chapter  14
38 Pages

Female Energy and Symbolism in the Buddhist Tantras

Introd uctory Considerations The worship of divinity under sexual emblems is very ancient it, Tndia, presumably as old as the Mohenjo-daro civilization, which is usually held to be pre-Aryan. The Buddhist Tantras have numerous references to male and female dieties ; and the latest class of that literature, called the Anuttara-yoga-tantra is pervaded with sexual symbolism. This is true both of the traditional scripture (tigama) and the later commentaries. We should know that these works and the associated practices were evolved among peoples who took the spirit world for granted, believed that human beings could develop supernormal powers granted by deities, and assumed that in certain esoteric groups the appropriate procedures for such ends has been handed down from time immemorial .