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Vajrayogini: Her Visualization, Rituals, and Forms (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism)

Vajrayogini: Her Visualization, Rituals, and Forms (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism) [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth English
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  • Länge: 608 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
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Vajrayogini is a tantric goddess from the highest class of Buddhist tantras who manifests the ultimate development of wisdom and compassion. Her practice is prevalent today among practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. This ground-breaking book delves into the origins of Vajrayogini, charting her evolution in India and examining her roots in the Cakrasamvara tantra and in Indian tradition relating to siva.

The focus of this work is the Guhyasamayasadhanamala, a collection of forty-six sadhanas, or practice texts. Written on palm leaves in Sanskrit and preserved since the twelfth century, this diverse collection, composed by various authors, reveals a multitude of forms of the goddess, each of which is described and illustrated here. One of the sadhanas, the Vajravarahi Sadhana by Umapatideva, depicts Vajrayogini at the center of a mandala of thirty-seven different goddesses, and is here presented in full translation alongside a Sanskrit edition. Elizabeth English provides extensive explanation and annotation of this representative text. Sixteen pages of stunning color plates not only enhance the study but bring the goddess to life.


The highest yoga tantra goddess, Vajrayogini, is praised and practiced in Buddhist tantra as the embodiment of enlightened wisdom and compassion. This book broaches the Indian origins of her practice prior to 1200 A.D. and sheds light on tantric sadhana meditation more generally. Surveying the manifestations of the goddess in a collection of fifty sadhanas, English pays special attention to the Vajravarahi Sadhana of Umapatideva, and includes a translation of this lengthy and clear text, which has never previously been translated into English.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 10409 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 608 Seiten
  • Verlag: Wisdom Publications; Auflage: 1st Wisdom Ed (8. Februar 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 086171329X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861713295
  • ASIN: B00B6U159I
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Nicht aktiviert
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  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #351.909 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von aciddiver
Again a book for both, the buddhist of the tibetan tradition and the scholars & students at universities. This book contains a translation of a Vajravarahi-Sadhana & guides through the different aspects of this godess.It describes the iconography, rituals and the origination of the Vajrayogini-cult in india.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  10 Rezensionen
37 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Fine Study 9. Mai 2003
Von John Wakeman - Veröffentlicht auf
This is a fine - and beautifully produced and illustrated - study in the Indian (i.e. pre-Tibetan Buddhist) origins of the Vajrayogini cult. It examines the forms and practices associated with Vajrayogini in India, and introduces readers to recent academic thinking and research on this area. Academic specialists will have their own responses to the book, but practitioners and devotees of Vajrayogini, as well as anyone with an interest in the development of Buddhist tantra, will find much of interest and value in this study.
In this context, a response to Findlay Clark's contribution on this page is unavoidable. "Intellectual obscurantism" is a fine self-description of Clark 's 'review', given that - for a start - it relates to a mere 4 page section of a 563 page book as if this were the entire work! The misrepresentations indulged (clear to anyone who actually reads the book) and the loud noise of axes being ground speak for themselves.
English (p.37) quotes her Oxford supervisor Alexis Sanderson to the effect that 'long sections' of the root text of the Cakrasamvara tradition have been 'redacted' (not 'reduced', despite Clark's - disingenuous? - use of 'sic') from Saiva originals. Sanderson's work on this area may be controversial and some of it not yet published, but its credentials as academic research are unimpeachable. Papers by Sanderson that I've read make a strong research-led case for his claims, based on textual analysis. Disinterested questioning of these findings, based on research and objective evidence, would be of interest. Polemic based on sectarian assumptions is not. 'Buddhist practitioners' who really do find themselves 'offended' by academic research that challenges their assumptions might well reflect on whether 'taking offence' (i.e. anger) is recommended in Buddhist teaching as a helpful state of mind to be cultivated, or not.
On the issue of English having supposedly 'nowhere' discussed the opinions of B. Bhattacharya, see, e.g., p 427 where the point is made that the Saiva tradition developed 'its own tradition of Chinnamasta , borrowing and adapting from the [Buddhist] Trikayavajrayogini cult.' This alone shows that English does not adopt the simplistic position with regard to Saiva-Buddhist influence that Clark purports. As regards Dasgupta's comment, however able a scholar he may have been, it has to be noted that this was published 45 years ago (reprinted in 1974). In the interim - nearly half a century - scholars in Buddhist studies have continued to research this and related areas. A great deal of material has been made available and scrutinised - indeed, the area has flourished. Academic perspectives on Buddhist tantra have thus been greatly clarified, making more definite assertions possible.
The issue of 'authorisation' to translate also needs to be addressed. Surely, this is a (deliberate?) category error on Clark's part. English's book is an academic thesis, not a work of spiritual guidance or teaching. No spiritual tradition 'provided her with authorization to "translate" and publish these texts'. Academics have never considered such authorisation necessary, and nor should it be. This is quite different from the issue of academics having a sensitivity to the subjects of their study. On this issue, English has taken care - despite the fact that these are previously obscure Indian Buddhist sadhana texts which in most cases almost certainly have no living tradition in Tibetan Buddhism - to consult a number of Tibetan Buddhist teachers regarding the propriety of writing about what have traditionally been 'esoteric' teachings (e.g. Lama Jampa Thaye, pp. 106, 385 n.9). This also belies Clark's unpleasant sectarian point-scoring - a complete non sequitur - regarding what he calls the 'cultural arrogance' of the Buddhist order to which English belongs. Perhaps this explains the vituperative nature of the whole review. Let readers of this excellent and highly recommended book judge where the arrogance, if any, is to be found.
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Book! - A must have for Tantric Practice ! 22. Juli 2004
Von Vajracharya - Veröffentlicht auf
I was initiated into Vajrayogini by Sakya Trizen. I recommend anyone that has been initiated into the "Yogini" systems -- Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, Hevajra, etc, obtain this book. It is better than any of the other Vajrayogini books that have been printed so far (not mentioning names) -- most of which just re-iterate the Tibetan monastic tradition. Because this book dissects and discusses the original Sanskrit texts --It is essential reading to understand the background of the practices, the nuances of the ritual, and the overal scheme of Buddhist tantra. Whether you believe that Buddhism took over "Saivite rituals" as Ms.English and her Prof Sanderson at Oxford believe, the book goes well beyond the historical backdrop to discuss in detail the ritual "moments". Many well put together graphs and tables break down the deities, correspondences, and practice elements in a helpful and explicative way. She also discusses the elements of sexual yoga in a frank, honest and accurate way throughout the book, something which few Tibetan monastics dare to do. In short, this is not a book that can be missing from your shelf !
16 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wow! Wonderful ... 18. März 2003
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
This book surveys forms of Vajrayogini and Varjravarahi in India, summarizes the Vajrayogini practices to be found in the Guhyasamayasadhanamala collection of sadhanas, and prints one sadhana from this collection,examining it in detail. English throughout discusses the philosophical assumptions of the sadhana within the larger context of Buddhist philosophical traditions. Scholarly, but at least for me, hard to put down - I learned so much from this book, which elucidated several details of tantric practice that I had been confused about. I found this book very helpful.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Heavy going 1. Januar 2008
Von Kez - Veröffentlicht auf
Heavy going, as it should be, I guess. As with any book of this type, it is only for initiates (if you don't know what this last sentence means, don't buy the book), this is a very academic approach to tantra. I should have ready the sleeve more carefully before purchase, as if I had realised that the book is a re-print of the author's PhD thesis on one particular sadana which I am not and don't need to be familiar with, I wouldn't have bought it. In saying that though, the introductory pages (which make up about half the book) are well written and do prove interesting to read about the subject when it is written from such an academic perspective. Lots of intellectual rumination, but no heart. Goes to show why the it is Wisdom AND Method that really matters if you are on the path...
13 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent book 1. Juni 2003
Von "rob65683" - Veröffentlicht auf
This is an excellent book: erudite, thourough and clear. It is written to extremely high standards of scholarship, a welcome alternative to the obscurantist fantasies that subjects such as this have sometimes attracted. Highly recommended - but perhaps quite demanding for those without academic training.
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