This is a study and first English translation of the Vajra Rosary Tantra (Vajramālā, Tib. rdo rje phreng ba), a key Explanatory Tantra of the Guhyasamāja, etc. It describes the prerequisite realizations of the bodhisattva path and emptiness and the Tantric meditations that swiftly lead to buddhahood.
The Tantra details the yogic practice of the Tantra, the perfection stage of vajra repetition, and the whole path up to buddhahood. It describes in unique detail the chakra system, the techniques for mobilizing the subtle neural energies of life and death, the perfection stage initiations, the use of great bliss (mahāsukha) subjectivity, the four ecstasies that transmute sexual union, the mantras, the thirty-two deity body mandala, the six yogas, the twenty rituals of the creation stage, and the key role of emptiness.
The translator draws on the Alaṁkakalaśha commentary for his study of the Tantra and explores the history of the text and its translators, the Tibetan royal monk Zhiwa Ö and the Indian abbot Sujana Śhrī Jñāna.
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David R. Kittay is adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Columbia University.
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