Summary : Yoga of the Guhyasamajatantra The Arcane Lore of the Forty Verses : A Buddhist Trantra Commentary
This work opens up the subject of perhaps the most profound of Buddhist Tantras, The Guhyasamajatantra by shedding light on its relation with previous literature including the Brahmanical Tradition and by revealing the elevates type of Yoga. It goes far toward replacing the previous supposition that this Tantra can be understood by mere reading by one oblivious of the extensive commentarial tradition that incorporates the precepts of the Gurus.
The author has used the edited Sanskrit texts, the Pradipoddyotana Ms, the relevant and Tanjur, and thirteen Tibetan in the Kanjur and Tanjur, and thirteen Tibetan works on the Tantra by Tsong-kha-pa, founder of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. First he presents the forty Nidan verses that were quoted in Sanskrit in the Pradipoddyotana, and the chapters Six and Twelve of the basic Tantra with some commentarial exposition. Then he initiates the reader into the Tantra by various introductions including a translation of the Guhyasamaja Aksobhyamandala. There follows a remarkable Synthetic commentary on the forty Nidana verses that go with the first 40 syllables of the Tantra. The special Teaching of four-stage Yoga is continued into appendices that develop the practical side.
Alex Wayman, now Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit, Columbia University, New York is in the forefront of Western Buddhist Scholarship by his series of books in both tantric and non-tantric Buddhism based on over forty years of researches. He employs both the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages in his books and articles. He has authored well over a hundred-fifty articles for professional journals and honorary type volumes in various countries and in recent years almost exclusively by invitation. His authorship of various seminal works on Buddhist Tantra ensures that the present collection of tantric essays conform to high standards of authoritative text and dependable citations.
Part I : DOCUMENTS :
1. The Guhyasamaja-nidana-karika (Sanskrit-Tibetan-English)
2. Chapters VI and XII of the Guhyasamajatantra, Translated into English
3. Edited Pradipoddyotana Commentary on Chapter XII, 60-64, and English Translation
Part II : INTRODUCTIONS :
1. Introduction to Buddhist Tantrism
i. Tantra (Generalities)
ii. Definitions and Varieties of Tantras
iii. Some Fundamentals of the Tantras
iv. Winds and Mantras
v. The World of Light
2. Introduction to the Guhyasamajatantra :
i. Texts, Commentators, and History
ii. Title of the Work and Nidana
iii. Seven Ornaments and Subdivisions
iv. Importance of the Forty Verses
v. The Mandala of the Guhyasamaja
3. Introduction to the Yoga of the Guhyasamaja System :
i. The Chapters of the Guhyasamaja-tantra and Yoga
ii. The Two Stages, Initiations, and the Clear Light
iii. The Four Steps of Yoga and Three Samadhis in the Stage of Generation
iv. The Six Members of Yoga and Five Kramas in the Stage of Completion
v. Grouping the Nidana Karikas
Part III : COMMENTARY ON THE NIDANA KARIKAS :
1. The Stage of Generation :
i. Evam Maya Srutam 'Thus by Me it Was Heard'
ii. Ekasmin Samaye 'Upon an Occasion'
iii. Bhagavan Sarva 'The Lord-All'
iv. Tathagata 'Who has Come the Same Way'
2. The Stage of Completion :
v. Kayavakcitta 'Body, Speech, and Mind'
vi. Hrdaya-vajrayosid 'Diamond Ladies of the Hearts'
vii. Bhage-su Vijahara 'Was Dwelling in the Bhagas'
I. The World of Light-Brahmanical and Buddhist
II. Correspondences of Aksobhya-mandala
III. The Clear Lights
IV. Intra-uterine correspondences
V. Partite realities : five skandhas
VI. Partite realities : four elements
VII. Partite realities : six sense organs
VIII. Partite realities : five sense objects
IX. The Great Time
“One who is ‘aware of the hazards of speculating on the intricate subject of the Tantra’ would certainly admire Prof. Wayman for explaining the yoga with the authentic material mostly preserved in Tibetan sources. This book is a modern commentary on the forty verses which the author calls ‘Guhyasamaja-nidana-karika’.” – Annals BORI, Pune, Vol. LXIX, 1988