Guhyasamaja Tantra by Alex Wayman

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Study of the Guhyasamaja Tantra by Alex Wayman.

Transcript of Guhyasamaja Tantra by Alex Wayman

YOGA OF THE GUH YAS AM AJ ATANTRAThe Arcane Lore o f F orty VersesA B uddhist T a n t r a C o m m en tary



M ( )T I LA LDelhi ::

BAN AR S 11)A SSV aranasi :: Patna


M O T IL A L B A N A R S ID A S S Indological Publishers and BooksellersO ffie* : b u n o a l o w r o a d , j a w a h a r n a c a r , B r a n th tt : i. c h o w k , v a r a n a si-i (u .p .) d b lh i-7

2 . A M O K R A JP A T H , P A T N a - 4

(B IH A R )

First Edition : Delhi, 1977

Printed in India Y IK A K T U JU . JA IN A T H R I JA IIV tN D ftA P * E , A - 4 5 , P H A S E - I , IN D U S T R IA L A B A , H A R A IK A , W W O K L H I-2 B AND P U B L IS H E D BY IU N D A K L A L JA IN FO R I f O T tL A l B A N A BW D A U ,bungalow road


ja w a h a r



d i l h i -7

To Professor M urray B. E m en cau , W h o set the stan d ard d ifficu lt to sustain

PREFACE T h e w ork h e ir presented to the public is an organization of m aterials from the Guhyasumfijatantra cycle, stressing the aspect of^vogfl, w ith sufficient intro d u cto ry treatm ents to enable the read er to place this rem arkable literature w ithin the general fram e of In d ia n th o u g h t an d religious practice, w hich has a lre a d y m a d e w orld-w ide contributions to the theory of yoga. T h e set of forty verses was m em orized for centurics by follo wers o f the A rv a Guhyasanuija tradition, w hich claims th a t these verses e x p lain the entire ( Guhyasanuija) T a n tr a . I m ad e u p a title, the lGuhyasamaja-nidana-karika, for those verses (kdrika) w hich go w ith each syllabic o f the initial sentence (niddna) o f the Guhyammajatantra. T h e verses stem from the E x p la n a to ry T a n t r a Vajiamaln, a n d were e x ta n t in the origi nal S anskrit by reason o f being cited in the Pradipoddyotana m an u scrip t. As the synthetic co m m e n ta ry on the verses becam e increas ingly technical, considerable intro d u cto ry m ateria) was indi c a te d ; a n d this grew to th re e introductions before I was satisfied w ith the; s ta n d a rd o f clarification. T h u s the reader has a bridge to the verses, w h ich in tu rn have been sulliciently an n o tated to b rin g o u t th eir individual character. H av in g long ago become aw are o f the hazards of speculating on the intricate subject o f the T a n tra , I have tried a t every point to bring forward the au th en tic a n d reliable passages, w hether in Sanskrit or T ib e ta n . But I do not d eny m y own contribution of selecting, translating, an d organizing this m ate rial; and especially the decision to group the forty verses accord ing to the steps o f yoga. .Since most o f the m aterial in this book has not hitherto appeared in W estern sources, certainly as far as English is con cerned, I have preferred to give the original passages. However, I have om itted the T ib e ta n for T sori-kha-pas Mchan (tgrel on the forty verses, becausc the interlinear form of this annotation renders it diilicult to cite separately; a n d there arc some other omissions of T ib e ta n . T h e read er will soon notice m y over w helming use of T so n -k h a-p as works. His w riting is like the

personal message of a guru, for it is always to explain, not to conceal. The Tibetan chroniclc called The Blue Annals lias a most eloquent tribute to Tsori-kha-pa for his authoritative works on the Guhyasamaja system. The concluded research is the outcome of a long-timt' aspi ration. My original delving into the major throries is found in my first major published article, Notes on the Sanskrit term Jfiana (1955). Already I knew about the forty verses and that they are quoted in the Pradipoddyotana because they arc mentioned in an important context in Mkhas grub rje's Funda mentals o f the Buddhist Tantras\ the late Professor 1 .L). Lessing ; and myself collaborated on a translation of T ibetan book during the 1950s even though it was not published until 1968. I realized that to do anything scholarly with the forty verses I would have to obtain the original Sanskrit, wliich was pre sumably in the Pradipoddyotana manuscript of the Bihar Research Society. D uring my faculty research in India from February 1963 to January 1964, sponsored by the American Institute of Indian Studies, it bccamc part of a wonderful memory of 1963 Divali days in Patna that the Bihar Research Society in con junction with the K.P, Jayaswal Institute graciously arranged form e to secure an enlargement of the Pradipoddyotana manuscript, for which I am most grateful. O n December 24, 1963, the author was granted an interview witli the Dalai Lam a at Dharamsala (Punjab, India) during which His Holiness ex pressed delight to learn that the forty revelation verses explaining the initial sentence of the Guhyasamaja were extant in that unique manuscript. He mentioned a T ibetan tradition that there had been an Indian commentary on these forty verses not translated into the Tibetan language, and asked to be in formed if such a Sanskrit commentary were to turn up. It is a spccial pleasure of this research that the present modest incursion into the vast Guhyasam&ja lore leads to the publication in India of this commentary on the nidana verses, which thus becomes an Indian commentary in a sense. If an old Sanskrit conunentary ever turns up, the contents should overlap, but the fact that the data has been sifted through a Western consciousness will have brought many changes of outer form. Upon returning to my position of those days in M adison> Wisconsin, with the help of the T ibetan version I edited the

forty verses in Sanskrit, which along with the Tibetan and English translations, heads the Documents. As time went on, I collected materials for a synthetic commentary, on which account I must pay tribute to the remarkably convenient Japanese photographic edition of the Peking K anjur-Tanjur and of T son-kha-pas collected works, all of which has contributed so much to this endeavor. The early integrat ing labor was pursued in part-time research in the Fall of 196.1 supported by Ford Area funds of T he University of Wisconsin; and I tried out some of the subject matter in my seminars on lantric Buddhism at Madison in Spring 1966 and at Columbia (as a visitor) in Fall 1966. In Summer 1966, I put together a manuscript that had considerable information oil the subject. T he D epartm ent of Indian Studies in Madison kindly a Horded me secretarial assistance for typing u p these technical materials. During the next academic year I decided to include oven more new d ata while publishing such a book. During the Summer 1967 in a special teaching and research arrangem ent by mv departm ent in Madison, I selected from the photographic edition of the Tibetan canon a great am ount of works or portions of works dealing with these and kindred topics. Mv assistant, Mr. Kanda, duplicated all those pages on the excellent machine of the Univorsity-Industry Research Program iu Madison bv the cooperation of the ladies in that ollice. This provided me maximum ease of consulting texts as desired. In my new position at Columbia University starting iu Fall 1967 I found some leisure from time to time for perusing more of the relevant texts, and for making more use of ihe I'ladifinddyotana manuscript, which however, is only of interest to me for completing this book. The sabbatical year (1 ) allowed me by Columbia University afforded me some leisure for further improvements and corrections. I am confident that ilu* delays have considerably strengthened the contribution to knowledge of this tantric system, and that any future investigator of this or associated Buddhist tantric litera ture will lind in this a rich reference work. Au important observation of comparing the basic text of the (luhyaiamajntantta with its commentaries, and in particular, with the kind of ideas found in the forty verses and their annota tion, is (hat the comnicntarial literature brings forth au array

of data that is not at all apparent in the basic T antra. I his observation leads to the surprising conclusion that one rannot evaluate the Gukyasamajatantra in its edited Sanskrit lonn simply bv reading it, which is the premise ol the modern-day ody as the m antra visualized) neither is revelation reached. Having appreciated this point, 'he should contem plate the sam adhi Conjunction to revelation as constructed by m an tra. While there are definitely six stages in that formulation, there is no expressed indication that the (iuhyasamdjatantia (first 17 chapters) has in m ind here such a divisionas the U ttara-

tan tra imposes, of Stage o f G eneration and Stage of Completion. It may have implied the two in the dvandva of the title, rahasy&tirahasya. But our foregoing materials make it quite clear that the body as the m antra visualized is indeed the accomplish m ent of the Stage of G eneration. If one leaves out that body, the rem ainder ol the m em bers in th at passage o f chapter 6 pertain to w hat becam e called the Stage of Completion. In such a case, the first m em ber in this second scries is the one called exhorted by spccch in the m ind', th at is to say, diam ond m utter ing attended w ith pmndyama. Tsori-kha-pas commentary Deciding the alternatives7 for the chaptcr 6 (op. cit., Vol. 156, pp. 25-5 to 26-1) cites in this connection the Vajramdld explana tory tan tra (actually in chapter 68, the last c h a p te r): I rdo rje bzlas par rab sbyor bas j rluri gi mtshan nid fes nas ni / j mam rtog rluri mams rnam par gcod / I sems la dmigs pa thob par hgyur // j bdag la byin brlabs rim pas kyaii / I dnos grub brgyad ni thob par hgyur . snan ba la sogs dbyc ba ies ! mtion par byatl chub pa ni hthob / I zun hjug rim pa Ia gnas pa f I dnos grub thams cad bsdus pa ni / I tshc hdi nid la hgntb hgyur bar f f mal hbyor pa yi