The Yogini’s Eye

Comprehensive Introduction to Buddhist Tantra

by Sonam Tsemo

 

 

 

 

Medieval Tibet inherited from India a large body of Buddhist literature called Tantras that detailed a spiritual path comprised of many unusual methods that were said to be unambiguous, less difficult,  and  faster than the established Sutra methods of reaching enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings.  This path was not accepted without controversy by Tibetan Buddhists, and doubts were raised about the origin and authenticity of the literature, correct interpretation of its mysterious language,  and actual efficacy of its spiritual practices.
    

The Yogini’s Eye: Comprehensive Introduction to Buddhist Tantra, Volume I: Systemization and Interpretation written by Sonam Tsemo and translated by Ngor Thartse Khenpo Sonam Gyatso (Hiroshi Sonami) and Wayne Verrill introduces a new translation series called Classics of the Early Sakya, which focuses on the extensive literature of the Sakya Lamdre lineage of the Hevajra Tantra cycle of revelation. This first volume of introduction is the earliest book of its type and comprehensive treatment of the subject matter to have been written, and initiated the scholarly study of Tibetan Buddhist Tantra. Subsequent studies in all lineages were built on the foundation established by this book.

This book has served as the introductory textbook for the study of Sakya Tantra continuously for over 800 years.  Over the centuries, the textbook has been supplemented by a total of 15 commentaries and study guides written by the most learned scholars of the Sakya tradition, including Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen (1312–1375), Yeshe Gyaltsen (1300’s–1406), Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382–1450), Lowo Khenchen Sonam Lhundrup (1456–1532), Ngorchen Konchok Lhundrup (1497–1547), Amezhap Ngawang Kunga Sonam (1597–1659), and Dezhung Chopel Jamyang Kunga Namgyal (1880’s– mid-1950’s).  This first English edition contains the translation of thirteen of these study guides, excluding all repetitive sections, inserted into the original book in the appropriate context.

Starting in the twelfth century with this book, the early Sakya lineage widely established Buddhist Tantra as an authentic, efficacious, and superior spiritual practice, one that is now being fully transmitted to the modern Western world.