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Publisher The Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, V aran asi-l

Printer : Vidya Vilas Press, V aranasi-1

Edition : Second, 1964. ( Revised )

Price : R s.

(^ ) The Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office

G opal M andir L ane, Varanasi-1,

( IN D IA )

P H O N E : 3145


jir *rfo n :

3T^r ft*??: spcfofr

* 55^ ?«n rra ?rfft n


( A B io g r a p h ic a l N ote )

B orn on Ja n u a ry 6 . 1897, a t D easin, Burdwan D t . ; son o f M ah a-

m ah o p ad h y aya H araprasnd Shastri and H cm anta K u m ari D e v i;

educated at Scottish C hurch C ollege, C alcu tta, B. A. 1917 ; C al­

cu tta U niversity, M . A . ( G old M e d a lis t) 1919 ; D a cca U niversity

first P h . D . 1925, D o c to r B h attach aryy a began as Bengal G o v ern ­

m ent R e se a rch S ch olar 1920: entered Baroda S tate Service as

G en eral E d ito r o f G aek w ad ’s O riental Series 1924; part-tim e

Professor o f Sanskrit B aro d a College 1929 ; in c h a rg e o f M arath i

a n d G u jarati Publications o f the State 1931 ; recognized as P o st-

G rad u ate T each er by Bom bay U niversity 1 9 3 2 ; E xam in er for Ph. D .

Degree o f Several U niversities, D irecto r O riental Institute o f B arod a

since 1 9 2 7 - 52, and published under his general editorship o v er 8 0

original works in In d ology in G ack w ad 's Oriental Series. O rg an i­

sed Seventh All India Oriental C onference 1933 ; L o ca l S e cretary ,

17th Bengal L iterary C on feren ce, 1922. Has established charitable

dispensaries for H om oeopathy since 1927. Life M em ber o f R o y at

A sia tic Society o f B en gal, C alcu tta, and o f B handarkar Oriental

R esearch Institute, Poona ; M em ber o r sometime m em ber o f B ih ar
an d O rissa R esearch Institute, Patna ; V angiya SaM tya Parishad,

C a lcu tta , International P sy ch ic Reseat eh Congress, London and

K ern Institute, L eid en , H ollan d. R eceived title o f R a jy a ra tn a and

G old M edal, title o f Jn an ajy o ti and Silver M edal, D iam ond Jubilee

M edal- H as published Indian Buddhist Iconography 1924; An

( 2 )

Introduction to Buddhist Esotcrism 1932 ; Proceedings and Transa­

ctions o f the Seventh Indian Oriental Conference 1935 ; Sudhana*
mala 1925, 1928, etc., also over 200 original papers and articles.

His natural aptitude to explore the hidden powers .o f Nature

for the service o f humanit) developed in him an insight into the
therapeutic value o f gems and magnets ; did extensive researches
in that field ; has published the results o f his experiences in his
books, Science o f Cosmic R ay Therapy ; Gem Therapy, Magnet

Dowsing, Science o f Tridosha, etc. Has trained studW s on this

novel method o f curing ailments. A number o f T clcth craj/' Centres
all over the world arc now functioning under his guidance.

After retirement from Baroda service in 1952, Dr. Bhattacharyya

is passing his days quietly at his country residence, “ Sastri-Villa” ,
P R K F A C !•;
An Introduction to DmUlrist Esoterisni was published through the
Oxford University Press, Bombay as early as 1032, hut as readers
were not interested then in the publication, the book became un­
saleable and 1 gave up all hopes for il> future.

L ater, in 1962 a Japanese translation of the book was published

by my esteemed friend Dr. Naknno o f the Koyasan Univer­

sity in the Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. Thus full thirty years

elapsed before a mention o f the book could be found, o r a hearing

cotild be obtained.

In recent years, however, there was a spurt in the demand for

the book, and the worthy proprietor o f the Chowkhamba Sanskrit
Series at Varanasi wanted to publish a reprint o f the book. As I
am always anxious to circulate original and practical knowledge
from Sanskrit to scholars and students o f Buddhism, I readily


The Proprietor also wanted me to write a fresh Preface to this

reprint edition, and I d o so with great pleasure while thanking
the well-known Chowkhamba Publishing Organisation fo r their
courtesy. This great Organisation has done wonderful service to
Sanskrit learning in all its phases through its numerous publica­

tions. If Sanskrit ami Indian Cu)Uirc arc popular to-day in India

and abroad, it is mainly due to the unceasing efforts o f this mighty


iXiritig the l;isi thirty years tun ;h original work has been done
and many new publications have made their appearance. The
Guhyasamäja Tantro, the Bible of the Buddhist T antrics, was publi­
shed in 1931, the Nispannayogavali of Ahhnyakara Pundila in 1949
besides many other texts and treatises dealing with Buddhist Tantra
were published during the period. The Indian Buddhist iconography

passed through a second edition in 1958. Through these publica­

tions our knowledge o f the Buddhist Tanlra became much wider
and fuller.

T a n tra and Science.

Usually, it is the h ibit with uninformed persons to decry a thing

simply because it is not understood. The rule applies with equal

force to the science and practice o f the Tantras o r the esoteric

doctrines contained therein. Many scholars have dubbed the T antras

as m agic, black m agic, necrom ancy, unscientific o r pseudo-scientific,

and decried the teachings and findings o f the Tantras as being

worthless and worthy o f nothing hut unqualified condemnation, on

this or that ground which is mostly cheap and frivolous, lacking in
serious consideration o r thought. It will, therefore, l»c a shock to
many to learn that the esoteric doctrines embodied in the T antras
arc based on solid scientific facts, and that their followers derived
and utilized cosmic power o f a subtle character which is freely floa­
ting around.

The T antrics were conversant with the principles o f telecommu­

nication like radio and television and they could transmit power of
sound through space without elaborate appliances. DuraSravana

( hearing distant sounds ), Diirudar&uia (seeing distant sights), Dflra-


cikitsfi i ( healing ■, ami similar powers were liste«! as Siddhis

f supernormal powers ) as a distinct outcome of esoteric practices.
In ll»e Taiilrio works th erejs *a-clcar indication that the forces ol
heat am i cold could be Iransmilled through space to the desired
object o r person, and influence it or him from a distance. The
p r o e m o f Sänti ( propitiation ) could bo performed from a distance

for healing purposes.

C osm ic C olour.

[n the Tantras cosmic colours play an important p.m . livery

deity has an individual colour, every direction has a colour, every

M antra has a colou r, every Bljumantra has a colour, and in fact,

everything'tangible in the universe has a cosm ic colour attached

to'it» thereby making U clear that all tangible objects a rc nothing

but condensations o f cosmic colours. N ow this is u scientific fact
and,will*havc to be accepted sooner o r later. The Dhyfini Buddhas
wcrc’ nH associated with certain colours, and 'in the Githyasamaja

Tantra Chapter I, the origin o f these Dhyäni Buddhas is given at

length, to which attention is required to be paid by every student
o f Buddhist esotcrism. The Tantras were conversant with the
powers o f cosm ic colours and employed them for multifarious pur­
poses. The T an trics o f the Buddhist faith considered $finya as

the substratum o f the Universe, limitless, omnipresent and omni­

potent and the repository o f infinite wisdom, infinite knowledge,
infinite sound and infinite light The Tantrics intuitively knew that
the world o f matter in its ultimate state was nothing Hut rays and

radiations, and this knowledge is reflected in lltcir writings and in

their m any and varied practices o f bewildering intricacy.

6 n <i.iA (.t.

S 'u o y a the U ltim a te R e a lity .

ftln ya in Ituddhist esoteric philosophy is the ultimate cause o f

everything. J:v cry N am e and F o rm begins in Sfinyn, thrives in

Sfinya and ends in Sünya. All N am es and Form s have their root

in $ünya and so long a s they receive nourishment from Sönya they

su rv iv e; and no soon er the nourishm ent is withdrawn they die out.
£ünya is thus the vast C osm ic Light O cean from which all Nantes
and F o rm s derive their origin, nourishment and end.

The Buddhist T a n trics form ulated that all tellers, words and
sentences with o r without m eaning arc nothing hut &inya in essence,
that is to sa y , they are condensations o fS iin y a bristling with cosm ic
power o f a high o rd er. These letters, words and sentences have a
certain rate o f vibration and these vibrations can be employed for
good as well as evil. T he deities a rc the beings o f the invisible
world just as we a rc th e beings o f the visible world. The deities

have their definite vibrations because tliey a rc St my a in essence,

th at is to say , condensations o f ^tinya or* Ultim ate C osm ic

F o rce .

M a n tra V ib ra tio n s .

The M antras fo r deities have the same vibrations as (heir presid­

ing deities, and the syllables have the power to attract the deities
and iTwkc them visible to the mind’s eye, and when Sädhana reaches
its final point they can make the »Icily visible even to the naked eye.
This is called the R ealisation o f the Deity ( dcvatii darsana ) when
the deity is identified with the worshipper who derives all divine
powers inherent in the deity realised. The worshipper and the deity
become one by the p ro cess o f identification. M antras become

powerful l>y constant meditation on the form o r the letters o f the

M antra and continuous repetition. When repeated, the M antras

release vibrations which reach the deity, and when they become

extremely powerful they arc able to attract the deity towards the
worshipper. In the cosm ic sphere there is no difference between
Name and Form , and whenever the Nam e is uttered the Form is hit.
The M antras with the name o f the deity reach the deity o f the
invisible world no sooner it is uttered, and when repeatedly uttered,
they arc able to attract the deity in a visible form which is descri­
bed in the numerous Sädhanas in the Sfulhananuäü.

P erso n al Experience.

It is here 1 should like to relate my personal experience in visua­

lising the deity. Before 1 took up a serious study o f the Tantras as my
life work 1 wanted to test the efficacy o f some o f the M antras myself.

First, 1 took up the T ära M antra which is considered as a Siddha

M antra or a M antra fo r sure success. The M antra syllables are :

OM T Ä R E T U T T Ä R E T U R E SV SU R . Every night 1 started
repeating the Mantra with full concentration and utmost devotion
in order to see whether I could get any new experience. For a
fortnight I went on repeating the M antra vigorously whenever I was
free. I used to do the repetition with closed eyes in order that any
vision of an extra-ordinary ch aracter may not be missed and in
order that my attention may not he diverted. A fter a full fortnight
one day suddenly before my d o sed eyes flashed forth strong white
light, rather remarkable, and within that light 1 could see very
clearly the figure o f a goddess with green emerald colour so cxqui-
siiively beautiful in Ml limbs that it cannot be described in words.


The 'icily s;il in Laliläs,ina on a il.mblc lotus and held in her left
hand some leaves mul in the right showed the Varada ( gift-bestow­
ing ) Mudrä with a gem o f extreme brilliance. The deity Stood
before my eyes for a few seconds and disappeared into the white
light. I was satisfied with this my first experience and did not

pursue the matter further, although even now I often repeat this
M antra in my difficulties, without ever visualizing the deity for a

second time.

Goddess T ara, it may be remembered, is a benign deity. Next I

took up the M antra o f a fierce deity. It was Ugratärä with the
powerful Mantra : H RlM S T R IM HUM PHAT. As before, I
started repeating this Mantra vigorously whenever I was free. While
going to office, while returning, when free in office, white at home
in the morning, evening and a t night I went on repealing the M an­
tra o f U gratärä and at last after seven days at night at about 0 P.M .
before my closed eyes 1 saw strong blue light covering the whole o f
the mind sky, and front its depths emerged the liefee deity U gratärä
dark collyrium colour, extremely fearful and awe-inspiring in appea­
rance with strong limbs, tall figure, completely nude standing with
feet on the floor and head touching the ceiling of the room in which
I was meditating. She had dishevelled hair which flew like a cloud

and covered the whole o f the ceiling on all sides. Her face, terrible
to behold, was full o f wrath with three protruding and blood-shot
eyes, and bare fangs. She held in her hands the fierce Karlri
( k n i f e ) and Kapala ( skull-cup ) full o f blood. Her chest was

bedecked with a garland o f skeleton heads which were making

harsh and fearful noise while knocking against one another. The
very sight made me recoil with fear and 1 do not know when I ceased

miilicring the M antra. This vision barely lasted half a minute but
this period appeared to me to be very long, and I thought my end
was near. But when 1 stopped repeating the M antra, the deity gra­
dually vanished into thin air, and I was able to open my eyes and

heave a sigh o f relief. I made up my mind never to disturb such

deities again in my life.

T he above accounts I kept as a closed secret, and never divulged

it to any one, n did I write anything about these unique experie­
nces in any article or book. Thinking that to those who practise these

SiVlhanas fo r the realisation o f the deity my experience might prove

useful, I give an account o f my experiences here. My impression
is that Fierce Fem ale deities can be visualized with little effort.
Benign Fem ale deities take a longer time for realisation, while the
Benign M ale deities take an extrem ely long time before they can

be visualized. I tried the famous M antra OM M A N IPA D M E H O m

for the realisation o f A valokiteivara but my efforls proved entirely

T h o u g h ts a r e T h in g s.

The Tantrics knew the power o f the mind which, accord in g to

them , w a s £flnya in essence. In other words they knew long before
our age that Thoughts are Things. The human mind has one peculiar
power and with the help o f this power the human mind adjusts
itself to the different vibrations and becomes one with them. In
modern scientific language the mind has the power to adjust itself to
the same wave-length as that of the deity o r anything, high or low.
I.ow thoughts lower down the wave-length o f the mind, while

higher thoughts raise the level. Even Sflnya, according to them.


could be conceived and realised if the mind was properly attuned

to the highest wive-length o f £iinyu o r n o Absolute Cosm ic Subs*
tratum or the C osm ic Light Ocean. Wise European scholars trans*
late this Stlnya by the word ‘Void*, and every one can see whether

they have understood the meaning o f Sünya.

Five E lem en ts.

Further, the T antrics were acquainted with the fact that certain
syllables have the same wave-length as those o f the Five Skandhas
( Elem ents \ and that the utterance and repetition o f t ’v* •"uneclive
syllables gave rise to the sam e set o f vibrations as those of the Five
Skandhas. The Five Skandhas, it m ay he rem arked, a rc the coun­
terparts o f the Five T anm ätras ( subtle substances; as formulated
in the Sänkhya System o f Philosophy. The Five T anm ätras are
enumerated in Sänkhya as F o rm , T aste, Sound, Touch and Smell.
Behind the Dhyfu i Buddhas the embodiment o f the Five Skandhas

or the Five Tanm ätras a rc the five cosm ic colours which by conden­

sation give rise to the Five D hväni Buddhas and their offspring.

The Five Dhyftni Buddhas and the Five Skandhas along with their

original colours may be given here in tabular form thus :

Dhyäni Buddha Skandhu C olour
1. V airocana Rnpa White
2. Ratnasam bhava Vedanfl Yellow

3. Amitäbha Sui'njfla Red

4. Amoghasiddhi Sumskära Green

5. Ak$obhya Vijfläna Blue

A grand account o f the origin o f the Five Dhyäni Buddhas as
narrated in the Guhvasatnfija Tantra will be found in my Indian

Buddhist Iconography, second revised edition, pp. 4 5 -4 6 .


N:tm c an<l F o rm .

The T an tras rccogni/.c no difference between N am e and Form and

believe rightly that the N am e is not different from F o rm , and that

even a syllabic can represent effectively the Skandhas, and all (he
powers (hey possess, arc contained in (he relative syllable. Such
single syllables arc known as the Bljam antras o r Sccd-Syllables,

usually consisting o f one syllabic, often nasalised with the addition

o f an Anusvnra. There arc syllables for the ultimate cosm ic princi­

ples such as E arth , W ater, Fire and Air. The seed LA M , for ins­
tance, stands for the Earth principle, VAM for w ater principle,
RANI for Fire principle and Y A M for Air principle. This indicates
that there is no dilTercnce between the syllabic RAM and the element

o f Fire, and that by constant meditation and repetition o f the syllable

R A M the F ire principle can be brought under co n tro l, manifestly

because the wave-length o f the two happens to be the sam e.

G erm Syllable«:.

It i* in this manner the Buddhist T an trics found out by patient

research the germ syllables and the M antras o f the numerous deities

o f the Buddhist Esoteric system. T he germ syllables were the deities

themselves and the M antras formed the call-signs for the different
deities. In other w ords, the Täntrics discovered the supreme truth
that (he Bijnmantras arc endowed with the same vibrations as those

of the deity, and by employing the M antras the corresponding

deities can be attracted, visualised and realised. In terms o f modern
science, the M antras and Bijam antras have the same set o f vibra­

tions as the deities o f the invisible world, and the human mind
12 PKH-ACl:

is capable o r changing am) liming its v ib ratio n rto th e w avelength

o f the deity by constant meditation and repetition of the M anlm .

The difference between the M antra and the Bijainnnira is like

this. The Bija represents the deity in a subtle form , while M antra
in a gross form. The syllabic T Ä M , fo r instance, is the Bija o f the
popular Vajrayäna deity, T ärä. This Bija is required in the
beginning o f meditation, and the niirnf should concentrate on its
Yellow rays spreading out to the firmament and illuminating the
numerous invisible worlds and there discover the form o f T ärä.
The worshipper should also consider himself as Tiira herself after
merging his own identity in that o f the goddess. This is known

technically as the Samayasattm form o f the deity. The longer

M antra o f T ärä is : OM T Ä R E T U T T Ä R E T U R E SVÄHÄ which
is to be constantly repealed and meditated upon in order to visualize

the deity o f the invisible world and bring her near the worshipper

by the process o f attraction. The dcily o f the invisible w orld is

known technically as the Jflrinasattva form which should ultimately
merge in the Saniayasattva form referred to earlier. When that is

is done, the process is complete.

A ccording to Buddhist Tfmtrics dilfcrcnt Mantras have different

powers, although they may relate to the same deity. The different
Mantras have to be utilized fo r different purposes. Everyw here it
was conceded that the Bija, Mantra and the rest had the sam e set

o f vibrations as the dcily worshipped, because they recognised no

difference between the deity and its various symbols— all having the
same measure o f vibrations, that is to say, the same quality, quantity

and arn m gcm cnt o f cosm ic rays w hich are Ihc beginning, middle
and end o f all Names and Form s.

The method o f propitiation and realisation o f the deities o r the
radiant beings o f the invisible world was elaborated in a special
literature called the Sfnlhanas o f which we have two large collec­
tions as the SöUuvumuäa and the Siulhanasamttccaya. All the

Sädhanas found in these two works were embodied in my edition

o f the S(n!li<niani(ihi which was published in two volumes in the

Oacfc wad’s Oriental Series o f Baroda ( 1 0 2 5 -1 9 2 8 ). All students o f

T.m ira will fin.l these volumes most illuminating and o f great pra­
ctical value in meditation and in the realisation o f the numerous
deities mentioned in the book. Descriptions o f hundreds o f Vajra-
yanu deities also o ccu r in the work o f MahÄpandita Abhayäkara

Gupto entitled, the Nispan nay ogavali which was also published by

me in the sam e series referred to above.

T ra n sm issio n o f M an tra P ow er.

But m ore interesting and instructive is the account o f how the

T antrics used to transmit the power of heat and cold through space

to distant objects at will, either for good o r for evil. In the Mahd-
käla Sädhuna ( Vide—SailhanamßUi, Vol. II, p. 589 ) the process is

given in detail. The details of the process o f transmission of the

powers o f heat and cold formed the basis o f the unique and the
most practical system of healing by Tcictherapy o r cosm ic ray

therapy which seeks to cure ailing people from a distance wilhout

medicine, without personal examination and without operations

and mannings simply by radiation o f hoi and -.old forces of nature»
On the subject o f cosmic ray therapy I have already written a book,
entitled. T h e Science o f Cosmic Huy Therapy, published by Messrs.
Good Companions, Baroda.

Now will be described in detail the whole process as given in

the Smlhanamäla. In the Mahäkäla Sädhana ii is said that in order
to influence a person at a distance an effigy o f Kuio grass should be

made for the person aimed at, and thereon the Mahäkäla Mantra
should be repealed continuously. Then mustard seeds and pungent
condiments like black pepper, dry ginger and PippaU should be
powdered, mixed and prepared into a paste. The paste should be
liberally applied to the effigy while repeating the Mahäkäla Mantra
all the time. Then on each and every limb thorns should be pierced.
Thereafter, a fire should be made with KhatHra ( catechu ) wood
and on that fire thejefTigy should be baked while repeating the Mantra.
When this is done, the person aimed a t ( Sädhya ) is suddenly over*
taken by high fever, and his consciousness is lost.

When however, it becomes necessary to antidote the clfcct o f the

process just described, the Sädhana adds that the effigy should be
removed from fire and it should be bathed in milk until the fever

In terms o f modern science it can be easily undcrMood why

M antras have to be repeated in order to bring the effigy in tunc with
the vibrations o f the victim aimed a t M antras arc repeated conti­
nuously in order to raise the wave-length o f (he inanimate effigy
of Kusa grass to the level o f the person to be influenced byw ord
vibrations. And unless the wave-length o f both the effigy and the

person is (tnicil to the sm ie longih, the cosmic force* «»f heal and
colil will not he able to recognise the person, just as a Radio set
will not give any programme, until it is tuned to the same wave*
length as that of the station radiating the programme.

When after continuous muttering of the Mantra the vibrations

of the effigy and the person arc brought to the same level, the Tän-
tric is able to transmit the fire principle through space by healing
and baking the image* As the vibrations of the two ends arc the
same the heat applied to the effigy is immudiatcly transmitted by
radiation to the person at a distance. No wonder the heal of
Ihe fire principle brings about fever and delirium.

To reverse the cITcct of the earlier process is to bring normalcy

to the victim by radiating cold vibrations by the same wireless
method. F or this purpose the effigy is taken out of fire. By this
heat is first eliminated, and then when milk is poured incessantly
on the effigy, cold vibrations o f milk arc transmitted through space

to the victim. Milk represents the Water principle and moreover,

being white in colour it is doubly cooling. The healing process
takes ctTcct almost immediately and in a short time the victim is
well, it may be remarked that the thorns pierced into the effigy
served the purpose o f modern antenna.

New Sy stem o f Healing.

Taking the cue from the the Mahäkäla Sudhana a new system of

healing has been developed which seeks to transmit hot and cold
forces or the forces o f the Five Elements, Earth, Water. Fire, Air
and Ether, through space to patients at a distance, and make them
P K l-.F A U l.

well without medicine or personal attendance. It is not possible

to prepare effigies lo r particular persons and raise their w ave­

length by continuous muttering o f M antras, because that is a very

cum brous and lime taking process n o w ^ the present century, when
photography is so well developed. It m ay be noticed that the photo­
graph lias the same set o f vibrations as its ow ner, and therefore,
llsc wave-length o f both the photograph and its owner is the sam e.
The cosm ic fo rces, because o f their power o f om niscience, a rc able
to recognise the identity o f wave-length.

On the photograph certain gem vibrations a rc released for several

hours a day, and this has yielded rem arkable results in a number o f

chronic and acute cases. The experience of the last ten years in

the line has shown great promise, and It is now possible for us to

foresee a tim e when the work o f healing will be done from an office
or a laboratory. This method o f healing will be equivalent to th e

T än tric M ethod o f Healing. It is also found by experience that

distance is no bar to treatm ent, and ailing persons can be treated

from here, even if they are in distant A m erica.

C o sm ic R a y s.
W hether we like it o r not we a r c , every moment o f our life,
enveloped in cosm ic rays, call them by any name we choose, the

Five G reat Elem ents or the Seven Planets o r the Seven R ays o f th e
Rainbow o r th e V IB G Y O R colours. T hese cosm ic rays are not a t a

distance, they are right in the midst o f o u r bodies and on our sense
organs, the N ose, E ars, Eyes, Tongue and Skin. This will be revea­

led, when a person is examined through a prism by any com m on

inquirer. T h e nose tip, for instance, will show cosm ic Green, the

Tongue will exhibit cosm ic Orange, the Skin will show cosm ic
Violet, the eyes cosm ic R ed, while the cavities will exhibit cosmic


When the cosmic rays surrounding us become malefic illness

supervenes, and when their arrangement is altered or equilibrium is
restored, that illness disappears. In spite o f our researches into the
subject o f origination o f disease and its eradication, we have achieved
precious little, because as yet we do not realise that it is the cosm ic
colour hunger that is at the root o f every disease. Wo have not
yet been able to find out the true cause o f even the principal diseases.
On<e the cause is known eradication becomes easy and simple. Let
iis remember that the diseases in their ultimate state arc nothing

Eiut rays ami radiations. The so-called virus o f modem medicine is

the R ay Malefic. As lias been said elsewhere all Names and Forms
have their origin in the cosm ic light ocean, and the diseases and

their cures arc nothing but Names and Form s, having their roots in
the vast Cosmic Light Reservoir, which is called in Täntric Uuddhism

as fsiinya with its three elements Sünya, Vijitäna and Mahfisiikha.

P rism Exam ination.

The doctrine o f the Buddhist Tuntrics is that everything in this

world has for its substratum (Ue limitless Slinya, and whenever and
wherever there is a manifestation, it must be Sunya in essence. When­
ever there is a manifestation o f Sünya, a colour is always attached to

it. With the help o f a prism the true colour can be asccitnincd. On
this principle the true colour o f gems where the cosmic colour is the
strongest, has been determined, The Ruby is Red, Pearl is Orange,

C oral is Yellow , Emerald is Green, -Topaz is Blue, Diamond is


Ituligo and Sapphire is Violet. This is an important finding because

for generating the cosm ic colours the gems have no parallel.

With the help o f the prism all the seven V 1BG YO R colours have
been individualised, their powers o f heat and cold have been pretty

well determined. Thus the three colours R ed, Yellow and Blue are

the hot cosm ic forces, while Orange, Green, Indigo and Violet are
the cold cosm ic forces, These forces can be radiated to any one in
any part o f the world in an instant. T he way the T äntrics o f
Buddhism showed centuries earlier.

P ow er o f G em s.

The seven cosmic colours can be produced with the help o f gems
and n small electric m otor, and transmitted through space to any
person over his photograph with gratifying results. T he gems arc

cosm ic colour concentrates» they arc Sfmya in essence* and their

brilliance shows that they are not only rich in cosm ic colours but
also can readily discharge their rays when rotated on an electric

m otor. The rays, travel with the speed o f thought, and they are,

like fsünya, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. The gems,

when rotated, release hot and co ld vibrations and they know exactly
their mission, and unerringly reach their destination to start their
healing work. Their ways o f working are as inscrutable as those of
Sunya itself.

W hat is a M an tra ?

In this connection it will be interesting to refer to a scries o f

experiments made to ascertain the power o f the written M antra. A
person may be asked to write a M antra on a piece o f white paper* o f
PRF.FAOfi 19

say, OM l'ÄKE T U T T Ä R E TÜ1U- SVÄHÄ in any alphabet and at

the same time examine will» a prism the tellers that emerge out o f

the pen o f the scribe. You will be surprised to see that every dot,
every line, every letter and every word is immediately covered by

the cosm ic rays o f different colours. This is because the new

writing becomes part o f creation, and as such, it must be enveloped
by cosm ic rays. It is like Siinya covering all tangible creation in
one mighty embrace to claim it as Us Own.

The whole Vfantra m ay be written in Red ink on a circular

cardboard disc through the centre o f which a hole is bored. The

disc is then mounted to the shaft of a small m otor. When the
m otor is switched on and it rotates with a speed of say 1300/1400

R P M the cosm ic colours imbedded in the M antra are detnched from

it and start moving with the speed Of thought. Any photograph, or

any name card or signature placed before the radiating motor

receives and carries the M antra vibrations to their ow ners in an

instant. The transmission o f M antra power gives rise to various

kinds o f effects, one o f them being the cure o f the sick.

A silver disc may also be prepared on which different Mantras

may be inscribed and coloured R ed , and m ay be radiated in the
same manner as before. Like this several M antras have been tried.

W hen the M antra radiations fall on a photograph, the ow ner shows

change of co lo u r on the face as seen through a prism. Other copies
o f the same photograph placed near o r fa r, will also change colour

likewise. This a sign that Mantra vibrations are having effect

on the owner o f the photograph. Thus it is a proven fact that

M antras have power, they release power, and they transm it power

to anything o r any person ;ti any distance the moment the Mantra
is rotated with speed. H must ho remembered the M antras or
gems must remain in constant motion Ix-forc they are able to release
their powers.

T esting o f M antras.

Each and every Mantra can be mechanically radiated and tested

on a special device called the Vibrator. It consists o f a cone o f a
radio loudspeaker, fitted properly in a wooden cabinet. A Mantra
written with Red ink on a sheet o f white paper may be fixed over
the cone o f the speaker, and a photo o f a person who wishes to
test the M antra may be attached to the d o or o f the Vibrator face
to face. Then the Vibrator should be set in motion by the line
current passing through a 2-v o lt transformer. When switch is applied,
the speaker will start vibrating a t the rate o f 3000 vibrations per
minute, each vibration being equal to one recitation o f the Mantra.

The M antra over the co n e will be in constant motion and thus

vibrate its power to the photograph in front and envelope its owner
with the cosm ic colours released by the M antra. By giving a trial

to a M antra like this for a few days it will be possible for the person

to feel whether the Mantra has good o r bad effect o r whether it is

altogether ineffective. By testing in this manner it will be possible
to recognise and adopt effective M antras and discard the rest.
Vibrations, it may be remembered, arc the life o f the Universe which
is constantly in motion. The Sun, M oon and Stars release their
power by constant and perpetual m otion. Even so, when Mantras

o r gems a rc kept in constant motion they release their cosm ic

colours in which their power resides. Those who have eyes to see
1*KlvKAi:h 21

will understand and utiliic this great cosm ic power which is

freely floating around, while others will be in perpetual doubt and
will miss the opportunities thus provided by Nature.

M antra Healing.

As 1 am interested in the healing part o f the power o f the

M antra, I have seen Mantras removing fevers and other acute
diseases and bring about change in health. Thus 1 have tried the

Mantra o f Tarn, o f AvalokitcSvara, o f Hindu Cämtmdä and o f

Tryambaka. Hut 1 found the most satisfactory result by radiating
the famous Hindu Mantra o f Tryam baka, also known as the
MaluimrtyuAjaya ( Great Conqueror o f Death ) Mantra which even

now is repeated continuously in serious eases o f ill-health almost all

over India. The radiation o f this M antra is curative in many acute
cases, and helps a great deal in serious chronic diseases where it
works as a protective. In some o f our Hindu Tantras it is said that
this Mantra is the last medicine in all fatal eases. I f the Mantra
docs not save a patient he is ripe for Death. In view o f the great
importance o f the Mantra the text o f it is quoted below :

Om Tryamhakam yujämahc
sugandhiih pu$(ivardhanam I

UrvSrukanwva bandhanat
Mrtyor-mukslya nuVmrtät. 11

F o r healing purposes this M antra has no parallel. At least

that is the verdict o f the indigenous Vaidyas o f India and o f the
Saints including Swami Sivananda o f Hrisikesh in the Himalayas.
1 have given here an account o f the interesting experiments conduc-

teil by me wiili the power o f the M antras in order lhal these may
inspire some one some day» and lead him to make similar experi­
ments and bring ou t the hidden power o f the Mantras for the

benefit o f all humanity. Even if one person anywhere in the

world is benefited by these experiments, J shall fee] myself fully

Service o f th e T a n tra s.

It is high time in spite o f what the uninitiated or ignorant may

think o r write, to direct our close attention to the practical aspect

of the T antras which arc the repositories o f higher scientific

knowledge. The T an tras should not only be studied and treated
with the respect they deserve, but also scientific facts should be
gleaned from them, and put into practical use through scientific
institutions. Still there is much for modern science to learn from
the Tantras. W hen knowledge o f the scientific aspect o f the

Tantras becomes the comm on property o f mankind, the scientists

will com e face to fa c e with the real substratum o f the Universe,
call it Sunya or Brahm an, and start playing with the cosmic rays

even as the Great First Creator does. When that stage is reached
the latest scientific developments will pale into insignificance,

because as yet we a re ignorant o f the cosm ic elements, the cosmic

rays and the great cosm ic powers responsible for the origin,
maintenance and destruction of the Universe with its tangible and
intangible contents. When we in the present century com e to
know what the T äntrics discovered centuries ago, the difference
between M agic, Philosophy and Science will disappear and they
will be knit into a harmonious whole.
I'lOiKAflh 23

The Tan'ra is one o f the greatest contributions o f India to

world Culture. Instead of being ashamed of our Tantras we
should be really proud that India made this gigantic contribution
witli lakhs of original manuscripts on the subject, and for the
first time showed how the cosm ic forces o f all kinds could be
controlled by Man and transmitted by will through words,
thoughts, writings, prayers, M antras and Tantras.

The New age that is coming will be the Tanlric Age. We are
every day running towards that end. May the Esoteric know*
ledge embodied in the T antras live for ever. Truth is G od, and

God is Truth. The Tantra is true and the knowledge of the

Tantra is Divine.

Satyam JAänam-Anantam B rah m a!

B. Bbattacharyya

C hapter Page

I. In tro d u cto ry . 1
II. Origin o f Buddhist M agic. 10

III. G row th o f Buddhist M agic. 22

IV. Rise o f V ajrayftna. 32

V. T h e P lace o f O rigin. 43

VI. T h e T an tras. 47

V II. T h e M an tras. 55

V III. Som e Prom inent A uthors. 62

IX . Aim s and O bjects. 83

X. Leading T enets. 93

X I. Procedure fo r W orship. 104

XU. T he D eities. 109

X III. T h e Pantheon. 120

X IV . Influence o f Buddhist Tantrism on Hinduism . 147

XV. C on clusion. 165

Index. 175


I. K h asarp an a L o k cävara. Frontispiece

11. V ajräsana facing page 124

111. Ädi-Buddlui V ajradhora 127

IV. ( a ) A ksobhya.
( b ) V ulrocana.

( c ) L o ca n ä .

( d ) V ajradhälvlSvarl. 12»

V. ( a ) Amitftbha.

( b ) R atnasnm bhava.
( c ) A m oghasiddhi.
VI. ( a ) Pandora. 129

( b ) M am äki.

( c ) AryalfuA. 130

VII. ( a ) V ajrasallva in Yab

( b ) V ajrasattva.

( c ) V ajrasattva in Y a b 131

N airälm ä. 135
Muriel. 137
Sim hanäda LokeSvara. 141
X I. Jambliala.
ParnaSabarl. 145
C l l A T I MR I


T A m k i s m o r ig in a l* <1 from p rim itive m agic. T h e p rim itive

people oi India, like all o th e r p rim itive and nom adic races
throughout the world, must have had the prim itive magical
p ra ctice s prevalent am ong them . T h e y had many and tin-
natuial e n em ie s to overcom e and many u nforeseen difficulties to
tide over, es|H*cially becau se they had to live like wild anim als,
in ju n g le s and forests. T h e y could o v erco m e only a small fraction
of th eir d istress by using th eir physical fo rce and th eir prim itive
in t e llig e n c e ; but the rest they were pow erless to o v e rco m e , and
th ese inspired them with stt|>crstitious awe and fear. In the
physical sphere they were g re a tly afraid of wild anim als, snakes,
calam ities of nature, diseases, and so forth, which it was not in
th eir power to overco m e at all. T h e co m m on people, afflicted
by these d an g ers, docked around th eir so r c e r e r, who had g ifts
su p erior to the ordinary folk. Hut the s o r c e r e r also Ircing an
o rd in a ry mortal was not found always equ al to the o c c a s io n ;
ami thus the prim itive people were inspired with g reater awe and
fear. In the intellectual sp h e re , on the o th e r hand, fear of death
and of sp irits and g h o sts e x e rc ise d the m inds of the prim itive
people to a far g r e a te r extent than at presen t.
It is in this fear that m ag ic, m ysticism , so rcery and n e c ro m ­
ancy had th eir o rig in . A s the prim itiv e people began to he more
and m ore civilized, they wanted to do so m e th in g to allay this
su p erstitiou s f e a r ; and in th eir a tte m p t to d o this they laid the
foundation of m agic, which in its turn g av e rise to the m ore
advanced s cie n ce s. T o p ro te ct th em selv es from wild anim als
they had reco u rse to am u lets and c h a r m s ; ag ain st sn ak es and
suukc-bitcs the so rcere rs gave them ch a rm s and h e r b s ; against
2 Av ( \ ! KCM r e l'K*N T O KKOTKKIKM
Jr .i'-i*- thry d i s m v o u d i h r vari ou s c r u d e dr u gs from plants,
k-av. Hul m i n n a l s . U was in this way that the prim itive people
nti ; n d if proi ect th em s e lv e s a ga in s t their natural and super-
a .\ ii.i.'i e n e m ie s .
W h e n the primitive inhabitants of India were developing a sort
of nay.iral system, with a large num ber of magical practices, they in contact with the A ry an s, who cam e from the west in
large num bers in several waves of migrations. T h e y had natural
advantages over the prim itive inhabitants of India, because they
were stro n g and intelligent and because they carried with them
a so rt of civilization. I t is difficult at this stage to determ ine
exactly the nature nf their civ ilizatio n; but from the referen ces
in their literature, which later on cam e to be regarded as the
four V ed as, it can be seen that they led a sort of nomadic life,
moving about from place to place like the herds of animals.
A s has been said already, there were several waves of m igrations,
and the A ry an people involved in each migration penetrated
further and fu rther towards the east, conquering the prim itive
inhabitants and reducing them to the position of serfs. T h e y
settled in the most convenient places, where there was enough of
water and food available, lived like lords by exploiting the labours
of the prim itive people, and s e t up independent gov ernm ents
run mostly on republican lines. O n e such migration settled in
tin- Doab, between th e G a n g e s and the Jum na, and developed
a sort of social hierarchy and divided itself into four castes,
lirahmanns, Ksattriyas, V aisyas and S u d ra s. In strikin g a line
of demarcation amongst the four castes the principle followed
was that of the division of labour. T h o s e who had an intellectual
bent of mind were regarded as B rä h m a n a s; those who were strong,
heroic and of a -fig h tin g nature were called K s a ttr iy a s ; those
who betook them selves to agricu ltu re and com m erce were called
V a isy a s ; and the primitive people, who were content to serve
these th ree h ig h er castes ungrudgingly and who followed the
r u l e s and regu lation s laid down by the new society, w ere called
Sfid ras. Tri the co u rse o f tim e, when th is exp erim en t of caste
system ' was well established, it was no lo n g e r considered as an
exp erim ent, but taken as a settled fact. T h e A ry a n s of previous
and la te r m ig ratio n s were called V ra ty a s. T h e s e V rä ty a s were
m» ca lle d becau se they moved about in hordes» o r vrä/yäs,
in a prim itive f a s h io n ; and resem bled m ore o r less the other
nomadic tribes. T h e orthodox A ry an s, w ho built up for the first
time a g ra n d s tru ctu re of social h ierarch y , were neverth eless c o n ­
scio u s that the V r a ty a s were th e ir b re th re n , and they felt a neces-
sitv for incorp o rating them into th e ir ow n fold .3 In o rd e r to
acco m p lish th eir o b je ct, they co nv en ed la rg e co n g reg atio n s of
people and perform ed certain sacrifices, called the V ratyastom as,
in w hich large n u m bers of V r a ty a s w ere ta k e n into the orthodox
fold on the sim ple condition that they shou ld relinquish their
nomadic habits and d ress and tak e to a se ttled form of existence.
T h e A r y a n se ttle rs of Ind ia cam e with a large num ber of pre­
co nceiv ed notions, dogmas, various philosophical speculations,
and m agical p ractices in the form of s a c r if ic e s ; and, because ol
these, they w ere able to e x e rcise a trem en d o u s influence on the
prim itiv e inhabitants of the place.
T h e prim itive inhabitants, who were called P a s y u s by the
A ry a n s, and som etim es S ü d ra s , also did not fail to exe rcise a
co n sid e ra b le influence o ver th e ir w hite su p erio rs. It is in this
way th at one reacted on the other, and both w ere benefited to
a ce rta in e x te n t and dem oralized also t o a ce rta in exte n t, in

* Caste appears to be a purely Indian product. Had it been of still

earlier origin we should have expected some sort of caste system amongst the
Iranian ]>cople.
* F o r this V ratya theory and the significance of tlx* Vratyaslom a 1 am
much indebted to Min. Hnraprasäd Sastri, with whom 1 have had several dis­
cussions. The most illuminating paper on this subject has been published by
the same author in tlie Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of ficngal, N.8.
Vol. X V II, 1921, p. 3 A.
1 AN I NTR< >i H i( ’ l ' K IN T O HMXHIJST KSO I K K J S M

.\i*c<mlan< e with the intensity of th eir respective iutlueuees. T h e

.Aryans cam e with their V e d ic ch an ts and sacrifices, and the
prim itive people taucht them how l<» live in a stran ge co u n try
and how to p ro tect themselves ag ain st the difficulties peculiar
to the place itself.
T h e A ry a n s brought with them , as is well-known to all, a
super-sacrificial system . T h e y were accustom ed to perform some
sort of sacrifice before co m m en cin g any im portant action . T h e
sacrifices were perform ed both for physical and spiritual gains.
T h e y were of various k in d s: some lasted for a few ho u rs and
some were carried on for a n u m ber of y e a r s ; som e requ ired a
few priests only and some requ ired a huge nu m ber of them.
There were elabo rate rules and regu lation s for the perform ance
of these sacrifices, and it was stipulated that if the sacrifices could
be perform ed in stric t acco rd an ce with the rules and regulations,
th eir results were m ost surely obtained. Hut, as a m atter o f fact,
the rules for the perform ance of such sacrifices were so elaborate
and so m inute— the very method of the pronu nciation of the
letters of the V e d ic mantras was so in tricate, and had such m inute
d iffe re n c e s— that it was alm ost humanly im possible e ith e r to
perform the sacrifices co rrectly o r to pronounce the letters of the
m antras accu rately . M odern in v estig ato rs of a n cien t history
designate the sacrifices as in stan ces of a purely prim itive form of
m agic' designed in order that those who perform ed the sacrifices
should gain an im portance o ver the other m em bers of the c o m ­
m unity in th e same way as the so rce re rs com m anded an uncanny
influence o ver the aboriginals. T h e result was inevitable. T h e
priests, who busied themselves with the sacrifices with ceaseless
regularity, were looked upon as the most intelligent people

1 Dr. Das Gupta thinks otherwise; he considers these as a rejjository of

cosmic secrets and cosmic forces. It is, however, absurd to think that primitive
1Kopie could realize and discove such secrets and forces when in a practically
aboriginal state. See S. N. Das Gupta, H indu Afysficism, pp. 9 -1 0 .
iN T K n in u rro R Y 5

amongst the A ry a n s, and they formed a class am ongst them selves

as Urahmanas, who exe rte d a tremendous influence over the H indu
co m m u n ity in those olden days and who co n tin u e to e x e rt the
same kind of influence e v e n at the p re sen t mom ent.
W e cann ot call the perform ance of these sacrifices anything
like science, as results to be obtained therefrom were either not
obtained at all or were obtained by m ere accid en t. N o r was
this religion, because th e sacrifices were a s o r t of revolt
against nature. W h e n , in the ordinary co u rse of events, for
instance, a king had no ch ild even after many years, he directly
engaged a large num ber of priests, well-known for their abilities,
and on paym ent of fe es requested them to hold the Pulresti
sacrifice. H e r e the sa crificers were required to ch a n g e the natural
course of events, which was ordained by G od, who is the very
essen ce of all religions. W h e n a man, for instance, en g ages
priests and requests them to perform a sacrifice so that he may
proceed tö heaven on his demise, the process can n o t but be
designated as a sort of sacrificial m y sticism ; because it is not
within human power to a sce rta in whether the g iv e n cause gives
rise to the expected result or not. T h e A ry an s, before form ing
them selves into a well-organized caste system , bro u g ht with them
certain chan ts and songs, mainly addressed to th e e lem en ts of
nature or the supposed presid in g deities of the d iffe ren t natural
elem ents. T h e s e so n g s later on were sifted and arranged
into the four V ed a s, which today stand as one of the earliest
m onum ents of ancient litera tu re in the world. T h e s e songs
were com posed in a burst of e cstatic joy on the part of
persons who had the g ift of com posing such v e rse s and for
sin g in g these songs. T h e s e com posers of v e rse s were later on
called R §is, from the word ‘ R s \ to see. T h e y w ere regarded in
later tim es as R s is o r s e e r s of th e V ed a s o r V c d ic words, which
were considered eternal and indestructible. T h e theory of the
e te rn ity of the V ed a s g ave needless im portance to the arrange-
<> AN IN T R O D U C T IO N t o liU D D IU S T K S O T K R IS M

mcnt of words, lines, verses and S ü k ta s o r songs. T h e m eanings

of these words in course of time were rapidly fo rg o tte n ; and
the sacrificers were fully satisfied with the m ere sk eleton
without the substance. W h e n the so n g s were com posed they
were never m eant to be used for sa c rific e r s ; neith er were they
taken to be etern al, nor divine. B u t when we find in later times
the frequent use of these m an tras in the perform ance of all kinds
of sacrifices, and such words o r their co m binations regard ed as
e te r n a l , 1 we cann ot but attrib u te som e motive to the g u ard ian s of
the sacrifices. W a s it because the B rähm anas wanted to maintain
th eir superiority over all o th e rs in this fashion, o r was it because,
by m ak in g the perform ance of sacrifices m ore and m ore difficult
and technical, they wanted to keep off all o th er kinds of people
from attem p ting to follow th eir own profession, in m uch the same
way as the prim itive so rcere r in an aboriginal tribe tries to m ain ­
tain h is su periority by many an u ncann y g esticu lation and the
handling of many an aw e-inspiring o b je ct, such as the human skull,
human bones, snakes, and so forth, and by his weird incantatio ns?
W hen orthodox B rah m an ism , with its four castes, had grow n to
be an institution on a more o r less perm anent basis, it was at once
designated as a divine institution,* and stric t w atertight co m p a rt­
m ents were made of the duties in cu m b en t on each caste. I t is not
difficult to understand that it was purely with the idea of self-
preservation and the preservation of the co m m u nity that the
institution was given out as a divine institu tion. T h e natural

1 This is the chief pivot on which the whole fabric of the Mimäriisä
philosophy revolves. T he Mimarhsakas therefore take the greatest i>ains in
establishing the eternity of the Vedic words, and their divinity or
cf., for instance, Sayana, Ftgveda. ßhä$ya, Sanskrit Sahitya Parisad Series, No. 9,
pp. 3 0 t!.; also Ja tm in i Sillra, 1 - 1 - 2 7 and ff., and commentary by Sahara.
* cf., for instance, Manu 1 -3 1 , where the Brahman creates the four castes
from the four different lim bs: cjfafri 3 SjfVl W
^ ii
I N T K O D l CTOK V 7

e o n se q u r n r o of tlii?* wa^ the rM ablish m rn l of the theory of K arm a,

o r what is known as act-force. ln ih r physical sph«*ie. wo s e c all
a c t s as pure o r impure, good o r bad, producing good o r bad
results. If an o ffen ce is Committed against the com m u nity the
o ffe n d e r is punished. S im ila r ly one who has always the good of
th e com m unity at heart is rewarded. Bad a ctio n s were designated
s in s and good action s m erits. Hut there were many actions which
we 1 0 bad morally, but not so bad as to deserve any p u nishm en t nr
d o n e in a way to escape d e te ctio n . T h e question naturally a rise s
as to w hether the sin attached to actions of this nature in c u rs any
p u nishm en t o r not, or w hether it ca n be expiated, and how ? T h e
natural c o n se q u e n ce of this is th e theory of divine punishm ent or
divine rewards. T o b e logically consisten t, a life after death has
to 1)0 postulated in the theory of tran sm igration of the soul. T h e
B ra h m a n a s postulated that the body is nothing but a tem|>orary g a r ­
m ent within which the soul is c o n t a i n e d ; and, as a g arm e n t becom es
in course of time worn out and unfit for use, even so the soul leaves
the old d ecrepit body and s e e k s new shelters, after having
e n jo yed the rew ards of its g oo d action s in heaven and p u nish­
m ent for bad action s in hell, before re tu rn in g to earth in a new
form. W e can thus see how th e com bined conceptions of the
th eo rie s of K arm a and the tran sm ig ra tio n of the soul produced
th e conception s of heaven a n d hell. I t is needless to f>oint
o u t that all these theories of K a rm a , tran sm ig ration of the soul,
a n d heaven and hell are not proved by logic o r by reason.
T h e y were m ere sp e cu la tio n s to satisfy the curiosity of the
p rim itiv e mind, to satisfy the vanity of the priestly class, and
to preserv e society a g a in st d isru p tive forces. T h e B ra h m a n a s
wanted others to take th ese as divine mandates, wanted the
people to regard the au th o rity of the V ed as as absolutely
u nq u estio n a b le, and the e x is te n c e of G od as a m atter fully
It is in this way that the B r a h m a n a s satisfied th em selv es and
IN TK O ht ( T | ( i\ |( » U l M H t t S l KSO IT.KISM

saii^i**•<1 f ille r s l»v vintc *i >cmi reasonable explanation of as

inan\ jiln sir iil and spiritual phenomena as they could. T h e final
t<mi* It was given to this great co nstru ctio n by the theory ot
em ancipation. which proved a deluding m irage to th e prim itive
A ry a n s and to all who caine after them, includ ing scientists,
philosophers awl m agicians. It is extrem ely difficult to investigate
the truth lying behind the conception of em ancipation, which has
been taken by philosophers of all ag es in India as a settled fact.
Hut th ere is nothing to s h o w lh a t the theory of em ancipation was
ever proved. T h e theory of em ancipation requires that every indivi­
dual should undergo a series of births and rebirths till his soul or
co n scio u sn ess is free from all impurities. Km ancipatiun means
cessation of births and rebirths, and therefore of worldly m iseries,
l l is this em ancipation that every Indian, from the m ost ancient
tim es up to the present day, strove and strives hard to attain. T o
the av erag e Indian, therefore, the present life is a m isery and devoid
of all interests. Me cares more for an improved co n d itio n in the
next b irth than his material prosperity in this. T h e obvious result of
this was that em ancipation proved to lie a philosophy of idleness
and apathy towards all things m aterial. T h u s the orthodox
com m unity went o n m errily for several c e n tu rie s with their
favourite social institutions and philosophical sp ecu latio ns, their
V edic m an d ates and th eir mystical sacrifices. B u t later on
an unforeseen difficulty arose, when the V ra ty a s becam e sufficiently
enlightened and were taken into the orthodox fold in such huge
num bers that the V ra ty a co n v erts far outnum bered the orthodox
m em b ers of the society. T h e y were still bolder in th e ir sp ecu la­
tions, and seemed to cherish but a scan t regard for th e ‘ house of
card s ’ s e t up by the brähroanas. India at that tim e was in a great
ferm ent. Incorporation of th e V raty as produced a g rea t revolu*
tion— a revolution in ideas, speculations, language, dress, customs,
m an n ers, and, in fact, everything co nnected with an cien t
Indian life. T h e V rä ty a s challenged e v e ry th in g : the c a s t e system ,

the sacrifices and the Vedas. T h e y formed them selves into

manv d ifferen t philosophical schools, and we hear of as many as
>ixiv heretical teachers, each having a pecu liar dogma of his own
and eat h having a large number of followers. T h e m aterialists
were the most bitter opponents of the orthodox Brahm anas. T h e
Brahm anas used to say that the anim als immolated in the Jy o th to m a
sacrifice went U» heaven ; the m aterialists ridiculed (hem, and said
that if the animal immolated in th is fashion went to heaven why
should not the sacrificer immolate his father whom he was very
keen on sending to heaven .1 W h e n the B ra h m a n a s taught that the
present life is nothing and that em ancipatio n is everything, they
ridiculed them and said, ‘ S o long as you live, live h ap p ily ; lake
much ghee even by running into debt. W h e n the body is reduced
to ashes, where is the chance of its co m in g b ack to life ? ’ 8 T h e y
characterized the authors of the th ree V e d a s as cheats, rogues and
niglu -revellers/ T h e B rahm anas retaliated a g a in st them by driving
them out of the orthodox com m unity and put a ban on challeng in g
the authority of the V edas and the S m r tis . which were a d irect
outcom e of the V ed as. In the M auusam hiU i it is said that if any
one of the orthodox com m unity insu lts the V ed a s and the S m r tis
by tak in g recourse to the s cie n ce of logic, he should bo driven
out by good men as an atheist and a reviler of the Vedas.*

T3XT133 ere 3*31* U Sana-daruxna-saiH^raha, BoinUiy

Govt. Or. (Hindu) Scries, No. J. p. J.'i.
* W # T T Hß ?,\\ frjf^ I
HnfhfTR V p t 33: II op. fit., p. 14.
‘ 33??t i op. eit., p. 14.
* ih o i
il op. cit., IT. 11.



T H K incorporation of the V r ä ty a s into orthodox society «and

the g row ing restlessn ess of the u nincorporated V ia ty a s , who
already occupied a position of im p o rtan ce by having set up inde­
pendent kingdom s, produced a g rea t intellectual ferm ent which
shook the very foundation of the orthodox com m unity. T h e
unincorporated V r ä ty a s often catled them selves K sa ttriy as and
in this respect they were m ore o r less co rre c t, as they had to
lead the life of a warrior as a m atte r of necessity. Buddha and
Muhävira, and many o th e r le s s e r celeb rities, were a product of
this intellectual ferm ent. T h e y were the g r e a te s t repudialors
of orthodoxy and all that it had s e t up to preserve its cherished
institutions. Buddha ch allen g ed everythin g set up by the
orthodox co m m u n ity : th e ir c a s te system , th e ir V edas, their sa c r i­
fices and th eir philosophical specu lations.
I t is difficult to d e te rm in e w h eth er Buddha was a m em ber
of the o rthodox com m unity. I n the traditional book s giv ing an
.account of the life of B u d d h a, he is g en era lly m entioned a s a
K sattriy a. B u t he belonged to a place, namely, ‘ Kap ilnv ästu ',
which was quite outside the pale of orthodox influence and su r­
rounded on all sides by te rrito rie s s e t u p by d iffe ren t V r ä ty a races.
T h i s evidence leads us to th in k that the family in which Buddha
was born was really a V r ä ty a fam ily, w hich was erro neo usly called
a Ksa»triya family in olden literature. T o be a twicc-l>orn in the
orthodox sen se is to have all the te n s a c r a m e n t s ; but in the
acco u n ts of the life of B u d d h a left to us we not only find no
m ention of all the ten, but also n o tra c e even of the m ost im portant
sacram ent of U panayana, o r th e inv estiture of a sacred thread.

which primarily distinguished a Vratya from an orthodox twice-

bin u. B o r in the M an-tsam hitä we find that if a m em ber of the
twice-born ca sic passed the maximum age-limit prescribed for
EJpanayana he became a V raty a, and he obtained a definitely lower
status in the com m un:.6 ; ' T h e s e considerations point to the fact
that Buddha was, in a ll'p ro b a b ility , an unincorporated V raty a,
though later w riters considered him to be a K $attriya. T h e fact
that Buddha was an unincorporated V raty a is very im portant for
u nderstanding his teachings, his dogm as and his life-story— inas­
much as his Vratya-mind and Vrätya-philosophy are traceable in
all his u ndertakings and actions.
If we are to believe in the life-story of Buddha, as recorded,
for instance, in the L a lt la v is fa r a , we have also to believe that
Buddha was born of rich p aren ts of the S ä k y a race ruling in
KapiJavästu. B u t it has to be pointed out here that the Buddhists
them selves do not co nsid er him to be th e first founder of the
Buddhist religion. T h e y form ulate six past B u d d h a s: Vipasyi,
S ik h i, Visvabhu, K rak u cch an d a, K anakam u ni and Kasyapa, with
G autam a Buddha as the seventh, and M aitreya Buddha as the
future Buddha, who will co m e down to earth full 4 ,0 0 0 years
after the M ahäparinirväna of Buddha, which is believed to have
taken place in the year 483 B.C.
It is not an easy thing to com e down to earth and obtain
enlightenm ent, as Buddha did, in one b ir t h ; as a m atter of fact,
the Bu ddh ists formulated th at Buddha was born and rc*born
several hundreds of times, and ^performed an a ct of great m erit in
each of these births. T h e literatu re which preserves the life-storics
of Buddha is now known as th e Jätak as, and there are at least 550
stories of his previous births record ed in the Jä ta k a s. H e was

1 cf. op. eit., II, 39 :

Ixirn 83 limes as a sannyasin, 5«S tim es as a king, 43 times as a
trw-god, 26 times as a preacher, 24 times as a m inister, 24 times
as n p r ie s t, 24 times as an heir-apparent, 23 lim es as a gentleman,
22 times as a scholar, 20 times as In d .a , 18 tim es as a monkey,
13 times as a m erchant, 12 times as a pjVi man, 12 times as a hen,
1 0 times as a deer, 1 0 times as a lion, 8 times as a goose, 6 times
as an elephant, 5 times as a Garuria, 4 times as a horse, 4 times as
a tree, thrice as a potter, thrice as an untouchable, twice as a fish,
twice as an elephant-rider, twice as a rat, and once each as a ca r­
penter, ironsmith, frog and hare. In each of these lives Gautam a
Buddha— the founder of Buddhism— did one o r more good
deeds of benevolence, renunciation, valour, wisdom, friendship,
and charity, and, as a result of good deeds done in innumerable
lives in the past, he obtained enlightenm ent and freedom from the
cy cle of Sam sära.
Sid d hartha,' as Gautam a Buddha was called in his childhood,
was burn in the beautiful garden at Lu m bini in the outskirts of
the capita) city of Kapilavastu, and his mother died seven days
after his birth. S o o n after, a R si cam e from the H im alayas, and,
after examining the 32 principal and 8 0 minor characteristics,
predicted that if the boy remained a householder he would be a
great e m p e ro r; but if he renounced the world he would obtain
pci feet enlightenm ent. S o m e time after, Sid d h arth a was sent to
the house of his preceptor, V isvam itra, who was su rprised to find
that his pupil was proficient in as many as 6 4 d ifferen t scripts—
more than the preceptor himself knew. T h e boy q uickly mastered
the Vedas and Upanisads and learnt many o th e r sästras of the
orthodox. H e was subsequently brought to the capita! and
married to G opä, daughter of S a k y a D andapäni. T h e day the
first child was born to him, on that most auspiciou s day, the
young and beautiful Sid d hartha G au tam a, prince and heir-apparent

' cf. N. J . Krom, The I Ate of Buddha. This account is a summary of

the account as preserved in the LalUavistara.
O K K il N O F B U D D H I S T M A O fC 13

to the throne, renounced the world, alone, unaccompanied, in the

search for eternal truth which may b rin g salvation to mankind.
T h e immediate cause which led to this g r e a t renunciation is
related in the l^alitavistara as f o llo w s :

O n e day the p rin ce G au tam a resolved to visit the

gardens in the neighbourhood of his father's city, desiring
to examine the beautiful trees and flowers. 'I'hen there
appeared before his eyes in one of the streets the form of a
d ecrepit old man, his skin shrivelled, his head bald, his teeth
gone, his body infirm and bent. A staff supported his totter*
ing limbs, as he stood acro ss the path of the p rin ce's chariot.
H e asked his charioteer for explanation, and he explained
that old age was the common lot of all sentient b e in g s ; all
that was born must die.
S o o n afterwards another stran ge sight presented itself
— a sick man, who was seen to ttering on the road, pale and
m iserable from disease and su ffering, scarcely able to draw
his breath. T h e charioteer explained that this was a sick man
and that su ch sickness was com m on to all.
S o o n after, there passed before him a corpse borne on
a bier. Sid d h ä rth a asked his c h a r io te e r : ' W h o is this,
borne onwards on his bed, covered with stran g e g arm ents
and surrounded by people weeping and lam en tin g ?* T h e
ch arioteer said, ' T h i s , my lord, is called a dead body. H e
has ended his life. H e has n o further beauty of form, no
d esires of any kind. H e is one with the stone and the fallen
tree. H e is like a ruined wall o r a fallen leaf. N o m ore shall
he see his father and m other, brother or sister. H is body is
dead, and your body must also come to this/

T h is was too much for th e good prince to bear. He

e x c la im e d :
«TTTt«? H I

14 AN I N T K ( H » r < T I O N M> W' I »1 »HI ST I . S O I ’h R I S M

Jff-T H W T *R ■■fllfy«! 5 a!'

fö ^ s^ a flfa ip Jp R W ’Sl:
«iq üfiPi^M fa-^fv-2» 1,1

O u t upon youth, becau se old age is ru nning a fter it.

O u t upon health, because health is e n d a n g e red by various
diseases. O u t upon life, for life is not p erm an en t. O u t upon
the wise, for they are always seek ing for e n jo y m en t. Even
if there were no disease, old ag e and death, the five skandhas
will always cau se g reat su fferings. W h a t wonder is there,
therefore, if we always have old age. disease and death as our
co nstant co m p a n io n s? T h e r e f o r e , I must return home and
find out the m eans to relieve the d istress o f mankind.

N ext day, when he was in this mood, he cam e a cro ss a

man moving with measured steps, with shaven head and
monk s robe, his right shoulder bare, a staff in his right
hand and the m e n d ican t’s alms-bowl in h is left. T h i s man,
the ch arioteer explained, devotes him self to charity and
restrains himself, his appetite and bodily d esires. H e
hu rts nobody, but does good to all and is full of sympathy
for all. T h e p rin ce asked the man to g iv e an a cco u n t of
himself. T h e monk s a i d : ‘ I am called a hom eless ascetic.
I have forsaken the world, relatives and friends. I seek
deliverance of myself and desire the salvation of all cre a tu res
and I do harm to n o n e .’ T h e p rin ce forthw ith returned
to the palace to ask his fa th e r’s perm ission to renounce
the world. ' I wish to becom e a w and erin g ascetic, O
father, and to seek N irvana. A ll worldly things, O king,
are chan geable and tra n sito ry .’ H i s fa th e r was altog eth er
amazed to hear this stran g e request, and not only did he not
g ra n t his request but also kept him under strict surveillance
and in very attractive circu m stan ces, so that the young
p r in c e ’s mind m ight not brood over things spiritual. B u t the
p rin ce possessed so m uch dete ruination that he renounced
the world, leaving h is child, his wife, h is father and his

1 Laiitavistara, ed. Rajendralal Mitra, p. 2.10.

n u i c . i v ui- isi i v M l i s T M v c ir \>

relatives. f<us.ikinijj the ric hes .and pleasures of life and

embraced the career ol a wandering ascetic. l i e went from
place in place, visiting the well-known philosophers of his
time, and stm ik d under them for a considerable length cf
tim e; but lie did not obtain what he wanted to have. No one
could tell him in what lies the salvation of suffering mankind,
l i e was in very great despair, and therefore wanted to take
the last recourse to find out the truth— by meditation and
iutm spection and by self-inflicted bodily pain and austerity,
l i e went near Gaya, at Uruvilva. for this purpose, and, with
five oth er ascetics, began the terrible A sphänaka asceticism,
along with its sexennial fast and practice of austerity. S ittin g
down with his legs folded on a raised seat, exposed to the
sim, rain, dew and cold, he reduced his daily ration to one
grain of rice, and thus continued for six long years. H e was
totally exhausted physically and mentally, and at last actually
fell unconscious one day. No peace of mind came to him and
no divine enlightenment. H e became convinced of his folly
and took food and nourishment in a natural way, and then the
truth dawned on him that freedom from the cycles of count­
less existences cannot be obtained either by excessive self-
mortification o r by excessive enjoym ents of worldly objects, but
only by following a middle course. H e meditated further and
further, and discovered what is known in Buddhism as the
twelve-linked chain of causation. H e diagnosed the ultimate
cause of worldly miseries as Avidya, o r ignorance, which in a
twelve-linked process gives rise to desires. T h e truth dawned
on him that everything in this world is unreal, that everything
is non-ego, and that Nirvana is the only calm H e cam e to
know of the four noble truths and the eight-fold noble path
which leads to Nirvana. Buddha was determined to teach
the do ctrines to his fellow-men, and with this purpose in
view he went to Mrgadäva near Ben ares and preached his
doctrine first to his fellow-comrades of Uruvilva, who had
deserted him long ago.

T h is first sermon is called the Dharmacakrapravartana, or the

turning of th e wheel of the law, as this is the first time Buddha
16 AN I N T U O n r C T IO N T O IH 'M D H IS T K S O T K U IS M

s e t th e w heel of rig h te m is n c s * iolll*»K~ni th e u o i l d . A fte rw a r d »

h o m o v ed a b o u t throughout up|K.r I n d i a c o n v e r tin g p e o p le to
B u d d h is m . ;m tl fo n m led th e o rd er of B u d d h is t m o n a c h is m .
JV o p Ir u o i c a d m itte d in to th e S a n g h a a f te r (h e y h a d r e c ite d th e
^ flrö *r=9ifh i
>in suer i
5ir*t w i f a i

T h e S a n g h a was open to all, without distinction of caste and

creed, both male and female. Separate m onasteries were assigned
to monks and n u n s ; and there wore lots of householders as lay-
brethren. T h e success of Buddhism was due to the w orking out
of the idea of establishing a haven of rest to all.
It has already been pointed out that Buddha was a product
of a g reat upheaval, and that he was a g reat repudiator of
Urahmanic orthodoxy. H is religion knew no caste bar. H e d is­
regarded S a n s k rit and preached in the vernacular. H e discarded
the authority of the V ed as, and G od had no place in his religion.
H is was a religion which knew no mandates and no divine
institutions. Y e t, nevertheless, Baddha was a product of his
particu lar age, and, therefore, he was not en tirely free from the
superstitious beliefs cu r r e n t in his time, and the philosophical
speculations which were not entirely proved as purely logical
conclusions. H is religion was based more or less on a fairly
rational system. H e gave his disciples an opportunity of ch allen g ­
ing and exam ining his d o c t r in e s ;' and never threatened, like the
Brahm anas, to outcast those who would ch allen g e the authority of
the V edas and all that was arbitrarily set up by them. N aturally, the
Brahm anas and the orthodox community did not enco u rag e Buddha,
and regarded him as, more or less, an enem y of orthodoxy. Buddha

‘ I le used to say, as we learn from the TaUvasaiHuraha (sec Foreword,

i».eiv): q/lvt fSnpft.sro mnfr * § i

ha<l naturally to be content with the vast m ajority of th e V rä ty a s

and the aboriginal inhabitants, who were not raised to the status of
the &Ci<lras probably because of their not gettin g any opportunity
ot com ing in contact with orthodox Brahm anism . I t was perhaps
for this reason that he discarded the use of S a n s k r it as a medium
for his preachings, but em ployed the v ernaculars for the purpose.
It was also «\remarkable fact that Buddha did not write any co m ­
prehensive treatises, em bodying his general conclu sions and his
philosophy. Me taught e v e ry th in g orally, and these te ach in g s
were collected after his death in a literature which cam e to be
known as the Buddhist T r ip ita k a . W h e n he was living he taught
differen tly to different people with d ifferent m entality and a
d ifferen t degree of understanding faculty. I t is for tin s reason
that co n trad iction s are som etim es noticeable in his teach ing s on
th e same to p ic .1
T h e theory of transm igration .aid the consequential chain of
b irth s and rc-births he took for granted without stopping for a
mom ent to prove it. S im ila rly , he took em ancipation as a settled
fact and the theory of K arm a in the same way. H e believed in the
ea sier method of salvation by th e practice of au sterities, asceticism
and meditation. H e carefully incorporated them into his new
religiou s system and preached them to his people. In his time
people were steeped in absurd superstitions, and invariably sought
to have short-cuts to salvation by easy methods— by the practice
of mantras, the practice of self-mortification, and by various other
p ractice s, some of which were filthy and revolting.* W e have
co n clu siv e evidence that recou rse to m antras was widely taken,
as they were believed to bestow magical powers to the individuals

1 A long discussion on the character of Pudgala as recorded in the

Tattvasafngraha, <>1. 348, 349, is an instance in point.
* For instance, the practices of the Kapälikas, a reference to whom has
been made in the Arthafäsira of Vrhaspati, who is undoubtedly earlier than
Kaufilya. Sec also S.B.E., Vol. X X , p. 89 f.

practising them. Buddha, as a clever organizer, could not fail to

notice this type of mentality amongst the masses, which were his
favourite field of action, and he did not venture to forbid magical
p ractices altogether in his religion, though it is difficult to say
whether he ever l>elievcd in their efficacy.* Moreover, to make his
religion perfect, the founder has not only to take into accou nt the
mentality of the intelligentsia by giving them hopes for the next
birth and far-ofl salvation, but also of those who have no co n cep ­
tion of distant emancipation, o r merits to be gained in the next
birth, but are eager to attain worldly prosperities in this very
birth .2 It was to satisfy this second class of the laity that Buddha
had to incorporate some sort of mantras, Ohäranis, Mudras and
Mandalas, so that those that might wish to have prosperity in the
piesent birth would fee) satisfied 4 by practising them.
In the Ih tih m a ja la SütUP we find mention of a large number
of Vidyäs or esoteric sciences, which were cu rren t in the time of
Buddha and condemned by him as tiraechana> or crooked. I t is,
therefore, easy to conceive that there were many more V idyäs
current in his time which were not, in the opinion of Buddha,
tira cd m n a , or crooked, but free from all blame, and these he m ust

* In the Dtgkanikäya Buddha is represented as saying,' It is because I

see danger in the practice of these mystic wonders that 1 loathe and abhor and
am ashamed thereof’ (T. W. Rhys Davids’s Pali English Dictionary, p. 121). Bee
also the enumeration of the ten kinds of Iddhis, ibid.
‘ cf. /'adi’asarhgraha, si. 3486:


* 7'attvasaiHgraha, si. 3 4 8 7 :

4 P.T.S. ed., pp. 9 ff.

ORIGIN <>!• J U ' U O I U S T MAGIC 19

have im orporated into Ins religion, in the M ah jn srin tu h ikatp a?

whirl» formed part of the extensive Vaipulyasutra literature of the
Buddhists and was probably composed in the first cen tu ry of the
Christian era, we find quite an astonishing number of mantras,
Mudras, Mandata* am! P haranis, which must have taken their
origin in the early centuries H.C., and probably trom the time of
Buddha himself. L a t e r on, in the G iihyasam aja ,* which is c o n ­
sidered a:» the first system atic T ä n tr ic work of the Buddhists, and
which was probably written in the third or the fourth century A.l>.,
we find Buddha saying to the congregation of the faithful, that as
the people were not sufficiently enlightened he did not preach the
T ä n tr ic system when h e was born as the Dipaftkara and Kasyapa
Buddha. In the S ad h an am ala, a T ä n tr ic work containing about
312 small works called Sädhanas, composed by distinguished
writers ot the third to the twelfth centuries A. B. , we find mention
of a fairly large num ber of mantras originating from Huddha
himself .3 Is there, therefore, any room to doubt that the T a n tra s
and mantras, Mudras and Dhäranis, were taught by Buddha
himself to the lay-brethren who believed in their efficacy? F r o m
the Pali literature it can be easily proved that Buddha believed
in the doctrine of Iddhis, or supernatural powers, and he mentioned
four Iddhipadas: C hhando(w il}),V iriyam (effort), Cittam (thought),
and Vimariisä (investigation), which were conducive to the produc­
tion of superhuman powers .4
In the V ivaya P ita k a are recorded two stories which at once
show the popularity of the cultivation of magical powers amongst
Buddha’s own disciples. O n e is the story of Bhäradväja, and
the other the story of a lay-householder, all of whose relatives

1 Published in three volumes in the Trivandrum Sanskrit Series.

* The work is now published as No. LIU in the Gaekwnd’.s Oriental
* See infra, chap. VII.
* R. C. Childers, Dictionary of the Pali Lnnguuge, p. 157
20 .\ N IN’TKOI H ( IfON TO lit D D I I I S T hSOTKKI SM
knew Inm io peit»*rtn nuuy miracles. Below iS given a summary
(i( il»r>o iwi» from ihe l'in aya as they have a direct
Iwaring '«a iho sub;ci t-mallvr of this chapter.
I. ‘A t one lime the Sctlhi ' ( Kajagrha had acquired a block
of >:in<lakv(M»<l of precious ilavour. He had a bowl carved out of
it. put the same in a balance and had it lifted to the top of a
bamboo, which was lied at the lop of a succession of bamboos, and
publicly dec la r e d : 4 If any B rah n u n a or Sr.imatu Uj an Arhat and
possessed of Iddhi, let him lake down the bow!. It is a gift to
i ’urnn Kassapa went to the Setthi and wanted to have the
l»ov\l but the .Setthi asked him to take down the bowl by his
miraculous power. T h e n l lie re came successively Mankhäli
CioMila. A jita Kesakambali. Bakuda K a o ayana, Sanjaya Belalthi-
putia, and N'iggantha Nataputta, all of whom proffered the same
request and received the same reply from the Setthi.
O ne morning it so happened that Mahä Moggaläna find
Bindola Bharadvaja were out for alms in the streets of Kajagrha.
Bharadvaja asked M oggaläna to fetch down the bowl, but as the
latter in his turn requested Bharadvaja to do the same thing.
Bharadvaja, rising up in the air. took the bowl and went thrice
round K ajagrh a in the air.
D irectly the people came to know of this wonderful feat
ot miraculous power, they began following in the steps of Bhärad-
väja with shouts loud and long. T h e Blessed O ne then heard the
w hole story, and rebuked Bharadvaja for wantonly displaying his
miraculous power before the public (or a miserable wooden pot.
T h e Buddha then ruled that whoever should display his super­
human powers before the laity should be guilty of Dukkata, and
that whoever should use wooden bowls should be guilty of

1 S.B.E., Vol. X X , p. 7 8 1.
OU i t ; IN O F DIIDDH IS T MAli lC 21
II. T h e second story' related to the miraculous powers of
ihe whole family of a layman. In the Bhaddiyanagara there was
a householder named Mendaka who, when he had bathed his head,
could fill the empty granary by making showers of grain fall
from the sky.
W h en his wife sat down beside a pint pot and vessel for curry
and sauce, she could serve the serving men with food: and so
long as she did not get up it was not exhausted.
, T h e ir son could take up a bag containing a thousand coins,
and give to each serving man six months' wages: and so long as
as he held it in his hand it was not exhausted.
W h en their daughter-in-law sat down beside a four-bushel
basket, she could give six months' rice to serving m en: and so
long as she did not get up, it was not exhausted.
W h e n their slave ploughed the land with one ploughshare,
seven furrows were formed on the ground.
T h e Magadha king Seniya Bimbisärn came to know about
the miraculous powers of the householder, and* wanted to know
the whole truth about it. H e called his minister and asked him
personally to g o to the Bhaddiyanagara to test the truth of the
rumours. T h e minister accordingly went to the house of Mendaka
and asked him to show his special powers and those of the
members of his family. Mendaka showed the identical feats men­
tioned before, and satisfied the minister and K in g Bim bisära about
the truth of his miraculous powers.

1 Vinaya Pifaka, S.B.E., ’ Mahävagga*, VI, 3 4 -1 -2 .



IN the previous c h a p te r an accou nt has been given of the

state of Bu d d h ist magic, when it was in a more o r less e m b ry o n ic
cond ition. In the presen t c h a p te r an attem pt will be made to
show how the rudim entary form of m a g ic in Buddhism developed
in later tim es owing to a variety of favourable conditions. T h e s e
conditions co m p rise the en fo rcem en t o f s tric t discipline am ong
the m onks, the gradual c h a n g e s in the co ncep tion of em ancipation
in the d ifferen t schools of B u d d h ism , the enorm ou s grow th of
Buddhist literature, the introd u ctio n of the altru istic philosophy
of M ahäyäna— all these factors, though sublim e by nature, exercised
a great influence on the m asses and produced m ost baneful resu lts
which were quite u nexpected. It would be reasonably e xp ected
that the sublim e M ahäyäna philosophy would lead the people to
happiness, prosperity and s a lv a tio n ; but, instead, it led them to
evil and culminated in T a n t r i s m , w hich may ju stly be called a
full-fledged e so te ric system .
It will 1 * rem em bered that from the very start of e a rly
Buddhism till the time when M ahäyänism sp ran g up with all its
brilliance, a very strict d iscipline was enjoined on the follow ers
of the faith. F o r the B h lk su s and the Bh iksunis, who w ere
provided with a haven of rest in the shape of m onasteries,
the rules were s trictly put in to operation. M en and women w ere
very strictly kept a p a r t ; they were never allowed to have any
contact with each other. M en were enjoined to take a vow
«•I celibacy, and the women were asked e ith e r not to m arry o r
to abandon their husbands, relatives and children , if there w ere
any. All kinds of luxuries were forbidden, and variou s foods for
which man has a natural d e sire were e n tirely tabooed. W in e , fish,
t iK O W T II Ol- I’.U I >1>H i.ST M A G IC 23

meat, appetisers, and many sim ilar o b je cts of enjoym ent were
specially forbidden. T h e rules were indeed good, and were very
attractiv e in the time of Buddha, but as they were very unnatural
his followers could be expected to follow them only for a certain
time, but not for centu ries afterwards. I t was wholly absurd to
expect obedience to such strict disciplinary m easures from all
m em bers of the S an g h a even in Bu d d h a's lifetime, to say nothing
of ce n tu rie s after his M ahäparinirväna. Buddha’s was a g rea t p e r ­
sonality, and so long as he was alive the majority of his followers
dared not com m it any o ffen ce by going against his wishes.
But all were not of the same m e n ta lity ; there were monks in
his own time who used to send, co ntrary to his specific injunctions,
wreaths of flowers to wives, daughters, young women and female
slaves, to sit on one seat, lie on one bed, one mat, one coverlet,
with the wives and daughters and young women and female
slaves, to eat food at any time, to drink strong drin ks, to dance, to
sing and play music, and all these together in every combination.
T h e s e m onks must have considered in their minds what the result
would be by forgoing all the pleasures of life, by strictly following
the injunctions imposed on the S a n g h a by Buddha. T h e piom ise
of freedom from births and rebirths may be only a possibility,
and su ccess at best is very questionable. T h i s particu lar set of
m onks, therefore, instead of running after a deluding Nirvana,
violated the rules of discipline and took to worldly enjoym ents.
Buddha was very much perturbed when he heard of the infamous
condu ct of his followers, and sent some of his trusted disciples
to carry out his o rd er of expulsion from the Sa n g h a against these
m o n k s.’ .
T h u s the m em bers of th e S a n g h a must have revolted from
time to time against the unnatilral rules of discipline, and party
q uarrels on such points were already in evidence in the second

1 S.B.E., Vol. X V II, p. 347 f.

24 AN l N T K O h i r C T I O N 'l<> KSOTKRISM

14rc.1 t <m m n l, when the M ahasanghikas were expelled from the

rlm rch f»v the Stlm viras because the latter were unwilling to
make any co n cessio n s on the ten minor points of discipline raised
by the youngsters. Rebellion against the rules on broader and
more important m atters o^uiseiplinc must have been in existence
among the m onks ; but they could not create a party of their own
which would be able to cope sufficiently with the orthodox section,
which was sure to go against them and denounce them as heretics.
T h o s e m onk s, who saw salvation only from leading a natural
life and did not like to forgo the pleasures of the world,
went on devising plans in secret, and probably writing what are
called the original T a n tra s, which were secretly handed down
through successive chains of preceptors and disciples who could
practise the rites only in secret. T h e s e T a n tr a s are in the form
of SafigTtis ,1 and are said to have been delivered by Buddha in an
assembly of the faithful. I t is in this S a n g iti form that all new
ideas, dogmas and philosophical speculations were introduced
into Buddhism, and the Safigltis, we must remember, were very
powerful agen cies in the introduction of innovations.
T h e orthodox followers of the faith were sure to challenge
anything that was not said by Buddha. T h a t seems to be the
reason of the g re a t popularity of the S a n g iti literature. T h e
original T a n t r a s of Buddhism were, therefore, in the Safigiti form,
wherein were inculcated doctrines which were diam etrically
opposed to the teachings of Buddha. E a sy methods leading to
happiness in this world were held out in this literature. E asy
paths leading to salvation were shown. G r e a t parade was made
of the m e rits to be gained by. the repetition of the mantras,
D h ä ranis, an d panegyrics, and by the worship of innumerable
gods and goddesses. B u t everywhere any casual reader can
1 The Sahgitis begin with W l In this
literature Buddha is introduced in an Assembly of the Faithful, where he is
represented as delivering sermons on diverse points of Dharma.
ill Ol J : i M» i >l ! US I* M A C K . >S

(IriL-i K-< d r n e <ni the pari of the au thors to thwart a!) unnatural
i n k s and regulations forcibly chained oil to the followers of
Buddhism. T h e s e disciplinary regulations were gradually relaxed
«>ne .liter anoth er, and ultim ately, when the V a jra y a n is ts gained in
power and got an overw helm ing m ajority, a g enera) revolution
was declared against the orthodox M ahayäna, which in cmitM- o|'
time dwindled to nothingness, as it was pow erless to lighi the
growing d iso rd er am ongst the T a n tr ic s .
It is thus quite cle a r that there was nothing inherently wrong
when Buddha imposed certain moral discipline on his d is c ip le *
On the contrary, they were very attractive in his time. IV oplr
praised them and Buddha got a large n u m ber of co n v ert*. It i>
a most trag ic e v e n t in the history of the subsequent developm ent
of Buddhism , that the s tric tn e s s of discipline actuated a large
section of Buddhists in later tim es to revolt against it and undo
everything that the founder of the religion had attem pted to a cco m ­
plish, and bring about a disgraceful d eg en eration in Buddhism
and weaken its very foundations. Bu t how this degeneration
ho ped the grow th of Buddhist m agic will be shown in the sequel.
T h e r e was a n o th er d istu rb ing factor which htdped the
degeneration of Buddhism , though the factor itself was quite lofty
and laudable. T h i s was the developm ent of the idea of Buddhist
em ancipation, o r N irvana, as it was term ed by Buddha. Buddha
was himself satisfied when the truth of N irvana dawned on h im :
this was a loftier doctrine than any the leading S a n k h y a philo­
sophers of his ag e taught. B u t did he define N ir v a n a ? No.
W h e n e v e r questioned, his usual answ er w a s: ‘ Y o u should
first realize N irvana and then you can know what it is.
You need not know that even. T h e attainm en t of N irvana will
give you freedom from births and rebirths, which means
em ancipation.’ In the first cen tu ry B.C., in the M ilin d a P a h h o l we

1 The Questions oi K in g Milinda, S.B.E., Part II, pp. 186 ff., ‘ Dilemma the
Eighth. The Outward Form of Nirvana.’


find a glowing acco u n t of Nirvana. Bu t there also we d o not meet

with a rcfoience to the condition of the individual when he attains
N irvana. In the first century A .D ., Asvaghosa, in his S a u n d a r a -
n a n d o ' com pares N irvana to the extinction of a flame— as a
lamp goes out when the oil is exhausted, even so the individual is
extinguished when there is no more suffering, or K lesa, to his
credit. T h i s is practically the last word of the H lnayänic
interpretation of Nirvana. W itji the M ahäyänists the interpreta­
tion becam e different. T h e y were not satisfied with the mystic
silence of Buddha on the most important philosophical concept
promised to the followers as a reward for all the moral restrictio ns
practised by them in this life. T h e y wanted to speculate, and
formulated that N irvana is nothing but Sünya, which meant,
according to the Madhyamaka conception, a condition about which
neither existence n o r non-existence, nor a com bination of the two,
nor a negation of the two, can be predicated.* T h i s is the theory
of the great N agarju na— the founder of the M adhyamaka system of
Buddhist philosophy, who flourished in the second century A.D.*
Bu t can this Sü nya, as defined by N agarjuna, satisfy anybody,
even intellectual m en, not to speak of the ignorant m a s se s? It is
a condition sim ilar to a transcendental condition, and. in fact, much
worse truth than th e mystic silence of Buddha.
T h e Y o g acä ras, therefore, came to their rescue. T h e y
retained the term ‘ S ü n y a ’; but formulated that it was not an
empty Sünya, as proposed by the Madhyamakas, but a positive
Sü nya with a positive elem ent of V ijn ä n a .4 People heaved a sigh
of relief. O n the attainm ent of Nirvana, therefore, the individual

1 Ed. Mm. Haraprasad Sastn, in the Bibliothrca /udica, p. 102, XVI, 2 8 ,2 9 .

2 cf. Sa> vadar£a}iasafH%rahay p. 2 3 : R
i Also Ad\ ayavajrasathgraha, p. 19, 11. 21 -2 2 , G.O.S., No. X I«
* Nagarjuna also explained Nirvana by six negatives, cf. Madhyamaka
Kärikä, chap. X X V , Kärikä, 3.
* Yumakami Sagen, Systems of Buddhist Thought, chap. VI.
grow th o f uuddhist m agic 21
neith er attains complete extinction, nor does he go out like a
lamp, nor pass into a condition which cann ot be conceived. T h e
Y o g a c ä ra idea of emancipation satisfied the people for a time. It
is believed that M aitreya was the author of the Y o g a c ä r a school of
S o o n after, a time came when V ijnänaväda also could not
satisfy all. So m e greater brains came forward with a new doctrine,
and introduced it into the conception of Y o gacära. T h is new in-
troduction was known as the M ahasukhavada , 1 and the form
of Buddhism which was based on this Mahasukhavada was known
as V ajrayäna, or the adamant-vchicle. In V ajra v an a Niivana had
three e le m e n ts: ’ Sü nya, V ijnäna and Mahäsitkha.’ T h is triple
combination of Su n y a was termed by them as V a jr a ; Ihm ausc, as
they said, it is firm and sound, unchangeable, unpicrccaklc, im ­
penetrable, incombustible and indestructible.* T h e y formulated
that Su nya is Nirätmä, and a goddess in whose eternal embrace
the individual mind, i.e. the Bodhicitta, or V ijnäna, is locked, and
there remains in eternal bliss and happiness.
It was no fault of original Buddhism that its conception of
Nirvana should take so many shapes and culm inate in Maha­
sukhavada, which would considerably weaken the religion and
plunge Buddhism headlong into the deepest abyss of degeneration.
T h e third factor which, though sublime in its conception,
brougnt about degeneration, is the evolution of the idea of Karunä.
It must be remembered that Buddha advised his followers to
obtain Nirvana for themselve?^ by their own efforts. T h e y should
have nothing to do with others or their su fferings or miseries. It

1 The character of Mahäsukha is described in the Jhänasiddhi, chap. VII.

Sec Two Vajrayäna Works, G.O.S., No. X L IV , p. 57. Also Advayavajra-
sartigraiia, G.O.S., No. X L , intro., p. xxxviii,and p. 50.
1 ^ wnrcihftf aifcnftr * Quoted from
the Yogaratnamälä in the Bauddka Gan O Doha, p. 8 ; also from Vajroitkhara
in the AdvayavajrasatHgraha, op. dt., p. 2 3 , 1 1 , 2 3 - 4 .

wa* d il lm - n t u h r n M ah .n an isn . «.aim- forth later on. with its

dazzling i on« cpiioh of K a n in a , c»r com passion, for all human
brings. I hev designated them selves as M nhayanists, and do*
iM'im« i:d the self-seeking m onks of the old style as I lu m yanisis.
T h e M ahay änists differed from the H in ay a n ists on several
iin|Hirtant points, though for both of them the realization of
N irvana, which leads to the ce ssatio n of stiff 01 ings, was im perative.
But the m ethods followed by the two b ra n c h es of Buddhism
were widely d il'lrien l, if not altog eth er an tag on istic. The
H in ay an ists obtain N irvana, o r the freedom from su fferin g
and the co nsequ ential repetition of births and rebirths, o r
virtually an extin ctio n of self altogether. Bu t it must be re-
niemliorcd that, even if they a re able to gain N irvana, they can n o t
realize the p e ifect truth o r remove the veil which co n ce als
the tran scen d ental t r u t h ; n o r can they im part the knowledge of
salvation to o th e rs. T h e M ahayänists, on the o th e r hand, do not
care for their own s a lv a tio n ; they are m ore solicitou s about the
d eliv eran ce of their fellow-creatures, who are in the g rip of
t o n s t m t su fferin g , than about their own. T h e y are not afraid of
S.uiisara, o r the cy cle of births and rebirths, in the same sense as
the H in ay a n ists a r e ; but th ey a re always ready to u ndergo any
troubles and su fferin g s, if these lead even in a small m easure to
the spiritual uplift of th eir fellow beings. T h e i r com passion for
su fferin g hum anity actuates them to renounce th eir m e rits or
o\en their salvation, and as a reward for this selfless sacrifice they
are able to remove the veil co v erin g the tran scen dental truth, and
becom e o m n isc ien t . 1 T h i s ideal of a M ahäyänist finds expression
in the Karan$at>yU fia? where the example of A v alokitesvara— the

1 Tatlvaxiihgritha of &äntarak$ita, G.O.S., Nos. X X X ,X X X I, pp. 8t»9, 870,

872. Also B. Bhattacharyya, foreword to the above work, pp. xJvii ff.
t Satyavrata SämäSrami’s ed., Calcutta, p. 2 1 :

i fMifain *rrc-?i,TTTW:(tn ?) * srfrrerftm v i f a w

( i Ko v v r i i t u in u D i u s r m.u;hj l x)
alln onipa>sionatc Hodhisattva— is sol up. who refused liis salvation,
though fully entitled to it, until all cre a tu r e s of the world were
in possession of the Hodhi knowledge and obtained freedom from
worldly miseries.
It is said that when A valokitesvara Hodhisattva,1 after obtain­
ing Xirvuna, was about to m erge himself in the eternal Sü n y a
from the summit of the Su m eru mountain he heard an uproar
from a very remote q u arter and became remorseful, l i e sat there
forthwith in intense m editation, and immediately real teed that the
uproar was nothing but the waitings of the people at the dis­
appearance of Avalokitesvara, the all-compassionate Hodhisattva.
In their u tter helplessness at the prospect of losing the support of
A valokitesvara, who was th eir only saviour from their worldly
m iseries and sufferings, they re n t the sk ies with their bitter wail*
ings. A valokitesvara was deeply moved when he came to know
about this, and resolved within himself not to accept his well-merited
em ancipation so long as even a s in g le individual on earth remained
unem ancipated. In the K ä ra n $ a v y ü h a we hear him saying that
he will live and act for the uplift of humanity till the end of
creatio n l>efore m erging him self in Sü n y a . H e will take the form
of Visnu and impart lessons in D harm a to those who worship
h i m ; he will take the form of S iv a in o rd er to impart lessons to
those who worship h i m; he will take the form of G a n esa and
im part lessons to those who worship h i m; he will take the form
of a king in ord er to im part lessons to those who admire
and love their k i n g ; he will even take the forms of father
and m other, in o rd er to teach D harm a to those who worship
th em .2 T h i s theory of K a ru n a was an outstanding feature in the

1 For an account of Avalokitesvara see the notice of the MS. iiuna-

kürandavytiha, in Rajendralal M itras Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of Nepal,
p. 1*5.
8 Kärandavyühay op. cit., pp. 2 1 - 2 2 ; also B. Bhattacharyya, Indian Bud­
dhist Iconography, pp. 32 ff.
30 AN INTROhlTTION IO I t l 11>1)11 I S T K S O T K k ISM

M ahäyana religion, and such a high ideal as A valokitesvara's is

unprecedented in the history any other religion of th e world.
It was no fault of Buddhism that, though it set up such a high
ideal, the result was most disappointing. Buddhism, we should
rem em ber, both in its earlier and later stages of development,
was mostly co ncerned with the masses and people of low castes
with lower d e g ree s of intellectual developm ent. T h e high ideal of
K a n in a was too much for th em ; but every individual follower of
the faith had to associate himself with the theory of K aru nä in
some way or other. Day alter day, without realizing its im por­
tance, they had to resolve that they would devote all their energ ies
and sacrifice everything dear to them for the uplift of humanity.
D ay after day, they had to repeat this pious wish, till after a time
it becam e a m ere convention entirely bereft of its import and
im p o r ta n c e ; and, what is worse, the priests found in this theory
of K aru n ä an e xcu se for the grossest forms of immorality and
law lessness . 1
In the co u rse of time, the literature of the Buddhists of both
the M inayana and Mahäyäna schools had developed to su ch an
enorm ous exte n t that it had become almost impossible to give any
benefit from this literature to the lay-brethren, whose intellectual
faculties were mostly far below the ordinary. T h e priests
held that the perusal of the Buddhist literature was capable
of co n ferrin g great merits on the followers of the faith. T h e
perusal and th e handling ol lengthy works were found difficult
even for those who possessed some intellectual superiority.
It was in response to popular demands that the priests had
to shorten the books to suit popular n erd s. T a k e , for example,
A s ta s ä h a s r ik ä p r a jn ä p ä r a m itä , which is a fairly stupendous

1 cf. ChiitaSodhanaprakarana, in J.A .S.B., L X V II, p. 178:

fw hit f r ö f l f i
fTtTTffcr ^ II

and difficult work for a tolerably learned Buddhist to read

through and understand. It was therefore shortened into the
form of S a/aS /ohi PrajK<if>äramitä> in one hundred stanzas;
and the people were asked to read and memorize it. F o r
many this, too, proved very trying, and it was soon reduced to
a P r o } iu if> aram ilaltrdayam tra — a still shorter form. T h i s was
fu rther shortened into a P r a jn ä p a r a m itä D h ä ran i > in a few
unintelligible words, and this ultimately gave rise to the mantra
of l ’rajnapäram itä. It was given out to the people that if
either the mantra, the Dhararn, the H rdaya S ü tr a or the longer
forms of the work were once recited, the merit to be gained by a
perusal of the com plete Prajnäpäram itä was obtainable. In T ib e t
they made the process still shorter and easier. T h e y prepared
prayer-whecls, in which were contained their favourite books,
sohlered up the covers, and went on tu rnin g the wheels round
and round. T h e i r belief was that by each turn of the wheel the
worshipper gained the merit of perusing the entire literature
contained in the wheel.
W h a t wonder is it that Buddhism should degenerate under
these unfavourable circu m stances, and people should grow m ore
su perstitious by running after e a sier and cheaper methods for
obtaining salvation 1


I r Inis boon soon how prim itiv e Bu ddh ism , as taught by

Buddha. passed th rou gh m any c h a n g e s and underw ent d e g e n e r a ­
tion ow ing to a variety o f c ir c u m s ta n c e s which cro p p ed up in
later times. T h i s d e g en e ra ted form of Bu ddhism is what is called
Y a jr a y a n a , or T a n l r i c B u d d h ism . W e have alread y m entioned
that Bu d d h ism was a ch a lle n g e to, and a repudiation of, e a rlie r
B rah m an ism . It was now the part of T ä n t r i c Bu ddhism to
c h a lle n g e the au th o rity o f Buddha and repudiate th e original
Buddha enforced a large n u m ber o f u nnatural and strict
rules for the g u id a n c e o f his follow ers. A ll kinds of worldly
e n jo y m e n ts were forbidden, especially wine, women, tish, m eat and
all kinds of e x c itin g food. A ll th ese the T ä n t r i c s of the later age
introd u ced in to th eir r e lig io n in the form of live M ak a ras, and
they did so with a v e n g e a n ce , and even went so far as to declare
that w ithout these e m a n cip a tio n was im possible.
W i t h regard to Bu ddha, they said that he was only an ordinary
mortal Buddha, and it was th rou gh him that the etern al tru th of
Bu ddhism cam e to the w orld. T r u t h is the all-im portant factor
in Buddhism . Buddha served only as a post-ofnee, as many
o th e r Bu d d h as had done previously and will do in future.
T h u s Buddha lost his im p o rta n ce in the religion founded and
prcat lied by him. T h e y form u lated the th eory of the five P h y a n i
B u d d h a s,1 each with a S a k t i attached to him, as presid in g o ver the

1 This theory was for the first time formulated in the ( iuhyasatnitia, first
chapter, now published in the Gnek wad’s Oriental Series.
R IS K O K V A ]K A Y Ä N A 33

live SkamlUas» or e le m e n ts .1 T h e s e I >hyani Buddhas are a pecu liar

class of Buddhas, who are eternal and have not to pass through
the lower stages of the Bodhisattva.* T h e D hyäni Buddha and
the S a k t i b r in g forth a num ber of Bodhisattvas, who look a fter
creatio n . U n d e r the regim e of each B o dhisattva e ig h t mortal
B u d d h as are required to appear in the world, to preach the
d o ctrin e s and help the people to em ancipate them selves. F r o m
this, the position occu pied by Buddha in later days c a n be easily
com prehended.
T h e n th ere is the theory of em ancipation. B u d d h a did not
lik e to define N irvana, and whenever questioned on this point he
rem ained silent. T h e T ä n t r ic s defined N irvana as S u n y a ,
V ijn ä n a and M ahasukha, and explained the co n d itio n of the
Bodhi-m ind in N irvana as in the em b ra ce of a woman. T h e
T ä n t r i c s associated them selves with a nu m ber of women, whom
they designated as S a k tis , and th eir union was term ed Y o g a ,
which they said was a powerful agen cy for the a tta in m en t of
salvation. In the. earlier Buddhism in stru c tio n s were g iv en to
individuals to attain N irvana. T h e N irvana was e n tire ly narrow
in its o utlook, which made the priests self-seeking and regard less
of the su fferin g s of th eir fellow crea tu res. T h e theory of K a r u n ä
was a d ire ct ch allen g e to this form of N irväoa. B u t the T ä n t r i c s ,
who w ere leading lives o f g r e a t sin and im m orality, found in the
th eory of K aru n ä, o r sclf-sacrifice, an e x cu se for th e ir heinous
d o ing s. T h e Bodhisattva, they stated, is daily m aking untold
sacrifices for su fferin g hu m anity,and, th erefore, th ere is no th ing that
he should not do,* m eaning thereby that the th eo ry of K a ru n ä g iv es
him a blan k c h a r te r for com m i tting all kinds of heinous o ffen c es and
v iolating all laws, human o r divine. T h e y form ulated the theory th a t

1 cf. Jndnasiddki, op. cit.:

w f v i fa n : w -
* Kern, Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 64.
* J.A.S.B., Vol. LXVII, p. 178; m f a
34 \N I N -1 !.•• >1 ! •( »N J O Ili-i/DitlST KSOTKRJ.SM

these three worlds have l>een created by the H o ld e r uf the T h u n d e r -

bole lor the e n jo y m en t and benefit of the w o rsh ip p ers .1 T h e y fu rther
said that one who strives after salvation should always e n jo y
IV ajiiaparam ita, o r the perfect tru th. T h i s Hrajna, they said»
resides in e v e ry woman on earth» and th ey should be enjoyed
without reservation. Good, bad, ind ifferent, diseased and depraved,
all are welcome to him. N o d istinctio n should be made between
women of h ig h e r ca stes or lower castes, and no women, even those
closely related, should be allowed to e scap e.* T h e i r favou rite
slogan w a s :
W 1 to $ TOÄförafRfa I
t o * «IR t o toft t o r t o ii

Hy th o se identical a ctio n s by w hich m o rtals rot in hell

for hu ndreds of c ro r e s of cy cle s , the Y o g in is liberated.*

T h e T a n t r i c s had many th in g s w hich, when bro u g h t to

public notice, were likely to give a rude sh o c k to the people at
larg e. In o th e r words, secrecy was their k ey n o te in the b eg in ­
ning, till the p ra ctice s en jo in ed in the T a n t r a s were widely cu rren t.
In the G u ftyasam aja th ere are many practices which can n o t be made
public until the ground is prepared to receiv e them. T h u s the
T a n t r a went in to private hands, and was tra n sm itte d in the most
se cret m a n n er possible throu gh an u n b ro k e n chain of g u ru s and
disciples, till it gained cu r re n c y after a bout 3 0 0 y e a rs ,4 mainly
through the te a ch in g s and m ystic songs of th e 8 4 Sid dhapu ru sas
and their disciples, and all those who cam e into intimate co n ta ct
with them. T h e s e M ahäsiddhas mostly belong ed to the seventh,

1 Prajnopäyaviniicayasiddhi, in Two Vajrayäna Works, G.O.S., No. XLIV ,

p. 23, verse 33.
* Prajnopäyaviniicayasiddhi, op. cit., p. 22 verses 22, 23 ff.
5 Jhänasiddhi, op. cit-, p. 31, SI. 15.
4 This appears evident from a statement in Täränätha referred to by
Kern in his Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 133. Täränätha, p. 201.
eigh th and ninth ce n tu rie s of the C h ristian E r a ,1 at a time when
V a jia y a n a had already m ade great headway and was alm ost casting
into the shade the original and the purer form of the Buddhist
religion. T h e y wrote in a language which was designated by them
as the Sandhyäbhäsä, o r the twilight language, m eaning thereby
that the co n ten ts may be explained e ith e r by the light of day or by
the darkness of night. T h e songs composed by the M ahäsiddhas
were all written in this language, which had always a hidden or a
m ystic meaning.
It has been made abundantly cle a r that V a jr a y ä n a was
a direct development o f the Y o g ä c ä ra philosophy of Mahäyäna
Buddhism, which was started by M aitreyanätha in th e third century
A.l>. A c co rd in g to Y o g ä c ä r a , the world, as we see it, has no
existence. It is the creatio n of the mind o r th e momentary
co nsciou sness which is real. T h e worldly phenom ena, a cco rd ­
ing to Y o g ä c ä ra , are like a dream o r as if set up by magic.
A ll individuals are composed of a chain of m om entary c o n scio u s­
ness, which passes through a series of births and rebirth s until it
is emancipated, when b irth s and rebirths cease. T h e realization of
Sünya, they said, leads to the attainm ent of om niscien ce, or the
quality of knowing all th in g s. T h e y formulated that th ere are two
kinds of o b stru ctio n s ,2 which, when destroyed by th e realization of
the voidness of the universe, lead to the attainm ent o f om niscience.
T h e first is called the KleSävarana, or the o b stru ction of sufferings,
and the second is the Jneyävarana, or the obstru ction hiding the
transcendental truth. S u f f e r in g s are feelings such as attachm ent,
antipathy, etc., which a r e indeed hindrances to know ing a thing as
it is. T h e other obstru ction is the want of perfect knowledge or
the highest truth, and th e inability to impart that tru e knowledge
to others for their benefit. T h e first kind of veil or obstruction
can be removed only by the realization of the voidness of the

1 See infra, chap. V III.

* Foreword to T ativasathgraha, op. cit., p. xlvii.

universe, T h e feelings o f aiinchm ent, hatred, etc., indeed result

in the first kind of o b s tru c tio n ; and these im pure feelings are
caused n o t by external o bjects, but by the constant practice of
thinking of the E g o as real. T h e realization of Nairatm ya destroys
the E g o and its connexion with the surrounding o b jects, which
are unreal, as also the feelings of attachm ent, antipathy, etc.,
which are only the outcom e of thinking the E g o real. T h e
constant meditation on N airatm ya lem oves the veil and the
a>cctic is then, after considerable practice, able to discover that
everything is void. T h i s kind of intense meditation leads to
the realization of N airatm ya of the universe in a way very similar
to a m an ’s perception of a lovely damsel about whom he is
co nstantly th in k in g and keenly meditating. If constant thinking
about the E g o and its connexion with the o b je ctiv e world is
once destroyed by the realization of Nairatmya, it will not possibly
again come up in that chain of V ijn än a or consciou sness. T h e
S ra v a k a s and Pratyekas, who are mortally afraid of the cy cle of
existence and desire em ancipation only for the self, stand always
in need of this kind of meditation for extinction of the E g o alto­
g eth er from their chain of V ijn ä n a . T h e M ahäyänists, who, on the
o th e r hand, were imbued with their unbounded feelings of com*
passion for su ffering humanity and who were always prepared
to help all beings troubled with g reat suffering, were induced by
their feeling of com passion to practise this kind of meditation for
the realization of N airatm ya. B u t between the H ln ay a n ist and
the Mahäyänist th ere is only this d ifferen ce— that, while the H ina-
yänist is selfish, the M ahäyänist is selfless in the m atter of
removing the first kind of veil by meditation on the N airatm ya of
the external world.
T h e second kind of obstruction, namely, the veil covering
the transcendental truth, can only be removed by constant
meditation on N airatm ya with great reveren ce and without
cessation. B y m editating thus the veil is removed and the
K JS K Ol* V A JK A Y A N A 37

ascetic becom es o m n is c ie n t; and in this lies the most funda­

mental d ifferen ce between the H in a y än a and M ahäyäna. T h o u g h
the S rä v a k a s and P raty ekas are able to realize N airätm ya,
they cannot obtain om niscien ce, because of their inability to
identify them selves with the universe as th e M ahayänists are
able to do from their unbounded com passion for su fferin g
humanity. T h e H inayäna, or the lower v ehicle, therefore, is
an easier path leading to salvation, but the M ahäyäna, or the
g r e a te r vehicle, is much m ore difficult inasm uch a s it involves a
g rea t self-sacrifice without the prospect of o b tain in g any reward.
F o r even when, by the removal of the veil o£ Jneyavarana, o m nis­
cie n ce is attained, they are required to em ploy all their religious
m erit for the uplift of su ffering humanity and until all creatu res
of the world obtain salvation. W it h the deliverance of the world
and with the em ancipation of the inm ates of Sa m sä ra , all Bodhi-
sattvas may en te r N irvana and be emancipated.
In ord er to define more clearly certain principal tenets, it is
proposed to give h ere a su ccin ct summary of a highly technical
V a jra y ä n a work, entitled the P ra jn o p ä y a v in ü c a y a sid d h i ,* co m ­
posed by A naftgavajra, one of the 84 Sid d h äcäry as, who flourished
at about the end of the seventh century A.l). In the first chap ter
the author defines Bhava, or existence, which o rigin ates from false
reflections, or the reflection (K a lp a n ä ) of th e worldly phenom ena
as real. E x is t e n c e gives rise to manifold su fferin g s and to a large
nu m ber of a ctio n s and their results. F r o m them originate
birth and death and a variety of such su fferin g s. S o long as the
people of the universe consider its outward m anifestations as
really due to ignorance, they n eith er do good to them selves nor to
the people at larg e. I t is for this reason that the followers of
Buddhism , who a r e bent upon e m an cip atin g the three worlds,
should abandon th e reflection of reality. O n c e reality is abandoned,

’ Published in the Gaekwad’s Oriental Series, under the title Two

Vajrayäna Works.

o n e should not g o to the oth e r e x trem e and think of everything as

u nreal. G ra n tin g that there is d ifferen ce between the two, in the
co g n itio n there exists no such d iffe ren ce. I t is b e tte r to take the
world as real rather than to reflect on every thin g as unreal,
because the lamp which is burning can go o u t ; but how can it be
extinguished in N irvana when it is not b u r n in g ? R eflection
of reality should be abandoned, because it is like m a g i c ; so also
that of unreality, because it is non-existent. W h e n the conception
of unreality is abandoned, it gives rise to a state which is neither
Saiftsära nor N irvana. R ealization of the voidness (Sü ny atä) of all
worldly phenomena, after careful d ifferen tiation between know­
ledge and the o b je ct of knowledge, is what is know n a s the highest
knowledge, or the knowledge of P rajn a . C om passion is of the
na tu re of affection ( R i g a ) , as it removes su ffe rin g s (R a n ja ti)
which sprin g up from num berless causes. C om passion is called
U päya, or means, because it always, like a boat, leads him
towards the goal. T h e co m m in g lin g of the tw o — P r a jn a and
U p äya— is like the co m m in g lin g of water and milk ; in it the
duality is m erged into one without distinction and is called
Prajnopäya. T h i s Prajnopäy a is th e creative prin ciple of the
universe, and everything em erges and develops from this principle.
I t is called M ahäsukha, because it gives e te rn a l happiness, and
is know n as Sam antabhadra, as it is wholly auspicious.
T h e second chap ter o p e n s .w ith the re m a rk that perfect
know ledge cann ot be defined, as it is dependent m ore o r less on
self-realization, and, therefore, previous teach ers have not attem pt­
ed any definition in the num erous S ü trä n ta s, or w o rk s on mantras
and their practices. P e rfe ct knowledge can only be obtained from
a qualified preceptor, and w ithout him, how ever much one may
try , one ca n n o t g et il T h u s the w orshipper fails to attain
su cce ss , as a field, though well-tilled, cann ot produce if the seed
is wanting. I t is, therefore, very necessary that a p recep to r well-
v erscd in the T ä n t r ic lore should be served and worshipped with
I: I S K <»i- Y . ' I K . ’. V\NA

g r e a t devotion, so t»ut the knowledge may bs attained eventually

and perfection may lie gained. A s the Siiry ak anta (sun-crystal)
jew el bu rns when i* co m es >n c o n ta c t with the rav.s ol 3he sun, so
also the C itta (mind) jewel of the disciple suddenlv bursts into
flames when it co m es in c o n ta c t with the preceptor, who, aftm
having realized the truth, radiates stro n g rays of knowiedo»-.
T h e third ch a p te r deals with the initiation of the disciple
into Prujnopaya. T h e p re ce p to r is to be approached by the
d is d p lc in the com pany of the M .iham udrä (the great woman),
who appears ch a rm in g in outward appearance auo is profusely
decked in o rnam ents. T h e n the disciple worships the p receptor
with a long panegyric, and at the er.d en tre ats the g u ru to g rant
him initiation, so that he may l>c regarded as belonging to the
family { M a ) of the Buddhas as their o ffsp rin g . '1 he preceptor,
a s a m ark of g rea t favour, then g ra n ts the requisite initiation, after
asso cia tin g the disciple in the p re sen ce of the assembly with the
M ahäm u d rä previously described F u r th e r on, the guru gives
him the five S am a y as and im parts instru ctio ns on Sam v ara , or
restraint, imposed on a Bodhisattva. T h e initiated disciple th ere ­
upon pays his co m p lim en ts to th e p re ce p to r for th is a c t of great
kindn ess, w hich has g iv en him the much-longed-for freedom from
s u ffe rin g , and tak es a solem n vow to place beings in the three
w orlds in the sp h ere of Buddha-hood after o btain in g it himself.
In the fourth ch a p te r the au thor dilates on the meditation of
P rajn o p äy a. T h i s co n sis ts of the m editation on som ethin g which
is neith er S tin y a n o r its opposite, n o r a negation of the two. By
the a cce p ta n ce of S u n y a .o r A su n y a, numerous false constructions
arise , and in their attem pted abandonm ent the determ ination to
abandon them arises. T h e r e f o r e both th ese should be given up.
In the a tte m p t to abandon both S ü n y a tä and the determ ination
also, the co g n ition o f self b eco m es predominant. T h e re fo r e , all
such methods should be given up. T h e worshipper should
think him self as u nchan gin g, absolute, nam eless, stainless,
40 AN i N T K U I ’ l C I J ON IO i l d I>I I I I S I KSOIKKISM

without a beginning o r an end, like the sky. T h e co m p assion­

ate Hodhisattva »hnuld r o t neg lect beings in misery, nor
should he think whether they e x ist or not. T h e P ra jn ä is
so called because it does not adm it of transform ation, and the
K r p ä (com passion) is so called because it tries to do good to
all beings, like the C intam ani jew el. T h e I’ rajiia is a b so lu te ;
K rp ä , o r com passion, is absolute. T h e y both co m m in g le to­
g e th e r in co g n ition . W h e n this co m m in g lin g takes place, there
is n eith er the know er, nor the know ledge, n o r the o b je ct of
k n o w le d g e ; and that is exactly what is called th e highest know­
ledge. T h e r e is n e ith e r any d o e r nor en jo y er, because it is free
from the know ledge of eith er the doer o r the enjo yer. I t is called
the knowledge of the g reat :ru th . I n th is there is no receiv er, no
giv er, no o b je ct to be given, no o b je ct to be taken. T h o s e who
have realized this g re a t truth a cq u ire in n u m erable attainm ents,
even while doing o rd in ary things su ch as seeing, hearing, talking,
laughing and eating, o r when th e ir attention is otherw ise diverted.
T h i s truth is also know n as non-duality, the Bodhi-m ind, thunder­
bolt o r V a jra s a ttv a , the enlightened one o r the enlightenm en t.
T h i s is also known as P rajn äp ära m itä , the em bodim ent of all
P äram itäs, o r S a m a t i o r equality, o r the best o b je c t of meditation
for all classe s of the Buddhas. In this, the world with its movable
and immovable ob jects, takes its o rigin , and from this sp rin g forth
the innum erable Bodhisattvas, Sam buddhas and S rä v a k a s. T h e
a sce tic should meditate on this, leaving aside the co n stru ctio n s
of reality and non-reality; and whoever is able to ca st off
reality and non-reality attains p e rfectio n quickly. B y thus shaking
o ff sin s h e b e co m e s free from su fferin g s, and a ttain s countless
qualities which a re excellent and co n d u ce to en lig htenm en t.
T h e au thor then gives us two ch a rm in g verses describing
Sa ih sa ra and N irvana, and in fact th ese two in a g rea t measure
point to the heig ht to which V a jr a y ä n is ts had reached in the
m atte r of transcendental philosophy. S a m sä ra is defined a s :
R I S K O l' V A JK A Y A N A 41

JfVT^r'RrTdf^f^ ^ I

f^-Tf ft ii'

T h e holder of the th un derbolt defines S a m sä ra a s the

condition of the mind which is overw helm ed with the d ark ­
ness arising out of num erous false co n stru ctio n s, is as fleeting
a s the lightning in a storm , and is besm eared with the dirt of
attachm ent, etc., not easily removable.

N irvana he defines again as a d irectly opposite condition of

the mind :* ^

*nxr *
Prcfarcr svn? u1

f i e also said that the e x c e lle n t N irvana is a n o th e r c o n ­

dition of the mind, which is b rig h t with purity, is free from
all false c o n stru ctio n s and the d irt of attachm en t, e tc., which
does not know and c a n n o t be known, and is eternal.

In the fifth ch a p te r p ractical hints a re given to the disciple

with regard to ce rta in T ä n t r i c practices, called the T a ttv a c a ry ä ,
for the attainm en t of salvation. T h i s T a ttv a c a ry ä , the author
says, is adored even by the g reatest H ind u g od s like M urari,
Siva, In d ra and K u b e r a ; and by c a r r y in g on these practices

1 o p . c i t , p. 18 , £ 1. 22 .
2 This definition reminds us of the well-known differentiation made by
Nagarjuna in his Madhyamaka K ä rik ä :

P w fw * *n ^ I
•t tjqw uft font n
— chap. X X V , Kärikä 2*».
* op. c it, p. 18, i t 23.


sy stem atically the T a th ä g a ta s o btain ed the highest em ancipation.

T h e practices co n sist in the o b serv a n ce of the d iffe ren t rules
pointed o ut in the M antrayana, nam ely the Sam ayas, the five
n ectars, partaking the F rad ip a (o rd u re s) and the co nstant
co m p an y of women, who are the d iffe re n t form s of P rajn äp ära m itä
on earth.
T h e au thor fu rth er on points o u t that through en jo y m en t
a lo n e the a sce tic can attain p e rfectio n in one life, provided that
h is m ind is directed towards the B o d h i, and if he is able rig htly to
p e rce iv e the inn er nature of the outw ard phenom ena of the world
as void, and if he m akes ce a seless e ffo r ts to relieve the d is tr e s s of
all bein g s. If the world is realized as no th ing but a dream , o r as
if s e t up by m agic, and if the mind is free from all false reflections
and is pure by nature, then it is faced with no o bstru ction
for o b ta in in g the Bodhi. T h e a u th o r co n clu d e s by say ing that
th ose who look upon profit and loss, honour and insult, m isery
and happiness, blam e and praise with the sam e eye, who are free
fro m all false co n stru ctio n s, a r e alw ays com passionate towards
w orldly beings, and a re the follow ers of the v ehicles of the C aryä,
o b ta in Bodhi without any difficulty.
F r o m the fo reg o in g it c a n be e a sily seen that V a jra y ä n a took
into a cco u n t all the best philosophical te n e ts and theories, and, in
fact, incorporated all that was best in Bu ddh ism , and probably in
H in d u is m also, and it was ow ing to th is fact that it attained g re a t
popu larity. I t satisfied e v e r y b o d y : th e cu ltu red and the u n cu ltu r­
ed, th e pious and the habitual sin n e rs, and the lower and the
h ig h e r rank s of people and devotees. V a jra y ä n a , which outwardly
appeared to be a very dem oralizing religion , and went ag a in st all
the te a ch in g s of Buddha and of the g r e a t p atria rch s of Buddhism ,
becam e extrem ely popular, sim ply b e ca u se it was able to c a te r for
all ta s te s and b ecau se it was co sm o p o lita n in ch aracter.


I t i.s difficult to suggest the exact place where T än trism

originated. T h e introduction of Sakti worship in religion is so
un-Indian that we are constrained to admit it as an externa)
or foreign influence. Some of the T a n tra s also support this view .1
Hut these T a n trics, who incorporated Sakti worship into their
religion, had some strongholds of their own from which the
T a n tr a s were disseminated amongst the Indian people and
bc'.amc popular. In the S äd h an am älä2 \vc find mention of four
Pithas, o r sacred spots, of the Vajrayänists, nam ely: Kämäkbyä,
Sirihaita, Pürnagiri and Uddiyäna. T h e identification of the first
two is certain. Both ate situated in the province of Assam.
Käm akhyä is now known as Käm äkhyä or Kämarüpa, which is
only a few miles distant from Gauhati, the capital of Assam.
Sirihaita is the modern Sylhet. B u t the identification of the two
others has given rise to much speculation and theorising. Pürna­
giri is sometimes identified with the modern P o o n a ; but this is
very doubtful, though at this stage it is extremely difficult to
suggest any identification.* Ud^iyäna is by far the most frequently
1 See N epal Catalogue, Vol. II, p. 148, under *SodaSanityatantra ’ :
<FI w S tw w f I
tfWl 3 ^ 4*^ 4*^1 M
Also op. citMVol. I, preface, pp. lxxviii ff. That the Tantra came fn»m
outside India is suggested by the verse:
<4 4*f aiM tm i *4 n
* pp. 453, 455.
* Mr. H. E. Stapleton, Director of Public Instruction, Bengal, who was
very intimately connected with Assam, suggested to me that Purnrtgiri may
very conveniently be identified with the ancient site of Pupyatirtha, in Assam.
44 an in t r o d u c t io n to u c d d h is t k s o t k k is m

mentioned am ong the four Pithas, and its e xa ct situation has been
a m atter of great co n trov ersy . W a d d e ll 1 identified Uddiyäna
with U d yan a in the S w a t valley. . T h e T ib e t a n scholar, S . C . D as,
followed in his footstep s .2 M . Sy lv ain L e v i would place Uddiyäna
som ewhere in K a sh g arh . M m . H arap rasäd S ä s t r i definitely id en­
tifies Uddiyana with O rissa . In view of this wide d iv e rg e n ce of
opinion am ongst sch o lars of high reputation, it is necessary to
enter into the question in detail and exam ine it carefully. In d ra-
bhüti is described as a Wing of U ddiyana, and G u ru Padm asam-
bhava, who went to T i b e t to help S ä n ta r a k sita in founding the
great m onastery at S a m y e , is described as the son of Indrabhuti.*
Padm asam bhava m arried a s iste r of S ä n ta ra k sita in the la tte r ’s
native place at Z a h o r ,4 when driven away by his father (Ind rabh u ti)
for killing some of his favourite su b je cts. T h i s Z ähor is identified
with the modern village of S a b h a r , in the d istrict of D a c c a in
E a s te r n Beng al.* S ä n ta ra k s ita belonged to the royal family of
Zähor, and, therefore, it is hardly possible that the k in g of this
place would allow his dau g hter to be m arried to an unknown
vagabond, who cam e from su ch a d istan t place a s K ash g arh , o r
Udväna in Sw at, being driven out of the kingdom. T h i s m a rriag e
can be explained only if U d diyäna and Zähor a r e taken to be
nearer to each other. M oreov er, U d diyäna is m entioned along
with K ä m ä k h y ä and Sirih atta , which, as we can see, are very near
each o t h e r ; and it is hardly possible that U d diyana would be
associated in Bu d d h ist books with the o th e r two if the distance
were very considerable.*

1 Lam aism , p. 380.

2 S. C. Das wrongly writes Udyana for Uddiyäna, as he might have
thought the two to be definitely identical.
2 Lam aism , p. 380.
4 op. c i t, p. 382. Za-hor is identified by Waddell as Lahore, with a query
after it.
5 I am indebted to Mr. N. K. Bhattalali for this identification.
4 cf. Waddell, op. citn p. 382: ‘and to the cemetery of LaAkä (crtsegs-pa),
T M K l'LACE Oh' O R I G I N 45

[ Jd<liy;ina, acco rd in g io the authority of the P a g ;S a m J o n Z a n tl

is the place where T ä n t r ic Buddhism first developed. In the
history of the 84 Siddhas,* Ucjdiyana is described a s a
country containing 5 0 0 ,0 0 0 towns, and divided into two k in g ­
doms. In one, called Sam bhala, Indrabhüti r u le d ; while
the other, Laftkapuri,” was in the occupation of Jalendra, whose
son had for his wife Ind rabh ü ti’s sister, Lak$mTnkara. W h e n she
tacninc a Siddha, after being initiated by Indrabhüti, the latte r
retired after handing o v e r the kingdom to his son.
T h is also does not c le a r up our difficulties; but the identi­
fication <.'1 Uddiyäna becom es dependent on that of Lan kap uri,
which is generally identified with e ith er a peak in the A m arakan-
taka mountain, o r a place in A ssam o r C entral India o r C e y lo n .4
But L an ka has never been even remotely considered in the
northernmost or the w esternm ost part of India, such as e ith e r
Kashgarh or S w at. Now, if we accept the identification of L a n k a
in Assam, then Ud<Jiyana will have to be located in the same
country, probably in th e western part of i t ; and this se em s to
be more likely, as K ä m äk h y ä and S y lh e t a re both situated
in Assam, which until recently formed part of the province of
Moreover, L u ip ä, who i s regarded as o n e of the e a rliest
Siddhacaryas, is described in the P a g S a m J o n Z an %as a m em b er
of the fisherman caste who rose to be the w riter in the em ploy of
the king of U & liy än a and was then known as Sam anta£ubha. H e
met Sabaripä, who initiated him into the m ysteries of T ä n tr is m .

in the Za-bor, where be was named “ Padmasambhava Note this Lanka was a
part of the kingdom of UddiyÄna.
' op. a t , index, p. c x l l
* J'äränäJha, p. 325.
1 Note in Waddell, op. c i t , p. 382, Lanka is associated with Z4-hor.
4 Vol. II, June, p. 354.
* op. d t , index, p. cxv.

In the T a n g y u r catalog u e 1 L u ip ä is characterized as a Mahäyogi-

svara, and, what is important, as a Bengali.
Lu ipä composed a number of songs in the Bengali language,
which have been discovered and published in the H auddha. G ä n
O D o h a ? with a short accou nt of the author and his songs in the
introduction. L u ip ä seems to have composed a book of songs,
entitled the L u h ip a d a g itik h %which is now preserved in T ib e ta n
translation only, and from which only a few songs are extant in
the original language.
T h e r e is then an apparent discrepancy in the two statements
of the native place of L u ip ä . T h e testimony of the P a g S am Jo n
Z an would take it to U d diyäna; while the T a n g y u r catalogue will
have it in Bengal. T h e r e is, however, no real discrepancy i a the
two statements, because L u ip ä can both belong to Uddiyäna and
still be a Bengali. O n the circu m stances enum erated above, and
the identification of Uddiyäna not being settled, it is quite possible
to locate it in B e n g a l. If, however, L an k ä p u ri— the counterpart of
Uddiyäna— is located, according to Prof. Jaco bi, in A ssam , then
Uddiyäna also will have to be located in Assam , possibly in the
western part of it, which is also a part of Bengal.*
It is, then, in Uddiyäna that T ä n trism first developed, and
was probably transmitted to the other Pithas, Käm äkhyä, Sirihatfa
and P ürn agiri (which m ust be somewhere near), and thence to
the rest of India.
1 P. Cordier, Catalogue du Ponds T ib i tain de la Bibliothlqut Nationale,
2 partie, p. 33, under No. xii, 8.
3 Published by the Vangiya Sähitya Pari$ad, Calcutta, under the editor­
ship of Mm. Haraprasäd Sästri. See intro., p. 20.
* In the Sädhanamälä, pp. 80 and 83, Sarahapä is also associated with
Uddiyäna. This Sarahapä was one of the earliest Siddhäcäryas. In the
Bauddha Gän O Doha are recorded a number of his songs, composed in the
Bengali language. He is said to have been bom in the Kingdom of Rajhi (?),
in Eastern India.


B o r n Hindus and Buddhists were alike prolific writms i>

the Tantras, and the extant literature on them is wonderfully
extensive. O ne of the reasons why the word T a n tra rann.»
be defined, but can only be described, is Ijecnuse of the fac
that an astonishing number of subjects comes within it:
purview, not to speak of its own numerous subdivisions. The
Buddhist T a n tr a s in outward appearance resemble the Hindi
T a n tra s to a marked degree, but in reality there is very lil
similarity between them, either in the subject matter c»r in t-n
philosophical doctrines inculcated in them, or in religious prin
triples. T h is is not to be wondered at, since the aims and objed
of the Buddhists are widely different from those of the Hindu*
It is difficult to determine when and under what circum stances ih*
word T a n tra came to be employed in the sense in which it is u s *
in this literature; nor is it possible to trace the origin of th
T a n tr a s or of the people who first introduced them« T o any carefu
student of T ä n tr ic literature it will be evident that when magic.;
practices become extremely popular with one section -if India
population the other sections take then» up and in« m pniui
them into their religion, mostly in a modified form t*> suit lh«*i
own requirements and te n e ts; and this process of emergence an
relapsing goes on continually. T h e V ed ic sacrifices, as performs
by the orthodox Brähmanic society in the very earliest time:
attracted a large number of converts from among the Vralyn<
and it can be very easily imagined, from the practice obtaining i
the present time, that people in those days looked upon the satr
fices, and the Brahmanas performing them, with superstitious aw
and reverence. T h e sacrifices were at one time very popula

specially in the pre-Buddhistic p e r io d ; and, as a m atter of fact, no

undertaking of any consequence was hazarded without a sacrifice
immediately preceding it. Sacrifices were performed mostly for
obtaining happiness in this, the next, and future lives. T h e results
of these sacrifices could, under the circum stances, never be ascer*
tained with scientific regularity, and it appears, therefore, all the
more strange that sacrifices, even in modern times, should lie so
popular in So u th ern India, especially in T ra v an co re , and that we
should hear even now of sacrifices being performed on a gigantic
scale and at an enorm ous cost. Buddhism cam e in when sacrifices
were the o rd er of the d a y ; when numerous animals were immo­
lated and eaten in monstrous assem blies. In A so k a ’s time also we
find sacrifices and the free use of meat in the assemblies very
popular. T h a t the very first of a iong series of rock-edicts of ASoka
should deal with the stoppage of such assem blies displays the great
influence sacrifices, with their cooked meat, exercised on the
minds of the Indian population, including the Brähm anas. I t is
no wonder, therefore, that, on the dism em berm ent of the Mauryan
em pire, the sacrifices prohibited by the great Buddhist em peror
should be revived with g reat vigour under the Säm avedi Sungas,
who performed two sacrifices' on a grand scale in the very capital
of the king who had insulted the orthodox sacrifice. T h o u g h
Buddha was antagonistic to all sorts of sacrifices, necromancy,
sorcery or magic, he is credited, nevertheless, with having given
instructions concerning M udräs, Mandalas and T a n tr a s, etc., so
that by virtue of these prosperity in this world could be attained
by his less advanced disciples, who seemed to care more for this
world than for the N irvana preached by him. India in Buddha’s
time was so steeped in superstitions that any religion which dared
forbid all kinds of magic, sorcery and necromancy could hardly
hope to withstand popular opposition. A clev er organizer, as
1 J.B.O.R.S., K. P. Jayaswal, ‘An Inscription of the &unea Dynasty ,
Vol. X , p. 205.
T U r. T A N T K A S 45

Buddha was, he did not fail to notice the im portance of incor

jx u a tin g magical p ractices in his religion to make it popular froir
all |>oints of view and a ttra ct more adh erents thereby. IJp ti)
now we were ignorant of B u ddh a’s altitude towards th e T a n tric
practices, excep tin g a few m eagre references in Tali literature
and were unable to d eterm in e the time of th eir introduction ir
Buddhism. B u t S ä n ta ra k sita (a .B . 7 0 5 - 7 6 2 ) and h is discipU
Kanmlnsila brought out this co n n exio n very forcibly in thi
T attu xsom graha1 and its com m entary, stating fully the reason?
which made Buddha incorporate them in his system . The
T a n t r a s and the m antras have been practised by the Buddhist;
since the time of B u d d h a ; but, unfortunately, we do not posses*
any connected accou nt of them. W e only know that a few work;
on the O häranis must have been in existence early in the
Ijcgitming of the C hristian era. The D h a ra m s arc onl)
unm eaning strin g s of words, which are said to co n fer g rea
merit when m uttered rejxiatedly. T h e n com es th e worship
of Buddha in the P r a jn a fiir a n iiu f, with all the paraphernali;
of worship, such as is to be found in the T ä n t r ic worship
for obtaining worldly happiness. T h e n follows the dilferen
recensions of the P r a jn ä p ä r a m t fä : the S u tra , the Ilrd a y asu tr;
with its D haranls and mantras, recitations of all of which are ab)«
to confer the benefit pf reading the whole of the P r a jn a p a ra m ita
C ontem poraneous with the P r a jn ä p ä r a m i/ä is the M a n ju sn m u fa
where M anjusri in a princely form is worshipped in :
Mandala, with all the paraphernalia of worship and an immens*
number of M udräs, m antras and DharanTs. L a t e r on, in th*
G v iiy asam äja , the five D hyäni Buddhas, with a S a k ti attached t<
each, are found described in a Marujala, and a num ber of secre
and immoral practices introduced.
O n the side of H induism , the P aurän ic literature attracted

1 op. c it, p. 90S. * »


large mindicr of people, by its wonderful sto rie s holding out a

prom ise ol an award of m erits to be gained by h e arin g it, and
p ractisin g the rites and o bserv ances recom m ended therein, and
worshipping the gods d escribed in it. T h e P u rän as in a very
popular form continu ed to wield vigorously their influence
on the m inds of only th e su p erstitiou s people of India, rig ht up
to the time of the M uham m adan c o n q u e s t ; and a fter that, in
a more o r less acu te form , up to the p resen t time. T h e flood
of m ighty western civilization may g en erally be held responsible
for the total an n ih ilation of public d iscou rses on the P u rä n a s and
allied literatu re in many parts of E a s t e r n I n d i a ; the sam e forces
a rc now at work every w here in other parts of India also.
M oreover, the co n ce p tio n of g o d s and g od desses in the
P au ran ic literatu re w as so very attractiv e that the B u d d h ists
in later tim es could not help incorp o ratin g the idea of godhead
into their r e lig io n ; and when they actually did this they deified
all im portant person alities of B u d d h ism ,to g e th e r with the deifica­
tion of a large num ber of a b stra ct ideas and philosophical concepts»
and included a few purely H indu gods such as G ancsa, S a ra s v a tl,
e tc., in their pantheon. T h e B u d d h ists busied them selves with
producing a variety of lite ra tu re on the T a n t r a s , and during the
T u n tr ic age thousands o f w orks w ere w ritten. T h e s e w orks w ere
readily transm itted th rou g h the H im alayan passes to T i b e t and
M ongolia, and thence to C h in a an d Ja p a n , and th eir influence
made a large sectio n of population in th ese c o u n trie s believers in
g ro ss m agic and a b je c t su p erstitio n . I t is not stra n g e , therefore,
that many of these T ä n t r i c w orks, whose o rig in a ls in S a n s k r it a re
lost, a rc now preserved in translations in the p ages of the T ib e ta n
Tnngyur. T h e developm ents in T a n t r a made by the B u d d h ists,
and the extrao rd in ary p lastic art they developed, did not fail to
c i c a t c an im pression a lso on the m inds of the H ind u s, who readily
incorporated many ideas, doctrines, p ractices and gods, originally
co nceiv ed by the B u d d h ists for th eir religion . T h e litera tu re ,

which goes by tSic nam e of the H ind u T a n tr a s , arose almost

im m ediately a lte r the Bu d d h ist ideas had established th e m s e lv e s ;
though after the T ä n t r ic ag e, even up to the last cen tu ry , T ä n t r i c
works continu ed to Ik- w ritten by H ind u s.
H avin g thus given a survey of the history of T ä n t r i c litera­
ture and the mutual in terc h a n g e of ideas, d o ctrin e s and concepts,
wo will now proceed to g iv e a definition, o r rather a description
of what is ordinarily m ean t by the word T a n t r a . M any scholars
have tried to define and d escribe the T a n t r a s ; bu t each and
every one of their d e scrip tio n s is incom plete and insufficient.
T h e y "5 bound to be so , because the w riters of the T a n tr a s
were most erratic and n ev er followed any definite plan. M o r e ­
over, the definition w hich holds good in the case of the H indu
T a n t r a s is not found ad equ ate when applied to the Bu ddhist
branch of this literature. T h e re fo r e , the definitions of T a n tr a , as
given by critica l students of S a n s k r it literature, are not unlike the
description of an elep h an t given by a num ber of blind men.
T h e H in d u s will not call any work a T a n t r a 1 which does
not include the follow ing su b je c ts am ong many o th e r s : s t o r k s
of the crea tio n and the d e stru ctio n of the world, m ystic charm s,
description of the abode of g od s and of holy places, the
duties of m en in the four stages of life and the position of the
Brähm anas, description of the abode o f g h o sts and o th e r nocturnal
beings, th e m ystic figures, the o rig in of m agicians, the celestial
trees, position of the stars, d isco u rses on old stories, m eanings of
technical term s, vows and observations, d ifferentiations of purity
and im purity, enu m eratio n of the c h a ra c te ristic s of males and
females, an a cco u n t of th e duties of k in g s, th e cu stom s of the age,
and the rules of law, b esid es o th er spiritual su bjects. T h e H indus
distinguish this sä stra fro m two o th e rs of a sim ilar nature, which
are known by the n a m es of A g a m a and Y äm ala. T h e y treat

1 See Sädhanamälä, V ol. II (G.O.S., No. X L V I), intro., p. xix f.

52 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N IO lU .'J’ D IM S T U S O T K K 1SM

of ce rta in su b je cts which a rc not covered by the description of the

T a n t r a given alx've. T h e A g a m a ,’ to l>c called an A g am a, must
include. U'sidcs the sto rie s of the creation and the destru ction of
the wnild, the mode of worshipping g o d s and g od desses and the
way of o btain in g perfection and repetition of m an tra acco rd in g to
a definite num ber, the p ractise of six c ru e l rites, and four k in d s of
meditation and austerity. T h e literatu re, which is known as
Yam ala,* co n ta in s an acco u n t of creatio n , astronom ical specula­
tions, daily cerem on ies, the o rd e r of festivals, tech nical aphorism s,
division of four ca stes and various subcastes, and the cu sto m s and
m anners of the tim e.
T h e c h a ra c te ristic s of T a n t r a , Y ä m a la and A g a m a a re
g iv en in alm ost every im portant H ind u T ä n t r i c w ork. T h e
definitions are not all alik e and rarely give a co m p lete id e a ;
and all the definitions, taken to g ether, will not suffice to g iv e a
true accou nt of the en tire co n te n ts of this enorm ou s literature.
]n th e definitions given above it will be seen that specu lations
on alchem y, m edicine, divination, astrology, horoscopy, and
many sim ilar pseudo-scientific s u b je cts, which frequ ently m ake
th e ir appearance in the T ä n t r i c literature, are not included in the
definitions of the word T a n tr a .
S im ila r features presen t them selves in the T a n tr a s of the
B u d d h ists, and the range of the num erous su b je cts treated of
in th is literatu re will be evidenced by the C atalog u e o j the
T ibetan T a u g y u r , in the Bibiiothequ e N ationale, in P aris, co m ­
piled by 1 *. C o rd ier. T o understand the bulk of the T ä n t r i c
literatu re of the Buddhists, we m ust first tak e into accou nt the
fact that it is distributed am ong the th ree great divisions into
which the later Buddhism was divided— namely, the V ajray än a,
S ah a ja y ä n a and K äla cak ray än a. B e sid e s th ese there are other
m inor Y ä n a s with no m arked individuality, such as the T a n t r a

1 ibid., p. x x . * ibid., p, xxi.

IHK T A N T R A S 53

Y ana, the M antra Yana, the Bhadra Y a n a , etc., which may be said
to have originated from the V ajray äna— the principal Y ana among
the three mentioned above. M oreover, we must also consider the
numerous s u b d iv isio n s of each of these three powerful Y ä n a s and
many less powerful systems, in all of which the Buddhist T ä n t r ic
literature was deeply interested. T h e T ä n t r i c literature was
mainly written by the V ajray an ists, who called themselves
V a jr ä c a r y a s ; and by the Siddhas, whose num ber is reputed to be
cighty-fou r.
W ith o u t associating ourselves with the views expressed by an
eminept authority on later Buddhism, let us close this chapter
with the definition and the origin of T a n t r a given by Maha-
rrahopädhyäya Marapasäd S ä stri as early as 1911, in his in trod u c­
tion to N. N. V a s u ’s M od em B u d d h ism a n d Its F o llo w ers in O rissa.
T h e r e he w rite s : ' T h e word T a n t r a is very loosely used. O r d i­
nary people understand by it any system o th e r than the Verlas.
But it really means the worship of Sak ti, or female energy. T h e
female energ y is worshipped in co n ju n ctio n with male energy.
T h e union of male and female is the essen ce of T a n t r a .*1
T h i s definition truly applies to the advanced Buddhist
T a n tra s of the Y o g a ta n tra and A n u ttaray o gatan tra classes d es­
cribed in sequel, but it cannot be said to apply to the lower
forms of T a n tr a , su ch as the K riyätan trayän a or the Caryä-
tantrayäna, nor is the definition all-em bracing so as to include all
classes of T ä n t r i c literature, such as the Sädhana, Dharani, Stava.
H om a, M amjala, etc.
B u t what the same veteran scholar has said regarding the
origin of T a n t r a is well worth considering by all students of
T a n tr a , H indu or Buddhist. H e has sa id : ‘ T a n t r a came from
outside India. M ost probably it came with M agi priests of the
Scy thians. In the old Sariihitäs such as the N ihS vasadattva

1 op. cit., p. 10 .
5-4 AN I N T K O n r C T f O N T O m ilUm iST KSOTKKISM

Snthhifit wonder is expressed at (lie novel mode of initiation e n jo in ­

ed l>v I h - T a n Iras. Yedi< initiation was known, but people wondered
how there could l>c a new initiation other than V c d ic . It cam e
from outside India and spread on the outskirts of the A ry an world.
T h e five original places of T a n t r a in India are Jäland hara, P u n a
( I ’urnngiri), Srip arv ata, O fjiyäna and K äm ak h y ä . ' 1 T h e M agi
origin of T a n t r a is a brilliant suggestion, though m aterials
are not now sufficient »0 prove this contention. A safiga— the
o rigin ato r of T a n t r a in Buddhism — is reputed t o b e a G ä n d h ä ria n ,
and it is no wonder that he drew the inspiration from the Magi
priests of Scy th ian origin. T h e Magi priests m ust have introduced
the S a k ti w o rsh ip .o r the union of male and female energ ies, and
in the time of A sanga the grou nd was well prepared to receive
this introduction, which was not known before the time of A sanga
and that of the G uhyasatm xja , e ith er in the D häragi treatises or
even the A ry a -A Ia n ju h itn ü la Jca lp a . T h i s introduction for the
first time found expression in the G u h y asam ajatan tra , where the
theory of the five D hyäni Buddhas was for the first time sy ste m a­
tized, and each was assigned a S a k t i for the purposes of union.

* op. cit., pp. 10 , 1 1 .



T i c k mantras, or mystic syllables, constitute the backbone of

T ä n t r ic Ksotcrism and of V ajrayäna. T h e y are of innumerable
varieties; such as B ija I Irdaya, Upahrdaya, Püjä, A rghya, Puspa,
) )ipa, Ohüpa, Naivedya, Netra, S ik h ä , A stra, Raksä, and so forth.
T h e s e mantras are mostly a string of unmeaning words, but they
sometimes disclose distinctly the influence of a language now
unknown .1 It is, however, impossible to say how these mantras
were introduced into ancient India. V ed ic hymns were indeed
called mantras ; but they had their meaning. T h c 'V a jr a y a n is ts ,
of course, in several instances attempted to trace the origin of
certain mantras which point unmistakably to Buddha himseif as
their originator .2 T h e mantras of V ajrayäna seem to be a
development of Ohäranis contained in works such as the Vuihyu -
d h a ra p iia k a %to which a reference has been given by Hiuen-thsang.
T h e D haram s, according to K e r n ,2 existed in Buddhism from very
ancient times, and seemed to have been introduced into Buddhism
for the benefit of the less-advanced followers, who did not care so
much for Nirvana as they did for their material prosperity in this
world. S u c h recruits to Buddhism were enjoined to read some of
the Sutras, which, however, proved to be beyond their intelligence.
l; or their benefit these had to be shortened into Ohäranis, and the
lay-disciples were enjoined to commit them to memory. T h is

1 See, for instance, the mantra of Jähguli for the prevention and cure of
snake-bites. Scülhanartiälä, pp. 249-50.
* cf. Sädhanamälä, p. 334*: SRüfftPRfar 9/T(T>Tf&H l
p. 335 : fl W r
9 Manual ol Buddhism, p. 6.

seem s U> l>e the process in which S u tr a s underwent a c h a n g e

in very ancient times, and, ultim ately, when they w ere fu rth er
reduced, they gave rise to m antra. T o illustrate, let us take
, \^ixnä/iasrikäf>rajnät>äramitäs which is in itself too stupendous for
a tolerably learned Buddhist to read th rou g h and understand,
not to speak of the illiterate masses, who w ere m ostly responsible
for the great popularity of the M ahäyana. T h e y could not, indeed,
read this vast literature (or a cq u irin g m e r it ; for them so m eth in g
sh o rte r was necessary. P r a j n i i r a t n i l a ^ with its 8 ,0 0 0 stanzas,
was therefore reduced to a hundred, and, ultim ately, to a very few
stanzas, which became known as the P r a jn ä p a y a m it ä h r d a y a w fr a ,
which was fu rther reduced to m ake room for the P r a jn a p a r a -
,n itä d h ä ra m . T h e next step in this ch a in of evolution was in the
formation of a P rajn ä p äram itä m antra, which again led to the co n ­
ception of a B lja in one syllable P ram , in response to which
S u n y a may transform itself into the form of the god dess by
nam e P rajn äp äram itä, who is a veritable m etam orphosis of the
P ra jn ä p ä ra m itä literatu re. T h e evolution of the T ä n t r i c m antra
ca n be traced thus throu gh its su ccessive stages in the B u d d h ist
literature. W h e n , however, we tu rn o u r attention to H in d u
literatu re, we are surprised to find th at the T ä n t r i c m an tras
suddenly m ake th eir e n tr y in to it without show ing even
a faint trace of the e a rlie r and c ru d e r stages of developm ent.
T h i s seem s to be a sufficient reason for b e lievin g the H ind u
m a n tr ic system to be la ter than V a jra y ä n a , and for holding that
the m antras were incorp o rated in to H in d u ism bodily from
Bu ddh ism .
O n c e again it becom es necessary to d iscu ss the o rigin of the
Buddhist m an tras and point to th e ir o riginato r. I t may be rem em ­
bered that all the original T ä n t r i c w orks o f Bu ddh ism a re in the
form of S a n g itis, where B u ddh a is in tro d u ced in an assem bly of
the fa ith fu l; and where he delivers th ese T a n tr a s , including the
m antras and s e cre t p ra ctices, and g iv es h is reasons for not doing

so earlier. T h e usual reason is, that he refrained from co m m u n i­

cating the substance of the new T a n t r a earlier because people
were not well-prepared to receiv e it . 1 T h i s fact points unm istakably
to Huddha as the o rig in ato r of the T a n tr a s , mantras, doctrines
and the esoteric te n e ts and p ra ctice s. In the S ä d h a n a m ä lä , which
is a collection of 3 1 2 sh o rt w orks called Säd hanas, and of
which the earliest M S . bears a date in the Newari e ra which is
equivalent to A.D. 1165, we find S u g a ta , o r Buddha, m entioned as
the originator of several powerful m antras. T h e S ä d h an a of
Jä n g u li, for instance, which is in the form of a S a n g iti, is said to
hav-i been delivered by B u ddh a himself.* T h e Sä d h a n a of V ajra -
sarasvati is said to have been com posed in acco rd an ce with the
instructions of the S u g a ta . T h e P rajn äp äram itä m antra is said to
have been delivered by Buddha him self. A s already mentioned,
the famous logician, Sän tara k $ ita , and his erudite disciple, Kam ala-
sila, both of whom belonged to the eigh th century of the C h ristian
era, are of o pinion 1 that Buddha him self instructed the people in
M udräs, mantras, Mandalas, e tc ., so that they m ight obtain pros­
perity in this world. F r o m th ese evid ences it is easy to conclu de that
B uddha introduced some sort of esoterism into his religion, which
in later times, ow ing to a variety of influences, developed into a
full-fledged e so te ric system in the form of V ajrayäna.
T h e V a jra y ä n ists m aintain that the m an tras are endowed
with great powers and they blindly believe in them . In the
Bu ddhist T ä n t r i c literature passages showing this blind faith on
their part are very frequent and eloquent. In one place it is sa id :
‘ W h a t is there im possible for the m antras to perform , if they are
applied acco rd in g to r u l e s ? ’* In anoth er place it is said that,
1 Guhyasamäfa, G.O.S., chap. X V II, p. 144.
1 Sädhanamälä, pp. 248 f.. 334. 335.
* TattTosaihgraka, p. 905. KamaJaSila says :
# 1: SUTft: I 5 5 T *r ^ lM h l? : I
* Sädhanamälä, p. 5 7 5 : ffcT R W * w ftfa I


‘ through the repented m u ticrings of the mantra, so much pmver

i.s g< ncrnUd tin ! il «*.u: asloiiiah tlic whole world V T h e mantras
by their power oar. even confer Buddha-hood. T h e m erits that
a rrru e irotn the im ittn in g s of the mantra of Mahäkäla are so
numerous that all the Buddhas taken together cannot count them,
even if they were to count without cessation for a number of days
ami nights. T h e five greatest sins, «according to Buddhism, are the
five A n a n ta r y a s; but these can be easily washed away, and
perfection can be gained, if the mantra of Lo k anath a is repeated.
Liy the repetition of the mantra of Khasarpana Buddha-hood
becomes as easy of access as the Radarnkn fruit in the palm of the
hand. B y the MluiranT of Avalokitesvara even an ass can
keep at least 3 0 0 stanzas in memory. T h e mantra of E k a ja ja *
is said to be so powerful that the moment it is muttered the
person becomes free from danger, is always followed by good
fortune, his enem ies are «all destroyed, and without doubt he
becom es as pious as Buddha. E x am p les such as these ca n easily
be multiplied. L e s t the people prove doubting, which they are
always apt to be with regard to such mystic matters, the T a n tr a s
from time to time give the assurance that the power of the mind is
extraordinary, and one should not doubt, therefore, what has been
said about the efficacy of the mantras.*
It is said the mantras are only powerful when they are
applied strictly in accordance with the rules. In fact, the rules a re
so strict and minute and so numerous that it is quite impossible
that any mantra is capable of being applied by ordinary mortals in
strict conform ity to t h e m ; and this is a factor which is apt to
discourage the enthusiasm of the new recruits. ‘ Y o u should not
be sorry,* says Kum udäkaram ati, ‘ because you are not able to

1 ibid., p. 334. '

* ibitU p. 262. ^ qvsTTPm^ M'-ilTdl flSTF?: i, etc.
1 ibid., p. 330. f&äjt ftfaXT WTOTW t

apply the m antra in accordan ce with the rules stated before. A t

least you should perform the rite of self-protection and think of the
clo su re of the boundary and of worship, and repeat the m antra as
long a s you can and aim a t perfection. I n a cco rd an ce with your
pow ers and a ctio n s you will certainly obtain results. T h e testimony
of the T a n tr a s , in this connection, is that such a worshipper can
alo n e give protection to the world .’ 1 T h e repetition of the m antras
has to be done with the greatest care, and the T a n t r a s give direction
for th e ir proper repetition. F o r instance, they should not be
repeated too quickly o r too slowly. T h e mind at the tim e oi
rep etition should be free from all impure reflections and should
be com pletely concentrated on the letters of the m antra, which
should b e repeated so long as th ere is no tired feeling.*
T h e m antras are considered m ost sacred by the V ajrayä-
nists ; and their accu ra cy was je alo u sly guarded by them, in much
the same way as the purity of the V e d ic m an tras was maintained
by means of several ingenious devices. T h e s e m antras are
com posed usually in ordinary prose, but occasionally in an
e n ig m atic language, the m eaning of w hich som etim es becomes
very difficult to understand. T h e m an tras a r e done into prose
and m n em onic v erses for the obvious purpose of memorizing.
T h e s e verses are extremely cu rio u s and g iv e p ractically no
m ea n in g to ordinary readers. L e t us take, for instance, the
v erse—

3fT^t qviMM:
p w * »ft ihn «ft i

1 ibid, pL 13. q q to j i, etc.

* ib id , p. io .
* Wlfa I

W h e n tr a n s la te d .it will have the following m eanin g:*

In the beginning there is the holder of the disc, who
is followed by two P icu s and V ard h a n i joined with Prajnä.
A fte r that there are two Jv a la s, which are followed by
V ard hani after M e d h ä ; even at the end there are two Dhiris,
lUiddhi and V ardhani ending in Sv äh ä. T h i s mantra, which
has the power to confer the clev ern ess of a poet, was
introduced by the Su g ata.

A t first sight the verse gives no meaning, unless you know

that it is the statem ent of a mantra which refers to Vajravinasaras-
vati and runs a s :

fin fält ^ ^ faft i

T h e r e were other ways of p reserv in g the accu racy of mantras,

by d issecting the letters and expressing each of them by means of
symbols. T w o exam ples of this kind are given below.
F ir s t, let us take the m antra of Sarasv ati, which is expressed
in the following m nem onic v erse :

W l¥ l ^ f R # 3 3^ «2

I t stands on the secon d of the seventh and is the fourth

of the e i g h t h ; it is accom panied by the fourth of the first and
is decorated with the spot.

T h e explanation seem s to b e : the second syllable of the

seventh class (A ntahstha) is R a ; fourth of the eighth (U§ma)
is H a ; fourth of the first (S v a r a ) is I ; the spot is — A n u sv a ra ;
therefore the resultant B ija is H R l N l , which is the B i ja of
L e t us take the m an tra of E k a ja tä , as expressed in a
m nem onic verse, as the second e x a m p le :

* ibid., p. 335. * ibid., p. 335.



fra jwrcraq ^ i
ga: n
y il& t Rf*<fa n& w%&{ i
trra ^P^HI^Tt. II
'»r^*viHr?jTT. f^fhr fNr^ i
3 gjtffä W # TOR: »
f r a s^TTvra i
q<nftwif ^re n
? > l # r =*j$ ^ qqr 3 ^ 1 Mffarq I
^ra 3P3 ^rarfq f l a f f a f ^ r a s q »
w & fi *ra^rafrWR^q i
iwwRfri g awft* 3 npra; >i1

I t ends in H , placed on fire» is pierced by the fourth

vowel» and is accom panied by sp o ts and the half-moon. T h i s
B l ja is a g r e a t B ija . N ow hear o f the second, which ends in
T with fire, is pierced by the sam e and is accom panied by
Nadabindu. T h e third also I sta te carefully, which ends in
H tram pling on the six th vowel and is accom panied by
Nadabindu. T h i s B i ja is the m ost powerful and is able to set
the three worlds on fire. I state now, as was done before by
Buddha, the fourth syllable w hich ends in P h a and g iv es all
kinds of perfections. I n order to com plete the m antra hear
the half syllable ending i n T a , w hich is deprived of its A and
by m ere utterance saves all.

F i r s t B i ja co n sists of H R (fire) 1 (fourth vowel) H (spots) M ,

ar. J the resultant syllable is H rlm h (s). T h e second B i ja includes
T R (fire) I and tfl, which together makes T rlift. T h e third has
H 0 (sixth vowel) and M , which to g e th e r g iv e Hürii. T h e fourth
is Pha, while the fifth letter is T a , w hich is deprived of its A and
th erefore considered as a half letter. T h e last two will give Phaf.
S o th e whole m ah tra stands a s : H r iih S triih H uih Phaf.

* ibxL, p. 261 f.


N k v k r before has an attempt been made to construct a

chronology of T än tric authors: probably because the Vajrayäna
is a field of literature entirely unexplored. It is hazardous,
indeed, to make an attempt of that kind, and any research made in
the beginning is likely to be faulty and not altogether free from
error. Even so, it is necessary to make an attempt in order that
the development of T ä n tr ic ideas, doctrines and practices may be
more fully appreciated.
V ery little is known regarding the Tantras before they made
a debut in a well-developed form in the beginning of the T äntric
period, which began in about the middle of the seventh century A . D
It is bound to be so, because the T an tras, as has already been
pointed out, were practised in secret and handed down in secret
through an unbroken chain of preceptors and disciples ,1 who
never made themselves known, and, as such, passed out of recog­
All that we know of the earlier period is that the M anjuSrt -
m ülakalpa, which was earlier than the Gu/iyasamäfa, was probably
written in the second century A .D ., or even e a rlie r; that the
G uhyasam äja was written in the time of Asafiga, in the third
century A.D., and that Asanga composed a “sädhana of Prajnä-
päramitä,* where he made a definite reference to the five
Dhyäni Buddhas and their consorts. In the later period, however,
there are more materials for constructing the chronology of
Vajrayäna. T h ese consist, mainly, of a few important succession
lists of gurus and disciples, and some fragmentary accounts

1 Täränätha, 201. 2 Sädhanamälä, p. 321.


SO M B J 'K O M IN K N T A U T H O R S 63

found in the work of T ä r ä n ä th a and the I* a g M m J o n / a n . One

of the su cce ssio n s is a s fo llo w s :
1 . Fadm avajra. 5. L ila v a jra.
2. A naftgavajra. 6 . D ärikapä.
3 . Indrabhüti. 7. Sah ajay o g in i CinUi.
4. B h agavati Lak$m i. 8 . l)o m b i H e r u k a . 1
T h e secon d su ccession list, on which we can rely for the
presen t, is the list given by Kazi Dawasamdup, in his Intruduc-
tion to the Cakra$am i>ara T a n tr a . T h e su ccession given here is
stated as follow s:
1 . S a ra h a . 5. V a jrag h an tä. 9. G uhya.
2. N ägiirjuna. 6 . K a c ch a p a . 10. Vijayapa.
3. S a b a rip ä . 7. Jä la n d h a rip ä . ................
4. L u ip ä . 8 . K rsn acäry a. 11. T a ilo p a .
12. N äro p a.’
It is natural to assum e that the T ä n t r i c g u m s were
p a rticu lar about th eir su ccession lists, and each im portant T n n tra
may be believed to have a su ccessio n list of this kind. W h en
these T a n t r a s were translated into T ib e ta n , the translators
occasionally noted the tradition of the T a n tr a s , as it was handed
down through a su ccessio n of g u ru s and disciples. It is in this
way th at some lists have been preserved and at present constitute
o ur chief au thentic material in d eterm in in g the chronology of this
extensive literature.
F u r th e r landm arks are furnished by an im portant statement
made by T ä r ä n ä th a , in his H is to ry o f llu d d h ism , with regard to
the introd uction of some original T a n t r a s by one o r o th e r of the
S id d h ä cä ry a s. W h ile m en tion in g the origin of some of the most
im p ortan t T a n tr a s , T ä r ä n ä th a giv es us the information that Saraha

1 ( aiatogue du Fonds Tibttain de la Bibtiotheque N ationale Par P . Cordirr,

2* partie, p. 211 f.
* A rthur Avalon s Täntric T e x ts : §h rt cak rasa mbkära I antra, edited by
Kazi Dawasamdup, intro., p. x x x v . °sarobhara stands for Sanskrit °samvara.

introduced the B ü d d h a k a p ä la ta n tr a , X u ip ä the Y og in isan cary ä,

K am bala and P adm avajra the H e v a jr a ia n tr a % K rsn ä cä ry a the
S am p u tatilakoy L a lita v a ira the AV; nay a tnd r ita n fr a , G am bhira*
vajra the V a jrä m r ta ta n tr a , K u k k u rip ä the M a h ä m ä y ä la n tra , and
P ifo (?) the K ä la c a k r a t a n tr a .*
W i t h th ese m a terials in hand, let us attem pt to determ in e th e -*
chronology by a ssig n in g a definite time to so m e of the more
familiar au thors, and fix the tim e of o th ers by assu m ing an interval
of twelve y ea rs backw ard s o r forwards, The two lists given
above are p retty long, co v e rin g a considerable p erio d , and seem
to be fairly au thentic, though not altogether c o r r e c t. In these
two lists th e re are several points of c o n t a c t ; one is represented
by Jä lan d h arip ä, who was the first in the seco n d list to profess
the H e v a jr a ta n tr a and to co m p o se a w ork on the su b je ct. T h e
H e v a jr a ta n tr a was introduced by P adm avajra of th e first list, who
must, th erefore, be ea rlier than Jälan d h arip ä by a t least one g e n e ra ­
tion. T h e second point of co tact is that K am alaSila, who was
removed by one g en eration from Indrabhüti, w ro te a book in which
he closely followed a com m entary com posed by S ara h a .* T h e third
point of c o n ta c t is that D ä rik a p ä in one of his so n g s reverentially
m entions the name of L u ip ä , who must, th erefore, be ea rlier.
. Now in th e first list the name of In d rabh ü ti, whose tim e has
been alm ost definitely fixed, is well known. H e was the father of
G u ru Padm asam bhava, who, along with S ä n ta ra k sita , the au th o r of
the T a ttv a sa m g ra /ia , went to T i b e t on an invitation from the
co n tem p o rary king, and e rected a monastery^at S a m y e in the year
a . d . 749, on the model of the O dantapuri V ih ä ra .* I f we take
Padm asam bhava to be thirty years of ag e when h e w ent to T i b e t
in the year A.D. 7 4 7 , th en In d rab h ü ti’s tim e will b e approxim ately

1 Täränätka, p. 275 f.
* Catalogue du Fonds T ib i tain, 2* partie, p. 248.
’ Waddell, Lamaism , p. 379 et se q .; see also TattvasaM graha, Foreword,
pp. x ff.
SO M K I’ R O M 1 N K N T A U T H O R S 65

fixed to a period betw een A.D. (>R7 and A.D. 717 onwards. If we take
a . D . 717 a s the starting-point, and twelve y ea rs between each

su ccession of a g u ru and his disciple, the approxim ate tim ing of

the first su cce ssio n list will be as follow s:
1. Padm avajra A.I). 093
2. A nangavaj ra ii 705
3. Iiu liabhfiti •I 717
4. L a k s m m k a r ä I» 729
5. L ila v a j ra i> 7.41
6 . IM rik a p ä 1« 753
7. Sa h a ja y o g in i 1« 765
8 . I>ombi H e ru k a i» 777

If Jaland haripa is taken to be rem oved by only one g en eration

from Padm avajra, who introduced the H e v a jr a ta n tm for the first
time, and an interval of twelve y ears is tak en between e ach
succession, the chro n o lo g ica l o rd e r of the secon d succession will
be as fo llo w s:
1. S a ra n a A.D. 6 3 3
2. N ä g ä rju n a ti 6 4 5
3 . S a b a r ip ä »» 6 5 7
4. L u ip ä ii 669
5 . V ajra g h a n tä ii 68 1
6 . K acchapä 1.693
7. Jä la n d h a rip ä n 705
8 . K rsn äcäry a ii717
9. Guhya ii729
1 0 . V ijay a p a ii741
W it h regard to T a ilo p ä and N aro p a, it m ay be assum ed that
the list does not furnish c o r r e c t inform ation, as we a re able to
ch e c k its v era city from o th e r so u rces. B e tw e e n V ija y a p ä and
T a ilo p ä , therefore, there m u st have been many interm ediate g u ru s
who are not m entioned.
66 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N '1*0 M H>I>III.ST K S O T K K IS M

It is well known that T ailo p ä was a contemporary of Mahipäl;

probably the first iVlahipala of the Päla dynasty of Bengal, wh
flourished between a .I ) . 9 7 8 and 1 0 3 0 : while Näropä succeede«
Je tä r i, also a contemporary of MahTpäla, as a Dvarapantfita o
Vikram aSila .1 T herefo re circa A . D . 9 7 8 may be assigned t<
T a ilo p ä and A.D. 9 9 0 to his disciple Näropä.
W h e n we fix the time of Saraha, we practically go to th e roo
of the Buddhist T a n tra or Tantrayäna, because Saraha is reputec
to be one of the chief promulgators of the T ä n tr ic religion. Both
T ä rän ä th a and the author of th e P a g S a m Jo n Z a n admit that Saraha
was one of the earliest w riters and diffusers of T ä n tr ic doctrines
and practices. W h ile mentioning the origin of the T a n tra s, T ä r ä ­
nätha places Sara h a’s B ttd d h akap äiatan lra as the first in his list.
S a r a h a ’s name has also been placed on the top of the succession
list of a T a n tr a of no less celebrity than the C akrasam varatan tra .
Sa rah a was one of the Sid d has to popularize the T a n tra . T h e
T a n tr a , which was practised in secret from the time of Asafiga, or
even from the time of Buddha, first got publicity through the
teachings of a band of Siddhas, with Saraha at their head.

1. SA RA H A (A.D. 633)

A ccording to the author of the P a g Sam J o n Z a n J Sarah a , or

Rähulabhadra, was the name of a Buddhist sage born of a Brahm an
and a p ä k in l in the city of R a jn i (?), in the E a stern country. H e
was an adept both in the Brähm anical and the Buddhist lores, and
flourished during the reign of Candanapala of Präcya. H e worked
some miracles in the presence of K in g Ratnaphala and his Brahm an
m inister, and thereby converted them to the Buddhist faith.
Afterw ards he became the high priest of Nälandä. It is also related
of him that he visited Orissa, where, from one Covesakalpa, he learnt
the Mantrayäna, and from there proceeded to M ahärä^ra. T h e re
h e united in Y o g a with a female ascetic, who had approached him
1 P ag Sam Jon Zant index, pp. xli, Iv. * index, p. xxvi.
SO M IS I’ K O M IN K N T A U T H O R S 67

in the guise of an a r c h e r's d au g h ter. H avin g perform ed the

M ahämm lrä ritual of m ysticism , h e attained perfection. H e was
thenceforward known a s S id d h a S a ra h a . H e used to sing the
I )oha hymns of m ysticism , and thereby co nv erted five thousand
people and their king to Buddhism . S a r a h a composed a large
num ber of verses in S a n s k r it, and th eir translations are preserved
in the pages of the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r . S a ra h a was also known
as Sarah a b h a d ra and Kähulabhadra, and was one of the earliest
Buddhists responsible for diffusing the T ä n t r ic knowledge and
popularizing it. I t is noteworthy that the time assigned to him,
accord in g to the new calculation, m akes him a co n tem p orary of
I )harmakirli (A.D. 6 0 0 - 5 0 ) during or after whose time, a cco rd ­
ing to T ä rä n a th a , the T a n t r a s g ot publicity.

2 . N Ä G Ä R JU N A (A.D G45)

T h e next author in im portance is N ägärjuna, who is, of

course, different from the au thor of the same name who is
regarded as the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Buddhist
philosophy. A b su rd acco u n ts a re recorded about the life of this
N ä g ä rju n a ; and wild stories are told of his stupendous magical
(eats. M. W a lle s e r , 1 after a thorough investigation of the accou nts
of N ägärju na from T ib e ta n and C h in ese sources, has come
to the conclusion that there was no such person as N a g a r ju n a ;
and that he was a pure myth. F r o m his learned and scholarly
observations it can be easily seen that the T ib e ta n sources have
hopelessly mixed up together the a cco u n ts of N a garju n a— the
disciple of ASvaghosa, with N ä g ä rju n a — the disciple of Saraha.
O n e flourished in the first and the second quarter of the second
c e n t u r y ; while the other flourished in the middle of the seventh
century, the two nam es thus be in g separated by five hundred
years. B u t as these two person s are taken erroneously to be the
same, a serious confusion has a rise n . T h e C hinese version, which

1 The L ife of Nägarf%ma, from T ibetan and Chinese Sources, p. 1.


docs not tak e into a cco u n t the T ä n t r ic N ägärju na, is less confus*
ing, though it also abounds in absurd stories about his life. W e
are not, however, co ncerned here with the accou nts of N ä g ärju n a
the founder of the Madhyamaka s c h o o l; but it can be easily
proved that the second or the T ä n t r i c N ä g ä rju n a is a historical
person and a follower of V a jra y än a. T w o Sad h an as of his are
recorded in the Säd/ianamäiä, one for the worship of V ajra tara ,
while the o th e r relates to the w orship of Ekajata.* I n the colophon
of the latter, it is distinctly said that N ä g ä rju n a rescued this
Sä d h a n a from the country of Bhota, which is identified with
T i b e t . 2 N ä g ä rju n a was a leading sta r in the V a jra y än a horizon,
and com posed a large num ber of T ä n t r ic works, the translations
of many of which have been preserved in the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r.*

3. S A B A R IP Ä OR Ö A BA RA PÄ (A.D. 65/J
S a b a rip ä is the third author in chronological order. H e is
described in T ib e ta n works4 as belonging to the hill-tribe called
the Sa b a ras, or the huntsmen, in Bäftgälä, where he met N äg ärju n a
du ring the latte r’s residence in that country, and em braced
T ä n tris m , and , after being initiated by him along with his two
wives, L o k l and G u^i, attained sainthood. T h i s S ab arip ä also must
have been a historical person, as he has composed a Säd h a n a of
K u ru ku llä, which was published in the S ädhan am älä for the first
time." T h i s Säd hana is found in only one m anuscript, namely,
the one from C am bridge U n iv ersity , which bears a date in the
Newari e r a equivalent to A.D. 1165. H e is also the au thor of a
num ber of m elodious songs in the vernacular of his country, which,
a cco rd in g to the T ib e ta n authorities, was B än gälä, o r Bengal.

1 op. cit., pp. 193 t. and 265 f.

* I
8 See infra, chap. V III.
* F o r instance, in P a g Sam Jon Zan, index, p. cx x x i.
8 op. c it, p. 385.
S O M E P R O M IN E N T A U T H O R S 69

4 . LU IPÄ (A.D. 669)

L u ip ä is our next au thor in chronological order. H e is
termed the first Sid dhacarya, o r m ag ician ; and is even now
respected as such, and in the T a n g y u r C atalogue he is distinctly
called a Bengali . 1 In o th e r T i b e t a n books he is fu rther said to
have sprung from the fisherman ca ste of Udd*y*na, and was very
fond of the en trails of fish. H e was formerly a c le r k in the
employ of the king of U d d iy ä n a ; and was known as Sam antaäubha.*
H e composed many mystic songs, and several D o h as of his are
recorded in the B a u d d h a G än O D oha.

5. PA D M A V A JR A (A D . 693)

V e ry little is known about the two interm ediate authors

V ajrag h an jä (A .D . 6 8 1 ) and K a cch a p ä (A .D . 693), because we have
practically no historical information regarding their birthplace or
their biography Padmavajra, who comes next, was a g r e a t nam e
in T ä n t r i c Buddhism , and stands first in the first succession list
given above. H e was an au thor of a large num ber of works, out
of which only two are extant in S a n sk rit, while many o th ers are
preserved in translations in th e T ib e ta n T a n g y u r. A c c o r d in g to
T ärän äth a, he was th e first to introduce the H e v a jra ta n tr a in
V a jray än a, which h e did alo n g with h is collaborator, Kam balapäda.
T ä r a n ä th a also m akes P adm avajra a contem porary o f Indrabhüti,
L a litav ajra and K u kkurip a.* T h i s L a lita v a jra is said to have
introduced the th ree divisions of the K r$ n a y a m a riia n tra * and,
therefore, should be distinguished from the later Lalitag up ta, who
was a disciple of Advayavajra. K u k k u rip a , another contem po­
rary of his, is believed to have introduced into V a jra y ä n a the
M ahäm äyätan tra.
Padm avajra was a historical figure, and a very interesting

1 op. cit, 2« partie, p. 33. 1 P a g Sam Jon Z an, index, p. cxv.

1 Täränätha, p. 188. * Täränätha, p. 275 f.

work of his, entitled the C uhyasitüi/n * has lately been discovered.

T h is was considered a work of g reat au thority in T ib e t, even so
late as A . D . 1747, when the P a g S a w J o n Z an was written T h e
whole work is written in what is called the twilight language, or
the ‘ San d h y äbh äsä’ ; but there is enough to show to an ordinary
reader th at he advocated many mystic and objectionable rites and
practices, which he termed se cret rites. A c co rd in g to Padm a­
vajra, su ch p ractices and rites were first formulated by the Buddha,
and were recorded in the ‘ S r i s a m ä ja ’, which is only an o th er name
of the G idiyasam äjatau tra . H e says there is no better treasure
in the three worlds than the S r is a m ä ja . H e further says how
wonderful are the teachings of V ajray äna, which are the m ost
secret of all se crets and are without Svabhäva (real nature) and
are pure and incom parable I H e advocates the meditation on the
P rajfiä (the wisdom) and the U p äya (the m eans) and the rem em ­
b rance of the adamantine mind, all of which are more se cret than
all secrets, and which are not possible of attainm ent without the
female elem ent, or the S a k ti. H e asks his followers to en jo y the
M aham udrä conjoined with the U päya, which is in their own
bodies, and says that the knowledge of M aham udrä is m ost auspi­
cio u s and of a very peculiar nature, which can be realized by o n e ’s
own self only. Padmavajra, in a cco rd an ce with the teach ings of
the G u hyasam äja , follows the doctrine of the five D hyäni Buddhas,
and says that by these five form s alone Sam bodhi can be attained
in acco rd an ce with the pronouncem ent of the T a th a g a ta s. Siddhi,
or perfection, is indeed difficult of attainm ent in one l i f e ; but
those who so desire should, acco rd in g to Padm avajra, take up the
se cret rite, which is the destroyer of all thoughts of duality. If
he is initiated in the T a n t r a of S risa m ä ja , which is the cause of
all happiness, he may attain divine perfection by co m in g in
co n ta ct with the Mahamudrä (or the g r e a t woman). B u t in order
1 MS. copies exist in the Oriental Institute, Baroda, and the library of Mm.
Haraprasäd Sästri.
S O M E 1’R O M IN K N T A U T H O R S 71

to do so the initiation (A bh isek a) m ust be taken from a guru*

without whose kind assistance no su cce ss can follow. T h ro u g h o u t
the G u h y o s M h i similar ideas occur, and it is not necessary to
enumerate the practices inculcated th creih . T h e long and short
of the whole work is, that without M ahäm udrä no emancipation or
su ccess in any rite is possible .1 Hut if the worshipper is initiated
into the M ahäm udrä cult, success is assured even if he may d o
things which a re against all laws, social o r religious.*

6 . JÄ L A N D H A R IPÄ (A JX 705)

Jäland haripä, also known as H ätjip ä, whom we have placed

one g en eration after Padm avajra, or Saro ru h avajra, is made by
T ä r ä n ä t h a 9 a contem porary of several im portant personalities, such
as Hhartrhari, V im alacandra, K rsn ä cä ry a , T ä n tlp ä and even
D harm akirti. In the P a g S a m J o n Z an * it is recorded that h e
was buried in a hole underground, b y the order of the k in g
G opican dra of Cätigäon, who was afterwards converted to
mysticism by the Ä cä ry a . I t is, indeed, very difficult to place him
co rrectly from the above accounts, and all that can be said now is
that Jälan d h arip ä was regarded as a very ancient Siddhäcärya, as
may be evidenced by T ä r ä n ä th a ’s m a k in g him a contem porary of
D harm akirti, whose time is definitely known to be the first half of
the seventh ce n tu ry A .D . H is o ther contem poraries are mostly
m ysterious p erson s, and none can say with any measure of
a ccu racy as to th e time when they flourished. T h e very fact that
Jäland haripä w rote a com m entary on a work of Saroruh avajra 6 and
followed the H e v a jra ta n tr a introduced by him ,6 places him one

1 usmsi f W a i ^ m fa n nsnjw <m 11

7 3f t wttl'il I<M i 3 3*5% 11
* op. cit„ p. 195.
4 op. ciL, index, p. xcvii. The same story is repeated in many old Bengali
1 C sisU gu* du Fonds T ibftm n, 2* partie, p. 18. 9 Täränätha, p. 275 i.

gen eration after Padmavajra, who flourished at the end of the

seventh century.
A very interesting story is recorded of the life of H ä d ip ä. or
Jaland haripä, more or less in the same strain in a n u m ber of
oid B e n g ali books, such as the I ) h a rnutm ahgala, S ü n y ap u rän a,
A 1änik<ändcr G an, M ay a n ä m a tir G äu , G op icäm ier G tt, G o p icä n d cr
S an n yäs, etc. In all these sto rie s H äd ip ä is co n n e cted with
several other important personages, vi2 . the queen M ayanäm ati,
her husband, the king M ä n ik ca n d ra of the sixteen V a n g a s, G opi-
cand ra, their only son, and K r§n ä cäry a, or K än hu pä, o n e of
H a d ip a ’s disciples. It is recorded that when G o p ica n d ra was
born, th e royal guru had p red icted that he would no t liv e for
more than 19 years. T h i s fact w as known only to the queen , who
used to pass all her time in m editation, and was nicknam ed by
her husband the king, M uni, or th e ascetic. W h e n G o p ican d ra
was only a boy of twelve, his fath er, without giving intim ation
to his wife, married him to fo u r princesses, namely Phandanä,
C andanä, R o d anä and Padu nä. S o o n after this m arriage k in g
M änik cand ra died of fever. M ayanäm ati thereafter becam e very
anxious, on account of the possibility of her so n’s m eeting with a
prem atu re death. In e rd er that this calamity m ight be averted,
she persuaded her son to take initiation from H äd ip ä who was a
Sid d h a, but unluckily the räja could not rem em ber the m antras,
and, o n ce being unable to fill m iraculously with water a dried up
tank by the incantation of the m a n tra taught by H ädipä, he becam e
en ra g ed and buried the sage u nderneath the stable.
F o r a long time H ä d ip ä’s disciple, K .r^ ä c ä ry a , o r popularly
known as K änhupä, made a se a rch for his guru and becam e
anxiou s at his sudden and m ysteriou s disappearance. B u t la te r on,
how ever, he cam e to know abo ut the whereabouts of H äd ip ä by
mystic means, and went straigh t to M ayanäm ati and told h e r about
the foolish action s of her son, G o p ican d ra. In order, however, to
p ro tect G opicandra from the a n g e r of H ädipä, they both h it upon

the device of placing a golden image of G opicandra in tront of the

hole in \\hieb 1 lädipä was buried underground. T h e y removed the
earth, and as soon as the body of the guru was seen all those
present prostrated them selves on the e a r t h ; b u the image did
not show any respect, Ila d ip a becam e enraged and through his
anger the image melted and was turned into ashes. Mayanämati
at this opportunity held a bagful of Indian hemp before the guru,
who had been by this time in Sam äd hi for full five years. H e
b ro k e Ins fast with a maund and a quarter of hemp, the same
quantity of K u cila (nux vomica), and D hatu rä (stramonium). But
ultimately he understood the whole trick played upon him by
Kanhupa. and pronounced a cu rse that he would be beheaded at
the fort of p ä h u k ä .
T h e queen, Maydnämati, again persuaded H ädipä to give
initiation to G opicandra so that his prem ature death m ight be
averted. G opican dra at first was very obstinate, but ultimately
yielded. T h e queens of G o p ican d ra scented danger, and wanted
to dispose of Hä(Jipa by means of poison, but he passed through
the ordeal entirely unharmed. U ltim ately G opicandra took the
initiation and H ädipä put him to a severe test for twelve long
years, after which he obtained p erfectio n .1

7. A N A ttG A V A JR A (A.D. 70S)

A n ang avajra, the disciple of Padm avajra, is characterized in
the history of the eighty-four Siddhapurusas as the son of king
( ’» opala of E a ste rn India. T h e time of G o p äla has been fixed by
V. A . S m ith as eir. A .I). 730^ 40.* B u t S . C . Vidyähhüsana places
him between A .I). 69 5 and 705.* D r. S . Krsnaswami Iyengar
doubts the date of V . A . S m i t h ; and, in the absence of any inscrip-
tional o r monumental evidence, we a re in favour of accepting the

1 See. for instance. Gopieänder Sannyä$,tA . N .K . 13hapas:i)i. intro., p. I l f .

2 E J I .L , 3rd edition, p. 397.
3 History oi Indian Logie, p. 323,


earlier date.’ A n an g a v n jra’s dale will, therefore, be in consonance

with the theory advanced in th e history of the eighty-four
Mahasiddhas. A n ang avajra seem s to be a fairly well known
au th o r,a s can be seen from the n u m ber of works written by him,
the translations of which now find place in the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r.
O n e of his famous com|>ositions is th e Prainof>ayaviui$eaya$it(dhi,
and the work is characterized by its boldness of spirit, its lucidity
of teaching and brevity of exp ressio n. T h i s work has now been
published as No. X L 1 V of the G a c k wad's O rien ta l S e rie s, as one
of the T ico V ajrayatta //'orks. L i k e Jälandharipä, who was pro­
bably his contem porary, he also com posed several works on the
H t v a jra ta n tra . which was for the first time introduced into B u d ­
dhism by his preceptor, Padmavajra.

8. IiNDRABHCTI (A.D. 717)

Indrabhüti, the next author of im portance, was the k in g of
Uddiyiina, which is generally identified with O r is s a but which
may also q uite conceivably be a p a r t of Bengal.* H e was the
father of Padm asambhava, who, co n jo in tly with the famous logi­
cian, Siintaraksita, erected the first re g u lar monastery at Sam ye, in
T ib e t, in the year A.D. 7 4 9 .s In d ra b h u ti’s sister was L ak sm ih k arä,
who was married, a cco rd in g to th e history of the eighty-four
Sid d h as,4 to the prince of Sam bh ala, the coun terpart of Ud<Jiyana,
and attained Sid d h i. H e was regarded as an authority on V a jr a ­
yäna and T a n t r a long after his tim e .5 H e has written a large
nu m ber of works and at least twenty-three am ong them are

1 It is quite possible that he ruled during the years named by V. A. Smith,

but it is very likely that he ascended the throne by popular consent at a very
late age.
1 See supra, chap. V, pp. 44-46. 1 Waddell, Lamaism , p. 576.
4 D ie Gcschisten der 84 Z a u b erer ; see Indrabhflti.
* H. P, Sästri, N cbal Catalogue, Vol. II, p. 56.

preserved in the pages of the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r translations .1 W e

have, however, been fortunate in discovering at least two of his
works in original S a n s k r i t ; namely, the K u rukutlä'S ädhana? which
apiKTirs in the Sädftanam älix, and the Jn d n a std d h i, T h is latter has
been published along with the work of A nangavajra as No. X L 1 V
in the ( iaekwad’s Oriental S c r ie s . T h e Jn d n a std d h i is an extremely
interesting work in twenty-two chapters, giving in a nutshell
many leading doctrines and rites of V ajray än a, which throw
immense light on this obscu re religion.

9. K R SN Ä C Ä R Y A (A.D. 717)
T h e next author in chronological order is K rsnäcärya. In the
T nngyur* several K rsn äcäry as are found, and it is indeed difficult
U> differentiate between them in the absence of more definite
materials. T ä rä n ä th a makes K rsn äcäry a a contem porary of
Jafandhari, Hhartrhari, G o p ican d ra and even D harm akirti. Hut
he is probably wrong in m aking him a contem porary of D harm a­
kirti, who is definitely known to have flourished in the first half of
the seventh century. K rsijäcäry a seems to be a contem porary of
jälan d h ari and G opican dra ,4 both ot whom in all probability
ffourished in the first quarter of the eighth century. A c co rd in g to
the P a g S am J o n Z an , this K rsn a was born of a Hrähman family
of O rissa, and was initiated into the mystic cult by Jälandharipä.
K rsn a had a disciple in T ä n tip ä / who was a weaver. K fsn a is
credited in the same work with having introduced the T a n tr a s in
which the male and female divinities sit clasping each other/
K rsnäcärya wrote D ohäs also in his own vernacular, which wa*
probably U<jiya and had a g reat affinity with the old Hengali
language. N o less than 12 songs of his are available in the

1 Bauddha Gän O Doha, app., p. 14. 1 op. t i t , p. 353.

* Bauddha Gän O Doha, appn pp. 21 ff.
4 Sukur Muhammad, Gopicändcr Sartnyäs, intro., p. 2.
4 op. cit., index, p. v. 4 op. cit„ p. IviL
76 . ’ V IN' i h ' O M l C ’l I ON T O KSOTKRISM

original vernacular, and were printed and published for the first
tim e in the B a u d d h a G än O D o/m .1

10. L A K S M lN K A R Ä (A .I). 729)

In the history of V a jra y ä n a the name of Bhagavati Kaksmi.
or Laksm ifikara, is interesting, not only because she was a woman,
but also because of the novel doctrine she preached without
reserve and with great confidence and emphasis. B o rn in the
royal family of Uddiyäna, a sister of Indrabhüti, she sh o w ed
rem arkable boldness in p reach in g her own pecu liar th eo ries in a
short but interesting work, entitled the A d v a y a sid d h i * T h i s work
was long lost in the original S a n sk rit, but was preserved in the
T ib e ta n T a n g y u r in translation.® T o this work th e attention of
sch o lars was first drawn by D r. M m. H araprasäd S a s tr i, in an
a rticle contributed to one of the stray num bers of the D acca
R eview . W e have since had an opportunity of studying this book
m ore carefully, and the leading ideas revealed by its study are
summarized below. T h r o u g h o u t this work, the influence of Indra*
b h ü ti’s J m n a s id d h i is very p e r c e p t ib le ; and this is due probably
to the fact that Lak§m iftkarä was not only a sister of Indrabhüti,
but also one of his favourite disciples.*
I n the A d v a y a sid d h i a most rem arkable and bold innovation
is introduced by the authoress. H ith e rto the V a jra y ä n ists
advocated the worship of the five D hyäni B u ddh as and their
innum erable e m a n a tio n s ; but what L ak §m in k ara advocated
was quite unusual and strange, even though since h e r tim e this
new teaching gradually won many adherents, who were styled
S a h a j i y ä s ; and are still to be found am ong the Nä<Jhä N adhis of
B engal, and especially am ong the B äu ls. L a k sm in k a r ä declares

1 Sec, for instance, op. cit^ p. 18.

3 Copies of the MS. arc available in the libraries of the Oriental Institute,
Daroda, an 4 Mm.-Haraprasad Sastri.
* op. c it, 2* partie, p. 211. * ibid., p. 211.
SOM I*: PROMINKN'»’ AI »'IM O K S 77 no suffering, no fasting, no riles, no bathing, no purification
nor o th er m les of society a ie n e cessary ; nor do you need to Imiw
down before the im ages of gods, which a rc prepaicd of wood,
stone o r m u d ; but yon should with con cen tration offer worship
to your own body, w here all gods reside.1
Sh e explains later on, without however openly declaring the
truth, that when the truth is known there is no restriction for the
worshipper. He can eat anything, he can drink anything and
violate any laws, human or divine. Tow ards women, she declares,
no hatred should be displayed; because they arc the embodi­
ments of the P rajna in restraint.* I.a tc r on, she says that instruc­
tions on Nirvana should always be obtained from the preceptor.
In the whole of the m ovable and immovable world, there is noth­
ing l>etter than the guru, through whose kind offices the wise
obtain many kinds of perfection.*

11. LlLÄVAJRA (A.D. 741)

Lak.smfhkara's d irect disciple was L ilavajra.* H e hail also a
g re a t reputation as a V a jra ta ry a , and wrote a large numlker of
authoritative works. S o far as we know, none of his works is
extan t in the original S an sk rit, though m any are preserved
in translations in the pages of the T ib etan T an gyu r.* No
less than nine w orks of his are m entioned in the T an g y u r
C atalogue, and, from their titles, it can be surm ised that both
V ajrayäna and Sahajayäna were in a flourishing condition
in his tim e ; and that the G uhyasam ajatantra and the K rsnaya-

1 * * * ftont I WR JTTTNtffopTC'f n -4 ^
'ip r f f a R c r a r f t a : n

r 3 rm i w m frei «inffc: u «iw-

M iifH: i m w f t w *s<nfo?n u

* Catalogue du Fonds Tibelain, 2Cpartic, p. 212.

* Bauddha Gän 0 Doha, app., p. 75.
7.S an I N 'Ik O D t. C T IO N T O M ' J H X I I S T K S O T K K IS M

um r i/a n tr a were regarded as works of very g reat authority. It

appears from th e T n n g y u r that he acknowledged an o th er g u ru ,
by name V iläsav n jra , 1 besides L a k sm ih k a rä already mentioned.
In the same way, besides D ä rik ap äd a he had anoth er devoted
diaciplc, who called him self K aru päcala. T h i s latter was a poet
of a very high order, and several of his compositions are published
in the S ä d h a n a m ä lä ? H is verses are distinguished by an easy
flowing diction and devotional language. A t the end o f the
Säd hana of the V a jram ah äk äla he has respectfully m entioned the
name of his g u ru , L ila v a jra .
12. DÄRIKAPÄDA (A.D. 753)
T h e name of D ärikapäda, one of the disciples of L il a v a jr a * is
fairly well known through the publication of the B a u d d h a G ä n O
D oh ä F ro m this work it is evident that D ä rik a belonged to B en ­
gal and wrote a num ber of songs in his vernacular, some of which
are recorded in the work above referred to.* In one of his so n g s
he o ffers his o b e isa n ce to L u ip ä ,8 and this leads the ed ito r. D r.
Mm. S a s tr i, to think that D ä rik a was a d ire ct disciple of Lui.® I t
has already been shown that L u ip ä belonged to an earlier age, and
so any close connexion between the two is hardly adm issible.
D ärik a probably mentioned L u i because L u t is regarded in som e
quarters a s the first S id d h äcäry a , and this seem s to be a m ore
reasonable explanation. D ä rik a com posed a pretty larg e n u m ber
of works in S a n s k r i t ; but none of them is now extan t in the
original. A t least ten works of his are preserved in tran slatio ns
in the T ib e t a n T a n g y u r ,7 where D ä rik a is credited with having
written books on the C akra< am varaian tra, K a lc u a k ra ta n lr a and
I'ajray og in itan Ira.
1 Catalogue du Fonds Ttbetain , 2* partic, p. 87.
a op. cit., p. 590, also 391 (Liläsani) tffrm iaft: ^fl»i,etc.
* Catalogue du Fonds T ibi tain t 2* partie, p. 212.
* op. cit., intro., p. 30. 8 op. cit„ p. 53, etc*
* op. cit., intro., p. 30. 7Bauddha Gän O Doha, index, pp. 39, 4 0 .

IX S A H A JA Y W H N t C IN T Ä (A.D. 705)
N ext com es S a h a ja y o g in i Cintd, a fem ale a sce tic and a disciple
of D ärikapäda, who is known to us as the au th o ress of the
V y ak ta b h ax m w g a ia ta U v a sid d h i 1 A translation of this in T ib e ta n
also e x is t s .3 It appears from her w ork that she was a follow er of
the V ijn ä n a v äd in school, and laid p a rticu la r stress on the universe
being nothing but the cre a tio n of the C itta. o r mind. I t is the
m ind, she says, which b e g ets m iseries, and in co n se q u e n ce cre a te s
e x te rn a l objects. T h e P r a jn ä and U p ä y a are also cre a tio n s of the
mind, and when they co m b in e they give rise to M ahäsukh a in the
mind, w hich fancies the whole e x te rn a l world to be the form s of
M ahäsuk h a. T h e mind, she says, has its vagaries and its own
w ay s: som etim es it js sleep in g , so m etim es it is aw ake, som etim es
it b e g ets desires, so m etim es it is p u re and at o th ers it is
im pure, som etim es it has many forms, and sometim es it is in an
in d escrib a b le state. T h e Y o g i n , who is able to realize the
voidness of the external world and keep his m ind free from
reflections in all its d iffe ren t states and in all its v agaries and
ways, is really the e m a n c ip a te d ; and Buddha-hood for him is
easy of attainm ent. A t the end of the work, the au th o ress d escrib es
V a jr a s a ttv a in eloq u ent langu age, and pays him a g lo w in g tribute
by ch a ra c te riz in g him as one who is realized by self alone, who
defies com parison and is o m n ip rese n t and all*pervading, who is
the cre ato r, destroyer and p ro te cto r of the universe, and who
b rin g s into prom inence the m anifestations of th e m ind .9

14. DOM Bl H ERU K A (A.D. 777)

N e x t com es D o m b l H e ru k a , th e disciple of S a h a ja y o g in i,
who, like D ärik a, is well know n to many through th e publication

1 A copy of the MS. is preserved in the Oriental Institute, Baroda.

7 Bauddha Gän O Doha, app., p. 96.
8 VmiK S’TtTPrffPT: I 6 ^*1 : ^

<*f the B a u d d h a G ibt O fhi/ut already referred to. T h e T ib e ta n

au thorities agree in record ing that he was a King of M a g a d h a .b u t
becam e an a s c e tic later o n . 1 In the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r he is
designated as A c a ry a , M ahäcärya and Sid d h äcäry a, and his name
is included in the list of the eighty-four M ahäsiddhas. H e wrote
books on Sah ajay än a and V a jray ä n a, and com posed a book of songs
in v ern acu lar entitled the D ondn-^ itiha. Se v e ra l of his so n g s are
recorded in the B a u d d h a G än O D o h ä t and very probably they are
ta k e n from this D om b i-g itih ä com posed by him. H e com posed a
S a d h a n a of the goddess, N airätm ä. and th is is record ed in the
S ä d h a n a m ä /ä * I t ap|>ears from the very opening lin es of this
S a d h a n a that he followed the H e v a jr a ta n tr a .* H e wrote a fairly
large nu m ber of works in S a n s k r it , and a m o n g them at least eigh t
are e x ta n t in tran slatio n s in the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r .4 B e sid e s these
eight, he wrote a n o th er w ork e n titled the S a h a ja s id d h i* which
has been discovered in the original S a n s k r it. T h i s is a highly
in tere stin g w ork, even th ou gh it is sh o rt and divided into th ree
small ch a p ters, not e xceed in g a hundred v erses in all. In it th ere
a rc certain to p ics of a b so rb in g in terest, and we take this o ppor­
tunity of recording some of the views expressed by the author.
D om bl form ulates that the worship of K u la is the m ost
im portant in the T ä n t r i c religion ; without it no su ccess can be
a c h ie v e d ; but with it g r e a t su cce ss is possible of attainment.*
W h ile explain ing the word, K u la, he says, K u la s are five in num ber
and they o riginate from the five D h y än i Buddhas, A ksobhya,
Y u irocan a, A m itäb h a , K atnasam bhava and A m o g h a s id d h i; and

' Täränäthci) p. 3 2 3 ; P ag Sam Jon Zan, index, p. cxliii.

* op, cit., p. 443.
* HH'TT I ll
4 Bauddha (iäu, app., p. 34.
* A copy is preserved in the Oriental Institute, Baroda.
c faf^: HTWMK'tl SHI I
S O M E P R O M IN E N T A U T H O R S 81

th is is the reason why they are called K u lesas, o r the lords of the
K u la s o r the fam ilies. D om bi thus echoes th e d o ctrin es inculcated
in the G u /iyasam äja. the earliest V a jra y ä n a work extant.
From the word K ula, th e words K u lä cä ra , K uladharm a,
K au la. K a u lik a , e tc ., are derived. T h e K a u la s d e c la r e them selves
to he T a n t r i c H in d u s. F r o m the literatu re e x ta n t on K aulism ,
the m oaning of K u la is not cle ar. M oreov er, the large number,
of in terp retatio n s of the word show s unm istakably that the
H in d u s w ere no t c e rta in about the m eanin g of i t ; but the
m oaning in the B u d d h ist sense, as ex p re ssed in th e G uhya -
MttfM/’a and the S a /ia /a s ü M i, is q uite c le a r and unequivocal.
T h e B u d d h ists gave o n ly a sin g le in terp retatio n of the w o rd ; the
K au las, a c c o r d in g to them, mean th e w orshipp ers o r th e followers
of the o rig in a to rs of the five fam ilies, nam ely of the five D hy äni
Buddhas. T h e question will then arise a s to w hether the K aulas
a re really H in d u o r Buddhist in o rigin . W e c a n n o t h e re discuss
this g r e a t q u estio n , w hich should rem ain open for th e present
until sufficient m aterials are at hand to pro ve c ith e r theory.
T h e r e is, how ever, very little d iffe re n c e between the K u läcära
of the H in d u s and the T ä n t r i c p r a c tic e s of the B u d d h is ts ;
b e cau se in both the desire to do im p rop er and illegal things to the
fu llest e x te n t is present.
D om bi H e r u k a has explain ed M a h ä s u k h a ; and th e happiness
o btain able from it has been fully 'dealt with. H ap p in ess, which
c a n best be o btain ed from o n e’s own e x p e rien ce, a cco rd in g to him,
has fo u r su cce ssiv e s t a g e s : Ä n a n d a , P aram änanda, V iram änan da
and S a h a jä n a n d a . B y the com bination of the two elem en ts, P rajnä
and U paya, th ese four stages of g re a t happiness can be obtained . 1
It can only be exp erien ced by o n e ’s own self, and when it is
realized e m an cip atio n , o r perfection, c a n easily be attained. In

ftnu: II
11 6

the eleventh century Advayavajra also voiced the same opinion . 1

P o m b i H eru k a was also responsible for introducing certain new
elem ents which are not mentioned here* as that would be going
into minute details unnecessarily.
T h e next period of the development ot T ä n t r i c cu ltu re among
the Buddhists is represented by a set of most powerful writers and
popular gurus, such as D ipankara (A.l>. 9 8 0 - 1 0 5 3 ) , Advayavajra,
o r Avadhütipä, his disciple, Lalitavajra,’ T a ilo p a of Catigaon
(C hittagong), R atnäk arasanti, Prajnäkaram ati and N äropä, all of
whom were contem poraries of king M ahipäla 1 of the Päla
dynasty,* who flourished between A.D. 9 78 and 1030. T h o se who
are interested in this latest development of the T ä n tr ic culture of
the Buddhists, are recommended to consult the excellent edition
of the A dvayavajrasam graJia^ which is published, with a summary
and a scholarly introduction in English, by D r. Mm. H araprasad
S a s tr i, the celebrated authority on the subiect, in the Gaekw ad’s
O rien tal S e r ie s as No. X L .

1 Adrayavajrasadtgraha (G.O.S., No. 40), p. 32.

9 cf. Sädhanamälä, p. 267.
«Oü'nWUltq I (TTTRnyHH^ II
* Indian Teachers of Buddhist Universities, p. 158.


T n iv aims and objects of the T a n trics, as has Inren indicated

already, were cither to obtain emancipation or the countless
Siddhis, or perfections, mostly for prosjH;rity and happiness in the
present life. T h e word Siddhi is closely associated with the wort
Sadhana, which means a procedure by which one can attain tin
different perfections. T h e Sadhanam äi'a of the Buddhists consist:
of three hundred and twelve such Sadhanas, indicating tlu
methods to be pursued for obtaining particular Siddhis. T h e u*or
shipper should always take care to conform to the directions giver
in the Sadhana and to practise the rites with patience and zeal
T h e H indus generally recognize eight Siddhis, though occasior
ally 18 and 24 Siddhis are also acknowledged. T h e cigh
S id d h is 1 a r e :
afam Levitation.
sflfn Extension.
iftiar Sovereignty.
Mastery (over elements),
tm rcu fta Capacity to will actual facts.
In the B raJim av aiv artap u rän a1 mention is made of 3 \ k i m
of S id d h is; including the eight already cited. Som e of them ai<

1 Patanjali Yoga$ütrayIII, 4 5 ; and its commentary.

2 Kffnajanntakkanda, chap. 78. §1. 20-29. See also Tantrasöra (Vrisumii
Sth ed.), p. 417.

P o w er to hear d istan t sounds.

P ow er to enter into o th e r people’s bodies.
xhWiPh P ow er to g o at will.
F-RR O m n iscie n ce .
Pow er to stop the pi ogress of fire.
P ow er to stop the c u r r e n t of water.
Im m ortality.
P o w er to stop the c u r r e n t of air.
F u ll control over h u n g er, th irst and sleep.
E n t e r in g into all k in d s of physical bodies.
Perfection in speech.
ScTHH* P o w er to revive the dead.
SFTTffo Pow er to draw vital force.
P o w er to award life.
P o w er to stop the functions of the sense organs.
P o w er to deaden the intellect.
O n e who is able to attain, by a particu lar process, a large
n u m ber of the foregoing powers is called a Siddhapuru$a, or
one who has attained perfection. I n mediaeval times, it is said
th e re were many Siddhapuru$as in Ind ia, who su rprised people
by th eir wonderful, m iraculous a n d stupendous feats. The
Bu ddh ists recognized 8 4 su ch Sid dhapu ru sas, and in Nepal and
T ib e t homage is still paid to th eir m em ory. T h e y are venerated
in th e se countries, and th eir traditional lik en esses a re still found
h an g in g on the temple walls and other places.
T h e S id d h as again are of th ree varieties, a cco rd in g to the
T antrasäroy a H in d u T ä n t r i c work, com posed by K f$nananda
AgamavägTsa, who flourished in about the seventeenth century of
the C h ristia n era. T h e th ree v arieties are :* U tta m a or the first
class, Madhyama or th e middle, and A d h am a o r the lowest class,
and th e characteristics of each class a r e also enum erated in the

1 Tantrasära , op. c it, p. 417,


same treatise. A e ro rd in g to it, a Siddha will he recognized as

belonging to the first <lass, when he is able to fulfil all his desires
by mere thought, o r, in other words, as soon as a desire arises in
his mind that verv 4
moment it is fulfilled. T h e second class of
Sid dhas is able to co nq u er death, commune with gods, eider
unperceived into the bodies and homes of others, move in the
firmament, hear the gods conv ersin g in the heavens, understand
all terrestrial truths, obtain ornam ents, conveyances, etc., enjoy
long life, bewitch people, perform m iracles, remove diseases hy a
mere glance, ex tract poison, obtain erudition in all branches of
knowledge, renounce all worldly enjoyments, practise Y o g a in all
its eight sub-divisions, show compassion to all beings, o'oiain
om niscience, etc. T h e third or lowest class of S id d h a s obtains
fame, long-life, conveyances, ornaments, familiarity with the king,
popularity with royal personages and the people, power to bewitch,
wealth and prosperity, children and family.
It can be easily seen from the above that the S id d h as belong­
ing to the third class were never designated as Siddhapurusas,
who were attached e ith e r to the first cla ss o r the middle class. In
all T a n tr a s , H in d u o r Buddhist, general direction s a r c always
given as to the m an n er of obtaining Sid d hi by the m u ttering of
mantras. In case legitim ate m uttering of the m antras and
conformity to the regulations do not bestow the desired Siddhi,
the T a n tr a s also give directions for obtaining it by seven different
processes .1
H aving thus d e s c r ib
cians, let us now proceed
perfections, the possession oi one or in e oinur ui wiutii online?, a
man to be called a magician. T h e word, Sid dhi, may be defined as
the attainm ent of super-normal powers of the mind, body or the
sense-organs. T h e Sid d hi is generally known to be of five

1 Tantrasära, op. cit* p. 415 : # > IIj AH 515-wfrTT: I

S<> AN I N I K< M H ( ’ r i n > l |<) Ul »l ‘ l > I U S T KHOTKKISM

varieties —- ja n m a ja (c o e x is te n t with birth), Aus.idhija (due to

dru«;), M antraja (due to the a g e n c y of m ystic syllables), T n p o ja
(clue to austerities), and S a m a d h ija (by reason of intense medita­
tion). T h e mind is com pared to a river in the rainy season,
with all the exits closed e xce p t one, throu gh which the water
rushes with trem end ou s vigour. W h e n the mind in the sam e way
is co n ce n tra te d on o ne particular thought, and is not allowed
to wander away through n u m berless ch an n els, it is able to
a cq u ire g re a t strength, which is called Sid d h i, o r perfection.
Sid d h is, as conceived by the Bu d d h ist T a n t r ic s , are of various
kinds, and range from su ccess in love affairs to the attainm en t of
the highest em ancipatio n, and they owe their o r ig in m ostly to
m an tras o r m agic syllables. If we exam ine the kind of Sid d h is for
the attainm en t of which the Buddhists of the T ä n t r i c ag e busied
them selves in m u tterin g m an tras and e x e cu tin g com plicated
T ä n t r i c practices, we shall be able to understand the aim s and
o b je c ts of the people and their mentality. H en ce, a study of these
p ra ctice s is not superfluous, as it is capable of throw ing a flood of
light on the state of T ä n t r i c cu ltu re am ong the Buddhists.
In all T ä n t r i c w o rk s of the Buddhists g reat anxiety is shown
for averting and cu rin g diseases, and for the e x tra c tio n of snake
poison and prevention ot‘ snake-bites. T h i s is quite natural,
because these m atters are p ractically beyond human co n tro l, and,
therefore, the aid of magic was eagerly sought by the afflicted
people. N ext in im portance to the above is the lo n g in g for
acq u irin g a know ledge of the S ä s t r a s without th e ir study, but
only through the ag en cy of m antras. T h e y also believed that
Bodhi, or em ancipation, was obtainable through the agency
of m an tras alone, o r when m an tras were associated with certain
practices. G re a t anxiety is also shown for the attainm ent
of Sarv ajnattv a, o r om niscien ce, o r the position of a Buddha, both

1 P aU hjali Yogasitlra, I, 1.

signifying o ne and the same thing, namely em ancipation. T h e six

c ru el rites and the e ig h t great SicUlhis also had their share ot
attention. T h e T ä n t r i c B u d d h ists also possessed a great desire to
have the mighty H indu g o d s a s their servants, whom they Ixdievod
to be conq uerable by m a n tra s and w illing to do menial work for
the magician.
T h e y also believed that the benign act or protection could be
g ran te d by divine a g e n cie s and also secured by m antras. C uriously
enou g h, the aid of m an tras was widely availed of by the T ä n t r i c
Buddhists for v anqu ishing th e ir opponents in public d iscu ssio n s .1
Fr<»m this it ap|>ears cle a r that religious d iscussio ns in public
assem blies were very com m on, and victory in these assem blies was
eagerly sought by all classe s of people, including the Buddhists ;
and it is no wonder that gods and m an tras should be invented in
o r d e r that the S ä d h a k a m ight easily obtain victory in learned
assem blies without being qualified for it. T h i s leads us to believe
in the stories record ed in the P a g S a m } o n Z a n , that in public
assem blies disputants of variou s religion s used to assem ble and
take part, e ach stak in g h is own religion. Thus |x?ople were
converted and re-con verted to d iffe ren t religious system s when
defeated in public d iscussio ns, so m e tim es with a large retinue of
th e ir disciples. T h o s e who claim in modern days that the H indus
in earlier days never made co n v erts belonging to other religions
are, therefore, not quite c o r r e c t in their information.
A great d esire is also shown to perform m iracles, probably
for the purpose of cre a tin g an im pression on the public mindl as
to the benefits a c c r u in g from the p ra ctice s enjoined in the T a n A s .
W h e th e r or not they could actually obtain such spiritual pow er^as
they claimed, it is not the province of this treatise to discuss. Bu t

1 cf. Sädhanas in the Sädhanamälä No. 151:

No. 1 5 5 : faSTfct No. 2 3 8 : *0%
No. 2 5 6 : ftdftcU i etc.
88 AN I N T R O D U C T I O N T O J U J D D m S T F .S OT KR1 S M

we read in the T a n tras the story of m onks who were habituated to g o

out for alms, as is evident from the devices invented by-them which
m iraculously induced people to offer aims o f their own acco rd .1
T h e i r conception of future happiness was also of an interest­
ing ch aracter. In one place a desire is expressed for a Siddhi
which will enable the worshipper to remain in a state of rapture
in th e company of num berless A p sara sa s in the land of the
V idyädharas, where the L o rd of H eav en will hold the parasol over
his head, Brahm a will act as th e prime m inister, V em a citrl as the
army-commander, H ari as the g ate-keeper, and the naked god,
S a n k a ra , will discourse on the different virtues.* T h e monks
usually led a poor life ; but they were, nevertheless, anxious for
wealth, and believed that wealth could be obtained by the m uttering
of m antras alone. Jambhala, the god of wealth, was created by
them ; several forms of his were conceived by them, a large number
of m an tras were invented and a number of S äd h a n as were devoted
to his worship. T h e se , and sim ilar instances, are evidence of
the attraction wealth had for the poor monks.
T h e Buddhists also acknowledged eight great Siddhis,
though they were somewhat different from the eight Sid dhis
acknowledged by the H indus. A c c o r d in g to the Buddhists, the
eight S id d h is a r e : ( I ) Khadga, (2) A njana, (3) P ad alep a ,(4 ) A n tar-
dhäna, (5) Rasarasäyana, ( 6 ) K h ecara, (7) Bhücara, ( 8 ) P ä tä la .1
I t is difficult to g et an explanation of these Sid d h is c o r­
rectly from any Buddhist w o r k ; but evidently the first, Khadga,

1 Sadhana, No. 235: -TOHdtgiftftcrt fiNN >TTfl I

cp&ra a II
2 Sadhana, No. 260: artaft'TO ftft: qftftl:
tff fireft, wm * tpft, W tf ä :

^ * S&lhanartuila, p. 3 5 0 :

signifies the perfection which enables a person to c o n q u e r in

battle with the help of a sword over which m a n tras have been
muttered. T h e second, A fijana, very probably refers to the m agic
u nguent which, when applied to the eyes, en ab les a |>erson to
perceive the tre asu res buried under the earth, o r o th erw ise hidden
from the eyes. T h e third, Pädalepa, refers to the m ysterious
ointm en t which, when applied to the feet, en a b les a person to
move about everyw here without h is body being perceived by any
one. T h e fourth, A n ta rd h ä n a , sim ilarly refers to the m ysterious
power which enables a person to disappear m iraculously before the
very eyes of the people w atch in g him . T h e fifth. Kasarasäyana,
refers probably eith er to the m agic solution which tu rns baser
m etals into gold, o r the m edicine which g iv es immunity from
death. T h e sixth, K h e c a ra , e n ables one to move in the firmam ent.
T h e seventh, Hhücara, g iv es a person power to g o at will
anyw here on this earth in a m o m e n t ; and the eigh th, 1 ’atala, refers
to the power of going to the nether-worlds. S u c h feats were
considered superhum an, and the m onks of the T ä n t r i c age directed
th eir attention to e x e cu tin g su ch superhum an feats through the
ag en cy of mantras, which they th ou ght helped to develop psychic
T h e most im portant am ong the different rites of the T ä n t r ic s
are probably what are known as the §atkanr»a, o r the six rites, and
it is necessary here to g iv e som e idea of the d iffe ren t rites with
which the old m onks always busied them selves. T h e s e six rite?
a r e : Sän ti, V adikarana, Stam b h an a , Vidvesaria, U ccätan a * n d
M ärapa. T h e first, S ä n t i, is a rite which is calculated to rcn4^<-
d iseases and save person s from the terrible c o n se q u e n ce s of evi
sta rs o r of bad a ctio n s done in previou s births. T h e second
V aslk aran a, is the rite w hich g iv es th e perform er the power ti
bew itch all o th e r m en o r women, o r even gods and anim als, an<
g e t work done by them . T h e third, Stam bh ana, is the rite by iht
perform ance of which power is co n fe rred on the worshipper fo


stopping all action s of others, and to stop the e fle c t even when
its cause is o perating. T h u s the bu rn in g power of fire can be
stopped, so that even when fire is present it will not burn. It is
the rite by w h ich all a ctio n s of hu m an beings can be stopped a t
will. T h e fo u rth , Vidve§ana, is a n o th e r interesting rite which g iv es
the p e rfo rm er the power to sep arate two friends, relatives, lovers,
and so forth, from each o ther, and th e power to cre a te anim osity
between tw o friends. T h e fifth, U ccätan a, is the rite which when
perform ed g iv e s the perform er special power to make his enem y
fiee from th e co u n try , with all attend ant disgrace. U ccäta n a was
also em ployed in destroying the dwelling-houses of enem ies by
in can tatio n s of m an tras and o th e r m eans. T h e sixth, M ärana, is
perhaps th e most cruel am ong the six cru el rites of T ä n tr is m .
T h i s co n s ists in killing, or perm anently in ju ring , enem ies by m eans
of apparently harm less p ractices.
T h e s e a r e known as §atkarm as, and it is said that experien ced
T ä n t r ic s , even in modern times, g e t resu lts immediately these rites
are perform ed. I t is, nevertheless, difficult for ordinary laymen to
obtain any su ccessfu l result, because th e rites have to be perform ed
according t o time, planets, seasons, g o d s and m antras appropriate
to the rite, which are known only to the specialists. T h e m an tras
are of prim ary im portance in all cru e l rites, and no less than six
m ethods of application are generally fo rm u lated : (1 ) G rathana—
co n sists in reciting the mantra o v e r each of the letters of th e
name of th e m edium 1 ( S ä d h y a ) : g en erally required in S ä n t i
(protective rites). (2 ) V id arb h a— co n sists in recitin g th e letters o n
the nam e of the medium betw een the letters of the m a n t r a : used
mostly in V a £ ik a r a n a , o r bew itching. (3 ) Sam puta— co n sists in
reciting the m antra both in the b e g in n in g and at the end of the nam e
of the m e d iu m : mostly required in Stam bh ana. (4 ) R o d han a—

1 This word is purposely used to denote the object which is to be con­

quered or benefited, as the case may be. The best word from modem
Spiritualism which may stand for Sädhya is the word ‘ medium’.
A IM S A N I» o u j w r r s 91

co n sists in applying the m antra in the beg in n in g , m iddle and at

ih r end of the nam e of the m e d iu m : required in V id v csana. (5)
Y o g a— co n sists in re citin g the name of the m edium a t the end of
the in a n tra : required in U ccafnna. ( 6 ) Pallava«— c o n s is t s in ap p ly ­
ing the m antra at the end of the name of the m edium : required in
M arana, o r d e stru ctiv e rite . 1
M any m ore tech nical m atters of a b so rb in g in te re st to those
interested in E s o te r is m m ight be bro u g ht in and discussed here ;
but want of space p re v e n ts us from e n te rin g into the su b je ct m ore
in detail. B efore c lo s in g this ch ap te r, th erefore, we will g iv e a
few references from the text of the S ä d h a n a m ä ld , w hich provides
m ore p ractical inform ation on the su b je ct. T h e s e observations
are of special value, inasm uch as th ere a r c at p r e s e n t only a few
sch o lars who are a cq u a in ted with the purely T ä n t r i c d o ctrin e s and
p ra ctice s which w ere c u r re n t am ong the B u d d h ists in the T a n t r i c
ag e. T h e B u d d h ist T a n t r a insists that the mental condition of
the w orshipp er in d iffe re n t rites should be d ifferen t. In S a n t i the
m ind should be peaceful. I n Pausfika it should hav e a thriving
m en tality . In V a s ik a ra n a it should display an x iety , and in
M arana it should be in a g rea tly agitated state. S ä n t i should
be perform ed on th e first day of the lu nar fo rtn ig h t, Paustika
o n the full-moon day, A b h ic ä r a o r M a ra n a on th e fourteenth
day of the m o o n , and V a s ik a ra n a on the e ig h th day. The
w orshipp er should sit with his face no rth w ard s in S a n ti,
e astw ard s in Pau§|ika, southwards in A b h ic ä ra , and westwards in
the rites of Akar^atia (attra ction ) and Uccä$ana. S ä n t i should be
perform ed in au tu m n , Pau$fika in H em an ta , and A b h ic a r a s in
th e su m m er season. S a n t i should be perform ed in the evening,
Paustika in th e e a rly m orning, and A b h ic a ra s at noon o r at

1 See Vi{i<ako$a (B en g ali) : article on

* Sec Sädhanamälä, pp. 368, 369.
92 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N T O B U D D H I S T I'.SO’l K R I S M

I t is not u n n e cessa ry to point out in this co n n exio n that the

deity worshipped in the d iffe re n t rites n a y be the same, but the
sam e deity will have d iffe re n t colours, weapons and forms, in
acco rd a n ce with the rules g u id in g the rites, and it is precisely in
this way th at the d eities of the Bu d d h ist pantheon were


l. G urus

In ancient India, for all kinds of religious and secular know­

ledge, the necessity of a guru or a preceptor was always felt. T h e
Upanisads were so called because the disciples had to sit near the
guru to obtain knowledge of philosophical speculations directly
from him. A lso in secular literature, such as the A rth aiästra of
Kautilya and the K a m a su tra , there are chapters on the Upanisads
which contain such secret matters that lessons on these could be
imparted to the disciple only through a direct channel by sitting
near him. Similarly, the philosophical systems were handed down
from guru s to disciples in an unbroken chain. In fact, the handing
down of traditions through an uninterrupted chain of gurus and
disciples is common with reference to all Sästras that were
produced in I n d i a ; but nowhere is reverence to the guru so much
in evidence as in Vajrayäna. Nothing, they affirm, can be achieved
without a preceptor, It is impossible to follow mystic doctrines
and practices without a preceptor. F o r what a particular mantra
or a mystic practice is suited a person already initiated must be
told by a preceptor, whose duty it is to inform him of the way in
which it should be repeated, and the number of times it should bo
muttered, in order to attain the different kinds of perfections
(Siddhis). T h e Buddhists always had preceptors, practically
since the time of B u d d h a ; but the more Buddhism became
mystified in its later stages, the greater was the necessity for
preceptors felt, and in Vajrayäna we find the position of the
guru altogether paramount. H e is idolized as the Buddha; he
is the S u g a ta ; he is Dharmakäya, and the bestowal of eman-

cipatinn lies in his power. In every T ä n t r i c w ork th ere is

evidence of the high esteem in which the g u ru s w ere held ,1 and in
many w o r k s .t h e c h a ra c te ristic s of the guru and the disciple are
enum erated.* S im p ly becau se the m an tra is known, and that
co rrectly and accu ra tely , there is no g u aran tee that by constantly
m u ttering it one can attain perfection. It is well-nigh im possible,
and it is against the p rin cip les of V a jr a y ä n a . T h e w orshipper is
first to be initiated by the g u ru and he m ust obtain the d ifferen t
kinds of A b h isek a, o r initiation, from the guru ; and then, if all h is
in stru ctio n s are followed in the m ost p re c ise m a n n e r p o ssib le ,th e n ,
and then alone, S id d h i is p o ssib le of attainm ent. G u ru -sh ip is a
position w hich is very difficult to attain ; and, u nless one answ ers
to the c h a ra c te ristic s laid down in the V a jra y ä n a literatu re, one
is no guru bu t a c h e a t .1

2. D isc ip l e s

I n view of the conflicting statem en ts regarding th e re strictio n s

imposed on the w orshippers of V a jra y ä n a , it becom es difficult to say
how th eir lives were regulated in those times, and what m andates of
the C h u rch they had to follow. W e find, for instance, that they m ust
abstain from takin g non-vegetarian food and abandon all kinds of
o b je ctio n a b le foodstuff, such as o nio ns, oil, salt, etc., and m u st not
violate the rules of stric t ce lib a cy . I n o th e r places it is said that
the o fferin g s should c o n sist of m eat, wine and o th e r o b je ctio n a b le
a rticles. In the third place, again, it is said that th e w orship should
be done after purifying the body by baths and by o bserv in g the
rules of celib acy . I n the fourth place, co n tra ry to the above, no

1 Two Vajrayäna Works. G.O.S., No. 44, p. 12, verses 9 -1 6 , where the
guru is eulogized by the disciple.
a ibid., pp. 71 ff.
3 ibid.. p. 72.
^ ffcwiWWlfMinfsW: »
sfapp} "
M v A D I N U l'K N K 'IS 95

restriction is laid down e ith e r of place o r of any p articu lar food.

A g a in , we also meet with a gen eral rule that the worshipper
obtains perfection by the m u ttering of m antras alone, even with­
out drawing the m agic circle or purifying himself by fasting.
T h e reason for th is co n trad ictio n seem s' to be that the
V a jr a y a n ists recognized the e x iste n c e of d ifferen t g rad es am ong
the w orshippers and legislated for differen t classes, b eg inning with
the strict o bserv ances of the V inaya rules in the lowest rank to the
stage of no restriction in the highest ranks. Indrabhüti recognized
three classe s of disciples, who had d iffe ren t deg rees of mental
development, and prescribed for them a cco rd in g to th eir mental
cap a cities d iffe ren t regulations for th e ir spiritual uplift . 1 Advaya-
vajra classified the iiu ddh ists as S a ik s a s and A saik sas, and
p rescrib ed th e stricte st rules for the S a ik s a s who were less
advanced. T h e A saik sas, b ein g much m ore advanced in the
m atter of spiritual progress, were allowed to follow su ch advanced
p ractices a s are prescribed in the h ig h er form s of the Yoga-
tan tras . 8
T h e V a jr a y a n ists were th us divided into d iffe ren t classes by
differen t a u t h o r s ; but the m ost popular classification is that in
w hich the followers of V a jra y ä n a are divided into four classes.
K azi D awasam dup divided V a jra y ä n a into six stages, though,
of co u rse , he regarded the differen t divisions as pertaining
to M antray äna.* H is divisions a r e :
(1 ) K riyätan tra y ä n a.
(2 ) Caryä- (or Upäya-) tantrayäna.
(3) Y o g atan tra y ä n a.
(4) M ahäyogatantrayana.
(5) A nuttaray ogatantrayän a.
( 6 ) A tiyog atantray äna.

1 ibid., pp. 95 ff.

7 Adyavajrasarhgraha, op. c it, chap. I, p. 1.
* Cakrasambhäralanlra ( Täntric Texts), intro., p. xxxiL
96 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N TO U l 'U H l H S T E S O T E k lS M

It is not, however, known on what authority this classification

was b a s e d ; and th ere is little hope of know ing it, as the rcve'rend
Kazi S n h c b is now deceased. I t is to be pointed o ut in this
connexion that this ela b o ra te system of classification was
unknown in India, where only the K riy äta n tra , C a ry äta n tra , Y o g a ­
tantra. A n u tta ra y o g a ta n tra 1 were known. T h e s e four term s are
frequ ently m et with in Bu d d h ist T ä n t r i c literature. B e g in n e rs
and initiates into the m y steries of V a jr a y ä n a were, of course,
adm itted to the lowest rank, namely the K riy ä ta n tra , where
s tric t rules of discipline and c e lib a c y were enjoined on them
until they w ere co n sid ered fit to be raised to a h ig h e r class.
Y o g a ta n tr a appears to have been reserved for m ose who were
considered fit to com e in c o n ta c t with the S a k t is and to observe
s e cre t p r a c t ic e s ; while the A n u ttaray o g in s belonged to the
highest class and were im m une from all laws, human o r divine.
T h e a s c e tic s b elo n g in g to the last cla ss were called the Sid dhas,
and w ere believed to be in p o ssession of extrao rd in ary powers of
w orking diverse m iracles and perform ing prodigious feats. T h e
traditional num ber of S id d h a s is recognized as eighty-four, and
m ost of them belonged to th e P ä la period of B en g al h isto ry .3 T h e
T ib e ta n s are supposed to have preserved a history of the eighty-
four Sid d h as, and this has been translated into G e rm a n by A r t h u r
G rünw edel.
3. B O D H IC IT T A
T h e V a jra y ä n is t co n cep tion of the Bodhi mind appears to be
the sam e as that of the Y o g ä c ä r a school, which was founded by
M aitrey a and e labo rated by A sa n g a, and the literature of which
included, am ong others, su ch e x ce lle n t w orks a * the T aitv a sam g ra fia
of S ä n ta r a k s ita . A c c o r d in g to this school, the human mind, or, as
it is called in Buddhism , th e B o d h i mind, is so m ethin g like a

1 See Waddell, Lawaism, p. 152.

Kern, M anual of Buddhism, p. 133.

co n tin u o u s stream of m om entary co nscio u sness, which ch an g e s

«every m om ent the co n scio u sn ess of the previous m om ent, g iv in g
rise to the co n scio u sn ess of the su cceed in g m om ent, the form er
being the cau se of the latter. T h i s chain of m om entary co n scio u s­
ness is without a beg in n in g , or, at best, its starting-point ca n n o t be
tr a c e d ; and Buddhism , m ore o r less, is not so m uch co n ce rn e d
with the b eg in n in g s of things as it is with the future, o r the
em ancipation of this chain of V ijn ä n a. T h i s chain of m omentary
co n scio u sn ess, op erating in unison with the all-powerful act-force,
leads itself e ith e r to degradation o r to em ancipation, depending on
good or bad actions. T h e Bodhi mind is by nature su rch arg ed
with bad conform ations— mem ory, desires, antipathies and false
co n stru ctio n s (K a lp a n ä )— which consequ ently m ake it im pure.
T o purify this chain of V ijn ä n a th ere should be an attem pt on
the p art of its ow ner to remove the many im purities, and, until
the im purities are fully removed, the Bodhi-m ind will be su b je ct
to a series of tran sm ig rations, n o t necessarily in the world of
m en, bu t in one of the num erous heavens, if the actions done are
g o o d ; o r in the world of anim als, g hosts, etc., if th e action s done
are bad . 1
A s the im purities a re removed, one after anoth er, the Bodhi-
m ind co m m en c es an upward m arch in the differen t spiritual
sp h eres, named by the M ahayänists the Bhüm is, and stays in the
d iffe r e n t sp h eres only so long as he is not qualified to rise still
h ig h e r o r g o down still low er. T h e num ber of th ese B h ü m is is
g e n era lly recognized as ten, and the work which d e scrib e s the ten
B h ü m is and th eir c h a ra c te ristic s, which qualify their occupants, is
th e famous D a S a b h ü m ik asü tra , of which we have ju st g o t a
m ag nificen t edition from D r. J . R ah d er. T h e B h ü m is are named
on page 5 of D r. R a h d e r ’s book, and their nam es a r e : ( 1 ) P ram u -
ditä, (2) V im alä, (3) P ra b h ä k a ri, (4) A rcism ati, (5) Su d u raja y ä,

1 B. Bhattacharyya, Foreword to the T<xttxa*a*Hgraha, p. xxxix.

98 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N T O R U I N ) ] 11ST K S O T K R IS M

( 6 ) Abhiniukti, (7) Durangama, (8 ) A calä, (9) Sädhum ati, ( 1 0 ) and

1 )harmnmedhya.'
W hen the Bodhi-mind obtains emancipation, or, in other
w o rd s when it crosses all the ten Bhüm is mentioned above, it is
rewarded with omniscience. Now, then, the question arises as to
the place where the omniscient Bodhi-mind resides in the real
cosmological structure, as conceived originally by Buddha.
In the T ä n tr ic works generally the deities reside in the
Akani§tha heaven ; but it appears, from the evidence obtained from
the other sources, that they were inferior to the omniscient Bodhi-
mind. T h e Bhümis, it may be remembered, were not meant for
the H tnayanists; but were exclusively meant for the Mahäyänists,
whose followers were called the Bodhisattvas. No Buddhist
would be called a Bodhisattva, who has no compassion for
suffering humanity or is not prepared to sacrifice his Nirvapa,
even though entitled to it, until all creatures of the universe are
in possession of the Bodhi knowledge. T h u s, we can see how the
Srävakas and Pratyekas are not entitled to the name of Bodhi­
sattva, which also accounts for their being called H in a y ä n ists;
because they selfishly look forward to their own benefit and are
not at all moved by the intense sufferings of their other less-
advanced brethren. T h e H inayanists, before obtaining their
Nirvana, have a place in the world s tru c tu r e ; but their individual­
ity is lost when they actually obtain Nirvana. T h e y have not to
wait for the emancipation of o th e r s ; and so the continuity of
their existence is not at all necessary. B u t the Bodhi-mind o f a
Bodhisattva is entirely different. E v e n when the Bodhisattva is
entitled to Nirvana, he has to continue for the benefit of all living
beings and work vigorously for their uplift. B u t the question
arises as to what heavens they occupy, and where they g o while
obtaining omniscience. A satisfactory answer to this question

1 op. dL, p. 5,
has been given by Santarak sita, in his famous polemical work, the
T a ttv a so m g ra h a ' T h e r e it is said :

In the excellent A k an isth a heaven, which is beyond the

Suddhäväsa heaven, the Hodhisattva attains om niscien ce and
(under his influence) a Buddha is born in this world.

Kam alasila, while co m m enting on th is passage, adds the

information that, beyond the A kanistha heaven, there is a
Mahesvara B h a v a n a ,o r ‘ an abode of M ahesvara’, where the chain
of co nsciou sness of the com passionate Hodhisattva attains om ni­
science. T h e V ajray än ist conception and definition of Bodhicitta
is in accordance with the tenets of the Bodhisattvayäna, and it was
first prom ulgated in the G u hyasan taja . A c co rd in g to this au th o r­
ity, the Bodhi-mind is that in which voidness and compassion
work in unison.a
A t this stage it is necessary to explain the conception of
external o b je c ts from the viewpoint of V ajra y än a. In the eye of
a V a jray ä n ist, the external world has m uch the sam e significance
as it has in Y o g ä c ä r a ; and in the T ä n t r ic works of the Buddhists
th ere is ample evidence to show how the extern al world was
treated in the philosophy of V ajray äna. In one place it c h a ra c te r­
izes the external world, with its movable and immovable o b je c ts ,,
such as a pot, picture, conveyance, house of statues, mountains,
etc., as reduced by reason to m ere appearances, in much the same
way as m agic and dreams are considered appearances. T h e re fo r e ,
the V ajra y än ists held that external o b je cts are no more real than

1 p. 916.
* cf. Two Vajrayäna Works, p. 75, where the following line is quoted
from the Gukyasamäja : I

magic, a mirage, shadow or dream, and that their reality cannot

be proved by reason .4
4. A hamkära

T h e peculiar feature of V ajrayäna worship lies in the doctrine

of Ahaihkära, o r the identification of the Bodhicitta with the deity
worshipped. A ham kära is explained as ‘ 1 am the goddess and
the goddess is in m e '.1 A ccord ing to Ahamkära, the worshipper
should conceive himself as the deity, with the same complexion,
form and limbs as described in the Sädhana, and should, instead of
worshipping any external object, worship himself. I t was suggest­
ed elsewhere that this rite of identification of the worshipper with
the worshipped was a new feature, introduced for the first time
by the T ä n tr ic Buddhists. T h is has met with general criticism
from a number of noteworthy scholars. T h e y urged that, in view
of the great antiquity of the Y o g a philosophy, the contention that
the doctrine of Ahamkära is an introduction is untenable. T o this
it may be said, that the theory of the absorption of individual self
with the Primordial Matter, o r union of the self with a personal God,
by the practice of Yoga, to attain thereby the perfect knowledge
and the consequential freedom from the bondage of transmigration,
was started in India from very ancient times, and traces of it can be
found in the Upani$ads of very great antiquity, even g reater than
than that of the Y o g a system. Nothing, therefore, can be said to be
an innovation; but still we say, for instance, that the V edanta
school originated with Safikara, though previous to that there
was a school of Aupani§ada philosophers; that Sankara
systematized the doctrine of Mäyä, though Buddhists from
N ägärjuna’s time all acknowledged and wrote about the same

1 For instanoe, Sädhanamälä, p. 1 3 9 ; sifipruh-

44 RTWRm^l, etc.
1 For instance, ibid., p. 318: in WMKftdl flTSf
wmfo<n 1

doctrine in their works. W h e n , therefore, it is said that this

elem ent of Ahariikara was introduced for the first time by
V a jray a n a, it is said with reference to the identification of
the worshipper with the deity, who is a transformation of the
g re a t reality known as Su n y a , not only tor the purpose of a tta in ­
ing em ancipation as is found in Y o g a , but also for liewitching
women, destroying men and th eir dwelling-houses, for the e x t r a o
tion of snake-poison, o r for reliev in g a woman of the pains of
labour. Ahariikara, in fact, is im perative in the V ajray än a form
of worship, and this introd u ctio n is co nsid ered to be new in view
of the multifarious purposes it is called upon to serve.
In some of the H indu T a n tr a s , indeed, this very doctrine of
identification (or Ahariikara) is to be found ; and this fact gives
rise to the controversy as to the priority, o r otherwise, of the two
predom inant T ä n t r i c schools, H indu and Buddhist. T h e r e are
sufficient reasons to hold that H ind u T a n t r a s were introduced on
the model of the Bu ddhist T a n tra s , and the H in d u s, among others,
borrowed many B u d d h ist custom s, p ractices, deities and mantras.
T h e very K u läcära appears to have been already conceived by the
Buddhists, and probably the forefathers of a large num ber of the
K a u la s today w ere d ire ct disciples of B u d d h ists in the T ä n t r i c
age. W e are, therefore, not su rprised to see H in d u s making use of
the Bu d d h ist doctrine of Ahariikara in th eir worship,

5. A dvaya

T o understand the sig nificance of the V a jray än ist conception

of Advaya, the theory of S ü n y a tä and K aru iiä will have to be first
taken into consideration. V o id n e ss and com passion together
co n stitu te what is called Bodhicitta, o r the Bodhi-mind. T h i s
idea, probably for the first time, m akes its appearance in the
G u h y asam äja. T h e m ixing up of the two elem en ts, S ü n y a tä and
K a ru n ä , is what is known as A d vay a .1

ünvata, as conceived by the V a jray än ists, is very forcibly

sod in almost every T ä n tr ic work of the Buddhists,
tä consists in thinking, or realizing, all worldly phenomena
nsitory. momentary, non-ego, m istaken as realities by the
sim ilar to o b jects seen in a dream o r magic, endowed with
nt purity, non-existent, unborn and void, like the place of
ithatä (thatness).'
‘he conception of compassion, o r K aru nä, of the V ajrayänists
Uso a lucid expression in the T ä n t r ic works. Compassion
ned there as the determination on the part of the Bodhisattva
1 to N irvana (and finally to place) all beings, including those
rom eggs, the uterus, perspiration, those endowed with hoofs
orses, or whether with a form o r formless, consciou s or
scious, or those who abide neither in consciousness nor in
sciousness. In other places K aru iia is defined as a strong
Unation to diffuse right know ledge among the people
>wing to desire (T rsn ä ), are blinded by ignorance, and
t realize the continuous transm igration caused by the act-
in order that they may lead a life in accordan ce with the
dependent origination (PratUya-samutpäda).*
'h e com m ingling of Sü nyatä with K a ru n ä is designated by
ajrayänists as Advaya, and it is a theory which is very
tant for understanding the underlying features of V ajray än a,
this alone the foundation of S ak ti w orship is based. Advaya
letimes explained by means of a sim ile : 4A s copper leaves
■ty colour and becomes gold when it com es in co ntact with
ig ic solution, even so the body leaves off its attachm ent,
thies, etc., when it com es in co n ta ct with the tincture of
a . ’ * T h e com m ingling of Sü n y atä an d Karunä is com pared
>ee Sädhanamälä, p. I l l : . . . etc.
bid., pp. 26, 111.
bid., p. 82: SW
l. E A D IN G T E N E T S 103
with salt m elting in water, where the duality ceases, g iv in g rise to
non-duality, o r Advaya. J u s t as other ideas were deified in V a jr a ­
yäna, A d vaya was also deified, and we find two deities, H e r u k a
and l ’ rajna, em bodim ents of S ü n y a and K a r u n ä , com m ingled in
Advaya, and fused together in em brace in the Y u ga-naddha, o r
the yab-yum form. T h e duality m erges into one, and gives rise
to the single form of H e r u k a only.


IT has been already pointed out that the Buddhists had a

special literature which laid down the procedure for the worship
of T a n tric deities of the Vajraya.ia pantheon. T h e rules laid
down in the Sädhanas are interesting as showing the way in
which the old priests and the laity engaged themselves in medieval
times, and as pointing out their particular beliefs and doctrines,
and the way in which they utilized their knowledge and philo­
sophy in actual practice. W e will here take an elaborate Sadhana
of T ä rä , the Buddhist saviouress, which gives the procedure with
a greater wealth of detail than most of the other Sädhanas.
F irst of all the worshipper is enjoined, after leaving the bed in
the morning, to wash his face and teet, and repair to a place which
is lonely and agreeable, and is anointed with scent and strewn
with fragrant flowers. He should sit in an easy pose and meditate
in his heart on the orb of the moon, which originates from the first
vowel ‘A ’, and notice thereunder a beautiful blue lotus in full
bloom. On the filament of the lotus on which is placed the
spotless moon, he should meditate on the germ syllable, 'T a r h \ of
yellow colour. T h e n from the yellow germ, ‘ T ä r h ’, he should
meditate on the rays of light issuing from it as destroying the
darkness of ignorance of the world and as illumining the innumer­
able worlds that exist in the ten quarters, and as bringing from
the firmament innumerable and inconceivable Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas. T hen, after an elaborate worship of these great
compassionate Buddhas and Bodhisattvas by means of celestial
flowers, incense, scents, garlands, unguents, powders, mendicant-
dress, umbrellas, flags, bells, banners, and the like, he should
make a confession of sins in the following m an ner: ‘ W h a t­
P R O C E D U R E KOK W O R S H I P 105

ev e r sinful deeds I have done, cau sed to be done, or allowed to be

done, in this endless c y c le of cr e a tio n , every thin g I confess.’
A g a in meditating on th e restraint of wrong deeds, he should give
his assent to m eritorious deeds done by others with the w o rd s: * 1
assent to the virtues of the S u g a ta s, P raty ekas, S rä v a k as, Jin a s
and their sons, the Bodhisattvas, and of the world with all the
gods, b e g in n in g with B ra h m a .’ A f t e r this, refuge in the three
jew els should be taken with the w o r d s : ‘ I take refuge in Buddha
so long as the Bodhi essen ce su bsists. I take refuge in Dharma
so long as the Bodhi essen ce s u b s i s t s ; and I take refuge in S a n g h a
so long as the Bodhi essen ce s u b sists.’ T h e re a fte r adherence
to the path of the T a th ä g a ta should be done with the w o rd s:
' B y me should be followed only the path indicated by the
T a th ä g a ta , and naught e lse.’ T h e n solicitation should be done
with the w ords: ' T h e gods, the T a th ä g a t a s and their children,
who have created everything in th is world for the benefit of the
worldly beings, be constant to m e and em ancipate m e .’ T h e n a
request should be made with the w o r d s : ' G ods and T a th a g a ta s,
in stru ct me with such in co n tro v e rtib le lesson s on the law by which
the beings of the world may be freed from the bond of the world
q u ick ly .’ T h e n he should m editate on the results of his m eri­
torious deeds with the following w o r d s : * W h a te v e r merit I have
acquired by the seven kinds of extrao rd in ary worship, such as
the confession of sins, all that I devote to gain at the end the
final Sam bod hi.' O r otherw ise h e should recite the following,
which indicates the seven k in d s of extraordinary w orship:
‘A ll sins I confess and I gladly a sse n t to the m erits of o t h e r s ;
for the sake of not having a n o th e r birth, I take refuge in
lord Buddha and in the Jew el of g ood L a w , o r in the three Jew els,
and d ire ct my thoughts to Bodhi. I follow his path and devote my
m erits to the attainm en t of S a m b o d h i.’ W ith this the seven kinds
of extraordin ary worship should be perform ed, and then the gods,
who have been invoked, should be dism issed with the mantra. O m


A h Muh, o r with the following words : ‘ T h o u movest now a cco rd ­

ing to thy will, being anointed with the sandal of the S ila s
(com m andm ents) and wearing the g a rm e n ts of D h y än a (meditation)
and being strew n with the flowers of the Bodhi lim bs.’
T h e n the w orshipp er should m editate on the tour B rahm as,
nam ely friendship, com passion, happiness and ind ifference. W h a t
is m eant by frie n d sh ip ? Its ind ication is the love that e x ists in all
bein g s, such as the love towards an only son or like its fruition in
th eir welfare and happiness. C om passion, again, is of what kind ?
I t is the desire to save others from m isery and from cau ses that
lead to misery. T h e desire that 1 shall save even the people who
are burnt with the g re a t fire of su fferin g from the three evils and
have entered the prison of S a m sä ra is what is known as C o m p as­
sion ; o r it is the desire to save from the sea of S a m s ä ra the beings
su fferin g from the th ree evils. H a p p in ess is of the following
n a tu r e : I t is that d e sire on the p art of the worshipper to place
all beings in this world in the sphere of Buddha-hood which
they are unable to attain otherw ise, o r it is the attraction
towards the virtu es that exist in this world, and to th eir en jo y ­
m ent and the spiritual pow ers a risin g ou t of them . W h a t is
in d ifferen ce? In d iffe re n ce co n sists in p rodu cing g re a t welfare
of all beings, good o r bad, by discard ing adverse requ ests and
o b sta c le s; o r it is the d esire that com es of its own acco rd to do
good to all beings without the least expectation of r e w a r d ; o r it
is the com plete in d ifferen ce to the eight human institu tions of
gain and loss, fame and notoriety, blam e and praise, pleasure and
pain, and all unusual activities. A fte r m editating on the four
Brahm as, the inherent purity of all worldly phenom ena should be
meditated. A ll worldly phenom ena indeed are pure by nature,
and, therefore, the w orshipper should think him self pu re by
nature. T h i s natural purity of all phenom ena should be established
by the m a n tr a :
I’K O C K D U K K Ft IK W O K S IIIl’ 107

If all phenomena arc naturally pure, where, then. is ihc

possibility oC the cycle of e x isten c e? Because <*{ tlieir being
covered up with the impurity of such tliought-cutcgorics as the
su bject and the object. T h i s impurity can only Ix* purged off h>
the meditation on the good path. B y that it is r c s iia itc d . Thu>
is established the essential and inherent purity of all phenomena
A fte r meditating on the purity of all phenomenal existence
the voidness of all phenomena should be meditated upon, f ie r i
void means this. I le should conceive the entire universe, with it:
m obile and immobile creations, as the clear manifestation of non
duality, when the mind is devoid of all kinds of false reflection:
and of su ch thought-categories as the subject and the o bject
T h i s very voidness should be established by the m antra:

T h e n , as previously stated, in the heart the \u>rshippe

should meditate on the goddess, A ry a ta ra , who originalen fmn
the yellow germ syllable, ' T a m ', fixed on the o rb of the sputlc*
moon which is again on the filament of a full-blown blue lolu>
T h e goddess, T ä r ä . should be conceived as sitting in Lalitasan.
on the moon placed on the lotus, as one-faced and two-armec
showing the V arada M udrä in the right band and a blur lotus i
the left, as profusely decorated with all kinds of ornaments, ami (
peaceful appearance. T h e goddess of this description should b
co n ce iv ed as long as desired. T h e n the eternally accomplishe
Bhagavatt should be drawn out by means of the rays that illumin
the three worlds, the rays which issue forth from the yellow geri
syllable, ‘ T a m ’, placed on the o rb of the moon, which is agai
within the filament of a beautiful blue lotus. A fte r thus takin
her out, she should be placed on the firmament and should I
worshipped with the offering s of scented water and fragrant flower
co ntained in the vessel inlaid with gem s at the feet of tl
Bhagavatl. S h e should also be worshipped with various c e r

monies, external and internal, by m eans ot flowers, incense, light*

stick, food-offerings, scents, garlands, unguents, powders, memli-
cant-dress, umbrella, flags, bell, banner, and the like. T h u s after
repeatedly worshipping and praising her, the M udrä, o r the mystic
pose of the hand, should be exhibited. A fte r propitiating the g od ­
dess of the essen ce of know ledge with this M udrä, she should be
comm ingled with the goddess of the essen ce of Sam aya, and by
so doing the non-duality of the two should be established and
meditated upon. T h e n the rays that issue from the yellow germ
syllabic, ‘ T a iii\ which is on the spotless moon, illuminate the
worlds in the ten quarters, cause the removal of poverty and other
m iseries of the beings that inhabit them by showers of various
g e m s ; and they (rays) im part to them the teachings on the
realization of the momentary Sunya. A fte r doing beneficial deeds
for the worldly beings, the w orshipper should meditate on the
form of T ä r ä which is identified with the universe. A gain he
should m editate repeatedly until tired the yellow g erm syllable
and the Bhagavati contained therein. H e who is unable to
meditate in this fashion should m u tter the m antra, O m T ä r e
T u t t ä r e T u r e Sv äh ä. T h i s is the lord of all m antras. I t is
endowed with g reat powers, and is saluted, worshipped and
revered by all the T a th ä g a ta s. A fte r finishing the Dhyäna, he
should think of the world as the form of T a r a , and should move
about co nsid ering him self to be the Bhagavati. G e n erally all the
eight g reat Sid dhis fall at the feet of those who meditate on the
Bhagavati in this m anner, not to speak of other sm aller perfections
which com e as a m atter of course. W h o e v e r m editates on the
Bhagavati in a lonely mountain cave espies her with his own
e y e s ; the Bhagavati herself g iv es him his very breath, nay, more,
even th e Buddha-hood, which is m ost difficult to attain, remains as
if it is in the palm of his h a n d .1
1 This represents a free translation of the Kincitvistara-Tärä Sadhana,
composed by Anupama Rak§ita, the Sthavira: Sädhanamälä, Sadhana No. 98.


I t is due to the T ä n tric Buddhists that Buddhism can boast

of an extensive and varied pantheon of gods, who*e aids were
invoked for all kinds of perfections and Siddhis described before.
T h e deities were of various colours and of various forms, and
were invoked to discharge multifarious functions. These deities
were represented either in stone or in metal and paintings, in
order to provide an aid to the worshipper for conceiving their
forms and identifying himself with the deities in question.
Vajrayäna had made itself attractive and popular by its interesting
tenets, doctrines and practices, and the exquisite art they had
developed in representing images, especially in stone and metal,
proved doubly attractive, and helped the priests in converting a
large number of people and bringing them into their fold. T h e
conception of the deities is inseparably connected with the
Vajrayäna philosophy, and is especially so with the conception of
Sunya. A ccording to the Buddhist T antras, the deities of the
pantheon are all manifestations of Sünya .1 Advayavajra, who was
a contemporary of the Pala king, Mahipäla I, who flourished
between A.D. 978 and 1030, in a characteristic stanza says that
the deities a re nothing but manifestations of Sünya and are by
nature non-existent; and whenever there is manifestation it must
be Sünya in essence.* In another place the process of evolution
of deities from Sünya is explained in an interesting stanza by the

1 B. Bhattacharyya, Indian Buddhist Iconography, p. 166.

* AdvayavajrasaMgraha, p. 51:

*wr at m m

same author. T h e process of evolution has four sta g e s: the first

is the right perception of Sünyata, or v oid ness; the second is the
connexion with the g erm syllable, the B i j a ; the third is the
conception of an I c o n ; and the fourth is the external represen­
tation of the deities .1 T h i s statement gives a direct lie to the
theory that later Buddhism was nothing but g ro ss idolatry. It
shows, on the o ther hand, that their conception of godhead was
philosophically most profound, a parallel to which is scarcely to
be found in any other Indian religion.
O ccasionally information is obtained about the residence of
the deities contained in the p a n th e o n ; and, so far as can be
gathered from the stray references, it can be asserted without
hesitation that the abode of the V ajray än a deities was in the
A k a n i^ h a heaven, which is the topmost of the R ü p a heavens .1
I t has been pointed out before that the deities of the V ajrayäna
system represent Sü nya, and they a re Sü n y a in essen ce with the
three elements, Sünya, V ijn ä n a and M ahasukha. T h e y are rather
the voluntary m anifestions of Sünya, in accordance with the B ija
mantra uttered by the worshipper, with an appearance suitable for
the function the deity has to discharge. S o m etim es deities arc
described as equal to all T athäg atas, and by T a th ä g a ta s they mean
the five D hyäni Buddhas. T h e implication of this is that the
deities are an embodiment of the five Skand has, over each of which
one Dhyäni Buddha presides*— such as Aksobhya for V i jn ä n a ;
V airocan a for R ü p a ; Ratnasambhava for V e d a n ä ; A m itäbha for
S am jn a , and Am oghasiddhi for Sariiskära. W h e n one elem ent
am ong the five predominates, the deity is considered to be the
em anation of that D hyäni Buddha who presides over the elem ent
in question. W h e n such a deity is represented in art, h e 't e a r s
1 ibku p. so ft * x *m \ ^ etc.
* See Sädhanamäld, pp. 47,04, etc.
9 cf. Two Vajrayäna Works, p. 4 1 :
4rTT* ^ I
T lIK U K IT IK S 111

on his head the same D hyani Buddha, and is considered his

o ffsp rin g and as belo ng ing to his family. T h e o th e r D hyani
Buddhas a r c gen erally represented on the au reo le over the head
of the principal deity.
T h e Buddhist T a n t r a s a re p articu lar to have a co lo u r applied
to all deities. T h i s co lo u r has a deep spiritual significance, and is
a thing which should not be passed o ver unnoticed. T h e 1 )hyani
Buddhas have each a d iffe re n t co lo u r, and the d eities em anating
from each of the D h y a n i Buddhas, co n stitu tin g his family, should
o rd inarily have the sam e co lo u r as that of th eir spiritual father.
T h u s th e family of A k so b h y a— the em bodim ent of the V ijn a n a -
skandha— should have a blue colour, becau se it is the co lo u r of the
D hyani Buddha A k so b h y a T h i s is, of co u rse, the g en eral ru le ;
but num erous e xce p tio n s a r e also found. L e t us take, for instance,
a deity who is very popular and has the power to g ra n t s u cce ss in
a variety of p rotective and d estru ctiv e rites. T h e deity cann ot
have the sam e co lo u r in all th e rites, because the d ifferen ce in rites
dem ands a d iffe ren ce in form , colour, posture, and so fo rth . 1
T h i s is why occasionally we find d ifferen ce of co lo u r am ongst the
m em bers belonging to th e sam e family.
I t is freq u en tly seen from the texts that the d eities som etim es
present a fierce ap p earan ce and a re invoked in terrible rites, such
a s the destru ction of m en (M ära n a) and th eir houses (U ccä tan a),
and so forth. P erh ap s the au thors co nsid ered this incom patible
with th e th eory of com passion, and a few ind irect explanations to
c le a r up the point becam e n ecessary. T w o ch aracte ristic passages
are quoted b e lo w ; one with reference to the fierce form of Y a n ia ri
and the o th e r in respect of U cchu §m a Jam bh ala.

«fasasRTiwinui n

1 cf., for instance, p. 556, ^ ; p. 395, ; p. 532,

ftewftl II1
A fte r m aking my obeisance by my head to L o r d Y am äri,
who is of dignified appearance ; internally com passionate, but
externally terrific for the g ood of all beings, 1 write the
p rocedu re of his worship for th e benefit of all.

3(?w 3P*reis?S
yppr II2

P eople who are s tric k e n down with the m isery of

poverty, what desire can they have for the rites laid down by
S u g a t a ? I t is for this reason, it seems, that Jam bh ala in his
anger assumed the terrific form of Ucchusma.

A c c o rd in g to th e T ä n t r ic s , therefore, though the deities

appear terrific externally, they are nevertheless extrem ely
com passionate in tern a lly ; and they always engage them selves in
doing good to the worshipper. It becom es som etim es necessary
fo r the deities to assum e a te rrib le form in o rd er to overawe and
c o e r c e }>cople to perform the rites laid down by Su g ata.
M ahäk äla is an o th er very te rr ib le deity, with terrible appear­
a n ce , who is invoked to d ischarg e terrible functions. N either
his appearance nor his functions a r e in keeping with the doctrine
of K a ru n ä , o r com passion, taught in the V a jray än a Buddhism.
B u t the shrewd priests o ffer for this an excellent explanation.
T h e y say:
arm# * >i: i

O n e who is persistently a hater of the preceptor and

is adversely disposed tow ards the turee jew els— Buddha,

Sädfiatiamälä, p. 550. 2 ibid., 570. • ibid., p. 586.


l>harma and S n n g h a — and im molates many anim als, is eaten

up alive by M.ihakala.
Now. in a case lik e this, we can easily understand that the
co iircp iiu n of the fierce form of M ahakkla is quite in keeping
with the doctrine of com passion, because such a person is
incorrig ible, and he, a lo n e and unaccom panied, does harm to many
b eings, and a m ischievo u s person like him ought to i>e removed
by the fierce deity ca lle d M ahakala for the good of m any. W e
ca n n o t, however, p erceiv e the necessity of e atin g the poor o ffen d er
alive, unless, of co u rse , it is assum ed that his mental co n d itio n will
ch a n g e m aterially, at least in the next birth, by u nd ergo ing a
transform ation in the com passionate stom ach of M ah ä k ala !
O cca sio n a lly a c h a r g e is laid at th e door of later Buddhism
that it is a form of g r o s s idolatry. T h o s e who hold th is th eory are
not quite c o n c c t in th is estim ation, and it is necessary t o s h o w in
detail that Buddhist w orship had nothing to do with idolatry.
Idolatry m eans w orship of idols. I t has many d r a w b a c k s ; but it
is very useful for so cie ty as a whole. T h e form less abstractio n and
u nseen power, w hich we characterize as G od, is a th in g very
difficult to be co n ceiv ed even by great ascetics, not to >peak
of the common people, who have no idea of what a ttrib u tes
G o d actually re p rese n ts If, of course, as we g en erally
do through the m ediu m of images, we ca n make the mass
believe in the g r e a t u nseen power and H is unbounded
com passion for s u ffe rin g hum anity, and m ake them fear sin and
love piety, then we m u st n e ce ssa rily admit that idol w orship is
fraught with g r e a t u tility and is of g re a t social service. But that
is no reason for c o n s id e rin g idol worship logical, u nless we can
definitely prove the actual possession of the im age by G o d , svhen
a few apparently m eanin gless words are uttered for the infusion
of the image with life. T h i s is indeed very difficult to believe in
th is scientific age, an d it is o ne of the reasons why im age worship
has been characterized by some as grossly su perstitiou s, and
114 AN ! N T U M U C T IO N TO lU 'D Iiin v i K s m K K.ISM

image worshippers as idolaters. Ido) worship has its utility in

its own s p h e r e ; and in India it has I>ecn considered a necessity
from very ancient times. But on the ground of public utility, as
such, it can have no scientific v a lu e ; because \vc have never
authoritatively known that a deity ever actually tak es possession
of the im age prepared (or the purpose. T h e H indus worship
idols in this way and believe that th eir m an tras can infuse th eir
im age with life ; and therefore they are, to all inten ts and p u r­
poses, idolaters.
T h e Ja in a s regard th eir im ages as r e m e m b r a n c e r s ; by seein g
the im ages of th eir T irth a n k a r a s , whom they believe to be historical
|)crsonages>, they call to mind th eir noble lives, excellent deeds,
th eir lofty preachings, th eir high ideals, and to th eir memory they
o ffer various a rticles of worship in token of reverence. T h e i r
idol worship is not e xactly what can be called idolatry in so far
as those T ir th a n k a r a s are co n cern ed . B u t the m om ent they leave
th is sphere and o ffer o b je c ts of worship to hypothetical beings,
such as the Y ak $as and the Y a k s in is , with four faces and
eight arms, o r with o th e r abno rm alities and with stra n g e v ehicles,
they a r c relegated to the sp h ere of idolatry. F o r here, also, we
c a n n o t prove th at th ese stra n g e cre a tu re s e v e r existed on the face
of the earth.
B u t the Bu ddhist mode of worship is e n tire ly differen t from
that of the H in d u s o r of the ja in a s . T o the Buddhist, the external
world has no ex isten ce. K v en the body with its sense organ s is
unreal. T h e real noum enon is only S u n y a , which, to g ether with
K aru n ä, co n stitu tes the B o d h icitta . T h e Bodhi-m ind, then, is also
a re a lity ; in fact, it h a s the sam e reality as th at of Sü n y a, and
beyond the mind there is n o th in g in the extern al world. T h e body,
a s such, being extern al, does not e x i s t : and it has no realivj’.
T h i s is the co n cep tion of the mind and of the external world in
V a jra y ä n a . T o the followers of V ajra y än a, therefore, how can
th ere be reality in an im age, a g ro ssly e xtern al o b je c t to which
worship may lit* o ffe re d ? T h e V a jrn )a u a theory ol godhead i.s .so
peculiar, and had such successive stages of development, traceable
through the Buddhist literature (or several centuries, that when­
ever sim ilar co n ce p tio n s or theories are m et with in literature or
in religion of o th e r sects, we can easily put our finger o n them and
characterize them as borrowed from the later Buddhism .
T h e w orshipper is generally designated as the Bodhisattvn.
A fter following the prescribed procedure, according to the instruc­
tions of the guru or according to the instructions laid down in the
T a n t r ic works, he should regard himself as nothing but a chain of
momentary consciou sness, full of compassion for su fferin g human­
ity, and invoke the aid of S ü n y a with the three e le m e n ts : Sünya,
V ijn ä n a and M ahasukha. T h i s aid can be invoked only when the
Bodhi-m ind of the Bodhisattva is com pletely identified with Sünya,
and only when this is done the S ü n y a responds. In acco rd an ce with
the B ija m antra, or in acco rd an ce with the purpose for which the aid
of S ü n y a is invoked, it transform s itself into the form of a divinity
with which the Bodhi-mind is identified. W h e n the com m ingling
of the Bodhi-mind with the deity takes place, the fo rm er develops
g re a t power and is able to do the work for which th e deity has
been invoked, until the latter is dism issed from the mind by the
proper form ula. A glance at the list of deities and th e aim s and
o b je c ts of V a jr a y a n is ts will show the m ultifarious du ties S ü n y a
had to perform , and into how many forms it had to transforjn
itself. I t ca n , indeed, be pointed out that because of the large
nu m ber of im ages of gods and goddesses of the V ajray anu
pantheon m ade and su bsequently discovered from under the
e a r t h ; th erefore the Buddhists must be considered idolators.
A g a in st th is it can be pointed out that it is not alw ays an easy
task to co n ce iv e the outward appearance of gods and goddesses of
an exten siv e pantheon for the purpose of meditation without the
help of im ages or pictures, and it is in order to supply this most
im portant aid to num erous worshippers that innum erable images

had to be made of stone, metal o r earth. W e have evid en ce a h o

that pictu res were painted for the same purpose, and even now in
Nepal the V a jr ä c ä r y a s keep a large stock of paintings and pictures
of an overwhelming nu m ber, of gods and goddesses for their
num erous clients. I t must be definitely understood that an attempt
is made here to represent the case of the Bu ddh ists with regard to
the charge of idolatry occasionally levelled at them. P rom a
study of their literature, we can definitely proclaim that V a jra y ä n a
was no idolatry. B u t if some ignorant lay disciple, in im itation of
the H indu and Ja in a cu sto m s, offers a few flowers at th e foot of
the im age, it need not im pugn the pure doctrine of the S ä s tr a s .
T h e attitude of the Buddhist priests towards H ind u religion
and its gods and god d esses was en tirely unfavourable, if not
an tag o n istic . 1 T h e y w ere not only hostile to the H in d u g o d s ;
but their hostility p roves further that they had a g r e a t hatred
towards the mem bers o f o th e r religions also. In the Buddhist
T a n t r a s wc find a n u m ber of H indu gods insulted, calu m n iated
and humiliated. A n u m ber of Buddhist goefs are seen displaying
the Brahm asiras, or the head of Brahm a, with four faces and grey
beards. A s Brahm a is th e first member of the Hindu trinity, this
signifies the hatred the Buddhist priests had for H in d u g ed s in
particular and H in d u ism in gen eral. H arihariharivahanodbhava,
a form of A valokitesvara, the all-compassionate Bodhisattva, has
for his V ähana (o r favourite animal), V isnu, the secon d g o d of the
H ind u trinity. T h e la tte r cann ot be m istaken for any o th e r god,
because in the description his own favourite V äh an a, th e mythical
bird. G arutja, is p re sen t. In the description of C am jarosana, the
god ca rrie s the noose in o rd er to bind the enem ies who cause
su ffering to humanity, su ch as V isnu, S iv a , and B ra h m a , who are
terrified by the raised index finger of the god. F u r t h e r on, it is

' But Dr. Coomaraswami, of Boston, has no faith in this, and, in fact, in
the mass of evidence collected here. J.A.O.S., Vol. 46, p. 187.
THK liK IT IK S 117

direc ted that Cnncj.irosaiia should be conreived as looking towards

the miserable people who are subjected to constant revolution in
the cycle of existence by the wicked gods, VUnu, Brahm a, Siv a and
Kandarpa, the god of love. By Candarosana’s intervention, the
hosts of terrified and w eeping Märas, who are nude, with
dishevelled hair and hopeless in despair, a rc hacked to pieces by
the sword carried by the deity. Candarosana gives their life Back
and places them near his feet, so chat they may perform pious
deeds in future. W h ile en u m eratin g the benefits that a ccru e
from the worship of the M rtyuvancana T a r a , it is said that the
worshipper co nq uers death and g ets emancipated, and even the
ends of his hair cannot be destroyed by the Hindu gods, such as
Brahm a, Indra, the Moon, the S u n , Siv a, the deities of the
waters, Y a m a and Manmatha. A g a in , while describing M a r i a , tin
principal H indu gods are bro u g h t to the humiliating position ol
m aking obeisance to M aricI. S o m e of them are actually tramplec
under her feet, while others obey her orders like servants. Ir
another place it is said th at to the ascetic who pleases the
goddess K u ru ku llä, com e B ra h m a , R u d ra, Indra, Näräyana, nnc
others, and meet all his wants lik e servants. W h ile describing
V ajrajvälänalärk a, he is characterized as tram pling under his foo
not only Vi$i?u, but also his consort, L a k sm i. Bhütadäm ara i
described as an expert in destroying the pride of Indra, Brahm a
K u b e ra, and others. U cchu§m a Jam bhala is described as pressing
K u b e ra under his feet, so that he may vomit jewels. Trailokyn
vijaya tramples upon the head of Siv a and the bosom of Gaur:
who lie on the ground in opposite directions. P ra sa n n a tä rä i
described as tram pling upon. Indra and Upendra, and pressin.
R u d ra and Brahm S between his legs. Paramäsva is describe
as four-legged, and as tram pling with the first right leg o
Indrani and Lak$m l, with th e second right R a ti and I’ riti, wit
the first left Indra and Madhukara, and with the second !e
Jay ak a ra and V asanta. W h ile describing the m erits an

Advantages to Ik ? gained by worshipping Hayagrivn, an e xce ed ­

ingly attractive prospect of future happiness is held before the
public, but not without calum niating a num ber of Hindu gods.
T h e worshipper, when he attains perfection, goes to the Vitlya-
tlhara land, installs himself as king, and enjoys all so rts of plea­
sures. A ll H indu g od s tlock to g e th e r to him, and he assigns
various duties to the d ifferen t gods. A p a rä jilä is described as a
goddess, whose parasol is raised over her head by wicked and
mischievous gods, such as Brahm a and others . 1
Now the above are a few am ong many instan ces where
Hindu g od s a re insulted and made su bservient to Buddhist
g o d s; but these are instances found in writing. T h e same
hapjHined in practice. A large num ber of images was carved by
the followers of V ajray äna, which represented in stone the H indu
gods being humiliated by Buddhist gods, and the same o ccu rs
in painting. G ag esa is regarded by the H in d u s as the bestower
of perfection and su ccess in T ä n t r ic rites. T h e Buddhists, in
order to display their aversion towards the Brähm anical faith,
made their gods trample upon G anesa. T h u s in the Indian
Museum im ages of ParnaSavari and A p a rä jitä , the C alcu tta
VangTya S ä h ity a Pari§ad image of Vighnantalca, the deities have
l>oen represented as tram pling G an esa under their feet. In the
two V ik ram apu r im ages of ParnaSavari and the D a cca S ä h ity a
Parisad image of M ahäpratisarä, G a g e sa appears below the lotus
seat, lying prostrate on the grou nd under the pressure of B u d ­
dhist deities. T h e Buddhists showed their anim osity towards
the H indu god, G anesa, and gave him the epithet of V ig h n a, or
obstacle. In the B odhgaya image of T rilo ky av ijay a, the
deity is represented as tram pling upon the prostrate forms
of Siva and G a u r j. In the Nepal images of H arihariharivähana,
Sä<i/itinamaf<1, intro., p. exxxi f., footnotes, where these references have
been collected. See also pp. 7 7 ,2 7 4 ,1 7 5 ,2 1 4 ,2 4 1 , 300, 350, 403, 510, 511, 512.
T I (F. D K I T I K S

A v alo k ite sv ara rides on the shoulders of V isnu, exactly in the

sam e way as Visnu rides G aru d a. In the V ik ia m a p u r im ages ot
P a r n a s a v a n , H ayagriva, the H in d u god of fever, and S ita lä , the
H in d u god dess of smallpox, are seen running away in opposite
d ire ctio n s from the m ere presen ce of the m ore powerful Buddhist
goddess. T h i s is how the Bu d d h ists of the T ä n t r i c age attempted
to exhibit the superiority of th eir god s over those of the B r ä h n u -
pical fa ith .1
T h e T ä n t r i c B u d d h ists did not spare the p et bet unscientific
th eo ries of the H in d u s re g ard in g salvation. F o r instance, they
a tta c k e d the d o ctrin e of holy T ir th a s in unequivocal language.
I n this connexion, a passage quoted from the C ittaiod h an ap rakd '
r a n a of Ä ry ad ev a, a later T ä n t r i c w riter, is interesting , h ie s a y s :

SjflT <ft*WTn 3 fVticiH II

^ I
siforRT 3 ^ u
TTOpftsfa WI*W ^ f&Wl: »
«nft T n n % f ^ u■

A dog sw im m ing in the G a n g e s is not co nsid ered

p u r e ; th erefore, bathing in holy places is futile for pious
m en. I f bathing can co n fe r m erit, the fishermen m ust be
m ost m e r it o r io u s ; not to speak of fish and o th er aquatic
anim als, who a re always in water, day and night. It is
c e rta in that by b athing even sin is not dissipated, because
people who are in the habit of m ak in g pilgrim ages are
full of passion, hatred and o th e r vices.

1 B. Bhattacharyya, Indian Buddhist Iconography, p. 162.

* From Ciltaiodhanaprakarana of Äryadeva, published by Mm. Haraprasäd
£ äs tri, in J.A .S.B., 1898, pp. 117 ff.


T h e varied, extensive and diversified pantheon of the

Northern Buddhists owes its origin to T ä n tr ic Buddhism, or
Vajrayäna. T h e re are certain*indications that Buddhism had no
pantheon before T antrism was well established. In earlier
Buddhism it recognized thirty-three gods of the Hindus, who
were residents of the Trayastrimsa heaven, which is one among
the many Rüpa heavens. Buddha did not believe in gods,
and in Saundarananda we find Buddha discouraging Nanda from
touching his feet in token of worship. H e told him he would not
be in the least pleased by Nanda’s taking the dust of his feet, but
he would bless him if he would follow the precepts laid down in
Buddhism and practise true Saddharma. Buddha was deified in
Mahäyäna, which considered him to be Lokottara, or superhuman .1
In Buddhist art also we do not find any of his images in any of
the earlier schools, such as the Sänchi and Bharhut schools, and it
is believed that the Grreco-Buddhists of Gändharä were the first
to carve out his image from stone.* W ithout going into a discussion
as to the correctness or otherwise of this theory, we can only
remark, while passing, that in the Gändhära school alone we meet
with a profuse number of images of Buddha. A number of gods
and goddesses are described in the M afijuSrim ülakalpa , which is
believed to have been written in about the second century A .D.;
also in the P ra jn ä p ära m itä we find a description of elaborate
worship of Buddha with diverse paraphernalia. But even then,
1 cf. Mahavnslu. Vol. I, p. >: W ^rfnf^^RT etc.
* Theory first advanced by Prof. A. Koucher in Jir^inuin^s o( liuddhist Art
and Other Pssays, p. 127. .Dr. CiMiinaraswnmi thinks that the Mathura sch«ol
can also have a claim to the production of the earliest image of Buddha,
1 1 1K I U N T I I K O N 121

it docs not m'ciii clear that the Buddhists had any conception
of a w e l l - d e f i n e d and well-classified pantheon. It is in the
GMftytixwMjtt that w e lind the idea uf a Buddhist pantheon properly
c r y s ta lliz e d ; here, for the first time, we find the description of the
five D hyäni Buddhas, their m antras, th eir M andalas and their
S a k tis . T h e s e Dhyäni Buddhas represented the five S k a n d h a s, 01
elem ents, of which the world is composed, T h e y are here d e scrib ­
ed as the p rogenitors of five K u las, o r fam ilies. M ere we read :

5 m «ft 3 $ <w wpitapmmi: » 1

T h e five K u las are D vesa, M oha, Ragn, C intäm ani

and Sam aya, which conduce to the attainm ent of ail d csiie s
and em ancipation.

T h e emanations, or offspring, of these D hyäni Buddhas c o n ­

stitute their families. I t was in this way that the Buddhists got
a systematized and well-classified pantheon, with its profusion
of god s and goddesses. W h e n these w ere represented in art
they were required to show th eir origin by holding on their head
the m iniature figure of their parental D h y ä n i Buddha. Kach deity
was given various forms, with two hands, four hands, six hands,
eigh t hands, or even up to twenty-four, and proportionately one to
four heads, and up to twelve heads. T h e y were given different
colours, different com panions and d iffe re n t expressions, in acco rd ­
ance with th eir worship in the d iffe ren t T ä n t r i c rites, and in
acco rd an ce with the different fu nctions they were required to
discharge, from c u rin g a disease to killing an enem y. T h e artist
had a co n sid erable hand in designing th e im ages of deities, and
they introduced th eir own traditions a n d innovations. T h e
votaries also, a cco rd in g as they wanted to have th eir god s in more
o r less powerful forms, added extra hands, heads and feet, to suit

Gukyasam äja, op. cit., pp. 6 ,1 1 ,1 6 -1 7 .

122 AN I N T R O D U C T I O N TO Jil D P I H S T KM ) I K K I S M

their own ideas and w h im s ; and it was precisely in this way that
the deities increased to an amazing number.
I t has already been indicated that the G u fiy asam aja went into
private hands after its inception, and was handed down through
an unbroken chain of g u ru s and disciples for three hundred y e a r s ;
and obtained publicity, through the teach ing s and mystic so n g s of
the Buddhist Sid d h äcäry as and V a jrä cä ry a s, in about the middle
of the seventh centu ry . I t is for this reason that we do not find
references to this pantheon in the general Buddhist literature, or
in the works of the C h in ese travellers who cam e to Ind ia to
investigate the condition of Buddhism prevalent in their own time.
D espite this fact, certain names of Buddhist god s and goddesses
are indeed found in these w ritings, though they do not pertain to
the wcli-cJassified pantheon referred to above. I n the S u khävatt-
vyuha ,* which was translated into C h in e se betw een A.D. 148 and
170, the name of A m ita b h a appears for the first tim e, who was the
presiding deity of the Su k h äv ati o r the A kanisfha heaven, where
he is believed to have brought A valokitesvara into existen ce. W e
should rem em ber that in the V a jra y ä n a works also this heaven has
been characterized a s the abode of all deities. I n the sm aller
recension of the same work, which was also translated into C hinese
between a . i >. 3 8 4 and 4 1 7 , m ention is made of two m o re gods,
namely A ksobhya as a T a th ä g a t a and M anju£ri as a Bodhisattva.
F a-hien ( a . d . 3 9 4 to 4 1 4 ) m entions the nam es of M anjuSri, Avalo-
kiteSvara and the future Buddha M a itr e y a ; and H iu en -th san g (A .i).
6 29 to 6 4 5 ) the names of Avalokitesvara, H ä r lti, K sitig a rb h a , M a i­
treya, M anju sri, Padm apäni, VaiSravana, Säkyabuddha, Säk y a-
Bodhisattva and Y a m a , as also the nam es of deified saints such as
A^vaghosa, N ägärju na, Asafiga, Sum edhas, and others. I * T s in g
( a .d . 671 to 6 9 5 ) m entions the nam es of A valokitesvara, A m itäyu s
o r A m itäb ha, H a riti, the C atu rm ah äräjik as, M aitreya, M anjusri,

1 Ed. Max Müller, in Anecdota Oxoniensia, pp. 1, 28, 32.

Y a m a , besides several others. Sän tid ev a (A.l). 695 to 730), in his
Stksäm m ttccaya, m entions the names of A ksobhya as a T a th ä g a ta ,
G ag n n ä g a n ja as a Bodhisattva, Sirhhavikridita as a T a th ä g a ta ,
C u ndä, T risa m a y a ra ja , M ärici, Sim hanäda, Manjughosa, and many
others. A fte r S a n tid e v a the T a n tr a s of the Bu ddh ists got wide
p u b lic ity ; and in the T ä n t r ic works written after his tim e all
referred to the pantheon, and described many gods who were
included in it. T h e S ad h an a literature, which d escribes the form s
of gods and the procedure for worshipping them, was developed by
th e Sid d h ä cäry a s S a rah a , N agarju n a, Sab arlp a, A n an g av ajra, In-
drabhuti, and many others, though the earliest S ad h an a was perhaps
w ritten by A sa n g a , who flourished in the third centu ry A.l>., in
which he referred to th e D hyäni Buddhas and their em an a tio n s . 1
W h e n we exam in e the im ages executed in the d ifferen t
sch o o ls of art, we also co m e to the sam e conclusion, that the
Bu ddh ist pantheon was no t well-developed before the T a n t r a s got
wide publicity, in about the beginning of the eigh th century. In
the G änd hära school, for instance, besides the Buddha im ages we
m eet with th e im ages of Jam bhala, M aitreya, H ä riti (the Indian
M adonna) and h e r co nso rt, along with o th e r Bodhisattva images.*
In the M athura school of sculpture, which was e ith er co n tem p or­
aneous or somewhat later than the G ä n d h ä ra school, wc meet with
num erous B u d d h a and B o dhisattva im ages, and those of K u b cra ,
Y a k s a s and N ägas. T h e M athu ra school extended to the early
G u pta period, and here also we do not m eet with the later Buddhist
gods, namely A valokitesvara, M anjuSn, T ä r ä , and the like.* T h e
case of the M agadha school, which flourished after the M athura
school, is otherwise. I t included the images of Sära n äth , N älandä

1 Sädlmna No. 159, in the Sädhanam äiä.

* V. A. Smith, P in e A rt in In d ia an d Ceylon, Figs. 62 , 63, PI. X X V I II ,
Figs. 64, 6 5 ; also Garuda and Näga images, Fig. 7 0 ; refer also to the image
of Kubera, No. 3912 of the Indian Museum.
* A S ./. Ann. Rep., 1906-7, p. 145; M athura Museum C atalogue, pp. 2 7 -2 8 .
124 AN I N T R O D U C T I O N TO l S U D D M I S T E S O T K K I S M

and Odantapuri. T h e most flourishing period of the Magadha

school was contem poraneous with the reign of the P äla kings of
B en g al, and lasted till the Muhammadan conquest of E a stern
I n d i a 1 In this school we find the first reference to a well-
classified p an th e o n ; because in most of the images there are five
D hyäni Buddhas round the aureole over the head, as also the minia­
ture of the parental D hyäni Buddha on their crowns. A gain, unlike
the G än d h ära and M athura schools, there is a great dearth of
Buddha images, and, even when he is represented, he takes the form
of V ajrasana, being flanked by Avalokiteävara and M a itr e y a o n th e
two sides in a semi-mythical form. In the Magadha school, th ere­
fore. Buddha partakes of the nature of the D hyäni Buddha
Aksobhya, as is evident from the numerous Säd hanas dedicated
to his worship. T h e Bodhisattva images also are not so stereotyped
as we find them in G änd hära and M athura. T h e Magadha school
is characterized by its wide variety of im ages of gods and
g o d d e s s e s ; and this will be apparent to any visitor who goes to
the museums at S ära n ä th and N älandä, or Patna, or takes a turn in
the extensive ruins of the Odantapuri V ih ära, now situated near the
railway station at Bihar, on the B ih a r Bakhtiyarpur L ig h t Railway
A t S äran äth we meet with the images of Sa<Jaksari Lokesvara,
U cchu sm a Jam bhaia, MnnjuSri, T ä r ä , V asudhära. M ärici, all the
five Dhyäni Buddhas, V ajrasattva, the sixth D hyäni Buddha, and
many others belonging to the V ajray än a pantheon. Almost the
same variety of images presents itself in N älandä and Säranäth.
T h e Bengal school of art, which com es next, was distinguished
by the high-class art it produced and for its beauty in execution.
Its flourishing period ranged from the tenth century, or earlier, to
the conquest of B en g a l by the Muhammadans. Many of the
specim ens of the Bengal school are preserved in the museums at
Calcutta, D acca , R ajsh ah i and the V ang iy a Säh ity a Parisad, and a

1 V. A. Smith, History oi F in e A rt in India and Ceylon, p. 146.

la rg e num ber of th em are scattered about in th e P argana
V i k r a m p u r , in th e d i s t r i c t s o f D i n a j p u r a n d C o m i l l a . I n th is
s c h o o l m a n y i n t e r e s t i n g i m a g e s o f g o d s b e l o n g i n g to th e T ä n t r i c
H u d d h is m a r e to b e m e t w i t h ; a n d f r o m th e s e it s e e m s c l e a r th a t
t h e a r t i s t s w e r e a c q u a i n t e d w ith a l a r g e n u m b e r o f d e s c r i p t i o n s of
th e f o r m o f g o d s a s g i v e n in th e S ä d h a n a l i t e r a t u r e ; fo r i n s t a n c e ,
a m o n g o th e rs th ere a re im ages of H e ru k a , V a s u d h ä ra , Ja m b h a la ,
A rap acana, K h asarpann, P a rn a sa v a ri, S im h a n ä d a , M a n ju v a r a ,
A p a r ä jitä , M a h ä p ra tisa rä , N a irä tm ä , $ad aksarl LokeSvara,
M a h ä sri T ä r ä , K b a d ira v a n I T ä r ä , an d m an y o th e rs .1
T h e i m a g e s o f B u d d h i s t d e i t i e s fo u n d a t A j a n t a , E l l o r a a n d
in S o u t h I n d i a s h o w s i g n s o f a n i m m a t u r e d e v e l o p m e n t o f T a n t r a ,
and m ay be a ssig n e d to a p e r io d p rio r to t h e B e n g a l sch o o l,
th o u g h th e p a in tin g s of A ja n ta a n d o th e r s c u lp tu r e s a re o f g r e a t
a n tiq u ity . J a v a n e s e a r t w as p r o fo u n d ly in f lu e n c e d b y t h e B e n g a l
s c h o o l o f a r t , a n d th e im a g e s o f g o d s a n d g o d d e s s e s a s f o u n d in
th e B o d o - b u d u r t e m p l e s h o w th a t th e y k n e w m a n y d e it i e s o f th e
V a jr a y ä n a p a n th e o n .4 As V a jr a y ä n a w as m a in ly a p ro d u ct of
B e n g a l , it is p r o b a b le th a t th e B e n g a l c o l o n i s t s c a r r i e d th e ir a rt
a n d r e l i g i o n to J a v a by th e s e a r o u t e , p r o b a b ly f r o m T ä m r a l i p t i ,
w h ic h is e v e n n o w r e g a r d e d a s a s e a p o r t .
A f t e r th e d e s t r u c t i o n o f B u d d h i s m in I n d ia , t h e p r i e s t s o f
th e c e l e b r a t e d m o n a s t e r i e s o f B e n g a l a n d M a g a d h a , w h o c o u ld
s a v e t h e i r h e a d s f r o m th e h o s t il e s w o r d s o f M u h a m m a d a n is m , fled
t o N e p a l, w h ic h is p r o t e c t e d o n all s id e s b y th e n a t u r a l r a m p a r t s
o f t h e H i m a l a y a s , a n d t o o k r e fu g e in t h a t c o u n t r y , a n d th u s k e p t
t h e t o r c h o f B u d d h i s m s t ill b u r n i n g t h e r e . T h e B e n g a l school of

1 Most of these images are reproduced in Indian Buddhist Iconography,

in their appropriate places. The latest contribution on the subject of the Bengal
school of art, with numerous illustrations of Hindu and Buddhist images, is
represented by N. K. Bhatta£äli, Iconography o f Buddhist and Brahm anicat
Sculptures in the Dacca Museum, 1929.
2 Dr. J . Ph. Vogel, The Relation Between the A rt o f In d ia an d J a v a , p. 14.

art was carried there ; l>ut it was soon modified when it cam e
in contact with the native artists, and was thus stereotyped. T h e
general impression of the visitor who visits the numerous
m onasteries in Nepal, which are a repository of a large number
of im ages of the diverse Buddhist deities, is that the e x cellen ces
of the Bengal school could not be preserved by the Nepal
artists, and that decadence in art was already in evidence.
T h e followers of V ajrayäna, who went to Nepal in order to
make sure of their existence, converted a good many N ewars
of the land to Buddhism, and carved innum erable images of gods
and goddesses in stone, metal and wood, so m u ch so that a student
of iconography is overwhelmed by th eir wealth and variety.
T h e cumulative evidence of art, history, philosophy and
literature leads us to believe that the pantheon of the N orthern
Buddhists was not widely known before the e ig h th century A .D .,
nor was the underlying philosophy, which may warrant the for­
mation of a pantheon, well-developed before that time, though the
origin of the latter may have been considerably eariier. T h is
may be explained by the fact that the G u h y asam äja , which for the
first time inculcated the doctrine of the five D hyäni Buddhas and
their families, was composed and transmitted in se cret for about
three hundred y e a r s ; and that is why it did n o t attain wide publi­
city. I t is only in the Sad h an a composed by A s a n g a 1 that we find
a definite reference to the five D hyäni Buddhas and their families,
and it is for that reason not unreasonable to co n n ect A sa n g a
with the introduction of the very G u h y asam ajatan tra itself. The
subsequent writers got only a glimpse of what filtered through
the secret organizations. A fte r the eighth ce n tu ry se crecy was
no longer required, as the principles of V a jra y ä n a then were fully
established and widely spread, through the te a ch in g s and mystic
songs of the eighty-four Siddhapurusas.
T h e pantheon of the N orthern Buddhists revolves round the
1 Sadhana No. 159, in the Sädhanamäiä.
a j >i * h u i >i >i i a \ a jk a d iia k a
T I IK 1‘A N T ll KON' 127

theory of the five D hyäni Buddhas. T h e Buddhists Ixdioved that

the world is composed of five elem ents, o r S k a n d h a s : Kiipa,
V ed anä, Sam jn ä, Sartiskära and V ijn ä n a ; and these were deified
in V a jra y ä n a in the form of the five D hyani Buddhas. In course
of tim e these five D hyani Buddhas were regarded as primordial
gods, and, therefore, V ajray än a took more o r less a polytheistic
form. T h e priests were consciou s of this defect, especially when
they found all the six systems of H indu philosophy setting up a
m onotheistic form. T h e y tried to cu re this defect by the theory
of V ajradhara, that is, the A d i or the primordial monotheistic
god, to whom even the D hyani Buddhas owe their origin. T h e
theory originated in the N älandä monastery in alxmt (he tenth
cen tu ry . T h e re a fte r a large number of im ?g eso f V ajradhara must
have been made in the different schools of art, as can l>c inferred
from th e numerous V ajrad h ara images which are to be found in
the N epal and T ib e ta n schools. A lexan d er C som a de K oros
p la ces the introduction of this conception of Adi-Buddha in
C en tral India in the latter half of the tenth cen tu ry .1 I t originated
at N älandä, accordin g to him, in the beginning of the tenth
century , and no mention of Ädi-Buddha is made by any writer
before that time. H om ag e is paid to Ä d i-Buddha in the shape ol
a flame of fire, which the priests consid er as eternal, self-born
and self-existent. I t is said in the S vayam bhüpuräna that the Adi
Buddha first manifested himself in Nepal, in the form of a flam*
of fire, and M anjusri erected a temple over it. in order to preservt
the flame. T h i s temple is know ■ **bhu C f ity a .2
T h e conception of V ajradh; j r m pre-suppose
Adi-15uddha, and, therefore, is lat ^ I t half of the tentl
cen tu ry . V ajrasattva, being a nien t of V a jra p a n :

1 J.A .S.P., Vol. II, 1833, pp. 57 flf. Sec also fthfttacharyya, 'Vajradh.*)
vs. Vajrasattva,’ in J.13.0.R.S., IX , pp. 114 ff.
2 Oldfield, Sketches from Nepal, II, pp. 90, 156 ff., 1 8 8 ; ff&lgsons ftssay
pp. 115 ff.

\W Bodhisattva em anating from A ksobhya, is a litl)«- curlier,

though the co ncep tion s of V ajra sattv a and V ajradhara ;m- som e­
times inextricably mixed up. In V a jra y ä n a Adi-Buddha is tcg.<rd
ed as the highest deity, the o rig in ato r even of the I >h\ani
Buddhas. W h e n represented in human form, he begets ih r name
of V ajradhara, and is conceived in two forms, single and yaUyum.
V y h en single he is Iwdecked in jew els and gacdy ornam ents, sits
in the V ajraparyanka attitude, ca rry in g the V ajra in the right
hand and the G h a n ta in the left, the two hands being crossed
against the breast in what is known as the Vajrahuriikära M udrä.
In yab-yiim form he is the same as above described, with the
difference that he is in this case locked in ar. em brace with his
Sa k ti, whose name, a cco rd in g to M iss G e tty , is Prajnäpäram ita.
T h e S a k ti is somewhat sm aller in size, is richly dressed and
bedecked in ornam ents, carry in g the K a rtri in the right hand
and the K ap ala in the left.1
b u t V a jra d h a ra was not universally accepted as the Adi
Buddha. W h e n the theory of Ä d i-B u d d h a was fully established, the
Buddhists ranged them selves into many sects, as it were, holding
different views regard ing specific form s which the Ädi*Buddha
should take. S o m e considered one am ong the five D hyani Buddhas
as A d i-B u d d h a ; some acknowledged V ajra sa ttv a as the Adi-
B u d d h a; and a cco rd in g to some the Bodhisattvas, Sam antab had ra
and Y n jrap an i, were regarded as Adi-Buddhns. T h u s the cult of
A di-Buddha was distributed am ongst the different theories, which
gave rise to as many different s e c ts amongst the T ä n tr ic
Dhyäni Buddhas
T h e D h y än i Bu ddh as are a pecu liar kind of Buddhas, who
are not required to pass through the stage of a Bodhisattva. T h e y
have never been anything less nor m ore than a B u d d h a ; they are

1 Bhattacharyya, Indian Buddhist Iconography, p. xxviii.

( ) LOCANÄ ( d ) VAjAr>!lÄT\'|SVAKl

alway% eng»ged in peaceful meditation and they voluntarily

restrain them selves from tho a c t of creation. T o cre a te is a duty
of th eir em anations o r th e divine Bodhisattvas. T h e D hyäni
Bu d d h as are five in nu m ber, to which a sixth, V a jra *a ttv a , is
som etim es added. T h e th eory of the five D hyani Buddhas was
prom ulgated in about the third ce n tu ry A.D., for the first time in
the G ithva.sam aja and later on developed in the T ä n t r i c Buddhism .
It may !x* possible that the five M udras, which Buddha Sä k y a sim h a
made sacred by using on m em orable o ccasio n s, and which were
constantly represented in th e Bu ddh istic figures of the d ifferen t
sch o o ls of art, gave rise to th e five D hyäni Buddhas. T h e T ä n t r i c
authorities, however, m aintain that the five D hyäni Buddhas took
th eir o rigin from the theory of the eternity of the five Sk an d h as,
c * elem en ts, which were held by Buddha to be the co n stitu en ts of
^ being fused to g e th e r by a ctio n . V a jra sa ttv a , the sixth D hyäni
Buddha, was g en erally regard ed as the priest of the five D hyani
Buddhas, and is usually rep resen ted with the priestly symbols, the
V a jr a and G han tä. H e is an em bodim ent of the five Sk an d h as
co llectiv ely , and u ndoubtedly a later incorporation into the
pantheon. T h e five D h y a n i Buddhas a rc V a iro can a , A ksobhya,
R atnasam bhava, A m itäb h a and A m oghasiddhi. W h e n represented
they appear all alike. B u t they vary in regard to the particular
co lo u r of th eir body and the d ifferen t m ystic poses exhibited in
th eir hands, and a c c o r d in g to th eir v ehicles and recognition
sym bols. liv e ry D hyäni Bu d d h a is represented in a sitting
postu re on a full-blown double lotus, the attitude being known as
the meditative pose, in w hich he is required to sit cross-legged, the
right foot cro ss in g o ver and in front of the left, the soles of both
feet turned .upwards. T h e hand, which rests on the lap, is som e­
tim es e m p t y , but in most c a s e s it c a r rie s a b o w l; the head is bare
and the hair cu rly , which radiates e ffu lg e n ce like a flame of fire,
and the eyes are half-closed in token of m editation. T h e dress con*
sists of an under-garm ent, r e a ch in g from the breast to the knees
\M> \N f N i K«i|il C I ION IO lU 'hlM M ST IS O T K K IS M

and tied l>y a scarf. T h e body is loosely co vcicd by the habit of

a monk, leaving the right arm hare. T h e Dhyani Buddhas are
generally represented on the four sides of a stupa, which is the
symbol of the Buddhist universe. l; our out of the five face
the four cardinal p o in ts; V airocan a, the deity of the inn er shrine,
being g en erally unrepresented. Hut when lie is represented out­
side, he is assigned a place between Ratnasam bhava and A k s o ­
bhya. O n the stupa, A ksobhya faces e a s t ; Ratnasam bhava south,
A m itab ha west, and Am oghasiddhi north. V airocana is supposed
to reside in the heart, or the sanctum, of the stupa. O ccasionally
V a iro can a and Aksobhya ch a n g e p la c e s ; and in this state they
appear in the Dhyani-Buddha-M andala, described in the G u/iya
sarnaj a .
T h e s e Dhyani Buddhas are regard ed as the p ro g en ito rs of
the d ifferen t families of Buddhist gods and goddesses. T h e y
are assigned a Sakti each, through whom the families are brought
into existence. T h e families are Dve§a, Moha, R ä g a , C intäm ani
and Sam aya. T h e members of each family»are required to show
their origin by holding the figure of their parental D h y an i Buddha
on th eir heads.*
T h e colour, mudrä, vähana and recognition symbol of the
different D hyani Buddhas is shown in the following ta b le :

N ame Co l o u r Mudrä VÄHANA S ym ijo l

Aksobhya Blue Uhusparsa Elephant : Vajra

Vairocana White Dharmacakra Dragon Cakru

Amitabha Red Samadhi Peacock ! Lotus

Ratnasambhava Yellow Varada Horse 1Jewels

Amoghaskldhi |Green Abhaya G anda Visvavajra

1 Indian Buddhist Iconography, chap. f, pp. 1 ff.

pi v rr. vi no

(•») I^ND.VM

{ f>) MAMAKi ( t ) XkYATAka

131 IM .ATI- V II


( l’.ack v'cw )
T1U£ P A N T H E O N

I. T he D v esa F a m il y

T h e D vcsa family is presided o ver by A ksobhya, who is

re p rese n ted in the Bhüm isparsa. or the earth -tou ch in g attitud«*.
H e is first m entioned a s a T a th ä g a t a in the sm aller recen sion ol
the A m itäy u s-sü tra, which was translated into C h in ese between
A .I). ,S84 and 4 1 7 . H is S a k ti is L o c a n ä ; and his principal
B o d h isa ttv a is V ajra p än i. A large n u m ber of gods and god­
d esses em an ate from A ksobhya, and th ese constitu te the D vesa
A m o n g s t the god s em an atin g from A k so bhy a, H cru k a , Haya-
g riv a and Y an iäri are the chief. T h e blu e colour of A k so b h y a is
associated with terrible deities and g ru e so m e rites in the T a n tr a .
T h e d eities em anating from A k so b h y a usually take a blue co lo u r
and they exhibit an aw e-inspiring ap p earan ce, with distorted face,
bare fangs, three eyes, protru ding to n g u e, garland of severed
heads and skulls, tig e r’s skin and o rn a m e n ts of snakes.

A m o n g s t the m em bers of the D v e sa family H c ru k a is perhaps
the m ost popular and the m ost powerful. H e is assigned many
S a k tis, an d , as he is associated with the different S a k tis, his forms
are distinctiv ely called Buddhakapäla, S a m v a ra , V ajrad ak a, Sapta-
k sara a n d M aham äyä. Independent T a n t r a s , said to be delivered
by B u d d h a in an assem bly of the faithful, are ascribed to all the>e
d ifferen t fo rm s of H eru k a. W h e n tw o-arm ed 1 le ru k a dances in the
Ard haparyarika attitude on a co rp se, an d ca rrie s the V a jra and the
skull cu p full of human blood in the two hands. T h e KhjiJvanga,
su rm ounted by human sk u lls with flowing banner, hangs from the
left shou ld er like the sacred thread. I n the two-armed form he is

1 The descriptions of all these emanations have been summarized troin

the elaborate sädhanas in the Sädftanamälä. T he same procedure is followed
in the whole chapter. See also descriptions in Indian lluddhist l<onogr«pkj\
1 .0 AN !'• i k i » l * l « ) ln N i n J{L i ) 1 1 1 f I I ' i - . » n | j ! M s>,:

m m t i m o a>h<..(. i.ued with a S a k li, who c lo se !’ e m b ra ce s ami

c a r r ie s the K aH ri and the Kapula in h er hands.
W h en four-armed he is also conceived in yab-yum and c a n v>
th e V a jra , the swnrd, the K hatvanga and the jewel. W h e n he is
e m b ra ce d by C ilra s e n ä in yab-yuni, ho is called Btidrihakapala
and ca rrie s the Khatvänga, the K ap a la, the K a r tr i a n d the
D a m a r u ; and die pair is .surrounded by twenty-four g o d d e sse s
arran g ed in three circle s.
W h e n H eru k a is associated with V a jra v ä rä h i lie is usually
designated as V a jrad ä k a, which also takes two differen t fo rm s as
S a m v a ra and Sap täk sa ra. S a m v a ra is two-armed, sta n d s in the
Alfriha attitude and tram ples upon K ä la ra tri. H e c a r r ie s the
V a jr a and the O .hanta; while his S a k ti V a jra v ä rä h i show s the
V a jr a and the K ap ala tull of blood. S a p tä k sa ra , on the o th e r hand,
has th ree faces and six arms, though he is em braced by the same
goddess, V ajra v aralii. H e c a r r ie s the V ajra , the Ghantri and a
hu m an skin in the th ree left hands, and the K apala, the K h a tv ä ö g a
and the T riS ü la in the three right hands. H is S a k ti V a jra v ä rä h i
c a r r ie s the sam e symbols as her m aster. T h e p air is su rrou nded
by six deities, arranged in a c ir c le .
W h e n H e r u k a is associated with V a jr a y o g in i, who is g e n e r ­
ally known as Buddha<jakini, he has the nam e of M ah a m ä y ä. In
th is form H e r u k a has four arm s and four faces, and d a n c e s in the
A rd h ap ary an k a attitude. H e c a r r ie s in his four hands the Kapala,
the arrow , the K h a tv än g a and the bow. H is P r a jn ä ßud d had äk im
a ls o shows the sam e symbols and is endowed with the sam e form
as h e r m aster. T h e pair is surrounded by four g od d e sses in the
fo u r cardinal directions.
2. YA M Ä R I
Y a m ä ri is an o th er god belonging to the D ve$a family,
in d e p e n d e n t T a n t r a s are devoted to his worship, and they relate
to two d iffe ren t forms of Y a m äri, red and blue. I t is said that, in
acco rd an ce with the differen t functions discharged by th e deity,
IH K PA N T IIK O N * 133

he g e ts d ifferen t co lo u rs. K o r instance, in S a n ti he is white and

faces the e a s t ; in P austik a he is yellow and faces the n o r t h ; in
V a sy a he is red and face s the w e s t; and in A k a r s a n a he is blue
and faces the south, and so on. O f these, the red and blue form s
are m ore p o p u la r ; and this m ean s that his worship was m ostly
perform ed with a view to e n c h a n tin g men and women and to fo rce
them to su bm ission and b r in g them to the worshipper. Y am äri
may be w orshipped sin g ly , o r in vab-yum in co n ju n c tio n with the
S a k t i. l i e should have the head of a bu ffalo o n h is sh o u ld ers and
should ride on a buffalo. T h e T i b e t a n s relate a very in tere stin g
story reg a rd in g the origin of this fearful god. I t is said that th e re
was o n c e a holy man, who lived in a cave in deep m editation for
fifty years, a fte r w hich he was to e n t e r into N irv an a. J u s t a few
ho u rs before the co m p letion o f th is period, two ro b b ers e n te red the
cav e with a stolen bull and slau g htered it t h e r e ; but when they
discov ered th e p re se n ce of the a s c e tic , a w itn ess to th e ir c rim e , they
beheaded him . Im m ed iate ly he was k illed his body assum ed the
ferociou s form of Y a m a , and, ta k in g up the b u ll’s head, he s e t it
upon his h e a d le ss shou lders. H e then killed the two ro b b e rs,
and drank th eir blood from th e c u p m ade o u t of th e ir skulls. In
his fiery and insatiable th irst for v ictim s he th reaten ed to
de-populate th e whole of .T ib e t. T h e T i b e t a n s appealed to th eir
tu telary deity M afijuSrl, w hereupon the latter assum ed th e fierce
form of Y a m ä n ta k a , and defeated Y a m a in a sang u inary battle.
T h i s probably illu strates the popular belief that the b u ffalo is
m ore powerful than the bull.
Y a m ä r i in h is red form is usually co n ceiv ed as stan d in g in
th e P ra ty ä lid h a attitu d e, and as c a r r y in g the K a p ä la full of blood
in the left hand and a white staff su rm ounted by a severed head
in th e right. H e is decked in o rn am e n ts of snakes, has brown hair
risin g upwards, and w ears a ti g e r ’s sk in. T h e S a k t i, who e m b ra ce s
him in yab-yum, also stands in th e Pratyäli<jha attitude. S h e has
two arm s, g a r m e n ts of tig e r's sk in, and is intoxicated with wine.
134 A NT IN T R O | > r C T IO N TO l U 'lm H IS T K S U T h K iS M

Y a m ä r i, when blue, may have e ith e r one lace and two arm s,
o r th ree faces and four a rm s, o r th ree o r six faces and six arm s.
W h e n he is tw o-arm ed,he stan d s in the P raty ä lid h a attitude, and
show s a s ta ff su rm ounted by a V a jr a in the right hand, and the
raised index finger with a noose in the left hand placed against the
breast. W h e n three-faced and four-armed he is co n ce iv ed in yah*
yum in the e m b ra ce of th e S a k ti. H e c a r rie s in his right hands
th e ham m er and the s w o r d ; in the two left the lotus and the
jew el. W h e n Ihree-faced and six-arm ed he may also be re p re ­
sented s i n g l y ; and in this form he c a r rie s the thunderbolt, the
sword and the M üsala in the three right h a n d s ; and the goblin
(V e tä li), the axe and the lasso in the th ree left. H e may also
'h a v e the sword, th e M udgara and the th un d erb olt in the three
right h a n d s ; and the G h a n ja , the V a jr a p ä s a and th e Milsala in
the th re e left. In the seco n d form he may have six face s and six
legs, with th e sam e weapons.

3. E K A JA T Ä

A m o n g st the female m em bers of th e D v e sa family, E k a ja (a

and N airätm ä may be cited as sp ecim en s. A s is usual with the
m em b ers of the D vesa family, both these god d esses have a blue
form and they are te rrib le in ap p eara n ce and awe-inspiring, with
ha ir rising upwards in the shape of a flame of fire, ca n in e teeth,
g a rm e n ts of tig e r 's skin, th ree bloodshot ey es and protruding
tong u e. R e g a r d in g E k a ja t ä it is said that h e r worship was
introd uced by S id d h a N ä g ä rju n a , one of the eigh ty-four Maha-
siddhas, in the m iddle of th e seventh ce n tu ry , from the coun try of
of Rhota o r T ib e t . T h e co u n try of B h o{a was also known as
M ah a cln a, and this a cco u n ts for the nam e M ah äcin a T ä r ä , which
is given to the four-armed variety of E k a ia ja . S h e was conceived
in four d iffe ren t lorm s— as one-faced, having two, four o r eight
a r m s ; and as twelve-faced with tw enty-four arm s. W h e n tw o­
arm ed, she is co n ceiv ed as ca r ry in g th e K a r tr i, o r knife, in her
TH K l ’A M ' I I K O N 135

right hand and the K ap äla, or the skull cup, in the Ki t. W h e n

four-armed, she c a r r ie s the arrow and the sword in the two right
hands and the bow and the skull in the two left. A * M ahäcina
T ä r ä , she ca rrie s the sword and the K a rtri in th e two right hands
and the Utpala and the K a p ä la in the two ieft. W h e n e ig h t­
arm ed, she shows th e sword, the arrow, the V a jr a and the K artri
in the four right h a n d s ; and the bow, the U tpala, the Parasu and
the skull in the four left hands. W h e n twelve-faced and twenty*
four-armed, she g ets the name of V id y u jjv ä lä k a rä li and tram ples
on four principal H in d u g o d s — In d ra, B ra h m a , V iso u and
Siva. S h e ca rrie s the K h ad g a, V a jra , C a k r a , jewel, AnkuSa,
arrow , dart, M udgara, Musala, K a rtri, p a m a ru a n d rosary in the
twelve right h a n d s ; and the bow, noose, T a r ja n I , banner, mace,
T r is fila . Casaka, U tp ala, bell, P arasu , severed head of B ra h m a and
K a p a la in the twelve left.

N airätm ä is a n o th e r goddess who em anates from A ksobhya.
T h e word, N a irä tm ä , means soul-less, which is anoth er name for
Sü n y a , in which the B o dhisattva m erges on th e attainm ent of
N irvana. In V a jr a y ä n a the co n ce p tio n of S ü n y a took the form of
a goddess in whose eternal em brace the B o dhisattva is said to
remain in eternal bliss and happiness. N a irätm ä g e ts the blue
co lo u r because the colour of S ü n y a , acco rd in g to Buddhist
traditions, is the sam e a s the co lo u r of the sky.
N airätm ä is co n ceiv ed as standing in Ardhaparyaftka, in a
dan cing attitude on the ch e st of a corpse. S h e carries the
K a r tr i in the right hand and the K a p ä la in the le f t; and a
K hajväftga hangs from the left shoulder. S h e is decked with the
five auspicious symbols, or the M udras, viz. the torque, the bracelet,
th e girdle, the tiara and th e arm lets. Im ag es of N airätm ä are
extrem ely rare.
136 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N T O H M H U ilS T Km M 'K R In M

I I . T iik Mo iia F a m il y
T h e originator of th e M oha family is V airocana. who is
usually conceived as sittin g in the V ajrap ary an k a attitude, white
in colour, and showing the D h arm acak ra M udrä. H is re co g n itio n
symbol is the C ak ra, or th e disc, and his V äh an a is a pair of
dragons. H is place is in th e middle of the stüpa, and therefore
he is not usually represented outside the stü p a ; but exceptions
to this rule are occasio nally to be found, when he is given a
place in th e co rn e r betw een A ksobhya in the ca st and R atna-
sambhava in the south. H is B o dhisattva is Sam antabhadra and
his S a k ti is V ajrad h ätv isv a ri, through whom he brings forth the
m em bers of his family. A m o n g st the m em bers of the family,
M ärici and V a jra v ä rä h i may be cited as examples.

1. M ÄRlCl
M ärici is invoked by the L a m a s of T ib e t at the advent of the
m orning, showing her co n n exio n with the sun. L ik e the H indu
sun god, she also has a c h a r i o t ; but the chariot of M ärici is drawn
by seven pigs, while that of the sun is drawn by seven horses.
T h e sun has a ch a rio tee r in A runa, who has no le g s : while the
ch a rio tee r in the ca se of M ä rici is R ä h u , who has only a head
and nothing else. M ärici is conceived in six d ifferen t forms.
S h e may have one, three, five o r six faces, and two, eight, ten or
twelve arm s. S h e is g en erally accompanied by her four attendants,
V a rtä li, V ad äli, V a r a li and V a räh am u k h i, and is recognized by her
sow face and the seven p ig s that run her chariot. T h e needle
and thread are her ch a ra c te ristic symbols, by which she is said
to sew up the mouths a n d the eyes of the wicked. Im ag es of
M ärici are rath er com m on in India. I n her two-armed form of
A Sokakäntä she is seen in scu lp tu res as an attendant of K hadira-
vani T a r a , who is an em anation of Am oghasiddhi. A m on g the
other varieties of M ärici, th e form with three faces and eig h t arm s
is extensively found in sculptures.
IM A ! I- IX


W h e n two-armed, M ärici has the name of A so k a k än tä, and

in this form she holds the bough of an ASoka tree in the left hand
and exh ibits the V aradam udrä in the right hand. S h e is decorat­
ed with b rig h t jewels, wears white garm ents, and is conceived as
standing on a pig of golden colour.
T h e second, A rya-m arici, is identical in all other respects
with A so k ak än tä , and can only be distinguished by the symbols
which she bears in her hands. Instead of the A so k a bough anrf
V arada pose, A rya-m ärici ca rrie s the needle and thread
W h e n three-faced and eight-armed, M ärici has the name of
Märici-picuvä, is yellow in colour, wears red garm ents, and is
decked in various ornaments. H e r three faces display three
different sentim ents. T h e middle displays amour, and is yellow in
c o lo u r ; the left face is distorted sow-like, is blu e in colour, and
displays wrath, with bared fangs and protruding lips. T h e right
face is red in colour, glows in heavenly splendour, and displays
the sentim en t of S a n ta. In her six hands she holds the needle
and thread in the first pair, the elephant-goad and the noose in
the second pair, the bow and arrow in the third, and the thunder­
bolt and th e ASoka flowers in the fourth. S h e is accom panied by
four goddesses, situated in the four cardinal directions.
W h e n three-faced and twelve-armed, she may be called the
Ubhayavarähanana M ärici, because h e r two faces, to the right
and the left of the principal one, are depicted sow-like, unlike
any other three-faced form of M ärici. S h e stands in the Älldha
attitude, is clad in tig e r’s skin, has red com plexion, bejewelled
head-dress, a red scarf, and is decked in jewellery. T h e principal
face smiles with delight, is peaceful in appearance, and displays
the sentim en t of amour. T h e face to the left is red, while
the right has very g reat effulgence, like the Sain dhav a salt.
H om age is paid to her by a deity carry in g the V a jr a and the
M u d g a ra in the left, and by Purandara, ca rry in g th e V a jr a and the
noose in th e right, hand. In her six left hands she shows the

13« AN IN T R O D U C T IO N TO H U D D H iS T K SO T K K 1 S M

T a r ja n i against the breast, the A so k a bough, the A n k u sa , the

Kapala, the severed head of B ra h m a and the vessel. T h e s ix right
hands carry the needte, the A hkusa, the Bhiod»päla, the sword, the
K a rtri and the staff surm ounted by a V a jr a . S h e tram ples under
her feet the principal H indu gods, su ch as Vi$nu, S iv a and B ra h m a .
W h e n five-faced and ten-armed, she has four legs and a white
colour like the colour of the D hyani Buddha V airocana. O f the
five faces, the principal face is white, the one to the right is blue,
the other to the left is red and distorted, sow-like. T h e face
l>ehind is g reen, and the one above is yellow, and b e ars the
T r is ik h ä and the crown of chignon ( J a t l ) . T h e five right hands
hold the sunwthe thunderbolt, the arrow, the goad and the need le.
T h e five left hands carry the moon, the bow, the A so k a b o u g h , the
noose with the T a r ja n i and the thread. S h e also tram ples under
her feet the four H indu gods, Indra, Siva, V isnu and B ra h m a .
W h e n six-faced and twelve armed, she g ets th ree d ifferen t
nam es— V ajrad hätvISv ari M ä r ic i, O d iy äna M arie! and V a jr a vetali.
T h e s e th ree different varieties are due t o , s l i g h t d iffe ren ces in
weapons that a re held in their hands. T h e y a re all endowed with
six faces and twelve arm s. T h e first five faces are respectively
red, blue, g reen, yellow and white. T h e face on the top is
distorted sow-like, and has a blue colour. S h e stands in the
A lidha attitude and p resen ts a terrifying appearance, with th ree
eyes in each face, protru ding tongue, bared fangs, o rn a m en ts
of serpents, and a g arm ent of tig e r ’s skin. V ajrad h atv lsv ari
carrie s in her six right hands the sword, the Müsala, the arrow , the
goad, the V a jr a and the P a ra€ u ; and in her six left show s the
noose (occasionally with T a r ja m ) , the K ap ala, the A Soka bough,
the severed head of B rah m a , the bow and the T riSü la. O tjiy a n a
M aricI holds the C akra in the right instead of the goad, a n d the
Khatvänga-K apäla in one of the left hands, instead of the K a p a la
only. V a jrav etäli in one of her right hands holds the cro ssed
double thunderbolt, o r the C ak ra, and in one of the left the noose
THK l' A N T HK O N 139

instead of the K ap ala o r the K h a tv än g a-K ap ä la . T h e o th er hands

ca rry the sam e weapons in all the three cases.

2. V A JR A V Ä R Ä H I
V a jra v ä rä h i is an o th er im portant m em b er of the M oha family.
S h e is so called becau se she has an e x c r e s c e n c e near the right
ear, which resem bles the face of a s o w ; and th is is evident from
the ep ith et V a jra g h o n ä , which is usually applied to her. T h e union
of V a jra v ä rä h i with H e ru k a is the s u b je ct m atte r of the two
popular Buddhist T a n tra s , namely the C ak ra sa m v a ra ta n tra and
the V a jra v ä ra h ita n tra . S h e is described in the S ä d h a n a s as the
first queen of the god S r i H eru k a. S h e is also called a p ä k i n i ,
which in B u d d h ist T a n t r a signifies any god dess who may be
associated with the m ale g od s in yab-yum. S h e is d escribed
also as V airocanakulodbh avä, o r b e lo n g in g to the V a iro c a n a
V a jra v ä rä h i is co nceiv ed in th ree d ifferen t forms. T h e first
two are one-faced and two-armed, while the third is four-armed.
In all form s she is te rrib le in ap p e a ran ce , with th re e eyes,
dishevelled hair, the six M udräs, the P raty ä lid h a attitude, and a
garland of severed heads. S h e is e n tire ly nude, and dances on a
co rp se. S h e is su rrou nded by four d eities of the Mapcjala, viz.
IJa k in i, L ä m ä , K h a m ja ro h ä and R ü p ig f. In the first form she
stands in the P raty älid ha attitude, and shows in the right hand the
V a jr a , with T a r ja n i and the K a p ä la in the left, the K hatvänga
h a n g in g from h er left shoulder.
I n the second form she d an ces in the A rd hapary ank a attitude
on a c o r p s e lying o n its breast, and c a r r ie s the K a r t r i in a m e n a c ­
ing attitude in the right hand, and the K ap äla, full of blood, in the
left. T h e Kha{väfiga, as usual, hangs from the left shoulder. T h i s
variety of V a jr a v ä rä h i is invoked widely in the rite of bew itching
men and women, and h e r worship is very popular in modern days
in N epal and other Bu d d h ist co u n tries.
140 an I M K U O U C 'l IO N to llU L D H lS T K S O T E K IS M

T h e third, o r four-armed form, of V a jr a v ä r ä h i is know n as

A ry .v V a jra v a rä h i, and carrie s in the two rig ht hands the V a jr a and
the elep hant goad, and in the two left the K a p a la with the T a r ja n I
and the noose. S h e is one-faced, three-eyed, and appears terrible,
with co n to rtio n s of the brows, the adam antine e x c r e sc e n c e and the
protruding tongue, teeth and belly. S h e stands in the Ali<Jha
attitude on a co rp se, u nlike the other fo rm s of V a jra v ä rä h i, and
the Khafvaftga h an g s from h er left shoulder, as usual.

III. T h e R äga F a m il y

T h e jfro g en itor of the R ä g a family is A m itab h a, who is

usually represented as sittin g in the m editative pose and as
show ing the S am äd h i-m u d rä in his two hands, which a re placed
on the lap, one o ver th e other, with the palm s of both hands fa cin g
upwards. H is colour is red, h is recog n itio n symbol is the lotus,
and his V ä h a n a is a pair of elephants. W h e n represented on the
stupa, his chap el appears on the west. H is Bodhisattva is Padma-
päni and his S a k t i is P ä m jarä, through whom he brings forth the
m em bers of his family.
A m o n g st th e m em bers of the R ä g a family, I.o k esv a ra, o r
A v alo k itesvara, is the chief, who is undoubtedly the m ost popular
deity of the V a jr a y ä n a pantheon, because h e is the v ery em bodi­
m ent of co m p assion, to whom as many as o ne hundred and eig h t
form s are attributed. A m o n g st these the two form s, K h asarp a n a
and Sim hanäda, may be cited as examples.
K h asa rp an a is two-armed and one-faced, and c a r r ie s the lotus
in the left hand and shows th e V arad am u d rä in the rig ht. H e
has a g en uin ely peaceful appearance, and is endowed with various
auspicious m ark s. F r o m h is rig ht hand flows the stream of
nectar, which is received by Sü cim u k ha, the goblin, who stands
below with an uplifted face, a protruding belly, and an em aciated
appearance. H e is accom panied by four deities, T ä r ä , S u d h a n a -

kum ära, B h rk u ti and H ayagriva, in the four cardinal directions.

T ä r ä is g re e n . W it h her right hand she makes blossom the lotus
held in h e r left. Su d han aku m ära has his two hands joined against
his bre a st and carries a book under his left armpit, B h rk u ti is
four-armed, has matted hair, and c a rr ie s the staff with three horns
and the Kaman<}alu in her two left hands. O f the two right, one
is raised in the attitude of bowing while the other carries the rosary.
H a y a g riv a has red com plexion, a stunted appearance, and a
p ro tru d in g belly, and his hair rises upwards in the shape of a
flame of fire. H e has a snake as his sacred thread, and his face is
recognized by a moustache of a deep brown colour. H e is clad in
a tig e r ’s sk in and his appearance is awe-inspiring. H is right hand
exh ibits the mudrä of b o w in g ; and in the left he carrie s the staff
as a weapon.
Sithhanäda, the other form of Avalokitesvara, is widely
worshipped as a eu rer of all form s of disease. H e is conceived
a s of white com plexion, with th ree eyes, the crow n of chignon and
a tig e r’s skin as garm ent. H e has no ornam ents, is mounted on
a lion, and sits in the attitude of princely ease. T o his right th ere
is a white trid en t entw ined by a white s n a k e ; and to his left is a
lotus-bow] full of fragrant flowers. F r o m his left hand rises a
white lotus, on which a fiery white sword is placed.

2. K U R U K U LLÄ
A m o n g st the goddesses em anating from the D hyäni Buddha
A m itäb h a, K u ru k u llä may be cited as an exam ple. K u ru k u llä is
said to c o n fe r su ccess in the T ä n t r i c rite of V asik arana, or
betw itching. If her mantra is muttered ten thousand times any
m an can be bewitched, thirty thousand will be sufficient for sub­
duing a m inister, and one lakh for a king. H e r m antra is also a
ch arm ag ain st snake b i t e s ; and it has the power to e x tra c t poison
from patien ts bitten by a snake. K u ru k u llä is worshipped in four
differen t form s, with two, four, six or eig h t arm s. W h e n two-armed
3 42 AN I N T R O D U C T I O N T O K U O D H I S T I ' S O T E K I S M

she is white in appearance, sits in the Vajraparyanka attitude, ant

carries the rosary and the bowl of lotuses. S h e displays the sen
timent of passionate love and compassion, and wears the ornament«
of eight snakes. W h e n four-armed she has a red complexion, red
garments, red ornam ents and a seat of red lotus. She shows the
Abhayamudra and the arrow in the two right hands, and the bow
and the red lotus in the two left. S h e sits in the V ajraparyanka
attitude, and under her lotus seat appear Kamadeva and his wife
riding on Rähu. Som etim es she fits an arrow to the bow and is
ready to strike. S h e may have another form, which is known as
Odiyäna Kurukullä, when endowed with four arms. T h is form is
terrible in appearance, with the garland of heads, five skulls on the
head, protruding teeth and tongue, garm ents of tiger's skin, and
brown hair rising on her head in the shape of a flame of fire. O u t
of four arms the principal pair is engaged in drawing to the full the
flowery bow, charged with an arrow of red lotus. T h e second pair
holds a goad of flowers and the red lotus. In this form she sits
in the Ardhaparyafika attitude on a corpse.
W hen six-armed she exhibits in the first pair of hands the
Trailokyavijayamudra, in the second pair the goad and the red lotus,
and in the third the full-drawn bow with an arrow. S h e exhibits
the sentiment of amour, is youthful in appearance, and clad in red
garments and red upper garments, and wears all kinds of o rna­
ments. She is red in colour, and sits on a lotus in the Vajra-
paryafika attitude.
W hen eight-armed, she is represented as mild, youthful and
compassionate. S h e is red in complexion, and sits in the V a jr a ­
paryanka attitude. S h e displays the Trailokyavijayamudra in her
first pair of hands, the full-drawn bow and the arrow in the
second pair, the goad and the noose in the third pair, the Varada*
mudrä and the Utpala in the fourth pair. S h e is accompanied by
Prasannatara in the east, N ispannatärä in the south, Ja y atära in
the west, and the K arn atärä in the north.
IH K l’A N T H F.O N 143

I V . T h e C in ta m a is ’ i F a m il y

A t the head of the Cintäm ani family is the D hyani Buddha,

Ratnasambhava, who is usually conceived as yellow in colour and
as exhibiting the Varadam udrä, or the gift-bestowing pose. H is
V ähana is a pair of horses and his recognition symbol is the jewel.
W h e n represented on the stüpa he occupies a chapel towards the
south. N ot many deities emanate from him, nor is he regarded
as an A d i-Bu ddha by any of the numerous Buddhist sects. H is
Bodhisattva is R atn ap än i and his S a k ti is Mämaki, through whom
he brings forth the m em bers of his family. A m on gst the deities
belonging to his family J ambhala, the god of wealth, and V asud härä,
the goddess of plenty, a re the chief, and may be cited as examples.

A s an emanation o f Ratnasam bhava he may be conceived
as single, as also in yab-yum. W h e n single, Jam bhala is of
golden complexion and carries the mongoose in the left hand
and the citron in the right. T h e mongoose is supposed to be the
receptacle of all gem s, and when Jambhala presses the two sides
of the mongoose it vom its forth the riches. B y noticing this
mongoose in actual representations it is easy to recognize the
possessor to be Jam bhala. W h e n represented in yab-yum, he sits
on the moon, placed on a double conventional lotus of eight
petals. H e wears all sorts of ornaments, a garland of yellow
lotuses, and is locked in em brace with V asudhärä. H is complexion
is golden y ellow ; he has a protruding belly, and he ca rrie s the
mongoose and the citro n in his left and right hands respectively.
T h e eight petals of the lotus are occupied by eight Yak§as, who
are also associated with th eir respective S a k tis in yab-yum. T h e
S a k ti, V asudhärä, is yellow in complexion, and carries the e ars of
corn and shows the Varadam udrä in her two hands.
Jam bhala has an o th er fierce form in Ucchu?m a Jam bhala, who
144 AN IN T R O D U C T IO N T O B U D D H IS T K SO T K R 1 S M

is conceived as standing in the Dratyahejha attitude, with his left

leg stretched forward on th e forehead of Kubera, the H ind u god
of w e a lth ; while the right, which is somewhat bent, tram ples upon
his two legs. H e has a terrib le appearance, with a protruding
belly, bared fangs and o rnam ents of snakes, f i e holds the K ap äla,
full of blood, against his breast, and looks eagerly towards it with
his three eyes. T h e left hand carries the mongoose, near the thigh.

A m ongst the female members of the C intäm ani family
V asudhärä is noteworthy. V asudhärä is the goddess of plenty,
and is worshipped for various boons. S h e is fully decked in
ornaments, and is invariably accompanied by her confidants. H e r
complexion is always yellow, like the colour of Ratnasambhava,
and she carries in her left hand ears of corn placed on a vessel
which showers g e m s ; while the right hand e xh ib its the
Varadamudrä. V asudhärä is very popular with the H in d u s, who
worship her widely, and there are many Hindu T ä n tr ic works in
which the V asudhärä cult is inculcated.

V . T h e S am aya F a m il y
A t the head of the Sam a y a family is the D hyäni Buddha,
A m og h asid d h i; and a tolerably large number of deities em anates
from him. H is left hand lies open on his lap, and the right exhibits
the Abhaya-mudrä, or the attitude of assurance. W h e n represented,
his colour is green and he always faces north in the stüpa. H is
V ähana is a pair of Garu<Jas and his recognition symbol is
V isvavajra, o r the conventional double thunderbolt. So m e tim es a
serpent with seven hoods form s the background, while the expanded
hoods appear like an um brella. I n front of his shrine, therefore,
is found a small square pit, which represents the tank in w hich the
serpent resides. H is Bodhisattva is Vi€vapani and his co n so rt is
Ä ry atärä, through whom he brings the m em bers of his family into

e xisten ce. AH the m em bers of his family, it m ay be remarked, are

females, no male em anation of this D hyani Bu<Jdha being known
except V isvap ärii; nor is he known to have bee/n regarded ever as
the A d i-Bu ddha by any of the sects. A m o n g st the em anations of
A m oghasiddhi, K had irav am T ä r ä and P a r n a ia v a r i may be cited
as examples.
1.. KHADlRAVAfcJl T Ä R Ä '
K hadiravani is conceived as green in ,colour, like her p ar­
ental D hyani Buddha, and is endowed with o-he face and two arms,
which show the V arad am u d rä in the right avid the Utpala in the
left. S h e is generally accompanied with 'two attendant deities,
A so k ä n tä M ärici and Ekaja^ä.

Pan?a£avarl, the second deity em anating from Am oghasiddhi,
is also green. T h e m an tra assigned to Wer d esignates her as a
PiäacI and as Sarvam äripraäam ani, or th e destro y er of all kinds
of epidemics. I t is very probable th at in tim e s of epidemics,
su ch as cholera, plague or smallpox, P a n ja s a v a r i was invoked and
worshipped, in the sam e way as Rak^akalT is worshipped in
Indian villages in m odern days, to prevent and ward o ff epidemics.
P am a sav ari is endowed with three faces,i with th ree eyes in each,
and six arm s. H e r rig h t and left faces a r e blue and white respec­
tively. In h er three rig h t hands she c a r r ie s the V a jra , Parasu
and the arrow ; and in the three left the bow, the c lu ste r of leaves
and the T a r ja n i with the noose. H e r face is depicted with an
angry laugh, and h e r hair is tied up above. S h e is in the fullness
of youth, is decked in a tig e r ’s sk in, wea;rs an a p ro n of leaves, and
tram ples under h e r feet various diseases and pestilen ces. In the
im ages of Parnaäavari discovered in Esist B e n g a l, two divinities
a re represented, to her right and left, a s flying away in opposite
direction s in terro r to e s ca p e the w rath <,»f the principal goddess.
T h e y a re H ayagriva— the H ind u god ojf f e v e r ; and S ita la — the

H in d u goddess of sm allpox. T h e p rostrate figures under the

feet in these images rep resen t the diseases and p estilences in
human shape. T h e figure under the right leg, apparently, is a
man attacked with sm allpox, as we can ju d g e from the c ircu la r
m a rk s all over his body. T h e o th e r figure, under h e r left foot, is
probably attacked with som e fatal disease.


T H E T a n tras of the Hindus and Buddhists alike have

incurred almost universal hatred and neglect at the hand of the
Indologist. But whether the T a n tra s are altogether divested of
great possibilities in future is a question which requires a careful
and considerate handling. T h e T an tra s are a product of a period
between the seventh and twelfth centuries A.D., though m any
Hindu T a n tra s have been written even later, right up to the Iasi
century. It is possible to declare, without fear of contradiction,
that the Buddhists were the first to introduce the Tantras into their
religion, and that the Hindus borrowed them from the Buddhists
in later times, and that it is idle to say that later Buddhism was an
outcome of Saivaism. A study of the T a n tra s has revealed these
facts, and it is likely to yield much historical information in the
course of time, because we must remember that a great volume of
the history of India, especially E astern India, is buried in this
W ith regard to mutual interchange of deities it can be
definitely said that the Hindus developed a pantheon in a very
remote age, and, with the rise of Buddhism ancl Jainism, their
followers had to borrow some of these Hindu deities for their
pantheons. T hough in the earlier period both Buddhism and
Jainism exploited Hindu gods, the Buddhist pantheon was com­
monly ransacked by Hinduism and Jainism in the later and more
promiscuous T ä n tr ic age. W e do not know how far the
Jain a s were influenced by the Buddhist T a n trism , because we do
not find a regular T ä n tr ic literature in Jainism, as we find in
Hinduism. It is, therefore, necessary to institute a comparative
148 AN I N T R O m . ' C n O N T O W iD U m ST KSOTEKJ8M

inqu iry into the relative priority, o r otherw ise, of the H ind u and
Bu ddh ist T a u t t a s , and this can be best accom plished by taking
up the o rig in of certain deities com m on to both the systems.
L e t us take, for exam ple, th e in stan ce of the H in d u deity,
T a r a , who is included in the g ro u p of the ten M ahävidyä
goddesses. T h e s e goddesses are personifications of ce rtain m an­
tras o r V id y äs, popularly known as Sid d ham antras, as they are
reputed to bestow perfection on those who co nstantly m u tter them
one hundred thousand times. T h e ten M ahävidyä goddesses
a r e : K a li, T ä r ä , §odasi, BhuvaneSvari, Bhairavt, C hinnam astä,
DhumävatT, Bagalä, M ätangi and K am ala.* A m an tra is attached
to each of these ten deities, and, a cco rd in g to ch a n g e s in the o rd er
of the letters in the mantra, new form s of the same deity sprin g
forth into existence. T h e m an tra of T ä r ä , a cco rd in g to the
H ind u s, is H rirh S tr im Hürh Phat, which g iv es rise to seven more
deities, a cco rd in g as the four syllables of the m an tra are recited
in d ifferen t ord ers o r sequ en ce. T h e s e seven deities, who are
regarded as seven d ifferent forms of the sam e deity T ä r ä , are
named as U g rä , M ahogrä, V a jrä , K älf, S a ra s v a ti, K äm eSvari and
BhadrakälL* T h e table a t top of th e n e x t page shows the name
and the m an tra of each.
F r o m th e above it is not difficult to imagine that all the
seven deities m entioned above represent seven d ifferen t forms of
th e original deity, T ä r ä , who is one of the ten Mahävidyäs. I f the

1 Tantrasära, Bengali ed. (Vasumati, 5th e&), p. 360.

«reft mn ufifon qtetft ■
trft ^ f r n "{irratft frvr i;

* (TTCT STefi ffTHcft l

*rwreft 13 ^ flrfWt ^ II
Tantrasära, op. cit., p. 328.
I N F M J K N C E O K ]<Uf>l>Hl!>T T A N T R IS M ON H I N D U I S M 149

Tärä . . er «ft* t
U grä . . «r tr t
M ahogrä i «ft tr
V a jr ä . . i <r «fr 'K
K a li . . tr «ft* 'K i
S a ra sv a ti «ft* tr i
K äm eSvarl tr $ «fr
B had rak äli . . i «ft* f tr i

o rigin of T ä r ä is H in d u , then all the seven deities should be

co nsid ered also H in d u ; but if T ä r ä is B u d d h ist, it is to he
adm itted that the d iffe ren t varieties of the same deity should also
be B u d d h ist in origin. T h i s question, therefore, leads us to a
discussion of the origin of the H ind u deity, T ä r ä .
I n many T ä n t r i c w orks of the H in d u s T ä r ä is described.
T h e T ä rä ta n tra , the T a n tra sä ra , the M ah ä ein ä cä ra ta n tra , are
am ong th e many th at may be cited in th is connexion. T h e
T a n tr a s ä r a 1 calls the deity T ä r i n l , o r T ä r ä , and quotes the ritual
from an e a rlie r work, nam ely the B h a ir a v a ia n tr a . T ä r ä is
d escribed a s standing in the P raty älid h a attitude, dark in
com plexion, w earing a garland of severed heads, sh o rt in statu re,
wi+h a p ro tru d in g belly and a ti g e r ’s sk in round the loins,
youthful in appearance and d eck ed in five M ud räs. S h e is four­
arm ed, h e r tongue protrudes, and she presen ts an awe-inspiring
a p p e a r a n c e ; and is regard ed a s the bestow er of all boons. S h e
c a rr ie s the sw o re and knife in the two right hands, and the severed
head and the U tpala (blue lotus) in the two left hands. S h e has
one ch ign on on h e r head, which is brown in colour and g listen s
with splendour, and is adorned with A ksobhya.

1 Tantrasära, op. cit, p. 315.

150 AN I N T R O D U C T I O N T O J N ' D D H I S T K S O l K K l S M

T a r a is here des<:ril>ed as docked in five M udräs, as E k a ja fä

(one-chignoned), and as holding (lie figure of Aksobhya on her
< roivn. die five M u d iäs arc. why the deity is designated as
Kk.ijala, and why there is the figure of Aksobhya on her crown,
are the three questions which cannot be satisfactorily explained
in accordance with Hindu traditions. In the T a n tra sä ra an
attempt has been made to explain the five M udräs in a very crude
manner. A ccord ing to this work, the five M udräs represent the
five skulls which form part of the tiara worn on the head . 1 B u t
this explanation does not seem to be convincing, because the tiara
usually worn by the T ä n t r ic deities of fierce nature always consists
of five skulls, suspended by means of string s made of human bones,
and attached together by means of four transverse lines. T h e r e ­
fore, if we accept the meaning as given in the T a n tra sä ra , it will
be difficult to explain the four Mudräs o r six M udräs with which
T ä n tr ic deities are usually adorned.
W h y T ä r ä should be designated as E k a ja tä , o r why she should
have one chignon, is not explained in Hindu T ä n t r ic works, and
the authors never even considered that an explanation was neces­
sary. W it h regard to the figure of Aksobhya on the crown, the
T od alatan tra , quoted in the edition of the T ärätantra> attem pts
to offer a solution. T h e r e it is said that when the chu rnin g of the
ocean was being done by the Devas and A su ras, a fatal poison
came out which terrified all gods and goddesses. B e ca u se the
god, Siv a, knew no te r ro r (or ksobha), and drank up the whole
poison, he was called Ak§obhya, in whose company Mahämäyä, or
T ä rin i, always revels.*

1 op. c it, p. 315 : 1

But the ornament is nothing blit the Cakri, or the tiara of the Buddhists,
which is one of the five Mudräs. See bekw.
* Cf. flS fiT O I

*RITT^ *ft<T JlcJlf« I


T h is explanation is ridiculous, to say the least, and indicates

the unreliability of the Hindu T ä n t r i c literature and its authors.
Anyone who is acquainted with the classification of the Buddhist
deities, in accordance with the five Dhyani Buddhas, will be able
to appreciate the absurdity and the hollowness of this explanation.
T h e H indus have no E k a ja tä, but they have a T ä r ä , who is
known as a form of Ekajatä. T h e y have a variety of Mudräs, but
none can be employed as an ornament. No other deity of the
H indus is known to have the figure of Aksobhya or any other
deity on the crown. None of the three points raised, therefore, is
satisfactorily explained in accordance with Hindu tradition.
B u t when we turn to Buddhist T ä n tr ic literature for a solution
of these difficulties, we find a satisfactory explanation of all the
three points stated above. In the Buddhist pantheon there is a
powerful goddess, who is known a s Ekajatä, and at least eight
Sädhanas, devoted to her worship, are preserved in the Sadhana-
n tälä of the Buddhists. E k a ja tä is a fierce divinity and has several
forms, from two-armcd to sixteen-armed, and from one-faced to
twelve-faced; and her different forms are differently named as
U gratärä, Mahäcinatärä, V idyujjväläkaräli, A ry a-E k ajafä and
Su k la -E k a jatä . O u t of these the form of Buddhist Ekajatä, known
as M ahäcinatärä, has the same appearance as that of the Hindu
deity, T ä r ä .
A s regards the second point of the ornament of the five
Mudräs, the Buddhist T a n tr a s also offer a solution. T h e y
recognize a set of six Mudräs, o r ornaments, all made out of
human bones, representing the six Päram itäs ,1 and, according as

a t w rtforto qfhAfe: u
to üifHl toa h
1 Sädhanamälä, p. 494.

qirfhm qm qlfto: n
i 52 AN IN l K D D U C I K 'N TO W JiD H ls r K S O l'K K tS M

the oho or the other ul liie six is dropped, the deities are des-
« i iln d as decked in five M udras o r four Mudräs. A large number
i*i Buddhist deities are described as decked in ornam ents of these
M udras, numbering from four to six. Evidently, there were
several enumerations of six M udras, which were not definitely
fixed because the different T a n tr a s had different enumerations.
T h e following, among others, were included in the series of six
M u d r ä s - ( l ) the torque, (2) bracelets, (3) ear-rings, (4) ashes, (5 )
the sacred thread, (ti) the tiara, (7) the girdle, and ( 8 ) the jew els.
W h e n a deity is described as decked in five Mudras, any five
among the eight enumerated above are selected in accordance with
the traditions cu rren t am ongst each s c h o o l; and the five are p re ­
sided over by the five D hyäni Buddhas. T h u s Aksobhya is the
presiding deity of the t i a r a ; A m itäb h a of the e a r -r in g s ; Ratna-
sam bhavaof the to rq u e ; V a ir o c a n a o f the b racelets; and Am ogha-
siddhi of the g ird le .1
T h u s, though to the H indu s the five M udräs may appear to be
strange and in a way unintelligible, which fact is amply borne out
by the attempt at their elucidation in the Tantrasära, the M udras*
as ornaments were not unknown to the Buddhists. T h e y knew
how many M udräs could be applied in the form of o r n a m e n ts ;
they knew th eir precise meaning, and their precise position in the
different parts of the body, and could enum erate the different
Dhyäni Buddhas associated with each of the five Mudräs.
Now, with regard to the third point, of having a figure
of Aksobhya on the crow n of T ä r ä , it is also to be pointed out
that an explanation of this phenomenon can com e only from
the Buddhist sources. I t is absurd to believe in the mode of
explanation suggested in the H indu T a n tra s, especially in the

1 Sec ibid., p. 475, lines 1 -4 . fn other schools the ornaments differ.

* The word Mudrä has various meanings. It may mean a coin, a token, a
stamp, an appetiser (for more drink), and the woman (as in Mahamudrä), a
Sakti, and so forth.
1 N K I.U K N C K O F H (rr> D K (S T T Ä N T R IS M O.V H fN IH tT S M 15.?

To$alatantra referred to previously, that it is the figure of Siv a

which appears on the crow n of T ä r ä : because S iv a is without
te rro r (ksobha), and th erefore A k so bhy a. I f that be so, why should
o th e r S a iv a deities not show the sam e m iniature of S iv a on the
orown ? W h y is it, then, that we do not com e acro ss any such
m iniature figure on the crown of any o th e r deity in th e H ind u
pantheon ? T h o s e who are acquainted with the rudim ents of
B u d d h ist iconography know perfectly well that all deities of the
B u d d h ist pantheon are divided gen erally into five c la s s e s ,1 as
em anations of the five D hyäni B u d d h a s : A m itab h a, A ksobhya,
R atnasam bhava, V airoca n a and A m oghasiddhi. T h e deities
em anating from the d ifferen t D h y ä n i Buddhas form five families,
as it were, and a re requ ired to show th eir origin by holding the
m iniatu re figures of th eir parental D h y än i Buddha on the crow n.
W h e n these emanated d eities a re rep resen ted in stone or metal or
paintings, they show the m iniature of their parental D hyäni
B u ddh a o n th eir head. T h u s L okeSvara, M ahäbala, K u ru k u llä
em anate from A m ita b h a ; Can<jaro$ana, H eru k a, V a jra d a k a
em anate from A k $ o b h y a ; M a n c l, Usni§avijayä, S itä ta p a trä
A p a r ä jitä from V a i r o c a n a ; K h adirav ani T ä r ä , P arnasavari, Mahä-
m äyürl from A m o g h a sid d h i; Jam bh ala, V asu d h ära , e tc., from
R a tn a sa m b h a v a ; and they show on the crow n a small figure of
th eir parental Buddha. T h u s when T ä r ä is described as having
the figure of A k so b h y a on the crow n, it is easy to recognize the
god dess as an em anation of the D hyäni Buddha A k so bhy a, or,
technically speaking, as b elo ng ing to the family of A k sobhy a and
not of the H ind u Mahädeva, because he.h as no ksobha, o r terror.
F r o m the above it is sufficiently cle a r that the c h a ra c te r of
the H ind u deity T ä r ä is thoroughly Buddhist, and therefore the
deity m u st be of Bu d d h ist o rigin . I t has been already pointed
out that the form of E k a ja f ä known as M a h äcln a tä rä am ongst the

1 Bhattacharyya, Indian Buddhist Iconography, foreword, p. vii, and the

classification of the Buddhist Divinities in the body of the book.


Buddhists, is the true equivalent of the Hindu deity T ä r ä .

Several Sad hanas in the Säd/tawifnä/ä describe the form of
M ahäcinatärä, and the description given in verse by one SaSvata-
vajra,1 a Buddhist T ä n t r ic author, materially conforms to the
description (Dhyana) generally cu rren t amongst the Hindus.
O n e who will take pains to compare the two descriptions will be
surprised to see their identity in both form and sp irit; and the
Hindu description to be an outcome of the Buddhist description.
A s is usual with them, the Buddhists composed their verses in
ungrammatical S an sk rit, and when they were incorporated into
Hinduism they took a strictly grammatical form and their lan­
guage became chaste and elegant.
It has already been said that one of the many descriptions of
M ahäcinatärä was composed by Sä£vatavajra, whose time is not
definitely k n o w n ; but as his name appears in a M S . which bears a
date corresponding to A.l>. 1165, his time cannot be later than the
latter part of the eleventh c e n tu r y ; but, fortunately for us, there
is another clue which may determine the time of the introduction
o( the deity E k a ja tä in India. W ith regard to the introduction
of the worship of E k a ja tä , it is said that it was N agarjuna who
was instrumental in introducing her worship from the country of
B h o t a ; * and if we are to rely on this statement we must regard
the deity E k a ja tä to be of an entirely foreign origin. T h e time
of N agarjuna is roughly the middle of the seventh century.
N agarjuna was the guru of Sabarip ä and the disciple of
Sarahapä,“ all three being included in the list of the eighty-four
Mahäsiddhas. N agarjuna wfas one of the earliest writers on

’ op. cit, pp. 210 and 211. ffä : STWcTOTR t o t o m N ^ I

1 op. c it, p. 267. The Ekajatä
mentioned in the Cuhyasamäja seems to be different, because the mantras in
the two cases do not agree.
* See supra, p. 68.

T ä n t r i c Buddhism and com posed many works, the tran slations of

which are now preserved in the pages of the T ib e ta n T a n g y u r.
T h e origin of T ä r ä , therefore, is neith er H ind u n o r B u d d h is t ;
but it is of T ib e ta n e x tra c tio n . N ot only the deity is foreign, but •
also her worship and the p ra ctices co n n e cted therewith are foreign.
T h e evid ences of the H indu T a n tr a s also point to the same
d irection . In the T ä r ä ta n tra , for instance, we read of Bh airavi
wishing to know from her c o n so rt the way in which Buddha
and V asistha obtained S id d h i. Bh airava in reply said that by
m u ttering the m antra of U g r a ta rä Bu d d h a and V asisth a obtained
S id d h i; Mahadeva becam e the L o r d of the world ; D u rv äsä, V y ä sa ,
V ä lm ik i, B h ä rad v ä ja and o th ers becam e g reat p o e ts ; and BhTsma,
A rju n a and o th e r K sattriy a s becam e g r e a t co n q u e ro rs . 1
In the R u d ray 'äm atä it is said that VaSisfha, being unable to
o btain Sid d hi even after years of m u tterings and severe austerities,
at last pronounced a cu rse on the deity. S h e , thereupon, appeared
before him, and told him that by these au sterities it was impossible
to attain Sid d hi, but it would be easy of attainm ent if he went to
M ahaclna, in the co u n try of the Bu d d h ists and the land of the
A tharvaveda. VaSistha th ereafter repaired to C inabhüm i, where
Buddha was residing and was indulging in all so rts of loathsom e
practices. V asistha was horrified to witness the scene, and
appealed to Buddha to allay his doubts, and ultimately g ra n t him
the ch erish ed Sid d h i. H e asked m any questions regarding
B u d d h a’s use of wine and meat, and the p re sen ce of the women,
e n tire ly without dress, d rin kin g blood and wine and behaving like
d ru nkards, and wanted to know why Buddha associated himself
with these women. Buddha was not pertu rbed at these d irect
questions, but gave him a lectu re on the duties of K aulas, and
explained to him their m ysteries and utility, and acquainted him
with the se cre t rites and p ra ctices co n n e cte d therewith. V asistha

1 loc. dt., pp. 1 - 2 .

3 See Tärätantra (V.R.S. ed.), app., p. 23.
15i> AN »N T K O l ‘i < I fON li) h l'O D lil. V i fc s O T E K IS M

was fully convince«} aiui soon followed the ways of Buddha, and
eventually attained final liberation by an unrestrained use of the
jive Makaras. T h is is evident from the following v erse :

sfafci w q 1
flftrwNH swim it
nq jth w mei qid % *ipf ^ i
3* 3* fliv fW fl: it1

A gain in the BraJmtayämala the same story is repeated, with

slight modifications. I t is there recorded that Vasistha, after co m ­
ing to M ahacina, became frightened and disgusted with the
practices cu rren t there. H e was terrified to see Buddha in a
deeply drunken state, with a filthy smell com ing from his mouth,
and surrounded by thousands of women. Ju st at this time there
was a voice from heaven, which directed him to follow the customs
and practices current in ClnabhOmi. so that he might obtain final
liberation» which was otherwise unattainable. Va£i§tha was
mightily pleased to hear the mysterious voice from heaven, and
went to the place where Buddha was ; and, after being initiated by
him, he speedily obtained liberation .2
It is needless to point out that the H indus considered the
Kudrayämala and the B rahm ayäm ala as T a n tr a s of the highest
authority, and, from their point of view, of highest antiquity. T h e
evidence of these two T a n tr a s and that of the Tärätantra. clearly
shows the Buddhist ch aracter of the deity and of the mantra.
T h e Buddhists, on the other hand, attribute their origin to the
country of Bhota. Bu t everywhere the mantra is co m m o n : Orfi
Hrirn StrlrH H um Phaj. T h e mantra consists of four syllables,
and, as their order is changed it gives rise to seven m ore deities
named alre a d y ; and, consequently, if T ä r ä cannot be regarded
as H indu, all these seven deities, U g rä , M ahogrä, V a jrä, K äli,

1 ibid., a p p , p. 26. 9 ibid, pp. 2 9 -3 0 (app.).

IN F L U E N C E OF Bul>DH ISI ' J ' A N l ’K I S M « >N HI NDUISM. . 15/

Sa rasv ati, Käm eSvari and Bhadrakdli, forfeit their claim to he

called H indu. I t is, therefore, easy to im agine that K ali, T ä n t r ic
Sarasv ati and Bh adrakali, the three ch ief forms of T a r a , are all
Buddhist in o rigin , though widely worshipped by the Hindus.
T h e r e a re fifty-two places considered especially sacred to
K ali, and pilgrim ages are oftentim es made by H ind u s to these
sacred places, and many hundreds and thousands of anim als are
sacrificed before the god dess even at th e p re sen t time. It is said
that K äli can only be propitiated by offering s of animals, and,
therefore, the temples in certain seasons present the appearance of
a comm on slaughter-house. I t is believed that K ä li can grant all
desires, provided anim als a re sacrificed for her propitiation.
T h u s she is worshipped and o ffered animals for su ccess in
exam inations, in obtaining a child, in relieving women from the
pains of labour, for o b ta in in g wealth, prosperity, happiness, for
bewitching, for separating two frien d s, and even for killing
enem ies. T h e goddess K a li, who o ccu p ie s the sanctum in the
temple at K äligh at, in C alcu tta, is regarded as a most powerful
deity, and people from all parts of In d ia flock together to pay her
their homage and o ffer animal sacrifices. S o this one temple of
K ä li has been enough to make the whole H indu population of
Ind ia thoroughly su p e rstitio u s; and, what a strange irony of fate
th at none of the H ind u s who w orship the goddess know her to
be Buddhist in o rigin , o r realize that th e practices connected with
h e r worship are B u ddh ist T a n t r is m in essence.
S ara sv a ti is the name of a river, and, because many V ed ic
m antras were composed and num erous sacrifices were performed
o n both sides of this river, in very a n c ie n t times, the name of
S ara sv a ti was associated with learning and sacredness. L a t e r on,
in the P urän as we find S a ra sv a ti as a regu lar goddess, with various
sym bols co nnected with learning and culture, such as th e book,
th e V io ä , and sim ilar things. S a ra sv a ti as a goddess of learning
was very attractive to the Buddhist T ä n t r ic s , who incorporated
1 B 8 AN* I N T R O D U C T I O N T O Itl' lit »HIS I K SO TF. KI SM

her into their pantheon, and thus we meet with numerous

Sädhanas devoted to her worship. The worship of Sarasvati that
is cu rren t in Bengal cannot be said to be in any way H indu,
because, while making obeisance to her, she is associated with
Bhadrakäl »,1 which is another form of T ä r ä , as shown above.
T h e r e is, however, no reason why Sarasvati and Bhadrakali should
be connected in this manner, unless they are both regarded as
different forms of the Buddhist goddess T ä r ä . T h u s it is clear
that Sarasvati, whom Bengal worships today, is not the Pauränic
Sarasvati, but the Sarasvati of the Buddhist T ä n tr ic s .
It is also well known that those who practise the T a n tr a s
look upon the mantras with superstitious awe, and they believe
that if the mantra is changed or distorted at the time of
muttering, either there will be no result o r it will produce
great harm. T h e accuracy of the mantra, therefore, was jealously
guarded, and the mantras were handed down from preceptor to
disciple, so long as the T an tras were a living religion. T h e
mantra which is not given by a guru, therefore, should never be
m u ttered ; because a great sin is committed thereby, so they
say. If, on the other hand, the mantra is distorted o r changed in
any unauthorized manner and muttered, great harm is likely to
befall the unfortunate worshipper. W h en , therefore, deities are
borrowed by one religion from another, its followers a rc chiefly
concerned with the purity of the mantra, which they cannot change,
and it is precisely for this reason that, though the Buddhist
Mahäcinatära was borrowed by the H indu s with a different name,
the mantra remained the same. I t would really be a very inter­
esting study, if one could collect mantras from the T a n tr a s of
different religions, and discover how many of them are common
and what their o rigins are.

* At the time of offering Anjali the following mantra is uttered: s*

•flfr -rot -W; 1

T a k i n g the similarity of mantras as the basis of co m ­

parison, let us investigate the origin of a n o th e r deity, who is
claimed equally by the H indus and the Buddhists. T h i s is the
H indu Chinnam astä. who is known in Buddhism as V ajrayogini.
In the T a n tra sära and the C h in n am astäkalp a of the H indu s
she is described as of a very awe-inspiring appearance. She
holds h e r head, which has been severed by herself, in h e r left
hand, and ca rrie s the knife in the right, and stands in the Pratyä-
lldha attitude. S h e is accompanied by D ä k in l and VarnanT, both
ca rry in g the K a rtri and the K apäla. F ro m th e neck, from which
the head has been severed, of the principal deity issue forth
streams of blood, one falling into the mouth of the severed head
and the two others into the mouths of the two attendants .1
W h e n we compare the description of the H indu deity C h in n a ­
mastä with the description of the Buddhist deity V a jray og in i, we
find the two descriptions identical in all details- It is thus apparent
that though the two deities belong to d ifferen t religions and are
designated by two different names, they n e v erth eless represent
one and the same goddess. I t is, therefore, n e ce ssary to explain
the o rigin of the d e ity ; and in this p articu lar c a s e this can only
be done by a com parison of th e different m an tras of the same
deity. A s regards the question a s to when th e deity entered into
one of the two pantheons it cann ot be easily ascertain ed. T a n tra •
sära , which belonged to the seventeenth cen tu ry , is very l a t e ; and
the C h in n am astäkalp a is of uncertain date. B u t the S ä d k a n a m ä lä y
in which the description of the Buddhist V a jra y o g in i appears, gives
valuable data in ascertain ing the antiquity of this deity. T h e
S äd hana, in the first instance, appears in a M S . which bears a
date co rresp on d in g to A.l). 1165., S e co n d ly , Sid d h a Sabarap ä is

1 Tantrasära: Oriental Institute MS, No. 4995, fol. 309 f, where the
Dhyäna is quoted from an earlier work, namely the Bhairavatantra. Also
Chinnamastäkalpa, Oriental Institute MS, No. 1692, fol. 36 f. For the Buddhist
Dbyana see Sädhanamälä, p. 452.
i(><) AN IN T R O D U C T IO N T U B U D D H IS T E S Q T E K IS M

credited there with the introduction of a new cu lt of V a jra y o g in i .1

A s regards the t:me of Saba rap ä, it needs qgjy to l>e mentioned
that he was the disciple of Sid d h a N a garju n a, who flourished in
the middle of the seventh centu ry ; and, therefore, must have been
a gen eration later than the latter. If Sa b a ra p ä is credited with
the introduction of a new cult of V ajrayogini, it stands to reason
that the original cult must have been ex istin g at a m uch earlier
A c c o r d in g to the canons of the V ajra y än a , the mantra of
V ajray og in i quite naturally runs a s :

3* 3* a*
H i i2

T h e three Orh letters are g iv en to each of these th ree deities—

V ajray og ini (named in the mantra as Sarvabuddhadäkini), V ajra-
varnani and V a jr a v a ir o c a n i; and so also the three Huifi letters
and the three Phat-käras. T h e prefix V a jr a in the name of the
two deities shows that they belong to V ajra y än a. T h e epithet,
Sarvabuddhadäkini, applied to the principal deity, V a jray o g in i,
clearly ind icates the Buddhist c h a ra c te r of the mantra.
In the H indu literature, however, the principal deity is desig­
nated as Chinnam asta, because of her severed head, while her
com panions are named as ipäkinl and V a rn an i, with the prefix
V a jr a dropped in the case of V arn an i. A ccord in g to T a n tra sa ra %
her mantra i s :

TOÄrfasffo fp r? etc.*

In this also the three names, P ä k in i, V arnani and V a iro c a n i,

all a p p e a r; but why the prefixes are changed into ‘ S a r v a s id d h i'
in the first two cases we fail to understand. T h e ch an g e appears

1 Sädhanamälä, p. 456. ^ TOOTCfa I

2 ibid., p. 453.
* op. cit, Oriental Institute MS., No. 4995, foL 312 a.

due to the distortion of the mantra, from copy to copy, made in

later times by ignorant copyists, o r because at the time of the
author the tradition was e n tir e ly lost, seeing that Buddhism was
almost driven out of India in the beginning *of the thirteenth
c e n t u r y ; or because the Hindu T ä n t r ic attributed far less impor­
tance to the mantras recorded in the books than those handed
down from guru s to disciples. In the C h in n am astakalp a again we
find a different m a n tr a :

5 f ^ 1 5 1 1 1

From this it can be definitely said that the original of

‘ Sarv asid d h i’ in the T a n tra sä ra represents ‘ S arv abu d d h a’, as is
evident from the ‘ Sarvabuddhi* of the C h in n am astakalp a, and if
that position is accepted but little is required to show that the
origin of the deity is decidedly Buddhist. T h e prefix V a jra in a
H indu mantra lends an additional support to this conclusion.
V ajray og in i is called Sarvabuddhadäkini in Buddhist T an tras,
because she is the consort of H eru k a, who is looked upon as the
embodiment of the five D h y än i Buddhas, the group being tech n i­
cally known as Sarvabuddha.
T h e r e is a third deity, who is equally claimed by the H indus
as well as the Buddhists. T h i s is Manjtighosa. T h e Buddhists
recognize him as a form of ManjuSri, the god of learning. Manjusri
is m entioned in the smaller re cen sion of the S u khävativyü ha , which
was translated into C hinese between A.D. 3 8 4 and 4 1 7 .1 W e also
find mention of M anjusri in su ch S a n s k r it works as the M an ju S rt -
tn ü lakalp a t the G uJiyasam äja, the G andavyühay the Svayam bhü-
p u rän a%and in the accounts o f the C hinese travellers, Fa-hien,
Hiuen-thsang and I-T sin g , and his images in the different B u d ­
dhist schools of art, such as M agadha, Bengal, Jav a and Nepal.

1 op. cit*. Oriental Institute MSm No. 1692, fol. 2 b.

* op. cit., ed. Max Muller, intro., p. iii, note 4.

Amongst the H indus his worship is still current in some

parts of the Rädha country in Bengal, and his ritual is found in
several Tantras, such as the A ^ am ottara and the K u kku tesv ara ■
tantra> as we learn from the T an trasära o t 1 Krsnänanda. Not
only is the deity claimed by the Hindus as well as the
Buddhists, but also his D hyäna in the same wording is claim­
ed by both. Curiously enough, the same Dhyäna can be found in
the S ad h an am äto; and, what appears to be extremely strange, is
that, while the verse is attributed to one Ajitam itra in the Sädhana-
mä/ä, it is attributed to the highest god, Mahädeva, in the
K u kku lesv aratan tra of the H indus . 1
In the Hindu T a n tr a the mantra of Manjughosa is stated
a s : A R a V a C a L a DHftit: which is a corruption of the
original Buddhist m antra: A R a P a C a N a D l l T ^ ; by which
ManjuSr! gets one of his numerous names as Arapacana. T h is
form is called Arapacana, because ManjuSri and his four com ­
panions, Süryaprabha, Candraprabha, KeSini and Upakesini,
originate from each of the five letters A R a P a C a and N a . T h e
correct mantra, therefore, seems to have been preserved in Buddhist
manuscripts, which are decidedly e a r lie r ; while in the Hindu
T a n tra s the correctness has vanished owing to the ignorance of
the gurus, as well as that of the copyists, who engaged them­
selves in preparing copies of T a n tr a manuscripts.
T h e facts mentioned above lead one to suppose that in all
these three cases the deities and the mantras originally belonged
to Buddhism, and that the Hindus were indebted to the Buddhists
for their incorporation into their religion. It is also certain that,

tjcfäreffarpri s v p 1

T an trasära, op. dL, p. 368, and Sädhanam älä, p. 112.


after the borrowing, they were unable to keep up the purity and
the accu racy of the mantras, though they had been partially
successful in preserving the co rr e c tn e s s of the form of the deities.
T h e r e is hardly a T a n t r a in 'H in d u literature which is not tinged
with Buddhistic ideas of V a jray ä n a and its leading tenets, including
the Mahäsukhaväda, and it is no exaggeration to say that some of
the T a n tr a s of the H indus, such as tDie M ah acin akram atan tray are
entirely Buddhist in origin. It has already been pointed out how the
R u d ray h m ala and R ra h m a y am ala t works of the highest authority
and antiquity for the H indus, are profoundly influenced by
B u ddh ist ideas, and how words of ordinary mortals, such as A jita-
m itra, etc., have been put into the mouth of the highest god
M ahädcva in the H indu T a n tr a s . I t is thus amply proved that
the Buddhist T a n tr a s greatly influenced the H indu T ä n tr ic
literature, and it is. therefore, not c o r r e c t to say that Buddhism
was an outcome of Saiv aism . I t is to be contended, on the other
hand, that the Hindu T a n tr a s were an outcom e of V ajrayäna, and
that they represent baser im itations of Buddhist T an tra s. O n e
m ore instance is furnished by the B h ü tad äm aratan tra and the
deity Bhütadämara. T h e deity and the T a n tr a are claimed by the
H indus, though their origin is thoroughly Buddhist .1
H aving established the priority of the B u ddh ist T an tras
over the T a n tr a s of the H indu literature, it is necessary to
indicate certain general prin ciples by which Buddhist geds can
be detected and separated from among those already included in
the Hindu pantheon. I t has already been shown that the
V ajrayanisrs described M ahäsukha as a s ta te when Bodhicitta
m erg es in Sü nya, even as salt melts in water, on the attainment
of N ir v a n a ; apd to symbolize this they conceived the idea of
Yuganaddha deities, o r deities in yab-yum, where the male and

1 See The Cult of Bhütadämara >a paj)cr read before the Patna Oriental
Conference, 1930, and published in Man in India, 1931, Vol. XI, pp. 83 ff.
164 AN I N T K O D l ' C T f O N ' T O B U D D H I S T F S O T K R 1 S M

the female divinities are represented as em bracing each other. S o

these yab-yum deities are an outcom e of the purely V ajray än ic
concept, which was absolutely unknown in Hinduism before the
T a n tr ic age, and even now does not fit in well with the Hindu
ideas and traditions .1 If there be any deity of a yab-yum nature
in Hinduism, there is a strong suspicion that the deity is of
Buddhist origin. W h e n K äli, for instance, is described as locked
in an embrace with the god Siva, we have at once to regard the
deity as of a definitely Buddhist origin. K ali, according to
Buddhist tradition, is Kädi or Kakarädi, or, in other words, all
consonants of the alphabet, as the vowels are designated as A d i
or A k ä r ä d i ; and it is not to be wondered at if a deity is con­
ceived by them as K äli, belonging to the Y ogatantra class, and in
whom all the consonants of the alphabet are deified. In the
Yogatantra and Anuttaravogatantra, it may be remarked, all
deities are represented as embracing their S a k tis and experiencing
the bliss of Nirvaiia.
A n other important fact to be noticed, in fixing the origin of
deities, is their descriptions. I f the names of the deities begin
with or end in the word ‘ V a jra \ the presumption is that the
origin of such deities is Buddhist. W h e r e gods and goddesses
are described as lustful and of a very violent appearance, but
internally compassionate, their origin may also be regarded for
certain as Buddhistic. W h e n deities are regarded as decked in
ornaments or Mudräs composed of human bones and representing
the Päramitäs, they may also be taken as Buddhist in o r i g i n , and,
lastly, whenever gods and goddesses a re described as bearing a
miniature figure of one*of the five D hyäni Buddhas, Am itabha,
Aksobhya, Vairocana, Am oghasiddhi and Ratnasambhava, on
their crown, their origin must always b e regarded as Buddhistic.

1 Indian Buddhist Iconography, p. 166, where the significance of yab-yum

is explained.


SEVEKAI. times it has been pointed out that the T a n tras and
the T ä n tric culture, which at one time regulated the life in ancient
India, did not prove very healthy either for the country or for
Buddhism. T o o much attention to psychic culture, particularly
on the part of the general population, was certain to have its
repercussions in all departments of life, and history tells us that
such repercussions did actually take place. T h e result was the
destruction of Buddhism and the occupation of the country by
the Muhammadans, for the first time showing that spiritual force
can be conquered by physical force. T h e advocates of psychic
culture were hopelessly out of touch with the realities of life, and
practically destroyed themselves and their followers.
Unduly severe criticisms have been levelled against the
theory advanced in the foregoing pages, particularly with regard
to the unhealthy influence of the T a n tras and T ä n tric culture on
the general public. It has, therefore, become necessary to state
clearly the correct estimate of the T a n tras and T än tric culture,
especially from an orthodox point of view. No one will be so fool­
ish as to declare that the T a n tras contain nothing but preachings
of immorality and all kinds of unnamable vices, and in this work,
particularly, such views can never find a place. On the contrary,
the T a n tras should be regarded as the greatest contribution of
India to world culture. T h e T a n tra s which are intimately connect­
ed with the Räjayoga, as advocated in the system of Patanjali and
Hathayoga, have shown to the world the correct way of developing
mental faculties and obtaining great spiritual powers through
psychic culture. If by developing the material resources alone
great wonders could be achieved, what infinitely greater wonders

can be performed by developing the hidden forces of m ind? B u t

this is not easy, it requires concentration of mind to a degree almost
inconceivable in modern times, in a regularly chalked out procedure.
Moreover, com plete purification of body, as prescribed in the
Hathayoga, is also essential for concentrating the mind. Complete
control over breath and over wind in the whole physiological
system has to be attained before real concentration of mind takes
place. T h e H athayogins ought to be able to stop for days and
months the blood circulation by controlling the wind that gives
motion to the blood, and by stopping the action of the heart
and of all o th e r organs except the brain. F o r controlling
the mind the Y o g in s have to pass days and months without
food o r water, o r even air. A n d however much as it may seem
strange today, there were quite a large number of such Y o g in s
in ancient d a y s ; and even in modern days, if a search is made, it
will not be difficult to find out at least a few. S u c h wonders as
levitation, atomization, etc., are even today possible by having a
control of mind. In fact, all that the physical world can perform,
by proper p sy ch ic cu ltu re the same can be achieved in the mental
T h e T a n t r a s begin where R ä ja y o g a and H athayoga end,
or, in other words, T ä n t r ic cu ltu re presupposes R äjay o g a and
Hathayoga. T h e R ä ja y o g a and H athayoga give control over the
mind and body, and T ä n t r ic p ractices give different magic powers
according as different mantras are practised or different deities
Philosophers of every age and country have visualized the
presence of inexhaustible energy behind the world structure,
and this has been named in different schools as G od or S p irit,
B rah m a or Sü n y a . Y o g a means com m ingling. T h e individual soul
is called the Jivätm an, while the highest spirit is called the
Paramätman. "When the com m ingling of the Jivätm an with the
Param ätm an takes place it is called Y o g a . In Buddhism, parti­
C O N C L U S IO N 167

cu larly in the T a n tr a s , the individual sou] is called the Bodhicitta

and the highest spirit is called the Sü n y a, with the three elements,
Sü nya, V ijn ä n a and Mahäsukha.
S ü n y a is the highest spirit and an inexhaustible storehouse
of energy, se ttin g the whole universe in motion. T h e re fo re , the
chief aim of the Bodhicitta is to com m ingle with this Sü n y a and
be a part and parcel of the g rea t energy, eternal knowledge and
eternal happiness. T h i s is Y o ga.
E v e r y day in our life we a re having com m union with the
Param atm an, and whenever the individual Jiv ätm an is depleted
it draws en erg y from that inexhaustible store of energy. A nd
thus life on this earth is maintained. S le e p is required for every
in d iv id u a l; but why should sleep be necessary unless it is for
having com m union with Param atm an, to draw energ y from it and
be fit for the next day’s w ork? W h e n a patient is passing through
a crisis, eith er in pneumonia or typhoid, doctors are heard to say
that perfect and undisturbed sleep even for a short time will save
the patient. A nd, times without num ber, it has been seen that
patients do revive from a dangerous condition after sleep. The
reason is not far to seek. T h e Jiv ä tm a n in this case, in his deep
sleep condition, draws energ y from the highest spirit which
pervades everything, and becom es revived. S u c h com m inglings
are of everyday o ccu rren ce. B u t this is not called Y o g a
E v e ry individual passes through three states— the awakened
state, the state of dreaming, and the state of deep sleep. In
co n scio u s and sub-conscious conditions the Jiv ätm an does not
g e t an opportunity to have com m union with the highest spirit.
S u c h com m union takes place only in the state which is called
Su§upti, or deep sleep. T h e differen ce between Y o g a and
Su $u pti is really very little, though to remove the difference
g re a t e ffo rts a re necessary. In Su§upti the individual or
Jiv ätm an loses all consciousness, and cannot realize o r feel that

it is having communion with the highest spirit, o r that it is

drawing energy to recuperate itseH. In Y o g a the condition
is different. Concentration in Y o g a produces a condition similar
to Su^upti, o r deep sleep condition, oblivious to all surroundings,
even the physical body and mind, but the Y o g in does not lose his
consciousness, but remains conscious throughout the process of
the communion of the Jivatm an with the Paramätman, and
feels a kind of divine joy which words are scarcely able to
T h e object of Y o g a is to obtain emancipation, and if that is
not to be attained Y o g a certainly purifies the mind and the
individual, and harmony is produced in life, and therefore spiri­
tualism is sometimes regarded as an antidote to war.
T h e above will clearly demonstrate that the highest degree
of intellectual power is necessary to follow the path of Y o g a and
T an tra, and that it cannot be, and, in fact, never was, meant for all.
Yoga and T a n tr a were meant only for a few fortunate persons
who were blessed with a high degree of intellectual refinement
and power. If Y o g a and T a n tr a are made the common property
of all, as it was made by the Buddhists of old, the whole routine
of life is upset, and abuses of all tenets follow as a matter of
course. It is not necessary to state that this psychic culture
appealed to men with striking faccc, particularly when the
masters of T a n tr a could perform prodigious feats and miracles,
and, as such, in the time of the Siddhäcäryas the T a n tra s
attracted almost every man without exception, and most of them
must of necessity have had to be content with the shadow rather
than the substance of T a n tr a . A nd, as a matter of fact, owing to
the g reat influence of T a n tr a s in earlier days, even at the present
time there are very few H indus in India who are not following
the T ä n t r i c practices in some form o r other.
T h e chief complaints against the T a n t r a is that it permitted
women to enter into its fold for the purpose of T ä n t r ic practices,
C O N C L U S IO N 1()<;

and therefore e n co u rag e d corrup tion and im m orality. S u c h

absu rd opinions are held by none excep t the most ig n o ran t of
men. It has already been pointed out that the T a n t r a was divided
into various sections, both in H induism as well as in Buddhism .
W i t h the H in d u s D a k sin ä c ä ra , o r the right-hand path, is to be
followed first, after w hich V ä m ä cä ra , o r the left-hand path, is
perm itted. In D a k sin ä c ä r a strict celibacy, restriction of food,
d rin k , etc., a re of prim ary im portance, and when the neophyte
is sufficiently advanced he is initiated into the m y steries of V ä m ä ­
cä ra, when women are perm itted for the purpose of p ra ctisin g the
Y o g a together. S im ila rly , in Buddhism , T a n t r a is divided into
four sections. In the two e a r lie r sections, namely the K r iy ä ta n tra
and the C ary ätantra, strict celibacy and restrictio n s of food, drink,
etc., a rc enjoined. W h e n th is co u rse is com plete, the neophyte then
can be initiated into the m y steries of Y o g atan tra, in w hich women
becom e necessary for the purpose of p ractisin g Y o g a. It has been
freq u en tly seen that th ere is a class of neophytes whose K u nd alini
is not roused without asso ciation with women, and fo r such
disciples the great p recep to rs prescribed association with women.
Bu t it must be rem em bered that both in V ä m ä cä ra and Y o g a ta n tra
com plete control over the a ir that is contained within the body is
essential, and this is obtained after a long-continued p ractice of
H athayoga, P ränäy äm a, and so forth, so that the association with
women produce nothing but help the initiated in rousing the
Kundalini power which is contained within the body. I t is for
th is reason that the T a n t r a s are to be taken recourse to when
perfection is reached in p ra ctisin g H athayoga, or, in o th e r words,
T a n tr a s begin where H afhayoga ends.
T h e power to co n tro l wind, which gives motion to every
little cell in the body and is responsible for the e x c re to r y s e c r e ­
tion s of the body, is not easily obtained . It requ ires y ears of
patient and system atic p r a c tic e a cco rd in g to a highly-com plicated
and dangerous routine. T h e practices m ust be conducted o n right

lines, under the guidance and control of an expert, because

mistakes in the process bring on incalculable harm to the
practiser. T h e T ä n tr ic s say that the practice of Y o g a is just
like playing with high voltage electricity, and a little careless­
ness may either bring on death or untold sufferings. It is
for this reason that we find in the T a n tr a a great reverence for
the guru, who is compared to the highest Sünya because without
an expert the Yoga path is impossible to follow.
A nother great complaint against the T ä n tr ic system is that
it advocated idolatry, and therefore it made its followers degenerate
into mere idol worshippers. Everyone knows that mere worship­
ping of the idol produces no benefit, and, even though it may have
some influence in elevating the society, it can have no scientific
value. It has already been pointed out that this charge against
Buddhism has no foundation,and those who talk of idolatry with
reference to Buddhism have no real knowledge of its philosophical
tenets and doctrines.
T o seek an explanation why so many diverse types of gods
and goddesses were created and worshipped, or to find out the
true foundation of the extensive pantheon, mere literature or
reading affords little guidance. T h o u g h there is no doubt that
certain abstract ideas have been represented by means of symbols
or gods or goddesses, the great bulk of deities have originated
through quite a different channel. By what method stfch deities
have come into existence can only be explained by Y ogins, who
have visualized them in the past and even today visualize them
while in intense meditation. A Y o g in in Nepal explained that
when the Bodhicitta, by intense meditation and concentration,
produces a condition similar to Susupti, o r deep sleep condition,
in his mind-sky (cittäkäsa) appears the form of a letter (germ
syllable), which gradually transforms itself into indistinct human
form. And after some time this form changes in the form of
a full-fledged deity, whose appearance, limbs, weapons, etc.,
C O N C L U S IO N 171

appear to be perfect in all respects. T h e se deities a rc the

different forms of Sünya, or the highest S p ir it— the embodi­
m ent of E n e rg y or S a k ti, and appear before the Y o g in in
flashes only when he reaches a certain degree of spiritual perfec­
tion. T h is form of the deity, and the process by which the Yogin
visualizes the deity, are then com m unicated to the pupils, so that
they may easily and quickly visualize the deity in question, and
attain all the supernatural powers connected with his worship.
T h o u san d s of Y o g in s have thus visualized innumerable deities,
who may be compared to the sp ark s com ing out of the divine
spirit, or the universal energy, and thus the pantheon of the
Buddhists swelled.
T h e above is what the orthodox T ä n tr ic s think of their
deities, and it states the principle underlying the conception of
gods and goddesses. Indeed, th ere are thousands of images of
gods and goddesses of the Buddhist pantheon, but no one should
think that these images were ever worshipped. T h e s e images were
designed to supply the aid in o rd er that the neophyte might con­
centrate on the* form of the deity. I t is to help concentration,
and make the process of visualization of the deity more easy of
accom plishm ent, that the im ages were made. But today what
do we find? Im ages of gods and goddesses installed in every
house, sometimes permanently, som etim es te m p o rarily ; they are
instilled with life with some m an tras o r charm s which have lost
th eir real significance in co u rse of time. Flow ers, incense,
garm ents, unguents are offered to these images with g reat ecla t
amidst deafening sounds of drum s and other instrum ents, and
the householder obtains suprem e satisfaction, thinking that he has
done everything that ought to have been done. In this kind of
worship there is no Yoga, no purity of mind o r body, and no
visualization, and hence it is productive of no value, because it
cann ot give the worshipper any Siddhi, any bliss, contentm ent or
the visualization of the deity. B u t this kind of worship is

widespread now, and certain ly it has its value in its own sphere,
but, though T ä n t r i c in origin, it has no co n n exio n with the
T a n t r a . It is virtually the m etam orp hosis of T a n tr a , on which
has been put a com m ercial value.
T h e above further shows that Y o g a , o r even Hathayoga, is
not meant for all, as it is expected that only a few can fulfil the
condition required in a student of Y o g a . W h e n this permeates
into the m asses, the V ä m ä c ä r a is reduced to vulgarity and
prostitution, which, instead of rousing the sacred Kundalini
produces illegitim ate children, who form a caste by themselves.
T h i s was inevitable, and th is is what actually happened in the
olden days in ancient India, and this is what is even today happening
in Nepal, as also in T ib e t . S im ilarly , when god co n cep tion becomes
the com m on property of all, it chan ges into idolatry and super­
stition. T h e T a n tr a , rightly applied, elevates the Jivatm an, but,
wrongly applied, it takes vengeance and destroys the Jivatm an.
It caused the destru ction of Buddhism as the g reatest spiritual
and moral force in India.
I t is, however, not the o b je c t to emphasize here that Buddhism
was destroyed simply because its followers were improperly
applying the T a n tr a s , but it can n o t be gainsaid that the moral
fo rce of Buddhism was e n tirely sp en t before the Muhammadan
co n q u est of E a s te rn India, only to be given the last pi*>h by the
Muhammadans. T h e o th e r reason why the Muhammadans
specially took upon them selves the unwanted duty of destroying
Buddhism may be looked for in anoth er quarter.
W ith the B u d d h ists m onasteries were a necessity from very
early times, ow ing to the pecu liar nature of the restrictions and
d isciplines enjoined by Buddha on hut. followers. Buddhism,
m oreover, had no respect for birth o r for the orthodox society, and
it was mostly co n ce rn e d with ou tcastes o r low castes, co nsisting of
original inhabitants of the co u n try not affiliated to the orthodox
social hierarchy, and for that reason also separate organizations
C O N C L U S IO N 17.*

like the m onasteries were a necessity in Buddhism, since its

inception. S in c e the time of Buddha, his fellowers pinned their
faith in m onasteries, built new ones, equipped them with build­
ings, paintings, images, stone carvings, and enriched them to a
g reat extent with the accumulated wealth of ages. S o m e of the
m onasteries, with their massive stone enclosures and fortifica­
tions, presented the appearance of forts, and, as the monks were
all dressed in one particular fashion, they resembled an army of
soldiers. S o long as the H indus remained at the helm of
political power in India these m onasteries, monks, and even the
lay Buddhists, were not harmed except on rare occasions, because
the Hindu rulers always practised toleration in religious
matters, and sometimes even e m b A ced religions other than their
own. A n d hence the Buddhists were safe in the hands of
the H indu rulers, but when the M uhammadans came their chief
o b jectiv e was to loot and conquer. T h e y took the m onasteries to
be forts, the m onks to be uniformed soldiers, and forthwith
annihilated them, and Buddhism along with them, and thus
ind irectly saved H induism from fu rther disruption, and helped
its followers in consolidating their position.
T o H induism they coufS do very little direct harm, as
religion with the H indus was a cottage industry, and to destroy
H indu ism it becomes necessary to destroy all villages and co t­
tages and the literature scattered over the whole country.
T h o u g h conversion by sword was in their militant programme,
the M uhammadans did not com e with the avowed object of
destroying any particular religion as such, and they were satisfied
when they could g et enough wealth and enough territory by
su bjugating the diftcrent rulers all over India. S o the d e str u c ­
tion of Buddhism at the hands of the M uhammadans was a m ere
accident, and a great landmark in the history of the development
of the different religious systems.
I t now remains to be said that the T ä n tr ic culture is the

greatest of all cultures, because it aims at the spiritual perfection

and psychic development of man, and as such no one can deny that
the T ä n tr ic culture is the greatest contribution made by India
towards the world’s civilization. W h en ev er in future man awakens
to the necessity of psychic development or spiritual advancement,
o r of stimulating his latent magical faculties, all eyes must turn
towards this branch of S a n sk rit literature, and to those few
Y o g in s India still possesses, for the most minute, thorough,
accurate, easy and practical system of psychic exercises ever
conceived by man in any country or in any time in history.
Abhicära, 91. Äryatärä, 107, 144.
Abhiseka, 71, 94. See initiation, Arya-Vajravärähi, 140.
act-force, 7,102. A6aik$as, 95.
Ädi-Buddha, 127-ii. Asanga, 54,62, 66, 96, 126.
Advaya, 101-3. ASokakäntä Märici, 137, 145.
Advayavajra, 69, 82,95, 109. A£oka, rock edicts of, 48.
Agama, 51; definition, 52. Äsphänaka asceticism, 15.
Agamavägi&i, 84. See Kr$nänanA*. Assam, 43, 45, 46.
Aharhkära, 100, 101. Aäünya, 39.
Ajitamitra, 162,163. Asuras, 150.
Akanistha heaven, 98, 99, 110, 122. A£vagho$a. 26.
Äkarsaw, 91, 133. Atharvaveda, 155.
Aksobhya, 110, 111, 122, 128-31, Ativogatantrayäna, 95.
149, 150, 151, 152, 153. Avadhütipä, n. of Advayavajra, 82.
Amitäbha, 110, 122. AvalokiteSvara, 28-30, 122.
Amoghasiddhi, 110, 144. Avidyä, 15.
amulets, 1.
Änanda, 81. Bängälä, 68.
Anangavajra, 37, 73-4. Bäuls, 76.
Änantaryas, 58. Bengal, 44-6.
Anjana Siddhi, 88-9. Bengali, 46.
Antardhäna Siddhi, 88-9. Bhaddiyanagara, 21.
Anupama Rak$ita, 108 n. Bhadrakäli, 157,158.
Aruttarayogatantra, 53, 95-6. Bhadra Yana, 52.
Aparäjita, 118. Bhagavati Lak$mi, 76. See Lak$min-
appearances, 99. kara.
application, methods of, 90. Bhäradväja, 19.
Apsarasas, 88. Bhartfhari, 71.
Arapacana, 162. Bhattasäli, N. K„ 44 n., 125 n.
Arupa, 136. Bhava, 37.
Aryadeva, 119. Bhota, 68, 134, 154, 156; same as
Arya-marici, 137. Mahäcina.
Aryan settlers, 2-3. Bhrkuti, 141.
Aryans, orthodox, 3. Bhücara Siddhi, 88-9.
176 AN i K T K O f l U C T I O N T O U U I M1 HI S T R S O T K R I S M
liluimis, *>7. Cnryutantru, )•*!>.
Jthfitndamara, 117,163. Caryutanlrayitna, 53,95.
Bija, 2J0. Castes, four, 6 n.
Bimhjsära, 21. Caste system, 3 n.
Blessed One, 20. See Buddha, Caturmaharajikas, 122.
blue colour, 132,135. Causation, twelve-linked chain of, 15.
Bodhi, 42. celibacy, 94.
Budhicitta, 27, 96, 114, 267; same as Chhando, 19.
Bodhi mind. charms, 1 .
Bodhi mind, 40, 97, 98, 99, 101,114, chignon, crown of, 13«; cue, 350,
115. China, 50.
Bodhisattva, 2S, 39, 40, 98, 99, 102, Chinnamastä, 159,160, 161.
115. chronology, of Tantric authors, 62.
Bodbisattvayäna, 99. churning of the ocean, 150.
Brahma, 8 8 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ; severed head Cinabhümi, 155,15(1
of, 138. Cintä, Sahajayoginj, 79.
Brähmapas, 2, 6, 7, 8 ,9 ,1 6 . Cintämapi, 130; family, 3 43—4*
Brahmasiras, 116» See Brahma, citron, 143.
severed head of. Citrasenä, 132.
Buddha, 10-20, 23, 25, 26-7, 32, 48, Citta, 39.
49,55,56,57, 9 3 ,1 5 5 -6 ; life story Cittam, 19.
of. 1 2 - 6 . classification, of followers, 95.
Buddhas, six past, 11. closure of the boundary, 59.
Buddhflg&kinl, 132. cognition, 40.
Buddha-hood, 39, 79. colour, 92, 111.
Buddha images, 123-6. compassion, 99,106. See Knrunä.
Budclhakapala, 132. conformation, 97.
Buddhism, destruction of, 165. consonants, deified, 164.
Buddhist magic, 17-21. cosmic forces, 4 n.
Buddhist Pantheon, 9 2 ,109,120-46. cosmic secrets, 4 n. ...
Buddhist Tripi;aka, 17. cottage industry, religion a, 173.
buffalo, 133. Covesakalpa, 66 .
Cundä, 123.
Cnkri, 150 n.
Cnndanä, 72. Dak ini, 139 ,1 5 9 ; meaning of, 139.
Candanapäla, 66 . Dandapäoi, 12.
Candarosapa, 116, 117. Daksipäcära, 169.
Candraprabha, 162. Därikapäda, 78.
Caryä, 42. Dasyus, 3.
INDEX 17 7
deities, 170, 171. essence of knowledge, M 8 .
D evas, ISO. essence of Sam aya, 108.
devices, T äntric, 8 8 . existence, cycles of, 107.
diseases, 8 6 , 146. external representation, 1 1 0 .
divine institution, 6 . external world, 9 9 , 114.
divine punishm ent, 7. extraordinary worship, 305.
divine rewards, 7.
D harani, 18, Cil, 49, 5 3 ,5 5 . fem ale divinities, 75,
Dharm ncakrapravartana, 1 J . fem ale energy, 5 3 -4 .
Dbarm aknya, 93. fierce appearance, 311.
D harm nkirtt, 6 7 , 71. five Mudrns, 129, 149, 350, 151, 152.
Dhaturn, 73. flame of Arc, 127.
Dhyani Buddhas, 32, 33, 54, 6 2 , 70, foreign influence, 43.
76, 80, 81, 110, 113. 121, 123, 126, form s of deity, 92.
127, 1 2 8 -3 0 , I S ) , 1 5 2 ,1 6 1 ,1 6 4 . Fou chcr, P rof. A., 120 n.
Dipankara, 19 friendship, 106.
Dipahkara U rijnäna), 82. future happiness, 8 8 .
disciples, 94. Gaganagnnja, 123.
D oha hymns, 6 7 . G am bhiravajra, 6 4 .
Dohäs, 75.
G atjesa, 29, 50, 118.
Dom In H cruka, 79, 81,
Garudn, 116, 119, 145.
dreams, 99.
G a u n , 118.
Dukkata, 20.
Gautam a Buddha, 12. 5 ^ BwMha.
Dvamnan<lita, $6,
gohlin, 134, 340.
Dve$a, 1 3 0 ; fam ily, 131, gods, Buddhist, 116.
gods, Hindu, 116.
ears o f co m , 144.
G opa, 12.
Ego, 36.
Gopäla, 73.
E k n jatä, 68, 134, 3 4 5 ,1 5 0 , I.S J, 154.
Gopicandm , 71, 72, 73, 75.
em anations, 1 2 1 ,
Guni, 6 8 .
emanciixition, 8, 86. Guru, 77, 9 3 - 4 .
enjoym en t, 42.
enlightened one, 40. H ädipä, 7 1 -4 . S ee Jäland harip ä.
enlightenm ent, 4 0 . happiness, 8 3 , 1 0 6 ; worldly, 49.
equ ality, 4 0 . H araprasad S a s tr i. S ee fia stn ,
eso teric sciences, 18. 1 laraprasäd.
eso teric system , 2 2 . H ari, 8 8 .
esoteric tenets, 57. H arihariharivahanodbhava, 116, 3 3 8 ;
esoterism , 57. sam e as H arihariharivahana.

178 AN I N T K o r n n r n o N TO IUI|i|>1! I S T F .S O T F .iU S M
Hant i. 122. Jutnkas, 11.
U . i t h a y ’ga, 105, iw», 16 9, 17 2. Jayatura, 142.
II:iv;vjrjva, 118, 1 4 1 : Hindu god of Jethri,66.
lever, 1 1 9 .1 4 5 . Jivätman, 166,167,168,172.
heaven, 7 ,9 7 . JncyavArapa, 35,37.
herbs. 1.
heretical teachers, 9. Kacchnpä, 69.
Heruka, 103,131,139,161. Kahnupn, 72, 73.
hell, 7. Kälaca kray ana, 52.
Hinayäna, 36, 37. Käli. 150, 157, 104.
Hinayünists, 28,3 6 ,3 7 . Kalpnnu, 37, 97.
Hinduism, 4 9 ,5 6 ,1 4 7 ,1 7 3 . Kamadeva, 142.
Hindus, 50, 114 ; Täntric, 81. Kämakbyä, 43, 54.
Homn, 53. KamalnSila, 57, 99.
Hrdayasutrn, 3 1,49. Kamlttln, 6 4 ,6 9 ; same as KamKMn-
hypothetical Ixjings, 114. pada.
Kamcs vari, 156.
icon, 110. Knndarpa, 3 37.
Iddhipädas, 19. Käpalikas, 17 n.
Uklhis, 17 a , 19. Kapilavistu, 10.
idolatry, 113. Karma, 7, 17.
idol worship, 114. Kamatärä, 142.
images, 115. Kanina, 27, 29, 30, 33, 101, 102,
indifferenoe, 106. 103.
Indra, 4 1 ,1 1 7 . Karuo&cala, 76.
Indrabhüti, 4 4 ,4 5 ,6 4 ,6 9 , 7 4 ,7 6 ,9 5 . Kashgarh, 44.
initiation, 3 9 ,7 1 ; novel mode of, 53. Ka&yapa, 18.
institution* divine, 6 . Kauln, 81.
Iyengar, Dr. S. Kreoaswami, 73. Kaulika, 81.
Kaulism, 81.
Jainas, 114. Kaulas, 155.
Jainism, 147. Kazi Dawasamdup, 62 .
Jalandhara, 54. Kesini, 162.
Jälandharipä, 71, 72, 74, 75. See Khadga Siddhi, 88.
Hädipä. Khadiravapi T ärä, 145.
Jalendra, 4 5 . Khaodarohä, 139.
Jambhala, 143. Khasarpapa, 140.
Janguh, 55 n. Khecara Siddhi, 8 8 -9 .
Japan, 50. Kleäävam a, 35.
t NHKX 1 79

K riyätantra, 169. Madhyamaka, 26.

K riyalantiayana, 5 3 ,9 5 . Magi, 54 ; priests, 53.
Krpa, 40. magic,9 9 , 10<j; Buddhist,22: i*>\vcrs,
Krsnäearya, 6 5 , 71, 7 2 , 75. 166; primitive, 4 ; solution, 89:
Kr-snananUa Ä gam avagisn, 81, 162. unguent, 89.
Kgattriyas, 2, 10. magical, jxm crs, 19; practices, 49.
magician, 85.
Ksitigarbha. 122.
Mahäcina, 134, 155, 156.
Knhcra, 4 ) , 144.
Kueila, 73. Mahäcinatärä, 134,135, 153,154.158.
Kukkuripa, 04, 09. Mahadeva, 153, 162.
Kula, 39, Ho. Mahakala, 112, 113.
Kuiacam, 81. Mahämaya, 132 ; Hindu, 156.
Kulndharma, K l. Mahämudrä, 39, 70, 7 1 : ritual, 67.
Kulas, live enumerated, 121. Mahäparinirväna, 11.
Kulesas, 80. Mahäpratisarä, 118.
Kum m lakam m ati, 58. Maharästra, 66.
Kundalini, 109, 171». Mnhäsiddlias, 34, 35, 154.
Kurukulla, 117, 141. Mahäsähghikas, 24.
Mahäsukha, 2 7 ,3 3 , 38, 79. 81.
Lahore, 44 n. Mahäsukhaväda, 27, 163.
Lalitagupta, 09. Mahavidyft goddesses, 148.
Lalitäsann, 107. Mahavjra, 10.
Lalitavajra, 64, 69, 82. Mahayäna, 36, 37.
Lak$mi, Bhagavati, 76. See L'ik$tnm Mahayänism, 22.
kara. Mahayanists, 28, 36, 37.
Lak§minkarä, 45, 74, 76. Mahayogatantrayäna, 95«
Lamas, 139. Mahcsvara Hhavana, 99.
Lanka, 44 n., 45 n. Mahipula, 66, 82, 1U9.
Lankäpuri, 45. Mahogja, 156.
learning, goddess of, 157. Maitroya, <J6 , 122.
Lilävajra, 77. Maitreyanatha, 35.
lion, 141. Makaras, 32 ; five, 156.
literature, Pauräoic. 49. Mandalas, 18, 49, 53.
Locanä, 131. Manjughoya, 161.
L okeSvara, 1 4 0 . Maujusri, 49, 122, 127, 133.
Loki. 68. Manikacandra. 72.
Lokottara, 120. Manmathu, 117.
Lord of Heaven, 88. Manira». 17, f], ., 7 . purit of the,
Luipä* 4S, 4 6 .6 3 , 69, 78. 158.

Mantrayiina, 42, 52. Nanda, 120.

Mämpn, 89. N äropä, 6 5 ,6 6 ,8 2 .
Mkras, 117. needle, 137.
Marici, 1 1 7 ,1 2 3 .1 3 6 -9 . nether worlds, 89.
Mi'irict-picuvtt, 337. Nirätmä, 27.
materialists, 9. Nirvana, 1 5 ,2 5 ,3 3 ,4 0 ,4 1 ,7 7 ,9 8 ,2 6 3 .
Mäyä, doctrine of, 100. Nispannatärä, 142.
Mayonämatl, 72, 73. non-duality, 40.
m eat, 4 8 , 94. ooumenon, 114.
medicine, 8 9 , 90. nuns, 16.
Mendaka, 21.
merit, 7. object, 107.
Mimärtisä, 6 n. Odantapuri Vihära, 64.
mind, 79. OOiyäna, 54. See Uddiyäna.
mimt-sky, 170. Odiyäna Kunikulln, 142.
miracles, 87, 96. Otliyäna Märici, 138.
mirage, 100. offspring, 121.
mnemonic verses, 59. omniscience, 3S. 3 7 ,9 9 .
Moggaläna, 20. original Tantras, 24.
Muha, 1 3 0 ; family, 1 3 6 -4 0 . origination, law of dependent, 102.
momentary consciousness, 115. Orissa, 4 4 ,7 5 .
monasteries, 1 7 2 .1 7 3 .
Mongolia, 50. Pädalepa Siddhi, 8 8 -9 .
mongoose, 143. Padmapäni, 122.
monks, 16, 23, 24, 87, 173. Padmasambhava, 44, 45 n., 64 , 74.
Mrtyuvanenna Tärä, 117. Padmavajra, 6 4 ,6 9 , 70.
Mudrfts, 1 7 ; their meaning,151,152 n. Padunä, 72.
Muni, 72. Pändarä, 140.
Mtirhri, 41. Pantheon, 1 2 0 ; Buddhist, 92.
mystic, poses, 1 2 9 ; wonders, 18 n. Pantmänanda, 81.
mysterious ointment, 89. Param ätm an, 1 6 6 ,1 6 7 ,1 6 8 .
Päram itas, 4 0 ; six, 1 5 1 ,1 6 4 .
Nädhü Nädhis, 76. Paroaäavari, 138, 145.
Nägärjuna (senior), 26, 41 n., 134. P ä tila Siddhi, 8 8 -9 .
N.igörjuna, 6 7 ,6 8 ,1 5 4 ,1 5 9 . Patahjali, 165.
Nairätmfi, 8 0 ,1 3 4 ,1 3 5 . Patriarchs, 42.
Nairatmya, 3 6 ,3 7 . Pauräpic literaure, 49.
naked god, 88. Paustikfl, 9 1 ,1 3 3 .
Nälandä, 6 6 ,1 2 7 . pestilences, 146.
IN D E X 181
Phandanä, 72. reality, 40.
pictures, 115. remembrances, 114.
pigs, seven, 136. repetition, of the mantra, 59.
Pisaci, 145. restrictions, 94.
Pithas, 4 L rewards, divine, 7.
plastic art, 50. rites, six cruel, 87.
powers, extraordinary, 96. Rodanä, 72.
practices, Tanlric, 41. Bs,5.
Prndipa, 42. RsLs, 5.
Prajna, 34, »<>, 7(), 77, 79. 81, 103. Kupini, 139.
Prnjnäparamita, 31, 34, 40, 42, 56,
8 2 ; Sakti «f Adi-Buddha, 128. 6 abarip.i, 154, 159, lb1! ; same as
Prajnopaya, 38, 39. Sabnrapa.
Pränäyäma, 169. Sabhar, 44.
Prasaimatara, 117, 142. Sacred spots, 43.
Pratyckas, 36, 37, 96. sacrifices, 3 ,4 ,4 8 ; Vedic, 47.
prnyer-whcefs, 31. Sadbanas, 1 9 ,5 3 ,5 7 ,8 3 ,8 7 , KM.
preceptor, 39. Sadhya, !K).
princely ease,attitude of, 141. Sahajayuna, 52.
psychic exercises, 174. Sahajayogini Cintä, 79. See Cinta.
public assemblies, 87. Sahajänanda, 81.
public discussions, 87. Sahajiyas, 76.
Pudgnla, 17 n. Saik$as,95.
Puna, 54. saints, deified, 122.
punishment, divine, 7. Saiva deities, 153.
Punvatirtha, 43 n. &aivaism, 147,163.
Purimas, 56. Sakti,3 2 ,3 3 ,5 3 , 7 0 ; worship, 43, 54,
I’uraudarci, 137. 102.
Punjagiri, 4 3. §:ikya Dan<,tapäni, 12.
Putresti, 5. salvation, 1 1 9 ; short cuts to, 17.
Samadhi, 73.
Raga, 3 8 ,1 3 0 ; family, 140-2. Samantabhadra, 38.
Rahu, 136, 142. Sumantasubha, 4 5 ,6 9 .
Rahulabhadra,66,6 7 ; same as Saraha. Samata, 40.
Räjayoga, 1 6 5 ,1<>6. S a m a y a ,3 9 ,4 2 ,1 3 0 ; family, 144-6.
Raksakah, 145. Sam bhala.45, 74.
Räjnt (?), 66. Sambodhi, 70.
Knsarasavana Siddhi, 8 8 -9 . Sambuddhns, 40.
Ratnakarasunti, 8 2 ,1 1 0 ,1 4 3 . Sariisara, 40, 41.
Sronvara, 3 9 . sins, 7.
SaiH lhyabbasii, 3 5 , 70. Sirihatta. 43.
Saü g h n . 1 6 , 23. Sitakt, 119, 145.
Sangitis, 24, 50. Siva, 29, 4 1 ,1 1 6 , 117, 318. 150. 153
äankara, 88, 1<K). 164.
S an tarn k *ita,44,49,5 7 ,6 4 , 7 4 ,9 6 ,9 9 . sixteen Vangas, 72.
Sänti, 89, 91, 133. Skandhas, 33, 110, 127.
S.intRIcvn, 122. Sm ith, V. A., 73.
Särahapa, 46 n., 6 3 ,6 6 ,6 7 , J54 ; same Sm rtis, 9.
as Saraha and Samhabhadra. snake-bites, 86.
Sarasvati, 50, 156, 157, 158. snakes, ornament of, 133.
Saroruhavajra, 71. See Padmavajra. snake, white, 141.
Sarvabuddhn, 161. social hierarchy, 2.
Sarvajnattva, 86 . sorcerer, 1.
Sästri, Haraprasäd, 3 n., 4 6 n„ 70 n., spiritual spheres, 97.
76, 78, 82, 119 n. Sravakas, 36, 37, 4 0 ,9 8 .
Sfisvntnvajm, 154. Snparvata, 54.
§atkarm a, 89, 90. Srisamäja, 70.
schools of art, 123. Stambhana, 89.
sciences, esoteric, 28. Stapleton, Mr. H. E ., 43 n.
Scythians, 53, 54. Stava, 53.
secret practices, 96. Sthaviras, 24.
secret rites, 70. subject, 107.
sects, 128, succession lists, 62.
self-protection, S9. Siicimukha, 140.
self-realization, 38. Sudhnnakumara, 140.
self sacrifice, 37. Südras, 2 ,1 7 .
settlers, Aryan, 3. Sugata, 57, 93.
short-cuts to salvation, 17. Süktas, 6 .
Skldhacarya, 4 6 n„ 122 ; first, 78. Sungas, 48.
Siddhamantras, 148. Sun-god, Hindu. 136.
Skldhapurasas, 34, 8 4 ,1 2 6 . Sunya, 26, 27, 33, 39, 101, 108, 109,
Siddhartba, 12. 1 1 4 ,1 1 5 ,1 6 3 , 1 6 7 ,1 7 1 .
Skldhas 5 3 , 84, 9 6 ; three classes of, Sünyatä, 38, 39, 1 0 1 ,1 0 2 ,1 0 3 , 110.
85. supernatural powers, 171.
Siddhi, 70, 83, 85, 9 3 , 94 , 109, 1 7 1 ; superstitions, 48.
eight great, 87, 88, 1 0 8 ; of five Süryaprabba, 162.
varieties, 86. Su$upti, 167, 1 6 8 ,1 7 0 .
Sirtihanada, 1 2 3 ,1 4 0 ,1 4 1 . Sutra, 49, 56.
Svayambhü Caitya, 127. Ucchusma JnmbhaU», 111, 112, 117,
sword, magic, 89. 14 3 ; same as Ucchu$mx
symbols, 6 0 ; five auspicious, 135. Uddiyana, 43, 44, 45, 69, 76.
Udiyä, 75.
Tailopä, 65, 82. Udyänn, 44.
Täntipa, 71, 75. Ugrä, 156.
Tantra, 43 n., 47, 52, 53, 165, 168; Ugratärä, mantra of, 155.
Buddhist, 101; definition, 5 1 ; UpakeSini, 162.
Hindu, 1 0 1 ; original, 24. Upanisads, 93.
Tanirayiina, 52. Upäya, 38, 70, 79, 8 1 .
Täntric Buddhism, 3 2 ; culture, 173, Upäyatantrayäna, 95.
1 7 4 ; practices, 41, 1 6 6 ; Hindus,
8 1 ; system, 18. Vaipulyasütra, 19.
Täntrism, 2 2 ,4 6 ; origin, 1 ; place of Vairocana, 1 1 0 ,1 3 0 ,1 3 6 ,1 6 0 .
origin, 43. VaiSravana, 122.
Tärä, 104, 107, 108, 140, 148. 149, Vaiäyas, 2.
15 J, 1 5 2 ,15d, 158 ; different forms Vajrä, 156.
of, 148. Vajräcäryas, 53.
Tärioi, 149, 150. Vajraduka, 132.
Tathägatas, 41. Vajradhara, 127.
Tattvacaryä, 41. Vajraghona, 139.
teachers, heretical, 9. Vajradhätvisvari, 1 3 6 ; M ariä, 138.
thought categories, 107. Vajraghantä, 69.
thread, 137. Vajrajvälänalärka, 117.
three jewels, 4 2 ,1 0 5 . Vajrapapi. 127,131.
thunderbolt, 40. Vajräsana, 124.
Tibet, 50. Vajrasattva, 40, 7 9 ,1 2 7 ,1 2 9 .
tiger’s skin, 133. Vajravairocani, 160.
liracchana, 18. Vajravariihj, 132,139.
Tirthankaras, 114. Vajmvarnnni, 160.
Trailokyavijaya, 117, 1 1 8 ; Mudrä, Vajravetäli, 138.
142. Vajrayann, 27, 32, 35, 42, 52, 56, 57,
trident, white, 141. 70,114.
TripUaka, Buddhist, 17. Vajrayanists, 25,55.
Trsnä, 102. Vajrayogini, 132,158,159,160,161.
twilight language, 35. Vämäcära, 169,172.
Varpani, 159,160.
Uhhgyavarahänana Märici, 137. Vasikarapa, 8 9 ,91,141.
Hccätajia, 8Ü, 91. Vaäistha, 155,156.
Vasu, N. N„ 53. void, 107.
V asu d h ära, 1 4 3 ,1 4 4 . voidness, 99. See &tinva»
Vasya, 133. » vowels, deified, 164.
Vedas, 5 , 9 , 5 3 . V rätyas, 3 , 8 , 1 0 , 1 1 , 1 7 , 4 7 .
Vedic hymns, 55. Vratyastoma, 3 n.
Vemacitri, 88.
vernaculars, 16-7. weapons, 92.
Vidve$apa,89. wine, 94.
Vidyäbhugapa.S. C., 73. woman, 3 4 ,1 6 8 .
Vidyädharas, land of the, 88. work! of animals, 97.
Vidyäs, 18. worldly happiness, 49.
Vidyujjväläkaräli, 135. worship, extraordinary, 105.
Vighna, 118.
Vighnäntaka, 118. Yab-yum, 103.
Vijayapä, 6 5 . Yaksas, 114, 143.
Vijnäna, 2 6 ,2 7 , 33 ; chain of, 97. Yaksinis, 114.
Vijnänaväda, 27. Yama, 117, 122.
Vijnänavädin, 79. Yämala, 5 1 ; deflation, 52.
Vikrama&la, 66. Yamäntakn, 133.
Viläsavajra, 78. Y am äri, 112, 132, 134.
Vimalacandra, 71. Yoga, 33, 166, 168, 3 70, 172.
Vimariisä, 19. Y ogacara, 26, 27, 35, 96, 99.
Vinaya rules, 95. Yogatantra, 53, 169.
Viramänanda, 81. Yogatantrayäna, 95.
Viriyam, 19. Yogin, 34, 79, 166, 170, 174.
Vi$nu, 2 9 , 1 1 6 , 1 1 7 . Yuganaddha, 103, 163.
Visvapäni, 145.
Yiävavajra, 144. Zä-hor, 44, 45 n.