“After you have trained in this way in the paths common to both sūtra and mantra, you must undoubtedly enter the mantra path because it is very much more precious than any other practice and it quickly brings the two collections to completion.”

–Tsong-kha-pa, Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, pp 363-64.


Continuum; mental continuum; life continuum; tantra (Hopkins)
(1) An everlasting stream of continuity. On the causal level, the mental continuum, with its various aspects of Buddha-nature. On the pathway level, the continuity of practices involving Buddha-figures. On the resultant level, the continuity of the various corpuses or bodies of a Buddha.
(2) The texts that discuss the above topics. (Berzin Definitions)

rdo rje theg pa

Vajra Vehicle (Hopkins)
Vajrayana. The Diamond-strong Vehicle of Mind, within Mahayana, that makes use of the tantra methods. Synonymous with “Mantrayana” and “Tantrayana.” (Berzin Definitions)

Subject Guide Sections

  • General
  • Indo-Tibetan Sources
  • Works by Tsong-kha-pa
  • Contemporary Scholarship


  • Landaw, Jonathan, and Andy Weber. 2006. Images of Enlightenment. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Lozang Chökyi Gyaltsen and Rob Preece, trans. 2012. Lama Chöpa: The Guru Puja. The Sumeru Press. (sumeru-books)
  • Mullin, Glenn H. 2006. The Dalai Lamas on Tantra. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Mullin, Glenn H., and Jeff Watt. 2003. Female Buddhas. Clear Light Publishing. JABL
  • Mullin, Glenn H, and Michael Richards. 1983. Meditation on the Lower Tantras. Library of Tibetan Works & Archives. JABL
  • Preece, Rob. 2006. The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra. Snow Lion. JABL
  • ———. 2011. Preparing for Tantra: Creating the Psychological Ground for Practice. Shambhala. JABL
  • Tashi Tsering, and Gordon McDougall. 2012. Tantra. Wisdom Publications. JABL
  • Thubten Yeshe, and Jonathan Landaw. 2001. Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire. Wisdom Publications. JABL.

Indo-Tibetan Sources

Tantric Philosophy

  • Kirti Tsenshap, Ian Coghlan, Voula Zarpani, and Ngag-dbang-dpal-ldan. 2011. Principles of Buddhist Tantra: A Commentary on Chöje Ngawang Palden’s Illumination of the Tantric Tradition: The Principles of the Grounds and Paths of the Four Great Secret Classes of Tantra. Wisdom Publications. JABL

Cakrasaṃvara Tantra
Binding of the Wheels
‘khor lo bde mchog 

  • Gray, David B, and Thomas F Yarnall. 2007. The Cakrasamvara Tantra: the discourse of Śrī Heruka (Śrīherukābhidhāna). American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. JABL
  • Tsong-Kha-Pa Blo-Bzang-Grags-Pa, and David B Gray, trans. 2019. Illumination of the Hidden Meaning. American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia Universtiy. JABL
  • Dngul-chu Dharmabhadra, Blo-bzang-chos-kyi-rgyal-mtshan, and David Gonsalez, trans. 2010. The Source of Supreme Bliss: Heruka Chakrasamvara Five Deity Practice and Commentary. Snow Lion Publications. JABL

Chenrézig (Avalokiteśvara)
spyan ras gzigs

  • Thubten Chodron. 2006. Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Wangchen. 2009. Buddhist Fasting Practice: The Nyungne Method of Thousand-Armed Chenrezig. Snow Lion. JABL

Guhyasamāja Tantra
Tantra of the Secret Society
gsang ’dus rtsa rgyud

  • Gyumé Khensur Lobsang Jampa  and Artemus B. Engle. Guhyasamāja practice in the Ārya Nāgārjuna System. Shambhala. JABL.
  • Losang Tsephel, Nāgārjuna, David Ross Komito, Andrew Fagan, and Dbyangs-can-dgaʼ-baʼi-blo-gros. 1995. Paths and Grounds of Guhyasamaja According to Arya Nagarjuna. Library of Tibetan Works &  Archives. JABL
  • Tsong-kha-pa Blo-bzang-grags-pa and Galvin Kilty, trans. 2012. A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages: Teachings on Guhyasamaja Tantra. Wisdom Publications in association with the Institute of Tibetan Classics. WorldCat
  • Wayman, Alex. 1977. Yoga of the Guhyasamājatantra. Motilal Banarsidass. JABL
  • Wedemeyer, Christian K. 2007. Āryadeva’s Lamp That Integrates the Practices (Caryāmelāpakapradīpa). American Institute of Buddhist Studies. JABL

Wheel of Time
dus kyi ‘khor lo

  • Bstan-‘dzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, Jeffrey Hopkins and Dge-legs-dpal bzang po. 1999. The Kālachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation for the Stage of Generation: A Commentary on the Text of Kay-Drup-Ge-Lek-Bel-Sang-Bo. Wisdom Publications. JABL
  • Mullin, Glenn H. 1991. The Practice of Kalachakra. Shambhala. JABL

Lama Chopa
The Guru Puja
bla ma mchod pa’i cho ga
Panchen Chokyi Gyaltsen 

  • Jinpa, Thupten, Rosemary Patton, and Dagpo Rinpoche, trans. 2022. Stages of the Path and the Oral Transmission: Selected Teachings of the Geluk School. Wisdom Publications.

Six-Session Guru Yoga
thun drug bla ma’i rnal ‘byor

  • Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo and Joona Repo, trans. 2022. Six-Session Guru Yoga = ཐུན་དྲུག་བླ་མའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་བཞུགས་སོ།. FPMT. media.dalailama.com
  • Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin and Blo-Bzang-Chos-Kyi-Rgyal-Mtshan, Panchen Lama I. 1999. Six-Session Guru Yoga: An Oral Commentary with a Detailed Explanation of the Bodhisattva and Tantric Vows. Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Press. JABL


  • Beyer, Stephan V. 1978. The Cult of Tārā: Magic and Ritual in Tibet. University of California Press. JABL
  • Thubten Chodron. 2005. How to Free Your Mind: Tara the Liberator. Snow Lion Publications. JABL

Works by Tsong-kha-pa

  • Tsong-kh-pa, Bstan-‘dzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, and Jeffrey Hopkins. 1987. Deity Yoga: In Action and Performance Tantra. Snow Lion. JABL
  • ———. 2005. Yoga Tantra: Paths to Magical Feats. Snow Lion. JABL
  • ———. 2016. The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra. Volume 1: Tantra in Tibet. Rev. ed. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Tsong-kha-pa, and David B Gray, trans. 2017. Tsong Khapa’s Illumination of the Hidden Meaning. American Institute of Buddhist Studies. JABL
  • Tsong-kha-pa, and Gareth Sparham, trans. 2005. Tantric Ethics: An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayāna Practice. Wisdom Publications. JABL
  • Tsong-kha-pa, and Glenn H. Mullin, trans., ed. 1996. Tsongkhapa’s Six Yogas of Naropa. Snow Lion. JABL

Contemporary Scholarship

  • Cozort, Daniel. 1986. Highest Yoga Tantra: An Introduction to the Esoteric Buddhism of Tibet. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Davidson, Ronald M. 2008. Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture. Motilal Banarsidass. JABL
  • Hopkins, Jeffrey, and Anne C. Klein. 1999. The Tantric Distinction: A Buddhist’s Reflections Compassion and Emptiness. Wisdom Publications. JABL
  • Hopkins, Jeffrey, and Kevin Vose. 2009. Tantric Techniques. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Kapstein, Matthew, and Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. 2001. Reason’s Traces: Identity and Interpretation in Indian & Tibetan Buddhist Thought. Oxford University Press. JABL
  • Jackson, Roger R. 2004. Tantric Treasures: Three Collections of Mystical Verse from Buddhist India. Oxford University Press. JABL
  • Strong, John. 2002. The Experience of Buddhism: Sources and Interpretations. Wadsworth. JABL
  • Wedemeyer, Christian. 2014. Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions. Columbia University Press. JABL