Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Vajrayoginī - Praise

Her Visualization, Rituals, and Forms

“Meticulously researched, this book wonderfully traces the Sanskrit textual roots of deity yoga in India, especially the wisdom-dakini Vajrayogini. It is a treasure trove for the scholar as well as the serious practitioner.”—Judith Simmer-Brown, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Naropa University, and author of Dakini's Warm Breath

“A fascinating account of the cult of Vajrayogini before its movement northward into Himalayan regions. Meticulous and well-researched, and set firmly within a constellation of textual resources extant in Sanskrit.”—Buddhadharma: The Practitioners' Quarterly

“A remarkable window into the complex and fascinating world of the Vajrayana or Buddhist Tantra. English's thorough analysis of a twelfth-century Indian collection of Vajrayogini sadhana (ritual practices) is throughout related both to the latest contemporary scholarship on Indian Tantra. She includes a detailed textual edition, translation and analysis of one of the most significant texts in the collection, showing us how its author, Umapatideva, built on traditional materials and imagery to create an individual synthesis... However, English's book is also notable for the way in which she combines precise textual scholarship with full awareness of the wider spiritual context of the Vajrayogini practices and of the Vajrayana as a whole. Thus the book conveys throughout a sense of Vajrayana as a living spiritual modality for its practitioners, both in twelfth-century India and today, when Vajrayogini practices have spread with Tibetan Buddhism around the world. It offers the reader a penetrating and subtle perspective on how these practices were understood by the people who created and employed them, as well as an appreciation of the multiplicity of forms and sub-traditions that developed around the central figure of Vajrayogini. It is a major landmark in the study of Tantric Buddhism.”—Geoffrey Samuel of Oxford University, author of Civilized Shamans

“An invaluable study of the female tantric deity, Vajrayogini. This ambitious study is an important complement to previous publications by Adelheid Herrmann-Pfandt and Judith Simmer-Brown. It presents the complexities of Vajrayogini through a close examination of one ritual corpus dedicated to her. Included is a fasincating account of the emergence of femail deities in Buddhist sadhanas. Her discussion of mandala is particularly informative, including correlations between cosmology, sacred geography, and the human body. Her painstaking work of the sadhana is accompanied by a critical edition and translation of it. English is careful to contextualize tantric visualization within the wider sequence of Buddhist training. She emphasizes the importance of the guru-disciple relationship, the prerequisites to tantric practice, and the initatiations traditionally required to obtain permission to perform a sadhana.”—Eastern Horizon