6/8/13 3:22 PM

Tantra Reference IMPORTANT HINDU AND BUDDHIST TANTRAS AND OTHER TANTRIC TEXTS, SOME AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH Hindu tradition has Tantras coming direct from archaic dialogs between Shiva "Lord of Yoga" and his Shakti, the "Great Goddess." Some of these dialogs got "overheard" or revealed to Yogi Siddhas, whose students eventually wrote them down. The Tantric teachings of Shiva and Shakti come to us from the distant past, perhaps as far back as the Indus Valley civilization, circa 2500 B.C.E. These secret teachings were preserved mostly in oral form, aided by the use of symbols and the sacred arts, such as sculpture, painting, music and dance. Written Tantras are the latest of the Hindu sacred writings (Shastras), following the Vedas, Upanishads etc. South India has its own tradition of Tantras, also derived from Shiva, Shakti and the lineage of Siddhas. Hindu medical, alchemical and astrological texts are commonly termed Tantras, as are works dealing mainly with sorcery. Buddhist occult tradition tells that Gautama the Buddha imparted esoteric teachings to select disciples, "by initiation and by word of mouth." Modern scholars suggest that many of the known early Tantras were "transmitted in utmost secrecy for 300 years or so," passed-on in dialogs between teachers and chosen students. It was not until the time of the Siddhas, circa 6th-11th century C.E., that they were written down. In Mahayana Buddhist culture, study of the Tantras naturally follows after study of the Sutras. There are Tantras, both Hindu and Buddhist, compiled or created by Yogis, Yoginis, priests or scholars. These are generally based on fragments or compilations of earlier works, oral tradition, mystic songs or are the result of empirical scientific studies in medicine, chemistry, astronomy etc. When a sacred text is called a Tantra, it takes on added significance because of the traditions of lineage, historicity and revelation. Spiritual sex, literal or allegorical, is a topic discussed in many Tantras. Some Tantras were written on palm-leaves, flimsy folios of paper and never published. Many were lost over the passage of time. Others were "discovered" and entered the mainstream of spiritual literature. These texts were generally regarded as radical, heretical even, but nevertheless viewed as authoritative in the present decadent aeon, the Kali Yuga. Following is a list of Buddhist and Hindu Tantras, of significance, together with likely dates of their compilation and details of their English translation, if available: SOME BUDDHIST TANTRAS Guhyasamaja Tantra, the Sanskrit text edited with commentaries by Benoytosh Bhattacharya, Gaekwad's Oriental Series, 1934. Dr. Alex Wayman translated selected verses into English,
http://www.thedragonscave.org/archives/tdc/tantra/text_files/TANTRA_R.txt Page 1 of 3

E. selected verses translated by Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup. vols. This important "Mother" Tantra was probably compiled in the 4th century C. Martin Kalff. 70. Boston. Among them are: the Kurukulla Tantra. translated by Sanjukta Gupta. Vajrapatala Tantra.E. selected chapters translated by Shinichi Tsuda. Columbia University.E.. mostly only now available in the Tibetan language. Oxford University Press.. 1910. Vajrayogini Tantra. E. New Haven. Available in English translation. published in Tibetan facsimile and with commentary in English by Dr. chapters I-VIII. Manjusri Mula Tantra. William Stablein. J. Samvarodaya Tantra.E. Hevajra Tantra. 1985. Mahakala Tantra. London. Trivandrum Sanskrit Series. Brill. http://www. edited by T. the earliest manuscript is from around the year 1100. Luzac. Chakrasambhara Tantra. Christopher George. Ganapati Shastri. Yogini Tantra and others too numerous to detail. 76 and 84. Tokyo. Kalachakra Tantra. and extracted in various English formats.E. compiled sometime between the 9th and 10th centuries C. Mahavairochana Tantra. 1922 and 1925. Ph. Lokesh Chandra. selected verses translated with substantial commentaries by Dr. 1966. Motilal. Kularnava Tantra.txt Page 2 of 3 . The official compilation of Tibetan sacred books. New Delhi. contain 22 volumes of Tantras and 86 volumes of commentaries on them. Hokuseido Press. 1989. Leiden. 1976. Delhi. including Gelong Jhampa Kelsang's translation of Ngawang Dhargyey's Commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra.. David Snellgrove. compiled around 1000 C.. Also selectively translated by Jeffrey Hopkins and published as Kalachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation. Possibly compiled in the 7th century C. possibly dating from before the 4th century C. Dharamsala. a 10th century text. Lakshmi Tantra. This important text was probably compiled between the 7th and 8th centuries C. 1974.6/8/13 3:22 PM published as Yoga of the Guyasamaja. 1920. There are very many other important Buddhist Tantras. published by the American Oriental Society. The Nyingmapa "old" sect of Tibetan Buddhists know of "over a hundred thousand Tantras"! SOME HINDU TANTRAS Mahavidya Tantra. 1977. London. 1959. 1985 and Wisdom. 1974.D.. translated by Dr.E. known as the Kanjur and Tenjur. Chandamaharosana Tantra.thedragonscave. 1972. partly translated by Dr. Abhidhanottara Tantra. translated by Dr.org/archives/tdc/tantra/text_files/TANTRA_R. dissertation.

txt Page 3 of 3 . the Kakachandishvarakalpa Tantra. Other important Hindu Tantras. Calcutta and London. Brill. Kaulavali Tantra. E. translated by V. available on the Internet. The very large number of both Buddhist and Hindu Tantras that have survived in some form or another. 1985. Leiden. Shillong. suggests that spiritual enlightenment was not as difficult to achieve as is generally supposed. "Bengali" Tantras (mostly from a relatively late period. in manuscript. Shastri. Delhi. mostly dating from between the 11th and 17th centuries are: Chinnamasta Tantra. D. 1970. A very late text. Nila Tantra. Kundalini Tantra. Van Kooij. translation available on the Internet. 1956. translated by Teun Goudriaan. 1993 and selected parts by Goudriaan. Gandharva Tantra. Netra Tantra.org/archives/tdc/tantra/text_files/TANTRA_R. Kalikapurana (Tantra). Motilal. Tantraloka. Ganapati Tantra. compiled between the 11th and 15th centuries. SUNY. Tara Tantra.E. available on the Internet at the Mike Magee "Hindu Tantrik" home page. partly translated by Teun Goudriaan.thedragonscave. Malinivijayottara Tantra. translated by Rai. translated by Jyotir Mitra. Kularnava Tantra. Saraswati Tantra. better known as the Tantra of the Great Liberation. J. Guptasadhana Tantra. http://www. 1972. compiled around the fourteenth century C. Kamaratna Tantra. Svacchanda Tantra. Matrikabheda Tantra. Maya Tantra. Tantraraja Tantra. Todala Tantra. Varanasi. Niruttara Tantra. 1913. which are sometimes referred to as Kalpas. Kali Tantra. into this century) and "South Indian Tantras". Punjab University. English translation available on the Internet at the Hindu Tantrik home page. Nirvana Tantra. 1916. There are many other "Kashmiri" Tantras. Mahanirvana Tantra. translated by Hemchandra Tattabhusan. published by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroofe) in English. with radical reformist views. 1992. Kulachudamani Tantra. 1928. A Tantra generally is a "no holds barred" guide to spiritual liberation. Kamakhya Tantra. R. chapters 54-69 translated by K.6/8/13 3:22 PM Kalivilasa Tantra. Kubjika Tantra. 1992.. translated by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe). Jnanarnava Tantra. Vinashikha Tantra. an early Shaivite work. presumably put together by a liberated enlightened person. Yogini Tantra and Yoni Tantra.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful