Highest Yoga Tantra

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Four Classes of Tantra
Three outer classes
1. Yana of kriya tantra
2. Yana of charya tantra
3. Yana of yoga tantra
Inner class
4. Highest yoga tantra
Related topics
Tibetan Canon ~ Inner (Nyingma)

Highest Yoga Tantra (Skt. Niruttara-yoga Tantra; Tib. བླ་ན་མེད་པའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་གྱི་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. rnal 'byor bla na med pa'i rgyud) is the highest of the four classes of tantra according to the Sarma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Highest Yoga Tantras are divided into:

These three divisions roughly correspond to the three inner tantras of the Nyingma school.

Divisions

Mother Tantras

The Mother Tantras (Tib. མ་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. ma rgyud) of the Sarma tradition are divided into:

The Mother Tantras are also sometimes categorized in six classes.

Further Reading:

  • Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006), pages 86-93.

Father Tantras

The Father Tantras (Tib. ཕ་རྒྱུད་, pa gyü, Wyl. pha rgyud) of the the Sarma schools are divided into the

  • Desire Class, which includes the Guhyasamaja Tantra;
  • Anger Class, which includes the Yamantaka Tantra; and
  • Ignorance Class, which includes the Manjushri Tantra.

Further Reading:

  • Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006), pages 79-86.

Non-dual Tantras

Non-dual Tantras (Skt. advaya tantra; Tib. གཉིས་མེད་ཀྱི་རྒྱུད་, nyimé kyi gyü, Wyl. gnyis med kyi rgyud) - one of the three classes of Highest Yoga Tantra according to the Sarma tradition. It includes tantras such as the Kalachakra Tantra. The Sakya tradition considers Hevajra Tantra to be a non-dual tantra.

On the term "Anuttarayoga"

In spite of the popularity of "Anuttarayoga" as a so-called 'back translation' from the Tibetan rnal 'byor bla na med pa into Sanskrit, scholars now prefer the term niruttara-yoga as this is better attested in original Sanskrit sources.[1]

Alternative Translations

  • Unexcelled Yoga Tantra (James Gentry/84.000)

Notes

  1. See Jacob Dalton, "A Crisis of Doxography: How Tibetans Organized Tantra During the 8th-12th Centuries" in Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies vol. 28 No. 1, 2005, p. 152, n. 84, where he calls this "a time-honoured mistake that needs to be abandoned". niruttara (निरुत्तर) means having no superior.

Further Reading

  • Daniel Cozort, Highest Yoga Tantra (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2005).
  • Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, The World of Tibetan Buddhism (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995), '19. Advanced Tantric Practice: Highest Yoga Tantra'.
  • Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006)
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