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By David Snellgrove

The 1st complete authoritative and annotated translation of any Buddhist tantric textual content into English.

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Extra resources for The Hevajra Tantra: A Critical Study

Example text

262. Quoted from Ratnameghasiitra (Narthang Kanjur mDo, xviii. 1-175). See MMK, I 2 p. 225. 3 Quoted at the opening of Vasubandhu's Vi1Jlsatikii, ed. Sylvain Levi, Vijiiaptimdtratdsiddhi, Paris, 1925. For the origin of the quotation, see Sylvain Levi, Materiaux pour l'etude du systeme vijiiaptimdtra, p. 43ยท Also quoted in Subhd#ta-sa1Jlgraha, p. 19 and Advayavajrasa1Jlgraha, p. 18, 11. x-2. ' Thus the mystic realization, which is the highest goal (para) and the one reality (tattva) is expressed philosophically in negative terms.

This, however, is unconvincing, for these texts only began to have importance for Buddhism when they were brought into the open, and one may err as much by laying stress on their secrecy as their supposed popularity. The rites and practices prescribed in them probably derive from considerably earlier times. All that is new is their adoption of a Buddhist garb, and this with complete disregard of the contradictions that exist. It is this stage that the tantra itself represents, but nothing will be gained by hazarding a guess of the date of this process.

E). The Taoists, treating of similar practices, are certainly more explicit. See the article by Henri Maspero, Les Proddes de 'Nourrir le principe vital',JA 229 (1937), pp. 177-252 and 353-430. The various processes are here described explicitly, whereas in the Indian texts one is presented primarily with schemes and patterns. Nor is any distinction made between an imagined and an actual physical process, because no such distinction is recognized. One surmises that the real process was elaborated to conform with a theoretical scheme, just as the master's responsibility towards his pupil is elaborated into the theory of the ve families (see above, p.

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