Vajrayogini 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 Vajrayogin_, charting her evolution in India and examining her roots in the Cakrasamvara tantra and in Indian tradition relating to Shiva.
The focus of this work is the Guhyasamayasadhanamala, a collection of forty-six sadhanas, 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 sadhanas, the Vajravarahi Sadhana by Umapatideva, depicts Vajrayogini at the center of a mandala 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.