The GUHYASAMāJA TANTRA (Sanskrit: Guhyasamājatantra; Tibetan : Gsang ’dus rtsa rgyud (Toh 442); Tantra of the Secret Community) is one of the most important scriptures of Esoteric Buddhism . In its fullest form, it consists of seventeen chapters, though a separate "explanatory tantra" (vyākhyātantra) known as the Later Tantra (Sanskrit: Guhyasamāja Uttaratantra; Tibetan: Rgyud phyi ma. (Toh 443)) is sometimes considered to be its eighteenth chapter. Many scholars believe that the original core of the work consisted of the first twelve chapters, with chapters thirteen to seventeen being added later as explanatory material.
In India, it was classified as a
The Guhyasiddhi of Padmavajra, a work associated with the Guhyasamaja
tradition, prescribes acting as a Saiva guru and initiating members
* 1 Origin * 2 Iconography * 3 References * 4 Further reading * 5 External links
As with most tantras, there are different traditions and
transmissions. Perhaps the oldest surviving lineage is the Jñānapada
Tradition (ye shes zhabs lugs), which goes back to Buddhaśrijñāna
(late 8th century). The most important historically is the Ārya
tradition (gsang 'dus 'phags lugs) which is based on commentaries
attributed to Nāgārjuna , Āryadeva , and
There are two main commentarial traditions on the Guhyasamāja Tantra, the Ārya Tradition and the Jñānapada tradition.
In the practice of the
Ārya Tradition, the central deity of the
Guhyasamāja is blue-black Akṣobhyavajra, a form of Akṣobhya , one
of the five tathāgathas (pañcatathāgata), sometimes called the
dhyāni buddhas . Akṣobhyavajra holds a vajra and bell (ghanta) in
his first two hands, and other hands hold the symbols of the four
other tathāgathas : wheel of
In the Jñānapada tradition, the central deity is yellow Mañjuvajra, a form of Maṇjuśrī , with nineteen deities in the mandala. Mañjuvajra has three faces—the right one is white and red one on the left—and six arms. The three faces may represent the three main channels of the subtle body, the three stages of purification of the mind or the illusory body, light, and their union. Mañjuvajra holds in his hands a sword and a book, and two of his other hand a bow and arrow represent skillful means (upāya).
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* ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of
Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period." In: Genesis and
Development of Tantrism,edited by Shingo Einoo. Tokyo: Institute of
Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009. Institute of Oriental
* Fremantle, Francesca (1971), A Critical Study of the Guhyasamāja tantra (PDF) * Wedemeyer, Christian K. 2007. Āryadeva's Lamp that Integrates the Practices: The Gradual Path of Vajrayāna Buddhism according to the Esoteric Community Noble Tradition. New York: AIBS/Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780975373453 * Geshe Tashi Tsering p. 78 of 240 July 3, 2012. Tantra: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought Volume 6. London: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 1614290113 ISBN 9781614290117 * Brilliant Illumination of the Lamp of the Five Stages, Columbia University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-1-93-501100-2 * A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages, Library of Tibetan Classics, 2013, ISBN 0-86171-454-7
* StudyBuddhism.com, What Is Guhyasamaja