Himalayan Art Resources

Tantra Classification: Yoganiruttara (Anuttarayoga) Tantra

Tantra Classification Main Page | 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha

- Method (Father) Tantra

- Wisdom (Mother) Tantra

- Non-dual Tantra

- Yoganiruttara (Anuttarayoga) Tantra
- The Four Tantra Classification & Confusions

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Yoganiruttara (Anuttarayoga) Description (below)
- Sarma Systems: Sakya, Kagyu, Jonang, Gelug, Others
- Nyingma Systems
- Confusions: Non-dual Tantra, Alternate Tantra, Hevajra, Kalachakra
- Others...

There are minor differences between some of the schools and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The Sakya and many branch schools include Hevajra, Kalachakra, Mahakala, Vajrakila and several other tantras as Non-dual. The Gelug do not generally have a Non-dual Tantra and prefer the term 'Alternate' and include the Kalachakra Tantra under that 'Alternate' category. Some traditions treat the Manjushri Namasangiti Tantra, which is generally categorized as Yoga, as Yoganiruttara. Many of these differences relate to what type of explanation and emphasis is given to these tantras. If the Hevajra Tantra is explained as a Wisdom Tantra then it can be categorized that way. If it is being explained as a Non-dual tantra then it can also be categorized as non-dual. Variations and differences also occur in the three lower tantras and are not just limited to the Yoganiruttara Tantras.

The Nyingma Tradition has a system of nine yana or vehicles divided into three sets of three. The second set of three are Kriya, Charya and Yoga tantra. The third set of three includes Maha, Anu and Ati Yoga. Maha Yoga is often explained as being comparable to Yoganiruttara Yoga Tantra.

Four Tantra Classifications:
Kriya Tantra | Charya Tantra | Yoga Tantra | Anuttarayoga Tantra

Jeff Watt [updated 8-2018, 8-2019, 4-2020, 12-2020]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).