The Mahāmāyā Tantra
Degé Kangyur, vol. 80 (rgyud ’bum, nga), folios 167.a–171.a.
Translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee
under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha
Warning: Readers are reminded that according to Vajrayāna Buddhist tradition there are restrictions and commitments concerning tantra. Practitioners who are not sure if they should read this translation are advised to consult the authorities of their lineage. The responsibility for reading this text or sharing it with others who may or may not fulfill the requirements lies in the hands of readers.
The Mahāmāyātantra, named after its principal deity Mahāmāyā, is a tantra of the Yoginītantra class in which Mahāmāyā presides over a maṇḍala populated primarily by yoginīs and ḍākinīs. The practitioner engages the antinomian power of these beings through a threefold system of yoga involving the visualization of the maṇḍala deities, the recitation of their mantras, and the direct experience of absolute reality. As well as practices involving the manipulation of the body’s subtle energies, the Mahāmāyātantra incorporates the transgressive practices that are the hallmark of the earlier tantric systems such as the Guhyasamājatantra, specifically the ingestion of sexual fluids and other polluting substances. The tantra promises the grace of Mahāmāyā in the form of mundane and transcendent spiritual attainments to those who approach it with diligence and devotion.
This text was translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. The translation was prepared by Ryan Damron with the assistance of Catherine Dalton, and was edited by Andreas Doctor.
This translation has been completed under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.
It was translated and edited by the Indian preceptor Jinavara and the great Tibetan translator Gö  Lhetsé.
|S||Mahāmāyātantrasya vṛtti smṛti|
|SM||Mahāmāyāsādhanam (in Sādhanamālā)|
dpal sgyu ’phrul chen po’i rgyud kyi rgyal po. Toh. 425. Degé Kangyur, vol. 80 (rgyud ’bum, nga), folios 167a–171a.
dpal sgyu ’phrul chen mo’i rgyud kyi rgyal po. Lhasa Kangyur, vol. 82 (rgyud ’bum, nga), folios 43a–49b.
sgyu ’phrul chen mo’i rgyud. Narthang Kangyur, vol. 83 (rgyud ’bum, nga), folios 38a–44b.
dpal sgyu ’phrul chen po’i rgyud. Peking Kangyur, rgyud ’bum, vol. nga, folios 153a–157a.
sgyu ’phrul chen mo’i rgyud. Stok Palace Kangyur, vol. 94 (rgyud ’bum, ga), folios 344b–349b.
dpal sgyu ’phrul chen po’i rgyud kyi rgyal po. bka’ ’gyur (dpe bsdur ma) [Comparative Edition of the Kangyur], krung go’i bod rig pa zhib ’jug ste gnas kyi bka’ bstan dpe sdur khang (The Tibetan Tripitaka Collation Bureau of the China Tibetology Research Center). 108 volumes. Beijing: krung go’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang (China Tibetology Publishing House), 2006-2009, vol. 80 (rgyud ’bum, nga), pp 536-547.
Kṛṣṇavajra. sgyu ’phrul chen mo’i rgyud kyi ’grel pa dran pa (*Mahāmāyātantrasya vṛtti smṛti) [Recollection: A Commentary on the Mahāmāyā Tantra]. Toh. 1624, Degé Tengyur vol. 25 (rgyud ’grel, ya), ff. 201.a–219.a. (S)
Ratnākaraśānti. Guṇavatīṭīkā [A Commentary Endowed with Qualities]: (1) dpal sgyu ’phrul chen mo’i ’grel pa yon tan ldan pa. Toh. 1623, Degé Tengyur vol. 25 (rgyud ’grel, ya), folios 180b–201a. (2) Mahāmāyātantram with Guṇavatī by Ratnākaraśānti. Rare Buddhist Text Series vol. 10. Edited by Samdhong Rinpoche and Vrajavallabh Dwivedi. Varanasi: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 1992. (G) (3) Kaiser Library, Kathmandu (ms. 226). Palm leaf manuscript in Golmola script. (4) Nepal National Archives, Kathmandu (ms. 2–906). Nepali paper manuscript in Devanāgarī script.
____________. Mahāmāyāsādhanam [A Sādhana for the Mahāmāyātantra]: (1) sgyu ma chen mo’i sgrub thabs (Mahāmāyāsādhanam). Toh. 1643, Degé Tengyur vol. 25 (rgyud ’grel, ya), folios 269b–273b. (2) In Sādhanamālā vol. 2. Edited by Benoytosh Bhattacarya. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1968. pp. 458–64. (SM)
Tāranātha. dpal rgyud kyi rgyal po sgyu ’phrul chen mo ma ha ma ya’i rgya cher bshad pa de kho na nyid kyi sgron ma [The Lamp of Suchness: A Detailed Explanation of the Glorious King of Tantras, the Mahāmāyātantra]. In gsung ’bum, ’dzam thang par ma ed., vol. 11 (da), pp 465-657. dzam thang dgon: [s.n.], 199-. (TBRC W22276)
____________. sgyu ’phrul chen mo’i khrid yig rgyal ba’i lam bzang [The Excellent Path of the Victorious Ones: The Instruction Manual for Mahāmāyā]. Ibid., vol. 11 (da), pp 447 - 464.
____________. dpal ma ha ma ya’i dkyil ’khor gyi sgrub thabs rin chen myu gu [The Jeweled Sprout: A Practice Manual for the Maṇḍala of the Glorious Mahāmāyā]. Ibid., vol. 11 (da), pp 431 - 445.
’gos lo tsa wa gzhon nu dpal. deb ther sngon po. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1974. Translated as The Blue Annals, see below.
Dalton, Jacob (2004). “The Development of Perfection: The Interiorization of Buddhist Ritual in the 8th and 9th Centuries.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 23 (2004): 1–30.
___________ (2005). “A Crisis of Doxography: How Tibetans Organized Tantra during the 8th–12th Centuries.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 28:1 (2005): 115–181.
English, Elizabeth. Vajrayoginī: Her Visualizations, Rituals, and Forms. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2002.
’gos lo tsa wa. The Blue Annals. Translated by George N. Roerich. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988.
Gray, David B. The Cakrasaṃvara Tantra (The Discourse of Śrī Heruka): A Study and Annotated Translation. New York: American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2007.
Isaacson, Harunaga. “Ratnākaraśānti’s Hevajrasahajasadyoga: Studies in Ratnākaraśānti’s Tantric Works I.” In Le Parole e i Marmi: studi in onore di Raniero Gnoli nel suo 70° compleanno. Serie Orientale Roma XCII. vol. 1. Roma: Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente, 2001, pp. 457–487.
Kongtrul, Jamgön. The Treasury of Knowledge: The Elements of Tantric Practice. Translated by Elio Guarisco and Ingrid McLeod. Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications, 2008.
Sanderson, Alexis. “The Śaiva Age.” In Genesis and Development of Tantra, edited by Shingo Einoo, pp. 17–349. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009.