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      The text comprised a collection of some fifty sadhanas—meditation and ritual works—all of which were concerned with the practice of Vajrayogini, a deity of the highest tantras. With Professor Sanderson's help, and the untiring support of Dr. Harunaga Isaacson, I set about the tasks of editing the texts and attempting to understand their contents. Without the knowledge of these two outstanding scholars, I could hardly have begun to fathom the complexity of the Buddhist tantric traditions, let alone begin my doctoral thesis. The thesis was completed in 1999 and was entitled Vajrayogini: Her Visualisation, Rituals and Forms. This book is an adaptation of that thesis.
      Taken as a whole, the texts in the manuscript form a so-called garland of sadhanas (sadhanamdld), which in this case includes praise verses and commentarial passages alongside the ritual and meditation manuals of the sadhanas themselves. This book focuses upon one Sanskrit sadhana from this unique collection, the Vajravarahi Sadhana by Umapatideva. At the same time, I hope to give a flavor of the breadth and richness of the other works in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. For while they all center upon Vajrayogini as the generic deity, they describe many manifestations. Indeed,the collection contains over fifty iconographical descriptions, within which we can discern about twenty distinct forms of Vajrayogini, some of whom—such as Vajravarahi—are significant tantric deities in their own right. In fact, although the collection receives the late title Guhyasamayasadhanamald(GSS), the Secret Pledge Sadhana Collection, a more suitable title might have been the       Vajrayoginisddhanamdld, the Vajrayogini Sadhana  Collection. I have therefore attempted to draw from all its major works in  the course of this study and, in the opening chapters, I survey the diverse forms and practices of Vajrayogini in India, according to this collection. Inthis way, I hope the book will serve a double purpose: examining, from our textual evidence, the cult of Vajrayogini in India prior to 1200 C.E., and shedding light on tantric sadhana meditation.
      The decision to base the study upon a single sadhana from the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld  was made for several reasons. While scholarly interest in the Indian Buddhist tantras has increased in recent years, our knowledge of their vast array of texts remains in its infancy and will only improve as scholars produce critical editions of surviving texts along with informed study based upon them. The difficulty of drawing accurate conclusions from the texts currently available is due to the fact that the umbrella term "Buddhist tantra" actually covers a bewildering variety of methods, practices, and systems. These competed in India within a highly fertile and inventive environment over several centuries. Even contemporary accounts in the eleventh to twelfth centuries that describe a range of different systems, such as Abhayakaragupta's encyclopedic Vajravali or Jagaddarpana's derivative Kriydsamuccaya, cannot be taken as conclusive evidence for practice on the ground, as those authors themselves struggled with the various currents of opinion without necessarily reaching their own conclusions. In addition, the meanings of many terms remain obscure and will only come to light when a far broader field of reference is available.
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      Perhaps the main emphasis on forms of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi (the names often seem to be used interchangeably) is found in the bKa' brgyud schools. This lineage is traced back to the siddha Tilopa (c. 928-1009), who had many visions of the deity, and who passed on oral transmissions to his pupil, Naropa (c. 956-1040). Naropa also had many visions of dakini forms, the most famous of which is recounted in his life story, dated to the fifteenth and sixteenth century,5 in which Vajrayogini appears to him as an ugly old hag who startles him into abandoning monastic scholasticism in favor of solitary tantric practice. However, this account does not appear in the earliest biographies (Peter Alan Roberts, personal communication: 2002)
      The form of Vajrayogini especially associated with Naropa in Tibet is Nd ro mkha'spyod; "Na ro [pa]'s tradition of the dakini" or "Naro's khecari" (lit., "sky-goer"). This form is discussed below, as it is closest to that of Vajravarahi described in the Indian sadhana translated here by Umapatideva.
      Several different practices of Vajravarahi/Vajrayogini were transmitted in the numerous traditions of the Tibetan bKa' brgyud school, through variousteachers; for example, through the translator, Mar pa (Mar pa Chos kyi bio gros, 1012-97) into the Mar pa bKa' brgyud, and through Ras chung pa (Ras chung rDo rje grags pa, 1084—1161) into the several branches of the Ras chung sNyan rgyud, and yet another through Khyung po rnal 'byor, founder of the Shangs pa bKa' brgyud (eleventh—twelfth centuries) apparently from Niguma (sometimes said to be Naropa's sister). This complex matrix of lineages continued in Tibet within the various bKa' brgyud traditions. In the Karma bKa' brgyud, the oral transmission was written down in the form of a sadhana by the third Karma pa, Rang byung rdo rje (b.1284) (Trungpa 1982:150). However, it is a sadhana by the sixth Karma pa (mThong ba don ldan, 1416—53) that serves as the basis for the main textual source in this school. This is the instruction text composed in the sixteenth century by dPa' bo gTsug lag phreng ba (1504-66).7 Vajravarahi also appears in bKa' brgyud versions of the guruyoga, in which the devotee worships his guru (in one popular system, Mi la ras pa) while identifying himself as Vajravarahi. Examples include the famous "four sessions" guruyoga (Thun bzhi'i bla ma'i rnal 'byor) of Mi skyod rdo rje, the eighth Karma pa (1507-54), and the Nges don sgron me, a meditation manual by the nineteenth-century teacher Jam mgon Kong sprul (1977: H9ff.), itself based on a sixteenth-century root text, the Lhan cig skyes sbyor khrid by the ninth Karma pa (dBang phyug rdo rje, 1556-1603). While Karma bKa' brgyud lamas around the world today frequently give the initiation of Vajravarahi, they observe a strict code of secrecy in imparting the instructions for her actual practice; however, published accounts of some practices within some bKa' brgyud schools are now available.
     Vajrayogini is also an important deity within the Sa skya school. According to Lama Jampa Thaye (personal communication: 2002) ,her practiceswere received into the Sa skya tradition in the early twelfth century, during the lifetime of Sa chen Kun dga' snying po (1092-1158), first of the "five venerable masters" of the Sa skya. Sa chen received from his teachers the initiations, textual transmissions, and instructions for three forms of Vajrayogini. The first is a form derived also from Naropa, and again called Nd ro mkha' spyodot "Ndro's khecari"(although it is entirely different from the Tilopa-Naropa-Mar pa transmission of Vajravarahi in the bKa' brgyud in that the deity has a different iconographical form with a distinct set of associated practices). The second is a form derived from the siddha Maitripa, known therefore as Maitri Khecari (Mctri mkha'spyod ma; see fig. 18). The third is derived from the siddha Indrabhuti, known therefore as IndraKhecari{Indra mkha'sypodma;see fig. 6). This form is sometimes also known as Indra Vajravarahi, although as a deity in her own right, Vajravarahi has received much less attention among Sa skya pas than the Khecari lineages.'
     These three forms are traditionally considered the highest practices within a collection of esoteric deity practices known as The Thirteen Golden Dharmas ofSa skya (Sa skya'i gser chos hcu gsum), as they are said to lead directly to transcendental attainment.12 However, it was Ndro Khecari who became the focus of most devotion in the Sa skya tradition, and the practice instructions associated with her sadhana were transmitted in the form of eleven yogas drawn from the siddha Naropa's own encounter with Vajrayogini. The most influential exposition of this system of eleven yogas emerged in the sixteenth century; known as The Ultimate Secret Yoga, it is a composition by 'Jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang phyug (1524-68) on the basis of oral instructions received from his master, Tsar chen Bio gsal rgya mtsho (1494-1560).13 Since that time, the eleven yogas "have retained great importance in the Sa skya spiritual curriculum" (ibid.). The practices have retained their esoteric status for Sa skya pas, and are "secret" in as much as one may not study or practice them without the requisite initiations and transmissions.
      In the eighteenth century, it appears that the Sa skya transmission of Ndro Khecari and the eleven yogas entered the dGe lugs tradition. This seems to have occurred in the lifetime of the Sa skya master, Ngag dbang kun dga' legs pa'i 'byung gnas. His exact dates are unclear, but the next Sa skya lineage holder is his pupil, Kun dga' bio gros (1729-83). Ngag dbang kun dga' legs pa'i 'byung gnas is in fact the last of the Sa skya lineage holders given in dGe lugs sources (he appears as "Nasarpa" in the list given by K. Gyatso 1999: 343-46), and from this point, the dGe lugs lineage prayersreveal their own distinct sequence of transmissions (ibid.). The dGe lugs pa had originally focused upon Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi in her role as consort to their main deity, Cakrasarnvara, following the teaching of Tsong kha pa ( 1357-1419). Cakrasarnvara was one of the three meditational deities, along with Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja, whose systems Tsong kha pa drew together as the foundational practices of the dGe lugs school. In this context, Tsong kha pa's explanatory text, Illuminating All Hidden Meanings (sBas don kun gsal) is apparently the main source on Vajrayogini (K. Gyatso 1999: xii); and she has actually been described as Tsong kha pa's "innermost yidam, kept very secretly in his heart" (Ngawang Dhargyey 1992: 9). This claim, however, was probably intended to bolster Vajrayogini's relatively recent presence in the dGe lugs pantheon, as the Sa skya tradition of eleven yogas was only popularized in the dGe lugs in the twentieth cenutury, by Pha bong kha (1878-1941). According to Dreyfus (1998: 246), "Pa-bong-ka differed in recommending Vajrayogini as the central meditational deity of the Ge-luk tradition. This emphasis is remarkable given the fact that the practice of this deity came originally [i.e., as late as the eighteenth century] from the Sa-gya tradition and is not included in Dzong-kha-ba's original synthesis." The Vajrayogini practice passed on by Pha bong kha and his pupil, Kyabje Trijang, focuses on the set of eleven yogas; and despite their esoteric, and therefore highly secret, nature—and the absolute prerequisite of receiving correct empowerments—explanations of these practices have been published and are widely available in English: by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (1991/99), Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey (1992), and Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin (1997).
         The rNying ma has also drawn the practices of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi into its schools. Her presence is read back into the life of Padmasambhava, the eighth-century founder of the rNying ma, who is said to have received initiation from Vajravarahi herself following his expulsion from the court of King Indrabhuti (Dudjom 1991: 469). Other important rNying ma lineage holders are also traditionally associated with the deity. For example, in the life story of Klong chen Rab 'byams pa (1308-63), as given by Dudjom Rinpoche (1991), he is said to have received visions of both a white Varahl and a blue Vajravarahi, who foretell Klong chen pa's own meeting with Padmasambhava {ibid.: 577, 581). It is also Vajravarahi who leads him to the discovery of the treasure text (gter ma), Innermost Spirituality of the Dakini ((Man ngag) mkha' gro snying tig), the meaning of which is explained to him by Yeshe Tsogyel (Ye shes mtsho rgyal) {ibid.: 586). This identification between Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi and Yeshe Tsogyel is significant—although Yeshe Tsogyel tends to be identified at different times with most of the major female deities of the tradition, such as Samantabhadrl and Tara (Dowman 1984:12; Klein 1995:17). In the account of Yeshe Tsogyel's life, a gter ma discovered in the eighteenth century (and now translated no fewer than three times into English), she is at times clearly identified with Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi (e.g., Dowman 1984: 38, 85, 178); indeed, her sambhogakdya is said to be that of the deity (e.g., Gyelwa Jangchub in Dowman 1984: 4-5, 224; Klein i99ji: 147; J. Gyatso 1998: 247). The identification of Yeshe Tsogyel with Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi is also suggested by Righttp 'dzin 'Jigs med gling pa (1730-98), whose Dakki's Grand Secret Talk is revealed to him by  a"paradigmatic" dakinl, whom J. Gyatso (1998: 247) concludes is Yeshe Tsogyel herself.15 Various guruyoga practices within the rNying ma also formalize the connection between Yeshe Tsogyel and the deity. For example, in 'Jigs med gling pa's mind treasure, the Klong chen snying thig, the devotee longs for union with his guru as Padmasambhava, while identifying himself (and his state of yearning) with Yeshe Tsogyal in the form of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi. In other guruyoga practices, such as The Bliss Path of Liberation (Thar pa 'i bde lam), the practitioner identifies directly with Vajrayogini, who becomes "the perfect exemplar of such devotion" (Rigdzin Shikpo 2002: personal communication).
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            Over and above the deity's ubiquitous involvement in guruyoga meditations (a feature, as we have seen, of many Tibetan traditions), her popularity as a main deity in her own right is revealed by the growing number of liturgies devoted to her practice in the later rNying ma traditions. Robert Mayer (personal communication: 2002) mentions entire ritual cycles devoted to Vajravarahi, such as a volume entitled, Union of All Secret Dakinis (mKha' 'gro gsang ba kun 'dus kyi chos skor). This was composed by the eminent nineteenth-century figure, 'Jams dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po, who believed it to be the "further revelation" (yanggter) of a gter ma dating back to the thirteenth century. The original gter ma revelation was by the famous female rNying ma gter ston Jo mo sman mo, herself deeply connected with Vajravarahi . This volume is entirely dedicated to an important form of Vajravarahi in rNying ma practice, which is related to the gCod tradition, from Ma gcig lab sgron ma (1031-1129) . Here, the deity takes the wrathful black form of (ma cig) KhroslKhro ma nag mo or Krodhakali, also sometimes identified as Rudrani/i (Mayer op. cit.). Patrul Rinpoche (1994:297-98) describes an iconographical form that, apart from its color, is much the same as that of Indradakini (for a full tangka of Krodhakali withretinue, see Himalayan Art, no. 491). In full, however, this is an extremely esoteric practice and, in the case of the principal bDud 'joms gter ma cycles at least, is regarded as "so secret and powerful that practitioners are often advised to either take it as their sole practice, or not seek the initiation at all" .
            Tibetans also recognize a living reincarnation trulku (sprul sku) of Vajravarahi (rDo rje phag mo). The first trulku was a pupil of Phyogs las mam rgyal (also known as 'Jigs med grags pa and as Chos kyi rgyal mtshan, 1376-1452), the learned Bo dong Pan chen of the monastery Bo dong E(probably a bKa' gdams pa foundation in 1049). A Bo dong pa Monastery was subsequently founded at bSam sdings by the side of Yar 'brog mtsho(Yamdrog Lake), referred to as Yar 'brog bSam sdings dgon pa, and it was here that the trulku of rDo rje phag mo became established . The first abbess is one of the most famous incarnations, memorable for escaping from an invasion in 1717/19 of the Dzungar Tartars by apparently causing everyone in the monastery to appear as a herd of grazing pigs. But later incarnations have also been revered, andfamed for their connection with Vajravarahi, until the present trulku (b.1937/38) who became an eminent official in the Chinese administration.
             The pervasiveness of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi in Tibet is attested by her appearance also within the Tibetan Bon tradition. Peter Alan Roberts ) has translated a meditation text by Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan (18 59-1934) that focuses on the development of the experience of "the wisdom of bliss and emptiness" (bde stongye shes), with "heat" (gtum mo/canddli) as a sign of accomplishment. The work is entitled The Inferno of Wisdom (Ye shes medpung)" and draws on Bon compositions going back to the eleventh or twelfth century gter ma texts. It describes a wrathful, cremation-ground dakinl named Thugs rjes Kun grol ma ("She Who Liberates All through Compassion") who is clearly a form of Vajravarahi.She is ruby-red in color, adorned with skulls, and stands on one leg in the dancing posture; a black sow's head protrudes from her crown, and she brandishes a chopper aloft, holds a skull bowl of fresh blood to her heart, and clasps a skull staff in the crook of her left shoulder. The symbolism governing her attributes, as well as the metaphysical context of emptiness, all appear in typical Vajravarahi sadhanas in the Buddhist tantric Traditions.
             The practice of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi is not exclusive to Tibet, however. In Nepal, Vajrayogini is popularly worshiped as one of a set of fourvdrdhis or yoginis: Guhyes'vari (also worshiped as Prajnaparamita, Nairatmya,and Agniyogini), Vidyesvarl of Kathmandu, Vajrayogini of Sankhu,and Vajrayogini of Pharping (Slusser 1982: 256,327). There are several temples of Vajravarahi and Vajrayogini in the Kathmandu Valley, for example, at Chapagaon Grove , and at the hilltop temple of Pharping. In Sankhu, Vajrayogini is the tutelary deity of the town,and her temple is dedicated to the fierce cremation ground goddess "Ugratara Vajrayogini". Here, Vajrayogini is also identified with Prajnaparamita, "mother of all tathagatas," and is considered the spouse of Svayambhu or Adibuddha, who is housed in a smaller shrine on the same site, while in the Hindu version of the local myth, she is identified with Siva's consort, Durga (Zanen 1986: 131). Gellner (1992:256) comments that in Nepal, "Vajrayogini seems...to play a role in uniting exoteric deities, such as Tara or Kumari and the Eight Mothers, with the consorts of the secret tantric deities, viz. Vajravarahi... Jnanadakinl...an Nairatmya." Gellner goes on to describe tantric rites of initiation in current Newar practice that are taken mainly by Vajracarya and Sakya males. Here, "Tantric initiation (diksd) means primarily the initiation of Cakrasarnvara and his consort Vajravarahi" . The rites of initiation themselves are considered highly esoteric and are guarded with secrecy . Gellner's description—gleaned with difficulty from a learned informant—provides a rare insight into the modern-day practices.The first part of the initiation focuses upon Cakrasarnvara, and is based on handbooks that follow the twelfth-century exegetical work, the Kriydsamuccaya. The second part of the rite focuses on the consort Vajravarahi (or "Vajradevl") and is based upon material taken from the Samvarodayatantra, but also upon as yet unidentified sources .Despite drawing from early tantric sources, the rites currently in use in Nepal have been substantially altered in the process of taming and adapting them to suit tantric initiates who are householders. Nevertheless,the preeminence of Vajravarahi in the tantric pantheon is retained in the modern Newar system. The series of rites that comprise the tantric initiation culminates with initiation into the practice of Vajravarahi, thus indicating her supreme position within the hierarchy of Newar religious practice.
             From this brief overview of the practices of Vajrayogini and Vajravarahoutside India, it should be evident that we are dealing with a deity of major significance within tantric Buddhism. It is therefore unsurprising to find, within the burgeoning of modern publications on the highest tantras, anumber of works that also relate to the subject. Some impressive studies on the dakini have appeared, such as the detailed monograph by Adelheid Herrmann Pfandt (1992) and valuable explorations by Janet Gyatso (1998) and Judith Simmer-Brown (2001). Such studies tend to range also across other academic disciplines; notably, the image of the yogini or dakini has inspired a large body of crosscultural and feminist theological discourse.
             My own approach is predominantly textual: I have explored the contents of a major Sanskrit source that sheds light on the Indian origins of Vajrayogini practice and underpins later traditions. The importance of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld to the study of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi can hardly be overstated. Within this, I have restricted the scope of my work to Sanskrit sources (and as I do not know Tibetan, I am greatly indebted to others in the few instances where I cite Tibetan texts). My aim has been, simply, to represent my sources as faithfully as possible, either by translating or summarizing their contents. Although this type of undertaking may itself be prone to, perhaps even determined by, all kinds of subjective and cultural interpretation and selectivity by its author, I have tried to present the material in a manner that is more descriptive than interpretive. For example, my use of the masculine pronoun throughout reflects the usage in my source material; this, despite the fact that the practice of Vajrayogini/Vajravarahi was—and certainly is—undertaken by women as well as men.
Vajrayogini and the Buddhist Tantras(1)
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         THE CULT OF TANTRIC GODDESS, Vajrayogini, flowered in India between the tenth and twelfth centuries C . E . at a mature phase of the Buddhist tantras. One of the most important sources for her practice in India is a collection of sadhanas. A sadhana is a meditation and ritual text—literally, a "means of attainment" (sddhanam)—that centers upon a chosen deity, in this case, upon Vajrayogini or one of her various manifestations. This particular collection was written and preserved in Sanskrit and drawn together under the late, collective tide, the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld (GSS). It is one of these sadhanas that is edited and translated in this book, and that serves as the basis for our exploration of the goddess, particularly in her form as Vajravarahi. Who is Vajrayogini? The texts refer to her reverentially as a "blessed one" (bhagavati), as a "deity" (devata) or "goddess" (devi). She is divine in the sense that she embodies enlightenment; and as she is worshiped at the center of a mandala of other enlightened beings, the supreme focus of devotion,she has the status of a buddha. In the opening verse to the Vajravarahi Sadhana, the author salutes her as a vajradevi, that is, as a Vajrayana or tantric Buddhist (vajra) goddess, and in the final verse prays that all beings may become enlightened like her, that is, that they may attain "the state of the glorious vajra goddess" (s'rivajradevipadavi).
         The Buddhist Tantric Systems
         Tantric Buddhism is the wing of the Mahayana that revolves around mantra as a path or "way," and that is known therefore as the Mantrayana or Mantranaya, or as the Vajrayana after one of its primary symbols, the vajra. A pithy definition of tantra is elusive.19 Vaisnavism, Saivism, and other Indian religions including Buddhism all developed rich tantric traditions, and the term broadly denotes particular types of ritual employed within their various deity cults. "Tantra" also refers to the various bodies of literature within these traditions: scriptural and exegetical texts that provide instructions for attainments, both spiritual and mundane. One gains an idea of the size of the Buddhist tantric tradition alone when one considers that it evolved in India for a thousand years (from about the second century c.E.), and that this process has continued in Tibet and beyond for another thousand. The main production of tantric texts occurred in India between about the third and twelfth centuries. Some indication of the numbers involved can be gleaned from the sheer quantity of works translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan from the end of this period. The tantric portion of the Tibetan canon contains almost five hundred tantric scriptures and over three thousand commentarial texts;Isaacson suggests there may exist as many as three thousand Buddhist tantric texts in Sanskrit, of which over a quarter—perhaps many more—have not been translated into Tibetan or any other language.20 In order to locate Vajrayogini and her cult within this vast spiritual corpus, it is worth beginning with a brief summary of Buddhist tantric literature. But with so many texts to consider, and with such an array of practices and methods revealed within them, where is one to begin? The problem of how to classify and codify the material has occupied scholars from at least the eighth century and does so even today as contemporary scholars continue to propose new ways of approaching and organizing the materials (e.g., Linrothe 1999). The result is that there are various systems for categorizing the Buddhist tantras that are by no means standard, and how these different classes of texts arose, or came to be known, is something of a mystery.
Vajrayogini and the Buddhist Tantras(2)
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         It seems that one of the earliest classifications of the Buddhist tantras occurred in the eighth century by Buddhaguhya, who recognized only two classes, kriydtantras andyogatantras (Mimaki 1994:122, n. 17). The subjectmatter of some tantras, however, was neither principally kriyd (kriyapradhdna),nor principally yoga (yogapradhdna), but seemed to combine "both"(ubhaya); these were termed ubhayatantras, and later, carydtantras (Isaacson1998). It is this threefold classification—kriya-, carya-, and yogatantras—to which an eighth-century scholar/practitioner, Vilasavajra, confidently refers. Of these classes, the earliest tantric texts are found within the kriyatantras ("action tantras"), which appeared between at least the third century, when they are known to have been translated into Chinese(Hodge 1994: 74-76), and at least the sixth century. The so-called caryatantras("performance tantras") were current from at least the mid seventh with the emergence of its root text, the Vairocandbhisambodhi {ibid.: 6$ff.) Despite their status as "tantras," religious teachings supposedly revealed by the historical Buddha, these classes hold essentially ritual manuals and dhdranis concerned with supernatural, desiderative attainments ,such as locating treasure, alchemy, flying, invisibility, forcing access to heavenly realms, warding off evils, and so on; they make little reference to soteriological goals. Sanderson (1994b: 97 n. 1) comments on the enduring popularity of the kriya- and caryatantras, even among translators of later soteriological tantras (such as Amoghavajra, d. 774), as well as their continuing importance in apotropaic rituals in Newar, Tibetan, and Japanese Buddhism. The fascination with siddhis of various types remains in later tantric literature, as the study of Vajrayogini will show.   
          By distinguishing the kriyatantras (or the kriya- and caryatantras) from the yogatantras, the eighth-century scholars were in fact pointing to the emergence of a new kind of tantra that had entered the Buddhist arena,probably from the late seventh century (Hodge op.cit.: 65—66, 58). The root text of the yogatantra is the Sarvatathdgatatattvasamgraha (STTS), and like the caryatantras, it centers on the supreme buddha, Vairocana. However, it reveals an important shift in emphasis. This is the first work in which tantric methodologies, such as rites of consecration, mantras, and mandalas, were directly aligned to soteriological as well as to desiderative goals. The significance of bringing a liberationist slant to bear on tantric methods was not lost upon commentators, who were clearly aware of the need to bring traditional Buddhist values into the tantric field. Vilasavajra, for example, wrote a commentary based on the Vajradhatumandala of the STTS, in which he set out "to encode and interpret tantric ritual in Mahayanist doctrinal terms" (Tribe 1994: 4).21 Portions of yogatantra text are probably the oldest incorporated into the literature of Vajrayogini. Even within Vilasavajra's exegesis, however, there was other liberationist material that did not fit easily into the yogatantra category, a fact he seems to have recognized by designating his root text, the Ndmasamgiti, a"mahayoga" or "great tantra" (Tribe 1997:128, nn. 11,18, and 20). Indeed, new kinds of texts with marked differences in subject matter were beginning to emerge, and these were soon to be contrasted with the yogatantras and given the new designation "yoginltantras." Within the soteriological tantric realm these two terms—yogatantra and yoginitantra—seem to refer to the two main divisions of Buddhist tantras, and commentators frequentlypair them together as the "yoga- and yoginitantras."22 Thus, the commonest classification of tantric texts in India was probably fourfold: kriya-, carya-, yoga-, and yoginitantras (Isaacson 1998).The yoginltantra class is characterized by the appearance of a new Buddha at the center of its mandalas, namely Aksobhya and his manifestations, supreme enlightened beings who belong to the vajra ("diamond" or "thunderbolt") family of deities. These deities are wrathful in appearance with a startling affinity for places of death and impurity, the cremation grounds;they also manifest a vivid sexual symbolism.23 One of the key cults within this class is based on the tantric deity Hevajra and was probably emerging around or after the tenth century.24 In the Hevajratantra, Hevajra is seen to be a heruka form, that is, a type of wild enlightened being who dwells in cremation grounds with a retinue of cremation-ground deities and spirits. Other yoginltantra systems, probably roughly contemporary with the Hevajratantra, also center on this type of heruka deity: Cakrasarnvara, Candamaharosana, Buddhakapala, Mahamayahva, and Kalacakra are all heruka forms who appear as lords of their own mandalas. Their appearance, accoutrements, and behavior all relate to practices that ascetics undertook while dwelling in cremation grounds. These are the kapalika observances, or observances based on the skull (kapalah, kapalam), chief tool and symbol for yogins of this kind. The heruka lord is also worshiped in embrace with his consort, while the retinue of male and female deities in his mandala may also be in sexual union.
Vajrayogini and the Buddhist Tantras(3)         
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         The principle of s'akti begins to emerge in these texts as a potency manifesting in powerful female deities. It comes to the fore through the figure of the female consorts and the many types of goddesses, witches, or female —yoginis and dakinis—who haunt the wilds and live in the cremation grounds. As s'akti is increasingly emphasized, texts tend to redefine traditional Mahayana soteriology in the language of erotico-yogic techniques and mahamudra . Thus, as one tantra explains: "The Mahayana is mahamudra, and yoginis bring magical power."25 It is these texts that form the direct basis for the cult of Vajrayogini. Within the yoginitantras we see a growing preoccupation with the yogini, or enlightened female deity. In some mandalas she is worshiped as the chief deity within a predominantly female mandala, even though she is still in embrace with a male partner . Eventually, cults emerged in which the male consorts disappeared entirely from view, leaving the female deity to be worshiped alone at the center of a new mandala.Often the form of the mandala is preserved exactly as it was before, except that the male deities have simply beenremoved. This is typical of the mandalas described in the sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. Our study of the Vajravarahi mandala in Umapatideva's Vajravarahi Sadhana will show that it is modeled exactly upon that of Cakrasarnvara, except that in Vajravarahl's mandala all the male gods of Cakrasamvara's mandala have disappeared, leaving the goddesses without consorts, and supreme.
           Our summary so far of the tantric systems has shown the cult of Vajrayogini to be firmly grounded within the yoginltantra class. But this classification is more complex than I have made out. On the one hand, there were already texts akin to the yoginitantras well before the maturing of the Heruka cults in the ninth and tenth centuries; the Sarvabuddhasamdyogaddkinijdlasamvara is one such "proto-yoginltantra" that is known to have been in existence in the mid-eighth century (Sanderson 1995).26 Here, the lords of the mandalas are heruka-type, esoteric deities, in sexual union with consorts and surrounded by retinues of female dakinis. This tantra was still in use in Tibet in the eleventh century, "no doubt because of its evident kinship with the later yoginitantras" . On the other hand, there were texts that sat uncomfortably within the yogatantra system, but that were not so markedly different that they fell naturally into the yoginltantra classification. This gave rise to another tantra class known as the"yogottara," literally that which is "higher than the yoga ."
           Isaacson  suggests the term "yogottaratantra" was a later designation. Certainly when Vilasavajra refers to the Guhyasamdjatantra, and to other texts that were later named as "yogottara," such as the Vajrabhairavatantra and the Mdydjdlatantra, he seems to be unaware of any such class. This stratum of tantric literature arose about a century after the yogatantras, and its root text, the Guhyasamdjatantra, was codified and translated into Tibetan in the eighth century (Matsunaga 1972; Snellgrove 1987:183). The introduction of this extra "yogottara" classification seems to reflect the fact that in the course of its evolution, the Guhyasamaja system (including its exegetical literature) came to be seen as sufficiently different from the older yogatantras—and certainly superior to it—to require a different label (Isaacson op.cit). As in the yoginitantras, the mandalas of the Guhyasamaja (or Samaja) tradition are presided over by Aksobhya and by vajra-family deities, who are often both wrathful and erotic in character. Since the tantras of the yogini class were deemed superior even to those of the yogottara, Isaacson suggests that they probably received the additional designation "yoganiruttaratantras," literally: "tantras of the highest (niruttara)  of the yoga" .
Vajrayogini and the Buddhist Tantras(4)         
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        Even this fivefold classification of kriya-, carya-, yoga-, yogottara-, and yoginitantras (the system almost ubiquitously expounded in our secondary literature) was not necessarily a widely accepted solution by scholars/practitioners of the day. Mimaki (1994) lists seven different classifications from various Indian exegetes and tantras, without even touching on the fourfold schema described above as possibly the most common (i.e., kriya-, carya-, yoga-, and yoginitantras). Atis'a, for example, writing in the early mideleventh century, sought to clarify works that strayed between the yoga and yogottara camps by inserting between them two more tantra classes—updya- ("means"), and ubhaya- ("dual")—thus presenting a new sevenfold classification of tantras.
      In Tibet, the classification of texts likewise presents a complex picture(Mimaki 1994: 121). Among the gSar ma pa schools, there is the famous system of Bu ston (1290—1346), which preserves the divisions of the kriya- (bya ba'i rgyud), carya- (spyodpa'i rgyud), and yoga- (rnal 'byorgyi rgyud),but which classes those of the yogottara- and yoginitantras together as the anuttaratantra, or "ultimate tantra" (rnal 'byor bla na med pa'i rgyud). This fourth class is itself subdivided into father (phargyud), mother (margyud),and nondual tantras (gnyis med rgyud). Mother tantras, or wisdom tantras(yeshes rgyud) are further analyzed into seven groups, one of which (itself with five subdivisions) comprises tantras connected with Heruka . The classification of the rNying ma tantric canon is based on a ninefold system of classification, in which such categories as mahayoga(noted above) re-emerge as a distinct group .
      Complicated as the divisions and subdivisions of the tantric corpus are,they have been made more so by mistranslations in use in the West.Sanderson (1993) has pointed out that the term anuttarayogatantra found in some secondary sources does not occur in Sanskrit enumerations of the different classes of tantras and is likely to derive from an incorrect backformation from the Tibetan rnal 'byor bla medkyi rgyudor "yoganiruttaratantras."(This refers to the class of Sanskrit works whose translations in the Tohoku catalogue are nos. 360—441, also termed rnal 'byor ma'i rgyud or "yoginltantra"; Sanderson 1994b: 98 n. 1). The term "yoganuttaratantras"  is also not attested in Sanskrit sources
Vajrayogini and the Buddhist Tantras(5)
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      Within this vast and complex body of tantric literature, the practices of Vajrayogini belong to the most developed phase of the yoginitantras. Vajrayogini literature is unlike other systems within that class, however, in that it generally lacks its own tantras. It draws instead upon the scriptural texts of the Cakrasarnvara cult: the Samvara-, or Samvaratantras.27 Sanderson(1995) summarizes the Samvara corpus as follows:

The root text (miilatantram) is the Laghusamvaratantra, alsocalled Herukdbhidhdna- or Cakrasamvaratantra (BBK: 251). The text does not survive in its entirety; lost portions are accessible only through the early eleventh-century Tibetan translation, lemmata in tenth-century Sanskrit commentaries, and in secondary texts such as the Abhidhdnottaratantra. The Abhidhdnottaratantra (BBK: 254). Its relationship with the Cakrasamvaratantra is that of explanatory tantra to root text (miilatantram), according to Buddhaguhya's terminology.
Vajraddkatantra (BBK: 255).
Samvarodayatantra (BBK: 256).
Ddkdrnavatantra (BBK: 255).
Yoginisamcdratantra (BBK: 258).
Herukdbhyudaya (not surviving in Sanskrit).
Caturyoginisamputa (BBK: 259).

It is scriptures such as these—in particular, the Yoginisamcdratantra, Samvarodayatantra, and Abhidhdnottaratantra—that inform the sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. One sadhana in the collection (GSS70) is based upon a unique Vajravarahi scriptural source, the Vdrdhyabhyudayatantra, itself apparently extracted from the Abhidhdnottaratantra (Sanderson 2001a). In another, there is even a reference to the Laksdbhidhdnd* (sometimes identified with the Khasamatantra), which is a mythical work, supposedly vast and authoritative in ten thousand verses, and allegedly the source from which the Cakrasamvaratantra itself was extracted (Tsuda 1974: 33). The same legendary authority is claimed in the Yoginisamcdratantra following its description of the body mandala, a core Cakrasarnvara practice taken over with very little adaptation in Umapatideva's Vajravarahi Sadhana.
      The Vajrayogini tradition does not simply graft itself onto the scriptural rootstock of Cakrasarnvara;it borrows equally freely from the Cakrasarnvara tradition of commentary and exegesis. We will see how the authors of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld rely on the liturgical and commentarial texts attheir disposal, and how they are able to adapt them for the worship of Vajrayogini. This is most evident in the ritual portion of the sadhana, as described in chapter 3.
      The Guhyasamayasadhanamala and Its Authors The most direct sources for our study of Vajrayogini are the sadhanas of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld. This is a group of some forty-six Sanskrit works drawn together as a collection centering upon Vajrayogini and her manifestations. Fifteen of its works claim the authorship of named individuals,and it is to them that we now turn in order to gain some insight into the date of the compositions and the context in which they were written. Table 1 shows a list of our authors and the works attributed to them. Since in some cases an author's influence upon an unattributed work may be inferred, authorship of almost half the texts in the collection can be firmly or loosely established (details are supplied in the appendix).
       Establishing the dates of these authors is a thorny subject. I tentatively summarize the dates discussed here on the time chart (table 2). Various life histories survive, chiefly in Tibetan, although informed by a hagiographical and sometimes sectarian agenda (Tatz 1987: 696). Among key sources on this subject is the famous Legends of the Eighty-Four Mahdsiddhas, which supplies  accounts of the lives of Indrabhuti, Laksmlnkara, Luyipada, Sahara, and the slightly younger author Virupa.2 9 More information on their lineages, and episodes from their lives, can be gleaned from the Blue Annals , written by 'Gos Lotsawa, and the History of Buddhism in India by Taranatha (1575-?), but neither of these works can be relied upon for accurate dating. Scholars have often attempted to date authors according to the testimony of transmission lineages, a risky enterprise that Kvaerne describes as "methodological error" . Illustrative of the problem is Dowman's attempt to date the mahdsiddhas using traditional Buddhist scholarship, according to which there are no fewer than three kings of Oddiyana called Indrabhuti : Indrabhuti the Great, who may be as early as the seventh century (642 C.E. according to the Chinese Tang Annals), an intermediate Indrabhuti, possibly of the eighth century, and Indrabhuti the Younger, of the late ninth century. Davidson (2002), however, commentsthat even pinpointing three Indrabhutis is"surely an underestimate" and points to "the tendency for traditional apologists and modern scholars to amalgamate the various personalities into one grand persona." Dowman  also puts forward three possible candidates for Indrabhuti's sister,
Laksmlnkara, including a nun of similar name; however, even if we agree that this same Laksmihkara is the author of our Laksmisddhana , the only certainty we can have is that she was no later than the Tibetan translator of the text, who was known to have lived 1059-1109.30 Virupa, traditionally the pupil of Laksminkara (BlueAnnals: 390), is just as elusive, and may have lived as early as the eighth century (Taranatha History: 197) or as late as the eleventh century, when he supposedly taught Maitripada (also called Advayavajra) and Mar pa the translator (Blue Annals: 390).Similar problems beset the dating of the Mahasiddha Luyipada. Kvaerne , for example, hesitantly cites Taranatha, according to whom "Lui" was a contemporary of Maitri (Advayavajra) in the eleventh century, and notes that in one tradition, Luyipada's guru was Saraha, who may have flourished in the eleventh century or earlier . Davidson notes that Luyipada's Sri-Bhagavadabhisamaya was translated into Tibetan in the first part of the eleventh century, "apparently the earliest attested practice of the Cakrasarnvara" in the Tibetan canon. However, Sa skya legends assert that Luyipada was a scribe at the court of Dharmapala in the late eighth century. The dating of Sahara is even more problematic.He appears as an early teacher in several genealogical traditions (Dowman ibid.: 65; Kvaerne 1977: 6), but also as a teacher to later authors such as Vanaratna in the fifteenth century. Dowman therefore posits a line of teachers called Sahara, the only merit of which is that it echoes the legend of Sahara's immortality, according to which he would still be teaching today. Another of Sahara's pupils is said to be Advayavajra, whose dates have been discussed at length by Tatz (1987: 697) and shown to be tied to the reign of King Neyapala in the eleventh century (1007-85).31 Sahara also apparently initiated Vibhuticandra into the sixfold yoga system . Stearns  places Vibhuticandra in the later twelfth to early thirteenth centuries at the time of the Moslem invasions. Vibhuticandra would thus be the youngest author in our collection.
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      Some of the younger contributors to the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld are slightly easier to place because they admit their debt to earlier authors. One such is Sakyaraksita, whose Flower Cluster of Clear Understanding  draws heavily on the Clear Understanding of Herukaby Luyipada. Apart from the similarity of his title, Sakyaraksita refers twice to Luyipada's work, commenting on Luyipada's method for establishing the vajra ground and knowledge circle, and referring to it for an in-depth treatment of Vajravarahi's thirty-seven-deity mandala.32 Sakyaraksita adds that this was taught "by my teacher in the Vajravall," which reveals that his guru was Abhayakaragupta, abbot of the monastic university Vikramas'ila during the reign of King Ramapala .33 If Sakyaraksita was a younger contemporary of Abhayakaragupta, he would probably have flourished in the mid-twelfth century.
          Our study of Umapatideva's Vajravarahi Sadhana (GSS11) will show that it shares much in common with Sakyaraksita's work, in both its subject matter and use of sources. Fortunately, Umapatideva's lineage and dates are on slightly firmer ground, and these place him in the same generation as Sakyaraksita,perhaps as an older contemporary. The colophon to the Tibetan translation describes him as "one who has the lineage of the instructions of Virupa, s'rl Umapatidatta" , and the dates of the translators link him fairly securely to the same period as Abhayakaragupta. The translators of Umapatideva's two known texts in the bsTan-'gyur are Vagis'varagupta and Rwa Chos rab.34 Rwa Chos rab was active in India and Nepal in at least the first quarter of the twelfth century, and was a pupil of the Nepalese pandit Samantas'rl; Samantas'rl himself flourished in the early to mid-twelfth century and received the Kalacakra teachings from Abhayakaragupta.Thus, the translation of Umapatideva's works would seem to belong to the early to mid-twelfth century, and may even have been contemporary with the author. If Umapatideva was of the same generation as Samantas'rl (whom he is unlikely to have postdated, since his translator was a pupil of the latter), he may also have been a pupil of Abhayakaragupta's.
      In the absence of much reliable evidence for dating the authors of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld, we must look for other clues as to their origins.First, it seems that several authors in the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld are associated with the early dissemination of tantric lineages. Indrabhuti, for example,is traditionally known as "the first tdntrika" and was credited with initiating several tantric lineages, including the yogottara, Hevajra, and Cakrasarnvara traditions (Blue Annals: 869; Dudjom 1991: 485, 462; Dowman 1985: 233; SM vol. 2: xxxi). Luyipada is particularly associated with the Cakrasarnvara system, on the basis of which he is traditionally known as the original guru" (ddiguru) of the mahamudra (Dowman 1985: 37). According to the Tibetan tradition, he is one of three main transmitters of the Cakrasarnvara system along with Ghantapada and Krsnapada . Sahara is also associated with the spread of mahamudra, according to the evidence of the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld , and is an important transmitter of the Sadahgayoga discipline (Padma gar dbang, cited Stearns 1996: 140). One tradition putatively connects Sahara with the origins of the Trikaya-vajrayogini tradition through his lineal descendant Krsnacarya (Dowman 1985:320; 7.19), although Benard (1994:12-13) prefers to credit Laksmlnkara. In Tibet, Virupa was regarded as the "first lama or ddiguru" of the Sa skya sect (Dowman 1985: 52; Dudjom 1991: 853). The fact that the Guhyasamayasddhanamdld opens with two texts, one attributed to Indrabhuti (or elsewhere to Sahara; see GSSi in the appendix) and an almost identical work to Luyipada, is significant. It asserts the antiquity of the collection, and hence its authenticity. Similarly, Indrabhuti's authorship implies that the geographical source of the teachings is Oddiyana, the very homeland of esoteric spiritual revelation, as many tantric colophons testify.36 The text itself reveals an East Indian influence, with its clear exchange of the consonants v for b in its mantroddhdra.