Chakrasamvara Tantra

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Chakrasamvara Tantra (Skt. Cakrasaṃvara Tantra; Tib. འཁོར་ལོ་བདེ་མཆོག་གི་རྒྱུད་, khorlo demchok gi gyü, Wyl. ‘khor lo bde mchog gi rgyud) also known as the Sriherukabhidhana and Laghusamvara, belongs to the Mother tantra class of Highest Yoga Tantras.


  • The Cakrasaṃvara Tantra (Tantra-rāja-śrī-laghusaṃbara-nāma, rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal bde mchog nyung ngu zhes bya ba)
    • English translation: The Cakrasaṃvara Tantra, translated by David B. Gray, in The Cakrasamvara Tantra: A Study and Annotated Translation, American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2007.



  • Jayabhadra of Laṅka (early to mid 9th century), Śrī-cakrasaṃvara-mūla-tantra-pañjikā (dpal 'khor lo sdom pa'i rtsa ba'i rgyud kyi dka' 'grel). The oldest, word-for-word commentary, probably composed within fifty years of the root text. It survives in two Sanskrit manuscripts and Tibetan translation.
  • Bhavabhaṭṭa/Bhavabhadra (Tib l+wa ba pa, late 9th century), Śrī-cakrasaṃvara-pañjikā-nāma[2] (dpal 'khor lo sdom pa'i dka' 'grel zhes bya ba).
  • Bhavyakīrti (early 10th century), Śrī-cakrasaṃvarasya-pañjikā-śūramanojñā-nāma[3] (dpal 'khor lo sdom pa'i dka' 'grel dpa' bo'i yid du 'ong ba zhes bya ba)
  • Durjayacandra (late 10th century), Ratnagaṇa-nāma-pañjikā (rin po che'i tshogs zhes bya ba'i dka' 'grel)
  • Tathāgatarakṣita, Ubhayanibandha-nāma (gnyis ka'i bshad sbyar zhes bya ba)

  • Kambala, sādhana-nidāna-nāma-śrī-cakrasaṃvara-pañjikā)[4] (dpal 'khor lo sdom pa'i dka' 'grel sgrub pa'i thabs kyi gleng gzhi)
  • Devagupta, śrī-cakrasaṃvara-sādhana-sarvaśālinī-ṭīkā-nāma) (dpal 'khor lo sdom pa'i sgrub thabs gnas pa thams cad rgya cher 'grel pa zhes bya ba)
  • Indrabuti
  • Vīravajra (yon tan ma lus pa'i gnas zhes bya ba'i 'grel pa)
  • Vīravajra
  • *Śāśvatavajra (rtag pa'i rdo rje), śrī-tattvaviśadā-nāma-śrīsaṃvara-vṛitti (dpal sdom pa'i 'grel pa dpal de kho na nyid mkhas pa zhes bya ba)

  • Vajrapāṇi, lakṣābhidhānāduddhṛitalaghu-tantra-piṇḍārtha-vivaraṇa-nāma (mngon par brjod pa 'bum pa las phyung ba nyung ngu'i rgyud kyi bsdus pa'i don rnam par bshad pa zhes bya ba). Extant in Tibetan and Sanskrit. Comments only on first ten chapters.
  • Sumatikīrti, The Intended Import of the Chapters of the Concise Samvara Tantra (Laghu-samvara-tantra-paṭalābhisandhi). A synopsis of the tantra.


  • Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, (dpal 'khor lo bde mchog gi rtsa ba'i rgyud kyi tika mu tig phreng ba)
  • Butön Rinchen Drup, (bde mchog nyung ngu rgyud kyi spyi mam don gsal)
  • Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa, Illumination of the Hidden Meaning (bde mchog bsdus pa'i rgyud kyi rgya cher bshad pa sbas pa 'i don kun gsal ba)
    • English translation: Illumination of the Hidden Meaning, translated by David Gray, in Tsong Khapa’s Illumination of the Hidden Meaning: Mandala, Mantra, and the Cult of the Yoginis (American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2017).

Further Reading

  • David B. Gray, The Cakrasamvara Tantra: A Study and Annotated Translation, American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2007, ISBN 978-0975373460
  • Lama Kazi Dawa Samdrup, Śri Cakrasaṃvara Tantra, Adyita Prakashan, New Delhi, 1987
  • Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006), pages 87-88.
  • Tsunehiko Sugiki.Śaṃvara In Brill Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Vol. I Literature and Languages, edited by Silk Jonathan A. Leiden: Brill 2015, 360-366.


  1. Gray notes that the authors of five of the eleven extant commentaries that treat the entire Root Tantra were associated with Vikramashila monastery. These are the first five listed here, followed by the other six commentaries that treat the entire text.
  2. Gray notes that "his commentary is clearly dependent upon Jayabhadra's, reproducing large portions of it. It is, however, much larger and more comprehensive, and it also contradicts Jayabhadra at numerous points, often providing more normative Buddhist readings where Jayabhadra gives the older, Śaiva readings. Bhavabhaṭṭa also often attests multiple readings, indicating that there were at least three distinct versions of the Cakrasaṃvara Tantra circulating by this time" Gray (2007), page 22.
  3. Gray notes that "His commentary is shorter and less ambitious than his predecessor's, following Jayabhadra's commentary more closely, and thus appearing to represent a more conservative commentarial tradition, one which did not accept all of Bhavabhaṭṭa's emendations and interpretative innovations. His commentary is preserved in Tibetan translation only.
  4. Other commentators like Devagupta and Indrabhuti rely heavily on this early commentary.

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