Vajrayoginī is a tantric goddess from the highest class of Buddhist tantras who manifests the ultimate development of wisdom and compassion. Her practice is prevalent today among practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. This ground-breaking book delves into the origins of Vajrayoginī, charting her evolution in India and examining her roots in the Cakrasaṃvara tantra and in Indian tradition relating to Śiva.
The focus of this work is the Guhyasamayasādhanamālā, a collection of forty-six sādhanas, or practice texts. Written on palm leaves in Sanskrit and preserved since the twelfth century, this diverse collection, composed by various authors, reveals a multitude of forms of the goddess, each of which is described and illustrated here. One of the sādhanas, the Vajravārāhi Sādhana by Umāpatideva, depicts Vajrayoginī at the center of a maṇḍala of thirty-seven different goddesses, and is here presented in full translation alongside a Sanskrit edition. Elizabeth English provides extensive explanation and annotation of this representative text. Sixteen pages of stunning color plates not only enhance the study but bring the goddess to life.