Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Yoga Tantra Main Page

Tantra Classification Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Tantra Classification
- 84000 List
- Compendium Lists
- Blue Annals
- Confusions: Namasangiti, Deities That Are No Longer Popular
- Others...

- Yoga Tantra
- Yoga Tantras: Unpopular
- The Four Tantra Classification & Confusions
- Yoga Topics

Site Locations & Murals:
--- Gyantse Monastery
--- Shalu Monastery
--- Sakya Monastery
--- Jampa Lhakang, Mustang
--- Alchi Monastery
--- Nyag Lhakang Karpo
--- Western Tibet
--- Ladakh
--- Other Locations

The Buddhist Yoga Tantras were very popular from approximately the 9th century up to the 15th century. After that time they almost disappeared completely as religious practices and as the subjects of art.

From the Four Tantra Classification system the third level is the Yoga Tantras. The principal texts are the Tattvasamgraha, Vajrashekhara, Paramadya, and Sarvadurgati Parishodhana. There is a difference of opinion between various Tibetan traditions as to where to place the Manjushri Namasangiti Tantra. The main Sakya tradition and some branch schools categorize the text as Yoga Tantra. Other traditions and schools categorize the text as Yoganiruttara (anuttarayoga) Tantra.

There are some Sakya examples of the Sarvadurgati mandala, created for funerary rituals, that can be found after the 15th century. A few additional paintings created in the Palpung Monastery style can be dated to the 18th century. Generally the rare occasions for the painting of Yoga Tantra mandalas was when a set of compendium compositions were commissioned for illustrating the complete set of Vajravali, Mitra Gyatsa, or similar collections of mandalas.

Almost all of the ritual practices and deities of the Yoga Tantra classification can be categorized as Deities That Are No Longer Popular after the 15th century.

Jeff Watt 8-2021

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