Guhyagarbha Tantra (with Commentary)

by Gyurme Dorje | 1987 | 304,894 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...

Text 15.25 (Commentary)

[Guhyagarbha-Tantra, Text section 15.25]

... Then with Joy, they uttered (the syllable) HA, so that from the cloud of their "enlightened mind" (seminal fluids) there came forth the host of Gaurī, the host of Caurī, the host of Pramohā, the host of Vetālī, the host of Pukkāsī, the host of Caṇḍālī, the host of Ghasmarī, and the host of Śmaśānī, each with their respective hand-implements and wonder. And having come forth, these assumed their terrifying forms with their respective hand-implements in a circle, starting from the eastern direction, at the radial points of the (maṇḍala) circle of the great blazing (Herukas). [25] ...


de-nas dgyes-te HA-zhes brjod-pas / byang-chub sems-kyi sprin-las / dkar-mo'i tshogs-dang / rkun-mo'i tshogs-dang / rmongs-mo'i tshogs-dang / thal-byed-ma'i tshogs-dang / spos-mo'i tshogs-dang / gtum-mo'i tshogs-dang / sme-sha-can-gyi tshogs-dang / ma-tshogs ma'i tshogs-rnams rang-rang-gi lag-cha-dang / ngo-mtshar-dang-bcas-nas 'thon-to / 'thon-nas-kyang 'bar-ba chen-po'i 'khor-lo'i rtsibs-mchan shar-phyogs-nas 'khor-bar 'jigs-pa'i gzugs rang--gi lag-cha-dang-bcas-nas 'khod-do / [25]


[The second section concerns the emanation of the Mātarīs. (It comments on Ch. 15.25):]

Then with joy they uttered the syllable HA so that (de-nas sgyes-te ha-zhes brjod-pas) from the cloud of the "enlightened mind" (byang-chub sems-kyi-sprin-las) of those male and female consorts, i.e. the (seminal-fluid or) causal basis, there came forth ('thon-to) from the secret centres of the Īśvarīs: the host (tshogs-dang) of Gaurī (dkar-mo'i)—she who performs the rites of pacification with pure Buddha-mind.

Now, although one member of this host emerged from each of the twenty-eight mighty queens, there is no defect in the number (of deities) being excessive because they are gathered in the single family of Gauri. The remaining (seven Mātarīs) also have similar (retinues).[1]

Also, if you think that there is a contradiction because the Mātarīs emerge in this context from the secret centres of the mighty queens, and during means for attainment they emerge from the union of the male and female consorts of the five enlightened families, there is no defect. Formerly when the proud spirits were disciplined, the Mātarīs purposefully appeared in this manner. Subsequently, however, when (the maṇḍala) is experientially cultivated, they accord with their description in the means for attainment.[2]

There also came forth the host of Caurī (rkun-mo'i tshogs-dang), who perform rites of subjugation because they amass an accumulation of enlightened attributes, the host of Pramohā (rmongs-mo'i tshogs-dang) who perform rites of wrath by causing amnesia because they are without duality of renunciation and acceptance, the host of Vetālī (thal-byed-mo'i tshogs-dang) who perform rites of wrath because they pulverise disharmonious aspects, the host of Pukkāsī (sbos-mo'i tshogs-dang) who perform rites of enrichment because they are full of enlightened attributes, the host of Caṇḍālī (gtum-mo'i tshogs) who perform rites of wrath because they are aggressive and quarrelsome, the host of Ghasmarī (sme-sha-can-gyi tshogs) who perform all kinds of rite because they accomplish anything whatsoever, and the host of Śmaśānī (ma-tshogs-ma'i tshogs-rnams) or Mātarī who perform rites of enrichment because they increase the lifespan and one's utilities.[3]

Each of them was endowed with (dang bcas-nas) their respective hand-implements (rang-rang-gi lag-cha) including: human clubs (zhing-dbyug) and bows and arrows, and (dang) with light rays and ornaments of wonder (ngo-mtshar). And having come forth ('thon-nas-kyang), these assumed ('khod-do) their terrifying forms ('jigs-pa'i gzugs) with their respective hand-implements (rang-gi lag-cha dang-bcas-nas) in a (bar) clockwise circle ('khor) at the radial-points of the (maṇḍala) circle of the great blazing ('bar-ba chen-po 'khor-lo'i rtsibs-mchan-nas) Herukas, starting from (nas) the south-eastern (shar) direction (phyogs). Actually, there are four at the radial points and four in the corners or angles (between them).[4]

[The third concerns the emanation of the Piśācīs. (It comments on Ch. 15.26):]

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Footnotes and references:


Cf. Lo-chen Dharmaśrī, op. cit.. p. 382. The host of each of the eight Mātarī numbers twenty-eight.


in Ch. 17 below, which concerns the visualisation of the wrathful deities, and in works of practical instruction, such as Karma gLing-pa's bar-do thos-grol, there is no reference to the emergence of the Mātarīs from the union of Herukas and īśvarīs.


For an explanation of the eight Mātarīs as the mudrās of the eight sensory locations (gnas-kyi phyag-rgya brgyad), i. e., the eight aggregates of consciousness, see below, p. 1170. Also see above, pp. 394-395.


I.e. Gaurī in the east, Caurī in the south, Pramohā in the west, Vetālī in the north, Pukkāsī in the south-east, Caṇḍālī in the south-west, Ghasmarī in the north-west, and Śmaśānī in the north-east.

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