Guhyagarbha Tantra (with Commentary)

by Gyurme Dorje | 1987 | 6,373 words

The English translation of the Guhyagarbha Tantra, including Longchenpa's commentary from the 14th century. The whole work is presented as a critical investigation into the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, of which the Guhyagarbhatantra is it's principle text. It contains twenty-two chapters teaching the essence and practice of Mahayoga, which s...

5. Structured Contents of the Guhyagarbhatattvaviniścayamahātantra

The underlying structure of the tantra’s twenty-two chapters corresponds to the three continue (rgyud-gsum) of the ground, path and result, which have been outlined above. While kLong-chen Rab-'byams-pa presents a slightly different account in phyogs-bcu mun-sel (see below p. 543).

The following general structure is observed by most bka'-ma commentators.

Title and Introductory Words

a) The Peaceful Mandala:

Continuum of the Ground:

Chapter 1—The Introductory Scene (gleng-gzhi'i le'u)

Chapter 2—Generation of Ultimate and Relative Enlightened Mind as Pristine Cognition (don-dam-pa-dang kun-rdzob-kyi byang-chub sems ye-shes-su bskyed-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 3—The Establishment of All Dharmas (chos thams-cad gtan-la phab-pa'i le'u)

Continuum of the Path

Chapter 4—Cyclical Array of the Garland of Syllables (yi-ge 'phreng-ba'i 'khor-lo bkod-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 5—Contemplation that Attains the Magical Net (sgyu-'phrul dra-ba bsgrub-pa'i ting-nge-'dzin-gyi le'u)

Chapter 6—Emanation of the Mandala (dkyil-'khor spros-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 7—Absorption of the Mandala and the Secret Mantras (dkyil-'khor bsdus-ba-dane gsang-sngags-kyi le'u)

Chapter 8—Consecration of All Limbs as the Mandala and the Subsequent a Emanation of the Seals (yan-lag thams-cad dkyil-'khor-du byin-gyis brlabs-nas phyag-rgya spros-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 9—Secret Commitment of the Indestructible Array (rdo-rje bkod-pa'i gsang-ba'i dam-tshig-gi le'u)

Chapter 10—Conferral of Empowerment (dbang sbyin-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 11—Mandala of the Feast-offerings (tshogs-kyi dkyil-'khor-gyi le'u)

Chapter 12—Attainment of the Feast-offerings (tshoga bsgrubs-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 13—Nucleus of Most Secret Esoteric Instructions (shin-tu gsang-ba man-ngag-gi snying-po'i le'u)

Continuum of the Results:

Chapter 14—The Eulogy Which Pleases (mnyes-pa'i bstod-pa'i le'u)

b) The Wrathful Mandala:

Continuum of the Ground:

Chapter 15—Cloud-like Emanation of the Natural Mandala of Wrathful Deities (khro-bo rang-bzhin-gyi dkyil-'khor-gyi sprin rnam-par spros-pai-i le'u)

Continuum of the Path:

Chapter 16—Emanation of the Mandala of Buddha-speech of the Great Assembly of Wrathful Deities (khro-bo'i tshogs chen-po'i gsung-gi dkyil-'khor spros-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 17—Revelation of the Mandala of Wrathful Deities (khro-bo'i dkyil-'khor batan-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 18—A Teaching on Genuine Offering and Liberality (mchod-sbyib dam-pa bstan-pa'i le'u)

Chapter 19—Commitments (dam-tshig-gi le'u)

Chapter 20—Consecration of Spontaneous Enlightened Activity (lhun-gyis grub-pa'i 'phrin-las byin-gyis rlob-pa zhes-bya-ba'i le'u)

Continuum of the Result:

Chapter 21—Eulogy to the Wrathful Deities (khro-bo-la bstod-pa'i le'u)


Chapter 22—That which is Pleasing and Retained (mnyes-pa-dang yongs-su bzung-ba'i le'u).

In the remaining part of this Introduction this celebrated tantra is to be examined in terms of the controversy surrounding its origins, the historical background derived from the biographies of its Indian and Tibetan lineage-holders, and an analysis of its philosophical content.

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