1st Edition

The Buddhist Tantras Light on Indo-Tibetan Esotericism

By Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Copyright 1973

    Originally published in 1973.

    The volume is divided into four sections:

    1. The introduction places the position of the Buddhist Tantras within Mahayana Buddhism and recalls their early literary history, especially the Guhyasamahatantra; the section also covers Buddhist Genesis and the Tantric tradition.
    2. The foundations of the Buddhist Tantras are discussed and the Tantric presentation of divinity; the preparation of disciples and the meaning of initiation; symbolism of the mandala-palace Tantric ritual and the twilight language.
    3. This section explores the Tantric teachings of the inner Zodiac and the fivefold ritual symbolism of passion.
    4. The bibliographical research contains an analysis of the Tantric section of the Kanjur exegesis and a selected Western Bibliography of the Buddhist Tantras with comments.



    1. Perfection of Insight: Buddhist Tantra within Mahayana Buddhism
    2. Early Literary History of the Buddhist Tantras
    3. Buddhist Genesis and the Tantric Tradition
    4. Analogical Thinking in the Buddhist Tantras
    5. The Nature of Buddhist Esotericism
    6. Divinity according to the Buddhist Tantras
    7. Preparation of Disciples
    8. Offering Materials and their Meanings
    9. Symbolism of the Mandala-Palace
    10. Tantric Ritual and Symbolism of its Attainments
    11. Twilight Language and a Tantric Song
    12. The Nine Orifices of the Body
    13. Tantric Teachings about the Inner Zodiac
    14. Female Energy and Symbolism in the Buddhist Tantras
    15. The Five-fold Ritual Symbolism of Passion
    16. Received Teachings of Tibet and Analysis of the Tantric Canon


    Authored by Wayman, Alex