The author here reprints a number of his published Tantra essays, and writes some others to fill out this work. It has much material not readily available elsewhere in Western language sources. It concludes with a correlation of the two Tantra collections of Tibetan Buddhist canon, which are the revealed Tantra in the Kanjur, and exegetical works in the Tanjur. The work is leavened with illustrations and drawings.
This book has been divided into four sections. Part One is an Introduction which places the position of the Buddhist Tantras within Mahayana Buddhism and recalls their early literary history, especially the Guhyasamajatantra; the section also covers Buddhist Genesis and the Tantric tradition as well as the analogical thinking in the Buddhist Tantras. Part Two: the author discusses the foundations of the Buddhist Tantras-he considers the Tantric presentation of divinity; the preparation of disciples and the meaning of initiation; some Tantric materials; symbolism of the mandala-palace; Tantric ritual and the symbolism of its attainments; twilight language and a Tantric song. Part Three: This section is devoted to Special Studies which are very rarely available to the general public, such as the nine orifices of the body and the Tantric teachings of the inner Zodiac; female energy and symbolism in the Buddhist Tantras; and the five-fold ritual symbolism of passion. Part Four: The Bibliographical Research contains a correlation between the trantric portions of the Kanjur and the Tanjur.
About the Author(s)
ALEX WAYMAN, formerly Professor 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 thirty years of researches. He employs both the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages in his books and articles. He has authored well over a hundred articles for professional journals and honorary 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 texts and dependable citations.