Tantra Classification Main Page
1. Tatagata Family | 2. Padma Family | 3. Vajra Family
The Three Families are divided into as many as eight categories:
1. Buddha of the Family
2. Lord of the Family (Three Lords of the World (Bodhisattva))
3. Mother of the Family
4. Ushnisha of the Family
5. Wrathful Deity of the Family
6. Messengers of the Family
7. Bodhisattvas of the Family
8. Nagas & Yakshas of the Family
Common Worldly Tantras of Kriya:
General Texts of Kriya:
1. General Secret Tantra
2. Susiddhi Tantra
3. Questions of Subahu Tantra
4. Concentration Continuation Tantra
- Kriya Tantra
- The Four Tantra Classification & Confusions
Tantric Buddhism can be divided into two different schools or principal divisions. The first and earliest is the Nyingma Tradition. The second are the the group of traditions collectively known as the Sarma (New) Schools. They are the Kadam, Sakya, Marpa Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu, Jonang and Gelug. According to the Sarma Schools Kriya Tantra is the first of the four classifications of Buddhist tantra: Kriya, Charya, Yoga, Anuttarayoga.
Kriya itself is divided into the Three families: 1. Tatagata, 2. Padma and 3. Vajra. Those are followed by a general category of Tantras applicable to all three families. The three families are each divided into sub-categories. The Tatagata Family has the largest number with eight categories. The Padma and Vajra Families have five categories each based on the first eight categories of the Tatagata Family. The majority of texts catalogued as belonging to the Kriya Tantra are classified under the categories of the Three families. Very few texts belong to the general fourth category.
(See the Collection of All Tantras - all three families: Mandalas and the Mitra Gyatsa).
Jeff Watt [updated 8-2018]