The Vajrayana Archive

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Warning: Traditionally, some of these materials would only be available for viewing after the requisite empowerment or permission by a qualified teacher of the lineage. Many teachers regard reading such material without empowerment or permission as potentially harmful.

The materials archived here are not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.
  1. The Samputa Tantra: Edition and Translation Chapters I-IV
Robert George Elder's doctoral dissertation Columbia University, 1978,
  1. Selected Chapters from the Abhidhanottara-tantra: The Union of Male and Female Deities
Michael Martin Kalff's doctoral dissertation Columbia University, 1979
  1. On Supreme Bliss: A study of the History and Interpretation of the Cakrasamvara Tantra
David Barton Gray's doctoral dissertation Columbia University 2001,
  1. Eating the Heart of the Brahmin: Representations of Alterity and the Formation of Identity in Tantric Buddhist Discourse.
This article by David Gray deals extensively with the antinomian and Saiva elements in the Chakrasamvara cycle
  1. Compassionate Violence: On the Ethical Implications of Tantric Buddhist Ritual
The title says it all. This article by David Gray also deals largely with material from Anuttara-Yoga-Tantras like the Chakrasamvara cycle.
  1. The 'Chandamaharosana-Tantra': Chapters I-VIII
Christopher Srarr George's doctoral dissertation University of Pennsylvania, 1971
  1. Datura rituals in the Vajramahabhairava-Tantra
An article by Bulcsu Siklos. The title is self explanatory. The use of datura in the Yamantaka cycle of Tantric Buddhism. A friend from Tribe scanned my copy of this article and placed in on the web.
  1. The Mahakalatantra: A theory of ritual blessing and tantric medicine
This is William Stablein’s doctoral dissertation on the Mahakala-Tantra (Columbia University, 1976). Many interesting medicinal plants are found in the formulas within the Mahakala-Tantra. Stablein touches on this subject discussing datura etc.
  1. Penetrating the Secret Essence Tantra: Context and Philosophy in the Mahayoga System of rNying-ma Tantra
Nathaniel DeWitt Garson’s doctoral dissertation University of Virginia 2004. It deals with the Guhyagarbhatantra
  1. Vajrayana and its doubles: A critical historiography, exposition, and translation of the Tantric works of Aryadeva.
Christian Konrad Wedemeyer's doctoral dissertation Columbia University, 1999. Contains English translations of many of the works of Aryadeva on the Guhyasamaja Tradition. These include Aryadeva's Caryamelapaka-pradipa, Cittavisuddhiprakarana, Svadhisthana-prabheda, and the Abhibodhikramopadesa.
  1. Jâbir, the Buddhist Yogi. Part One
By Michael L Walter. Touches on such subjects as rasayana, breathing techniques, and the relationship between the Nathas and Vajrayana
  1. Jâbir, the Buddhist yogi. Part Two. Winds and Immortality
By Michael L Walter. Touches on such subjects as rasayana, breathing techniques, and the relationship between the Nathas and Vajrayana. Part two translates instructional material on prana-yoga from Tibetan into English.
  1. The Attainment of Immortality: From Nathas in India to Buddhists in Tibet
Kurtis Schaeffer's article examining some of the links between Vajrayana and the Nathas
  1. Some Aspects of the History and Doctrines of the Nathas
Gopinath Kaviraj's 1927 article presenting his views on the Natha sampradaya, including information on Kundalini, the imperishable physical body, and alchemy.
  1. Masters of Magical Powers: The Natha siddhas in light of esoteric notions
Gordan Djurdjevic’s doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia, 2005
  1. A Thousand Year Old Bengali Poetry: The Caryagiti
Translates 50 tantric songs from the Caryagiti. This is a useful translation, although Kvaerne’s _An Anthology of Buddhist Tantric Songs_ is unquestionably superior. Translation by Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud
  1. Vajrayâna: Origin and Function
An important article on the dependence of the Yogini-Tantras on nondual Shaivism. From Alexis Sanderson’s web-page: http://alexissanderson.com/
  1. The Saiva Sources of the Buddhist Yoginîtantras: The Case of the Ritual of Initiation Taught in the Laghusamvara-tantra
Compares text from the Chakrasamvara Tantra with Saiva sources. From Alexis Sanderson’s web-page: http://alexissanderson.com/
  1. History through Textual Criticism in the study of Saivism, the Pañcarâtra and the Buddhist Yoginîtantras
More material from Sanderson relating to the Yogini Tantras
  1. Tibetan Psychopharmacology.
An article by T. Tsarong. In the ancient medical tradition of Tibet, there are many methods and techniques in treating mind related disorders. This paper is an analysis of selected drug formulations that are popularly used for that purpose.
  1. A Medical-Cultural System Among the Tibetan and Newar Buddhist: Ceremonial Medicine
An article by William Stablein that offers a rare look how at how tantric ritual, inner yogic (subtle-body) practices and the use of medicinal substances are interrelated in Vajrayana
  1. The Religious and Medicinal Uses of Cannabis in China, India, and Tibet
An article by Mia Touw (of Harvard University) on the ethnobotany of cannabis. Discuses the use of cannabis in Indo-Tibetan tantra
  1. The Tantra a Vessel of bDud rTsi: a Bon Text,
An article by Michael Walter with an English translation and the Tibetan text of the Amrtakalasatantra. The text deals with the use of medicinal substances and related Indo-Tibetan mythology.
  1. The Sarced Hilltop: A Hermeneutical Case Study on the Svayambhu Site in Kathmandu
Sami Kivelä's master’s thesis University of Helsinki, 2005. A study of Newar Buddhism based on Kivelä's ethnographic feildwork focusing on the Svayambhu area.
  1. The Uses of the Dgong Pa ‘Dus Pa’i Mdo in the Development of the Rnying-Ma School of Tibetan Buddhism
Jacob P. Dalton's doctoral dissertation University of Michigan, 2002. The history of the Samaja Vidya Sutra, the root tantra of Anuyoga, from the 9th century to the present and its role in the nyingma school.
  1. The Significance of Yoga Tantra and the Compendium of Principles (Tattvasamgraha Tantra) within Tantric Buddhism in India and Tibet
Steven Neal Weinberger's doctoral dissertation University of Virginia 2003. "The Compendium of Principles of All Tathagatas (Sarva-tathagata-tattva-samgraha) is arguably the single most important development of Indian Buddhist tantra"
  1. Gampopa, the Monk and the Yogi His Life and Teachings,
Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche Sherpa's doctoral dissertation Harvard University 2004
  1. The Use of Entheogens in the Vajrayana Tradition: a brief summary of preliminary findings together with a partial bibliography.
An article about one aspect of the ethnobotany of Tantric Buddhism.
  1. Narratives of Embryology: Becoming Human in Tibetan Literature
Frances Mary Garrett's doctoral dissertation University of Virginia, 2004
  1. Interiorized Fire Rituals in India and in Tibet
By Yael Bentor "Among the practices discussed here are inner heat (tapas and gtum-mo), breathing (prana) and the subtle body (rtsa-rlung), sexual yoga, food yoga, mental fire offerings and the fire offering of enlightened wisdom."
  1. Bengal Blackie and the Sacred Slut: A Sahajayana Buddhist Song
In this article Lee Siegel attempts to interpret songs/poetry from the Caryagiti by the mahasiddha Kanhapa
  1. Reading the Vajrayna in Context: A Reassessment of Bengal Blackie
Reginald Ray offers a what is essentially a critique of the above article by Lee Siegel
  1. Bengal Blackie Rides Again
Lee Seigel responds briefly to Ray's critique
  1. The emptiness that is form Developing the body of Buddhahood in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Tantra
Thomas Freeman Yarnall's doctoral dissertation Columbia University, 2003. It examines Tsongkhapa's unique explanation of Prasangika-Madyamika in relation to the Creation-Stage of Deity Yoga as presented in his _sngags rim chen mo_
  1. The Phur-Pa Tibetan Ritual Daggers
A short book by John C Huntington on the Kila (Phurba) in tantric Buddhism.
  1. The Science of Respiration and the Doctrine of Bodily Winds in Ancient India
An article by Kenneth Zysk surveying the topic of the five bodily winds (prana, apana, vyana, udana, and samana) in different texts and periods.
  1. A View of Manjusri: Wisdom and its Crown Prince in Pala-period India
Laura Harrington's doctoral dissertation Columbia University 2002
  1. Falling to Pieces, Emerging Whole: Suffering Illness and Healing Renunciation in the Life of Gelongtna Palmo,
Ivette Vargas’s doctoral dissertation Harvard University
  1. The 108 movements of “The Yantras of the Union of the Sun and Moon”
Physical Yoga from the Indo-Tibetan Tradition of Vairocana (Trul-khor)
  1. Psychoactive Plants in Tantric Buddhism; Cannabis and Datura Use in Indo-Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism

An article by RC Parker and Lux. Published in Erowid Extracts Jun 2008;14: pgs 6-11

   43.  A Critical Study of the Guhyasamaja Tantra                                                       

 

Francesca Fremantle’s doctoral dissertation University of London 1971. Fremantle’s translation was a true landmark in Indo-Tibetan studies.  

 

                            

Off-Site Resources
  1. Sanskrit, Tamil and Pahlavi Dictionaries
An excellent tool for research. Includes the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon
  1. The Online Tibetan to English Dictionary and Translation Tool
Combines 19 dictionaries in a single online tool
  1. Journals of Himalayan Studies
Many issues of scholarly journals, all absolutely free. A great resource from "Digital Himalaya"
  1. Berzin Archives: Advanced Meditation - Tantra Teachings
An incredibly useful page for the study Tantic Buddhism, focusing on the presentation non-Kalachakra systems
  1. Berzin Archives: Advanced Meditation - Kalachakra
Simply the best online resource for the study of the Kalachakra cycle of Tantric Buddhism
  1. International Kalachakra Network
Another useful resource on the Kalachakra cycle <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->