Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

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Saṃvara with Vajravārāhī in Yab-Yum

The Cakrasaṃvara Tantra (Sanskrit: चक्रसंवर तन्त्र) or Khorlo Déchok (Tibetan: འཁོར་ལོ་བདེ་མཆོག, Wylie: 'khor lo bde mchog) is considered to be of the mother class of the Anuttarayoga Tantra in Vajrayana Buddhism.[1] It is also called the Discourse of Sri Heruka (sriherukabhidhana) and the Samvara Light (Laghusamvara). David B. Gray dates this tantra to the late eight or early ninth century.[2]

The Cakrasamvara Tantra is mostly dedicated to describing rituals and meditations which produce either mundane siddhis (accomplishment) such as flight and the supramundane siddhi of awakening. These are achieved through deity yoga (visualizing oneself as the deity) and the use of mantras.[2]

Deity and mandala[edit]

Cakrasaṃvara sand mandala, Bochum, 2011

The central deity of the mandala, Saṃvara, is a form of Heruka, one of the principal yidam or meditational deities of the Sarma schools of Tibetan Buddhism.[3]

Saṃvara is typically depicted with a blue-coloured body, four faces, and twelve arms, and embracing his consort, the wisdom dakini Vajravārāhī in Yab-Yum. Other forms of the deity are also known with varying numbers of limbs.

Saṃvara and Vajravārāhī are not to be thought of as two different entities, as an ordinary husband and wife are two different people; in reality, their divine embrace is a metaphor for the union of great bliss and emptiness, which are one and the same essence.[citation needed]

In Western meditation texts his name is often translated to mean "Highest Bliss". Meditation on Cakrasaṃvara is an advanced practice transmitted by one's lama, and binds the mind of the meditator to enlightenment itself.[citation needed]

Influence of Saivism[edit]

The Samvara texts adopted the pitha list from the Saiva text Tantrasadbhava, introducing a copying error where a deity was mistaken for a place.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Buswell 2013.
  2. ^ a b Gray, David B. The Cakrasamvara Tantra: Its History, Interpretation, and Practice in India and Tibet, Santa Clara University, Religion Compass 1/6 (2007): 695–710,
  3. ^ Gray & Yarnell 2007.
  4. ^ Huber, Toni (2008). The holy land reborn : pilgrimage & the Tibetan reinvention of Buddhist India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-226-35648-8.


Further reading[edit]

  • Chetsang Rinpoche; Clark, Robert (tr.) (2009). The Practice Of Mahamudra. Snow Lion. ISBN 978-1559393232.
  • Dharmabhadra, Dṅul-hu; Gonsalez, David (tr.) (2010). Source of Supreme Bliss: Heruka Chakrasamvara Five Deity Practice and Commentary. Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 9781559393652.
  • Gray, David B. (2003). "The Chakrasamvara Tantra: The Text and Its Traditions". In Huntington, John C.; Bangdel, Dina. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art. Serindia Publications. ISBN 9781932476019.
  • Yeshe, Losang; Gonsalez, David (tr.). The Ecstatic Dance of Chakrasamvara: Heruka Body Mandala Practice and Commentary. Dechen Ling Press. ISBN 978-0-615-78851-7.

External links[edit]