed in the text and for this text's relationship to other 
Sabara-based texts. 

GSS23 Vidyddharivajrayoginydrddhanavidhi (Propitiation Rite of 

Vidyddhari Vajrayogini) according to Sahara 17 
The Arddhanavidhi begins with a hagiographical account of Sahara's 
attempts to achieve a vision of the goddess, her eventual appearance to him 
in her mountainous setting, and her promise to teach a method by which 
even lazy practitioners can achieve a vision of her in six months 
(K87n-88r2). The text then lists eight teachers in the transmission linea^ 
(K88r2, cf. * Siddha-Amndya p. 10). Finally, it describes five kinds of rite: 
worship, visualization, subjection, bali offering, and accepting a pupil 
(K88r3: atra pujdbhdvandvasikaranabalisisydnugraha hi pancaprakdrdh) . 

27 Witnesses: K871-1-89V6, ^6^7-6^, D65V4-67V8; cf. GSS21, GSS22, GSS10, 
GSS5 Sed p.153 11 , K381-1, Toh, Ota.-? Cf. * Siddha-Amndya. Sahara's lineage is 
only named directly in this Vidyadhari text (GSS23), although the rite in GSS22 
is related to the Arddhanavidhi in Sahara's lineage in GSS5. There are also simi- 
larities with the Guhyavajravildsinlsadhanahy Sahara (GSS10), such as the moun- 
tainous location, the wish to obtain a vision of the goddess, the goal of siddhi in 
six months, and the focus on mahamudra (also mentioned in GSS22, K86v2). 
GSS10 may also hint at the hagiography in GSS23 in which the sadhaka loses heart 
and decides that the lord's promise must be untrue (cf. GSS10 K53r3~4 v. 145: yadi 
candras tatha suryo bhilmau patati siryate / tathapi lokandthasya nedam vaco mrsd 
bhavei). The * Siddha-Amndya is similar in structure to GSS23. It opens with a 
verse hagiography of Advayavajra's life, in the course of which he discovers Sahara 
in the same mountainous location as that described in the GSS Vidyadhari/ 
GuhyavajravilasinI texts. After the hagiographical introduction, both texts include 
a succession list and a Vajrayoginl-based ritual. This is followed in the longer 
* Siddha-Amndya by another succession list, a repeat of its verse hagiography in 
prose, another succession list, and another Vajrayogini rite. 


GSS24 Lahmisadhana 2 * by Laksmi/Laksminkara? 29 

After an opening namaskara, the text describes preliminary preparations 
and the self-generation of TrikayavajrayoginI with attendant goddesses 
Vajravairocani (left) and VajravarnanI (right). An external puja follows, 
with prescriptions for traditional offerings within a drawn mandala accom- 
panied by offering mantras to the goddesses, to four sites, to the four 
bodies of the Buddha, and ending with the utterance of a tripartite root 
mantra. The number of mantric utterances required for the piirvaseva is 
supplied, with the siddhi they achieve. The sadhana ends with a frame 
verse and a concluding bali mantra. This sadhana varies slightly in phras- 
ing and content from the other TrikayavajrayoginI sadhanas in the GSS, 
as in details of the awakenings, more elaborate external offerings, and the 
piirvaseva section. Judging by Benard's translation of the Tibetan text (1994: 
74-75)> the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts diverge only slightly, e.g., the seed- 
syllable hrlm (GSS24) appears in my bsTan 'gyur edition as hrih. The offer- 
ings to the mandala are slightly expanded, and a cotrupt passage in the 
Sanskrit describing the fruits of japa is found intact in the Tibetan. 

GSS25 Trikayavajrayoginisadhana™ (Sadhana of Triple-Bodied 

Vajrayogini) by Virupa 5X 
The text covers the self-generation of TrikayavajrayoginI with attendant 

28 Witnesses: K89v6-9ir5, N65V3-66V7, D6yvS-69^. This is the second of the Six 
Texts of Vajravarahl (Toh. 1554, Ota. 2262). Cf. Benard (1994: 66 & 79 n. 14). 

29 According to Benard (1994: 66), Laksmi in the title is a reference to the text's 
author, whom she identifies as Laksmlnkara. The Tibetan translation of the 
Laksmisadhana (GSS24) appears in the bsTan 'gyur as * Chinnamundd Vajra- 
varahl Sadhana. Its translator bLo ldan shes rab (1059-1109) names the Indian 
author as Srimatidevi. Bernard concludes that since the sadhana is not of the 
deity Laksmi, the title must refer to the author, and that Srimatidevi is therefore 
an epithet of the ninth Laksml/Laksminkara. Laksmlnkara's best-known surviv- 
ing work in Sanskrit is the Advayasiddhi (ed. Mishra 1995). There are nine works 
attributed to her in the Tibetan bsTan 'gyur (listed by Robinson 1979: 306), 
although her fame rests chiefly upon her transmission of the Six Texts of 

30 °sddhanam] corn; ity aryatrikayavajrayogini(pitacchinmmastd)sddhanarn K92v6(mg2), 
-pitacchinnamastasadhanam N68r2, ity aryaguhyasamayatantre trikayavajrayogini- 
citacchinnamastasadhanam D7or7~8 . 

31 Witnesses GSS K9K5-92V6, N66v7-68r3, D69r3~7or8. For close witnesses see 
GSS20. Toh. 1555, Ota. 2263 (?). 

See also Nihom's article (1992). The Vajrayogini text that Nihom presents 


goddesses Vajravairocanl (left) and Vajravarnani (right); utterance of the 
tripartite;^ mantra; an external puja within a drawn mandala, with offer- 
ing mantras to the goddesses, to four sites, and to the four bodies of the 
Buddha; the subsequent utterance of the tripartite root mantra and a con- 
cluding ^//mantra (called mulamantrah)', and finally, a dedication of merit. 

gssz6 Pindarthah Sodasaslokds Trikayavajrayoginyah (Sixteen Praise Verses 

of Triple-Bodied Vajrayogini with Essential Meaning) by Virupa? 1 
The text opens with four salutations to (i) the Three Jewels, (2) the guru, 
buddha, and bodhisattvas, (3) the vajravildsinis, and (4) the ten krodhas 
with their consorts. This is followed by a brief bali mantra and two intro- 
ductory praise verses. The sixteen (unnumbered) verses of the stotra praise 
different aspects of Vajrayogini' s inner and outer nature, especially her 
universal aspect as a manifestation of all other goddesses. The stotra ends 
with a praise section of six verses (K94r3-6). 


(from a manuscript belonging to J. Locke) is identifiably our GSS25. According 
to Nihom's edition, Locke's manuscript differs in a few minor points. For exam- 
ple, there are a handful of variants and scribal errors, the omission of mantra 
units hum and phat on a couple of occasions, and some differences in the final 
dedicatory verse. One significant difference is the addition in Locke's ms. or heart 
and auxiliary-heart mantras. These appear after the worship section with tripar- 
tite japa mantra, and before the bali mantra (om vajravairocaniye hum phat^ 
hrdayamantrah. om vajrayoginiye upahrdyamantrah omkdrddi-dsvdhdntena pujdyitvd 
purvavadvisarjayed iti). .This is a rather unwelcome addition. No other sadhanas 
in this set mention these mantras, and the auxiliary-heart mantra is, in any case, 
incomplete. It is followed by the phrase used in GSS5 to explain the formulation 
of the mantras with the sites and to finish the visualization (see ch. 2). I suggest 
that Locke's manuscript has become contaminated at this point. Some emenda- 
tions/corrections to Nihom's edition are desirable in the light of our texts. In 
particular, the flow of blood into Vajrayogini's own head should be from avadhuti^ 
(Nihom 1992: 227, 229). Nihom 1992 n. 37 (kabandhdd avadhrtivartmand nihsrta 
srgdhdrd) should read kabandhdd avadhutivartmand nihsrta srgdhdrd.... Other 
conclusions reached in the article should also be revised or elaborated upon in 
the light of the evidence presented by the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. 
Witnesses: GSS K 9 2v6- 9 4r6, N68r 3 -6 9 r 3 , D 7 or8- 7 ir9; ed. Dhih (no. 2 1986: 
4-5). Cf. Benard (1994: 74) for an English translation from the edition in Dhih. 
The edition in Dhih omits the opening salutations, bali mantra, and two intro- 
ductory praise verses and, judging by its distinctive colophon, was based on our 
manuscript D or one related to it. Toh., Ota.-? 


GSS27 Trikdyavajrayoginistutipranidhdna 53 (Praise Contemplation of 

Triple-Bodied Vajrayogini) by Viriipa? 34 
The opening salutations are identical to GSS26. The text then gives a verse 
description of the iconography of TrikayavajrayoginI and her attendents, 
which is followed by verses supplicating the compassionate goddesses to 
help the humble devotee. 

GSS28 Vajrayoginisadhana (incomplete) 5 ^ 

The bulk of the sadhana is lost due to five missing folios in K (ff. 96-100). 
The final folio of the work (f. ioir) contains the concluding ball mantra, 
injunctions to practice on auspicious nights, and the colophon. The final 
injunctions are similar to those in other texts that prescribe the visualiza- 
tion of a warrior-stance Vajrayogini. The sadhana also appears in a group 
of repeated sadhanas. It is not known whether the missing folios included 
one long work or whether other sadhana(s) may have been lost also. 

GSS29 Samksiptavajravdrdhisadhana 5G (Brief Vajravardhi Sadhana) by 

Vilasavajra 57 
The opening verse is almost identical to that in SM226/SM227. The text 
then continues parallel to GSS4«SM2i7 except that it prescribes the dlidha 
stance with the six signs of observance (mudrds) (rather than the pratydlidha 
stance as in GSS4, with no mention of the mudras), and it omits the armor- 
ing and summoning of deities and bali offering. 

33 trikdyavajrayoginistutipranidhana] corr.; trikdyavajrayoginydh stutipranidhdnam 

34 Witnesses: GSS K94r6-95v6, N6c,v6-yovi, D71V4-72V7. The author's name has 
been added by a second hand in the oldest manuscript (K95V7) and is included 
in N and D. Toh., Ota.-? 

35 Witnesses: Kioiri-2; c£ GSS19, GSS5 (Sed p.151 13 , K 3 6r4), SM236. 

36 Witnesses: GSS Kioir2-i02ri, N7or2-7ir4, D72V8-73V2 « SM227, Jvdldvali no. 
11 (Vajravdrdhlsddhanakalpa); Toh 3300; Ota 4122^5130 (SS, BBK: 465); cf. 

37 Tribe (1994) has distinguished Vilasavajra, author of this tantric sadhana, from 
the mid to late eighth-century yogatantra exegete of the same name. A discussion 
of the two authors appears in Tribe's introduction to his doctoral thesis on the 
Ndmamantrdrthdvalokini commentary to the Aryamahjusrlndmasamgiti by the 
earlier Vilasavajra (sometimes also called "Lilavajra" and occasionally confused 
with an eleventh-century "Lalitavajra," disciple of Maitnpa, Tilopa, and Naropa). 
Tribe records that he was teacher to Buddhajfiana/Jnanapada (a pupil of Hari- 


GSS30 Vajrayoginisddhana™ See above, GSSp. 


GSS31 Vajravdrdhisddhana 1 

The work is nearly identical to GSS3 except for an opening namaskdra and 

an additional balipujd. 

GSS32 Binducuddmanir ndma svddhisthdnakramah 

(Self-Consecration Method Known As the Crest Jewel of the Drop) 

by Sahajdvalokanasamddhivajra AQ 
This is the first of three svddhisthdna (self-consecration) method sadhanas 
in the GSS collection (GSS32, GSS33, and GSS34). The set is unusual in 
a number of ways. All three sadhanas focus upon the male deity 
Cakrasamvara as well as his consort, Vajrayogini/Vajravarahl. Both deities 
are visualized as drops (bindus) within the sadhaka's body, which is visu- 
alized as a skeleton-arch (karankatoranam) located in the midst of the cre- 
mation grounds. The meditations espoused are often obscure, based on 
the visualization of the deities-as-drops produced from the syllables of the 
salutation (namah srivajrayogini): their fusion in yogic meditations is pro- 
ductive of great bliss. The visualization of iconic forms are sited on/in the 
sexual organs and often involve deities not mentioned elsewhere in the 
Vajrayogini corpus. The vocabulary of the sadhanas shows the influence of 
Hevajratantra systems in some of its citations and terminology, e.g., 
bola=vajra (penis); kakkola=padma (vagina), cf. HT2.3.53rT. Synonyms are 

bhadra, founder of the eponymous Jnanapada tradition of Guhyasamajatantra 
exegesis in the eighth century), and that he also has a tenuous connection with 
the early Indrabhuti lineage in that he may be linked to the translator rMa Rin 
chen mchog, "known to be one of the first six or seven Tibetans ordained at 
bSam-yas by Santaraksita (779 c.e.)" (ibid.). Another work sometimes attributed 
to the earlier commentator, but which Tribe considers to be more likely that of 
the later author, is the Mahatilakakrama (Toh 1290). Tribe states that it is "placed 
in the Hevajratantra section of the bsTan-'gyur... concerned with completion 
stage practices." Vilasavajra is hailed as guru by Sahajavalokanasamadhivajra, 
author of the first Svadhisthana text (GSS32). 

38 Witnesses: Ki02ri-i02v2, N7ir4~7iv4, D73V2~74r2 « GSS9 « SM234. Toh., 


39 Witnesses: GSS K102V3-104V5, N71V4-73VI, D74r2~75v8 « GSS3 « SM217, Toh. 
1542, Ota 2287 (BBK: 274), Yum skor (BBK: 273-74). Cf. Toh. 3607, Ota. 44^9; 
Meisezahl (1967, 1980). 

40 Witnesses: K104V6-106V5, N73VI-74V7, D75v8~77r8; cf. GSS33, GSS34. 



often found for mahdsukham (e.g., urusdtam, mahdsdtam, sarman), as well 
as for VajrayoginI (e.g., Sarustrl, Sahajangana, Suruyogini, PaviyoginI, 
Vyadhamayogini) . The development of the svddhisthdna wing of the 
kdpdlika movement requires further research. Isaacson (in his unpublished 
annotations to the Hevajrasekaprakriyd 1996) explores its textual prove- 
nance. He refers to the Pancakrama (chapter 3 of Svddhisthdnakrama), 
which provides the backdrop to the yogimtantra practices and to yogini- 
tantra exegetes, such as Advayavajra (e.g., in the Advayavajrasamgraha: 
Pancatathdgatamudrdvivarana, Caturmudrdniscaya, and Amanasikdrd- 
dhdra), Laksminkara (in Advayasiddhi in Guhyddyastasiddhisamgraha Rare 
Buddhist Texts no. 1, Sarnath, 1987 pp. 162-63), Abhayakaragupta (in 
Buddhakapdlatantrd) , and Padmavajra (in Guhyasiddhih 4.61) . Typical ref- 
erences to svddhisthdna refer to its completion methodology, its incon- 
ceivability, and its rejection of ritual, including dlksd, homa, mantras, and 
special days for observance. 41 Isaacson (1998: personal communication) has 
also pointed to the connection between svddhisthdna practices and the late 
tantric methodology of the Vasantatilakd } which also deals with internal- 
ized yogic practice (Vasanta/ Heruka as a drop in the heart merges with 
Tilaka/Varahl, a drop in the navel or sex, nirmdnacakrd) , but whereas the 
Vasantatilaka practices are internal and relate mainly to the movement of 
drops between the heart and navel, the emphasis in the GSS texts is upon 
the locus of the sex organs and the generation of sexual passion, either in 
practice with a consort or imaginally. 42 

41 See SUT ch. 21, vv. 6ff.; Pancakrama (ch. 3, v. 45): sarvapujdm parityajya guru- 
pujdm samdrabbet I tena tustena tal labbyam sarvajnajndnam uttamam (also cited 
SUT ch. 33, v. 27); YSCT (ch. 12, v. 1): na raksanlyam na bbaksaniyam na 
mandaleyam, na ca mandalam ca I na mantrajdpo na tapo na bomab samasatas 
cittasamajarupi; ch. 15 (A7V): nakaryam vidyate kimcitl ndcintyam vidyate sadd I 
nabbaksam vidyate kimcit ndvdcyam yac chubbdsubbam I. . . iti samcintya yogdtmd 
sarvamudrdmantravarjitam simhavad vicaret vlrab sarvdsdparipurakab; Aryadeva's 
Svadbisthdnaprabheda {Dhih vol. 10, pp. 20-24, v. 7): ndtra saucam na niyamo 
na tapo na ca duskaram I aduskarair aniyamaib sukbair barsais ca sidbyati. Cf. 
Vdrdbyabhyudayatantra w. 4—5. 

42. In terms of dating such practices, Isaacson (ibid.) notes that Abhayakaragupta was 
aware of the method, and refers to it in his commentary to the Buddbakapdla- 
tantra. There is also a reference to vasantatilaka in the Samputodbbavatantra 
(6. 2. iff.), here referring to the fusion of two drops (Tilaka/Nairatmya in the navel, 
with Vasanta//; um, the "unsounded syllable" andbatam bljam, in the heart). 



GSS32 starts with three namaskdra verses. The first lauds the noti-i 
discriminatory mind "without rememberance and recollections" (asmrti 
manasikdra); the second salutes the supreme Binduraja; the thirj 
acknowledges the teacher Vilasavajra. The sadhana is divided into three 
"teachings" (upadesdh). The first upadesa states that in the svddhistharuh 
method practice (svddhisthdnakramayoge), there is no necessity for place, 
time, or purification in rites of the mandala, or for oblation with mantric 
utterances. It prescribes the contemplation of the Binduraja within the 
dharmodayd on the sex organ (nirmdndbjam). The second upadesa prc-1 
scribes the cultivation of passion (anurdgam) in obscure Sanskrit (includ- 
ing a verse also found in HT1.9.19). The third upadesa describes the 
internalization of sites and places, the generation of Vajravarahl from hum 
in the navel, her contemplation as a bindu moving along the internal chan- 
nels, her embrace with Heruka, and the bliss (sdtam) of the union of the 
vagina (kakkolah) and penis (bolah). 

GSS33 Paramagambhirakarankatoranakramavajrayoginisddhanasva- 

dhisthanakrama* (Self-Consecration Method Vajrayogini Sadhana 
with the Supremely Profound Method of the Skeleton Arch) 
The sadhana is divided into profound (gambhira) expositions of the gen- 
eration (utpattih) and completion (utpannah) stages, with a teaching 
(uddcsah) and a detailed teaching (nirdesah) upon each. 

1. gambhirotpattikrama-uddesah: The written syllables sri-va-jra-yo-gi-ni 
produce the shape of a skeleton arch. From the syllables na-ma, the yogin 
visualizes himself in its center as Cakresa (Cakrasamvara) in union with 
Paviyogini (pavi = vajra). From the sexual yoga arise two throbbing bindus 
that fuse together. This gives rise to the armor goddesses produced from 
syllables s'ri-va-jra-yo, the first called Vyadhamayoginl (vyadhdma = vajra), 
with YaminI, MohanI, etc. 

2. gambhirotpattikramanirdesah:The divine couple produced from na- 
ma are seen inside the temple of the skeleton arch. The Cakrasamvara/ 
Vajravarahl mandala of kdpdlika gods surrounding the central deity (called 

43 Witnesses: GSS Kio6v5-mr4, N74V7-78r3, D77r8-8ov9. Toh 1568, Ota. 2276 
" Kankalatalasadhana attributed to Darikapa." I thank Dr. Isaacson for noting the 
Tibetan translation (he adds that the Tibetan text is similar to GSS34, but with 
added material at the end, possibly from Toh 1569, which may be a commentary 
on 1568 by Kumarabodhi). 


here Jndnasdgara) is visualized on the erect penis, which "whirls intensely" 
in the vagina. 

3. utpannakrama-uddesah: The syllables na-ma are internalized yogic 
drops; this introduces four yogas that describe the two bindus moving 
through the body creating great bliss (urusdtam, mahdsdtam, sarman). The 
yogas describe different samddhis, in which VajrayoginI is denoted by syn- 
onyms (Sarustrl, Sahajangana, SuruyoginI, PaviyoginI, Vyadhamayogini). 
. 4. The final section of the sadhana describes a kumdripujd. (It quotes 
Saraha in an apabhrams'averse, part of which appears also in the HT2.4.67.) 

GSS34 Paramagambhiropadeso 44 Vajrayoginydh Karankatoranakramah 
Svddhisthdnam (Supremely Profound Teaching: Self-Consecration 
As Skeleton-Arch Method of VajrayoginI) by Dhydyipdda 45 
The author acknowledges that the work is written by the grace of Luyipada, 
and through the power of self-consecration (Kiiivi: luyipddaprasddena 
svddhisthdnabalena ca) and later ascribes a bhdvand to Luyipada (Kii5r6). 
He cites many verses from other sources, referring by name to the s'ri- 
Hevajradvikalpardja (Kii4r3), Sahajanirdesa (K114V2), and Caturmudrdn- 
vaya (Kii5r4) (none of which are listed in BBK although a Sahajasiddhi by 
Domblheruka is given on p. 351, and a Caturmudrdniscaya by Nagarjuna 
on pp. 352, 358). He refers also to the Tattvajndnasamsiddhi-svddhistdna- 
krama (BBK: 277, now published). The opening sdrdulavikridita verse is a 
homage to Vyadhamasriyogini. Its (perhaps willfully?) corrupt Sanskrit is 
followed by the author's claim that "To me [what matters is] reliance on 
meaning not reliance on syllables, and similarly, reliance on dharmas, not 
reliance on persons." 46 In the choice of a site that follows, there is a sug- 
gestion of lay involvement (K111V3: svagrhe <vd> vijane nirupadrave vasan). 

44 paramagambhiropadeso] em.; paramagdmbhiropadesaY^. 

45 Witnesses: Kmr4-ii8r2, N78r3-83r4, D8in-86r4. I can find no other reference 
to the author, Dhaylpada, who seems to have been a pupil in the lineage of 
Luyipada, as he refers three time to Luyipada as the source of the teaching (GSS34 
Kiiivi, Kii5r6, K116V4). Toh., Ota.-? 

46 GSS34 (Kinr6): arthapratisaranatd mahyam na vyahjanapratisaranatd. dharma- 
pratisaranatd caiva na pudgalapratisaranatd. • vyanjanapratisaranatd] corr.; 
vyahjanapratisaranato K. In fact, this expresses a common idea in Buddhist lit- 
erature, and references are given by Edgerton q.v. pratisarana/apratisarana, e.g., 
Mahdvyutpatti 1546: arthapratisaranena bhavitavyam na vyanjanapratisaranena, 
"one must rely on the real meaning, not the 'letter,'" etc. 



In outline, the meditations of the practice are as follows: 

i. The sadhana describes the visualization of the syllables of the obeisance 1 
na-ma-hi and the production from those of the skeleton arch and deities. 
First is visualized the skeleton arch (from na-) surrounded by fearsome cre- 
mation grounds, the corpse throne with sun disc (from ma-), and the god- 
dess VyadhamayoginI (from sri-). Next comes the teaching on the five 
syllables (pancdksaranirdesah) va-jra-yo-gi-nu which produces the armor 

goddesses (K112V4). 

2. The twenty-four sites are then equated with the skeleton arch visual- 
ized in the nirmdna lotus, i.e., the vagina (Kii 3 r3). These are internalized 
(lit: suppressed, nirodhah). 

3. The cremation grounds are also internalized and equated with the 
psychophysical organism in a kind of yogic body mandala (Ki^-il^). 

4. A yogic meditation induces a deep meditative state (ascribed to a text 
called the Sahajanirdesa, K114V2). 

5. There is an installation (of syllables?) onto the limbs of four goddesses 
equated with the four types of consort (mudrd) (karma-, dharma-, samaya-, 
and mahamudra, K114V5). The meditations and quotes that follow expand 
upon the four mudras, e.g., the Caturmudrdnvaya is cited regarding the 
qualities of the karmamudrd (£115*4) . 

6. A six-spoked Cakrasamvara/Vajravarahi mandala is visualized on the 
erect penis and another within the vagina. The central figure is the lord 
under the arch; there follow yogic meditations of union. 

7. Meditations by Luyipada (Kii 5 r6) equate the cremation ground with 
the eight vijndnas; the skeleton arch is visualized in their midst with the 
fusion of two bijas in its center productive of "great lust and passion" 
(mahdrdgdnurdga-). There is a reflection on the bindu upon the syllable 
hum and the union of two bindus. 

8. An explanation follows of the samayamudrdm which samaya is defined 
as twofold, rahanam, and bhaksanam (Kii6ri; see ch. 3), and each is fur- 
ther defined as tenfold. Yogic meditations on the nddam prescribed, pro- 
ducing the nondual awareness called samayamudrd. 

9. The yogin is to meditate on mahamudra according to the teaching or 
Luyipada (Kii6v 4 ), with the contemplation of the skeleton as compassion 
and the arch as emptiness, and mahamudra within that. The siddhi ol 
mahamudra is attained through yogic meditations. (The text includes a 
citation from the TattvajndnasamsiddhiKiijvi-}.) 


GSS35 Indrabhutikramena Vajrayoginlsddhanam (Vajrayogini Sddhana in 

the Tradition oflndrabhuti) by Vijayavajra* 7 
The preparations stress the practitioner's assimilation to the form and iden- 
tity of the deity; they require him to face west, to understand himself to be 
in the "great cemetery, Oddiyana," and to wear red. Following his enjoy- 
ment of the five nectars and contemplation of the brahmavihdras, he sud- 
denly takes on the ahamkdra of the deity. The vajra ground is installed, 
followed by emptiness meditations and the visualization of the cosmos 
with Mount Sumeru. A four-armed Vajrayogini is generated internally. 
The knowledge deities are summoned and worshiped with the supreme 
worship and the tasting of nectar (Kii9r2), which is followed by a yogic- 
type armoring (of the six cakras and nine orifices with hum, K119V4) and 
a yogic meditation in which mantras are visualized flowing through the 
body, culminating in the nonperception of dharmas. In an external rite, the 
form of the goddess is self-generated suddenly and empowered with an 
armoring (as before, K119V3). The ground is prepared with transgressive 
substances, a mandala is drawn, and offerings made. In this rite, the letters 
of the mantra are drawn counterclockwise on the surface of a mirror with 
vermilion powder, and the knowledge form is drawn into it. There follow 
rites performed with the left hand (K119V6-120O, namely, the hand wor- 
ship, tasting of nectar, and ^//offerings, followed by praise, the bodhisattva 
vow, and a dedication of merit. Two short rites describe the means of 
accepting a pupil (Knon) and of creating an amulet (Ki2or6-v). 

GSS36 Kurmapatanakramena Vajrayoginisddhana^ (Sddhana of 

Vajrayogini with the Method of the Falling Turtle) 
This form of Vajrayogini is generated in front of the sadhaka inside a dou- 
ble dharmodaya with the aid of an image of the goddess. She is produced 
through a sequence of awakenings and stands in the "falling-turtle" stance. 
It concludes with a bait ritual. 

47 Witnesses: Kn8r2-i20V3, N83r4~85r4, D86r4-88r4. Toh., Ota .-? 

48 Witnesses: K120V3-121V2, N85r4-85v6, D88r4~88v8. Bhattacarya (SM vol. 2, p. 
cxiv) provides a list of sixteen texts by Sahara in the bsTan 'gyur, including one 
called Kunnapadmiddhisddhana. This is not among the texts that Robinson lists 
from the bsTan 'gyur by Sahara (1979: 291). Toh. 1560, Ota. 2268; Toh. 1559, Ota. 
2267; cf. Ota. 5134. 


GSS37 Oddiydnasvddhisthdnakramavajrayoginisddhana (Vajrayogini 
Sddhanafrom Oddiydna with the Self-Consecretion Method) 
by Virupa 49 
The text prescribes the self-generation (from hrim) of white Vajrayogini 
with two arms in a standing pose, or alternatively an aniconic visualization 
of the syllable hrim in the dharmodaya, with offerings of bali at the four 
junctures. After practice on ten parvan days, a vision of Vajrayogini is 
promised, to be preceded by omens. Rites of appeasement, etc., are then 
to be performed. The text is corrupt where it prescribes the pose (f 
pratyalidhastham urdhvapddam ca f). 50 Although there is no trace of a dual 
in the text, it may have intended these poses to refer to two attendant god- 
desses who would be placed one on each side of the central goddess. It is 
noteworthy in this respect that Vajrayogini wears the six mudras of a 
mandala leader. Another threefold mandala is also described in other texts 
associated with Virupa, cf. the TrikayavajrayoginI group. Possibly indica- 
tive of corruption is the unnecessary repetition of the goddess as two armed 
(dvibhujdm) just before the poses are given. 

The white form of Vajrayogini described in GSS37 appears in the GSS 
collection beside the white warrior-stance Vajravarahl (GSS38) shown to 
be related to white Vajraghona- Vajravarahl. The two manifestations share 
some details, such as the goddess's generation from a white syllable hrim 
(GSS37) or hrih (GSS38). However, the white Vajrayogini in GSS37 has 
most in common with the red warrior-stance Vajrayogini, as described in 
GSS19. The ritual portions are similar in that both prescribe worship of the 
goddess on an auspicious night. GSS37 adds that the goal is siddhi (Ki22n: 
vajrayoginisiddhyartham) and mentions various omens and a vision of the 
goddess as a prerequisite for peaceful rites. The heart and auxiliary-heart 
mantras and bali mantra are the same in both texts, and both also supply 
the tripartite root mantra. In GSS37 the latter is a little unusual because 

49 Witnesses: Kiiivi-mrs, N85v6-86r7, D88V8-89VI; cf. GSS38, GSS19. Toh., 

50 GSS37 (K121V3): svahrdi padme candrasuryadharmodaydmadhye suklahrimkdra- 
parindmena bhagavati<m> vajrayoginlm ekamukhdm muktakesdm nagndm pinon- 
natapayodhardm dvibhujdm raktavarnd<m> trilocandm savdrudhdm hdrdrdhaha- 
rakinkinijalakhandxtmanditamekhaldmalddisanmudropetdm bhdvayet. dharmo- 
daydmandale dvibhujdm kapdlavajrakhatvdngadhardm ^pratydlidhastham urdhva- 
pddam ca\ brahmasirasam dkramya sddhayet sthiramdnasah I '(mantras follow). 

• kinking em.; kinkinim K • dharmodaya\ em; dharmodayaK* sirasam] conj. 
(siras used as masc); brahmas'iram K. 


the mantra deity VajravairocanI appears in first place (rather than the usual 
third place), and the syllable hrim is inserted at the end (om vajravairo- 
canlye sarvabuddhaddkiniye vajravarnaniye hrim hum hum phat phat svdhd). 

GSS38 Aryasuklavajravdrdhisddhana^ (Sddhana of Noble White 

After a namaskdra verse, the text describes the preliminary worship and 
emptiness meditations, a series of awakenings from a white, five-pointed 
vajra produced from hrih, and the self-generation of white, two-armed 
Vajravarahi in dlidha stance. The awakenings, yogic recitation of a 
mantramdld, and rites are those associated with the (white?) Vajraghona 
manifestation described in GSS5, the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 Sed pp. 
150-51, K35n-35vi). A much fuller sadhana centering on this white form 
of Vajravarahi and her associated rites, is found in the Prajndlokasddhana 
by Konkadatta (SM218), with some overlapping text, especially in the rit- 
ual portions. The brief reference to the rite of subordination (preceded by 
a rite of tasting nectar) with which GSS38 ends is also found in the 
Abhisamayamanjari (GSS K35VI-6), and this is described much more fully 
in SM219, probably ending with the final line listed as SM220. The GSS 
texts in fact demonstrate that SM218-SM220 are continuous text; the 
colophons in the SM (perhaps editorial?) are misleading, and the opening 
lines in SM219 referring to the generation of the goddess in the sequence 
' given previously" (p. 432: purvoktakramena nispanndm bhagavatim) refers 
to the previous sadhana, SM218. 

GSS39 Vajravdrdhihomavidhi: 1 See GSSS 

GSS40 Commentary on Portions ofGSSi (Colophon in D: 

GSS40 opens with commentary upon the namaskdra verse (GSSi: namah 
srivajrayoginyai sunyatdkarundtmane. . .), which it interprets as an internal 

51 dryasuklavajravdrdhisddhanam] corr.; diyasuklavajravdrdhydh sddhanam K. Wit- 
nesses: Ki22r>-i23r 4 , N86r7-87r3, D89vi-c;or5; cf. GSS5 (Sed p.150 3 , K351-1). Cf. 
SM218 (p. 426-31); with SM219-20. 

52 vajravdrdh'ihomavidhih] corr.; vajravdrdhyd hornavidhib K. Witnesses: GSS 
Ki23r 4 -i24n, N87n-87v6, D9or5~9o8v « CiSS8. Toh., Ota.-? 

53 Witnesses: GSS Ki24n-i25r3, N87V6-88V2, D90VI-91V3; cf. GSSi. The colophon 
in [) (Vajravdrdhlsddhana) is a misleading late addition. Toh., Ota.-? 


yogic meditation with drops based on the four consecrations in the Heva- 
jra system. It then comments upon the parvapujd and upon the frame verses 
praising transgressive practice. The remaining commentary is upon text 
that is not part of GSSi in this recension of the sadhana. 

GSS41 Vajravdrdhikalpa (Vajravarahi Ritual)™ 

A sacrificial rite (ydgakriyd) in the cremation ground in which a wrathful 
form of Vajravarahi is visualized in the fire and is propitiated with ground- 
up buffalo meats for the attainment of black-magic siddhis. 

GSS42 Vajrayoginiprandmaikavimsikd (Stotra) (Twenty-One Praise Verses 

for Saluting Vajrayogini)^ 
A twenty-one-verse stotra (verses are numbered in the text) praising 
Vajrayogini: her embodiment of the four blisses, her compassion, her tran- 
scendent wisdom (in Yogacara terms), and her ability to manifest with 
many different forms, including as the supreme goddess in other religious 
systems (Sakti, Candi, "Vedavati," Kubjika, VaisnavatI, etc., according to 
the different religious systems). 

GSS43 Vajravildsinistotra (Praise ofVajravildsini) by Vibhuticandra % 
The stotra consists of forty-five (unnumbered) couplets. The meter is not 
dryagiti proper, since the final short syllable must often be read as long to 
make up the full sixteen mdtrds in each pdda; there is some rhyme and 
yamaka. The iconography and character of Vajravilasini are described. 

GSS44 SvddhisthdnakumdritarpanavidhP 1 (The Self-Consecration Rite for 

Propitiating a Virgin) 
After the namaskdra and an expression of the guru's worth, the text is lost. 
Ten folios are missing in K (ff. 129-38), and N and D note the lacuna. It 
seems that one lengthy sadhana is contained in the missing portion. The 
text resumes (Ki39ri) with a description of the outer portion of the thirty- 
seven-deity mandala, citing a verse from the YSCT/SUT group (= GSSn 


Witnesses: GSS Ki25r 3 -i25V5, N88v2-8 9 r2, D 9 iv 4 -92r 4 . Toh., Ota.-? 
Witnesses: GSS Ki25v5-i2 7 r2, N8 9 r2-9in, 092^-93^; Ms. "C" (CUL ms. add. 
1697 IV, photocopy); ed. Dhlh no. 1 (1986: 1-3). Toh., Ota.-? 
56 Witnesses: GSS Ki2 7 r2-i28v 4 , N 9 ir2-9ir6, D9 3 r4~94V2; ed. Dhlh no. 1 (1986: 
4-6). Cf. Toh. 1602, Ota. 4681. 
Witnesses: GSS K128V5-139V2, N9ir6-9ivy, D94V2-95F4. Toh., Ota.-? 





v.41) and the statement that all goddesses wear vajra garlands on their brows 
(= GSSn §21). There is a brief reference to the purification of the sense 
organs, the summoning of a knowledge mandala, and its empowerment 
with the respective mantras for each deity. There follow worship and praise, 
the offering of bali, and the dismissal of the deities. 

GSS45 Indrajitkramavajrayoginisadhana™ (Vajrayoginl Sadhana with the 

Method for Conquering Indra) 
This is very similar to GSSiy (see above) and prescribes the generation of 
a white, raised-foot-pose form of Vajrayoginl. 

GSS46 Ddkiniguhyasamayasddhana 59 (by Anarigayogin?) 60 
The following text is not a sadhana, as stated in the colophon, but a com- 
mentarial work dealing with Cakrasamvara-based material with a strong 
Kalacakra influence. Our author quotes from many key Yogottara and 
Yoganiruttara texts, such as the Guhyasamdjatantra, Hevajratantra, 
Cakrasamvaratantra (= Laghusamvaratantra) and its tikd by Vajrapani, 
Samvarodayatantra, Abhidhdnottaratantra, Kdlacakramulatantra (Para- 
mddibuddhatantra), the Catuspitha, Mdydjdla, and Ddkinijdlapanjara. He 
is extensively influenced by Kalacakra exegetical works, such as the Vimala- 
prabhd, Vajrapani's Laghutantratikd (Pinddrtha), the Amrtakanika, and 
Sekkoddesatikd. The text deals with a sexual-yogic interpretation of the con- 
secrations, the brahmavihdras, Amrtakundali, yogic meditations with the 
four blisses for the attainment of siddhi, the six yogas, etc. There are many 
frame verses on the methodology and success of the practice, its meta- 
physics, and the authority of the guru. 



Witnesses: GSS Ki39v2-i 4 or 3 , N 9 iv 7 -92r7, D^v^-c,^ « GSS17. Toh., Ota.-? 
Witnesses: GSS Ki 4 or 3 -i47v6, N 9 2r7- 9 8r6, D95V3- ioiv 5 . Published as 
Ddkinljdlasamvararahasya (ed. Samdhong Rinpoche and Vrajavallabha Dvivedi. 
1990). Toh., Ota.-? 

The namaskara verse states that the sadhana is written by Anahgayogin, whom I 
have not traced. (The mahasiddha Anahga has been identified by Dowman 1985: 
368-71 with the earlier Anaiigavajra dated to the ninth century; cf. Snellerove 
1987: 182.) 5 


About fifteen Vajrayogini/ Vajravarahi texts are listed in Bhattacharyya's edi- 
tion of the so-called (n. 42) Sadhanamala (1925/ 1928), although many of these 
are actually portions of longer texts, printed separately because they contain 
brief colophons. All of the Sadhanamala works appear in almost identical or 
similar form in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. The one exception is the longest 
Vajravarahi Sadhana in the Sadhanamala (SM218, with SM219 and SM220), 
although this is still represented in the Guhyasamayasadhanamala in two sep- 
arate, but much shorter, versions (in GSS5 and GSS38). One can also find 
iconographical descriptions of Vajravarahi as consort in the Sddhanamdld's 
small collection of Cakrasamvara sadhanas (e.g., SM250, 251, 255). A few 
sadhanas of other deities also incorporate Vajrayogini materials into them, for 
example, the Manjursri Sadhana SM48 "vajrayoginibhdsitam vadirajamanjusri- 
sddhanam" which has no reference to Vajrayogini except in the title, and 
contains minimal tantric elements; the Ekajata Sadhana SM123; and a Vidyd- 
dharikrama text SM249 from the Mahamaya tradition, containing the balividhi 
from GSS21. The main sources in the Sadhanamala are: 
SM217 Vajravdrdhisddhana^GSSy, cf. GSS31. 

SM218-220: SM218 Prajndlokasddhana by Koiikadatta with SM219 vasyavidhi 
given as "Vajravarahisadhana" and SM220 "vajravdrdhyd vas'yavidhih" (final 
line of preceding vasyavidhi with colophon)«GSS5 (K34V5-35V6, Sed p. 149) 
and GSS38 (see appendix entry to GSS38). 

SM221-223: Printed as three texts (though probably redacted from a single 
source) focusing on the (male) deity Mahamaya, but with the Vajravarahi 
root mantra. SM221 (colophon in one ms. only: jvdldmukhisddhanaprayogah) 
opens with verses extolling the deity, followed by the Vajravarahi root mantra, 
identical (with a few variants) to GSS11 §32 and related texts. SM222 
(colophon in one ms. only: mahdmdydjvdldmukhivajravdrahiprayogasddhanam) 
refers to the previous Vajravarahi root mantra, with instructions for its recita- 
tion and rites for siddhi. SM223 mahdmdyddevydh smasdnam is a short para- 
graph giving an account of cremation grounds a little different from that in 
Vajravarahi materials. 


384 NOTES TO PAGES xxi-xxii 

• SM224 Vajravdrdhisddhana^GSSiS. 

• SM225 Odiydnavajrapitbavinirgata-urdhvapddavajravdrdhisddhana^GSSii. 

• SM226 Samhiptavajravdrdhisadhana^GSS^. 

• SM227 Samksiptavajravdrdhisddhana~GSSz9~SMiz7. 

• SM232 Vajrayoginisddhana (Trikaya-Vajrayoginl)«GSS20~GSS25. 

• SM233 Vajrayoginisddhana**GSSi% cf. GSS28. 

• SM234 Vajrayoginisddhana**GSS<)=GSS}o. 

• SM235 nandydvarttena siddhasavarapddiyamatavajrayoginydrddhanavidhih^ 
GSS5 (K3811-5, Sed p. i53)*GSS22 (K86r6-86); cf. GSS23. 

• SM236 Vajrayoginisddhana**GSSi<). 

• SM237 vajrayoginyupadesah. Fragment probably from the end of a sadhana 
describing yogic meditations with recitation of mantra. 

• SM238 vajrayoginyd balividhih=balimantra from GSS25. 

2 Isaacson (2001: personal communication) suggests that the Samvarodayatantra 
was influential chiefly in Nepal, and may even be a Nepalese composition, 
possibly dating from as late as the twelfth century. 

3 Guide to the Nyingma Edition of the sDe-dge bKa'-'gyur/bsTan-'gyur in two 
volumes, July 22, 1980 (Berkeley CA: Dharma Publishing). 

4 The Six Texts ofVajravdrdhi (Phag mo gZhung drug) in the bsTan 'gyur (Toh 
1551-56) comprise the Sri-Tattvajndnasiddhi by Sunyasamddhi (Toh 1551), 
Sarvdrthasiddhisddhana by Avadhutipa (Toh i552=GSSi5), Jndndves'a by 
Sunyasamadhi (Toh 1553), Chinnamunddvajravdrdbisddhana by Srlmatidevi 
(Toh i554=GSS24), Chinnamunddsddhana by Virupa (Toh i555=GSS 
25/GSS20), and Sri-Vajrayogini-homavidhiby Buddhadatta (Toh 1556 =GSSi3). 
All six were translated by Varendraruci and bLo ldan shes rab. The transmis- 
sion of this set is sometimes credited to Sabaris'vara/Sabara (Robinson 1979: 
290; Bhattacharya 1928 vol. 2: cxv). However, it is elsewhere attributed either 
to Laksminkara (from her brother, Indrabhuti) and her disciple, Virupa, or to 
Kambala (a problem Dowman attempts to solve by suggesting that Kambala 
was Laksminkaras guru, 1985: 375). See the Blue Annals (pp. 389-94) for the 
transmission lineage from Indrabhuti and the eventual written composition of 
some of the six texts. 

5 This Tibetan lifestory, translated by Guenther (1963), is by Lha btsun Rin chen 
rnam rgyal (1473— 1557) and is entitled mKhas grub kun gyi gtsug rgyan panchen 
nd ropa V rnam thar ngo mtshar rmad byung. For the transmission from Tilopa, 
see Guenther {ibid: 44), and for Naropa's famous vision {ibid: 24-25). Guenther 
{ibid.: xv) dates this biography to the late twelfth century, but more recent schol- 
arship has shown its author to have been a follower of the "mad lama" (bla ma smyon 
pa), gTsang smyon Heruka (1452-1507), (Samuel 1993: 522, citing Gene Smith 
1969: i6-2j). For a discussion of the dating of Tilopa and Naropa, see Wylie 1982. 

6 The earliest lifestory by sGam po pa (1079-1153), the Ta'i lo dang ndro'i rnam 
thar, simply describes how a female deity (not identified as Vajrayogini, but 
vaguely as "mother of/from Khada") appears in a dream and persuades him to 
seek Tilopa; only after studying under Tilopa does he enter Nalanda and 



become a fully fledged pandita. {sGampopa bSodnams rin-chen 1974: 18-30.) 
The other text ascribable to before 1200 is by sGam po pa's nephew's pupil, 
founder of the Tshal pa bKa' brgyud school, Bla ma Zhang (g.Yu bra pa 
brTson 'grus grags pa, 1123-93). This text appears in Bla ma Zhang's collection 
of life stories entitled Deeds and Lives {mDzad-pa rNam-thar gyi skor, 1972). 
Here, Naropa dreams of many dakinis (again, not specifically Vajrayoginl); he 
becomes a pandita, again only after serving as a pupil of Tilopa, but at Vikra- 
mas'ila. There is also a life of Naropa accredited to Marpa in the eleventh cen- 
tury, found within the collection brGyud pa yid bzhin nor bu'i rnam par thar 
pa, The Life Stories of the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Lineage. This collection is con- 
tained within a sixteenth-century compilation of texts by Byang chub bzang 
po entitled bDe-mchogmKha'-'gro sNyan-rgyud (New Delhi: 1973. Reproduced 
from a rare manuscript in the library of Apho Rinpoche (no publisher given)). 
However, this compilation is in fact a later work clearly abbreviated from ear- 
lier sources (see Roberts 2002: ch. 2). I am indebted to Peter Alan Roberts (per- 
sonal communication: 2002) for providing this endnote and references, and the 
following details of transmissions within the bKa' brgyud traditions. 
There are two editions of dPa' bo's work on the Vajrayoginl practice (details 
for which I thank Dr. Sobisch; 2001: personal communication), as follows: 

dPal rje btsun rdo rje rnal 'by or ma 'igsang ba 'i sgrub thabs kyi rnam par bshad 
pa zab mo rnam 'byed: A Detailed Exegesis of the Esoteric Meditation-Devotional 
Practice (Guhyasadhana) Focusing upon Vajrayoginl According to the bKa' brgyud 
pa Tradition. dPa'bo gTsug-lag Phreng-ba of gNas-gnang. Bir: [s.n.], 1974. 1 
v. (unpaged). On boards: Cover title: rDo rje rnal 'byor ma'i gsang sgrub kyi 
rnam bshad. Reproduced from a manuscript transcription of an ancient block- 
print in the library of Nam mkha' rdo rje (Microfilm no.): Set 2-16. 
LMpj-012066. R-2241-74-901524. 

dPal rje btsun rdo rje rnaTbyor ma 'igsang ba V sgrub thabs kyi rnam bshad pa 
zab mo rnam 'byed: A Detailed Explanation of the Twelve Esoteric Instructions 
on the Guhyasadhana of Vajrayoginl Transmitted by Naropa. Rumtek: Dharma 
Cakra Center, 1975. 512 pp.; 9 x 50 cm. Added Tibetan title on boards: dBal 
(sic.) rje btsun rdo rnal 'byod (sic.) ma 'igsang ba 'i sgrub thabs kyi rnam par bshad 
pa zab mo rnam 'byedches (sic.) by a ba bzhugs so. Study of Esoteric Teachings Prac- 
ticed by the Karma Kargyudpa (sic.) Tradition of Tibetan Lamaism. (Microfilm 
no.): Set 3-20. LMpj-012504. SB-2214. LCCN-76-900087. 
For example, teachings on the sadhana by Chogyam Trungpa have been pub- 
lished (1982, 1991, 1999), and Simmer-Brown's exploration of the dakini and 
her description of Vajrayoginl (2001: ch. 4) is based mainly upon transmis- 
sions within the bKa' brgyud and rNying ma schools (ibid.: xii-xix). 
I owe this entire paragraph, with notes and references to a full letter written to 
me on the subject by Lama Jampa Thaye (January 15, 2002), whom I sometimes 
cite word for word. This was particularly kind given his reservations about 
bringing esoteric tantric material into the public domain. He points out that 
sources dealing with the topic are almost exclusively in Tibetan. Although this 

386 NOTES TO PAGES xxiv-xxvi 

overview is itself extremely condensed, other published references in English 
are far more fleeting; namely, Chogay Trichen's History of the Sakya Tradition 
(Bristol: Ganesha Press, 1983) and Sherab Gyaltsen Amipa's A Waterdrop from 
the Glorious Sea (Rikon, Swizterland: Tibetan Institute, 1976). 

10 The full details of the transmission lineages of these three are found in the lin- 
eage supplications (rgyud 'debs) attached to the relevant sadhanas. The initia- 
tions and sadhanas themselves have been published in recent years amongst Sa 
skya pas in India, in a six-volume collection of teachings on Vajrayogini, enti- 
tled the dPal Idan sa skya pa V lugs naro mkha ' spyod ma 'i skor. They are also 
found in sgrub thabs kun btus, the monumental fourteen volumes of Vajrayana 
teachings collected by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo ('Jam dbyangs mKhyen 
brtse dbang-po, 1811-1892) and Jamgon Loter Wangpo ('Jam mgon bLo gter 
dbang po, 1847-1914), published some years ago by Dzongsar Institute for 
Advanced Studies, Bir, Kangra, H.P., India. 

11 There is an initiation and sadhana of Vajravarahi found in the "One Hundred 
Sadhanas of Bari" (in vol. 12 of sgrub thabs kun btus), the collection of Vajrayana 
practices brought from India by Bari Lotsava (b. 1040) and transmitted onward 
through Sa chen Kun dga' snying po. 

12 The initiations and sadhanas for these esoteric instructions are located in sgrub 
thabs kun btus. Unlike the two other forms of Vajrayogini and the rest of The 
Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Maitri Khecari entered the Sa skya tradition with 
Sa chen Kun dga' snying po's son, rje brsun Grags pa rgyal mtshan (1147-1216). 
According to the material on Maitri Khecari (in dPalldan sa skyapa'i lugs naro 
mkha' spyod ma'i skor vol. 6, p. 203), he received it from one Dar ma Yon ten, 
a disciple of Sum pa Lo tsa wa. One Tibetan publication (with the English title 
A History of the Sa-skya-pa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, by T. G. Dongthog, New 
Delhi, 1977: 173), states that he received it directly from Sum pa Lo tsa wa. 

13 Found in volume 2 of dpal Idan sa skya pa V lugs naro mkha ' spyod ma V skor. 

14 None of these teachers aims to present a textual analysis of his original sources. 
Indeed, Ngawang Dhargyey (1992: 19) notes that in imparting the Sa skya lin- 
eage teachings, his own teacher, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, was often speak- 
ing from his own experience rather than relying on textual transmissions or 
commentaries. To what extent these works can help throw light on the Indian 
textual tradition studied here is very doubtful. Where I provide citations from 
these works, I do so with caution. This caution is all the more necessary because 
the teachers have tended to compose and edit their works from transcriptions 
of their oral commentaries (Tharchin 1997: Acknowledgments; K. Gyatso i997 : 
ix) — transcriptions made by pupils who themselves may have relied upon a 
translator. Apart from the difficulty in locating the sources used by the teach- 
ers, it is not always evident how a given translation relates to its explanation, 
as Dr. Sobisch has pointed out, e.g., Tharchin 1997: 192. 

15 The appearance of Vajravarahi within rNying ma theology, hagiography, and 
myth is well attested, as in the definitive volumes by Dudjom Rinpoche (199 1 )' 
as well as in many other published works, e.g., Germano and Gyatso (2000: 

NOTES TO PAGES xxvi-2 387 

246ff.). Ye shes mtsho rgyal's lifestory (Bod kyi jo mo ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi 
mdzad tshul mam par thar pa gab pa mngon byung rgyud mangs dri za'i glu 
'phreng)has been translated by Tulku (1983), Dowman (1984), and Changchub 
and Nyingpo (1999). References to Ye shes mtsho rgyal as the principal custo- 
dian and transmitter of "treasure" texts (gter-ma) abound, e.g., Dancing Moon 
in Watery (J. Gyatso 1998: 31-2), Dudjom (1991: 581, 586-87), Dowman (1984: 
73, 121-41), Germano and Gyatso (2000: 244, 248). 

16 Literature on the meditative practice of Ye shes mtsho rgyal /Vajravarahi/Vajra- 
yogini is plentiful, e.g., Klein (1995: 139, 144, 147), Patrul (1994: 313), Khyentse 
(1988), Thondup (1983, 1992). The Thar pa i bdelamwas composed by Jam mgon 
Kong sprul bLo gros mtha' yas (1813-99). This is the sngon 'gro of the extremely 
popular treasure cycle dKon mchogspyi ^derived from the treasure revealer, Rig 
'dzin 'Ja 'tshon snying po (1585-1656). Lama Jampa Thaye (to whom I owe this 
information) points out that the chief deity of the cycle is in fact the dakini 
Simhamukha (sic), who is the focus of the yanggsangC utterly secret") part of the 
generation-stage practices. He writes, "The employment of Vajrayogini in the 
sngon 'gro may reflect the influence of the bKa' brgyud tradition among the 
rNying ma. 'Ja 'tshon sNying po, prior to his activity as a treasure-revealer, was a 
'Brugs pa bKa' brgyud monk and the sngon 'gro itself was formulated later by 'Jam 
mgon Kong sprul, who was of course a Karma bKa' brgyud pa." I also thank Rig- 
dzin Shikpo for sending me his outline and explanation of the Thar pa 'i bde lam. 

vj The full name of the Tibetan text is rDzogs pa chen po sku gsum rang shar las 
thun monggtum mo'i nyams len ye shes me dpung bzhugs so, which the author 
translates into pidgin Sanskrit as Kayasahasarvam trisvayambiirpasya samanya- 
candaugnibhya jnajvala tisma. I thank Dr. Peter Alan Roberts for this infor- 
mation and for providing me with a copy of his unpublished translation. 

18 Simmer-Brown's (op. cit.) wide-ranging survey includes an interesting analy- 
sis of the various Western encounters with the subject, in a critique of both the 
Jungian approach (pace Guenther 1963) and feminist models. Apart from 
Herrmann-Pfandt, other feminist writers in the field include Rita Gross (1989, 
1993), Janice Willis (1989), Miranda Shaw (1994), Anne Klein (1995), and June 
Campbell (1996). There is also the synthetic account of Chinnamasta Vajra- 
yogini from Buddhist and Saiva sources by Elisabeth Anne Benard (1994), and 
studies that touch on the subject from other academic disciplines, such as David 
Gellner's (1992) anthropological work, or Toni Huber's (1999) ethnohistorical 
study of Tsari, a region in Tibet associated with Cakrasamvara and Vajravarahi. 

19 The problems of defining tantra in the Buddhist context have been explored 
in recent years, for example by Hodge (1994: 58-59). A full overview of the dif- 
ficulties and how various scholars have attempted to meet them is given in 
Lopez (1996: 78-104), and contributions to the subject continue, e.g., Williams 
and Tribe (2000: 196, 197 ff.). 

20 The figures for the Tibetan translations are reached by counting the texts in the 
tantric sections of the Tibetan bKa' 'gyur and bsTan 'gyur, both from the Tohoku 
Catalogue of the Derge edition (Toh/D) of 1733, and from the Otani Catalogue 




of the Beijing Qianlong edition (Ota/Q) of 1717-20. (Figures remain approxi- 
mate, as there are other editions of the canon that vary slightly, and also manu- 
script editions that did not undergo revisions and so include texts not found in 
later editions.) The rGyud 'bum section of the bKa' 'gyur (Toh/D 360-845) 
numbers just under five hundred texts, and there are in addition about twenty- 
four dharani texts (from the gZungs 'dus section, Toh/D 846-1108) not con- 
tained here. This means that in all there are about five hundred and ten tantric 
texts in the bKa' 'gyur of the Derge edition. The rGyud section of the bsTan 'gyu r 
(Toh/D 1109-3785) includes just under two thousand seven hundred texts. An 
additional tantra collection appears in the Beijing and Narthang bsTan 'gyurs 
(Ota/Q 4604-5183) that contains about five hundred texts over and above those 
found in the Derge bsTan 'gyur. This brings the number of tantric texts in the 
different bsTan 'gyur editions to just under three thousand two hundred. I thank 
Dr. Hermann-Pfandt for this information (2002: personal communication). See 
also Sanderson 1998: 661, and Williams and Tribe 2000: 195. 

As for the Sanskrit texts, BBK lists 1,500 Sanskrit tantric texts, although Isaac- 
son (1998) notes that there are many texts not listed there. Matsunami (1965) 
lists about forty pages of tantric Sanskrit texts. 

A portion of the Namamantrarthavalokinl, Vilasavajra's commentary upon the 
Aryamahjusrinamasamgiti (or Ndmasamgitt) , has been edited and translated by 
Tribe in his unpublished doctoral thesis (1994) and discussed in a published 
article (1997: 109-36). For the life of this yogatantra scholar (also known as 
Lilavajra), see Dudjom 1991: 463. 

22 Skorupski (1994: 201 n. 47), for example, notes that the commentators on the 
Samputodbhavatantra, such as Indrabhuti, use the phrase "yoga and yogini 
tantras"; cf. Kriyasamuccaya f. 409: yoginiyogatantresu. 

23 Gellner (1992: 373, n. 5) notes that "veiled and peripheral references to sexual 
rites do occur" rather earlier in the yogatantras, for example in , n.ipter 5 of the 
STTS. Cf. Sanderson 1994!: 97 n. 1. 

24 Snellgrove (1959 vol. 1: 12-13) dates the Hevajratantra from the latter eighth to 
early ninth century, using the myth of Padmasambhava's connection with King 
Indrabhti. Herrmann-Pfandt (Herrmann 1983) comments that this connection 
is doubtful because the Padmasambhava myth belongs to later rNying ma apolo- 
getics from the twelfth century. The evidence of Taranatha, who makes the 
eminent commentator Kanha a contemporary of the eminent King Devapala 
(first half of the ninth century; Snellgrove 1959 vol. 1: 14), is likewise untrust- 
worthy (see Isaacson 2001: 458 n. 4, who also discusses the commentator's name). 
It is, in fact, extremely difficult to date the emergence of the yoginitantras. 
Although Heruka-type material was in existence from the mid-eighth century 
(in the Sarvabuddhasamayogadakinijalasamvara, see n. 26 below), neither the 
Hevajratantra nor the Cakrasamvaratantra were transmitted into Tibet unti 
the second diffusion (from the latter tenth century). The dating of translators 
and commentators is helpful, but this tells us only that the tantras were in exis- 
tence by the late tenth or early eleventh centuries at the time the commentaries 



and translations were written. For example Gaya(a)dhara, translator of the 
Hevajratantra, was active in the second quarter of the eleventh century, and its 
commentator Ratnakarasanti was a pupil of Naropa's, and datable to the early 
eleventh century (Mimaki 1992: 297 n. 1); the first commentary on the 
Cakrasamvaratantra is late tenth century. But we still do not know how long 
the tantras had been in existence before this; and given the exegetical produc- 
tivity of the period, there is no reason to assume that the texts are much older 
than their commentaries. It is also unclear which tantra is the older of the two. 
The Hevajratantra is built upon a mandala of the older Sarvabuddha- 
samdyogaddkinijdlasamvara, which may indicate its antiquity; but on the other 
hand, it is more coherent than the Cakrasamvaratantra, and many of its meth- 
ods are more sophisticated (as in its system of four joys, ch. 3 with n. 195) and 
more attractive to exegetical expansion (Sanderson 2002: personal communi- 
cation). As for the Kalacakra tradition, Newman (1998: 343) has concluded that 
its root texts were completed "between 1025 and ca. 1040," although Isaacson 
notes (op. cit.'.Afi-] n. 2) that Ratnakarasanti "shows nowhere (to my knowledge) 
any awareness of the Kalacakra-system and its literature." Davidson (2002) offers 
some comments on dating of yogottara and yogini traditions. 

25 YSCT: p. 839 ch. v. ib (A4V.5, B6r.3): mahdydnam mahdmudrd yogini siddhi- 
dd tathd. 

26 A brief summary of this tantra, or a version of it, appears in a Chinese text trans- 
lated by Amoghavajra, sometime between 746 c.e. and 774 c.e. See Tanaka 
1994: 323; cf. Abe 1999: 260 and Tsuda 1999: 305. I thank Professor Sanderson 
(1995; 2002: personal communication) for these references. 

27 Our authors were well aware that the variant orthography points to two dif- 
ferent etymologies: sam-, "bliss," is used as a synonym for sdta, sukha, and there 
is no doubt an allusion intended to Siva, the "creator of bliss" (sam-kara) (Isaac- 
son 2001: personal communication). "Samvara" (literally, "restraint") was prob- 
ably just a shorthand for "Cakrasamvara." The two different spellings occur in 
the Tibetan translations also (bde mchog for Samvara, and sdompa for Samvara). 

28 GSS16 (K75V3): tantre laksdbhidhdne hi ndthena kathitd svayam. 

29 According to the colophons of the Tibetan manuscripts, the Legends are a trans- 
lation of the Caturasitisiddhapravrtti of Abhayadatta from the twelfth century, 
although Tatz (1989) is not convinced of their Indian origin and points out that 
neither the purported author (Abhayadatta) nor the translator (sMon grubs 
shes rab) have been identified with any degree of certainty. In his translation, 
Dowman (1985: 384, appendix I) decribes the Legends as belonging to The 
Cycle of Blessings of the Eighty-Four Indian Mahdsiddhas (rGya gar grub thob 
brgyad cu rtsa bzhi'i byin brlabs chos skor), 2. cycle of texts found in the bsTan 
'gyur and also in the sGrub thabs kun btus. He states that an edition in Tibetan 
of the Legends in the sNar thang bsTan 'gyur is also available (Sangpo Khetsun, 
ed. 1973. Biographical Dictionary of Tibet. Dharamsala Tibetan Library: 
633-770). See also Robinson's translation (1979) and the review by Tatz (1989) 
of Dowman's and Robinson's work. The other main source for the lives of the 



eighty-four siddhas is Taranatha, who groups his stories according to the lin- 
eage of teachings to which they belong in a work entitled The Seven Instruc- 
tion Lineages by Jo Nang Taranatha (Templeman 1983). 

30 Benard 1994: 66, cf. Blue Annals: 847 and Taranatha's History: 197 n. 13. 

31 See Blue Annals: 841-42, Taranatha's History: 305, Bhattacarya SM II: xci, and 
Cordier Catalogue, vol. Ill: 273 cited Kvaerne 1977: 6. 

32 GSS5 (Sed p. 139, K26r4): evam taval luyipaddbhisamayakramena vistaratah 
saptatrimsadatmakam bhagavatya mandalam. tatraiva mandalabheddntaram 
vajravalyam asmadgurubhir upadarsitam. 

33 The colophons of three of Abhayakaragupta's works state that they were writ- 
ten during specific years of Ramapala's reign: the Abhayapaddhati commentary 
on the Buddhakapalatantra during the twenty-fifth year, the Munimatalankara 
during the thirtieth, and the Amnayamahjari during the thirty-seventh (Biihne- 
mann 1992). Abhayakaragupta is an important author and translator, and in 
his history in the Blue Annals, he is said to be the transmitter of the *Sadhana- 
samuccaya (p. 1048). Twenty-four works are ascribed to him in Cordier's bsTan 
'gyur (cited Bhattacharyya 1972: 9, see also Biihnemann 1994, 1992). 

34 The other work by Umapatideva in the bsTan 'gyur is a Vajrayogini mandala 
rite (1584 in the Derge edition). Vagisvaragupta and Rwa Chos rab were also 
co-translators of a number of Kalacakra texts (1358, 1359, 1362, 1392, 1393, and 


35 Apart from his work with Vagisvaragupta, Rwa Chos rab translated another six 

texts (365, 440, 1374, 1754, I755> and 1964), five of them with Samantasri, includ- 
ing two of Samantasri's own compositions. It seems that Rwa Chos rab flour- 
ished in the early twelfth century. His dates may be tentatively deduced from 
two sources. First, the Blue Annals (p. 756) lists the "followers of the Rwa-lo tra- 
dition" and places Rwa Chos rab two lineage successions after "Kalacakra 
Junior," who is identified with Naropa who died in 1040 (Newman 1991: 65-76, 
Wylie 1982: 691) and two lineage successions before another datable translator, 
rGya lo (1203-82). The second source is the biography of Rwa Chos kyi grags 
pa (eleventh to early twelfth century, introducer of Yamantaka to Tibet), which 
describes Rwa Chos rab as his nephew and pupil. This biography (which is said 
to have been written by Chos rab's own pupil, successor, and possibly son, Rwa 
Ye shes seng ge; see Blue Annals: 756), states that after the death of Rwa Chos 
kyi grags pa (Tibetan text p. 343): "His heart son [principal pupil], Locchava 
Rwa Chos-rab continued his activities for five years. Then he went to Nepal 
[where he met SamantasrI]." The deathdate of the uncle, Rwa Chos kyi grags 
pa, is therefore significant. He seems to have died in the early twelfth century 
since his biography, though fantastical, states that he outlived Mar pa Chos kyi 
bio gros (pupil of the elderly Naropa, and teacher of Milarepa, who died c. 
1096). It also states that he traveled in the same group with Ras chung pa to 
India. According to the Lho rong chos 'byung (rTa-tshag Tshe-dbang rGyal, Lho- 
rong Chos-'byung, China: Bod-ljongs dPe-yig dPe-rnying dPe-skrun-khang, 
1994: 87), Ras chung pa's visit to India took place c. mo (Roberts 2000: 294* 






328-29, 422-23.) This would place Rwa Chos rab's visit to Nepal (Newman 
1991: 76) — where according to Bu ston he stayed for five years, ten months, and 
five days — in the first half of the twelfth century. Rwa Chos rab is also said to 
have traveled with Samantasri to Tibet, where they transmitted and translated 
Kalacakra teachings (in the "Rwa-locchava tradition," Blue Annals: 756, 789, 
Newman ibid). I thank Dr. Peter Alan Roberts for his help in researching this 
subject and providing translations from the Tibetan text. 
E.g., GSS7, GSS12, GSS37; also see historical sources such as Taranatha's His- 
tory: 332. _ 

*Siddba-Amndyap. 11: desandprakdsandh kuru! Tatz (1989: 695) describes the 
amanasikara as "a philosophic system called 'nonattentiveness.'" There are 
twenty-four works by Advayavajra and his pupils in the bsTan 'gyur (Toh / Tg. 
rGyud 2229-52). The *Siddha-Amndya (I designate this text according to its 
listing in BBK: 291) opens by locating itself within the amanasikara tradition 
(p. 8: amanasikdrdmndyam vaksyate). In a useful article, Tatz (1987: 695-711) 
compares the life of Maitrlgupta/ Advayavajra as it is told in the *Siddha- 
Amnaya with that in later Tibetan sources. 

"If such is available then other mantrins, [that is to say nonmonastic tantrikas] 
should not be venerated. For if all three are found together and the house- 
holder is worshiped then the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are 
cheapened." Kriydsamuccaya (SP f. 3.6): uttame vidyamdne tu ndrddhyd anya- 
mantrinah/satsu trisv ekadesesu grhasthah pujyate yadd/tadd buddhas ca dharmas 
ca samgho gaccbaty agauravam/iti. 

Kudrstinirghdtanam in Advayavajrasamgraha: 1-12. Gellner (1992: 300) com- 
ments that these are much the same as the routinized version of tan trie prac- 
tice now found among Newar followers of the Vajrayana. 

40 Kriydsamuccaya SP f. 6 3 " 5 (translated by Sanderson, cited Gellner 1992: 295); a 
passages discussed with text excerpts by Sanderson (1994!: 87-102, especially 
n. 37). Abhayakaragupta explains the sexual nature of the guhydbhiseka and 
prajndbhiseka in his Vajrdvali (Ms. B f. 64*6-64^5 cited Isaacson 1996b n. 80). 

41 Buhnemann's survey of primary materials and secondary opinions is based on 
historical sources such as the Blue Annals, The Collected Works ofBu ston, (part 
26 (LA), ed. by Lokesh Chandra from the collections of Raghu Vira. 1971), and 
Bu ston's History of Buddhism (Chos 'byung) (pans I and II, translated from 
Tibetan by E. Obermiller. 1931-32). She uses catalogs by Bendall (1883), Cordier 
(1909-15), and others, while her discussions of dating are indebted to the work 
of modern scholars such as Meisezahl (1980) and especially N. Okuyama (1988. 
"Tibetto bukkyo pantheon keisei ni kansuru futatsu no kadai." Indogaku 
Bukkyogaku Kenkyutfli. 892-96). More detailed bibliographical references for 
her study can be found in her bibliography, pp. 24-26. Lokesh Chandra also 
describes the four collections in the bsTan 'gyur in his introduction to the 
Narthang Pantheon (1986 vol. 1: 34). 

42 Also less correctly entitled *Sddhanasataka (sGrub thabs brgya rtsa), according 
to Biihnemann (1994: 11 with n.i). 


392 NOTES TO PAGES 19-25 

43 Biihnemann (1994: 19) shows that the basis of Bhattacharyya's edition is the 
third and largest of Bu ston's collections known variously as *Sddhanasdgara/ 
Sddhanasamuccaya/Sddhanamdld, which Bhattacharyya entitled Sddhanamdld 
according to the catalog description of one of the Cambridge manuscripts 
(Add. 1593). However, the catalog entry for the palmleaf manuscript of the 
Sddhanasatapancdsikdm Cambridge (Add. 1686) was also cataloged by Bendall 
(1883: 174) as the Sddhanamdld tantra (Biihnemann 1994: 17). This catalog 
entry, and the appearance of this title in manuscripts, misled Bhattacharyya into 
including it in his edition of sadhanas. 

44 These extracts from the Sarvadurgatiparisodhanatantra show how close its sub- 
ject matter is to the stages of the sadhanas in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. See 
Sarvadurgatiparisodhanatantra, 8a, for opening prescriptions and assurance of 
success (anena yathoktatantrdnusdrdnukramena vidhdnena pratyaham prabhdta- 
kdla utpattikramena bhdvayamdno bhdvayet. devatdyogam samddhitrayam 
uttamam yatnato durgatiparisodhanasiddhir bhavati.); 9b-ioa for preliminaries 
(tatsddhanam sdkyandthena bhdsitam. prathamam tdvad vijane mano nukula- 
pradese mrdusukumdrdsane nisannah sugandhena mandalam krtvd pancopahdra- 
pujd karaniyd. tatah sarvadharmanairdtmyam bhdvayitvd. dtmdnam humkdrena 
vajrajvdldnaldrkam bhdvayet. tasya kanthe hrihkdrena padmam <... genera- 
tions. . . > tena vajrajihvd bhavati, mantrajdpaksamo bhavet. . .); ioa-nb for the 
construction of the circle of protection, with the "binding" of creatures in the 
directions; a vajramdldbhiseka and armoring follow here, out of place accord- 
ing to later structures; I3ab for obeisances, twentyfold offerings and puja; 17a 
for emptiness mantras; I7b-i8b for bodhisattva vow; 19b for the generation of 
the mandala and the summoning of previous puja deities who are then made 
to enter the mandala in the yogin's heart, and the two mandalas merge into 
one; self- visualization of the yogin himself as deity at the center of the mandala. 

45 GST ch. 12 w. 60C-63: vijndya vajrabhedena tatah karmdni sddhayetl 
sevdsamddhisamyogam bhdvayed bodhim uttamam I upasddhanasiddhyagre 
vajrdyatanavicdranam I sddhane codanam proktam mantrddhipatibhdvanam I 
mahdsddhanakdlesu bimbam svamantravajrinah I makute 'dhipatim dhydtvd 
sidhyate jndnavajrinah). Also GST ch. 18 v. I36ff. v. 136: sevdvidhdnam pratha- 
mam dvitlyam upasddhanam I sddhanam tu trtiyam vai mahdsddhanam catur- 
thakam. Wayman (1977: 34, on ch. 12 w. 6o-6ia and pp. 156-57) translates the 
four "steps" as: "service" (sevd), "near-evocation" (upasddhana), "evocation 
(sddhana), and "great evocation" (mahdsddhana). I suggest a better translation 
of sddhana here is that of "attainment [of the deity]," or "mastery [over the 
deity]." _ 

46 Texts of the generation and completion method in Nagarjuna's Arya school are 
the Pindikramasddhana and Pancakrama respectively, and in the Jnanapada 
school of Buddhas'rljnana, the Caturangasddhanasamantabhadrandmasddhana 
and Muktitilakandma (Matsunaga 1978: xxi-xxii; Wayman 1977: 93-95) • ^ 
these, the Caturangasddhana supplies the fullest elaboration of the four vajras 
as belonging to the generation stage (Matsunaga ibid.: xxii), while the stage or 





completion is most famously expounded in the six yogas (Sadangayogandma) 
attributed to the tantric Nagarjuna (Wayman ibid.: 36, 163-73); see n. 423. 

47 The topics of the early chapters of the SUT (published by Tsuda, 1974) are also 
those of a mature sadhana such as GSSn analyzed below. Like the sadhana, the 
SUT deals, in sequence, with birth and the generation method (chs. 1 and 2), 
the completion method (ch. 3), the armoring of the psychophysical organism 
(ch. 4), yogic prdndydma practices (chs. 5-6), yoga, yoginis, sites, etc. (ch. 
7~9=body mandala); and ritual acts (ch. 10). 

48 In the HT, the sequence of the topics is: self-generation (HT1.3), self- 
consecration (HT1.4), meditation on emptiness (HT1.5), ritual performance 
(caryd) (HT1.6), sites and yoginis (HT1.7-1.8), and generation of the full 
mandala through visuddhis (HT1.9). 

GSSi (K279V2)«GSS2 (K4r6): adau tavan mantri gurubuddhayor abhinna- 
bhaktimdnaso drdhagrhitabodhicittah samyakprdptdbhisekah. . . • drdha] sudrdha 
GSS2. Cf. SM218 p. 431. 

GSSi (K4r2) and GSS5 (Sed p. 154 9 , K38V4): gurur buddho gurur dharmo guruh 
samghas tathaiva ca I gurur vajradharah srimdn gurur evdtra kdranam I gurum 
drddhayet tasmdd buddhatvapadavdnchayd. •vdnchayd] GSSi; vdnchayatiGSS^. 

The GSS produces many other citations on this vast subject. At the start of 
the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5) the author claims: "In the [tantric] system, the 
yogin is one whose devotion to the Buddha and the guru is undifferentiated" 
(Sed p. 125, K14V.4): iha gurubuddhayor abhinnasraddhah... yogi; d. GSSi 
(K279V2): ddau tavan mantri gurubuddhayor abhinnabhaktimdnaso. .. ; GSS46 
(K147V) cites a number of verses from scripture extolling the guru, comparing 
him with various buddhas, and warning the pupil of the dire consequences 
that will follow if he transgresses the guru's commands, such as leprosy in this 
life and hell in the next. Frame verses also appear in GSS10 (e.g., K53r3): 
gurupddam vind vatsa ma gaccha yogininayam, and GSS33 (Kinr3). For scrip- 
tural sources, see e.g., SUT ch. 8 w. 5-12, also SUT ch. 18 v. i-v. 6ab (some- 
what balanced by a description of a good pupil) within passages on 
consecration, e.g., STTS ch. 6 (cited Snellgrove 1987: 218). There is a great 
deal of primary and secondary literature available on this topic; especially use- 
ful is the work of Sparham (1999). 

51 For the samaya as post-initiatory observance, see the VA (SP p. 180): samayo 
mantratantramudrddih. The term has a double meaning, as it also refers to 
transgressive substances used in tantric rites (see p. 216 with n. 519), both of 
which are to be protected, e.g., Cakrasamvaratantra i.iocd, ncd: samaydn 
pdlayen nityam. Jayabhadra's Panjikd (NAK 3-365, f. 2on-2) on the Laghu- 
samvara states that the mantrin is "committed to the samvara, both those that 
have to be observed [i.e., the pledges of the initiate] and those that have to be 
consumed [the 'impure' substances of the cult]" (edited and translated by 
Sanderson 2001b). 

52 GSSi (K8or3): . ..suguptam caiva kartavayam pujdkdle samdhitah. . . .yadi sid- 
dhim pardm icchan raksayet samayam sada...srivajrayoginirahasyam karndt 



karnam mukdn mukham. Cf. GSS44 Svddhisthdnakumdritarpanavidhih 
(K128V5): kanydpujdkramam vaksye guruvaktrakramdgatam • kramdgatam] em.; 
kramdgatah K; GSS18 (KS^r6): yasya kasyacin na kathaniyam. Note injunctions 
to secrecy following the declaration of the efficacy of transgressive discipline 
in the Mahdcandarosanatantra ch. 13. 

53 See Ratndvalipahjikd (p. 80): purvasevdm vind na kdryasiddhih; SMi (p. i) : jfa 
khalu. . .mahdtantre mantramandale rajomandale vd vidhivallabdhddhikdro 
mantri taduktasamayasamvarasthah purvasevdm cikirsuh. . . vasan. This sadhana 
prescribes different numbers of recitations, e.g., (p. 1): tatprandmdlam- 
banajdpam abhyasan sahasram japet I tatah sarvamantrdndm laksajdpah krto 
bhavati...; this constitutes the prior service that is the opening part of the 
sadhana (p. 2): tatah svapardbhyudayasddhandngam evam purvasevdvidhim 
anutisthet; SM37 (p. 83): <gives mantra> purvasevdyutam japtvd pascdt sddhanam 
drabhet; SM266 (p. 524): mantri abhisikto nujndtah krtapurvasevo vajradharam 
sddhayitukdmo. . . See also Beyer (1978: 25-27) for a description according to a 
Tibetan tradition of "Contemplative Training: The Preliminary Practices," 
and J. Gyatso (1998: 187-88) for the way in which initiation and prior service 
are put into practice by one particular Tibetan yogin, Jigme Lingpa. 

54 E.g., SM50 (p. 105): hrdindumadhye bijam. . .tadbijarasmijagurubuddhabodhi- 
sattvdn drstvd; purvoktabljanispannam srimanjuvajram. . .cintayet; SM61 (p. 
ixj):.sridharmadhdtuvdgisvaram. ..dtmdnam nispddya; GSS3 (K12V3): etatsarva- 
parindmendtmdnam bhagavatim vajravdrdhim. . .bhdvayet; cf. GSS31; GSS9 
(K45ri): purvoktaih samastaih parindmena vajrayoginim... bhdvayet; SM3 (p. 
19): sakalasamastaparinata-. . .samastam etat parinamya; SM4 (p. 22): sarvam 
etat parinamya; SM14 (p. 39): tad etat sakaiaparinatam dtmdnam bhagavantam 
dhydydt; etc. 

55 E.g., GSS5 (Sed p. 125, Ki5r2): phenabudbudamarlcikadallmdyopamatvena 
nisceyd vairocanddayah; GSS11 v. 48b, v. 51b, SM3 (p. 19): tad eva jyotirii- 
paparinatam candramandalam; SM36 (p. 82): suryamandalam rasmimayam 
vicintya; SM55 (pp. 133-34): nyaset purastdt khalu jdliniprabham I susubhra- 
rephodbhavam eva nirmalam I pamkdrajam rasmimayam manoharam; SM65 (p. 
130): trilokim dlokamayim avalokayet; SM66 (p. 133): mdydmaricyudakacan- 
drakalpam vibhdvayel lokam imam samagram; etc. The purificatory power or 
rays will emerge throughout the sadhana, for example in the vdgvisuddhi, wor- 
ship, awakenings, etc. 

56 She appears as the subject of the practice in seven different sadhanas: in the war- 
rior stance in GSS2 (parvapujd, Kiin), GSS5 (Sed p. 132, K2or3), GSS11, 
GSS29, and in the reverse warrior (pratydlidhah) stance in GSS3»GSS3i and 

57 The Rin 'byung brgya rtsa is the first and largest of three collections that make 
up the complete set of Mongolian images of the IWS. The second collection 
is the sNar thang brgya rtsa, and the third comprises the main deities of the col- 
lection of mandalas described by Abhayakaragupta in the Vajrdvali (rDor 
phreng ba). The full name of the Icons Worthwhile to See (Bris sku mthong ba don 




Idan), comprising these three collections is Rin 'byungsnar thang brgya rtsa rdor 
'phreng bcas nets gsungs pa'i bris sku mthong ba don Idan (Tachikawa 1995: 7). 

Rin 'byung brgya rtsa or Jewel Mine of Hundred [texts] is itself an abbrevi- 
ation for Taranatha's collection, the full title of which is: The Mine of Jewels, 
Sddhanas of the Ocean ofYidam Deities: Yi dam rgya mtsho'i sgrub thabs rin 
chen 'byung gnas. This collection has been reprinted in two volumes in New 
Delhi, 1974-76, as Jo nang rje btsun Taranatha's Yi-dam rgya-mtsho'i sgrub- 
thabs rin-chen 'byung-gnas: A Collection of Sddhanas for Invoking the Various 
Tutelary Deities of Lamaism (Willson and Brauen 2000: 231, 233 n. 1; 
Tachikawa op.cit.). 

Large as Taranatha's work already was, the fourth Panchen bLa ma added to 
it to compile his own text as the basis for the empowerment ceremony of 1810, 
presenting for each practice both a sadhana text and a rite conferring permis- 
sion. This work is called The Clear Meaning of the Jewel Mine, an Expansion of 
"The Mine of Jewels, Sddhanas of the Ocean ofYidam Deities" (Yi dam rgya 
mtsho V sgrub thabs rin chen 'byung gnas kyi lhan thabs Rin 'byung don gsal). This 
was also published in New Delhi in 1974 by Lokesh Chandra under the title 
Sadhana-Mala of the Panchen Lama bs Tan-pa 'i-Nyi-ma Phyogs-las rNam-rgyal. 
The abbreviated title for this work, which appears in the margin of each page, 
is Rin lhan. Biihnemann (1994: 14-15) notes that the Rin lhan has its roots in 
the collection of sadhanas translated as the Sddhanasataka about the turn of the 
twelfth century or earlier (and also, according to Chandra, in the Sddhana- 
sdgara; op.cit.: 45-46). The fourth chter of the Rin lhan is dedicated to sadhanas 
of Vajravarahi (Tachikawa 1995: 10, Chandra 1986 vol.i, p. 47). 

Where icons from the Mongolian pantheon are used below, I have com- 
pared the relevant Sanskrit sadhana of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld with the 
Tibtean source; for this, I have relied upon the translations of the Rin lhan/Rin 
'byung brgya rtsa given by Willson and Brauen {op.cit.: 252-62). In these 
instances, I have noted the Tibetan title and mantras (although normalizing 
the orthography of the Sanskrit). I number the Mongolian icons according to 
the woodblock prints published in 1995 by Tachikawa et al., and to the painted 
images of the Icons Worthwhile to See published in 2000 by Willson and Brauen 
(T/IWS), and I also crossrefer to the different numbering system of the line- 
drawings commissioned by Lokesh Chandra (LC) on the basis of the wood- 
block prints, several of which are reproduced in chter 2. 
An analysis and critical comparison of these different publications is given by 
Willson and Brauen (2000: 7-22). The woodblock prints published by 
Tachikawa et al. are chiefly located at the Indian Institute of the University of 
Hamburg (the missing folios of this set — 8 percent of the whole — being found 
in the Library of Tibetan works and Archives in Dharamsala; Tachikawa et al. 
1995: 3). No further information is given by the editors as to the origin of this 
set. Willson and Brauen {op. cit.: 8) note, however, that there are apparently 
other copies: two in St. Petersburg and one in Ulan-Ude. There is also one set 
in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich. 


Brauen's discussion highlights the difficulty of nomenclature for the Mon- 
golian icons. Lokesh Chandra (e.g., 1986, 1987) refers to them as the 
"Narthang Pantheon," apparently basing this on nineteenth-century scholar- 
ship that mistakenly claimed that the blockprints were from Narthang 
Monastery in Tibet {op.cit.: xvii). The title "Narthang Pantheon" has been 
mistakenly picked up by other secondary authors, such as von Schroeder 
(2001). Tachikawa et al. (1995) corrected this to Five Hundred Buddhist Deities. 
Brauen points out, however, that while there are just over five hundred (507) 
images (and Tibetan sources do refer to "five hundred images": sKu brnyan 
Inga brgya), many depict more than one deity, both male and female. He notes 
that the authentic Tibetan title of the blockprint set is Bris sku mthong ba don 
Idan, translated as Icons Worthwhile to See (IWS). Willson and Brauen's pub- 
lication of the painted icons therefore appears under the title Deities of Tibetan 
Buddhism: The Zurich Painting of the "Icons Worthwhile to See (Bris sku mthon 
don Idan). " 

59 As for the origins of the set published by Lokesh Chandra, he writes (2001: per- 
sonal communication): "The line-drawings are based on an original xylogra- 
phy my father Prof. Raghu Vira brought from Ulan Bator in 1955, on a 
photocopy of the Leningrad copy, and also on the copy of Prof. Lessing. The 
Tibetan artists who worked with me had to consult all the three prints to clar- 
ify the details. The work of tracing and drawing was completed in i960." In 
the absence of a clearer set of woodblock prints, such as that produced by 
Tachikawa et al., the Tibetan artists seem to have been concerned with pro- 
ducing both clear copies and images that were artistically pleasing in their own 
right. This led to a number of changes that are internally consistent within the 
set but that have altered aspects of the original woodblocks. Thus, the dimen- 
sions of the drawings differ and, while standard, are more rectangular than the 
woodblock prints; the mantras for each deity appear below the images (rather 
than on the reverse, as on the woodblock prints). The artists have also drawn 
clouds in the background, sometimes adding foreground landscape too (much 
as the painters of the IWS have done), replacing the simple sun and moon that 
flank the deities in some of the woodblocks. They have also used a different 
convention for the lotus, drawing downward-pointing lotus leaves rather than 
the upward-pointing leaves of the woodblocks. 

60 Sanderson (1988: 668) notes that these classifications are postscriptural and 
belong to a period of systemization of nondual Saiva traditions in the ninth and 
tenth centuries in Kashmir. For a detailed analysis of the dating of the Saiva 
tantras themselves, see Sanderson 2001b. The nouns mantra (masculine) and 
vidya (feminine) in Mantrapltha and Vidyapitha signify "sacred sound-for- 
mulas" {ibid.: 669), and Sanderson comments that the progression in termi- 
nology from masculine to feminine is another indication of the progressive 
tendency within the Bhairava tantras toward extolling feminine power. (It is 
worth noting, perhaps, that the pure, dualistic tradition of the Saiva Siddhanta 
also belongs to the Mantramarga).See also Dyczkowski 1988. 





61 For the chief cremation ground cults, the Picumatabrahmaydmalatantra is the 
authority (approximately 1,200 verses on the cult of Canda Kapalini and 
Kapallsabhairava; Sanderson 1995). The textual basis of the Trika system is the 
Siddhayogesvarimata and the Tantrasadbhdva (also the Nisisamcdra and Mdlini- 
vijayottaratantra). The text underpinning the worship of Kali is the Jayad- 
rathaydmalatantra (or Tantrardjabhattdrika), which teaches the kdpdlika cult 
of Bhairava, Kali, and the yoginis. These are "the main pillars of the esoteric 
Saiva tradition" (Sanderson 1994!: 94). 

Vajravali (SP f. 219.5): viracarydvratam eva yauvardjyavratacaryeti vajrakd- 
pdlikacarydvratam iti coktam s'risamputatantre. Cited by Sanderson (1994!: 91, 
98 n. 2) who also describes and discusses the rite. 

Cf. HT2.5.59; Kriyasamuccayaf. 409; HT1.5.2, HT2.5.59, Samputatantra ch. 
1, Skorupski 1994: 221-22). From the description of the Vajravali Guhyd- 
bhisekavidhi (SP p. 210.3): sisyo 'bhinavayauvanddisampannd<m> samayini<m> 
tadaldbhe nydm vd prajnd<m> guhydbhisekdrtha<m> gurave nirydtya krtdhjalir 
guru<m> vajrasatvam adhimucya. . . • tadaldbhe] conj.; tadandmeS? • nydm] em.; 
hyds SP • nirydtya SP. Cf. GSi8.n8ab: atisraddhdm mahdprdjnim surupdm 

64 Mahdcandarosanatantra ch. 13: yena yenaiva pdpena sattvd gacchanty adhogatim 
I tena tenaiva pdpena yogi sighram prasiddhyati (v. 5) II... rdgena hanyate rdgo 
vahniddho 'tha vahnind I visendpi visam hanydd upadesaprayogatas 1 1 (v. 6) 'Pas- 
sion is destroyed by passion. One who has been burned by fire [is healed] by 
fire. Poison also is destroyed by poison, through the application of the recieved 
instructions." Cf. HT2. 2.46-49 and HT2.2.5iab. 

I am grateful to Dr. Isaacson for his help in translating this passage, attrib- 
uted to Indrabhuti. GSSi (K*8ov5): vdmodbhavam jagat sarvam trailokyam 
sacardcaram I vdmdcdrah sadd yogi vdmapddah purah kramet I [iv] I pujayed 
vdmahastena vdmatarpanabhaksanam I pancavarnasamdcdram ekavarnam tu 
kalpitam I [v] I bhaksydbhaksyam tathd peyam ghrndm lajjdm ca varjayet I 
sarvasamkalpanirmuktah sarvadvandvavivarjitah I simhavad vicared yogi 
yoginijdlasamvaraih. [vi] . Lines from these verses, or variations upon them, 
appear also in YSCT, e.g., [v. i cd] ch. 15 v. i5ab, [v. iii cd] v. 13b simhavad 
vicared virah sarvdsaparipurakah; Luyipada's HA (f. 15V6, f. i6n); SUT 9.27a; 
cf. HTI.6.5ab. For yoginijdlasamvaram, see YSCT ch. 9 v. 3a with commen- 
tary; Tsuda's remarks (1974: introduction: 54-60), Herrmann-Pfandt (1992- 

66 For the categorization in Saivism see Heilijgers-Seelen (1994: 126) citing Kubji- 
kdmatatantra i8.78cd on their categorization, and Ksemaraja's commentary on 
Netratantra 2.13-14 for their malicious tendencies. 

67 The term ddkini is usually glossed from Vdai "to fly," as in the YRM (Snell- 
grove 1959 vol. 2: 142), which states that ddkini derives from the root "to fly," 
understood literally as "to go in space, which is the Siddhi of moving anywhere 
in space." Hevajratantratikd f. 49V (cited Bauddhatantrakosa: 45): dai vihdya- 
sagamane dhdtur atra vikalpitah. sarvdkdsacari siddhir ddkiniti\ Vasantatilakdtikd: 


398 NOTES TO PAGES 44~4^ 

41 (cited ibid): tatra prthivyakdse dayandd dakini, Vasantatilakatikd: 60 (cited 
ibid): dai vaihayasi gamane buddho dhdtur prakalpitah I sarvakdsacard siddhd 
ddkiniti nigadyate. It is this etymology that is carried into the Tibetan term for 
dakini, kha'gro ma, "one who goes in space" (a translation of another term for 
dakini in Sanskrit, khe-cari). The word dakini, and its rich polyvalence, is dis- 
cussed elsewhere, e.g., by Herrmann-Pfandt (1992: H5rT.) and J. Gyatso (1998: 
305 n. 8; cf. 246-64). Heilijgers-Seelen (1994: 126-128) reviews the diverse schol- 
arly opinions on the matter of dating. 

68 Oddiyana may be related to dakini through the root Vdi "to fly, to soar." 

69 Sanderson (2001: personal communication) has collated detailed citations from 
Buddhist, Jain, and Saiva Sanskrit sources that confirm the location of 
Oddiyana (also spelled: Odiyana, Odryana, Uddiyana, Udiyana, Udyana, and 
Udyana) in the northwest of India, as well as references in Tibetan to Oddiyana 
(U rgyan or O rgyan), in Chinese (Wuzhangna guo (Pinyin), Wu-chang-na kuo 
(Wade-Giles)), and in Japanese (Ujona koku). Sanderson's findings shed light 
on the work of previous scholars, who have discussed and disputed the loca- 
tion, for example, Snellgrove (1987: 182) and Mishra (1995: 15-16), who sum- 
marizes the debate. 

70 Some of Sanderson's findings on the processes of redaction (1994!, 1995, 2001b) 
have been presented above (ch. 2). For other Buddhist literature on classes and 
types of female spirit, see also n. 446. 

71 GSS40 (Ki24r4): tirthikadiyogininirakaranartham vajra<m> <iti>. 

72 GSS24 (K89V6): namah srivajrayoginyai yoginicakranayikayai... • ndyikdyai] 
em.; ndyikeK. 

73 For early stone sculptures of Marici from Nalanda, Bengal, Orissa, and else- 
where (from tenth to eleventh century), see Mullick (1991: 58—59, with plates 42, 
52, 56, 61, 66, 82); Ray (1986: plate 203), and S. Huntingdon (1984: plate 213). 
An early fifteenth-century mandala of Marici is found in the chapel devoted 
to her at Gyantse (Ricca and Lo Bue 1993: 227, plates 50, 87, 88, 89). Refer- 
ences and plates are also published by von Schroeder, mostly of Marici as an 
attendant to Tara (1981: 489, plate 138E and 2001: 1055, plates 73A, 93C, 121D, 
267A (reproduced here as plate 5), and 357B). Studies of Marici, or references 
to her, appear in Bhattacharyya (1985/1924: 95-98, with plates), de Mallmann 
(1975: 55-56, 75, 259-265), Misra (1998 vol. 3: 92-93), and Patry and Thurman 
(1977: 35). Willson and Brauen (2000) provide translations and summaries of 
Tibetan sadhana texts relating to illustrations from the nineteenth-century 
Mongolian icons (nos. 195-96, 267, 430, 502), and (peaceful) forms of Marici 
appear likewise in the line drawings of Lokesh Chandra's version of this pan- 
theon (1961-72). A number of useful articles on Marici also contain early 
images, by Donaldson (1988, 1995), Mitra (1991), and Bautze-Picron (2000), 
who dates the earliest images recovererd at Bodh Gaya to the nineth and tenth 
centuries (ibid: 265, figs. 1-2) but proposes that images were being made at 
least one century earlier." This article includes a helpful list of images of Marici 
{ibid: 186-91). 

NOTES TO PAGES 46-48 399 

74 A small set of sadhanas in the Sddhanamdld is devoted to the single deity 
Nairatmya/Nairatma without a consort (SM228-231; also NYA no. 6). From 
these, it emerges that she is black/blue (krsna) and usually two-armed, holding 
chopper and bowl (with or without staff) . This is the iconography of Nairatmya 
as consort to Hevajra (e.g., SM245; NYA no. 8). In SM254 (Buddhakapdla- 
sddhana), a set of goddesses including Nairatmya surround Buddhakapala and 
his consort, all of them blue, one-faced, holding chopper (right) and skull bowl 
(left) in ardhaparyanka pose (p. 502: sarvd devyo nilavarnd dvibhujd ekavaktrd 
asthydbharandh pingorddhvakesd mundamdldrahitd vdme kapdlam daksine kar- 
trikd ardhaparyankanrtyasthdh). Some references to Nairatmya/Nairatma, 
mainly as a subsidiary deity, are given by de Mallmann (1975: 271-72) and von 
Schroeder (2001: 284). 

75 The four dakinis are: VajradakinI (east), Ratnadakini (south), Padmadakini 
(west), and VisvadakinI (north). E.g., SM239, SM240, SM248, NYA no. 9 (de 
Mallmann 1975: 132-33). These dakinis are also attendants to Wrathful Black 
Varahl (Phag mo khros nag), along with KarmadakinI, SamayadakinI, 
SarvadakinI, and LokadakinI (Willson and Brauen 2000: 262, with Mongolian 
Icons T/IWS 89-97, LC 599-607). 

For Mahamaya as the mother of all guhyakas see Mahdmdydtantra (1.7a): 
guhyakdndm iyam mdtd; and as the (female) source of creation, (1.6): saisd 
samharate visvam srjate sd punah punah. Ratnakaras'anti confirms that 
Mahamaya is a male Heruka form: saiseti herukariipd mahdmdyd. (I thank Dr. 
Isaacson for these references.) We see this first qualification referring also to 
Vajravarahl (SM221 p. 434), with material from the Mahamaya tradition 
appearing in some Vajrayogini sadhanas, such as SM221-223, and our GSS21 
(see appendix). 

y6 GSS7 (K4or5): tanmadhydd utthitd devl vdrdht vajrayogini. 

7 j This remark belongs to a passage in which the glances of all the attendant god- 
desses are described, from the section on the visualization of the inner circuit 
of Heruka in the system of the Sarvabuddhasamdyogaddkinijdlasamvaray in 
Anandagarbha's Vajrajvdlodayd ndma Sriherukasddhanopayikd (Niedersachs- 
ische Staats- und Universitatsbibiliothek, Gottingen, MS Xc 14/39, f- 
I70r6-i86r5; ms. Xc 14/39), £ *78r: atra sriherukasydbhyantaramandalakosthas 
tasya tadyogino vd tasminn eva kosthake purvadigbhdge gauri gauravarnd 
sdntadrstih saumyamukhd. . . pascime pramohd ddivardhamukhd pramohadrstir 
fvakrasthdf caturbhujd madyapurnakapalavdmakard daksinakare vajra- 
sphotanam sarvam krodhakula<m> bandhayantl (I thank Professor Sanderson 
for this reference.) 

78 E.g., ADUT patala 56 f. 22in-5: karundkrodhabhisand. The notion of karund- 
krodha is widely attested elsewhere. Cf. SM117 p. 246: Jdngull . .sarosahasitd, lit.: 
"Jangull... smiling, with anger." 

79 E.g., in the Saptadas'atmakahevajra Mandala (NYA no. 5, p. 14): athavd catur- 
bhujo dvibhujavat aparabhujdbhydm svdbhavajravdrdhisamdlingita ity eva 
visesah; also in the Navatmakaherukacatustaya Mandala (NYA No. 8 p. 21). The 

400 NOTES TO PAGES 49~5° 

following verse in the HT also describes a six-armed form of Hevajra embrac- 
ing a different, and now little-known goddess, Vajras'mkhala (HT1.3.18); also 
in NYA no. 5. 

80 Vasantatilakdtikd p. 41 (cited Bauddhatantrakosa p. 45): sarvd eva ddkinyo 

81 The parydnka, as we will see (n. 238), is a seated meditation posture. In the half- 
paryanka (ardhaparyanka), the deity is standing up and dancing, that is, with 
one leg on the ground, flexed with the movement of dance, and with the other 
raised up, the sole of the foot placed against the opposite thigh (similar to the 
seated meditation position). E.g., NYA (p. 14): [Hevajra] vamorau daksina- 
car anagram samstbdpydrdhaparyariki" [Hevajra] is in the ardhaparyanka [pose], 
having placed the tip of his right foot on his left thigh." SM241 (p. 469): visva- 
padmasurye vdmapddam tasyaivorau daksinacaranam vinyasya nrtyam kur- 
vantam herukaviram bhdvayet. "One should visualize the hero, Heruka, with 
his left foot on a sun [disk] on a multicolored lotus, having placed his right foot 
on his [left] thigh, doing a dance." SM242 p. 490: [Heruka] suryamandalam 
tanmadhye samupavistham. . .ardhaparyankinam; SM254 p. 502: [devis] ardha- 
paryankanrtyasthdh; etc. Sanderson (2002: personal communication) notes that 
Bhavabhatta's commentary to the Cakrasamvaratantra glosses the root text 
(19.10c: dkuncitavdmapaddn tu) as: "The phrase, 'With the left foot bent' 
means, he should be seen dancing in the ardhaparyanka pose." (Cakra- 
samvaratantravivrtilASWRMBh-l-tf, f. y6v6): dkuncitavdmapddeti. ardha- 
paryankandtyam darsayed ity arthah. 

Warrior-stance forms are also said to be dancing, but this posture is more 

clearly associated with dance, and I therefore tend to refer to the ha\f-paryarika 

as the "dancing" pose; e.g., GSS2 (K28or3/Kor2): ardhaparyankatdndavdm; 

GSS7 (K4or5): ardhaparyankam dsind nrtyamdna; GSS32 (Kio6r2): nrtydrdha- 

paryankini; and describing Heruka's form, e.g., KYT (p. 142): caturmdrasama- 

krdntam ardhaparyankatdndavam. For the rasas, see e.g., GSS34 (Kii2vi): 

navandtyarasdnvitd, also of Heruka forms such as Sam vara, e.g., NYA (p. 26): 

navandtyarasardsih, cf. SUT ch. 13.22b. 

82 The two texts are very similar. Cf. GSS5 (Sed p. 152, K37r3); Vasantatilakd ch. 

9. GSSi (K28on)«GSS2 (K4V6-0O: tatah svadeham traidhdtukavisuddha- 

kutagdram ity dkalayya jhatiti tato ndbhimandale dvibhujdm kartrika- 

pdladhdrinim muktasiroruhdm nagndm trinetrdm — navayauvanaldvanydm 

pancamudrdvibhusitdm I pancabrahmamahdmukutim ardhaparyankatdndavdm 

1 1 I somasurydgnimadhyasthdmjavdsindurasannibhdm I idrgriipadhardm devirn 

bhdvayed yogavit sadd I 2 I koldsyam daksinam tasydh krodhdsyam vdmatas tathd 

I samvrtiparamdrthena vaktradvayam pragiyate I 3 I gurupadesamdrgena 

jndtavyah kramavistarah I tasydh kusesaydntahstham cakram sarvdrthasiddhidam 

1 4 I trigundlamkrtam cihnam raktavarnam mahddyuti I mantrdksarasusampurnarn 

kuldlacakravad bhramet I 5 I rdksasdsyam samdkuncya samujjvdlya vibhdvasum I 

koldsyasannidhau drstvd nandydvarte bhramed vapuh I 6 I mudrddvayaprayogena 

trailokyam api sddhayet I jhatitdkdrayogdtmd yogi sidhyati ndnyathd I 7 I 



• itydkalayya] GSSi, abhiviksyaGSSx • tato-* dvibhujam] GSSi, vajrayoginim 
dvi(bhujdm) dvimukhdm GSS2(del) • muktasiroruhdm] GSSi, muktakesim 
GSS2 • (ic) pancabrahma } GSSi, ******/>* GSS2(dam) • (id) tdndavdm] GSSi; 
tdndavim GSS2 • (3b) vamatas tathd] GSSi, GSS2; vdmam eva ca GSS5 • (3c) 
samvrtiparamdrthena] GSSi, GSS2; satyadvayavisuddhyd tu GSS5 • (3d) 
pragiyate] GSSi; uddhrtam GSS2, GSS5 • (4b) jndtavyah kramavistarah] em.; 
jnatavyam kramavistaram GSSi; jnatavyam kramavistarah GSS2 (Perhaps leave 
the reading as it stands in GSSi since GSS40 glosses the lemma kramavistaram.) 

• (4c) kusesaydntahstham] GSSi; pankajamadhyastham GSS2 • (5b) rakta- 
varnam] conj.; vai raktavarnam GSSi; raktavarnaGSSz 9 (5b) mahddyuti] em.; 
°dyutihGSSi, °dyutimGSSi • (5c) ° susampurnam] corr.; sumsampurnamGSSi, 
sampurnamGSSx • (6a) rdksasdsyam] GSS2, rate^GSSi • (6b) vibhdvasum] 
GSSi;prabhdsvaramGSSz* (6d) nandyavarte] conj.?; nandyavartaGSSi, GSS2 

• (7b) <*/>/] GSSi; £/^(7ttJ GSS2(mg2) • (7c) jhatitdkdrayogdtmd] GSSi; 
jhatitdkdrayogena GSS2. 

83 The Sddhanamdld works listed for Vajravarahi by von Schroeder include a 
short line of text describing the form of Vajravarahi for a rite of subjugation 
(SM220 p. 433: digambard muktakest vajravarahi ndbhidese kartrikapdladhdrini 
nrtyanti cintyd. vasyam bhavatiti. vajravdrdhyd vas'yavidhih) . This is evidently a 
fragment from the vasyavidhi described in the preceding sadhana (SM219), 
which in turn is a ritual applying to the previous sadhana (SM218) (see GSS38 
with appendix entry). Perhaps misled by the fact that SM220 describes 
Vajravarahi here as "dancing" (which may be most evident iconographically in 
the ardhaparyanka forms of deities, but which is frequently also an aspect of 
warrior-stance forms), von Schroeder takes this line of text as the basis for coin- 
ing the appellation "Vasya-Vajravarahi" for ardhaparyanka chopper-holding 
forms of Vajravarahi (see many plates in publications published 1981 and 2001, 
with 2001: 1052). As this form of Vajravarahi is associated with all types of rites, 
not just rites of subjugation, this appellation is misleading. It is also based on 
the scantiest of evidence, and in fact von Schroeder's source (GSS220) is actu- 
ally a continuation of the previous two works (SM218 and SM219), and the pose 
intended for this form is rather the reverse warrior stance (pratydlidhah) and 
not the ardhaparyanka at all. Ironically, von Schroeder does state that the form 
is in the "pratydltdha" pose, but he confuses this term with ardhaparyanka, 
erroneously describing the former as "dancing on the left foot with the right 
leg raised and bent" (2001: 1052) — that is, as the ardhaparyanka pose (see n. 81). 
In this same entry (ibid), von Schroeder correctly points out that the hog's head 
is not mentioned in any of the SM sadhanas, although the reason for this is 
because these sadhanas do not focus on the hog-headed ardhaparyanka form 
of Vajravarahi but on her warrior-stance forms, which are invariably without 
a hog's head. 

84 There are plenty of published depictions of the ardhaparyanka-pose Vajra- 
varahi. Some of the earliest, including a few contemporary with our texts, are 
early Indian statues in late Pala style dating from the eleventh to twelfth 

402 NOTES TO PAGES 50-51 

centuries (von Schroeder 2001: plates 125A-E), and thirteenth-century Nepalese 
(ibid.: plate 173B-E) and twelfth-thirteenth-century Tibetan sculptures {ibid.: 
plates 289A-C, 295A, 94A-F; Leidy and Thurman 1998: plate 17). Slightly later 
are the fourteenth-fifteenth-century brasses of Vajravarahi from Central Tibet 
(Reedy 1997: C180, and C189), a beautiful laughing gilt-bronze Vajravarahi 
from fourteenth-century Tibet (Pal 1969: plate 55), the sixteenth-century sil- 
ver and gold free-standing sculpture {Sacred Art of Tibet: plate 113), the similar 
seventeenth-century Tibetan bronze (Rawson 1973: plate 73), the Tibetan (?) 
bronze of "Indrabhuti Vajradakini" c. 1700 (Sacred Art of Tibet, p. 261), and 
the serenely ecstatic statues (of unknown date) in Snellgrove (1987: plate 27) 
and Pal (1974: plate 287). See also many plates in von Schoeder 1981: plate 70G 
(twelfth century, Pala style), plate 95F (fourteenth century, Nepalese), plate 
115A (fifteenth-century Tibetan), and 120F (sixteenth-seventeenth-century 

85 According to Lokesh Chandra, Taranatha's title for no. 586 is dPyal-lugs rDorje 
Phag-mo. The Tibetan text of the Chel form (but not of Indrabhuti's men- 
tioned below) prescribes the visualization of the mantra within the deity's sex, 
as in our Sanskrit text. The history of the dPyal family is given in the Blue 
Annals (p. 395), starting with the pupil of a mid-twelfth-century Nepalese mas- 
ter, Pham mthing pa, who was a pupil in the lineage of Naropa. 

86 For the set of three deities, see Willson and Brauen 2000: 258, with n. 1. Fur- 
ther references for Indrabhuti's Vajravarahi are also given (ibid.: 259): 
P2253~54/Toh 1545-46 by Indrabhuti, and the first of the Six Varahi Texts 
(Blue Annals pp. 390-97), P2259/Toh 1551, known as "the Great Two-Faced." 
The root mantra in the Tibetan texts is the same as the tripartite mantra of the 
Sanskrit sadhanas, given below. 

87 Two examples of Tibetan sculptures, namely, Sacred Art of Tibet plate 113, 
and Snellgrove: 1987 plate 27, show no trace of a staff, consonant with the 
texts in the GSS. In contrast, the early Khara Khoto tangka of Vajravarahi 
(Sacred Art of Tibet, plate 93; Piotrovsky 1993, plate 22), the bronze in Raw- 
son (1973: 94), and the Mongolian icons all show her with a staff. In two 
bronzes (Snellgrove 1987 and Rawson 1973) Vajravarahi is depicted standing 
upon a single corpse, while in plates 1 and 8 she stands upon a sun disk placed 
on top of the corpse. 

88 GSSi*GSS2 (cited above n. 82): pahcabrahmamahamukutim. In Saivism, the 
"five Brahmas" originate from the five faces of Sadas'iva and refer to the five 
brahmamantras purified as Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusa, and 
Is'ana. See Kiranavrtti on Kiranatantra 3.i7c-i8b, further discussed in ch. 62 
entitled Pahcabrahmavidhi (in Goodall 1998: 283, n. 373) and Dyczkowski 
(1988: 32, citing Tantrdloka 29.18-27). 

89 GSSi (K28or2): navayauvanalavanya-; GSS34 (Kii2v6): dosdnghriyugacdrupi- 
vara • dosdnghn] conj.; domdkriK. 

90 GSSi (K28or5)«GSS2 (Kor3) w. 3D-4, cited n. 82 above; also in Vasantatilakd 
ch. 9. 






GSSi (K8or6): dasamiparvani prdpte. kparvan is a day of change in the lunar 
cycle upon which one traditionally practices brahmacdryd. There are six par- 
van days per lunar month: new moon, eighth (halfway waxing), fourteenth, full, 
eighth (halfway waning), and fourteenth. 
92 GSS33 (Kiiov.5): dasamyam astamibhutdm (?) sitakrsne ca vd sadd I kumdrim 
caikam <sampujya>m%i suruyoginikalpitdm I parsvasthdm svdntar madhyasthdm 
bdhye likhitacakragdm I pujayed viraviresicakrasamvarasamvare I bhaksyair bho- 
jyais ca yair yais ca I lehyais cosyais tathd paraih \ • dasamyam astamibhutdm]} 
conj.; dasamydmstamibhutdm nkhydh K • caikam] em.; caika K • yogini] coir.; 
jwgzw/ K • sthdm] em.; rt/ww K • yah] em.; ^ K • cosyais] em.; ctfa^/y K. 

The rite also appears in the Samvarodayatantra, patala 14, where it is pre- 
scribed on the fourteenth of each half-month, and in the Kriydsamuccaya (SP 
ff- 4 I 3-7~4i5-4) 5 which refers to this scriptural source (Sanderson 1999: personal 
communication). See also Allen 1975 on the modern-day kumdripujd'm Nepal. 
I owe the explanation of this process and of the text to Professor Sanderson (1995: 
personal communication), who is responsible for table 5 showing the prastara. 
See GSSi (K280V1) « GSS2 (Kov6) (verse numbers added): atah param prava- 
ksydmi mantroddharavidhim param I trikonamandalam r amy am vajrdrallivinih- 
srtam I 8 I dharmodayeti vikhydtam yositdm bhagam ity api I tatrdlikdlibbedena 
vargdn astau kramdl likhet I 9 I rupagnibdnamunayo randhresau kdma eva ca I 
kramdt kosthasya vinydsah kartavya upadesatah I 10 I akdrddikam drabhya 
hakdrdksarasamantatah I daksinavartayogena yathoktam samvardrnave I 11 I 
thordhvam trigunitam kurydd bindunddavibhusitam I. . .etc. 
• atah] conj. Sanderson; athdnyatahK* vajrdrallivinihsrtam] obscure; see Tex- 
tual Note to §38. 

95 The references in the text to "one, three, five, seven, nine, and eleven" are 
given in terse, cryptic language, as Sanderson (op.cit.) has explained. The first 
horizontal of the prastara consists of a single cell, referred to in the text by form 
(rupa-), indicating "oneness." The next horizontal row is divided into three 
cells, referred to as fire, indicating the three fires (agni-J. Next is a row of five 
cells, referred to by arrows, indicating the five arrows of Kama. The row of 
seven is referred to by the seven sages (muni-), the row of nine by the nine 
apertures of the body (randhra-), the row of eleven by the eleven lords (isas), 
and the row of thirteen by Kama, the presiding deity of the thirteenth day of 
the lunar fortnight. 

96 The exchange of the consonant v for b shows the east Indian, Bengali, or Nepali 
provenance of the text. 

97 Just as the thirty-seven-deity mandala of Vajravarahi is based on the sixty-two- 
fold Cakrasamvara mandala, the mandala of this twelve-armed form of 
Vajravarahi is based on the mandala of the six cakravartins. For the Satcakra- 
vartimandala, see NYA (p. 79), and KalfF(i979: 30-32) for further references. 
GSS7 ends with a very truncated reference to this mandala, which is described 
slightly more fully in the Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra (w. 101-2). Following the 
description of the Vajravarahi mandala, the Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra also goes 



on to describe the cremation grounds in some detail and ends with a ^//offer- 
ing typical of the Vajravdrdhi Sddhana (GSS11). 

98 Cakrasamvaras iconography is described, for example, by Abhayakaragupta in 
the NYA (p. 26.4): bhagavan. . .savajravajraghantdbhujayugmdlingitavajra- 
vdrdhiko bhujdbhydm prsthatah subhrasaraktaprasrtagajacarmadharas tadaparair 
damaruparasukartritris'iildni bibhrad vdmair vajrdnkitakhatvdngaraktapiirita- 
kapdlam vajrapdsam brahmasiras ca. . .; cf. ADUT ch. 9 (p. 156). 

99 The ArdhandrisvaralGaurisvara icon is well attested within Saivism, but andro- 
gynous deities of this kind appear within the Buddhist tantras also. Sanderson 
(1996: personal communication) notes that, apart from this instance in the 
GSS/ 'ADUT/ Vdrdhyabhudayatantra, he has encountered this type in the 
(Yathdlabdha-)Khasamatantra, as transmitted in a manuscript of the Khasamd, 
Ratnakarasanti's commentary upon it. 

100 The corpses beneath Vajravarahi's feet are not mentioned in the Sanskrit text 
for the main deity, but all the goddesses of the retinue stand upon corpses, 
which in the case of the four goddesses on the petals are named as the Saiva 
deities (GSS7 K4or6) : pretaprsthe 'rdhaparyankdvikatotkatabhisandh I bhairavah 
kdlardtrisca devyd pddatale krtau. Cf Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra v. 58. The corpses 
are clearly depicted beneath the central deity in the Tibetan tangka, plate 13. 

In this rather corrupt self-visualization passage, the attributes are listed in 
verse. In depicting the image from the text in figure 4, we have therefore not 
followed the particular order of the verses (which are determined by the meter) 
but base the drawing on the attributes as held by Cakrasamvara (table 5). The 
parallel in ADUT ' I Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra (w. 45~54> fr° m ADUT patala 
12.3-12.44b, plus prosd patala 9) is very similar in content, though its phrase- 
ology varies and the lines of various verses appear in different orders. GSS7 
(K4or5): dvddasabhujd caturvaktrd trinetrd ca madanotkatd I ardhaparyankam 
dsind nrtyamdnd susobhand I digvdsd muktakesd ca, ardhanarlsvarimukhl I 
sitaraktedrsarilpd I f ... f \ visvavajrdnkacandrdnkd kapdlamukutotkatd I 
vajraghantdkaravyagrd kamaldvartavartini I laldte jvdldmudrd tu naracarma- 
patottari II karaih kapdlakhatvdngapdsdmkusakrpltakam dadhati kartrikdm 
brahmamundam <ca> anyais f caturmukham. nilapltaharitadivyam t 
damstrdldsyd tathdrund I sanmudrdmudritd devi khandamanditamekhald I 
keyuranupurdbhydm ca yathdsthdnam vibhusitd I laldte vajramdldsydh I ... 

• sitaraktedrsarilpd] Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra v. 49 (Tib); sitaraktadharirupdm 
K; sitaraktadharirupd ADUT '. • candrdnka\ em.; candrdnka K • naracarma- 
patottari] Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra (ADUT=Tib.); naracarmapatordhvadharlK 

• vibhusitd] em.; ca vibhusitd K. Cf. Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra (w. 49-5 J ) : 
sitaraktedrsarilpd kapdlamakutotkatd I vajraghantdkaravyagrd kamaldvarta-^ 
vartini I 49 I laldte jvdldmudrd tu naracarmapatottari I kapdlakhatvdngadhara 
pdsdnkusadhard para I 50 I damarum kartri mundam ca I caturvaktram ca 
brahmakam I nilapitaharitadivyavaktropasobhitd 1 51 I . . . 

101 I have altered the prescriptions in the texts to allot the correct attribute to each 
direction. Surely incorrectly, the injunctions in the Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra 



and Abhidhanottara (absent in GSS7) state that the double vajras ring the cakra 
in the south, and wheels in the north. Sanderson's (2001a: 22-23) edition of 
the former reads (v. 69): bdhyavestya tatas cakram / vajravali tu purvatah I 
cakravalyas tu uttare I pastime visvavajrdvalya I padmavalya tu daksine I madhye 
vajravali sus'obhana I (v. 70) konabhagesu sarvesu visvavajran samalikhet I 
tadbahye vestsayed dhiman I pretavalya savis'vaya. (I do not reproduce Sander- 
son's apparatus here, as it contains no variants significant to this problem.) 

102 This chapter of the Abhidhanottaratantra also prescribes an optional six-faced, 
twelve-armed form, with a hog's (varaha-) face on top (Sanderson 1996: per- 
sonal communication). 

103 (I do not generally attempt to emend the very faulty meter.) GSS6 (K39r5): 
athanyam <sam>pravaksyami varahyah sadhanottamam I utpattikramayogena 
atmabhavam vibhavayet I dvadasarkanibham deham sinduraksodasamnibham I 
bandhukajavaprakhyam ca, trimukham sadbhujam tatha I sarvalamkara- 
sampiirnam sattvaparyankasusthitam I kapalamaldmukutam kesavicchurita<m> 
subham I vajraghantasamapannam upayadharapiditam I banagandivadharam 
karnapuritaksobhitam I kapalakhatvangadharam amkusakarsanaparam I rakta- 
padmasya madhyastham sarvakamapraddyikam \ ... 

• dharam amkusakarsana] em.; dharamm akusakarsanam K. 

104 The mandala of the "six-armed Vajravarahi Yab-Yum with Heruka" is also 
illustrated within her mandala in R. V. Chandra and L. Chandra (1961-72: 
part 14 no. 82). Here, however, the mandala includes four goddesses in the 
intermediate directions of the outer temple, instead of the bow and arrow 
described in our text. Other practices in the GSS, in which the female deity is 
the main partner, are those of Vajravilasini and Guhyavajravilasini, discussed 
below. The six-armed Vajravarahi and its sources are noted by Herrmann- 
Pfandt (1997: 21-26) and its implications for feminist discourse discussed; 
Simmer-Brown (2001: 158-60) offers a critique of this approach. Other exam- 
ples of ritual and meditative contexts for the yum yab practice are also docu- 
mented Herrmann-Pfandt (1992: 325-28; 2001: 580-82) and Simmer-Brown 
{op. tit.: 331-32 nn. 104-5). 

The Mongolian icons (IWS/T 88, LC 598) illustrate the figure entitled Sahaja 
Reversed (Go bzlog lhan skyes). Here, the male deity takes the role reversal so 
far as to adopt Vajravarahi's implements. In the sadhana of the Rin 'byung brgya 
rtsa (Willson and Brauen 2000: 261-62), Vajrayogini is white, with one face 
and two arms. She holds a lotus stem in each hand, one "marked" with (i.e., 
bearing) a vajra, the other a bell. She sits upon a spotted antelope skin in the 
vajraparyanka and holds Samvara "in her lap." Her consort is depicted smaller 
and with his back toward us, holding the attributes normally assigned to 
Vajrayogini. In his left hand he brandishes a chopper, and his right arm 
embraces Vajrayogini and simultaneously pours blood from the skull bowl into 
his own mouth. Neither wears any ornaments or garments. The mantra is given 
as om vajravairocaniye hum hum phat I om hrih ha ha hum hum phat. 



Endnote fig. i. 
"Sahaja reversed" 
(Go bslog IHan skyes) 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 88, LC 598). 

The Tibetan go bzlog ("reversed") translates the Sanskrit viparita as in viparita- 
surata- (also known as purusdyitam), which indicates a so-called reversed or 
inverted position for lovemaking (Sanderson 2001: personal communication). 
In the language of Indian erotology, this position is one in which the woman 
is said to "act like a man" in relation to her lover (Kdmasutra 2.8.17: ndyake 
nay ikd purusavad dcared iti purusdyitam), in that she lies on top of him {Kama- 
sutra 2.8.1-3): nayakasya samtatdbhydsdt parisramam upalabhya rdgasya cdnu- 
pasamam anumatd tena tarn adho vapdtya purusdyitena sdhdyyam dadydt (I) 
svdbbiprdydd vd vikalpayojandrthini (I) ndyakakutuhaldd vd): "Having seen that 
the male lover has become tired because of [their] continual lovemaking [lit: 
practice] and that his passion is not yet assuaged, with his permission she should 
put him underneath [her] and help him by means of the purusdyita [position]. 
Alternatively, [she may do this] because she desires to unite differently by her 
own wish, or because the male lover is curious." 

Another example in Tibetan art ofzyumyab figure is one mentioned to me 
by Robert Beer (2001: personal communication), who writes, "The only major 
deity I know of who appears in Yum-Yab is the Karma bKa' brgyud protector 
Palden Lhamo in union with Dorje Bernagchen. This union of deities is known 
as ma-mgon zhal-sbyor meaning 'Mother Protector Face to Face,' and origi- 
nates from a vision of the second Karma-pa, Karma Pakshi. Here the four- 
armed form of Palden Lhamo/Sri Mata Devi (Rang-'byung gyal mo) sits facing 
outwards on her blue 'iron mule,' whilst the dwarf form of Mahakala as Ber- 
nag-can (the Black-Cloaked) is seated upon her lap. The mass of cloaks and 
silks that cover both deities depicts nothing of their sexual union." 
105 om s'rivajravdrdhi ah vam hum hum phat svaha • hum hum] ADUT Bi47r2; 
hum hum hum GSS K4ori. The syllables of attraction (see ch. 3) appear only 
in GSS6 and depend upon the following conjectural insertions (K4or2): om 
srivajrajvdlottame jah hum hum phat. om srivajrdmrtottame <hilm?> hum hum 
phat. om srivajrakrodhottame <vam?> hum hum phat. om srivajradamstrottame 

NOTES TO PAGES 63-66 407 

hoh hum humphat. The mantras for the gate goddesses as given in the ADUT 
follow the standard form for the mantras of all the other retinue goddesses, om 
srivajraguhyottame hum 2 phat svdhd, etc. 

106 GSS16 (Ky^y^itrayodasdtmikdghord vajravdrdhindyika. • vajravdrdhi\ Kmetri 
causa. For the connection this sadhana bears to the armoring processes, see the 

107 GSS16 (K77V1): bhagavatim vajravdrdhim sarvalaksanasampurnd<m> vicin- 
tayet. dddimakusumasadrsim ekdnandm trinetrdm muktakesam sadbhujdm 
digambardm krsodardm khandamanditamekhaldm pancabuddhamukutinim 
sdrdramundamdldlamkrtdm sanmudrdmudritdm hdraniipura f ghughura f 
samalamkrtdm sarvasiddhipraddyikdm dedipyamdnavadavdnalasadrsim devim 
vibhdvayet, savyabhuje vajrdmkusaparasudhardm vdmabhuje kapdlapdsa- 
khatvdngadhardm dlidhdsanasthdm pdddkrdntakrtasambhucdmunddm f bhaya f 
vihvald<m> kapalamdlini<m> sarvdlamkdrabhusitdm. bhagavatyd hrdi rakta- 
padmopari raktacandramandalam tadupari raktamukulitavajram vamkdrd- 
dhisthitam cintaniya<m> tasya rasminirgatasamcoditan bdhyabljdksardn avabhdsya 
svasvarupena parinispanndn devtganamandaldn pas'yet. 

• dddima] em.; drddima K • sdrdra] em.; sddra K • hdraniipura] em.; hdranopura 
K • sadrsim] em.; sadrs'dm K • krtasambhucdmunddm] em.; krtam. sambhus 
cdmunddm K • mukulita] em.; mukulitam K • samcoditdn] em.; samcoditam K 

• avabhdsya] corr.; avabhdsya K • mandaldn] K (I do not emend to neuter). 

108 In the Abhidhdnottaratantra, patala 56, the main form of Vajravarahi differs in 
that it is self-visualized with five faces and twelve arms and wears only five 
mudras (Sanderson 1997: personal communication). ADUT (f. niri-j): 
nllapitaraktaharita-urdhvasitdnand; (f 22in-5): kapdlakhatvdngasulakartrika- 

dhvakard. . . • sirah] corr. Sanderson, sird codd. 

109 GSS16 (K75V4): mantrdksaravinispannam mandalam mandalottamam • 
nispannam] corr.; nispanndm K. 

no GSS16 (K78r3): ... pinastanoruyugald divyarupd manoramd<h> kincidvikrtd- 
nand<h> katdkseksanacancald<h> • pinastanoruyugald] conj.; pinatana-uruyu- 

in GSS16 (K78V4): nagnd sthiilapadmd madavihvald. 

112 The first practice in the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 Sed p. 149 4 , K34r4) is that 
found in GSS15 and GSS18; the second (GSS5 Sed p. 149 18 , K34V5) bears sim- 
ilarities to the white two-armed Vajravarahi in GSS38 (Aryasuklavajravdrdhi- 
sddhana). In the Tibetan canon (references in the appendix), this is the second 
of the Six Texts of Vajravarahi. The Sarvdrthasiddhisddhana appears in the Rin 
'byung brgya rtsa, with a translation of the self-visualization portion in Willson 
and Brauen (2000: 259 "Accomplishing Varahi"). The Tibetan text shows some 
minor variations, but gives the identical root mantra: om vajravarahi avesaya 
sarvadustam (for sarvadustdn) hrih svaha. 

113 ch. 7, v. 2ab (p. 50): trimukhdm sadbhujdm ghondm vajrahastdm sunilikdm. 

114 ch. 7, v. 9 (p. 51): om vajraghone sughone vajramdmaki bhara 2 sambhara 2 



traidhdtukamahdmadyam dkarsayajah. Ratndvalipanjikdm KYT ch. 17 (p. 126): 

115 GSS5 (Sed p. 149 8 , K34r6): in srivajraghondkramah; GSS5 (Sed p. i49 ,5 > K34V4): 
anena prathamato balim dattva vajraghondsddhanam idam anustheyam. 

116 GSS15 (K74V3): tato baliddnapurvakam vajravdrdhim bhdvayet. tatra svandbhi- 
madhye raktatrikoticakram vibhdvya. tanmadhye raktavartuladalakamalakarni- 
kdydmsavdrkamandabpaHkalpdgnisamnibhd<m> raktahrihkrtim pasyet. tadanu 
tadbijaparindmajdm vajravdrdhim sindurdrunavarnd<m> padmapretdrkaman- 
dale, dlidhdsanenasthitd<m>. urdvakacaromardjikdmpancakapdldkmkrtaUUtdm 
mundamdldvibhusitagdtrdm pancamudrdknasobhdm ekavadandm trinetram 
bhriikutikoldnandm vajravajrapralambhdm lalajjihvdm ni<r>vdsasdm caturbhu- 
jdm, daksinevajravajrdmkusadhardm, vdmekapdUkhatvdngatarjjanipdsahastdm 
kharvalambodarimsarvadustaduhsahahasitakrodharupdm inhambhutdm bhava- 
yet. • bhrukutt] em.; bhrkuti K • inhambhutdm] em.; inhambhutam K. Cf. 
GSS5 (Sed p. 149 7 , K34r6): koldsydm; GSS18 (K83F2): urdhvapingalakesdm (the 
Tibetan text is translated [Willson and Brauen 2000: 259], "Her brown head 
hair twists upward and her body hair and pubic hair stand erect"); GSS18 
(K83t3): lalajjihvdm; GSS35 (Kii8v6): lalitakrodhamukhdm. 

117 The same stance is illustrated in the other fully hog-headed illustration in the 
pantheon, "Vajravarahi in the Tradition of the Brdhmana Sridhara" {Bram ze 
dpal 'dzin lugs kyi rdo rjephag mo; IWS/T 86; LC 596; translation from Tibetan 
text in Willson and Brauen 2000: 261). In this form, the deity is flanked by a 
blue Varnani on her left and a yellow Vairocani on her right, as in our Trikdya- 
vajrayogini sadhanas, with the mantras: om krodhabuddhaddkiniye hum p hat 
svdhd, om vajravarnnaniyehumphatsvdhd, om vajravairocaniye hum phat svdhd. 
Willson and Brauen (ibid: n. 1) supply the further references for Sridhara: 
P2297/Toh 1586: Krodhavdrdhivajrayoginisddhana, and P4825/Toh 1990 

Endnote fig. ii. Vajravarahi in 
the tradition of the Brdhmana 
Sridhara (Bram ze dpal 'dzin 
lugs kyi rdo rje phag mo) 
Mongolian woodblock print 
(IWS/T 86, LC 596) 


NOTES TO PAGES 68-69 409 

118 om vajravarahi dvesaya sarvadustdn hrim svdhd • hrim] GSS5 (Sed p. 149 9 , 
K3 4 r6-v), GSS18 (K8 3 r 3 ); hrih GSS15 (K7513). This seems to have been a cru- 
cial mantra, as it is the only one prescribed for the japa in GSS15 (K75r3) and 
actually appears before the heart mantra in GSS18 (K83r3). 

119 E.g., GSS5 (Sed p. 149 11 , K34V2): mahdmdmsacurnena dhupam dadyap, GSS5 
(Sed p. 149 13 , K34V2): sarvamdraprasamandrtham nisd balih pancopacdrena 

120 GSS5 (Sed p. 149 14 , K34V3-4): tena vajrayoginyo dhitisthanti; cf. GSS18 (K83r6). 
GSS15 puts this same statement in the singular (K/4r6): tato 'dhitisthati vajra- 
yogini ndnyathd. 

121 GSS5 (Sed p. 149 16 , K34V5): adhikam hi pras'asyata iti. kvacidiyam hrdraktapadme, 
bhojasthasuryasuptdjndnapurusopari, dlidhapadasthitd suryasthahrihkdrddhisthi- 
tasiiryasthavajrahrdayd, visvapadmasuryasthdksobhydbhisekajd. aparam sarvam 
pilrvavat. • sitalohitdmbhoja] conj.; sitdlohitdmbha K; Cf. Sed p. 149. 

122 Vajravarahi also appears in the Aksobhya family in the long sadhana by 
Kumaracandra, while Vairocana (the usual seal for Vajravarahi in our texts) pre- 
sides over Vajracarcika (Ratndvalipanjikd'm KYT p. 127). Another white form 
of Vajravarahi is described in the sadhana as the consort to a manifestation of 
Krsnayamari called Dvesayamari/Vajrasattva {ibid: p. 124). She is like her con- 
sort, namely, white with three faces and six arms. The Rin 'byung brgya rtsa text 
for the two dancing forms of Vajravarahi also states that she has Aksobhya on 
her crown (Willson and Brauen 2000: 257-58, 259). 

123 GSS38 (Ki22r5): namah srivajrayoginyai. pranamya vajravdrdhim satsukhd- 
dhdrahetukdm I kriyate ruciram tasydh samksiptam raudrasddhanam I 

vajravdrdhyddikam sampujya svabhdvasuddhety adhimucya sunyatddibhdvand- 
purahsaram raktapadmopari amkdrajasurye sitahrihkdrajapancasukavajrena 
nispanndm vajravdrdhim sukldm raktatrinetrdm damstrdkardlavaktrdm mukta- 
kesdm vajrdvalidvayamadhyikrtakapdlamdlddhardm pancamudrdmudritdm 
daksinakarasthitavajrdm vdme khatvdngam dhdrayantim dlidhapadasthdm 
nagndm devdsuramanusyabhayaddm anantarasmin sphdrayantim sicryasthahrih- 
kdrddhisthitahrdaydm vajravdrdhim dtmdnam bhavayet. • s'iika] em.; sitka K • 
sukldm] em.; sukla K • damstrdkardla] em.; damstrddamstrdkardmla K. GSS38 
(K122V5): pracandddibhir dtmdna<m> sampujydmrtdsvddam krtvd. ... 

The unusual garland described in the GSS text is possibly explained by SM218 
(pp. 427-28). In describing the visualization of the twenty-four goddesses of 
the mandala circles, the SM text describes them with triple topknots bound up 
with a garland of vajras, lotuses, and cakras — i.e., probably the attribute of 
their own mandala circle — and skulls (p. 427 10 : vajrapadmacakrakapalamdld- 
vabaddhatrisikhdlamkrtasirobhih). In the visualization of Vajravarahi that fol- 
lows, she is described as having her triple topknot bound up with a garland of 
skulls between two rows of black vajras, i.e., probably pointing to her place in 
the vajra family of Aksobhya, her presiding buddha (p. 428 s : krsnavajra- 


validvayamadhyikrtakapdlamdldvabaddhatrisikhdm). Expertise in the ways of 

tying up matted braids would no doubt shed light on the matter! 

124 GSS5 (Sed: p. 150 3 , K35ti)=SM2i8 (p. 429): tad anu svanabhau viiva- 

padmasthdrunasubhrasuryamandale sitahrihkdram drstvd tanmantramdlam 

aksasutrdkdrdm sitdm cakrabhramanayogena vadanavivarena niscdrya buddha- 

gunaganamanimannausadhicandratdrdlipisdstrakalddiprabhdvam dddya ndbhi- 

vivare pravisantim svaparesdm sarvdjndnadahandtmikdm dhydydt. GSS5 (com.): 

drutddidosarahita<m> mantram japet. mantrah hrih. yadotthdtukdmo bhavati 

<tadd> td<m> mantramdldm ndbhisthahrihkdre ntarbhdvy a pujddikam krtvd 

yathdsukham viharet. 

• svanabhau] SM218, ndbhau GSS5 • drunasubhra] GSS5; druna SM(ed.) • 
(sitajhrih] K(mg2); hrihYLzc* mantramdldm] corr; mantramdldm K> nab hivi- 
vare] K; ndbhivivare(na) K(del) (Sed. p. 150 gives the mantra as hrim hrim, 
reporting two mss. with this reading and four, including the Tibetan, reading 

hrih) (cf. GSS38 K122V6) 

125 GSS19 (K83V4): netrdm sabhrubhangabhrkutinim damstrakaralavadanam lalaj- 
jihvdm muktakesimpitasavdrudhdm navayauvandm hdrdrddhahdrakinkinighur- 
ghurdravaih sanmudropetdm vdme khatvdngakapdkdhardm daksine vajrakartrikdm 
bhlmarupam 'smasanddau bhdvayedyogi mahdkrpah. GSS5 (Sed p. 151, K 3 6n): 
iirdhvajvalitaraktakesdm; (K 3 6r 4 ): kvacidiyam raktahumkarajatd muktakunta- 
lakaldpd drsyate kvacic chavarahitd. . . 

126 GSS42 (Ki26r3-4 v. 8): vdme kapdlakhatvdnge daksine kartndhdrini I 
sunyatdkarundvdhi namas te vajrayogini I 8 I • daksine] K; deksine C • °dhdnni] 
C ; dhdriniK* vdhi] K; vdhinakartrir jagato duhkh ache dam; cf. HTI.8.2oab: 
tathd mdnddisaddosdn kartitum kartrkd sthitd, KYT thirteenth patala, v. 1 (p. 
83): athdtah 'sarvasattvasya yavantah papakarmakah I tan vai kdrayitum kartn 

kosah klesddi chedandt. 

127 GSS19 (K8 4 r. 3 ): pujddikam kartavyam. GSS5 (Sed p. 151, K 3 6r 4 ): visesatvenasta- 
myddau nisi smasane ddtavyah [balih]; GSS19 (K8 4 r2): astamydm dasamyarn 
caturdasydm vd; SM236 (p. 459): astamydm pancamydm caturdasyam; *GSSz8 
(Kioiri): astamydm pancadasy dm caturdasyam. 

128 Tantrasdra,Ahnika 13, KSTS ed. (p. 151): sarvesu naimittikesu sdkinityadisabddn 
na vadet. Professor Sanderson (1998: personal communication) supplied this 
reference and the following: Tantrdloka i 5 .55*ab: sakinivdcakam sabdam na 
kaddcitsamuccaretid. Siddhayogesvarimata6.<>2cd (A=ASB 5465 [G] f. I2r6-vi; 
B=NAK 5-2403, NGMPP A 203/6): ddki(ki A: gi B)niti na vaktavyaji 
pramdddn mantrind-m-api; Tantrasadbhdva (A=NAK 5 -445> NGMPP A 44/2 
f. 5 6vr, B=NAK 1.363, NGMPP A 44/1, f- 103V3-4): sa(sa B : sdA)kinitina 
vaktavyam dhappatim varavarnini I ' chindd{ndd A : nna B)li<m> ca mahadevt 
sehdri<m> naiva-m-ucca (cca B: tsaA)ret. 

129 The mantra offerings in GSS19 are (K83V2): om vajrayogini vajrapusparn 
praticcha svdhd. purvadale. om ddkiniye hum tram vajrapusparn praticcha svaha. 
daksinadale. om lame hum lam vajrapusparn praticcha svdhd. pascimadale. om 
khandarohe hum kham vajrapusparn praticcha svdhd. uttaradale. om rupini hum 



rum vajrapuspam praticcha svahd. • vajrapuspam] em.; vajrapuspeK 9 rum] em.; 
rum K. For similar sets of offering mantras, see n. 213. 

130 There is a variant to the usual root mantra: GSS19 (K83V6-84O and SM236 
omit om before the second and third datives and give the final hum with the 
long vowel: om sarvabuddhaddkiniye vajravarnaniye vajravairocaniye hum hiim 
hum phat phat phat svahd. The heart mantra is either (in GSS5 Sed p. 151, K36r2, 
SM236) om vajraddkiniye hrim hum phat svahd or (in GSS19 K84n=SM236) om 
sarvasiddhim prayaccha hri<m> hum phat svahd. The auxiliary heart mantra is 
om vajrayoginiye hum phat svahd. 

131 The bali mantra is either (GSS19 K84r2) om vajraddkiniye hiim hum imam 
balim grhna 2 hah 2 jah 2 ah 2 hum phat mama siddhim prayaccha svahd, or 
(GSS5 Sed p. 151, K36r2, SM236) om vajraddkiniye imam balim grihna grihna 
ha ha ha ha kha kha kha khaaaaa mama siddhim prayaccha hum phat svahd. 
In GSS28 (Kioiri) only the latter part is preserved: ...kha kha kha kha aaaa 
mama siddhim prayaccha prayaccha hiim phat svahd. 

132 GSS35 (K119V5): caturnddisvabhdvacaturdalakamalopari. For the three chan- 
nels, see ch. 3. Isaacson (1999: personal communication) states that a fourth 
channel containing feces is mentioned in the Cakrasamvaratantra and in the 
Vasantatilakd (p. 79). 

133 GSS35 (Kii8vi): tatah sukla-akdrdd hetuvajradharasvabhdvdt prthivyddica- 
turmahdbhutasvabhdvam yamramvamlamkdraparinatam caturatnamayam 
saptaparvatasaptasitakalpavrksadvddasadvipaparitam sumerum bhdvayet. tan- 
madhye haritahumkdraparinatapancdngasvabhdva<m> visvavajram tanmadhye 
rakta-ekdraparinata<m> lohitavarnam sarirasvarupam urdhvadharmodayam 
trikone vajrdnkitam jvdldmdldsahitanavadvdrasvabhdvdstadalapadmam 'f 
padmoparistham tadantas f caturnddisvabhdvacaturdalakamalopari canddm- 
sumandale avadhutisvabhdvasubhrakartriparinatdm vajrayogini<m> kimsuka- 
sydmasamnibhdm sphutavarapitalohitdm sodasabddm sukumdranavayauvandm 
lalitakrodhamukhdm pahcamudrdmudritdm pancdsannarasirohdradhardm dli- 
prathamadaksinavdmakaratalakalitavajraghantd< m > updydlingandbhinaydm 
punar daksinakare kartri vdmakarakalitordhvanabhastalavilasatkapalavini- 
vistadrstim vdmdngakhatvdngasamgatdm <bhdvayet>. 

• saptasita] em.; saptasitdK (cf. ADK ch. 5 v. 51) • lohitavarnam] em.; lohita- 
varnd K • padmam padmoparistham] conj.(?); padma sadmoparistham K • 
kimsukasydma] em.; kimsukasydmd(m) K(pc) • carand] em.; cardndK* ' vairo- 
cana] em.; verocanaK* talakalita] conj.; talakaliK. 

134 Varjayoginydrddhanavidhi by Sahara GSS23 (K88vi): bdhyasitdbhyantararak- 

padmabhdjanastharaktadhdrdm anavaratam pibantim. . .dhydtvd • bdhya] em. 
bdhyeK* bhdjanadhrta] K (understand bhdjanadhara) • oddhrta] corr.; odhrta 
K • dlingand] em; dlingitand K. 

135 The brief reference in the Abhisamayamanjari to the urdhvapdda pose of 
Vajravarahi likewise states its provenance in Oddiyana, (GSS5 Sed p. 148, 



K33V6-341:): oddiydnavinirgatakrame punar iyam urdhvapddd bhavati. Here it 
is presented as an alternative form of the main (warrior-stance) Vajravarahi 
visualization for those who want a "medium-length" practice (K33V5): madhya- 

rucis tu... 
136 GSS17 (K8zr6) («GSS45 K139V3): bhagavatim devim vajrayoginim sukldm 
ugrakirandm urdhvapddasthitdm sakrabrahmakrantam adhahpddena bhairava- 
kdlardtrim dvibhujdm ekananam muktakesim nagndm nirdbharandm pinonnata- 
payodhardm raktavartulacalatpracandanayandm bhrubhangabhrkuti<m> 
da<m>strdkardlavadandm vdme khatvangakarotadhardm daksine vajrakartri- 
dhardm atibhimarupdm <GSS 4 5: smasanddau> bhdvayet. • kdlardtrim] corr.; 
kdlardtrim • pinonnata] pinonataK* vajrakartridhardm] GSS45; vajrakartrim 
GSS17 • sakrabrahmakrantam] GSS17 K; sa(kra)brahmdnddkrdntdm GSS 4 5(mg) 
(the variant reading in GSS45 states that the goddess stands upon Sakra and 
"Brahma's egg" (sakrabrahmdnddkrdntdm), indicating her subjection of the 
entire cosmos. The related Tibetan sadhana in the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa 
describes her stance as follows: "Her right leg, outstretched to the seven under- 
worlds, tramples on Bhairava and Kalaratri. Her raised left leg, stretching to 
the realm of Brahma, tramples Brahma and Sakra into the worlds above" (Will- 
son and Brauen 2000: 260). 

137 GSS17 (K83V4): om vajrayogini hrlh ru ru ru khah khah kha<h> phem phem 
phem am am am mama siddhim prayaccha balimgrhna hum phat svdhd. GSS45 
(Ki 4 ori): om vajrayogini imam balim grhna 2 ru 2 kha 2 phem phem a a mama 
siddhim prayaccha hum phat svdhd. The mdldmantra (om hum vamjah) is also 

given in GSS45 (Ki4on). 

138 Willson and Brauen (2000: 260-61). The Tibetan text of the visualization 
seems to be loosely based on that of the Sanskrit, although it also includes 
other elements, such as the vase consecration ("flask empowerment") and the 
emanation of countless other Vajrayoginls and other enlightened deities. It 
also includes a visualization of Vajrapani in Heruka aspect overcoming demons 
and throwing them into a vajra well produced from hum, "stabbing them with 
the dagger and reducing them to dust with the vajra" (with the mantra om hrt 
ghaghaghdtayaghdtaya hum phat). The mantras, however, are very similar to 
those of the Sanskrit text. They include the root mantra (om sarvabuddha- 
ddkiniye vajravarnaniye vajravairocaniye hum hum hum phat svdhd), the auxi- 
iary mantra (om vajraddkini hrt hum phat svdhd), the heart mantra (om 
vajraddkini hri 'hum phat svdhd), and a seed mantra (om vam hum). In com- 
mon with many of the Tibetan sadhanas, the eight-part mantra is also pre- 
scribed (p. 179). # 

139 GSS36 (K120V4): prathamam tdvat sddhako vajrayoginydh pratikrtim karayet. 
yathd tathdyena tendkdrena raktatrikonadvayasamputamadhye s'uklavartula- 
padme, tanmadhye bhairavacarmopari upavistdm kurmapatanakramena pita- 
vdrndm nagndm muktasikhdm dvinayandm kartrkarparadhardm attattahasaip 
kdmotkatabhisandm sddhakam niriksayantim bhdvayet. •sddhako] em.; sadha <* 
K • tendkdrena] em. ; kena tendkdrena K • padme] conj . ; padmam K • bhairava- 

NOTES TO PAGES 78-79 4 ! 3 

carmo] D88r6; bbairacarmoKi20v$, N85r5 • karparadhardm] conj.; karparamK. 
For the yogin in this stance, see n. 142 below. It is worth noting that there 
was an adept called Kurmapada, who was associated with the Vajravarahl 
tradition through his lineal descent from Ghantapada {Blue Annals pp. 754, 
803). Ghantapada was one of the main transmitters of the Cakrasamvara tra- 
dition (n. 356), although whether he had any connection with this practice 
I do not know. 

140 GSS36 (Ki20v6-izir): . ..divydmrtam iva yogidravyam nivedayet. Isaacson (1997: 
personal communication) suggests this may be the same as the Saiva viradravya, 
which consist of the five nectars, plus onion, garlic, human flesh, beef, goat's 
meat, fish, and fowl. 

141 For a description of the bali rite according to Vajravarahl texts, see ch. 3; cf 
ADUT ch. 14 (p. 326) and GSS31 (Kio 4 n). 

142 GSS36 (Ki2ir3): tato laldte jvalamudram vdmdvartena bhrdmayet. phemkaram 
uccdrayetkurmapatanapddordhvadrstyd, anena yoginydkananam. tatra pathet om 
aralli hohjah hum vam hoh vajraddkinyah samayas tvam drsya boh. vajrdnjalyd 
urdhvavikacayd balim dadydt. om kha kha khahi khahi. . . (for mantra, see GSS11 

•jvalamudram] em.; jdldmudrdm K (cf. n. 504); • phemkaram] corn; phem- 
kdra(nd)dam K(del) • kurmapatanapdda urdhvadrstya] em.Sanderson; kurma- 
patanapadordhvadrstya K • tatra] Kpc; tatah Kac. 

143 GSS36 (Ki2ivi, N85V5, D88v6): satatam vajrayoginyalingitam dtmanam pasyet. 
svapatnim iva kalpayet. tato arenaiva kdlena vajrayoginyadhisthdnam bhavati. 
siddhasati vdnchitam purayati ndtra samsayah. • vajrayoginyalingitam dtmanam] 
D, vajrayoginyalingitam ****nam K(dam.); vajrayoginydlingi**m dtmanam 

144 Willson and Brauen 2000: 261. The Tibetan sadhana is a self-visualization in 
which Vajrayogini is described in typical kdpdlika terms, with three eyes, hair 
black and loose, and wearing all the bone ornaments with a garland of dry 
heads. (The artist of the IWS deviates from the text by giving her yellow hair.) 
The Tibetan text also prescribes a Vajravarahl mantra, although one closer to 
her thirteen-syllabled mantra than the ten-syllabled mantra of GSS36: om vajra- 
vairocaniye hum phat svdhd. 

145 Three GSS works prescribe the self-visualization of the Vidyadharl goddess 
(GSS21, GSS22, and GSS23), and there is also a reference to one of her rites in 
the Abhisamayamanjari (GSS5 Sed p. 153, K38n- 3 8r6). Other GSS texts also 
describe her mountainous abode (GSS10, GSS16). This manifestation of 
Vajrayogini has a particular association with the adept Sahara, as many of these 
texts will show, an association confirmed by the hagiography of Advayavajra 
that appears in the *Siddha-Amndya (see appendix). The classical reference to 
Vidyddharts is from Kalidasa's Kumdrasambhava 1. 7. 

146 GSS21 (K85r6): tadbijaparinatdm raktam urdhvapadordhvadrstim kapdlamdld- 
vestitakardmpuspamdldpdsasavydgrdm daksine vajrahastdm sarvdbharanavini<r>- 
muktam vidyddharikramayuktdm sphuratsamhdravigrahdm, mdnddravdsokapdri- 

414 NOTES TO PAGES 79-80 

jdtakodbhiltam ratnakutam <grham>(mgi) pravisantim dtmdnam bhdvayet. • 
sarvdbharana] em.; sarvdvarana K • savydgrdm] conj. (or: savya<kard>grdm); 
savyagrdm K • vidyddharl] em. vimdyusirK (cf. GSS22 K86n vidyddharlkram- 
abhdvand) • mdnddrava\ corn; mdnddrdvdK* °odbhutam] em.; °odbhutdmK. 
GSS22 (K86r3): jhatiti mdldvidyddharlvajrayoginlm udydndd astasrngopetaratna- 
grham pravisantim sphuratsamhdravigrahdm dtmdnam bhdvayet. • udydndd] 
corr.; udydndt. codd. 

147 The mantra appears twice in GSS22, first as the principle japa mantra (K86r.5) : 
bhdvandt khinno mantram japet, with the mantra itself given as an addition in 
the lower margin in K, but incorporated into the text of N62r7 and D6$t6 
(K86r5): om vajravairocaniye om vajravarnanlye hum 3 phat 2 svdhd. It appears 
again as a mdldmantra with the name elements once again altered from the 
standard version (K8 6v6): om vajravarnanlye om vajravairocaniye om sarva- 
buddhaddkinlye hum p hat p hat svdhd. 

148 Willson and Brauen (2000: pp. 258-59) give the Sanskrit equivalent as Maitrl- 
khecarl Vidyddhari-keli. The text of the Rin 'byung brgya rtsa is similar to our 
Sanskrit sources in its description of Vajrayogini as naked and bearing a gar- 
land (though not a garland noose). Her pose is described as follows: "Her left 
hand holds a skull full of nectar and, embracing her left leg in the hollow of 
the knee, raises it up so that a stream of nectar pours into her mouth. Her right 
hand holds a five-pointed vajra, thrusting it toward the right heel. The right 
leg is not quite extended, as if flying. Holding in her left hand a garland of ndga 
tree flowers, she stands naked and without ornaments...." However, the 
Tibetan sadhana reveals a far more wrathful deity, with frown and bared fangs, 
who is aligned not with Vajrayogini, but with Vajravarahi ("I appear in the 
form of Lady Vajravarahi Vidyadharl-keli") and crowned with Aksobhya. The 
usual tripartite mantra is given (ibid: 213): om om om sarvabuddhaddkinlye, 
vajravarnanlye, vajravairocaniye, hum hum hum phat phat phat svdhd. 

149 GSS22 K85r6 (N63r4~5, D65V2): caryd tasydh kathyate sddhakdndm hitdrthdya. 
candragrahe suryagrahe vd darpanatale kimcit sinduram <pdtayitvd> suvarna- 
saldkayd bhatdrikdm Likhya pancopacdrendbhipujya tasya (?) sinduram grhltvd 
tdmrabhdnde sthdpayet. Idngaliyd gaccham utpddya svasthdne pdtayet. evam 
sanmdsdni pratyaham pujayet. mahdmudrdphalam daddhi me. pratyaham 
sampujya vandayet. evam sanmdsdni sampiirnam krtvd yoginlndm pancopacdra- 
bhojanam krtvd pranamydjndm prayaccha iti prdrthayet. Idngaliyd madhye 
sinduram bharet. kapdlam grhltvd unmattacaryayd caret, sa kondkrti<m> 
sinduram laldte krtvd bhramet. sanmdsdni sunyagehabhagnakupasamlpe 
bahubhi<h> strl<m?> vdmdvartena pradaksindm drabhet. unmattacaryayd caret, 
sanmdsena pancdnantaryakdrl yah so 'pi sidhyati. 

• candragrahe] N, D; candragrheK • kimcit] conj.; ci Kac; (kdm)ci K(mg); vd 
jalataleD; N omit. • pdtayitvd] conj. (see GSS5 K38n) • tasya] codd. Possible 
conjectural emendation to tasmdt (?) • caryayd] conj. (or carydm); carydydK, 
cdrydydm N63r4, caryd D65VI • samlpe] corr.; same(pe) K(mg2). • unmatta- 
caryayd] conj. (or unmattacarydm); unmattacaryd codd. 

NOTES TO PAGES 80-83 415 

GSS5 K38n (Sed p. 153, N24V3, D27V2): api cdtyantanirmrstadarpa<na> tale 
stamydm sinduram pdtayitvd tatra dharmodayamudrdm likhitva konesu bdhyesu 
devibijam vilikhya madhye mantram ca dharmodayabahyesu catuhpdrs'vesu 
vdmdvartena nandydvartim likhitva puspddibhih sampujya yathdsakti mantram 
parijapya sindura<m> tad ekatra bhdnde sthdpayet. evam sanmdsam ydvat kuryat. 
tato langaliya visanalikdmadhye tat sinduram praksipya smasane nikhanya 
balipujam ca vidhaya mantram japet yathdkdmam. evam pratyaham mdsam ekam 
kuryat. tat sindurena nandydvartakrtim tilakam vidhaya bhiksartham gramam 
praviset. yatra tattilakam samkrantam drsyate tarn <strim> yatnendradhayed iti. 
evam nandyavartenasiddhasabarapadiyavajrayoginyaradhanavidhih. * nirmrsta] 
em.; nirmista K • devibijam] N, D, debijam K • strim] Sed, codd. omit • sidd'ha] 
em.; siddhiK. 

150 According to one Tibetan tradition at least, the bliss swirls (nandyavartah) are 
pink, spin counterclockwise, and are in the corners to the left and right, leav- 
ing the front and back corners blank (Tharchin 1997: 159; K. Gyatso 1999: 118). 

151 SUT Caryanirdesapatala (ch. 21, v. 13-Hab, ed. Tsuda:): athava vdtuldm ndma 
carydm kartum sukhotsahah I asahayah paryaten nityam ekdki ekamdnasah I 
udbhrdntapatrivad bhramed unmattavratam dsritah. The text then lists a series 
of solitary sites in which he may dwell, such as a cremation ground, by a soli- 
tary tree, in various types of deserted dwelling, at a crossroads, etc. I am grate- 
ful to Professor Sanderson for showing me this passage. 

152 GSS10 (K49VI, v. 78): ekabijasamudbhutam prajnopdyamayam jagat I sarva- 
narimayd devi sarvopdyamayah prabhuh. • samudbhutam] corr.; samudbhutai- 
tam K; Cf. Candamahdrosanatantra (p. 18 line 1.14) [bhagavdn]: mam najdnanti 
ye mudhah sarvapumvapusi sthitam; (line 1.20) [bhagavati]: mam najdnanti yd 
ndryah sarvastridehasamsthitdm. 

153 GSS23 (K88r6): tatah sunyatam sarvadharmanirdlambarupdm vicintya jhagiti 
purvoktamanobhangacittavisrdmaparvatamadhye gaganalikhitam citravadan- 
d<m>, saktirupdm sdrdrasusnigdharupdm raktavarndm trinetrdm dvddasaksikdm 
sahajdnandarupdm nagndm muktakesdm isaddhasantim romdncakahcukitdm 
ddlingandbhinaydmpadmabhdjanastharaktadhdrdm anavaratam pibantim tirya- 
gurdhvtkrtadaksinapddoparisthadaksinakarena raktapancasukavajradhdrimm 

vikasitanagakesarakusumdbharand<m> samullasitapadmabhdjanagatadrstim 

•purvokta] Kpc(add2) • omit, Kac; gaganalikhitam] em.; //f^>^;Kpc(add2); 
gaganalitaK* saktirupdm] em.; saktirupdmlKpciaddi); saktarupdKsic • susnig- 
dharupam] conj.; susnigdha K • bdhya] em.; bdhye K • bhdjanadhrta K (under- 
stand °dhara) • karenoddhrta] em.; karenodhrta K • padalingand] corr.; 
pdddlingitand K • pancasuka] corr.; pancasuka K • kesara] corr.; kesara K. 

154 The mantra here has only one om and a curious ca, GSS23 (K89V4): om sarvabuddba- 
ddkiniye vajravarnaniye vajravairocaniye hum hum hum phat phat phat ca svdhd. 

155 GSS23 (K87V2): tato jhagiti atimanohararamaniyataravicitrasarahpravikasita- 

4 l6 NOTES TO PAGES 83-84 

madhye vaksyamdnavarnabhujddibhusitadevydh sahasd sdksdddarsanam abhut. • 
vibhiisita] em.; vibhusitamK* manobhanga] manobhagangaK. (The adjectives 
atimanohara and ramaniyatara may be taken to qualify the colored pools only.) 

156 The defiled mind (klistamanas) is the seventh category in the Yogacara's analy- 
sis of mind, by virtue of which one clings to the storehouse consciousness 
(dlayah) as the self. 

157 GSS23 (K8c>r3) : pratyusasandhydydm arunodaye ndndvicitraratnavibhusitaparva- 
tadvayopari pddadvayam dhrtvd prasdritabhujadvaydm purvoktalaksandm devim 
atiraktavarndm. . .sddhakas tu. ..vicintya. . . iti devyd balividhih. 

The other references in the Arddhanavidhi (GSS23) either repeat the ambi- 
guity, as in the bhdvandvidhi, GSS23 (K88r6): jhagiti <purvokta>(mgi) mano- 
bhangacittavisrdmaparvatamadhye, or refer only to the mountain peaks, as in 
the rite of subordination (vasyavidhih). The vasya vidhi requires the practitioner 
to visualize the goddess above the towns and villages (which he wishes to sub- 
due) in space above the mountains. He then imagines her left foot "stumbling" 
and "by merely having touched the mountain peaks" all the inhabitants of the 
towns are turned into semen-nectar and then into a red liquid, which he imag- 
ines himself inhaling and exhaling through his nostrils: GSS23 (K88v6): tato 
nagaragrdmddindm upary dkdse purvoktaparvatopari bhagavatim dlambya tad- 
vdmapddam skhalitvd parvatasikharasprstamdtrena bodhicittdmrtibhuta-. . . iti 


158 *Siddha-Amnaya (p. 11): daksindpathe manobhangacittavisrdmau parvatau. 

159 GSS16 (K75V2): prthivydm sdrasambhute manobhange mahidhare I tasmin kute 
mahdcittaikacittavisrdmamandape I tantre laksdbhidhdne hi ndthena kathitd 
svayam I trayodasdtmikd ghord vajravdrdhindyikd I mantrdharavinispannam 
mandalam mandalottamam \yathdnujnd may a labdhd tathaiva kathaydmy aham. 
• trayodasdtmikd ghord vajravdrdhindyikd] em.; trayodasdtmikdm ghordm 
vajravdrdhindyikdm K (vajravdrdhi, metri causa) • vinispannam] em.; vinis- 
panndm K • tathaiva] conj.; vaiK. 

160 The passages prescribing the visualization of the goddess are given in full in n. 
146. GSS21 (K85r6-v2; N62r; D64r): . . .mdnddravdsokapdrijdtakodbhutam 
ratnakutam <grtiam>(mgi) pravisantim. • mdnddravd] corr.; mdnddrdvd K • 
°odbhutam] em.; °odbhutdm K. 

GSS22 (K86r3; N62V; D64V): jhatiti mdldvidyddharivajrayoginim udydndd 
astasrngopetaratnagrham pravisantim. . .dtmdnam bhdvayet. • udydndd] corr.; 
udydndt. codd. GSS22 seems problematic, since it describes the goddess "enter- 
ing from a glade into a jewel hut with eight peaks." 

161 The ten goddesses include the four mothers (Locana, Mamaki, Pandara, and 
Tara) and six others who are unnamed (GSS26 K92v6=GSS27 K94V1): namo 
buddhadharmasamghebhyah. namo gurubuddhabodhisattvebhyah. namolocand- 
didasavajravildsinibhyah. namo yamdntakddi dasakrodhavirebhyah saprajne- 
bhyah. These are probably the six goddesses of the sense organs, agents of 
consecration in the Hevajratantra (HT1.4): Rupavajra, Sabdavajra, Gandha- 
vajra, Rasavajra, Sparsavajra, and Dharmadhatuvajra (see Snellgrove 1959'- 59' 


OTES TO PAGES 85-87 417 

n. 4). The four mothers are also referred to as vildsinh (possibly in an adjecti- 
val sense) in the KYT ch. 16 v. 6cd (p. no): ndndrupavildsinyah sarvdbharana- 
bhitsitdh, in which they appear as essentially kdpdlika goddesses in the 
intermediate corners of the outer mandala of the "great Heruka," Yamantaka 
(ibid.:w. 7-9). 

162 GSS43 v. zed (Ki27r3): vajravarahi nardhisurdndm I tvam saranam tava ndma- 
pardndm. Cf. the opening obeisance in the Abhisamayamanjari, cited p. 113, in 
which Vajravilasini is also named as a form of Vajravarahi. 

163 GSS43 v. i3cd (Ki28n): samvaramadhupavicumbi<ta>mukhdbje I tadbhujayuga- 
parirambhihrdabje • rambhi\ Kpc; rasthi Kac. 

164 For the attributes, see v. 4 (Ki2 7 r 4 ), for the pearl ornaments, w. 12-13 
(Ki27v(mg)-Ki27v6-i28r), and the vajra, v. 5 (Ki2 7 r5). GSS43 Ki2 7 r 4 -5 (v. 
3cd): matar devi nibhdlaya mahyam I kirn sahase mama duhkham asahyam? • 
matar] em.; mdturK. Cf. v. 6cd (K127VI-2): bdlaravitrivilokanarakte I jagato 

16$ GSS43 v. 3ab (Ki27r4): harikarisikhiphanitaskarabhitih I tvatparacitte naiva 
sameti. The eight great dangers (astamahdbhaydni/bhaydstakam) traditionally 
include those mentioned here, plus other calamities such as drowning at sea, 
imprisonment by kings, sea monsters, demons, and plagues, etc., e.g., Tattva- 
jnanasamsiddhitika (p. 26): harikarisikhiphanitataskaranigadamahdrnavapi- 
<saca>bhayasamani I sasikiranakdntihdrini bhagavati tare namas tubhyam. (I 
thank Professor Sanderson for supplying this text.) 

166 See GSS43 v. 13 (Ki2 7 v6-i28n), and v. 15a (Ki28r2): patimaulisthitavidhum 

167 Apart from the title and salutation, the Guhyavajravildsinlsddhana (GSS10) 
once calls the deity "GuhyavajravilasinI" (K46V1), on one ocassion "Srivajra- 

vilasini" (K45V2), but most commonly — because of the restraints of meter 

simply "Vilasini" (K45V6, r<48r4): tarn evdgre sthitdm vidydm dhydydd vajra- 
vildsinlm; (K48V2; K9 4 r6): vilasini namo stu te; (K50V3): ...vilasini bhdveyed 
dtmavigraham; also K51V4; K51V5. 

168 GSS10 (K45V3): na srutam pathitam kincic chabarenddricdrind I lokandthddhi- 
patyena vade yam kiyad aksaram. • (v. 3a) pathitam] conj.; na pathitam K. 

169 GSS10 (K45V4): sarvaratnamaye ramye gandhamrgasugandhini I manobhange 
(0 padam dattvd cittavisrdmaparvate I (4) tatpradese mahdramye sugandhiku- 
sumdsraye I lasatsundaramdkande mandrakujitakokile I ($) raktdsokaghanodydne 
mamdsokds amitithau I gurund karundhvena desiteyam vilasini I (6). 

• (4c) manobhange] conj. Sanderson; manobhangam K. • (5c) lasatsundara- 
mdkande] conj. Sanderson; lasatkandaramdkanda K {kandara must be a cor- 
ruption for some word that either qualifies the mango trees [mdkanda-]oi that 
is another type of tree). 

Given the descriptive nature of the terms manobharigaznd cittavisrdma, it is 
worth considering the text without the emendation of the accusative mano- 
bhangam dattvd to the locative manobhange dattvd. An unemended reading 
of the manuscript (manobhangam padam dattvd cittavisrdmaparvate) reads, 




"having placed [his] foot that destroys the [defiled] mind on the Mountain 
Cittavilrama .." This is reminiscent of the adjectival interpretation considered 
above for the compound manobhangacittavisrdmaparvata in GSS23 ("the 
mountains] where consciousness comes to rest because of the destruction of 
the [defiled] mind"). It is also possible that the subject of the placing foot is 
not the sadhaka at all, but his teacher Karuna, who is the logical subject in the 
following verse (gurund karundhvena dehteyam vildsmi). Thus it would be the 
guru's foot that would "destroy the [defiled] mind." 
170 The asoka eighth is the eighth day of the bright half of Caitra the second month 
of spring Sanderson explains it as follows (2001: personal communication)-. 
"The Jokdstamivratam is so called, according to the paurdnika sources that 
advocate it.'because one observing it is to drink/eat eight ^blossoms after 
first offering a puja to Rudra with such blossoms on the eighth of the bright 
fortnight of Caitra and because by doing so one will become asokah, i.e., free 
of grief. The source is a passage in the Hemadri {Caturvargaantamam vol. 2 
parr I pp 862-63 Kashi; Sanskrit Furer 235), which cites the Lingapumna and 
the Kurmapurdna. The latter prescribes worship of Rudra: caitramds, ntastam- 
ydm budhavdrepunarvasau I asokakusumai rudram arcayttvd vidhanatah I asoka- 
sydstakalikd mantrenoktena bhaksayet I s'okam naivdpnuydn martyo rupavan apt 
jdyate The former prescribes worship of the tree itself: asokakahkapanam 
asokatarupujanam I sukldstamydm tu caitrasya krtvd prdpnoti mrvrtim. 
i 7 i SidJha-Amndya*(p. n.18): pdramadine manobhangacittavurdmm prapyete. _ 

172 Siddha-Amndya* (p. 11.21): dasame divase grivdm chetum drabdhah. tathanat 
sdhdddarianam bhavati sekam dadati Advayavajranamabhut. 

173 Sahara twice states that he has been taught the sadhana by his teacher, Karuna 
(GSS10 K4 5 r/v and K 53 r). Lokanatha is hailed in the opening vasantat,laka 
verse (ICtfvi)- ...mlokandthacaranam saranam vrajdmi. He is also the power 
through which the illiterate Sahara is able to communicate the sadhana (v. 3c 
K45V4), lokandthddhipatyena, which the colophon states had been taught by 
Lokanatha in the Mahdyoginijdlatantra: (K 53 v): mahdyogmijalatantre mmal- 

samdptam. • nSMaxc., ndmahK. Cf. GSS23 (K8 7 n): mmacchabararupadha- 
rind .lokesvarenabhagavatoddistautpattikramasddhanah. 
I74 GSS10 w. 46-53 (K47V6 ff.). Here she is likened in color to a bandhuka Hower 
(a common simile for her red luster), "flashing like red gold, pale" (gdun- usu- 
ally white, but it can also mean yellowish, reddish, or pale red); although ear- 
lier in the sadhana, she is described as "arrayed in yellow/having yellow rays 
(v. 46 K47V6): etatparinatdm devim bandhukakusumapmbhdm 1 raktahemayva- 

175 GSS10 (K47V6 tt):padmanartadhvajocchrdyasamdropitapankajdm I utkutasan - 
nrtyasthdm katdksasmitabhangurdm I ( 49 ) . . . ullasadbhidurasparsaih ksaratka- 

malavibhramdm I (51). _ ,,_..;. 

176 This is a squatting pose with the feet twelve finger-breadths apart (VA bhupar 
grahavidhih ms. A f. nv; SP f. i6r-v): vitastyantaritam pddadvayam asane nyasy 

NOTES TO PAGES 89-91 419 

utkutakas tisthed ity utkutakdsanam. When GSS10 prescribes this pose for the 
yogin's consort in the preparations, it adds that "her sex is clearly revealed" (v. 
32b K47r3~4): vyaktapadmotkatdsandm. 

177 GSS10 (v. 58d K48V1): kimciduttdnasdyinam; GSS10 (v. 30cd~3ia Y^jrz): 
svajanghdm kincid dkuncya daksindm tuprasdrayet I tayor madhye gatdm vidyam. 
Cf. GSS10 (w. 58-59 K48V1). 

178 GSS10 (v. 59cd K48V2): suvyaktaguhyavajrena nartayantam vildsinim. 

179 GSS10 (w. 18-19 K46V1): parvatddiguhdmadhye sugandhikusumdsraye I bhdva- 
niyd sakdntena guhyavajravildsinl I sunyavesmani svacchandam udydne vijane 
vane I pujaniyd sadd devl sddhaniyd yathdvidhi. 

180 GSS10 (v. 77 K49V1): anyonyavandandm kurydt madhurdksarabhdsanaih. ... 

181 GSS10 (w. 123-27 K51V6). The male himself makes the mandala upon his penis 
and fondles it (without emitting semen) while reciting the mantra. The female 
makes the mandala upon her own sex, then puts her thumb and forefinger 
together as a "good pair." "She should perform the mantra recitation, medita- 
tion, and so on using this [substitute] penis in her sex." GSS10 (K52r2): 
updyamelakdbhdve vidydpi svdbjamandale I purvavad mandalam krtvd nitya- 
pujdvidhim caret I tarjanydngulijyesthdbhydm ekikrtya suyugmakam I tadvajrdb- 
janiyogena jdpadhydnddikam caret. 

182 E.g., Nitydsodasikdrnava (ch. 1 w. 130-50), also Sanderson (1988: 688), Pal 
(1981: 74-75), and Biihnemann 2000a: (154-57). 

183 The arrow syllables extracted from a mantroddhdra by Jayaratha are dram, drim, 
klim, blum, sah (Vdmesvarimatavivarana on 4.61, quoting the Nitydkaula; 
emending nitydkdloktah to nitydkauloktah). Cf. Sivananda on the same (Rjuvi- 
marsanl on Nitydsodasikdrnava 4.62): dram, drim, klim, blum, sah. Another set 
that may have influenced the form of the Buddhist mantra are the three bijas 
of Bala Tripurasundari (Vamaki 1.830-86): aim, klim, sauh. (There is also 
another similar set of eight bijas, ibid.: 1.64-78.) I am grateful to Professor 
Sanderson for these references. 

184 KamesVara is described in Kdmakaldvildsa 37 cited Khanna (1986), Renfrew 
Brooks (1992: 64). GSS10 (K48V3, v. 62): ityevambhutam dtmdnam bhdvayet 
suratesvaram I mahdsukham iva vyaktam padmanartesvaram prabhum. GSS10 
ends with a reference to the god of love, Kamadeva (whose banner is the myth- 
ical sea monster or makarah), promising that [practitioners of this sadhana] 
"fervently clasping their lover enjoy the makara bannered [i.e., ^w^/Kama]" 
(K53VI-2, v. I5icd): kdmini<m> gddham dlingya bhujanti makaradhvajam. 

185 Synonyms for Siva Nataraja include Ndtyesvara, Natesa, and in an east Bengali 
inscription, Nartesvara; see the study of Nataraja by Sivaramamurti (1974). 
Further research is needed to establish the origins of Padmanartesvara and 
the sources behind the GSS sadhana here. Sanderson (1997: personal commu- 
nication) notes that the Lokesvarakalpa is concerned with Padmanatha/ 
Padmanartesvara, and that a possible root text for this is the Sarvabuddha- 
samdyogaddkinisamvaratantra. In this proto yoginitantra, Padmanartesvara is 
lord of one of six families headed respectively by Vajrasattva, Vairocana, 


Heruka, Padmanartesvara, Vajrasurya, and Paramasva (Tanaka 1993, cuing 
Sanderson) Tanakas introduction to the Chinese version of the Lokesvara- 
kalpa (the Yi-qie-fa she-xiang-ying da-jiao wang-jing sheng-guan-zt-zat p Usa 
nian-Lgyi-gui) suggests that the cult of Padmanartesvara subsided wuh the 
rise of the Heruka family, bequeathing the tradition lutle else than a few short 
sadhanas (The Padmanartesvara sadhanas in the SM each present different 
iconographical forms of the god with his consort Pandaravasmi; the nearest 
to Padmanartesvara of the GSS text is SM30 Padmanartesvaralokanatha- 
sddhana ) However, Padmanartesvara's fame evidently continued beyond this, 
since he is still important in the Ddkinivajrapanjaratantra (Isaacson 1999: per- 
scnal communication). In the Cakrasamvara tradition Padmanartesvara 
appears as an attendant deity on the southwest spoke of the kayacakra ,n the 
Cakrasamvara mandala in union with Mahabala (see table 23). He remains 
there when this mandala is taken over by Mahavarahamukh. in the 
Ddkdrnavatantra, a thirty-seven-deity mandala of a form of Va,ravarah, with 
thirty-six animal faces (the central one of which ,s a boar) seventy-two arms, 
and Veen legs (Ngor mandalas plate 8,, listings p. 146) Padmanartesvara 
is also one of the armor gods (table 25). I am informed that the cult of Padma- 
nartesvara/Avalokites'vara is central to the mamnmdu festival, Thangboch, 
Monastery, Nepal (Martin Boord 1999: personal communication). 

186 GSS10 (K4 5 v6): vaJyakarsanastambhanamdranoccdtandm ca\ anjanam gud,ka-_ 
^ddUmUthdnyJbahuni ca I (8) I mahdmudrdpadam labdhvd ^myaata 
TaydiMhindbhdvayetyastvdmtasma.dasyasnatphaUm^) • gud.kasrddb^ 

187 Sst^W K 53 t l): mabdmudrdpaddrtdbab nddbo bbava, sddbakab ; 
7 ^U em, padarUdhab K; GSS.6 (K 9 *): ^endra ,«. madbupa.r 

ndrlbbirvestito bhramet • madhupair] conj. Sanderson; ™ dhuratr \ 
tSS TSSto (Ks'on-2 v. 88ab): rdgdmbbodhijalam tartum sunaukeyam upastbm. 

prainopayasukham tadvat helayd kleianasakam. 
x 9 o GSS10 (i6v6- 47 r, v. 27): pradipam jvdlayet tatra prabhdkarasamaprabham I 

yathdprakasatevisvampratyangamcavuesatah. Wnim d- 

x 9 i GSS10 (K49V5, v. 84ab): nakhaksatam na ddtavya^n pascdttdpamvmaye^o^ 

ing with nails and teeth for enhancing sexual pleasure b a topos of the Kama 

,92 SL (K46V5, v. 2 5 cd): tavanmatrarn m kartavya<rn> na mano ^va^aM- 
L CSSio(K48« w 65-66): tadanu cintayet turnam abhumcant, mam punah 
193 ^a^UkLaLga^ 4 ^) rambbd ^md^na^ 
gandnvitdh I puspadhupadibhir vadyair nananrtyamahotsavaih I (66) vady 

Tih^S has discussed the appearance of Tilottama in other Buddhisl 
tantras, e. .^one of eight apsaravs in the (kriyatantra) »****"£ £ 
and in particular, in the Hevajratantra. In the latter, she is to be attract 
foremost of apsarases beginning with Rambha (HT2. 9 .2ic-d: karsayet »*, 


rambhddindm tilottamdm), and on another occasion, as the agent of consecra- 
tion (HT2. 5 . 4 2cd: abhisekam vajragarbhasya datum krsyam tilottamam) Nihom 
points to another instance in which Tilottama gives the consecration, this time 
to the Buddha on his path to enlightenment, according to the account given 
by Mkhas grub rje (pp. 36-37). Nihom's understanding of the Tibetan text dif 
fers from that of Lessing and Wayman here, and he translates: "At that time 
all the buddhas of the ten directions having gathered, they caused him to arise 
from [his] meditative-concentration by the sound of snapping their fingers 
They said, 'You are not able to become a completely enlightened one by this 
meditative-concentration alone.' When he said, 'How then?' all the buddhas 
of the ten directions having attracted the divine maiden Tilottama, she con- 
cretely gave the third, the prajnajnana consecration."