Guhyasamaja Tantra in Buddhism - Informative & researched article on Guhyasamaja Tantra in Buddhism
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Home > Society > Indian Religion > Tantrism > Tantra in Buddhism > Guhyasamaja Tantra in Buddhism
Guhyasamaja Tantra in Buddhism
Guhyasamaja Tantra is the oldest and one of the most important of all Buddhist Tantras. These are the basic texts of the Tantra.
 
 The Guhyasamaja Tantra is considered as one of the most important scriptures of esoteric Buddhism. Guhyasamaja Tantra is known as the highest form of Tantra. All the paths of Tantrism and the words of entire, extensive sutra teachings and meanings are combined in Guhyasamaja tantra. It is therefore described as ?Za-ma-tog?, a basket of all the sutras and the tantras. In its complete form it consists of seventeen chapters. A separate "explanatory tantra" (vyakhyatantra) known as the Appendix Tantra (uttaratantra) is also at times considered as its eighteenth chapter.

In India Guhyasamaja Tantra was considered as a Yoga or Mahayoga Tantra. There are two primary methods of practice in highest yoga tantras? Generation stage and Completion stage. Generation stage involves a process of transformation through imagination and serves to prepare the practitioner for the Completion stage. The Completion stage focuses on a practice that relies on energy channels, winds and drops to activate subtle clear-light-mind and realize emptiness. These practices of Guhyasamaja give birth to the so called illusory body, and eventually to the union of clear light and illusory body that leads directly to the experience of full enlightenment.

The Guhyasamaja Tantra is ascribed by tradition to the sage Asanga. The first of 18 chapters presents the text?s mandala, a visual image used in ritual and meditation and understood as the symbolic embodiment of a Tantric text. In the centre of the mandala of this text stands Aksobhya, the Imperturbable Buddha, the central celestial figure in Tantric Buddhist symbolism. Surrounding him are Vairocana, the Illuminator Buddha, in the east; Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, who dwells in the Western Paradise, the Pure Land; and the celestial Buddhas, Amoghasiddhi in the north and Ratnasambhava in the south.

Origin of Guhyasamaja Tantra
Origin of Guhyasamaja Tantra can be attributed to the Buddha who for the first time undertook the responsibility to teach it. He taught the Guhyasamaja Tantra in the form of Vajradhara to Indrabhuti the King of Oddiyana who is also known as King Dza. The Guhyasamaja Tantra form stands, along with the Mahayana and Theravada, as one of the main branches of Buddhism.

Iconography of Guhyasamaja Tantra
The main deity of the Guhyasam?ja is a blue-black coloured Akshobhyavajra. She is a form of Akshobhya, one of the five transcendent lords. Akshobhyavajra is seen holding a vajra and bell in his first two hands while in the others she is seen holding the symbols of the four other transcendent lords: wheel of Vairocana and lotus of Amitabha in his rights, and gem of Ratnasambhava and sword of Amoghasiddhi in his lefts. The mandala consists of thirty-two deities in all.

(Last Updated on : 10/08/2011)
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