Tantra Illuminated takes the reader on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West s discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago in the far north of India. Using translations from from primary Sanskrit sources and offering a profound look at spiritual practice, this book reveals Tantra s rich history and powerful teachings.
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This book takes readers on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West's discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago, in the far north of India. The book uses translations from primary Sanskrit sources, offers a profound look at spiritual practice, and reveals Tantra's rich history and powerful teachings.
One thousand years ago, in the valley of Kashmir, a great Tantric master named Kshemaraja wrote his masterpiece: the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, which means "The Essence of the Recognition Philosophy". This text was a concise primer, written to introduce spiritual seekers to the Recognition philosophy in less formally philosophical, more approachable language. What Kshemaraja created turned out to be one of the world's great spiritual masterpieces, breathtaking in its brevity but stunning in its power. It came to be considered equivalent to scripture itself by later generations, because of its undeniable inspiration. This book expounds the subtleties of this spiritual and philosophical classic. One of the most powerful and revelatory spiritual masterpieces of world history, the Pratyabhijnahrdayam is one of the primary sources for the study and practice of nondual Tantrik Yoga, and it has never been accurately translated or fully explained until now.
Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche was a renowned teacher of Tibetan Buddhism with students worldwide. Revered as a teacher by even the Dalai Lama, he was known especially as a master of Buddhist tantra, the powerful esoteric methods for attaining enlightenment swiftly. The teachings in this book are a singular record of his deep learning in that field. Originally delivered in California to a group of Western students, the teachings comment on a classic introduction to tantra by the nineteenth-century Mongolian lama Choje Ngawang Palden. The work, Illumination of the Tantric Tradition, is a staple even today of the curriculum for training young monastics. Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche explains the distinctive features of the four classes of tantra--action tantra, performance tantra, yoga tantra, and highest yoga tantra--by describing the way to progress through their paths and levels. He illuminates key issues in tantric practice that are still a matter for debate within the tradition. Finally, he gives a special treatment of the unique methods of Kalacakra tantra, which is regularly taught around the globe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The present work is the cornerstone of our Jey Yabsey Sungbum Collection, a subset of our Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences series. Comprised of the collected works of Tsong Khapa Losang Drakpa (1357–1419) and His Spiritual Sons, Gyaltsap Darma Rinchen (1364–1432) and Khedrup Gelek Pelsang (1385–1438), this Collection is a voluminous set of independent Tibetan treatises and supercommentaries, all based on the thousands of works contained in the Kangyur and Tengyur Collections. The Brilliant Illumination of the Lamp of the Five Stages (Rim lnga rab tu gsal ba’i sgron me) is Tsong Khapa’s most important commentary on the perfection stage practices of the Esoteric Community (Guhyasamāja), the Tantra he considered fundamental for the practice of the “Father Tantra” class of Unexcelled Yoga Tantras. It draws heavily on Nāgārjuna’s Five Stages (Pañcakrama) and Āryadeva’s Lamp that Integrates the Practices (Caryāmelāpakapradīpa), as well as a vast range of perfection stage works included in the Tibetan Kangyur and Tengyur collections. It is an important work for both scholars and practitioners. The annotated translation is supplemented with extensive glossaries and other support materials. A companion volume of the critically edited Tibetan text, annotated with the found quotes from Tengyur and Kangyur texts in Tibetan and Sanskrit where available.
In 1838, Choying Tobden Dorje, a Buddhist yogi-scholar of eastern Tibet, completed a multivolume masterwork that traces the entire path of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from beginning to end. Written by a lay practitioner for laypeople, it was intended to be accessible, informative, inspirational, and above all, practical. Its twenty-five books, or topical divisions, offer a comprehensive and detailed view of the Buddhist path according to the early translation school of Tibetan Buddhism, spanning the vast range of Buddhist teachings from the initial steps to the highest esoteric teachings of great perfection. Choying Tobden Dorje’s magnum opus appears in English here for the first time. In Foundations of the Buddhist Path, which covers the first ten of the treatise’s twenty-five books, the author surveys the scope of the entire work and then begins with the topics that set the cornerstones for all subsequent Buddhist practice: what constitutes proper spiritual apprenticeship, how to receive the teachings, how to make the best use of this life, and how to motivate ourselves to generate effort on the spiritual path. He then describes refuge and the vows that define the path of individual liberation before turning to the bodhisattva’s way—buddha nature, how to uplift the mind to supreme awakening, the bodhisattva’s training, and the attainments of the paths leading to supreme awakening.
The most important commentary on Vajrayana from the founder of the Dalai Lama's school of Buddhism. The Brilliantly Illuminating Lamp of the Five Stages (rim lnga rab tu gsal ba’i sgron me) is Tsong Khapa’s most important commentary on the perfection stage practices of the Esoteric Community (Guhyasamaja), the tantra he considered fundamental for the practice of the “father tantra” class of unexcelled yoga tantras. It draws heavily on Nagarjuna’s Five Stages (Pañcakrama) and Aryadeva’s Lamp that Integrates the Practices (Caryamelapakapradipa), as well as a vast range of perfection stage works included in the Tibetan canonical (Kangyur and Tengyur) collections. It is an important work for both scholars and practitioners. A reader of this work will find in it convincing evidence for Tsong Khapa’s own yogic experience and attainment, in coordination with his better-known philosophical and scholarly achievements. The present revised edition of the work is a cornerstone of the Complete Works of Jey Tsong Khapa and Sons collection, a subset of the Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences series. Comprised of the collected works of Tsong Khapa (1357–1419) and his spiritual sons, Gyaltsap Darma Rinchen (1364–1432) and Khedrup Gelek Pelsang (1385–1438), the numerous works in this set of Tibetan treatises and supercommentaries are based on the thousands of works in the Tibetan Buddhist canon.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama illuminates the highly practical and compassionate use of Tantra for spiritual development in this important classic work. Yoga Tantra is the third volume in The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra series in which the Dalai Lama offers illuminating commentary on Tsongkhapa’s seminal text on Buddhist tantra. It is preceded by Volume I: Tantra in Tibet and Volume II: Deity Yoga. This work opens with His Holiness the Dalai Lama presenting the key features of Yoga Tantra then continues with Tsongkhapa’s section of the main text focusing on this class of tantra. This is followed by an overview of the central practices of the five manifest enlightenments and the four seals written by Khaydrub Je (Khaydrub Geleg Palsang), one of Tsongkhapa’s main students and the first in the line of Panchen Lamas. Jeffrey Hopkins concludes the volume with an outline of the steps of Yoga Tantra practice, which is drawn from the Dalai Lama’s, Tsongkhapa’s, and Khaydrub Je’s explanations.
Tsongkhapa's A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages (1419) is a comprehensive presentation of the highest yoga class of Buddhist tantra, especially the key practices - the so-called five stages (pancakrama) - of the advanced phase of Guhyasamaja tantra. Beginning with a thorough examination of the Indian sources, Tsongkhapa draws particularly from the writings of Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Candrakirti, and Naropa to develop a definitive understanding of the Vajrayana completion stage. Whereas in the generation stage, meditators visualize the Buddha in the form of the deity residing in a mandala palace, in the completion stage discussed in the present volume, meditators transcend ordinary consciousness and actualize the state of a buddha themselves. Among other things, Tsongkhapa's work covers the subtle human physiology of channels and winds along with the process of dying, the bardo, and rebirth. This definitive statement on Guhyasamaja tantra profoundly affected the course of Buddhist practice in Tibet.
Deity yoga is the meditative practice of imagining oneself as an ideal being, fully endowed with compassion, wisdom, and their resultant altruistic activities. The idea is that by imagining being a Buddha one gets closer to actually achieving Buddhahood. Tantric Techniques offers a complete system of Tantric meditation comparing the views of three seminal Tibetan authors on deity yoga and on issues such as how to safeguard against psychological inflation and how to use negative emotions on the path.