Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra

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For the work of the same title by Shantarakshita, see Tattvasamgraha


Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra (Sanskrit), is an important seventh century Indian Buddhist tantric text that was very important for the development of the Vajrayana Yoga tantra traditions in India, Tibet, China, Japan and Sumatra, amongst others. The Tattvasaṃgraha is extant in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.

Weinberger (2003: p. 4) holds:

The Compendium of Principles marks the emergence of mature Indian Buddhist tantra at the end of the seventh century, and it immediately spawned a body of literary progeny that has played a central and enduring role in the development of tantric Buddhism in India, Tibet, China, and Japan. Consolidated over time into traditions known in some Indian circles as Yoga Tantra, they spread as widely as Śrı Lanka, Southeast Asia, Khotan, Mongolia, and Sumatra.


Tattvasaṃgraha may be parsed into 'tattva'+'saṃgraha'. Tattva may be parsed into 'Tat'+'tva' and may also be orthographically rendered in English as Tattwa and means 'thatness', 'principle', 'reality' or 'truth'. 'Saṃgraha' may be parsed into 'saṃ'+'graha'. 'Saṃ' may be spelled as either 'sam' or 'san' as the anunasika ṃ indicates a nasalization of the preceding vowel before unpronounced "m" or "n". sam refers to origin, birth or dependent origination; sambodhi, sambhava. Graha (Devanagari: ग्रह) means 'seizing', 'laying hold of', 'holding'.

History and dissemination

A Sanskrit version of this work was "discovered" in 1873 by Dr. G. Bühler in the Jain Dharma temple of Parshvanatha at Jaisalmer. This version contains also the commentary by Śāntarakṣita's pupil Kamalaśīla. This refers not to the tantra text but the work of Santaraksita which is a compendium of the different philosophies, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist of his day.

Tucci inaugurated scholarship in a western language on the Tattvasaṃgraha with his exploration on the Maheśvara subjugation myth it holds. Snellgrove continued to stake a foundation of western scholarship in both his publication of the facsimile reproduction of one of the extant Sanskrit manuscripts, a publication opened by a scholarly introduction and also his presentation of tantra in volume one of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. Todaro has provided a translation of the first section of the tantra, accompanied by a study of the role of the Tattvasaṃgraha and associated texts in the tradition of Kūkai, founder of Japanese Shingon.


Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra Wikipedia

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