THE CAKRASAMVARA TANTRA (THE DISCOURSE OF SRI HERUKA)
A Study and Annotated Translation
David B. Gray
Composed in India during the late eighth or early ninth 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. Along with the Hevajra Tantra, it is one of the earliest and most influential of the Yogini Tantras, a genre of tantric Buddhist scripture that emphasizes female deities, particularly the often fiercely depicted yoginis and dakinis.
The author’s introductory essay provides an analysis of the historical and intellectual contexts in which the tantra was composed, including its complex interrelationship with Hindu Saiva traditions, and investigates the history of its adaptation by Buddhists. The translation was made on the basis of the surviving Sanskrit manuscripts of the tantra and its commentaries, as well as parallel passages in related explanatory tantras (vyakhyatantra). It is also takes into consideration two different Tibetan translations of the root text, and several Tibetan commentaries. The translation itself is heavily annotated, with extensive translations from the Indian and Tibetan commentaries on the text. Includes a trilingual glossary and index.
The author has now also translated the commentary on this tantra by the great Tibetan scholar Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), which appears in two volumes as Illumination of the Hidden Meaning. Taken together, these three volumes provide the reader with the first full study in English of this pivotal tantra.