Chakrasamvara Resources

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The materials archived here are not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.
         
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.
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Far and away, the best book on the Chakrasamvara cycle of Tantric Buddhism is David B. Gray's The Cakrasamvara Tantra: A Study and Annotated Translation. Furthermore, it is the single best translation of a Tantra to ever be published in English. Dr. Gray informs me (in private email) that he will be publishing a critical edition of the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts as well as a complete translation of Tsongkhapa's main commentary to the text. A link to Gray's complete English translation can be found at the bottom of this webpage.   

 
  
  
David Barton Gray's doctoral dissertation Columbia University 2001,  
This 767 page dissertation explores the gradual historical development of an important Indian Buddhist scripture, the Cakrasamvara Tantra, and the tradition of exegesis and practice based upon it.  It consists of an edition of the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts as well as an English translation of the first four chapters of the Cakrasamvara Tantra. Additionally, there is a translation of the corresponding portion of Tsongkhapa's Total Illumination of the Hidden Meaning (bde mchog bsdus pa'i rgyud kyi rgya cher bshad pa sbas pa'i don kun gsal ba), a Tibetan commentary on this scripture.
  
The Cakrasamvara Tantra: Its History, Interpretation, and Practice in India and Tibet

This short essay by Brian B. Gray explores the history of the Cakrasamvara Tantra and its related practice traditions. It introduces evidence concerning social context in which it was likely composed, and explores the debate concerning the degree to which it was influenced by Hindu Shaiva tantric traditions. It also overviews both the major practices associated with this tradition, and provides a short history of its transmission to Nepal and Tibet.

  
Robert George Elder's doctoral dissertation Columbia University, 1978, 
  
Michael Martin Kalff's doctoral dissertation Columbia University, 1979  
  
This article by David Gray deals extensively with the antinomian and Saiva elements in the Chakrasamvara cycle  
            

Skull Imagery and Skull Magic in the Yoginī Tantras

Another article by David B. Gray
  
An important article on the dependence of the Yogini-Tantras on nondual Shaivism. From Alexis Sanderson’s web-page: http://alexissanderson.com/  
  
Compares text from the Chakrasamvara Tantra with Saiva sources. From Alexis Sanderson’s web-page: http://alexissanderson.com/  
   
More material from Sanderson relating to the Yogini Tantras 
   
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  
 
This is the first complete, critical English translation of the Cakrasamvara Tantra, also known as the Sriherukabhidhana and Laghusamvara. Composed in India during the eighth century, this text is a foundational scripture of one of the most important Indian Buddhist tantric traditions, as evidenced by the vast number of commentaries and ritual literature associated with it. The author's introductory essay provides an analysis of the historical and intellectual contexts in which the text was composed, and also investigates the history of its adaptation by Buddhists. The translation itself is heavily annotated, with extensive translations from the Indian and Tibetan commentaries on the text. Includes a trilingual glossary and index.
 

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