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Dr. P. H. POTT





Springer-Science+Business Media, B.V. 1966

Original title :

in hunne beteekenis voor de Indische archaeologie

Published by E.


Brill, Leiden, 1946

Additional material to this book can be downloaded from http://extras.springer.com

ISBN 978-94-017-5626-6
ISBN 978-94-017-5868-0 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-5868-0
Softcover reprint ofthe bardeover 1st edition 1946

"Yad ihsti tad anyatra, yan nehsti na tat kvacit"

(Viivcz.sra Tantra)

Dedicated to the memory of my parents

and of Ir. J. L. Moens


It isarather long time since I wrote this study, and tobe confronted
with it once again certainly involves some feelings of disappointment
about the way in which, twenty years ago, I tried to formulate my
ideas and arguments. If I had to deal with the same topic now, I believe
I would write another book. For this reason, I have refrained from
making essential alterations in the original text, which has been so
carefully translated into English by Dr. Needham. It was given its
form at a certain moment, it should keep its same composition now,
however much I should prefer to change some parts of the text and
to add better and more convincing examples which I have at my
disposal now. Nevertheless, I venture to hope that this study may
contribute a little to the furtherance of the understanding of Indian
art in general, and of later Buddhist iconography in particular, and
that it may be of some help to him who sets hirnself to the task of
compiling a comprehensive Buddhist iconographical handbook, while
trying at the same time to get at its most fundamental sources. There
is a special satisfaction in this approach, for it discerns the essential
elements in the construction of this enormous pantheon, testifying to
spiritual activity of the human mind which is hardly to be equalled.
This may teach us to be humble, but at the same time to be thankful
for the possibility of learning to understand the rnanifestations of the
human intellect in cultures outside our own. It may help tobring about
that period in which - to quote the words of the famous orientalist
Sylvian Levi - "man by his better insight will have lost the right
of improper judgment".l May this study contribute a little to promote
the advent of such a period !

September, 1965

Sylvain Levi, Les Etudes Orientales, leurs le,ons, leurs resultats. Paris 1937,
p. 93.


A translator should not, in all prudence and consdence, undertake

to render into another language a work that he does not fully comprehend. For my own part, however, although an orientalist of a kind,
I fear I have not the education or the competence to understand certain
abstruse and exotic ideas with which Dr. Pott deals in this book,
and I am conscious that this ignorance may have led to uncertainties,
or at least to an impairment of fluency, in my translation. I ought
therefore to explain, by way of apology, what, apart from the obvious
merits of the book itself, induced me to translate Yoga en Y antra.
The first consideration was the desire to be of service to my colleagues
in the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, a
learned body for which I have a high regard, and the concomitant
sense of compliment that it should think an English social anthropologist fit for the commission ; and the second was the technical challenge
of submitring myself to a further and protracted discipline, a scholarly
necessity for my own subject but not to be had so rigorously in any
other way, in the rendering of academic Dutch into English. These
personal factors cannot make up for a Iack of command of the subject
matter which may well betray itself to Indologists, but if the latter
should feel their confidence in the translation affected by lapses which
an expert would have avoided, at least they deserve to know something
of the reasons for such failings.
The translation has been carried out in the plainest fashion. Since
the book is not a work of literary imagination, in which case questions
of style, allusion, idiom, and other such subtleties may be paramount,
I have stayed as close as possible to the form and expression of the
original. The author's divisions of his exposition into sentences and
paragraphs have been adhered to, and for the most part what he writes
has been fairly directly transposed into English. The result may not
be English prose of the most polished kind, but it should convey an
impression of the way in which the author hirnself conceived and
framed the argument, and it will also permit easier reference to the
original on points of difficulty or special importance.


The Dutch edition includes many quotations, sometimes of considerable length, from works in English, French, and German. Since these
are taken over as they stand in the languages of the sources, such
passages have not been exposed to the dangers of double translation
(e.g., from German into Dutch, and then by another hand from Dutch
into English) but have merely had to be translated immediately from
the French or the German.
I owe a particular recognition to Dr. J. C. Harle of the Department
of Eastern Art, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, for his
generosity in reading through the manuscript in draft. My gratitude is
also due to Dr. Pott and to the Editorial Committee of the Koninklijk
Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde for the patience and sympathy displayed to me during the long delays which the prior demands
of my profession imposed upon the completion of the translation.
R. N.
Merton College, Oxford
April, 1%5


Preface . . . .
Translator;s note .
Table of contents .
List of figures in the text
List of plates
Yoga .
Symbols of Lamaist Ritual .
The Sacred Cemeteries of Nepal .
v: Pantheons in Java and Bali .
Conclusions .
List of abbreviations .
Index. . . .
Plates I-XV
Tables I and II








Drawing of the ViSuddhi-cakra (after Avalon) .

Drawing of the Nabho-dluira1Jlj (-mudr) (after Schmidt)
Drawing of the Mldluira (after Avalon)
Drawing of the bh-dhratJ (-mudr) (after Schmidt) ..
Sketch of the Bagalmukh1:-dhra1Jlj-yantra (after Zimmer)
Drawing of the jn-cakra (after Avalon)
sr"icakra or Sr"iyantra with letters (after Rao).
Sketch of the construction of the Sricakra .
Scheme illustrating the reduction of a stpa to its elements
(after Fergusson)
Sign of the "All-powerful ten" on a signet-ring (after Filchner)
The composition of the sign of the "All-powerful ten" (after
Bleichsteiner) .
The yantra of smaJna-Kli (after Avalon).
Scheme of the "Nava-sanga" system on Bali (after Scholte)




I. Yogin in vajrasana, showing the location of the cakras and the

main n&fis.
Photo: A. A. Bake (Wereldkroniek).
li. The Trawas monument, originally the central fountain of the
Jalatul).ga bathing place.
Photo: Claire Holt.
III. Relief representing the Buddha seated under the bodhi-tree,
accompanied by the ~tamahbodhisattvas. Formerly Deslouis
Photo : Kern Institute.
IV. Bronze dish for ritual purposes, decorated with the sign of the
'All-powerful ten'.
From: Ergebnisse Fileher Expedition, VIII.
V. The 'Dab-brgyad yantra.
From: Schlagintweit, 1881.
VI. Tibetan bronze representing Hevajra.
Collection Rotterdam Museum, no. 29922.

VII. Group of Lamaistic bronzes found near Peking, and probably

used in a Hevajravasit:, vanished shortly after their discovery.

Photo: E. E. Schlieper.

VIII. Ti betan drawing representing a smasna-ma1J<Jala. V erbert collection.

Photo: Royal Institute for the Tropics.
IX. Naga-stone from Nland.
Photo: Arch. Survey of India, Central Circle, 1935-'36, no. 4514.

X. Thanka representing Daisin Tengri with his acolytes. V erbert

Photo: Royal Institute for the Tropics.
XI. Barabudur from the air.
Photo : Royal Dutch Air Force for the Archaeological Service of Indonesia.

XII. The Amoghapsa stone sculpture from Padang Ca.J).gi.

Photo: Archaeological Service, no. 3779.

XIII. The Cmu1_1<;l sculpture from Ardimulya, the so-called Guhyesvarl.

Photo : Archaeological Service, no. 9023.
XIV. a. Balinese pedanda during the ngili-tma ceremony.
Photo: A. A. Bake (Wereldkroniek).

b. Nepalese vajrcrya during a corresponding ceremony.

Photo: A. A. Bake (Kern Institute).

XV. a. Key-stone from the ceiling of Ca.J).gi Ngrimbi with the navasanga emblems.
Photo : Archaeological Service, no. 11282.
b. Kekasang from Bali with the nava-sanga emblems.
From: Damste, 1926.

By way of introduction I ought first to explain briefly what is the
task that I have set myself and by what means I have tried to accomplish it. The aim of this study is to find out to what extent a knowledge
of the concepts of yoga may prepare the way to a better understanding
of Indian archaeology. Patafijali, however, cannot serve us as a guide
in this undertaking; the yoga which must be taken as the basis for
the study is that which forms the core of the Tantras, the writings
which especially constitute the foundation of the extensive Indian
pantheons. This Tntrik form of yoga is distinguished from the classical
system, as De la Vallee Poussin observed many years ago,l by an extraordinarily refined and rigorously pursued elaboration of the original
ideas. But since these are matters of esoteric doctrine it is far from
simple to grasp this system, and it is art which often provides the
clear~st indications of the ideas in question.
In this connexion there has been a certain interaction in this study
between the end and the means; a proper understanding of Tntrik
yoga only became possible in the course of the investigation. A survey
of this system of ideas is given in the opening chapter, while in the
succeeding chapters the various sorts of yantras are discussed, i.e.,
all the means employed by yogis in their meditational exercises as aids
to the concentration of thought.
Perhaps it will be asked what is the use of this study. In discussing
the question of the value of ancient J avanese monuments for presentday and future civilization, Bosch has made the following observations :
"Hindu-Javanese art flourished in the same sphere of mysticism
as that in which European art of the middle ages was born. But to
penetrate this sphere and to chart the world of ideas in which Indian
symbolism originated is incomparably more difficult for us than when
we are faced with Western phenomena of the same nature-.
The art arises entirely out of mysticism, but - and here is the point
of difference from Western art - it is seldom given to us to witness

De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, pp. 91 et seq.



this process. The Orienta.l is so accustomed to expressing hirnself in

symbols that the last thing to occur to him is to account for this
practice. There are no texts explicitly explaining how mysticism is
expressed in symbols through the means of art. Incidenta.l observations
scattered through the entire Iiterature of eastern Asia, judiciously
brought together, must show the way to a deeper insight into the
meaning of artistic productions. It is like a conversation carried on
over our heads in a foreign language, the meaning of which we have
to try to reconstruct by seizing and combining a few sounds and words.
It would be going beyond the truth to maintain that schalarship bad
felt itself particularly attracted towards the solution of the riddles
presented by the symbols of Indian art. The task awaiting the scholar
is therefore that of establishing the facts and introducing order, which
means running the risk of being looked at askance and being Contradieted by those who have gone before and 'know better'. An ungrateful
task, perhaps, but one that is not be shirked." 2
It is not surprising that in this field everything in fact still remains
to be clone. There is no area within the field of Indian - and in this
study I am using this denomination in its widest sense of covering
all domains influenced by Indian culture - archaeology that is so apt
to be taken for a subjective undertaking as precisely this. There are
dangers implicit in the study of such a subject, one moreover which
has been brought into discredit by inexpert treatment, and the likelihood of going wrong is relatively great.
There is however one area which can provide us with much material
and which because of its great coherence offers the opportunity to
avoid mistakes as far as possible, even though it cannot always preserve
us from them, and that is the field of Indian iconography. Here we
have at our disposal numbers of legends, which, although they are
clearly secondary, nevertheless give an insight into the underlying
relationships between symbols and ideas. Here finally each mystical
conception has a counterpart in a dogmatic theory which can usually
be known from more than one source; texts and plastic art furnish
data which make checking possible. The investigation at the same time
gives us in this way the opportunity to understand the structure of
the pantheon of various Indian religions, which in turn provides the
possibility of a deeper understanding of spiritual life in the Orient.
This task is thus certainly not an ungrateful one.

Bosch, 1924, p. 172.



Almost half a century ago Krom expressed the wish that it would
not be long before a study of the Buddhist iconography of Java was
written.S This scholar has hirnself laid the foundations for such a study
in his various papers and in particttlar in his description of the Buddhist
bronzes in the Museum at Djakarta.4 A Buddhist iconography of Java,
however, is still awaited.
In order to compile such a work it would not be enough simply to
give a description of the various religious images and their legends.
It would be necessary to show the underlying connexions between the
various gods, to define their nature and function ; in short, to bring
life to the pantheon. Krom appreciated this very well, and regarded
his own studies in this area as merely preliminary.
I should like the present study also to be seen in the same light,
though perhaps in a rather different way. When trying to find an
approach to come to a better understanding of the multiple forms in
Buddhist iconography, the work clone by J. L. Moens, to whose
memory I dedicate this study, has been a source of inspiration in this
venture. I have tried to reach some understanding of the fundamental
ideas which must lie beyond the outward forms of the various deities
of later Buddhism, and in doing so to contribute something to the
study of Buddhist iconography in a way which provides the satisfaction
of feeling the pulsation of life in the fabulous construction to which
it testifies.

Krom, 1922, p. 610.

Krom, 1912, pp. 1-83.



The central feature of the Tantras, according to Avalon, is the union

of the individual soul with the cosmic soul. The way leading to this
end is the path of yoga.
The word yoga may be translated in various ways. It derives from
the root yuj-, to connect or join. Yoga can thus be translated as
oonnexion or union, i.e. the union of the individual soul with the
cosmic soul or the Supreme Principle. The word can, however, also
be translated as exertion, i.e., the great exertion or effort that is
demanded in order to be able to attain this goal.
However this may be, we can describe the idea covered by the term
yoga as the spiritual effort which is intended, through physical and
spiritual mortification, to arrive at higher states of conciousness, the
ultimate end of which is the union of one's own self with the prime
source of all things, this all being accomplished through a fixed
If this supreme end is gained, the cycle of rebirth, sal!lsra, is broken ;
the adept will never be born again, and attains in this life supreme
bliss. But this goal is by no means easy to arrive at; many previous
Jives are considered to be necessary as preparation, and if the desired
end is achieved it is believed to be the consequence of merit acquired
through good works in previous existences. "Rare is the being", says
Kr!?l!a in the Bhagavadgitil, "who at the end of many existences
reaches Me".
There are many obstacles in man's way which make it difficult for
him to travel the path of yoga and which arise out of human nature.
One of the foremost of these kle.Sas is avidy, ignorance, the perpetual
clinging to what is temporary and the regarding of one's own soul
as an independent entity separate from the cosmic soul. A second and
no less important kle.Sa is attachment to what is of this earth, a desire
for li:fe, and so on. The kle.Sas are thus to be described as all impulses
leading to the negation of the "true self".


In the light of the definition of yoga given above, we may distinguish

two main phases in this process, kriy-yoga and jiiana-yoga. It is not
that these two elements occupy separate places in the yoga process, but
that - whereas the aim of kriy-yoga is the detachment of the spirit
from the phenomenal world, an effort in which such actions as fasting,
asceticism, and good deeds play a major part- the aim of jiina-yoga
is to turn the spirit towards the Supreme Being, an activity which is
thus internal and in which, through meditation, one finally attains
complete understanding and thereby final Iiberation.
Every yogin therefore practises both kriy-mrga and jiina-mrga,
but the relationship between these is not the same for yogis of different
grades of initiation; the further advanced one is along the path of yoga
the more important does jiina-ntrga become, while kriy-yoga falls
more into the background.
Yoga has not always remained unchanged, but in the course of time
has been subjected to various influences which have led to the formation
of different kinds of yoga which can be distinguished from one another.
Two forms of yoga, both of great interest, may be compared, viz.,
Raja-yoga, the classical "royal yoga", and Hatha-yoga, "strict yoga".
Whereas, thanks to certain texts which deal in detail with it, we have
a fairly good understanding of the form er, our knowledge of H athayoga is relatively limited, precisely because we are poorly supplied with
literary expositions, and further because of the fact that Hatha-yoga is
still an entirely secret doctrine which may be made known only to
initiates. It is not surprising, therefore, that at first knowledge was
gained only about the kriy-mrga aspect of yoga, and all the more
so in that this kind of yoga is highly valued by its followers. As early
a.s the seventeenth century we find in ltravellers' reports stories about
the feats, marvels, and conjuring-tricks performed by the fakirs.l
According to one's inclination, these wonders could either be accepted
uncritically or else - as was generally the case - they could be
dismissed as deceptions. It is only in recent years that western investigators have made attempts to arrive at an empirically tested scientific
understanding of the different stories of marvels.2 These investigations
have led to the understanding that there is much in the tenets of yoga
which testifies to a profound and practical knowledge of psychology,

A great deal of material has been collected by Schmidt (1908), but bis
translation of quotations is not always entirely trustworthy.
Roessel, 1928; Lindquist, 1932.


and to normal and supranormal capacities which must have been

recognized and put into operation over a long period.
But such investigations allow us to see only the outside of the matter.
Of equal if not greater interest is the jiina-marga, and here we stand
before a closed door. Hereweare concerned with an internal process,
indeed with an inner way of life, which ca.n sca.rcely be tllllderstood
unless we ourselves learn the way and are willing to follow it. All
that is open to investigation is the kind of evidence of the system such
as is to be found in sacred writings, e.g., certain cosmic ideas which
are represented in plastic art. Unfortunately, however, there still"hangs
over such writings an air of secrecy which Ahe yogis themselves are
least of all minded to dispel. \Vithout commentartes, such lexts are
for the most part incomprehensible, and the commentaries which do
exist, compiled by men of great authority, sometimes surpass the texts
themselves in incomprehensibility. It is clear enough that no conclusive
results are to be obtained by textual research alone.
In art however we have another means of penetrating this secrecy.
The yogin, in his meditational exercises, makes use of certain aids,
viz., yantras, in order to concentrate his thoughts. Such yantras differ
according to the stage of spiritual development at which the, yogin has
arrived; as he advances along the path of yoga these aids become
progressively simpler, until eventually he is adept to such an extent
that he ca.n concentrate his thoughts on an imaginary point in his own
body. These yantras, as Zimmer has clearly shown,3 form the core of
Indian art. By acquiring a knowledge of art, therefore, we may perhaps
obtain a closer understanding of the fundamental ideas of yoga; while
conversely, to acquire an insight into the composition of this process
is a prerequisite to the understanding of Indian art. Since the scope
of the present study is confined to the latter, we shall begin with a
survey, based on various sources, of what is known about yoga and
its concepts.
Certain names for yoga-practices have already been given above.
The word yoga itself also occurs in various other combinations, such
as mantra-yoga, bhakti-yoga, laya-yoga, karma-yoga, and so on.4 These
are not, however, names for distinct practices but are names of parts
of the practice of yoga in general. They are intended to make distinctions in the same way as do the terms kriy- and jiina-yoga. Mantra3

Zimmer, 1926.
Oman, 1903; Vivekananda, 1937.


yoga thus means a prolonged repetition of a syllable or formula, during

which one concentrates all one's thoughts upon this; laya-yoga is concentration of the spirit on a thing or an idea of something, which leads
to complete identification with the object. Bhakti-yoga comprises an
adoring surrender to the Supreme Being, while by karma-yoga is
understood the laying of the necessary foundations for progress in the
path of yoga by means of the performance of good deeds. In the
following description of the two main forms of yoga these different
forms will be distinguished, though it would be incorrect to try to draw
sharp lines of demarcation between them.
The Rja-yoga system is set down in the older texts. The prime
sources for our knowledge of it are the Yoga-stras of Patafijali. In
these, according to what he hirnself writes, he has not constructed
a new system but has merely presented a compilation of the conceptions
of previous authorities. A brief survey of the content of this text follows.5
The text is divided into four chapters. The first chapter is devoted
to the nature and aitn of spiritual concentration, the second to the means
by which the aim may be attained; the third describes how the end is
rea.ched, together with the grades of development of the powers which
yoga brings: and the fourth deals with the nature of the state of detachment from matter which the soul reaches by way of yoga.
The system described by Patafijali distinguishes eight stages in the
technique of yoga; it is in fact known by the name 04tnga-yoga. Five
parts of this group of eight concern the training of the body, while
three deal with the perfecting of the soul. These are distinguished as
five kya-smp.skras and three citta-Sa7Jlskras.
A. The Kya-sa'tp.skras:
I. Y ama, restraint concerning the outside world, with regard to
others. There are five negatively formulated prescriptions, namely :
1. not to harm or kill any living creature (ahi1?ts); 2. not to teil an
untruth; 3. not to appropriate what belongs to another ; 4. not to lead
an unehaste life; 5. not to acquire property.
These are certainly not specifically yoga-injunctions. But a yogin
cannot attain his goal if he does not follow them.
II. Niyama, observance. This group consist of five prescriptions,
vis. : 1. purity, in both a ritual and a moral sense; 2. COilll:entment with

I follow mainly generat information from lectures given by Prof. Dr. ]. Gonda;
but cf. also: Woods, 1914; Speyer, 1910, pp. 243ff.


one's fate; 3. asceticism (tapas); 4. recitation and study of texts;

5. surrender to the Supreme Being.
Tapas means in this context the endurance of hunger and thirst,
heat and cold, silence, etc. Tapas can also be practised as an end in
itself, but in this case it has no direct connexion with yoga.
The five yamas and the five niyamas thus do not form a kind of
"ten commandments" or moral prescriptions, but are a series of prescriptions obedience to which automatically confers certain benefits.
III. Asana, sitting posture. The various texts name a large number
of such sitting positions which are to be adopted in order to attain the
intended goal sooner. Some of these positions are very difficult,6 and
can only be assumed after long practice. I t is clear from the names
of the different postures that many of them are based on methods of
IV. Prt}yma, regulation of breathing. The natural process of
breathing is brought under control of the will and artificially regulated,
by inhaling for a certain time (kumbhaka, to hoard), or by adopting
another rhythm, and so on. The breath is considered as the material
basis of the "self", the link between soul and body, and thus as what
is most essential to the bodily existence. The practice of this special
breathing is thought at the same time to purify the body internally,
and finally it is considered as a continual prayer. The yogin concentrates entirely on this breathing as preparation for certain meditational
V. Pratyhra, withdrawal of the sense organs from their objects.
The average person has his sense organs in continual contact with the
external world, and this ties him to sa'l!tsra, the eternal cycle of rebirth.
It is precisely this which must be transcended, and to this end it is
necessary to restriet sense perceptions. One means of effecting this
is ekgrat, to concentrate on a single point, i.e. to bring one's perception to bear upon a physical object for so long a period that
eventually everything eise disappears from the consciousness. From
this one progresses to the point that one detaches the attention from
the object and transfers it to a mental image. This creates a condition
of autosuggestion which has to be maintained.

There are interesting illustrations in Schmidt (1908), and in Oman (1903);

Avalon, in the second and third editions of his Serpent Power (1924, 1933),
has published a number of intriguing photographs.


B. The citta-sanrtskiiras:
VI. DhraJJa, fixing the thoughts without the assistance of the
senses, the operation of which has already been suspended. The thoughts
may not wander, so they are fixed by mental concentratioq on a single
point (the heart, navel, tip of the nose, etc.). The pur~a, the soul, is
thus brought to the first stage of Iiberation.
VII. Dhyna, meditation. This stage is reached when the spirit, by
means of homogeneous concentration, remains directed upon a single
point without being distracted by any other idea. When one is no Ionger
conscious of meditating, the last stage has been reached, namely that
of samdhi.
VIII. Samdhi. By this one arrives at an identification of subject
and object (sampatt~). Human consciousness has gone (Snya), and
one is no Ionger subject to relativity. It is a condition which can:not
be described in words, one of great bliss and transcending any conception of time and place. Two kinds of samdhi are nevertheless
distinguished, viz., that in which one is conscious of living, and that
in which one is not. In the latter case the germ of a new existence is
annihilated, and release is thereby completely accomplished.
The whole process is thus a series of steps directed towards the
isolation of the puru~a. He who has progressed through the smJt.yama
receives superhuman powers. For the yogin an important power is
that of vidy, the ability to distinguish which permits him to separate
appearance from reality and to gain insight into the difference between
spirit and matter, and by which avidy, ignorance, is abolished. With
this the pur~a is brought to the stage of kaivalya, being isolated. He
who has learnt to understand that the pur~a is eternal breaks free
of satttsra and attains life and Iiberation.
In the classical texts Hatha-yoga serves as an introduction to Rjayoga. In spirit and in practice, however, this yoga displays important
divergences. It is generally accepted that Hatha-yoga originated as an
independent form of yoga about 1200 A.D., in sivaitic circles in northeastern India and Nepal. There is every indication, however, that
this system was founded on very ancient conceptions. In this form of
yoga all rules of conduct were absolutely consistently observed; the
more the organs were reduced to inactivity the more surely was the
yogin brought closer to the supreme principle. For the attainment of
this goal a detailed course (sdhana, a "means to success") was devised,


consisting of a rite with sympathetic impact and philosophico-religious

ideas connected with the pa.th of 04tngayoga.
The word hatha means "strenuous effort", which doubtless refers
to the great effort which has to be undergone in obedience to the
various requirements for the subjection of the body. The word may
also be considered in a speculative sense, the two syllables ha and tha
being assigned symbolic values such as, e.g., sun and moon, as mystical
representations of inhaling and exhaling.
Hatha-yoga still remains a truly secret doctrine, so that we have
few or no evidences conceming the intrinsic value of this form of
mysticism. But it has been possible, on the contrary, to acquire knowledge of the practices which are employed in this form of yoga. As far
as these practices are concerned an understanding can be gained by
observation. This has had the consequence that it has been too readily
accepted that in hatha-yoga the emphasis is laid entirely on the kriyamiirga. 7 I t cannot fail to be recognized that this external behaviour is
based on certain mystical and magical-religious ideas. From the nature
of particular sanas it can be made out that as a rule certain methods
of identification are followed. That these are no Ionger always practised
out of conviction but merely as a matter of routine needs no
The ideas on which this system is based deriv.e from the Purl)ic
doctrine of the five streams of breath in the body, the so-called five
prtJas. In classical hatha-yoga the system is expanded to a series of
101 such streams or n4f,s, while in later times 72,000 or even 300,000
such channels are distinguished.S Fourteen of these, however, are of
pa.rticular importance, these being named,9 while among these fourteen
again three play a principa.l role; these are called S~um1Jii (also
S~umnii), Pingal, and lfj. In the particular representation that is
formed of the microcosmos during meditation, the fundament of the
human body, the M ldhra, is a centre of force (cakra) localized in
the space between the anus and the sexual organs; it has the external
form of a four-petalled Iotus which supports the meru, the spine, the
axis of the human body. The major na4f,s brauch out from the Mldhra: the Su~uml) runs through the meru and links the Mldhra
with the Sahasriira-padma, a thousand-petalled Iotus which is thought

Material collected by Schmidt (1908) and by Oman (1903).

The Ghera~;~tf,asattthit speaks of 72,000 nt;lis; the Prapaiicasratantra (I)
recognizes as many as 300,000.
Their names are to be found in the .Sivasanzhit II, 14-15.


to occupy a position upside-down at the crown of the head. l<.) and

Pingal run through the left and right sides respectively of the
M ldhra and wind their way up the meru, ernerging ultimately
through the left and right nostrils. I<.) participart:es in the nature of
the moon, it is pale and has sama-qualities; Pingal, by contrast, is
associated with the sun, it is red, and it contains the deadly poison
v~a. These three channels are frequently compared or even identified - with the three sacred rivers of India, the Sarasvati, Gang,
and Y amun. Hence the M ldhra may also be referred to as
Yuktatriveni; <the three major n<;lis meet there.
The Mldhra is moreover the location of the sakti of siva, who
in connexion with her ngi-aspect here bears the name of Devi Ku~:J<Ja
lini. She lies in three and a half coils within the Mldhra, blocking
with her head the entrance of the Su~uml). Between Mldhra and
Sahasrra-padma there are another five centres of power, all conceived
of in the form of lotuses, padma; they are also called cakras. W e thus
obtain the following scheme, from top to bottarn (see Plate I) :
7. Sahasrra-padma, the thousand-petalled lotus, the abode of siva;
6. Ajii-cakra, a two-petalled lotus lying between the eyebrows;
5. ViJuddhi-padma, or Asurndhaka-padma, a sixteen-petalled Iotus
lying at the level of the throat;
4. Anhata-padma, a twelve-petalled lotus lying just over the heart;
3. Mm;,ipra-padma, or Nbhi-padma, a ten-petalled lotus lying in the
neighbourhood of the navel ;
2. Svdh~thtina-padma, a six-petalled Iotus, also called Bhima-padma,
lying above the sexual argans;
1. Mldhra, or Mla-padma, the four-petalled lotus forming the base
of the spinal column.
The intention lying behind this image of the microcosmos is to waken
Devl Kttl)<;lalinl, by means of yoga, and to transport her up the
Su~uml), piercing the various cakras, to unite her eventually with the
Lord siva, who is thought to reside in the upside-down thousandpetalled lotus. The accomplishment of this union produces soma, which
flows in a stream from the head of the yogin and by means of which
supreme bliss is experienced. Great effort is required, however, in the
attainment of this end. Only by protracted exercises can the yogin
succeed in awakening Devi Kul:)<;ialini and in guiding her step by step,
i.e., from cakra to cakra, upwards. An experienced practitioner can
ultimately raise the sakti and bring her down again within one hour,


but he can cause her to linger with siva for as Ion~ as he wishes once
she has been transported to the top.
Various properties of the human organism are connected with the
different cakras or padmas. It is generally accepted that Devi KUl):c;lalinl,
when she passes through the various cakras (~atcakrabheda) on her
joumey upwards, makes latent (laya) the functions ascribed to these
cakras. This is indeed called Laya-yoga. Some writers are of the opinion
that as the sakti ascends the body the parts that she leaves behind
become cold, so that ultimately the whole body is chilled, with the
exception of the crown of the head, where a glowing spot can be seen
which shows that the body is not dead. After this exercise is completed
Devl KUt;c;lalinl is brought down again, step by step, back to the
Mldhra, where she comes to rest agairl.
Let us turn our attention for a while to the different cakras and the
functions and properties connected with them. A comprehensive view
of these is given in Table I. The names of the cakras are given in the
first column of the table; the places in the body where they are thought
to be present are given in the second. The succeeding columns give
the numbers of petals and the letters assigned to them, together with
the tattva of the cakra, the colour, form, and bija, i.e., the mystical
character, thought to reflect the essence of the cakra, then the names
of the deities connected with the various cakras, the so-called granthis
or knots below the cakras (when Devl Rul).c;lalit passes through the
main ones the yogin hears a distinctive sound), and finally the remaining
tattvas and the parts of the macrocosm which correspond with those
of the microoosm and are associated with particular cakras. The table
is taken in the main from that in Avalon's Serpent Power, in which
this author, with the aid of certain texts, viz. the ~atcakranirpa1JU
and the Pdukpaiicaka, gives a detailed survey of everything connected
with the system of the ~atcakra and with the way in which Devi
Kul).4alini passes through it, and with the aid of which he lays the
foundation for our understanding of Laya-yoga.
In this publication 1o Avalon has included a nurober of plates which
he had prepared by experts and which give a picture of the form in
which the cakras are conceptualised during meditation. These plates,
of which a few have been reproduced here in black and white (Figs. 1,
3, 6), but which are in colour in Avalon's book, were prepared on the

The texts have been published in the series Tntrik Texts, vol. II, and have
also been translated and provided with an illuminating commentary by Avalon
in his Serpent Power.



basis of evidence provided by the texts, and although there is therefore

the possibility of slight divergencies between the meaning of the text
and the drawings it can nonetheless be accepted that in their chief
features these drawings are entirely supported by the descriptions. As
an example of such a description on the basis of the texts, I give here
the explanation of the V iJuddhi-cakra, as this is compiled from the
Satcakranirpat}Q,, vv. 28-31, while the drawing is reproduced in
Figure 1.

Fig. 1.



"At the base of the throat is the Visuddhi-cakra, with sixteen petals
of smoky purple hue. Its filaments are ruddy and the sixteen vowels,
which are red and have the bindu (anusvra) above them, are on the
petals. In its pericarp is the ethereal region (nabho-maf!4ala), circular
and white. Inside it is the candra-mm_ujala and above it is the hija
'H3J!l' This bija is white and garmented in white seated on an elephant
and is four-armed. In his four hands he holds the pSa and the ankusa
and makes vara-mudr and abhayamudr.ll In his lap is Sadsiva,
seated on a lion-seat which is placed on the back of a bull. He is in
hisform of Ardhanri.Svara and as such his body is the colour of snow,
and the other half the colour of gold. He has five faces and ten arms
a.nd in his hands he holds the sla, the tanka, the kha<;lga, the vajra,
dahana, the ngendra, the ghat;it, the ankusa, and makes abhaya-mudr.
He wears a tiger's skin; his whole body is smeared with the ashes and
he has a garland of snakes round his neck. The nectar of the downturned digit of the moon is on his forehead. With the pericarp, and
the lunar region and seated on bones, is the sakti ~kin'i, white in
colour, four-armed, five-faced, and three-eyed, clothed in yellow and
carrying in the hands a bow, an arrow, a noose, and a goad".
Certain other cakras will be discussed below.
Some time ago Garbe succeeded in laying his hands on a number
of illustrations made by a yogin in connexion with the Gher011JQ,asa7Jthit, a text that is concerned with Hatha-yoga. Among other things,
these drawings represent many sana and mudr.l2 Among the latter,
however, there occur a number of hand-positions which in name as
well as in the way they are depicted differ from the generally accepted
mudrs. At the end of the third chapter, namely, a number of so-called
dhral).-mudrs are named which, to judge by their appellations, are
connected with the five elements, viz., Prthividhral).mudr, mbasidhr~mudr, Agneyidhrat].mudr, Vyavidhral).mudr, and ksidhral).mudr; while the plates, remarkably enough, follow a similar
method, though the names do not entirely agree: bh-, pra.Si-, tejo-,
vayaviya- and nabhodhrat].-(mudr). These plates, however, are
particularly interesting in that they not only give a drawing of a particular mudr but at the same time provide a picture of a ma1].<;lala,
like the Avalon drawings, and moreover represent a particular deity.


The form of the character Ha(ttJ) is further indicated hy this description.

The illustrations have heen puhlished hy Schmidt (1908); a numher have heen
reproduced in Kirfel (1934), as well as a numher of very bad reproductions
of drawings from Avalon's Serpent Power.



From the mutual agreement and coherence of the drawings it appears

that here too a rendering is given of the principal elements of the
various cakras, while in the texts also attention is directed to these
centres of power. As an example I reproduce here the drawing of the
kSidhr~mudr, which in addition to the mudr gives a picture
forming a complete counterpart of the Visuddhi-cakra. In the middle
we see the mat:t<;lala of the cakra, which is a circle, just as in the Avalon
drawings, and on the right-hand side a tiny image of Sadsiva, recognizable by the name siva in the drawing, and which we have similarly
encountered in the Avalon drawing and described in detail in ~afcakra
nirpeNJa 28-31 (cf. Fig. 2). Finally, both representations include the
bija "Ha.l!l"

Fig. 2.

Pictures of the cakras, such as we have referred to here, can be

employed in meditational exercises intended to waken Devi Kut:t<;lalini
and to conduct her above. They give, as it were, a sort of formula of
the stage of spiritual development at which the yogin who uses them
has arrived. It is precisely for this reason that they are of great importance for our research. At the same time, however, they are very rare.
The system of ~atcakra of the Sahasrra-padma, taken from texts
concemed with Hatha-yoga, appears not to provide a complete micro-



cosmic figure. Over and beyond the cakras already named, yet another
padma is adduced which appears to have no function in the ~atcakra
bheda but which seems nevertheless to have a definite function peculiar
to it in a special part of yoga, one that is indicated by its own name 13
but the true significance of which can only be guessed at with difficulty
on the basis of the texts alone. Its meaning can be approoched, however,
with the aid of evidence which can be derived further on in our
investigation. For the sake of surveyability we shall just have to pass
on at present.
Two distinct schools of thought are distinguished in the Tantras.
These are known as the "right-hand" and the "left-hand" paths. The
Tantras themselves, however, do not employ this terminology but use
the terms pravrtti and nivrtti. Once more, it is A valon who has
attempted to clarify the true meaning of this distinction and who has
tried to dispel so much misunderstanding.14 While the "right-hand
path" suppresses the operation of the sense organs and in this way
tries to liberate the "self" from all illusion, in the "left-hand path" the
senses are deliberately brought into contact with everything that tempts
them in order to experience the relativety of this temptation and to
rise above it and thus to become master of it. In discussing Laya-yoga
we have seen how the functions of the various sense organs, which
are associated with the different cakras, at the ascent of Devi Kut:<;lalini,
became dilssolved in prl).a - of which Devi Kut:<;lalini is the image and were made laya. In the left-hand path this process goes in the
reverse direction ; the full yoga-procedure is thus not completed with the
~atcakrabheda. "Yoga is a going up and down", says the Kathopani~ad.
It is practically self-evident that texts dealing with the "left-hand
path" are for the most part highly erotic, which is the explanation of
the fact that Western schotarship has turned away in indignation from
the study of these writings and has pronounced a scathing judgement
on them,15 a condemnation which has struck more or less forcefully



Thus the .Sivasa111hit (V, 169 ff.) speaks, for example, of rjdhirja-yoga
as distinct from rja-yoga.
In the introduction to the translation of the M ahnirv!Jatantra published by
Avalon under the title The Great Liberation (1913). The valuable introduction
was left out of the second edition since this had been published separately, in
an expanded form, under the title Shakti and Shkta (1917).
See, for example, the sharply disapproving judgement of a westernized Indian
such as Mitra, in his discussion of the Guhyasamja in his Sanskrit Buddhist
Literature of Nepal (1882).



at all Tntrik writings. Since, moreover, it has always been extremely

difficult to lay one's hands on such texts, which belong to a sphere of
secret doctrine, it is no wonder that still only a few texts, not to speak
of translations, have been published.16
The translation of this kind of text is undoubtedly a precarious
underta.king, for they tend to be so full of plays upon words and with
symbolism which the uninitiated investigator cannot understand that
there is a continual danger of misunderstanding. The translation requires,
too, notes of explanation, which usually entail still more care and
difficulty. In this also it is Avalon again who has indicated the way
and who has laid the foundation for further research. His publications
have for the first time thrown light upon the import of these texts and
their significance, though we are still far from possessing a true insight
into Tantrism in generat and into the practices of the "left-hand path"
in particular.
It has become clear, however, that it is necessary to acquire a knowledge of the tlexts dealing with this sphere if we are to gain a correct
understanding of Tntrik yoga and of the art to which this system of
thought gave birth. It appears, moreover, that texts which at first
sight have a strongly erotic character are really based on a profound
process of thought, so that it becomes possible to abandon the attitude
of complete avoidance regarding these expressions of an "entirely
degenernte form of worship". The Tantras themselves, indeed, say
explicitly that the "left-hand path" may not be taken before the "righthand path" has been completely travelled, and then only under the
guidance of a qualified guru.
In the yoga of the "left-hand path" the Anandakandapadma is employed, the eight-petalled Iotus of the heart that is the source of all
bliss. This lotus is regarded as the seat of the j'iva or ha'f!lsa, the human
soul, the "self".
This Iotus is mentioned in many texts, and is frequently alluded to.
But it is extremely difficult to arrive at a correct picture of the meaning
of this padma, since this is kept a careful secret. We therefore have

Published texts include the Guhyasamja (ed. Bhattacharyya, 1931) and the
Kaulvalinir~ayab (ed. Avalon, 1929). A prospective edition of the Ca~lja
mahro~a~atantra was announced by De Ia Vallee Poussin, but has never to
my knowledge been published. Concerning the latter text, see Csoma de Krs,
1881, p. 298; De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1,894, pp. 134 ff. and 209; Avalon, Tntrik
Texts, vol. XIV, p. 17.



to compose an idea of it from a number of scattered fragments of

Let us begi.n with various pieces of evidence concerning this lotus
taken from written sources.
$atcakranir-upatJa 22-27 deals with the Anhatapadma, one of the
six cakras, and in this connexion also names the eight-petalled Iotus:
"Beneath the centre of this Iotus (An.hata) is the red Iotus with eight
petals, the flower turned upwards. In this Iotus there are: the kalpatree, the altar decorated with jewels, sheltered by an awning and ornamented with pennants, etc., the place of mental worship (mnasipj).17
How we should further imagine this place is told us in great detail
in the Gherar_ujasa'J'!thit VI, 2-8: "Let him imagine that in his heart
is a sea of nectar and in the middle of this sea an island of jewels, the
very sand of which consist of pulverised diamonds and rubies; that
on all sides there stand kadamba-trees laden with lovely flowers ....
Let the yogin imagine to hirnself that in the middle of this garden
there is a fine kalpa-tree with four branches, these representing the
four V edas, and that it also is full of flowers and fruits. There is the
humming of insects and the song of birds to be heard. Under this tree
let him imagine a pleasing elevation of jewels and on it a costly throne
set with precious stones, and on this throne sits his particular deity
(l~tadevat), just as has been taught to him by his guru".lS
The Anandakandapadma - since it is this that is referred to - may
thus be recognized here as the seat of the I~!adevat, the special protective deity of the adept. This is usually one or other aspect of Devi, e.g.,
Kli, Durg, Lha-mo, or Tr.
We frequently find such mentions of this Iotus in connexion with
invocations to these goddesses. The MahnirvtJatantra (V, 143) has
the following passage: "I adore the .Ady Klik, who is seated on a
red Iotus in full bloom (.Anandakandapadma), her beautiful face radiant,
watehing M ahkla, who, elated with the delicious wine of the madhkaflower, is dancing before Her".l9 In the same text mention is made
~eral times of this Iotus. Thus strophe V, 129 says: "Then the vira
places in the Iotus of the heart (.Anandakanda) the gem-island, the


Avalon, 1919, p. 63; 1933, p. 361.

Quoted in Leadbeater, 1931; Schmidt, 1908, pp. 221 ff. A practically identical
description is given in Avalon (1917, vol. II, pp. 389 ff.).
This agrees in the main with the Mahdnirvtl1Jafantra, XIII, 12: "The Devi,
who is Cinmayi itself, witnesses all things and watches Kla, who, elated with
the wine of ignorance, plays with the universe".



p.rijta-tree .... the jewelled altar and the lotus-seat - on which is

Devi with whom the jivtman is one".
Still more interesting is strophe V, 133 ff.: "Next Iet him pla.ce in
the heart nandakanda Sun, Moon, and Fire and on the filaments of
the Iotus the eight Nyiks of the pithas. The eight Bhairavas are
Asitnga-, C~<}.a-, Kapli-, Krodha-, Bhi!?~a-, Cnmatta-, Ruru-, and
Sa.tphri-Bhairava. These should be placed on the tips of the Iotus".
Pra.ctica.1.1y identical with this passage is that in VI, 100: " .... and
on the Iotus of eight petals worship the eight Mtrk.s, who are the
eight Nyiks. . . . [here follow the names] and on the tips of the
filaments the eight Bhairavas". From this it can be seen what is meant
by the reference to the eight Nyiks.2o
In the H OlJ!lsopani~ad also there is a detailed discussion of the
!?atcakrabheda, while it is further stated that the haJ?1-sa, i.e., the jiva,
the individual soul, resides in the eight-petalled Iotus beneath Anhata,
where the l!?tadevat is worshipped. Particular qualities are ascribed.
to its eight petals.
From the passages quoted it can be seen that the nandakandapadma
lies in the immediate neighbourhood of the heart, with which it is
usually identified,21 and is the seat of the l!?tadevat, the familiar
protective deity of the adept. It is at the same time the residence of
the jivtman, the human soul, which isonein essence with the l~tade
vat and the union of which is realized and experienced in yoga. The
Iotus, as seat of the l!?tadevat, is described as an extremely lovely
pla.ce. The various descriptioru; of it have certain elements in common,
viz., the reference to a sea from which rises an island whereon is a


Although the lists of the eight Bhairavas are almost entirely identical, the
same cannot be said of the lists of Mtrks given in various texts. In spite
of the fact that one and the same goddess may weil bear more than one name,
I am of the opinion that the series is not constant. There follow below a
nwnber of examples, the first three series from the Mah.nirv1;1atantra (V,
133; VI, 100; X, 124), the fourth from the Prapaiicasratantra (IX, 17), and
the last from the Tantrarjatantra (XV):
This is indicated also by certain names for this Iotus (cf. Goris, 1926, p. 62).



kalpataru, and under this a throne serving as the seat of the I~tadevat.22
This last is sometimes more particularly named and is usually a form
of Devi. While the heart appears to be reserved for the protective
deity, according to some texts on the eight petals are placed eight
goddesses, these being considered as eight aspects of Devi, the eight
Mtrkas, and in addition eight masculine deities, the eight Bhairavas.
It is worth mentioning that in other texts also, texts which have no
direct connexion with yoga, incidental references are made to the Iotus
of the heart, and that in these references elements are brought into
prominence which are strongly reminiscent of the data which have
been adduced here. The following passage from a well-known story
from the Kathsaritsagara (75, vv. 173-174), which occurs in the
V etlapaiicavif!tsati, is an example:

"Here was I that night, driven by fate to the cemetery, and saw
a host of witches gathered together from all directions. And in
their midst one of the witches dedicated the king's son's ripped-open
heart Iotus to (siva-)Bhairava". 2s
Here we encounter the peculiarly demonie features of the worship
of the "left-hand path", which may be considered the pre-eminent
characteristic of this path, that it is associated by preference with
cemeteries, etc., as we shall see further below.24
The Tntrik version of the tale of V asi~tha, the son of Brahm, as
it is related to us in the Rudraymala,25 points in the same direction.
Vasi~tha practises severe asceticism in order to behold Prvati, i.e.
K.li. Since, however, She does not disclose herself to him, he complains
to her divine father, who replies: "My son, thou who art committed
to the path of yoga, desist! Worship Her with all your heart as she
appears to thee and thou makest gifts to Her. She is the highest sakti;
She brings deliverance from all dangers, She shines like ten thousand
suns. She is the Buddha himself, and protects all beings in all worlds".
When after many years of meditation the goddess still does not appear
w In Buddhist circles analogous ideas are known by analogous terms ( cf. De Ia
Vallee Poussin, 1898, p. 225; on the sve~tadevasyapiijana).
23 For the text I follow J. Ph. Vogel's translation in Dutch as close as



possible; where this scholar renders the name Bhairava in translation I have
kept to the Sanskrit.
See the detailed discussion in eh. 4.
Cf. the Taratantra (Bhattacharyya, 1932, pp. 156 ff.; Bleichsteiner, 1937, p. 179;
Levi, 1905, vol. I, pp. 346ff.).



to him, Vasi!?tha pronounces a terrible curse, at which the Sakti

approaches him and says : "Thou dost not understand the art of worshipping me. Only through yoga shall man, or god either, behold my
feet of lotus blossom. My cult has no austerity or mortification". Then
she advises him to go to Tibet and there to learn ritual from the
Buddhas. There one of the Buddhas explains to him how great is
the power of the sakti : 26 "Without the sakti even siva is unable
to effect anything. What then is to be said of men with their limited
understanding? Carry out the ritual with wine and thou shalt behold
the lotus feet of the goddess". Vasi!?tha follows the advice given to him
and is presented by the goddess with the highest power of yoga.
In this story, thus, two elements are prominent: worship with the
heart, and the practices of the "left-hand path" as seen in the last
We know, therefore, that the nandakandapadma plays a major part
in the "left-hand path" and that this lotus is at once the seat of the
jivtman and of the l!?tadevat. It should be noted, however, that the
description of the nandakandapadma displays considerable agreement
with that of the Sahasrrapadma, as is to be found in certain texts.
Thus the Gandharvamlik 21 says :
"The Sahasrra is the beautiful and auspicious place of Sad.Siva. It
is free from sorrow and divinely beautiful with trees which always
bear and are adorned by flowers and fruits. The Kalpa-tree adds to
its beauty. This tree contains all the five elements and is possessed
of the three gut:as. The four V edas are its four branches. . ... Having
meditated on the kalpa-tree in this manner, then meditate upon the
jewelled altar below it .... It is there that Mahdeva constantly stays.
Meditate upon Sadsiva, who is like the purest crystal, who .... has
eight arms and three eyes. He is the corpselike deva within the lotus,
who is void of all action".
It is evident that here we have two ideas which have exercised an
influence on each other, viz., the description of the Sahasrrapadma
as the location of Siva, and that of the nandakandapadma as the
residence of the I!?tadevat.


Following the text published by Levi, who compares his facts with evidence
from the Cincrasratantra ( Maha-Cina-kram&ra), Vasi~tha finds Tibet
profitless and has to travel to China, where he is instructed by Buddha in
the form of Bhairava ( !) in the Cincra, the "way of life of the Chinese",
i.e., in the practices of the "left-hand path", as appears further in the text
(Levi, 1905, vol. I, pp. 356, 382).
Avalon, 1919, p. 150; 1933, p. 463.



That the l~tadevat is localized in the nandakandapadma does not

mean that it always stays there. lt is precisely a characteristic of this
sort of yoga that the l~tadevat is detached from the nandakandapadma
and raised to the Sahasrrapadma in order to be brought out of the
body and be projected on to a yantra, wherein it is tobe worshipped.
This ex.ternalization and projection on to a yantra is called prtJropatJaprakra. A clear description of this procedure is to be found in
MahnirvtJafantra VI, 65: "The Sdhaka should next lead the dy
Kli, the l~tadevat in the heart, along the path which leads to Brahman
and which is within the Su~uml). N9i to the great lotus of a thousand
petals and there make Her joyful ... by Her union with Her Lord.
Then bringing Her forth through his nostrils (as if another dy Kli
emanates from Her) as light from light, let the Sdhaka place Her
upon the flower which is in his hands. The Sdhaka versed in the
mantra with firm faith should then place the flower on the yantra and
with folded hands pray with all devotion on this l~tadevat".
Even more succinct is the action described in the Sktnandatarangitfi
VI: "After seeing the l~tadevat in one's heart, one should establish
Her in the image, picture, vessel or yantra and then worship Her".28
The following passage, quoted by Avalon,29 is also instructive:
"Knowing that the time for the prr;.a to depart is approaching, and
glad that he is about to be absorbed into Brahman, the yogin sits in
yogsana and restrains his breath by kumbhaka. He then leads the
jivtman in the heart to the Mldhra and by contracting the anus
and following other prescribed processes rouses Kul).Qalini. He next
meditates upon the lightning-like blissful nda, which is thread-like
and whose substance is Kul).Qalini. He then merges the ~sa, which
is the Paramtman in the form of prl).a, in the nda and leads it along
with the jiva through the different cakras according to the rules of
cakrabheda to jfi-cakra. He there dissolves all the diverse elements
from the gross to the subtle, beginning with Prthivi, in Kul).Qalini.
Last of all he unifies Her and the jivtman with the bindu whose
substance is siva and sakti ; which having clone, he pierces the brahmarandhra and leaves the body and becomes merged in the Brahman".
Avalon further adduces in this connexion the Klikulmrta: "Having
led jiva from the heart by the ha1!1samantra to the Mla-padma and
having roused the Paramadevat Kttl).Qalini. . . . etc.", and remarks:
"The intention appears to be that the jivtman, which is of the shape

Avalon, 1917, vol. II, p. 389.

Avalon, 1919, p. 94; 1933, p. 410.



of the flame of a lamp, should be brought from the heart to the

Miildhra and then moved along with Kul)<;ialini".
With the raising of the jivtman with the Kul)<;lalini there follows
the true pr1Japrat4!h ceremony, by means of which the jiva, united
with the I~tadevat, is separated from the body- by exhalation through
one of the nostrils - and is then projected on to a yantra, which is
thereupon worshipped, through which the complete identification of
the individual soul with the cosmic soul is accomplished. The Gandharvatantra provides the following explanation of this action: "N ext,
after performing prl)yma the Sdhaka should take handfuls of
flowers. The Sdhaka who has controlled his prl)a will meditate on
the Paramesvari in the hea.rt, and seeing by Her grace that the image, the
substance of which is consciousness, is in his heart, Iet him think of the
identity between that image manifested within and the image without.
Next the energy (tejas) of consciousness within should be taken without
by means of vyu-bija with the breath along the nostrils and infused
into the handful of flowers. The kftrmamudr is formed with the
flowers within, the hands are then lifted to the nostrils, the flower
is breathed on through the left nostril with the mantra 'yal!l' and the
Sdhaka thinks that along with that air the Devat within is brought
out and placed in the flowers. Thus, issuing with the breath, the Devat
enters into the flowers. The Sdhaka should then establish the Devat
in the image or yantra by touching it with the flowers. So long as the
work of establishing the Devi in the outer image or yantra is not
accomplished, the Sdhaka should continue to hold these flowers of
meditation in his hand. If he does not hold them, Gandharvas avail
themselves of the opportunity to worship the Devat inside that flowery
yantra, and even if the Sdhaka thereafter establishes Divinity in the
yantra, image and the like, by contact with these flowers, he will not
reap the fruits of that worship".ao
To sum up, then, what we have learned from the foregoing, we
have the following scheme, by which we can divide the complete process
of Tntrik yoga into two main parts :
1. The rousing of Devi Kut:t<;lalini in the Mftldhra and the elevation of her through the Sul?Uml), a process in which the six cakras
are passed through (~atcakrabheda), up to the Sahasrrapadma, where

Avalon, 1917, vol. II, pp. 393 ff. In addition to the texts cited here, information can also be extracted from the ritual of the Balinese pedanda, who to
this very day performs this rite, which has been studied by Kat Angelino
(1922, pp. 42 ff.).



Devi is united with siva and through which union supreme bliss is
experienced ;
2. bringing Devi Ku~c:Jalini back to the Mldhra, and in connexion with this exercise leading the jivtman to this cakra in order
to bring about there a renewed ascent of Devi Ku~c:Jalini together with
the jivtman, followed by the pr~aprati~tha ceremony through which
jivtman and I~tadevat are brought out of the body and projected
into a yantra and finally wholly fused tagether in the centrat point
of this yantra, the bindu.
In ordinary speech the word yoga is generally taken to mean the
former part, which enjoys the most fame and is also by no means
unknown to theosophy. Thanks to the high degree of secrecy which
is particularly respected in connexion with everything that ha.s to do
with the latter part, this is almost completely unknown. This second
part is termed Anuttarayoga, excellent yoga. Both parts together are
known as M ahyoga, and the word yoga must be taken in this sense
when we wish to investigate its significance for Indian archaeology in
general and for iconography in particular.
For the sake of completeness, we ought here to mention also a number
of so-called "secret" cakras which play a part in the Anuttara-yoga.
These Iie between the jfi-cakra and the Sahasrrapadma, and are
called (from bottom to top): sryamat_t<fala, candramat_t<f,ala, and agnimaJ}<f,ala. The Kmiklamlini (V), for instance, has this to say about
these ma~c:Jalas: 31 "In its 32 pericarp is the Anta.r:tman.33 Above it
is the Guru. The m~<;lalas of Srya and Candra arealso here. Above
this is Mahvyu 33 and then the Brahmarandhra". These ma~c:Jalas
or "secret cakras" are called by other names as weil, but those given
here are the most characteristic, for they are symbolically represented
by pictures of the sun, moon, and flame, three symbols which repeatedly occur in art, especially in that of Tibet.
Finally, some texts mention yet another "secret" cakra, the Lalanor Kal-cakra, which lies beneath the jfi-cakra. This exhibits in all



Avalon, 1919, p. 117; 1933, pp. 433 ff.

A valon is of the opinion that the "it" must be understood as referring to the
Sahasrrapadma, but this seems to me untenable. In this case there would
then be other cakras above the Sahasrdrapadma, and this is inconsistent with
the conception of the system. My own view is that the .Anandakandapadma
is in question here. This assumption gives the passage a reasonable meaning.
That the ma!)<:ialas stand in a close relation to the Sahasrrapadma is not
contradicted by it. (Cf. Avalon, 1913, p. xxi; 1933, p. 127).
Antartman is identical with hatpsa, jivtman ; mahvyu is a name for the



respects the cbaracter of a later insertion, and it is not mentioned in

the older texts.34 Concerning the significance of this cakra in particular
there is great secrecy, and it appears to play a great part in certain
magical practices closely linked with practices of the "left-band path"
of yoga. It plays an important part in the tenets of Klacakra, the
Tntrik Buddhist sy.stem in which magical praotices are very prominent.
In order to obtain a comprehensive survey of the whole system of
the ordinary and the secret cakras, I present a summing-up in the
Table below, in which the cakras are placed in the order which they
are thought to occupy in the body, from top to bottom, and I have
also included the number of petals of each. I have numbered the cakras
of the 9atcakra-system from bottom to top with the figures one to six;
the Sahasrra-padma bas been given the number seven, and the
remaining padmas and cakras have been given lettered numbers and
bave been subordinated to the cakras of the 9atcakra-system to which
they are most closely connected, either because of their nature or
because of the place which the descriptions ascribe to them in the
image of the microcosm.
For comparison I have placed next to this scheme the system of
coarse and subtle elements as this is tobe found in Srpkhya philosophy.
Garbe has maintained that the system of yoga has been very strongly
influenced by that of the Srpkhya,35 by which the image of the
microcosm is held to have been particularly altered. It seems that the
tattva-doctrine of Srpkhya has secured itself a place in this conception
through which it can connect with a similar though less fully developed
scheme of classification that linked the various cakras to particular
tattvas. By this means certain shifts bave been occasioned in the microcosmic image of the yogin. The five coarse and the five subtle elements,
and the ten indriyas were apt to be linked without difficulty to the first
five cakras. But a further splitting up of the Stpkhya doctrine of
classification by interpolation of the microcosmic image of the yogin
necessarily encountered difficulties, for the latter bad only the jfi.cakra and the Sabasrra-padma to place against the series PralqtiBuddhi-Ahatpkra-Manas, in which the first bad to correspond with
the Sahasrra-padma, the highest point, the place of union of Prakrti
and Puru~a. It would have been possible to fall back on the nandakandapadma, but then the continuous line of development would have
been broken.

Cf. Avalon, 1919, p. 125; 1933, pp. 123, 149.

Garbe, 1896.






7. Sahasrra-padma
6c. Agni-mal):4ala




mouth, hearing, ether 5.

penis, feeling, light 4.
anus, sight, fire
band, taste, water
foot, smell, earth


Am- or
6b. Candra-mal).<_lala
Indu-ma1).4ala or
6a. Srya-mal).qala
Arka-mal).<_iala or
Sa. Kal- or
4a. nandak:andapadma
M atJipra-cakra
M ldhra


1000-petalled Iotus

I single-petalled


16-petalled Iotus

6-petalled Iotus
2-petalled Iotus


It seems plausible to me that it was this question which led to the

adoption into the system of the three "secret" cakras, which were placed
above the jficakra and issue from it, whereby manas was then
associated with the sryama1).4ala 36 (which is also called manascakra),
ahatpkra with the candrama1).4ala, and buddhi with the agnima1).4ala.
N ow the nandakandapadma, the Iotus of the heart or the heart
itself, was already in Purl).ic times the seat of the "self", of the ahatpkra. As such, the heart was at the same time the seat of human
characteristics, a conception which we have already cited from the
H a'l!'-sopani$ad, in which these characteristics are associated with the
eight petals of the nandakandapadma. If the function of the nandakandapadma is transferred to the candrama1).9ala, then the latter must

lt goes without saying that manas is to be connected with the sryamm;ujala,

which is also known as the manascakra. In the Y ogaku~;~tjalini-Upani~ad manas
is linked with the bindu, the symbol of the srya-mal).rJala.



itself present the same image. And this, indeed, is what we see happen:
according to Avalon,37 the following human characteristics are associated with the sixteen petals- twice the nurober of the nandakandapadma - of the candramal)<;lala: krp (mercy), mrdut (gentleness),
dhairya (patience), vairgya (dispassion), dhrti (constancy), saJ'!1pad
(prosperity), hsya (cheerfulness), romfica (rapture), vinaya (humility),
dhyna (meditation), susthirat (restfulness), gmbhirya (gravity),
udyama (effort), ak~bhya (emotionlessness), audrya (magnanimity),
and ekgrat (concentration).
If the function, then, of the nandakandapadma was transferred to
the candramal)<;lala, did the nandakandapadma still retain any function
or was a new one ascribed to it? The latter is what seems in fact
to have taken place. This padma reflects, as it were, the core of the
whole Mahyoga process, and gives a sort of formula of it.
While the Sdhaka proceeds step by step on the path of Mahyoga,as
his usages and religious practices change. Nine different acras or ways
of life are thus distinguished, one following the other. One does not
merely pass from one to the next, but continually receives a certain
consecration (abhi~eka) from such a passage. Here too Avalon has
provided an insight into this material, and I can content myself with
referring to his works.39 In the table on the following page I give
a summary of his views.
In the first column are given the various ways of life, and in the
second the names of the successive consecrations which are effected
at the passage from one to another.
As the Sdhaka follows the V edcra, he practices daily the V edic
rite. During the following of the Va~l)avcra the stress is placed on
the bhakti-mrga, and life is characterized by religious submission and
blind belief with a great dependence on the Supreme Being. When he
arrives at the stage of saivcra, the Sdhaka assumes the maintenance
of dharma, and the jfina-mrga begins to play a role of importance.
Dhyna makes iJts entrance during the following of the D~incra.
These four cras together form the "right-hand path", which is in
factalso known by the name of the last-named cra. Opposed to these
four cras, which make up the pravrtti, stands the group that is
composed of the nivrtti, the "left-hand path", which similarly consists



Avalon, 1919, p. 156; 1933, p. 138.

On the distinction between the various parts of the complete yoga-process,
see De Ia Vallee Poussin (1898, pp. 146 ff.).
Cf. Avalon, 1913, pp. lxxv ff.












of four cras. This path is known in its entirety as the Vmcra.
As the Sdhaka advances in spiritual development he changes cra
several times more, so that his way of life shall, as far as is feasible,
correspond with the stage of spiritual development that he has reached.
This is done not only in order to achieve a harmonious life, but also
from the conviction that it is possible to further the process of inner
growth through one's external behaviour. This sympathetic train of
thought is particularly clearly to be followed in the "left-hand path".
The demonie cast of thought Ieads in this way to a demonie and often
repellent mode of behaviour which to 3IIl outsider must seem strange
and senseless but which nonetheless has a deeper meaning for the
practitioner himself. By following the "left-hand path", the Sdhaka
progressively loosens hirnself from the bonds of sa.rpsra; he is no
Ionger attached to anything, he neither hates nor fears, he is ashamed
of nothing, and has become ethically indifferent. He loosens hirnself
from the bonds tying him to family, caste, and society. Finally he



beoomes the denizen of a sma.Sna, cemetery. He is now fully initiated

into the secrets of Mah.yoga. When he receives the mahprt).dik~
bh~eka he carries out his own mortuary rites and is then dead to
society.40 Seated in one spot, he exists in perpetual samdhi. The
Mah.sakti, Devi or Kli, has taken possession of his heart, which has
become a cemetery in which all passions and inclinations have been
burned. He has become a Paramahatpsa, one who is freed from life
(jivanmukta). When he has reached this stage, he has followed all
eight cras. Symbolically speaking, he has reached the centre of the
eight-petalled Iotus. So considered, the Iotus of the heart falls apart
into two opposed parts: a left-hand and a right-hand side, symbols of
the left-hand and the right-hand paths. It is noteworthy also that as
the Iotus of the heart is still the seat of ahatpkra, there is sometimes
a similar division into four good and four bad qualities. A good example
of this is to be seen in the H at?tsopani~ad, in the description of the
t:Jandakandapadma alluded to above.41
As we have already seen, the kriy-yoga gradually declines in importance during the course of the complete yoga process, and ultimately
figures merely in various devotional exercises. The jnna-yoga, on the
contrary, increases continually in importance. In the beginning the
religious image is worshipped with many offerings. As the worshipper
progresses, this image, which is in essence an object of meditation,
becomes simpler and simpler. Linear figures and suchlike come to
serve the purpose. The mode of worship changes concomitantly, and
eventually becomes completely spiritualized. There is no Ionger question
of material but only of spiritual offerings.
In the end, concrete objects are no Ionger used in meditation, but
this is concentrated on an imaginary point in the body, until at last
the divine is found in one single point in which the worshipper is
identified with the divine.
Different methods can be followed according to the choice of meditation-object. A separate object can be employed for each stage of
spiritual development, but it is also possible to make use of one single,
but composite, object and to penetrate this progressively as higher
grades of spiritual development are attained. A distinction can thus
be made between objects that are symbols of particular stages of the
yoga process and those which are in fact collections of objects - those



De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, pp. 227; on bodhisattvabalividhi.

Avalon, 1919, p. 6; 1933, p. 259.



associated with particular stages - and are m fact symbols of the

complete process.
The choice of object can moreover be influenced by particular practical demands which it must meet, and this is especially the case with
objects serving a practical function in meditational exercises.
We shall refer to all such objects together as yantra or pitha, i.e.,
aids. These yantras, in the widest sense of the word, will form the
subject of our next inquiry. We shall encounter in this investigation
examples of all the above-named categories. It is not possible, however,
to draw sharp lines between them, and a division of the material in
such a fashion would hinder the survey. It therefore seems desirable
to follow a geographical order in the main, and the more so in that
a certain process of development can thus be discerned.



The word yantra, which means "aid" or "tool", is specially employed

as the name of aids which are used by yogis as aids to meditation, and
which can also in many cases be used as receptacles for the I~tadevat.
In general discourse, however, the word yantra is taken to denote
a definite category within this group, namely those aids which can
be referred to as mystical diagrams. Zimmer has devoted an extremely
interesting study to this group of objects, in which he tries to demoostrate that the function of the idol entirely corresponds with that of
the yantra in the narrower sense, and that both objects should be seen
as objects of meditation. Although Zimmer has dealt with yantra in
general after this fashion, and is indeed the first to have recognized
the character of meditation-object in this !arge and variegated group
of objects that we have brought together in this study under the name
of yantra, following the example that he has provided,l the greatest
use of Zimmer's study lies in the way in which he has given explanations
for the composition and the use of yantras in the restricted sense, i.e.,
of the mystical diagrams. In doing so, he has stuck closely to what he
is able to extract from the Tntrik Texts published by Avalon, since
he is convinced of the great danger of faulty interpretation if the texts
are not chosen as the point of departure.
Our own point of departure in this study is in a sense rather different.
We shall try to demonstrate, from the external appearance and the
use to which the various kinds of yantras (in the general sense) are
put, the place that they occupy in the whole system of yoga, at which
stage of development in yoga these symbols are employed, and at the
same time to see whether certain conclusions can be drawn from this
demonstration. In such an enterprise it is not always possible to take
Zimmer's exclusive starting point concerning what the texts have to
teach us, on the one hand because the texts are usually not so clear

Zimmer, 1926, p. 26.



or comprehensible - not to speak of the commentaries - and because,

on the other, to many problems in the texts there is no decisive answer
to be had. It is often possible, by contrast, to make use of what artistic
products canteil us. Moreover, a close examination of the use to which
various objects are pUJt is a source of understanding which is not to
be under-rated.
This last observation applies especially with regard to certain externally observable acts performed by yogis.
One of the skills, and that which enjoys the most fame, is snakecharming by fakirs. This is an externally observable action, which
usually takes place, moreover, in public, and which is more in the
nature of a show than a ritual act. But it is undoubtedly the latter.
The very fact that snake-charming is practised just by "fakirs" (it
would be better to say, by yogis) is a strong indication of this. This
is not to say that every fakir is conscious of the ritual character of the
experimeillt; certainly not, for the fact that he performs it in public and
readily for the sake of money shows the contrary. If we Iook at the
most characteristic features of snake-charming, however, then it is not
to be denied that to make a living snake rise from its coils, according
to certain methods, is pre-eminently an effective symbolic representation
of the arousing and elevation of Devi Ku1Jqalin'i in the Mldhra.
vVe may thus see the snake as a yantra: by concentrating on summoning
up an external representation, the yogin endeavours to bring about
an inner process which in his eyes is analogous. For the yogin, this
practice was based on the well-known passage from the ViSvasara
Tantra: "Yad ihsti tad anyatra, yan nehsti na tat kvacit". Looked
at in this way, it is not to be wondered at that yogis should occupy
themselves with such performances.
It is primarily in devotional ceremonies that the use of certain yantras
is to be observed. Such rites are not by any means public performances,
but detailed descriptions are nonetheless not lacking. For example, the
tenth chapter of the M ahanirvtJatantra gives a very detailed description
of prtJabhi$eka. One of the most important yantras in such a rite
is the kumbha filled with water; the desired deity is induced into
the kumbha, and a ritual aspersion with water from the kumbha is
In the supremely esoteric devotional rite, by which the union of one's
own soul with the Cosmic Soul is experienced, this union can be

De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, pp. 211 ff., cf. pp. 68ff.; Avalon 1913, p. 332.



symbolically consummated by the carnal union of man and woman

in which the latter, by a number of previous rites, is dedicated to
Adi-sakti and is thought to be Adi-sakti. This forms the basis of the
maithuna-rite, in which a woman takes the place of a yantra. In order
to symbolise the unity-in-duality of siva and his sakti, and also the
cosmic beatitude which arises from their union, men and women came
together in such ritual ceremonies, usually husbands and wives, who
thereby gave a higher consecration to their marriage, though satisfaction was certainly sometimes also found in a one-night marriage.S
It is interesting to note, however, that in devotional rites of a very
esoteric kind a certain triad was striven for. In addition to man and
woman there stood the guru as the incarnation of the supreme deity.
This is all the more noteworthy in that apparently there is no place
for a third figure. For man and woman are natural opposites to each
other, and if the woman represents the supreme feminine principle
it is to be expected that the man shall be the representative of the
supreme masculine principle. This seems not to be the case, however,
a fact which can lead to singular consequences, as we shall see below
in discussing a similar triad on an esoteric Tibetan temple-painting.
In the formation of such a triad we can ascribe to the guru the
character of a yantra. Only in the reaching of the highest stage of
initiation does the adept make no further use of yantra. At this point
he performs the entire devotional rite by himself, seated in a solitary
and often lugubrious place such as a cemetery, etc. Once he has reached
this stage, he experiences unity with the supreme deity, not only as
a union but as identity. He knows hirnself to be a god. At this stage,
at which he is concious of being one and indivisible, there is no more
room for one of the two figures with whom in a previous stage he
formed a triad. The link between guru and si~ya is thus broken by the
attainment of the highest grade of initiation, and the maithuna motif
no Ionger has apart to play.
After the yogin has initially employed certain objects in order to
concentrate his thoughts, he proceeds - doing everything, naturally,
according to the instructions of his guru - to meditation on particular
parts of his own body, and finally to the contemplation of the underlying structure of the cosmos. By analogy with the image of the cosmos
he constructs an image of the ~atcakra system, such as we have discussed

De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, p. 130; von Glasenapp, 1940, pp. 169 ff.



in the first chapter. To construct such an image, he employs in the

beginning certain drawings, prepared on the basis of descriptions from
ritual texts which his guru teaches him. These also can therefore be
considered as yantras. A series of such drawings, together with the
texts and a detailed introduction, has been published by A valon in
his The Serpent Power. One of these drawings, with its accompanying
description, has already been discussed in the first chapter.4 We shall
Iook at it here a second time, however, together with a few parallels
which are known from elsewhere. Let us choose for the purpose the
representations of the Mldhra and the J.jii-cakra.
First of all, here is the description of the Mldhra, as Avalon has
compiled it from verses 1-13 of the ~atcakranirpa~a: "The Mldhra
is a Iotus of four petals. The petals are red, and have the letters Va, sa,
$a, Sa in colours of gold. In the pericarp is the square Dhar-mal).Q.ala 5
surrounded by eight spears and within it and in the lower part is the
Dhar-bija (Lrup.), who has four arms and is seated on the elephant
Airvata. He is yellow of colour and holds the vajra in his hands.

Fig. 3.

See pp. 9 ff.

Dhar = bhii = earth, the element associated with the Miildhra.



Inside the Bindu of the Dhar-bija is the Child Brahm, who is red
in colour and has four hands with which he holds the dat:1c.la (staff),
the kamal):<;lalu (gourd), the rudrkl?a-rosary, and makes the gesture
which dispels fear (abhaya-mudr). He has four faces. In the pericarp
there is a red Iotus on which is the presiding deity of the Cakra
(Cakrdhil?thtri), the sakti I;">kini. She is red and has four arms,
and in her hands are sla ( spear), khatvtiga ( skull-mounted staff),
kll.a4ga (sword), and ~aka (drinking-cup).
In the pericarp there is also the lightning-like triangle, inside which
are Kma-vyu and Kma-bija ('Klirr'), both of which are red. Abave
this is the Svayambh linga which is symavart:la, and above and round
this litiga is Kut:1<;lalini coiled three and a half times, and above this
last upstands, on the top of the litiga, Citkla (another form of
Kut:l<;lalini)." 6
In Figure 3 is the drawing reproduced by A valon, while Figure 4
gives a drawing of the same cakra, as this is prepared by the yogis
from infonnation in the GheraJJ4asatrthit.1 The latter drawing bears
the inscription bhdhra~mudr, whereas the text cited speaks of
prthivid/WraJJ-mudr (III, 68). A more important divergence is that
a square is specified by the text as the form of the m~~ala, whereas
the drawing shows two triangles pushed into each other (the "Seal of
Solomon"). This is apparently a mistake of the artist, since for the rest
the details all fit: both drawings give as bija the character 'Larr', and
both give a representation of Brahm. Although it is possible that we
have to do with an ordinary mistake, it seems to me possible to give
an explanation for it which makes it understandable how the mistake
came to be rnade.
For this purpose we should Iook at a yantra of which Zimmer has
given an illustration in his study s but of which he gives no empirical
discussion; it is reproduced here as Figure 5. It is the Bagalmukhidhra1Ja-yantra. I t is evident at first glance that there is a resemblance
in shape between the drawing of the Mldhra in Avalon and in this
figure. The bija is present here also as the character "Larr" inside
a square, while eight trisla, pointing towards the eight points of the
compass, surround this square. The so-called "feminine" triangle (the
equilateral triangle with its apex turned downwards) from Avalon's
Avalon, 1919, p. 37*; 1933, p. 354.
Edited by Schmidt (1908).
s Zimmer, 1926, PI. 35. Bagalmukhi is a name of Kli.



Fig. 4.

drawing is replaced here by the wholly equivalent symbol of the yoni.

But in addition there is a remarkable feature of the yantra which we
are inclined to see as a sort of reduplication. Not only is a second
square drawn through the first, lying at an angle of 45 with it, but
the character "L~" occurs in a reversed position once more in the
middle of the figure. These features make one suspect that the two
figures are closely related to each other, and that here there is indeed
a duplication. Most likely the drawer of Figure 4 had a similarly
duplicated figure in his mind when, in error, he drew the "seal of
Solomon" instead of the square.
The group of eight slas in Avalon's drawing find a complete Counterpart in that of the eight trislas in Zimmer's. Concerning these spears,
which are mentioned in ,Satcakranirpa1Ja 5 "the square surrounded
by eight spears" the commentary says: "In the Mldhra is the
four-cornered region of Dhar, yellow in colour and surrounded by
eight spears like kulcalas".
The term kulcalas seems to be capable of differing interpretations.
Some think, says one commentator, that the term must be translated
as "woman's breast"; the term would thus be an allusion to the form
of the spears, which might then be better called trislas and drawn



Fig. 5.

as such, as is the case in the yantra. A more acceptable explanation

is that what is referred to as the chain of K ula mountains. This is a
chain of - remarkably enough - seven mountains, which are not
always the same in various texts. The commentator quotes a passage
from the M ahnirvt;~atantra and one from the sabdastomamahnidhi,
the latter, however, deriving from the Mrkat,ujeya Purt;~a:
Mahendro Malayal; Sahyal; suktirnn l,(k~aparvatal;.
Vindhyas ca Priptras ca saptaivtra KulcalJ:1.9

It is noteworthy, moreover, that the same commentator observes that

these spears - which are thus symbols for a group of seven mountains
- must be drawn because I;>kini, one of the greatest Bhairavis, resides
in this cakra. This observation is important, since, as we have already
seen in the first chapter, the eight Bhairavis reside in the eight-petalled
Iotus of the heart : nandakandapadma. The eight petals of this Iotus

Avalon, 1919, p. 17 ; 1933, p. 332; Mrkattcfeya Purtta, 57, 10.



can be replaced by eight "mountains", as appears from another text

to which we shall come below, so that here we have to do with a wholly
analogous phenomenon. The chain of seven mountains as represented
by eight trislas must obviously be expanded to one of eight, the eighth
probably being Var~aparvata.to
Now it is interesting that an object is known to us from Java which
reflects this whole image, namely the Trawas monument, which, as
Stutterheim has been able to demoostrate convincingly,ll is actually
the reservoir for the J alatut:tc;la bathing place. A reproduction of this
rentarkable monument is given in Plate II. On a four-petalled lotuscushion (Mldhra !), twined about by a snake (Devi Kut:tc;lalini !),
rests a linga-like mountain surrounded by eight smaller ones. The
whole is thus a representation answering in every respect to the texts
and commentaries. It may be observed, furthermore, that this example
from Java is not the only one, but that formerly there was a similar
monument at Petunggriyana (Pekalongan), which has been described
by Knebel.12 It is called Njai Ageng Nagapertala, or Petabumi. Knebel's
informant had the following to say about the monument:
"The head of the nga, surprised, Iooks to the west, the body lies
coiled on a flat stone, the tail twines away on the stone, runs under
the neck and ends with the tip on the ehest. On the body of the nga
lies a stone block in the form of a corbel with chiselled edges. Right
in the centre of this there is a lumpang (pounding-block for rice), in
which is a stone pestle with next to it some smaller ones." As for the
name: "Njai means estri (wife), nga is the same as sawer (snake),
and pertala is rthe same as bumi, jagad (world); you must understand
peta as rupi or wujud (form), and bumi as jagad (world) - so it is a
picture of the world. The members of the desa (village) consider it an
image carved by a very early carver from Hindu times: it consists entirely of stone and i~ exquisitely carved with figures. If I am to accept
what is said by members of the village who are still ignorant, because
they have never enjoyed any formal education and readily accept what
they are told, sometimes in fun, then rt:his image is the represell!tation of
totality borne up by a dragon."
This popular tradition is certainly evidence for the persistence of
tradition! The meru ringed about with four or five smaller mountains


Cf. Law, 1937, pp. 95 ff.

Stutterheim, 1937, pp. 214 ff.
Knebel, 1904, pp. 46 ff.; lnve~ttaris der Hindoe Oudheden op Java, No. 402.



is par excellence the image of totality in the Indian conception. These

eight mountains are thus reflected in the eight slas in the representation of the Mldhra, though they more rightly belong in that of
the nandakandapadma.
From what we have seen above concerning the portrayal of the
Mldhra and the corresponding yantra, we can deduce that a concentration has taken place of elements belonging respectively to the
Mldhra, the starting point for the yoga of the "right-hand path",
and to the nandakandapadma, that for the yoga of the "left-hand
path". Such a mingling lay naturally to hand, and the external forms
allowed themselves tobe combined without too much difficulty. Various
peculiarities in the description of the Mldhra can be explained in
this way. Thus the "child Brahm", typically enough, finds a counterpart in the lad who, according to the Bimasuci, a Javanese text of a
markedly mystical character, lived on the island within the nandakandapadma and who appears as the Guru of Bima.13
Let us now turn our attention to the description and portrayal of
one of the other cakras, namely the A.jiicakra, of which a detailed
exposition is given in the ~atcakranirpa'I'Ja 32-38, summarized by
Avalon as follows 14: "The jii-cakra has two petals and is white. The
letters ha and k~a, which are white, are on the two petals. The presiding
sakti of the cakra, Hkini, is in the pericarp. She is white, has six
faces, each with three eyes, and six arms, and is seated on a white
lotus. With her hands she displays vara- and abhaya-mudr, and holds
a rudrk~a-rosary, a human skull, a small drum and a book. Above
her, within a trikol).a, is Itara-linga, which is lightning-like, and above
this, again, within another trikOl).a, is the antartman (jiva), lustrous
like a flame. On its four sides, floating in air, are sparks surrounding
a light which by its own lustre makes visible all between M la
(Mldhra) and Brahmarandhra (Sahasrra). Above this again is
Manas, in the region of the moon is ha~.psa, within whom is Paramasiva
with his sakti."
If we compare the drawing in Figure 6 with this description, the
main features are clear. On the two petals of the two-leafed "white"
lotus we see the characters ha and k~a, which in the drawing are
multi-coloured, obviously the most apt solution to the problem of how
a white letter can be visible on a white background. The sakti Hkini
is drawn completely as the text describes her. The trikol).a, the feminine

See pp. 30 and 122 ff.

Avalon, 1919, p. 95; 1933, p. 411.



triangle, is also clear, drawn with a white linga inside it. Above and
within the triangle there is a sign which we may recognize as the
character of the celebrated syllable Ol!t, called pral)ava, since this is
expressly mentioned in the text (verse 35) but which surprisingly enough
is missing from Avalon's summary.

Fig. 6.

Finally let us note another three symbols in the drawing which are
less easily to be found in the description, namely the symbols moon,
sun, and flame. But it is not difficult to assign places to these symbols.
In the first chapter we have stated that apart from the "normal" cakra
there are also a nurober of "secret" cakras. Three of them lie between
the jfi-cakra and the Sahasrra-padma, specifically, to denote them
by their usual names, the srya-mal)c;lala, the candra-mat:tc;lala, and the
agni-mal)c;lala.15 No detailed proof is required to show that the three
symbols are representatives of these three mal)c;lalas. In philosophical
examinations of the system of cakras, manas is related to the sryaffial)c;lala, which is then in fact called the manascakra, while the antartman or jiva may be considered to be identical with the aha.tpkra,
which appears to be closely connected with the candra-ffial)c;lala. Thus
the text seems to hint in this way at the presence of these symbols.
We should of course like to be better informed about these "secret"

See the scheme on p. 23 above, Nos. 6a, 6b, and 6c.



cakras, but what the text conveys is most unclear, mostly because it
continually repeats itself, a vice that even more markedly characterizes
the commentaries appended to it.
W e have now examined fairly closely three representations of cakra
with their explanatory texts. I t would be superfluous, it seems to me,
to deal in extenso with the representations and descriptions of the
remaining cakras. I shall confine myself to a few observations.
Among the six cakras there are three to be noticed which are
distinguished from the others by certain features. These are the
granth4thnas or nodes which Devi Kul)~alini pierces with more difficulty than in the case of the other cakras. As she passes through them
the yogin hears an inner sound like the ringing of a bell. The illustrations
of them are distinguished by the fact that they display in the heart of
the lotus a linga placed in a "feminine" triangle, the symbol of the
yoni. These lirigas and their meaning are dealt with in detail, among
other things, in the Yogin'ihrdaya-Tantra (I).16 A total of four of them
are named: Svayambh-liriga in the Mldh.ra, Bl).a-linga in the
nahata-cakra, Itara-linga in the Ajfi-cakra, and Para-liriga in the
Sahasrra-padma. Certain colours and forms are ascribed to the first
three- namely yellow, red, and white; square, triangular, and roundwhile according to certain views a series of characters is associated
with these linga, respectively vowels, the consonants ka to ta, and
those from kha to sa. The Para-liilga, on the other hand, is a concentration of the three, a higher unity which is formless and colourless
and in which all the characters are united. Finally, the three lingas
are associated with the triad Rudra, Vi~l).U and Bralun, while the
remaining cakras are relegated to the granthi~th.nas.17
In my opinion it is clear that here we are dealing with a particular
method by which the entire system is ordered in a triadic fashion, so
that the series of the three lirigas - with a fourth subsuming them
all - is in fact an abbreviated reflection of the complete system of
~atcakra. In particular, the way in which the remaining cakras are
relegated to the granti~thnas, and the association of the liriga with
series of characters which together form the ngari alphabet, strike
me as being a strong indication of this.
This being the case, it will occur to us that this system is portrayed
in a particular kind of linga which is met with mainly in Further India


Avalon, 1919, p. 153; 1933, p. 118.

Avalon, 1919, p. 161; 1933, p. 145. This author remarks that the trinity of
Brahm, Vi~t;~u, and Siva (Rudra) is linked to the series of the three granthis.



and in Java but also in other places. These liti.gas are divided vertically
into three parts of the same height; the lowest part is square in section,
the middle is octagonal, and the upper part is round. Bosch has devoted
leamed attention to this variety of litiga.lS This scholarseessuch objects
as condensed representations of the litigodbhavamrti of siva, in which
the three parts represent Brahm, siva and Vi~J;tU, so that in his view
this triad must be connected with this liti.ga. We may thus see such
an object as a yantra, which, as the most concise indication of the
system of cakras, was the most appropriate means for a yogin at a higher
state of development to employ as a point of departure for the formation
of the microcosmic world-view during meditation.
The image of the microcosm that the yogin forms is constructed by
analogy with ideas of the macrocosm.19 These latter ideas can thus
also play the parts of yantra. This is plain in certain forms. We
remarked above, in passing, that the monument of Trawas gave a
representation of the cosmos. There are a number of other objects,
however, in which the character of yantra is even more obvious. We
shall now consider some of these forms.
lt should be noted, to begin with, that these yantra can be sub-divided
by kinds. Thus there are yantras which are wholly constructed at the
very beginning as, and thus immediately portray, an image of the
cosmos, while there is another group which is continually built up
during meditation. In the former group the yogin constantly penetrates
in his thoughts deeper and deeper into the yantra; in the latter, he
makes up the image concomitantly with the progress of his thoughts,
until ultimately the image is completed.
Yantras can moreover be further distinguished according to the
dimension in which they are designed; there are some that are represented in two-dimensional drawings, but there are others which are
constructed three-dimensionally. Here follow a few examples.
One of the most attractive representations of the two-dimensionally

Bosch, 1931, pp. 491-6.

In the representation provided the construction of the microcosmic system is
always with reference to the seated figure; the standing figure is not taken
into consideration. The lowest point, the basis of the system, is the Mldhra,
lying near the coccyx. In the case of a standing figure this basis has to be
shifted down to the feet. In this connexion, mention should be made of the
peculiarity of the image of Siva now at Leiden (No. 1403/1859), on which
there are three yonis wherein originally lh'lgas stood, viz., one on the head,
one in the middle of the body, and one on the pedestal. Cf. Stutterheim, 1939,
pp. 88, 100.



constructed cosmic image in a definitive form is the Sri-yantra, or

sr'i-cakra, which has been thoroughly discussed by Rao. This author
has the following to say about this yantra and its use : 20 "The worship
of yantras is common throughout India; perhaps the most important
of these yantras is the Sricakra. It generally consists of forty-three
triangles interestingly arranged in plane and may also be produced
in three different forms called, Meru, Kailsa and Bh. The Meru is
the same as the plane sricakra in plan ; but the various triangles
surrounding the innermost one are piled one over another in various
planes so that the whole becomes shaped into the form of a pyramid.
The topmost layer of the Meru contains a circle called the bindu. If
associated with the eight Mtrk-deities the Meru becomes Kailsa;
and with the Vsin'i deities it becomes Bh. The sruti or V edic revelation itself supports the worship of Yantras.
This and other yantras are generally engraved on some metallic plate,
preferably one of gold; silver and copper are also often enough employed. The sricakra engraved on metallic plates is an object of worship.
In Soutb-Indian temples of the mediaeval and Iater periods there are
shrines called by the name of sakti-p'ithlayas in which there is a p'itha
or smaller altar very much resembling the common bali-p'itha whereon
the oblations of formal worship are usually affered in the temples. It
is said that these p'ithas associated with the sakti-p'ithlayas contain
inside them the plate on which the Sr'icakra is engraved. Regular pj
is offered to the sakti-p'itha at least twice a day. In as much as this
is thus an object of worship, it has been treated in this work as an icon.
The other yantras are engraved upon thin gold, silver or copper plates,
which are rolled into a cylinder and then put into a golden or other
metallic case so that they may be worn on the body of persans with
a view to avoid diseases, possessions by devils and other such evils,
which, it is supposed, they have the power to ward off. Occasional
worship is also offered to this case containing the magical yantra, and
the wearer's faith in its efficacy may weil effect eures in many cases."
An illustration of this extremely interesting yantra is given in Fig. 7.
Within the outline of the bhpara, rthe square with projections, is
a three-fold circle inside which is a sixteen-petalled Iotus which in its
turn envelopes an eight-petalled Iotus. Within this latter Iotus there
is a figure consisting of nine juxtaposed triangles- the figure is indeed
called by the name navayonicakra - which together make up the total

Rao, 1914, vol. I, pp. 330 ff. Therc is a good illustration in Kundangar (1929).



Fig. 7.

of 43 small triangles of which Rao speaks. In these small triangles,

just as on the petals of the 16-petalled Iotus and with the exception
of the nine innermost triangles, are the characters of the n.gari alphabet, while on the petals of the eight-petalled Iotus there are groups of
characters, each Ietter provided with a bindu, groups which are hard
to discern in the reproduction in Rao, are hard to rea.d with certainty,
and which I have for this reason omitted from my drawing.
The figure can be more closely analysed through the placing of these
letters. It appears, namely, that on the sixteen petals of the outermost
Iotus there are the sixteen different vowels of the alphabet, beginning
with a at the bottom and then going round to the left, thus in the
opposite direction to the course of the sun. The remaining letters are
disposed in the same order in the small triangles which are divided
into circular groups. In the outermost "ring" of fourteen triangles Zimmer speaks of "fourteen points" - we find the letters from ka to



dha, in the following group of ten the letters na to bha, and in the
group of eight, which is located inside, the remaining letters of the
alphabet, viz., ma to ka.
If we follow in thought the letters of the alphabet, in their correct
order, then we describe an imaginary line which runs in a spiral fashion
from the outer edge of the figure to the centre, the bindu, in a direction
contrary to that of the sun.
Zimmer, in his repeatedly cited study, has already given an account
of the way in which such a yantra is set up and extended. The figure
is begun from the inside and constructed outwards, by ingeniously
lengthening the lines of the innermost triangles in a certain way.
Though Zimmer follows the textual information about the construction,
the way in which he has elucidated this process in figures is not correct.
In figure 8 the whole process of evolution is given in the way which
enables us to follow this highly intricate system completely, all intermediate steps being ind.icated by dotted lines :

Fig. 8.



The total figure then completely fills the circular centrat part of
the yantra; this centre i:s surrounded by two borders of eight and
sixteen petals respectively, and enclosed by a threefold circle. Then
the bhpara is drawn, and with this the figure is complete. In meditation
the process is the reverse of this; one begins at the outer edge and
penetrates deeper and deeper in towards the centre. One follows the
various characters which can be placed on the petals of the 16-petalled
Iotus and in the small triangles in order that the figure itself shall
be fully drawn.21
It is noteworthy that the letters on the petals of the six cakras display
the same feature, namely the series of characters following each other
in an anti-clockwise direction and forming tagether the complete alphabet: all the vowels stand on the petals of the Visuddhi-cakra, and the
remaining letters follow one after the other on the petals of the lower
cakras, so that the letters va to sa find their place on the petals of the
Mldhra. The last letters, ha and k~a, are to be found on the two
petals of the jfi-cakra. On the petals of the Sahasrra, finally, all
the letters are found in a twenty-fold recapitulation.
W e can thus see the Sricakra as a comprehensive image of the six
cakras; it is one concentrated yantra, therefore, that takes the place
of six separate ones and provides a picture of the entire process of
development in one figure in which the composite parts make the
different phases.
It is striking that not all the letters of the six cakras have a place
in the figure of the nine interlocking triangles, but that the letters on
the sixteen petals of the Visuddhi-cakra correspond completely with
the sixteen petals of the outer edge of the Iotus of the Sricakra. This
cakra, which thus occupies a rather exceptional position, is called,
remarkably enough, Asurndhakapadma, a fact which Ieads us to
wonder whether this name has anything of the character of an amulet,
providing protection against the influence of devils, which is par
excellence the attribute of this yantra, as Rao informs us.
The Sricakra is not known in Hindu circles alone, but equally in
Buddhist circles. The illustration provided by Rao comes from a Hindu
source, but a completely similar image is furnished by the Buddhist
sricakra which forms the subject of an interesting Tntrik-Buddhist
manuscript which is known only in a Tibetan version, namely the
Sricakras(]IIJtbhratantra.22 Although this text mentions series of letters

Zimmer, 1926, pp. 130 ff.

Edited by Kazi Dawa Samdup in Avalon's Tntrik Texts, Vol. VII.



which must be placed in the various triangles of the yantra, I do not

know of any figure in which this has actually been clone.
There is, however, a Buddhist yantra known to me which is constructed with letters and which must be extremely closely connected
with the sriyantra, namely the yantra that is formed with the letters
of the Arapacana-alphabet.23
This alphabet is named and discussed in very authoritative Mahyna texts, e.g. in Prajfipramit texts and in the part of the Avata.tpsaka called Ga99avyha, a text which was given expression on the
upper galleries of Barabu9ur. From this te..xt it appears that to know
the meaning of this mystical alphabet Ieads to supreme understanding.
The alphabet consists of 42 letters, the first five of which make up its
name. It is said to have been invented by Mafijusri, and has given its
name to a specialform of this bodhisattva, namely Arapacana-Maiijusr'i,
which, to judge from the number of such among the representations
of this bodhisattva, must have been far and away the most important.
In illustrations of this alphabet the 42 letters are placed in a ring
around the character 01'J1- in the centre. It is striking that this alphabet
consists of precisely 42 letters, i.e., the same number as that of the
small triangles which originate from the interlocking of the nine triangles
of the Sricakra. The unusual mode of composition of this "alphabet",
in which there are many ligatures side by side with simple letters while
many other letters are entirely lacking, Ieads one to suspect that the
various letters must have been connected in a particular fashion by
lines drawn inside the circle. This series can be explained as a mantra.
It is conceivable that the letters must be linked to each other by a
continuous line drawn in a particular way, by means of which, just
as in the sricakra, a number of "points" are formed, with the character
01f! in the innermost compartment. Although I am not able to show
such a line, this does not mean that it does not exist.
The Sricakra, both Hindu and Buddhist, thus provides a comprehensive yantra for the entire yoga process. In a certain sense, it may
be compared with the Sahasriira, which also unites the six cakras in
itself. Confirmation of this is to be found in the information in Rao
that a certain form of the yantra is called Kailsa. The mountain
Kailsa is the dwelling-place of siva, but, says Avalon, "it is not
necessary to go to the Himlayan Kailsa to find siva; He dwells

Levi makes various observations on this alphabet (1928). Cf. Beal, 1887, p. 206.
On Arapacana Mafijusri, see Foucher (1900, vol. II, p. 45) and Bhattacharyya
(1924, pp. 28ff.).



wheresoever his worshippers abide, and his mystic mount is to be

thought in the thousand-petalled lotus, Sahasrrapadma, in the body
of every human ji:va, hence called sivasthna, to which all, wheresoever
situated, may repair when they have learned how to achieve the
way thither." 24
One means of finding this way is undeniably by forming a macrocosmic
conception, by analogy with which the mystical, microcosmic idea can
be constructed in the mind. Thus the name Kailsa is given to such
a macrocosmic conception, which is at the same time a Sricakra, a threedimensionally conSitructed object of meditation in which all the essential
elements of the macrocosm are expressed.
It is most probably an example of such a yantra that is presented by
an object illustrated by Moor in his famous work, of which Knebel 25
has written a detailed descriptoin, as follows : "On a square platform,
which rests on four legs, stands a second platform, and on this a third
of similar shape. On this last there is a bowl-shaped object (mountain ?)
on the upper part of which a nga is coiled, leaning with distended
head and neck over two feet which rest on a lotus-cushion. The (eightpetalled) lotus-cushion lies on the back of a tortoise which, with outstretched feet and head, is carried by the coils of the nga." Knebel
does not mention here that in addition the various plateaux are set
with a number of figures of gods and other figures, though these are
clear enough in the picture. Among these there are a nurober of
feminine figures to be seen which might well represent the Mtrks
spoken of by Rao. The whole thing is undoubtedly a representation
of the macrocosm, and by its design reminds one strongly of the
mat}4ala-offering in Tibet.
This offering, which has been weil discussed by Waddel1,26 presents
a fine example of a yantra which is expanded and completed during
After the officiating Lama has placed a large iron ring, symbol of
the cakrav(/a, on the big dish on which he makes the offering, he
places in the middle of it a mountain of rice which must represent the
world-mountain. Then he places the four great continents, represented
by cones of rice, around this, followed by eight smaller ones, and so
on. This cosmic conception is then filled one by one with all kinds of
other symbols such as the groups of four and of seven valuables, the


Avalon, 1913, Introduction, p. xvii.

Moor, 1861, PI. 102; Knebel, 1904, p. 248.
Waddell, 1895, p. 399; cf. p. 296.



eight Mtrks, the sun and moon, etc. During all this, long mantras
are uttered, while Waddell expressly mentions that "during this ceremony it is specially insisted on that the performer must mentally
oonceive this offering."
Besides this three-dimensional yantra, which is at the same time
a macrocosmic image, there is also in Tibet a two-dimensional yantra
in the form of an amulet known by the name "assembly of all the
Lamas' Hearts". Waddell has provided us with a picture of this, too,
and a detailed description.27 It consists of a series of concentric circles,
filled in with magical formulas and surrounded by flames, in which
are the symbols of the Buddhist triad: the three jewels, a lotus-blossom,
a vajra and a Tibetan magical dagger (phur-bu). Within the circle liest
a ten-petalled lotus, and inside this an eight-petalled one. On the petals
of these lotuses there are mystical characters, while inside the eightpetalled Iotus there are in addition a nurober of circles of which the
first is once more filled with a mantra. Waddeli has given translations
of the various mantras. In addition to a nurober of mystical syllables,
they consist of allusions to certain triads which are of both philosophical
and iconographic interest. Thus there occur: kya, vc, citta; but also
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and finally, in the innermost circle, Guru,
Deva, J)kin'i. This last, placed within the eight-petalled lotus, is particularly noteworthy, and with a view to what will soon be discussed
below we would draw attention to the occurrence of a triad that sounds
so un-Buddhist in the centre of one of the most intriguing Lamaistic
Finally, it ought to be mentioned that in Tibet there is a microcosmic
symbol which is the counterpart of the macrocosmic. In addition to
the affering of the world, the m~<;lala-offering, there is an offering,
made to the "terrible" deities, which is made of various parts of the
human body. This affering truly looks "terrible" enough! On the
sacrificial fire a sacrificial platter is placed, consisting of a human
cranium in which are placed the heart, hands and feet, the nose, tongue,
ears and eyes, of an "unbeliever" or demon.28 However terrifying


Waddell, 1895, pp. 402 ff. A Tibetan block, with which such a figure can
be stamped and numerous copies made, is to be found in the Rijksmuseum
voor Volkenkunde at Leiden (No. 1119/84).
Such skull-bowls are not unknown as ritual attributes. They are usually
placed on a triangular copper pedestal, decorated in openwork with flamemotifs, which must indicate the sacrificial fire, while the skull is closed
with a usually very well-made Iid with a vajra-shaped handle. Illustrations
are to be found in N ederlandsch-lndie Oud en Nieuw, vol. XV, p. 133;



such an offering may be, the initiate knows that it is the symbol of
the microcosm, represented by the sense-organs and "organs of action"
of man. Although such offerings occur mostly in illustrations of demonie
deities,29 they are not absent from purely mystical texts, from which
it may be seen that they must have had an esoteric significance. The
offering is pictured, for example, in a copy of a Sanskrit text from
Nepal known as VajrasattvaO This text, which is practically entirely
devoted to mystical hand-positions, gives all of a sudden, without comment, an illustration of this offering in connexion with a description
of the ritual worship of the candrama1Jljala.
On the basis of material collected from Tibet, we can now form
a more exact idea of a ritual ceremony which was performed in Buddhist
circles in India itself, the Sve~tadevasya pjana, and which has been
described in detail by La Vallee Poussin on the basis of the texts. It is
the worship of one's own protective deity:
"The believer forms a mental image of I~tadevat, such as has been
previously described for him by the guru, placed on a Iotus which rests
on a throne, the whole being installed in the mystical sumeru ; at its
sides there are Vairocana, on the moon (to the east), and the four
other Buddhas, on the sun (to the west); all of these wear the civara
and are provided with the u~r:ti~a; they are supported and produced
by the dhrar:tis and are variously coloured; they adopt ritual attitudes;
at the four corners, on the moons placed in the mar:tqalas of the four
elements, there are the four Y oginis.
They are performing pj to the divinities. This pj consists of
the offering of the entire world of the senses, that is to say, the god
receives sounds represented by a flute, smells symbolized by sandal,
tastes in the form of milk, the rpas and the spar5aniyas represented
by a lamp and a piece of clothing. If the officiant cannot proeure the
objects that he needs for this rite, it is of little importance: but the


Pascalis, 1936, P. XLV; Catalogue, Tentoonstelling .. ., 1938-39, PI. XXVIII;

Rockhill, 1893, pp. 665-747, PI. 45. An extraordinarily beautifully made skullbowl is to be seen in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde at Leiden (No.
Sometimes in such a ritual object the real skull has apparently been replaced
by an artificial one, made, for example, of glass, which is very scarce in Tibet,
though not in China. An example of this is to be found in the Monroe Collection at New York, and illustrated in North Eastern Asiatic Art Exhibition,
Toledo Museum, Ohio, 1942, No. 187.
Illustrated in Grnwedel (1900, p. 183, PI. 154).
A copy of this text is in the library of the Kern Institute at Leiden.



pj must always be performed with the heart and the mind (mnasi);
nothing exists but the citta !" 31
It will be necessary to say later more about this worship of the
l~tadevat in Lamaistic circles ; with regard to the various ways in
which a cosmological conception is formed by this worship, we may
observe that place is made in this image for certain deities. Such a
cosmological conception may also be given its form by a systematical
arrangement of deities in a pantheon. In his Kunstform und Yoga,
Zimmer has concerned hirnself more particularly with the religious
image as a yantra, the emphasis being on the figure of Vi~l).U and his
various incarnations, whereas the figure of siva remains more in the
background. This is not entirely accidental. Vi~l).U in fact is especially
associated with the bhakti-mrga and is confined to the "right-hand
path", whereas siva-Rudra repeatedly displays a demonie nature and
is primarily associated with the practices of the "left-hand path". The
same may be said of Kli:-Durg.
In the Purl).ic Iiterature siva is usually called the eight-fold,32 an
image in which each of his aspects receives its own name, while it is
expressly said that the aspects must work together so that cosmic
- both microcosmic and macrocosmic - shall continue to be
maintained. It is typical, also, that these eight aspects show a tendency,
just as does siva himself, to the demoniacal, a tendency which eventuates in the figure of siva-Bhairava with his eight terrible benehmen.
This group also plays an important part in Tntrik Buddhism and
will be discussed further below.
Durg is worshipped by preference in the form of a nine-fold group,
the N ava Durg : a centrally placed figure surrounded by eight aspects.
These aspects together make up, as it were, the main figure, which
is itself equipped with nine pairs of arms, a typical product-figure of
an 8-9 group. In addition to the group of the Nava Durg, there are
also lists of more or less demonie goddesses which are all composed
of eight or nine, while in the Purl).as the even older group of the
seven Mtrks is increased to a group of eight goddesses which entirely
surpass the older in importance. Together with the group of sivaBhairava, this group of eight goddesses plays an important part in
Tntrik Buddhism. W e shall come across them again.
Sometimes such groups grow still further into groups of 11 or 12.

De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, pp. 225 ff.

R.ao, (1914-16) derives his facts almost entirely from the Purt:tic literature.
On Siva in the Purt:tas, see Meinhard (1928).



Typical examples of this process are presented by the groups of the

Lokaplas. Round a central figure separate aspects are placed at the
eight cardinal points, the zenith, and the nadir.
W e have to leave these groups in order to turn our attention again
to the way in which a cosmological form is constructed by means of
a panthoon. Rao gives a fine example of this in his description of the
goddes J ye~thdevi : 33
"An explanation of the worship of Jye~thdevi is found in the
saivgamas. She assumes the eight forms representing the eight tattvas.
Vm, the beautiful, is said to be presiding over prthivi. The manifestation of siva, or mrtlsvara, corresponding to his creative function,
is called Vmadeva, as he is the lord of Vm.
Jye~th, who is jalamayi, is the representative of sthiti. The mrtisvara of jala is Jye~tha, and he is the lord of Jy~thdevi. Raudri
represents the sakti of the agnitattva. The mrtisvara of agni is Pasupati, who is no other than Rudra, the lord of Raudri. Prl)a is the
property of time (kla) ; hence Kli is the sakti presiding over the
element vyu. The mrtisvara is Kla, and he is the busband of Kli.
The part kala in the name Kalavikaral)i means a limb, and vikaratfi
indicates absence. Hence Kalavikaral)i means 'free of limbs', that is,
undivided. Indivisibility is the characteristic feature of ksa; therefore
this goddess is made to represent ksatattva. Her lord and corresponding mrtisvara is Bhima. He is Kalavikaral)a, and his consort
is Kalavikaral)i.
That which augments strength is Balavikaral)i. Candra (moon) is
conceived to influence the production of o~adhis (medical herbs) which
give health and strength ; therefore Balavikaral)i represents the moon
looked upon as a tattva. Her busband is Mahdeva.
Balapramathani means the destroyer of bala or stroogth. Srya ( sun)
is hot and enervating ; hence this sakti represents sun as a tattva. The
mrtlsvara corresponding to this goddess is Ugra. He is the destroyer
of all psas or bonds.
The sakti that holds under control all the activities of all the souls
is Sarvabhtadamani. She is tmamrti and her mrtisvara is Yajamna. Manonmani is the sakti that unites aspiring souls with the
Universal Lord, siva, after removing from them their mala or dirt o.f
sin. Her Lord is Parasiva.
Such is the explanation of the functions of these goddesses."



vul. I, pp. 398 ff.



From this explanation, which at the same time gives a very good
picture of the mode of argument in this kind of text, we see that
a divine aspect of siva Devi is repeatedly associated with a particular
tattva in a fashion entirely corresponding with that which we have
seen in the case of the cakrdhi~thtr'i and their masculine counterparts
in the !?atcakra system. The similarity between the two groups is
striking. But the groups of deities, alas, do not permit such a correspondence to be further established in an iconographic respect, for the
Jye!?thdevi group consists of two-armed forms while the various
cakrdhi~thtris possess for the tnost part one or more pairs of "supernatural" arms. Moreover, the Jye~th-group is given real names, while
the other has names whose first letters make up the name :J;)kini.
The name Manonmani is alone known from the texts that deal with
the ~atcakra system, in which she occupies one of the highest places
by the side of Sadsiva,34 while her appearance indicates that she is
extremely closely connected with Kli : "Manonmani is to be either of
blue or black complexion, should have a large face and should carry
the kapla and the kha9ga. She is also said to bestow wealth on her
votaries and to terrify their enemies." 35 We shall meet her again
in Tibet.
Jye~thdevi is also an interesting figure in herself. Although she is
of terrible aspect, she bestows gifts on her worshippers and destroys
their enemies. She is two-armed, and bears as attributes the kapla
and the bJ?.a; she has the crow - in India too a bird of death - on
her banner, and accompanies Yama in his aspect, armed with club and
noose, as a bull.36 It is noteworthy that these two figures should have
been adopted so completely by Lamaism with exactly the same characteristics. Here they form a fixed group and an unbreakable whole,
known by the name C'os-rgyal-phyi-sgrub, i.e., "the great two-fold
lord", by far the most important form of Yama in the Lamaistic
pantheon. We shall encounJter it again in lthe sacred cemeteries, which
we are about to examine. The demoniacal character of the goddess is
immediately apparent from her additional name Alak~rni, and is further
made clear by the legends which Rao has reported from the texts in
his oft-quoted standard work.




Avalon 1919, pp.

Rao, 1914, vol. I,
Rao, 1914, vol. I,
Rao, 1914, vol. I,

83, 107; 1933, pp. 404, 423 ff.

p. 340.
p. 364.
pp. 395 ff.



The infonnation that we can obtain from Tibet, China, and Nepal
is of great importance for our investigation. In these countries we find
more than once the key opening the way for further research. Symbols
which we seek in vain in India and elsewhere are found here in a form
which often bears witness to their original meaning. It is often the case
that Tibet and Nepal in particular provide a solution to archaeological
problems of the first importance. One has only to think of the system
of Dhyni-Buddhas which is of such great importance in Mahyana
and which must be understood if we are to fathom the greatest creations
ofthisform of Buddhism, such as, for example, Barabu<;iur.
In this chapter we shall examine a number of ritual objects of the
Lamaistic cult which are used in Tibet and Nepal to this very day.
Such objects are by no means unknown to the \Vest. Many of them
have found their way into our museums. Only very seldom do such
objects of "Tibetan" art come directly from Tibet; usually they reach
the hands of collectors through China. Whenever mention is made of
China in this chapter, it should be understood that it is Lamaistic China
that is meant, the China that is the source of such objects, which we
shall refer to in general as Tibetan and which in origin are Tibetan,
taking this denomination in the cultural and not in the political sense.
One object that strikes us at once on a Lamaistic altar is a miniature
stpa. We may well wonder what function such an object could have
in such a place. Should it be seen as merely a reliquary, which is what
it has often been taken to be ? On the face of the matter, this is an
obvious answer. Real stpas are monuments of stone, erected above
repositories in which material relics of the Buddha are buried. King
Asoka is said to have acquired great merit by the erection of 84.000
such structures. These were also put up in places which had played
an important part in the life of the Buddha. In Tibet one finds a great
number of mch' od-rtens, small stpas of plastered brickwork which



serve as repositories for the ashes of Lamaistic holy men and abbots.l
The form of these mch' od-rtens is somewhat different from that of the
usual Indian stpa. In generat the foot consists of a larger number of
square terraces, while the pinnacle is crowned with three symbols, viz.
sun, moon, and flame. The same is the case with the miniature stpas
which ornament the altar. These latter are often very beautiful obj ects,
ood according to Waddeli they sometimes con.tain relics.2 This does
not seem a necessary feature, however, or, as Mus says, "the repository
crowns the symbolism, it does not create it !" 3
That such a stpa is to be seen as a symbol
kha appears clearly from the speculations which have
centred on the form of the object. According to
a Chinese-Budd~st text recorded by Remusat,
stpas are not built over the graves of holy men
and priests; these are marked with stones representing in their specific form the five elements
and thus simultaneously the human body that is
made up of them.4 Even these stones are called
stpas. Figure 9 gives an impression of the way
in which a particular aspect of the stpa is cut
Fig. 9.
out in such stones. The earth, right at the bottom, is represented by an oblong or square; water, directly above
this, by a circle, fire by a triangle, light by a half-moon, and air by
a small circle crowned by a flame. The various figures are further
indicated by different letters in the ngari alphabet: kha for air,
ka for light, ra for fire, va for water, and a for the earth. Waddeli
observes that the caityas themselves are explained by the Lamas as
to be understood in an entirely similar fashion as consisting of the
five elemen!ts into which the body deoomposes after death.5
Such interpretations show that the stpa, and particularly the miniature stpa on the altar, should not be seen in the first place as a
funerary monument or a reliquary, but as a means to the configuration
of the cosmic order, whether in the microcosmic or the macrocosmic
A number of fine photographs of such monuments are to be found in Laufer's
translation of the Milaraspa (1922, Pis. 8-12).
2 Waddell, 1895, pp. 262ff.
3 Mus, 1935, p. 211.
" Foe-Koue-Ki, trans. Remusat, 1836, pp. 91 ff.; quoted in pa.rt, with a better
illustration, in Fergusson, 1873, p. 115.
11 Waddell, 1895, p. 263.



sense. Mus has devoted a thorough examination to the stpa. as a cosmic

symbol ; 6 comparisons between the stiipa. and the pa.rts of the microcosm are given in the Old Javanese textSang Hyang Kamahynikan.T
Indications in the Nepalese Sanskrit ltext CaityaputJgava also permit
the stpa. to be recognized as a yantra. After the stpa. is constructed, it is cut across in a slanting direction and is used for mystical
contemplations. s
There are however more objects among the religious furniture on
the altar which are usually called simply "lucky signs" but which
in reality have a significance going far beyond this. One of these signs
bears a name which can indeed be taken as indicating that it is a Juckbringer, vi::., the symbol sarva mangala, also to be found on many
thankas, a clear illustration of which has been published by Grnwedel.9
If we consider this figure closely, it can be seen that the composition
of the symbol is not arbitrary but that it is always constructed in a
certain way out of five objects, vis., a plate with fruit, a shell-trumpet
or a tute, an incense-burner, a mirror and a shawl. Now similar objects
occur in the same combination as symbols of the five senses. In this
case they usually form the attributes of a group of feminine figures.
Certainty that they have the same symbolic significance is afforded
by the fact that these symbols for the five senses occur in two pa.intings
of precisely similar meaning; in one as the sarva mangala sign, in
the other as the series of five feminine figures bearing the same symbols
as attributes.lO Though the character of "lucky sign" may ultimately
have gained the upper hand, the representation of it gives us the
assurance that originally this sign must have had another meaning, and
as a symbol of the five elements must have played the part of a yantra.
A great pa.rt of the space on a Lamaistic altar is given up to two
groups of omaments known as a,rtamangala and saptaratna, the eight
treasures and the seven jewels. These symbols are also called "altar
ornaments", but it is clear that their function is not limited to this aspect. Let us try to come to better understanding of their true significance.
The series of the eight treasures consist of the chattra, the (white)
Mus, 1935, pp. 195 ff.
Sang ll)ang Kamaha)nikan, edited by Kats, fol. 47b, 48a.
s Mitra, 1882, No. B. 43, pp. 280 ff.
u Grnwedel, 1900, fac. p. 1.
1o The groups occur on two Tibetan temple-paintings which will be discussed
in more detail in the following chapter. One of them is illustrated in Plate
VIII of the present work. The sarva mailgala symbol is to be seen in it on
the extreme left of the "treasures" placed on Iotus cushions at the left.



sun-shade ; matsya, the two fish ; sankha, the conch-shell ; padma, the
Iotus; kumbha, the pitcher filled with nectar ; srivatsa, the lucky
diagram; cakra, the wheel; and dhvaja, the banner of victory. These
symbols are said to be present on the foot-stool of a Buddha. There
are many pictures of foot-prints in which are the eight lucky signs.
Levi mentions that "the Nepalese represent in profusion the feet of
the Buddha carved in stone or painted in colour, recognizable by the
eight bringers of good luck (Q4famaitgala) with which they are decorated." 11 Oldfield reproduces a number of such foot-prints, but
without saying where they hail from.12 One of the illustrations represents in all probability the pair of foot-steps of Bodh Gay, the Buddhapd, which Cunningham described and reproduced in his first report.13
These also are provided with the eight lucky signs. The most noteworthy
thing about this pair of foot-prints, however, is the way in which they
are represented. They are chiselled, namely, on the flat side of a halfsphere. On the hemispherical side there is an inscription giving 1230
saka as the year of erection. This combination of foot-prints and
half-sphere reminds one of the Pasir Pafijang inscription on the isle
of Karimun-besar. This consists of three lines of very large ngari
letters, the characteristics of which indicate that they were inscribed
in the ninth or tenth century, and which Brandes reads as follows:
"Mahynika golay~trita sri gautamasripdl).", i.e., in Kern's translation, "the glorious feet of the Buddha, contemplated by the Mahynikas as golayantra", meaning that the Buddha is identified with the
golayantra.14 The explanation of the word golayantra presents difficulties. Brandes translates it by "armillary", whereas Kern says that
strictly speaking this ought not to be its meaning. I propose to leave
the word untranslated, and to regard a golayantra as an object of
meditation, as a yantra therefore, deriving its name from its spherical
shape. A comparison with the Buddha-pd at Bodh Gay urges itself
here. Unfortunately, however, it is not known whether the Pasir
Pafijang inscription is accompanied by an illustration of the object of
the information, and if so, in what form.15
lll Levi, 1905-8, vol. II, p. 18.
12 Oldfield, 1880, pl. fac. pp. 32, 269.
13 Reports of the Archaeological Survey of India, vol. I, 1871, pp. 9 ff., PI. VII.
L4 Brandes, in N otulen van de Algemeene en Directievergaderingen van het
Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en W etenschappen, 1887, pp. 148 ff.;
ibid., 1888, p. 155; Kern, 1913-29, vol. VII, pp. 136 ff.
15 Cf. Kleiweg de Zwaan, 1928, pp. 313 ff. Even the earliest inscriptions in Java
refer to and depict such footprints (cf. Vogel, 1925, pp. 15-35).



Leaving for the moment the question of what the footprints are, let
us Iook at their characteristic features. Burnouf has devoted considerable
attention to this topic in his edition of the SaddharmapuJJ4arika.l6 In
this he presents a Iist of sixty-eight lucky signs which distinguish the
sole of the foot of a Buddha, according to a report of the Dharmapradipik, from which he shows that Baldaeus must already have known
this list.17 It is composed of a large number of objects which could
not possibly all be accommodated on so small a surface as the sole
of a foot. There are also specific marks in this Iist which it would be
difficult to portray in such a small compass. Thus on the sole of the
foot place is to be found for the world-mountain with seven other large
mountains, the seven "mother-rivers", and so on. This Ieads one to
suspect that in this Iist a summary of the elements for a cosmic configuration is given as well. In a similar summing up of the construction
of the great mat:t~ala-offering of Tibet, the saptaratna also appear; as
will presently appear, the 04(amaitgala also had a place in the cosmic
In his edition of the sambhalai-lam-yig, Grnwedel quotes a passage
from a dKar-chag, a Tibetan guide-book, to the lost sites of Buddha's
birth and death which reads as follows: 18 "The icy mountains completely surrounding the receptacle form an eight-spoked heavenly
wheel, a Iotus on earth with eight petals; on the summit of the Byaniian-bun-bal-po rises the umbrella (chattra)", and so on. Then, one
after the other, are named the eight mountains which form a circle
like eight petals around the torus or receptacle. Each of the eight is
supplied with one of the symbols from the a~tamangala group. Thus
here too the a~tamatigala or eight auspicious signs of a Tathgata
find a place in a cosmogony.
Grnwedel quotes the passage as introduction to a passage from the
text which he translates and in which similarly there is mention of
a chain of eight mountains (fol. 44a), these being represented as the
dwelling-places of the eight "great" Bodhisattvas: "on the mountains
stand their statues with their attributes, Maitreya and the rest". What
these attributes may be is not specified ; probably it is thought that
the indicaltions given are enough. A comparison of the passage with


Burnouf, 1852, Appendix VIII, iv: De l'emprunte du pied de C,::kya, pp. 622-47.
Burnouf was acquainted with the German translation of Baldaeus' work. It
appears on p. 154 of the original Naauwkeurige beschrijvinge van Malabar en
Choromandel (Amsterdam, 1672). Further on footprints in Buddhism see the
article "Bussokuseki" in Hbgirin, 1930.
Grnwedel, 1918, p. 85; Waddell, 1896, p. 276.



that from the dKar-chag makes it likely, however, that here also the
are referred to, which would also mean the establishment
of a connexion between this series of treasures and the a~tamahbodhi
sattvas. Moens has already suggested this connexion on the basis of
other considerations.19
The ~tamatigala, finally, not only play a part as distinguishing
features on the sole of the Buddha's foot, but also appear in another
connexion in the Buddha's life-story.
When the Buddha, exhausted by long fasts, was preparing hirnself
to begin his meditation under the bodhi-tree, where supreme insight
was to be imparted to him, a woman offered him a golden dish with
milk, which he accepted.20 On the surface of the milk the Buddha saw
the eight lucky signs which are together called the a~tamatigala. If the
eight high bodhisattvas are associated with this series of valuables in
the sense that they are represented by these symbols, then the group
of the a~tamahbodhisattvas are directly connected with the acquisition
of bodhi by the Buddha. The eight great bodhisattvas do indeed appear
in representations of this event in the life of Buddha, but only seldom.
Plate III presents a portrayal in stone from the Deslouis collection
(from a photograph in the collection of the Kern Institute). The Buddha
is in vajraparyatika with bhumisparsamudr, seated under the bodhitree, and is flanked by two rows of four bodhisattvas, two of whom
however are lacking due to the damaged condition of the relief.21 This
remarkable piece, as well as the various examples in Tibetan paintings,
gives indirect support to Moens' suggestion.
When the Buddha had gained supreme insight, he threw away the
golden dish, which was caught by the king of the ngas. N ow it is
rather curious to observe that replicas of such a dish seem to exist.
Filchner, during his expedition to Tibet and China, was able to secure
an old example which was used for ritual purposes and is here illustrated
in Plate IV.22 The dish is of copper inlaid with enamel, a great part
of which, sadly, has been chipped off. On the outside - not shown
here - the ~tamatigala are portrayed, twined about with lotus tendrils
and centred on the character 01!f, which is placed on a bull. On the
inside of the dish is the mystical sign of the rNam-bcu-dbati-ldan,



Moens, 1919-21, pp. 586 ff.

Bleichsteiner, 1937, p. 123.
The piece is illustrated, in an unmutilated condition, in Banerji, 1930-31,
vol. Il, p. 408.
Ergebnisse . .., 1903-5, vol. VIII, PI. 43.



surrounded by fifty characters in figurative letters similar to the

ngari alphabet. Grnwedel has provided a detailed interpretation

of this sign and its meaning : 23

"The 'All-powerful in ten forms' -figure was written by Cilu on the
door of the vihra of Nland (Csoma, 1833, p. 57 et seq.). They
have often been reproduced ; once with an incorrect interpretation by
Schlagintweit (Buddhism, p. 121), more often with no explanation at
all. This figure is known as rNam-bcu-dban-ldan and probably represents the relationship of the microcosm to the macrocosm. According
to the M aiijuirinmasmJtgiti (fol. 12a of the bilingual Peking edition),
the Sanskrit for this figure is da.fk~aro vasi. Without a knowledge
of this composition the understanding of the first book of the Klacakra
is quite impossible. However disagreeable it may seem to concern ourselves with these things, it has to be clone, for without going to this
trouble we should have to forego the understanding of a whole series
of matters of the highest importance; I venture to express the opinion
that archaeology above all must build upon it. For to the Hindu the
study of, for example, the human body was quite unimportant; schematisations such as this were far more important. The Tantras are the
theatre for 'Indian Art' ; it is the Tantras which furnish the corresponding esthetic rules. And in fact we find that in the later books of
the Klacakra the whole figurative mythology of the system is based
on this figure. The Jains also have such a thing; I hope to be able
to return to this. I give here the many comments in Lam-yig (a small
manuscript, Musei Asiatici Petropolitani, Collectio Baradieu 1903-4,
no. 11-(97) vide Bull. de l'Acad. XXII, 1905, p. 83), which a lma
compiled for hirnself in order to understand the Klacakra:
"I lie at the feet of the sublime guru Sri Klacakra, in whom the
difference (between put:lya and ppa) vanishes; may he grant that by
his blessing I shall remain in his protection. I shall here explain the
"All-powerful ten", namely their working in the dhtus of the external
world, then their influence on the Vajrakya in the inner world, and
the operation of their combination on the rotation (cakra) of the other
First: all the dhtus of the external world lie completely under the
influence of the "All-powerful ten" of the Klacakra, so that Y a is
the mat:l<;lala of the wind, Ra of fire, V a of water, La of earth, M a is
the mount Meru, K~a is Kmadhtu and Rpadhtu, Ha is Arpadhtu,

Grnwedel, 1918, pp. 90 ff.; cf. Bosch, 1925, p. 544.



and to the three consisting of the half-moon, sun-drops {bindu, tilaka),

and the nda correspond the sun, the moon, and Rhu. This meaning
correspond.s to their colours : Y a is black, Ra red, V a white, La yellow,
Ma blue in the east, red in the south, yellow in the west, white in the
north, green in the middle, K~a is green, Ha is blue, the drops white,
the Nda green.
Second: the Vajrakya in the inner world lies also under the might
of the "All-powerful ten": Y a is the sole of the foot, Ra is the shinbone,
V a the thigh, La the hip-area, M a the spine, K~a the area from the
nape of the neck to the forehead, Ha the crown of the head; the halfmoon and the drops are the arteries rasa and lla (rkait-ma), the nada
is the vein of life (dhiiti: dbu-ma: srog-rtsa: gtum-po ).
Third: the rotation (cakra) of the other mal).Qalas also lies under
the influence of the "ten powers". Ya, Ra, Va, La, Ma are the four
substances, lying one above another, and the mount Meru; K~a is the
divine hosts of the Kyacakra and Vkcakra, Ha those of the Cittacakra and the triad half-moon, drops, and nada, which are Kya, Vc,
and Citta of the god of the Cittamal).Qalas."
After this detailed exposition of the signs of the "All-powerful ten"
as representative of the various cosmic systems, there follows a complicated disquisition in which the Iama explains the extent to which
these systems are connected to each other and how the sign differs
in meaning according to the extent that one is initiated into the secrets
of the Klacakra system. Finally, he gives some practical hints on the
use of this sign :
"When the power of the Satrtpannakrama 24 over Tattva is there,
the function works reciprocally in the six members every time in tens,
e.g., when one does two things at the same time put the fingers together
and ooncentrate the rnind ; when in spite of the appearance of the ten
signs, such as weeping, etc., the intrinsic quality of the inhaled breath
is held fast, then the wind takes these signs away as they aseend right
and left from the mal).Qalas; by following the trail an inner warmth
blazes up (cal).Qa, gtum-po). Dhtu becomes fluid, ten opportunities
are presented to the mind in which it can repose in bliss (beginning
with sa.mdhi). Thus works the influence of the 'ten powers' when in
the five dhtus of the five skandas the sepa.ration from the darkness
is completed."

On the term Sa'!Jpannakrama, in opposition to Utpannakrama, two designations of paths of spiritual development, see Schiefner's edition of Trantha,
1869, pp. 324 ff.



As far as I know, nothing new has appeared since the publication

of this detailed excerpt by Grnwedel conceming the signs of the "Allpowerful ten", and when Bleichsteiner wrote Die gelbe Kirche thirty
years ago he could - after ~ving a schematic survey of the cosmic
systems - say nothing more about the rest except that we were faced
with an absolutely incomprehensible gibberish.
But this is by no means the case.
First of all, in the Lam-yig text there
is a detailed description of the way
in which the sign is constructed out
of various letters and symbols. This
description can be checked by means
of a few illustrations. Waddeli has
reproduced a "banner of victory" on
which the sign forms the centrepiece.
It is placed within a frame of a figleaf. Inside this the letters of which
the sign is composed are given in
lantza-script.25 The seals of various
dignitaries in Tibet also con&ist of
this sign together with an indication
of the letters composing it.26
Fig. 10.
The sign of the "All-powerful ten"
consists therefore of seven letters and three symbols : sun, moon, and
flame. If we concentrate on this con1position and on the colours of
the different letters, we can see that the correspondence with the bijas
of the cakras in the ~atcakra system is surprisingly close. The similarity
is complete for the first four cakras and the first four letters. In the
representation of the j ficakra we likewise meet the letters Ha and
K~a, while the symbols of sun, moon, and flame are also to be discovered
in it. In this case also they are regarded as the symbols of the three
arteries, Iq, Pingal, and Su~umiJ.. The solitary difference is therefore produced by the sign M a, which appears not to correspond with
the bija Ha(f!t) of the Visuddhicakra. This, however, is certainly not
of great importance.27
As far as the colours are concerned, it can be stated that both
systems start from four colours which are combined into one. This is

Waddell, 1895, p. 415.

An example is illustrated in Turner, 1800, Atlas, PI. 15
Cf. p. 36 above.



certainly not a.ccidental, but is a scheme fonned by analogy with the

combination of the five elements into one. Both systems are based on
the four colours yellow, white, red, and black, fused into white, the
colour of the bija of the Visuddhicakra, or blended into a medley of
colours as in the character M a. The letters Ha and K~a are white or
multi-coloured in the petals of the .jii-cakra; in the sign of the "Allpowerful ten" they are respectively blue and green. A certain system
of values seems to be the basis of this partition of colours between the
letters, according to which white occupies the highest place, followed
by green and blue, below which is one group composed of the colours
black, red, white (as a single colour), and yellow.
The correspondence between the two series of letters is apparent to
such a degree that we may safely attribute to the sign rNam-bcu-dbaiildan the character of a yantra. This suggestion is further supported,
indeed, by the last part of the evidence quoted by Grnwedel from the
Lam-yig, in which there can be clearly found an indication of a
procedure known as pr1Jyma, the regulation of breathing during
meditation and the adoption of a certain posture and position of the
hands, which is explicitly referred to in the first chapter as one of
the divisions of ~tngayoga. Thus the sign of the "All-powerful ten"
may be initially regarded as a yantra, an object of meditation, which
is a symbolic reflection of the entire process of yoga, and which can
be continuously made use of, and into which one penetrates further
the more advanced one is along the path of yoga.
As happens with all important yantras in Tibet, this sign has consequently and incidentally acquired the function of an amulet, and it
can be found as such on ornaments, rings, stones, etc. It may also be
found on books and in paintings, even in the decoration of houses, etc.
The sign usually rests on a Iotus-pedestal while the background is
formed of a fig-leaf in light-blue, bearing golden rays and edged
with gold.28
The letters of which the sign is composed are interwoven with each
other in a particular way; the lines that run vertically, sometimes four
of them, sometimes five, are grouped together. Minor differences are
thus possible; the sign in itself, however, is always instantly recognizable. It is illustrated in Fig. 10, while Fig. 11 indicates in a simple
fashion the composition of the sign. 29 With the aid of this represen28

Illustrated in Van Meurs, 1919, PI. 13.

After a drawing by Grnwedel, improved by Bleichsteiner.









Fig. 11.

tation it is possible to discover the sign on the dish which formed the
starting point for this discussion.
The same dish also bea.rs the a~tamatigala, the attributes of a
Tathgata. A complement to this series of valuables is fonned by the
group of saptaratna, also known as cakraratna or simply as ratnni.
This group comprises the following symbols : cakra, wheel ; cintma?Ji,
jewel; stri, wife; mantrin, minister; hastin, elephant; a.Sva, horse; and
k~atriya or senpati, general. It is a group of emblems belonging to
a cakravartin, a world-ruler, and it is precisely the possession of these
jewels that confers on the sovereign the position of cakravartin.30 As
such, these jewels also play a part in the story of the life of Buddha,
and in a few instances they occur in portrayals of his birth.31
Immediately after his birth, prince Siddhrtha is shown to the
Brahmans. They foreteil a great future for him ; he will either become
a cakravartin, if he finds pleasure in worldly life, or a tathiigata, if
instea.d he tums his back on worldly pleasures and dedicat:es hirnself
to a spiritual life. When he reaches the turning-point of his life, at the
moment when he joumeys out from Kapilavastu, he hears how Mra,
the tempter, promises to make him cakravartin if only he will abandon
hisplan to rejeot all worldly things and renounce his religious calling.
Finally, before he dies he makes known his wish to be laid to rest

De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, pp. 236 and 314.

For example, in a piece from Tun-Huang; cf. Stein, The Thousand Buddhas,
PI. XXXVII (centre).



a.ccording to the forrns applying to a cakravartin, and he is honoured

as such by the erection of stpas.
It is Senart 32 who in. rus study of the legend of Buddha has made
a thorough analysis of the saptaratna. He has attempted to relate the
various attributes betonging to this group of ornaments to certain
ceremonies which formed part of the ancient Indian ritual of the consecration of the king. His pioneering study, which has not remained
uncontested, provides no explanation, however, for the significance of
this group of objects in Buddhist iconography.
Representations of this group are to be found more than once on
the reliefs of Jaggayyapeta and Amarvati, and also on those of
Barabu<Jur.33 This presents no difficulty, for the group need not therefore have anything specially Buddhist about it. But the case is different
when the group is met with in portrayals of the Buddha in wh.ich
apparently none of the three above-mentioned incidents from his life
is represented. Thus we find the group on the foot-rest of lt:he throne
of the Buddha; th.is occurs particularly in Tibet.34 It is a still more
difficult matter when the group is found on Buddhist representations
which have nothing to do with skyamuni, such as, for example, in
the Amoghap.Sa-group from Padang CaJ?.<Ji, in Sumatra,35
Representations of the saptaratna group as complementary to the
~!amangala are, however, more instructive. This is so with a number
of Tibetan maJ?.<Jalas, which in all probability figured in ceremonies of
consecration with a purely esoteric meaning. The Old Javanese text
Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan deals in detail with the consecration
of a cakravartin; from the description given there, however, it does
not seem that this can refer to the consecration of a king, whereas
it may well be entirely mystical in character.
This mystical character may also be found in Chinese illustrations
of the series of objects. In the "Picture Section" of Takakusu and
Ono's edition of the Chinese Tripitaka there are numerous pictures
of this group.36 It may be mentioned, incidentally, that here, just as
in Tibet, the group has been increased to eight.
In Tibet this is effected by adding the kumbha as the eighth object,


Senart, 1882, eh. 1.

Cf. Coomaraswamy, 1928, pp. 57 ff.; Barabu<.lur relief No. I. b. 44.
Schlagintweit, 1881, PI. III.
See Plate XII.
Especially in Part IV, Chio-ch'an-ch'ao, XVIII, p. 194, Pis. 62 ff.; Toganoo,
1927, Pis. 110 ff.



something that is similarly clone in China. The eighth may appear,

however, in the form of a Buddha seated in vajraparyatika on a lotuscushion, with the dhyni-mudr. In one drawing, in which all the
jewels are furnished with inscriptions, this eighth object is qualified
as fo-yen-tsun, a term in esoteric ritual for the source of all wisdom.37
It is a fact of special interest, however, that a similar group of saptaratna, increased to eight objects, may be placed on an eight-petalled
lotus-blossom in the centre of which sits Mahvairocana.SS In this
respect also there seems to be an attempt to view the groups of the
~tamangala and of saptaratna as complementary to each other. The
a.c;;tamangala, in association with the tathgata, form a series which
plays a part in the highest consecration, while the saptaratna, associated
with the cakravartin, play a part in a consecration which is indeed
close to the other but is not entirely of the same nature. It is doubtful
whether this last was always a kingly consecration, certainly as far
as cases cited in more recent texts are concerned.
The kumbha itself appears in many shapes as a yantra. In a number
of texts explicit directions are given concerning the form, the material,
and so on, of these objects. Such directions appear particularly in
descriptions of abhifekas, ceremonies in which the kumbha plays an
important part.
It is mentioned in the M ahnirv'!fatantra how in ceremonies of
consecration a kumbha is placed on a yantra - the text uses the word
tna'!f4ala here (X, 141) - over which the prl).aprati~th ceremony
is performed and the I~tadevat is projected into the kumbha, which
is filled with water. Aspersion is carried out with this water as an
accompaniment to the abhi~eka. It is interesting, in this connexion,
that before the actual prl).aprati~th nine different jewels are cast into
the kumbha. These undoubtedly form a counterpart to the navaratna
which to this very day play an important role on Bali as representatives
of the Nava-devats.39
In the Prapaiicasratantra also a kumbha is used, placed on the
"navayonicakra", i.e., the Sricakra.40


Cf. Soothill & Hodous, 1937, p. 228. I am obliged to Professor Rahder,

who drew my attention to the "Picture Section", as well as to Professor
Tjan Tjoe Som, and Professor J. W. de Jong, who helped me in the interpretation of some inscriptions. The drawing referred to is to be found in vol.
III of this "Picture Section".
"Picture Section", vol. IV; Chio-ch'an-ch'ao, XVIII, p. 194, PI. 62; Toganoo
1927, Pis. 111, 112.
Cf. below, pp. 133 ff.
Prapaiicasratantra, IX, 11; Tntrik Texts, vol. III, p. 63.



The cha.racter of yantra which belongs to the kumbha appears especially clearly in a nurober of yantras of the Jains. I do not know whether
Grnwedel has been able to carry out his intention to deal with these,
and other Iiterature on this subject as a whole is entirely lacking.
I shall merely draw attention here to a single example.
Coomaraswamy, in his article The Conqueror's Life in Jaina
Painting,4t has reproduced an illustration of an exceptionally fine
yantra. It shows a pr1J.akala.Sa, a full, pot-bellied, jar. Although this
can be regarded as a yantra in itself, the drawing is furthermore conceived two-dimensionally, in that on the picture is represented an
eight-petalled Iotus within which is a circle with 33 chara.cters arranged
in such a way as to compose a highly stylized bija hri1.n. It may be
regarded as a complement to the Sricakra. A similar yantra is discussed
and illustrated in an article by Hirananda Sastri. 42 The figure is very
much the same, except that instead of 33 chara.cters there are 48.
Sastri reports that the yantra is called ~~imatJ<Jalayantra.
The Sricakrasatp.bhiiratantra also gives detailed directions for the
employment of the kumbha and on the way in which it ought to be
decorated. In it we read : "the necks of the kumbhas are adorned with
knots and bows of celestial silk and surmounted by wish-granting trees
laden with flowers and fruits." 43 The idea conveyed is as though
wishing-trees, kalpa.tarus, grew out of the kumbha.
In the same way the groups of treasures make their appearance from
out of the kumbhas,44 while the whole pantheon as well emerges from
the kumbha by dint of further meditation over it, as is described in
the same text. In this connexion there is an interesting point, in that
next to this pantheon which emerges from the kumbha there is pla.ced
a smaller group of deities arranged about the demonie divinity Heruka
and forming the Mahsukhacakra. In direct connexion with the cakra,
which appears to have the form of an eight-petalled Iotus, are named
the eight sa.cred cemeteries.45 Although we shall deal with the eight
smaSnas in the next chapter, we may already observe here that this




Journal of the lndia" Society of Oriental Art, vol. 111, 1935, p. 134, Pl.

Sastri, 1938, pp. 425 ff.
Tntrik Texts, vol. VII, p. 35.
Pott, 1943, p. 219. I have already indicated in this place that such a represen-

tation of the series of treasures is as natural as it is rare. lt merits attention

that the group of saptaratna also has a kttmbha added to it when this group
is expanded into a group of eight.
Tntrik Texts, vol. VII, p. 22.



Mahsukh<l:cakra is extremely closely related to the group of a!,'tam.ailgala, the group of eight treasures which are portrayed on the dish
discussed earlier in this chapter.
If we look more closely into the matter, we see that the fact that
there is another yantra formed of a certain limited group of deities, in
addition to the kumbha as yantra for the construction of a whole
pantheon, is not a singular phenomenon. A clear demonstration of this
is provided by the sGrub-byed rite which is similarly described in the
Sricakrasaf!tbiU.iratantra and in which a kumbha and a dish are used: 46
"The two holy water jars (which should be in perfect accordance
with the prescribed forms) should be fumigated and sanctified. One
is in the inner circle of the altar, and the other on the outer and lower
platform of the altar for use during the rite. The inner pot is called
rNam-rGyal Bumpa (the Vijaya-jar). The outer one is called the Lasthams-cad-pahi Bumpa, the holy water jar for all purposes (sarvakrama). The Vijaya-jar is to be thought of as containing the entire
mal)Qa.la of Devats and the Las-boom (the Karma-pot) to contain
only the deities of the Mahsukhacakra. Both are imagined to contain
the vowels and the consonants. The Vijaya-jar (rNam-rGyal) contains
the 62 Devats. Then having poured water into the conch vessel
imagine that all the Devats are merged therein. This is the rite
pertaining to the holy water jars. Then imagine oneself to be absorbed
into the outer H eruka. Think that you perform those functions which
the Guru has to perform. The assistant' s functions are to be performed
by a two-handed H eruka P.roduced from the heart", etc.
Schlagirrtweit is able to provide further particulars about the same
rite: 47
"The rite Dubjed (sGrub-byed), the name of which means 'to make
ready' (viz. the vessels ?), is intended to concentrate thoughts. Those
who are about to devote themselves to profound meditation place before
them the vase-like vessel called rNam-rGyal bmpa, 'the entirely
victorious vessel', and a flat vessel called Lai bmpa, 'the vessel of
the works'. These two vessels are not infrequently traced upon the
cushions upon which the Lamas sit during the public religious services.
The N am-gyal bmpa typifies abstraction of the mind from surrounding
objeots; the Lai bmpa., perfection in abstract meditation. The vessels
are filled with water perfumed with saffron, and strips of the five



Tantrik Texts, vol. VII, p. 72.

Schlagintweit, 1868, p. 247; 1881, p. 160. Cf. David-Neel, 1930, pp. 102 ff,



sa.cred cotours are twisted around them. A flower or some kusa-grass

is ptaced in them. The devotee, fixing his eyes upon these two vessets,
reflects upon the benefit to be derived from meditation and is exhorted
to intense concentration of the mind."
The information recorded by Schtagintweit thus agrees marvellousty
with the material in the text. Two yantras are emptoyed in this rite:
a kumbha, and a dish.
In ptace of the dish, however, another yantra can be used, here
illustrated in Ptate V, by the name of rDa.b-brgyad. This yantra is
simitarly discussed by Schtagintweit in connexion with the sGrub-byed
ceremony. He remarks:
"The frame Dab-chad has nine compartments of which each is
separated from the next by ornaments representing clouds. In each
compartment is inscribed the name of a /)kini or a Y ogini, Tibetan
mKha'-'gro-ma. In the centrat division are words denoting that it is
meant for the 'Chief of the l_)kinis', who is called in the religious
books Sans-rgyas mKha'-'gro-ma in Tibetan, Buddha-l)kin'i in Sanskrit. In a Dabchad obtained by Hermann Schtagintweit in Sikhim
the centrat words are: 'dbus-byas mkhro', and mean: 'J!kini occupying
(done in) the centre' ", etc.
Schtagintweit has not noticed, however, the most interesting thing
about this yantra. This is not so much that it forms a comptement
to the eight-petalted Iotus - which is more or less to be expected but above all the way in which the eight feminine deities and the eight
'petals' got their names. This is done in a fashion according with the
name of the central figure, they being named after the points of the
compass. This Ieads to the fact that the north-south line is not vertical,
but makes an angle of 112 30' with the perpendicular. In the interests
of clarity I have marked the compass-points on the figure.48
We thus have here a group of eight feminine deities, disposed around
a feminine central figure, closely connected with an eight-petalled Iotus.
Such groups play a part particularly in the mystic practices of Klacakra-Buddhism. We may further refer to the history of the great
magician Padmasambha'lla, who received his initiation on eight cemeteries from eight J!kinis.49 It may be remarked, finally, that Heruka,


The naming of the points of the compass is not actually based on a dualistic
system such as is expressed in our own compass-card. In Tibet the compass
points are described in a rightwise circle; one speaks there of east-south and
west-north instead of south-east and north-west.
Cf. p. 78 below.



the centrat figure in the Mahsukhacakra, which is closely related to

the eight-petalled Iotus, also is surrounded by eight Kerimas or l)kinis,
which by all the signs are aspects of Devi Mahkli.50 The description
of H eruka given in the Sncakrasa1Jtbhratantra reminds one in a number
of respects of siva-Mahkla: he wears the attire of the krodha-deities,
has four heads, each with three eyes, and bears as his attributes in
eight of his twelve hands the tjamaru, axe, dagger, triSla, da~tja,
kapla, piiSa, and the head of Brahm. Two of the remaining hands
hold fast the elephant-skin thrown over his back and with the last pair
he clasps his sakti Vajravrhi.
Kukkuripda, one of the eight Siddhas of the seventh century, has
written down descriptions of this deity, and he is repeatedly described
in the Sdhanatnl, but depictions of him are extremely rare. The
few representations of him known to exist show him in two- or fourarmed form.51 In Java and Sumatra he is by no means unknown, and
in Tibet even less so. Bosch, in his discussion of the much damaged
image of Heruka from Bahal in Tapanuli, has brought tagether most
of the evidence concerning this demonie deity of the cemeteries. 52
His mystical character appears from the story, mentioned by Trantha, about a king of whom a promise was demanded that if he broke
a solemn vow and looked at a veiled image of Heruka he would be
afflicted with haematemesis and would die. 53 As a characterization of
the sphere to which Heruka belongs, Bosch gives the following passage
from the I 25th song of the Sutasoma, which is particularly instructive:
"This is the reason that a Mahynist strives to be of pious heart.
It is not that he wants to eat human flesh, nor that he has a desire
to satisfy hirnself with it as food or delicacy. He strives for understanding in order that he may have power over life and death ; this
is the aim of his observances. In this way [ or : under such conditions]



They are discussed in detail in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the BardoThosgrol. Cf. Wentz, 1927, pp. 142ff.; Gordon, 1939, pp. 98 ff. In the Museum
voor Aziatische Kunst at Amsterdam there is a thanka with representations
from this book in which these goddesses occupy an important place.
In addition to the images from Comilla and Biaro Bahal II referred to by
Bosch (1930, pp. 140 ff.), the following may be listed: the two-armed image
from Ratnagiri, illustrated in Banerji (1931, vol. II, p. 416); a two-armed
bronze, at present at Baroda and published by Bhattacharyya (1928, p. 727,
P. IV); and finally a four-armed form at Teli ka pao, Bhutpur State, and
at present in the Muttra Museum (Kern Institute photograph, Mathur,
Bosch, 1930, pp. 140 ff.
Trantha, 1914, p. 48.



he is forever identified with Jina-pati, the apogee of detachment. His

methods are various ; [ among others] he uses a dried leaf as a parasol
during his unwavering devotions. Ill-smelling blood flows over his head
and drips on to his ehest. Intestines twine themselves around his body,
innumerable green flies settle on his face and crawl into his eyes. But
his heart is not distracted by these things from the effort to cause
the god Heruka to descend."
There is no need to go further into the ceremonies concerned with
this god of the cemetries. They give an impression of degeneracy due
to the practice of an originally purely mystical symbolism which given the sphere within which this symbolism operated - necessarily
led to the greatest excesses.
Von Glasenapp has made a comparative study of a number of ritual
devotions, and has established a considerable correspondence between
the Indian prtJbh~eka, the Javanese consecration of the cakravartin,
and the H evajravaSit of the Far East.54
The correspondence between the two last ceremonies is indeed
striking. A detailed description of the Hevajra-ceremony is given in
the Hevajrasekaprakriy edited by Finot.55 That a description of this
ceremony is known is primarily of importance in relation to the fact
that Khubilai Khagan underwent such a consecration.56
In his introduction, Finot has given a summary account of the
ceremony and the factors by which this was determined. There is no
need for us to relate the latter, seeing that they agree with what has
already been written in the first chapter. There is as little need to go
into the consecration as a whole, since Finot has given an excellent
survey of it, while von Glasenapp has made a good analysis in his
comparison of this ceremony with the J avanese consecration of the
cakravartin. But I should like to direct attention to a single point
of detail.
The saptaratna, the seven jewels of the world-ruler, are also named
in the text, but only as a gift to teacher from a pupil who has completed
the ritual. This is interesting when we reflect that after his consecration Khubilai bestowed the worldly power over Tibet on his teacher
Von Glasenapp, 1936-38, pp. 201 ff.; 1940, p. 120.
Finot, 1934, pp. 19 ff.
5 6 Das, 1882, p. 68; cf. Grnwedel, 1900, p. 63.
r.-r Kppen, 1906, p. 78.




In the last part of the ceremony the initiand reaches the stage at
which he is identified with Hevajra and worships hirnself in this form.
This must have made severe demands on his powers of imagination.
Hevajra belongs, indeed, among the most complex deities of the
Lamaistic pantheon. Minor discrepancies occur in the descriptions of
this god; in the H evajrasekaprakriy he is moreover put on a par
with Heruka, a divine figure who, as we have seen, 1s as demonie
as he is complex.
Commonly, Hevajra has seven or eight heads and eight pairs of
arms. He is always represented in the yab-yum posture with his sakti
Vajravrhi. In his eight left hands he holds drinking-cups made of
skulls in which gods are seated, z;iz., Varu~a, Vyu, Agni, Candra,
Srya, Y ama, Vasundhar, and as the eighth a god whose name
Grnwedel gives only in Tibetan : Sa'i-lha-ser-po. In the eight right
hands Hevajra similarly holds skull-cups, in which there are as many
animal figures, apparently as vhanas, viz., an elephant, a horse, an
ass, a bull, a camel, a man, a deer, and a cat.58
The figure of Hevajra is in fact an exceptionally fine example of
what I have previously called a product-figttre, i.e., a figure produced
by the union of the properties of (eight) original figures. An immediate
indication of this composition is provided by the sixteen arms and
eight heads. He is surrounded, moreover, by eight goddesses, viz.,
Gauri, Cauri, Vettali, Ghasmari, Pukkasi, Savari, C~Qli, and :t;)ombi,
an eight-fold group which can be regarded as a group of aspects of his
Sakti Vajravrhi and which appears in practically the same order in
the retinue of Heruka.
We have already seen, in the second chapter, that what was sought
in devotional exercises was primarily the awakening of an inner image
by means of an external action corresponding to it. When Khubilai
underwent the Hevajra-consecration, whereby ultimately he became
like this god, he would have tried, during and after the ceremony, to

See PI. VI and the description in Grnwedel (1900, p. 105, P. 86). Minor
variations occur in the representation of Hevaj ra. The heads, for example, may
be variously composed. The eight-headed figure is apparently the most popular
in Further India, the seven-headed in Tibet. Cf. Getty, 1928, p. 143. Illustrations of Hevajra images from Cambodia are to be found in the Bulletin de
l'Ecole Fran,aise d'Extreme-Orient, vol. XXII, 1922, p. 383, PI. XXVI, and
vol. XXV, 1925, p. 592, PI. LXVI. The latter has twenty arms. It may also
be noted, finally, that in addition to eight-headed and seven-headed forms there
is also one with nine heads. A good example of such is the image discovered
in Paharpur, illustrated in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey
of lndia, 1932-33, PI. LVcd.



resemble Hevajra externally as well. In the nature of the case this

could only be done by the disintegration of the figure of Hevajra into
eight two-armed and one-headed figures. We may make this supposition
the more readily in that there has been an important archaeological
find, in the near neighbourhood of Peking, which could once have
played the part of a yantra in this procedure.
The find is enveloped in a fog of mystery; what the nature of it was
is not known, for it has vanished without trace. This latter circumstance
is the reason that the find is little known, though it amply deserves
It consists of six bronze images, roughly life-size, of an unmistakably
Tntrik character. The find was scarcely made public when it disappeared without trace. Fortunately Schlieper had taken photographs
of it. One of these photographs has been published by Fuhrmann, but
without any attempt at an explanation of the group. "It would be
gratifying if the meaning of this representation could receive a detailed
explanation", he observes.
The same photograph has been republished in the Folkwang edition
of Laufer's translation of a part of the Milaraspa, while Zimmer has
paid some attention to it, but similarly without satisfying Fuhrmann's
wish. The photograph is here reproduced once more as Plate VII.59
We see that each of the images consists of a deity seated on a mount
and embracing his sakti. It is chiefly these mounts which offer the
possibility of an explanation. Among them we can make out an elephant,
an ass, a deer, a bull, and a man. To see a man as a mount of this
kind is indeed quite exceptional, and Ieads to the assumption that this
group was employed in a Hevajra-ritual with the purpose that we
have discussed above. Such a group, however, could only have been
used by someone able to bear the cost of its fabrication. There is the
possibility, thus, that what we have here is a group of images which
featured in the consecration of a sovereign, perhaps at Khubilai's
Hevajrava5it. lnstead of Hevajra embracing his sakti Vajravrl,
equipped with eight arms, and with, in the skull-cups which he bears
as attributes in his eight pairs of hands, eight deities and eight vhanas,
and finally surrounded by eight feminine deities, there may be an
arrangement of a group of eight with a central figure in which each
member consist of a deity clasping his sakti and sitting on one of the
vhanas. The central group in this would have been formed by the
emperor and his consort; the surrounding images remind one of

Fuhrmann, 1922, Pl. 98; Milaraspa, PI. 14; Zimmer, 1926, p. iv.



the complete image of Hevajra. Since it is not known whether the

group that was unearthed was complete, 60 and since moreover it is
lost to any further investigation, this interpretation must remain
hypothetical ; if our supposition has something of the truth in it, then
the group is all the more interesting and its loss is doubly deplorable.
A !arge group of objects serving as objects of meditation are the
mat;uf,alas. W e should like to make a few general observations on these
objects, without however going too much into detail.
Firstly, we have to try and formulate what a mat:l<;lala is. There is
a great deal of misunderstanding about this problem. The name is
usually applied to paintings on cloth, but incorrectly ; such pieces are
known as p[a, and by no means every pta is a mat:l<;lala. Altematively,
the word is translated as "magical cirde", which holds as closely as
possible to the original meaning of the word. But this translation too
is Iess than correct ; a mat:l<;lala has nothing to do primarily with
"magic" and need not tobe a circle either, but it may be, for example,
a geometrical figure of straight lines. In this form it may be assimilated
to the Iineal yantra and the name is indeed given to such objects as weil.
Finot has attempted an answer to this question based on evidence
in the texts. He quotes an expression from the Sekakriykrama and
translates it as: "What is the mat:l<;lala? The name may be given either
to a mental act, or to a drawing traced with strings or with sand." 61
Finally he arrives at the following definition : "The ffiat:1Qala is the
frame for the rite and for the divinities." This definition is indeed
correct, but it is rather vague. As a more useful definition, I should
like to typify a mat:i<Jala as a cosmic configuration in the centre of
which is an image or symbolic substitute of a prominent god surrounded
by those of a number of deities of lower rank ordered hierarchically
both among themselves and in relation to the chief figure, which configuration may be used as an aid to meditation and in ritual as a
receptacle for the gods, being distinguished from a yantra by a more
graphic representation of the deities or of their symbols and by a richer
elaboration of the details.
Framed in this fashion, the definition is wide enough to include
ffiat:l<;{alas of different types. A mat:lc;lala can be executed in two or in
three dimensions, and be made of durable or temporary material ; it


The horse, camel, and cat are lacking while the bull ( cow ?) appears twice.
ma!J4alaJ11 kin tad ity eva111 prakrty kathyate 'dhun
(Cf. Finot, 1934, pp. 13 ff.).



can be drawn or pa.inted, or it may be formed plastically out of sand,

rice, butter, etc. A mat_1<;lala can also be composed by assembling
a number of (bronze) images. Finally, a maf).qala can be erected in
the form of a building.
Mat_1qalas are divided into different kinds according to their form
and to their meaning. As for the form, Von Glasenapp gives the
following division, as employed in the doctrine of Vajrayna: 62
1. tnahii:ma1J4ala, pictorial representation of the deities;
2. samaya-ma!t<fala, in which the deities are indicated merely by
their attributes ;
3. bija-matJ<fala, in which the deities are indicated by their bija,
a group of letters in ngari-script;
4. km-ma-ma!t<fala, in which the activity of various beings is represented by mudrs or symbols.
As for the matter of meaning, Mantra-Buddhism recognizes a
division into two lirge groups of so-called dhtuma1J<falas. They are
related to different spheres which may be distinguished in the cosmogony and in the pantheon. W e shall come back to this division
later.63 This differentiation is known in Nepal as weil. Levi has the
following to say about it :
"The dhtu-mat_1qalas belong exclusively to Buddhism. They consist
of a cylinder of stone or brick with a cavity inside; this corresponds
to the relic-chamber in a stpa; but the cavity must remain empty in
order to house the spirit of the deity. The cylinder is covered and
closed by a circular stone; this is decorated with complicated diagrams
(maf).<;lalas) in which emblems and figures of all kinds are intertwined.
If the dhtumaf).<;lala is consecrated to Ma.fijusri it is ornamented with
222 designs and is called dharmadhiitumatJ4ala; if it is consecrated
to Vairocana, the most sublime of the Buddhas, it is decorated with
only fifty to sixty designs, and is then called a mjradhiitu~<fala." 64
In China and Japan, instead of a division into dharma- and vajradhtumat).<;lalas, there is primarily a division into garbha- and vajradhiitumatf4alas. Although the division is of the same order a:s in Nepal,
it is questionable whether it can be regarded as entirely equivalent.
This also is a matter for further consideration, to be taken up again
when we deal with the pantheon of Mantra-Buddhism and its division
into spheres. Levi's observations are interesting, in any case, in that


Von Glasenapp, 1940, pp. 108 ff.

Cf. pp. 110 ff. below.
Levi, 1905-8, vol. II, p. 18.



he does not merely give the divisions but also reproduces figures
from the pantheon.
Set rules are followed at the erection of a ma.J).<;lala ; and this is the
case also when one is destroyed. In order that a ma.J).<;iala shall be able
to fulfill its function properly, the place and time of its preparation
must be accurately determined. During the ceremonies which accompany
the preparation a priest dedicates hirnself as "King of the doctrine",
who drives off demons; then he invites the deities to take up their
places in the ma~<;lala ; he identifies hirnself with them during the
meditation, and at the conclusion of the rite he causes them to retum
to their celestial paradise. A good example of such a ceremony is
provided by Lessing's description of the erection of the ma.J).<;iala which
is carried out every year in honour of Bha4ajyaguru, the Buddha of
medicine, in the Taishan temple in the eastem mountains of China: 65
"Seven days of arduous labour are required for the construction
of this "aid to meditation", and for another seven days solemn services
are read and sacrifices are made. The Tibetan liturgies which are read
cause the Buddha-god, by means of their inspiring words and sacred
formulas, to descend with this retinue upon the person of the priest,
who now hirnself becomes a deity. They are then conveyed by the
priest, who thus views the deity, into the holy water, which is thereby
consecrated. (The water is aspersed over the ma~<;Iala and the god
enters into it). The lma places the head-dress of a Bodhisattva and the
five-part Buddha-crown on his head, dresses hirnself in a cloak and
apron, receives a drop of holy water on the tongue and forehead, and
becomes released from all sins and obstacles on the path to Buddha-hood.
He ascends above the earthly sphere, all that is human falls away from
him, he becomes hirnself a Buddha, free from all human failings, ready
and able to release all beings and hirnself from the cycle of rebirth and
its eightfold pangs. The ceremony lasts for seven days; on the eighth
day a lma kneels down before the m~<;lala and beseeches the god
to depart from it. To the renewed murmuring of prayers the ma~<;Iala
is then destroyed according to set rules." 65
The same scholar has also given a description of the same rite on
a larger scale, as performed according to the Klacakra ritual by the

Lessing, 1933, quoted from Kosmos, 1933, pp. 83 ff. by Stutterheim in Djdwd,
vol. XIII, 1933, pp. 233 ff. I have tried to amplify the quotation, which is
not entirely correctly given by Stutterheim. I have not been able to consult
the original article.



Tibetan Grand Lama of Tashilhumpo, known as Pan-ce1J Rinpoche,

at Peking from the 21st to the 27th October 1932 at the request of
Chinese Buddhists in order to achieve China's Iiberation and general
world peace.66 The description provides completely the same picture;
only the size of the mat.Hjala is more extensive.
N atura.lly, similar fixed rules must be followed in the preparation
of painted ma~<;lalas. The prescriptions relate not only to the composition of the paintings, but equally to the materials to be used, the
ceremonies to be conducted before and during the preparation, and
so on.67 In the Far East the mahma~c:lalas are much in favour, though
there are also numerous examples of bijama~qalas. The "Picture
Section", already repeatedly referred to, gives reproductions of some
of them.
These mahma~qalas are often unusually well-made. On the whole
they are strictly symmetrical : a central figure, surrounded by eight
or four subsidiary figures, each of which forms in itself the centrepoint for another group of eight or four figures, etc.68 It is primarily
the Japa.nese ma~qalas which answer to this scheme.
In Tibet, such m~<;lalas painted on cloth are usually simpler in plan.
A good example is supplied by the thanka illustrated by Zimmer. The
centrepiece consists of an eight-petalled Iotus with a Buddha in the
torus and on each of the peta.ls. This centrepiece is enclosed by a
reetangle with four projections; this is the bhpura of the yantras,
the symbol of the temple. The projections are fashioned as beautiful
gateways. The whole figure is surrounded by a broad circle, bordered
on the upper side by the ~tamangala and on the lower side by the
saptaratna. The space above the centrepiece serves as a place for the
triad consisting of Skyamuni with Amitbha and Bha.i~ajyaguru, and
also for a couple of deities of lower rank together with the symbols
of sun and moon. The space below the centrepiece is occupied by the
four guardians of the world.69
The paintings on which there are painted a great number of deities
and saints in series placed next to and below each other are of a
somewha.t different character. Such cloths include 100, 300, 360, or
500 deities. Set rules are likewise followed in the composition of such



Lessing, in Deutsch Chinesische Nachrichten, Tientsin, 22 October 1932 and

3 November 1932, summarized by von Glasenapp (1940, pp. 139 ff.).
Lalou, 1931.
Cf. Bosch, 1930, p. Pis. 1, 2.
Zimmer, 1926, PI. 27.



pa.ntheons. Some of these rules, which have bet'n multiplied by blockprinting at the demand of high functionaries of the Lamaistic church,
have been discovered and published. 70 Such paintings, in which usually
all the deities represented are provided with their names, obviously
form extremely important material for the study of Buddhist iconography. On some thatikas these names do not occur in the painting
itself but are placed on the reverse side of the cloth.
Finally, there is yet another kind of mal)Q.ala which in plan and in
meaning diverges from the other painted representations. Only a few
examples are known, which is not surprising considering their very
esoteric significance. They represent three deities, sitting in a cemetery
in the midst of a great number of sacrificial offerings, ritual objects,
musical instruments, etc. The setting of such pieces has the object of
itensifying the demonie character of the representation. I know of only
three examples of these, which have already been discussed in detail
in another place.71 We should now, however, consider these pieces in
a wider context.

Pander, 1890; Clark, 1937. Such a piece, with 100 deities, illustrated in Van
Meurs (1919, PI. 10), has been examined and described by myself, resulting
in the conclusion that this pantheon forms exactly one third of the pantheon
of the Chang Chia Hutuktu Lalitavajra, without even the slightest difference.
The second painting is in the possession of Prof. E. Herzfeld at Buenos Aires,
as I found out recently.
n Pott, 1943, pp. 215 ff.



In this chapter we shall turn our attention to some ma~9alas which,

in external appearance as weil as in meaning, deviate from the normal.
We know of certain Lamaistic ma~<;Ialas, namely, which display a deity
with a couple of followers in the midst of sacrificial offerings, attributes,
pleasure-gardens, and so on. I have already published separately a
detailed description of a few of such pieces,l but it seems desirable at
present to go somewhat deeper into the significance of these paintings.
The place of a.ction seems tobe a cemetery, a sma.fna. This appears
clearly from one of the paintings referred to. Bones and skulls lie
scattered everywhere on the ground, while a number of crows or ravens
fly through the air with intestines and suchlike delicacies. The setting
of the pieces is also executed in the same style.
That the cemetery is sacred appears from the border of flames
surrounding the field and which bars it against the demons which
press forward in the form of all kinds of wild animals, with which
the foreground of the painting is entirely filled. In the cemetery itself
there are to be seen various attributes of Lamaistic ritual, series of
"treasures", musical instruments, and so on, and offerings, in the
middle of which is placed a group of three images of deities from
the Lamaistic pantheon.
These three figures constitute the most remarkable feature of the
paintings. On closer examination the gods themselves appear to be
invisible. Their vhanas are indeed there to be seen, as weil as their
rich head-dresses and attributes, but the deities themselves are missing;
they have to be projected into the image, as it were, by force of
imagination, in order that the image may be completed.
Finally, it may also be remarked that the gods who reside in the
cemetery are not arbitrarily chosen but are the same ones in all three
cases, viz., the six-anned Mahkla, his blood-thirsty spouse Kli,

Pott, 1943, pp. 215 ff. Cf. PI. VIII.



called Lha-mo in Tibet, and a special form of Y ama. known in Tibet

as Chos-rgyal-phyi-sgrub, "the great two-fold lord".
It may seem rather unexpected that a cemetery should play the part
of a sacred ground. But in Tantrism such regions are par excellence
the places where the highest ritual initiations in the esoteric doctrine
are carried out. The cemetery is the place where the connexion with
the terrestial is abolished. Innumerable legends about Lamaistic saints
mention a stay in such a terrifying place by which supreme insight
was acquired. Though originally this bliss may have been found through
deep contemplation, this was accompanied in later Tantrism by ritual
observances which would have filled us with revulsion if we had been
witness to them. Since such ceremonies were carefully held in isolation,
however, and since initiates never alluded to them we know only very
little about the ritual connected with those practices. A few texts
furnish evidence about them, but it is usually not a simple matter to
decide what is meant to be taken literally and what must be understood
in a figurative sense. It seems, however, that even Tntrik adepts
themselves found it increa.singly difficult to draw this line, and that
they were led to carry into practice acts which originally had been
intended tobe purely symbolic. It can be understood where this must
have led if we keep in mind the place where the ritual was to be
I t should be noted, furthermore, that a distinction must be made
between the genuine ceremonies of initiation, by which the initiate
attained a higher stage of consciousness, and certain magical practices
with a far less elevated purport. As far as the ritual is concerned there
are connexions between both types of ceremony in many respects; it
is chiefly the mental attitude with which the action was carried out
that determined whether it was a case of ritual or of (black) magic.
Let us look at a few examples from the life-stories of Lamaistic sa.ints,
as these have been collected by Trantha : 2
It is told of the saint St:tavsika that he once spent a summer, with
many pupils, in the cemetery of Sitavana, by which means they all, after
long meditation, partook in the "samdhi of horror".S This samadhi
is apparently the .same as that which Pozdnejev has described in his
study of Dhyna and Samdhi in the Lamaism of the Mongols,4 in


Trantha, 1869.
Trantha, 1869, p. 13.
Pozdnejev, 1926, pp. 397 ff.; quoted in part by Bleichsteiner (1937, pp. 164 ff.).



which the practitioner of this meditation sees his own body disintegrate
during a process accompanied by a succession of terrifying visions.
The well-known crya Kukurarja, i.e., "Dog-king", also named
Kutarja, one of the most famous Y ogcryas, was also initiated into
the secrets of the cemetery. This holy man, who probably lived in the
end of the seventh century 5 and is known from many manuscripts
bearing his name, is believed to have preached the law by day in the
form of a dog, while at night he went to a cemetery with his pupils,
both men and women, in order to perform the gal).acakra ceremony.
The famous magician Padmasambhava, founder of the "Red Church",
also received his initiation in a cemetery. He practised meditation in
eight such places and thereby made hirnself the possessor of supernatural powers. 6
The actions which are ascribed to the crya Gambhiravajra seem
to be of the same nature. He caused eight deserving mendicant monks
to practise meditation in a cemetery, through which he was able to
charm eight vetlas, spirits of corpses, into appearing, so that all of
his pupils, through the aid of these vetlas, were able to become great
siddhis. W e are dealing here, then, with the attempt to attain vetlasiddhi, which Trantha has elsewhere described in detail; Alexandra
David-Neel has observed, even in recent times, a fairly similar version
in Tibet, which she has described in vivid terms. In order to give
an idea of how such a ceremony is thought to proceed, I quote her
exposition together with supplementary information taken from Trantha's work. The rite is known in Tibet as the ro-lang.
"The priest who celebrates the rite is left alone in a dark place with
a corpse. He tries to breathe life into the body, and lies on top of it,
mouth to mouth. He clasps the body firmly in his arms and continually
repeats the same magical formula, at the same time excluding all other
thoughts. After a time, the body begins to stir. It tries to get up and
flee. The priest holds it fast. Then there is a terrible wrestling-match.
The body stands up, twists itself this way and that, dragging the man
with it. The latter has to keep his lips pressed against the mouth of
the dead person and continue to repeat to hirnself unremittingly the
ma.gical formulas. Eventually the tongue of the corpse begins to move.
The critical moment has arrived. The priest seizes the tongue with
his teeth and bites it off. Then the body falls lifeless. A single moment

Cf. Bhattacharyya's introduction to bis edition of the Sdhanaml, vol. 11,

p. cii. On the 8'3l:lacakra-ceremony, see David-Neel (1930, pp. 88 ff.).

Cf. Grnwedel, 1900, p. 49; Dict de Padma, 1933, pp. 130-132.



of inattention can be fatal to the priest." Trantha provides further

particulars about this : "When the vetla tries to protrude its tongue
it must be seized. At the first grasping the great Siddhi is attained;
at the second, the middle one is attained ; at the third time, the small
one. If it is not grasped the third time, the vetla devours both of us
(i.e., guru and pupil) and the land also is devastated." 7
This purely magical action is farnaus prirnarily through the telling
of the renowed story-cycle, the Vetlapaiicavi1Jlsati, in which is told
how King Trivikramasena had to drag a body which was possessed
by a vetla away from a cemetery in order to take it to the monk
K~ntisila, who was bound to the king by rich gifts and who wanted
to make use of this corpse in order to perform a powerful magical
rite, for the purpose of which he had already prepared a ma~c,lala in
another cemetery. As reward for the persistence which he has shown
by bearing the corpse away, the vetla reveals to the king that the
monk harbours treacherous plans, and it teils him how these can be
forestalled.S Thus K~ntiSila also had a magical rite in view.
Although such practices may be the results of a later development
of Tantrism in Mahyna, Asariga regarded a fresh corpse as essential
to the oath-taking which accompanied the highest initiation ceremonies.
Y et Asariga, though he must be regarded as a precursor of Klacakra
Buddhism, is one of the foremost figures in Mahyna Buddhism.9
Special requirements regarding such a corpse which wastobe employed
in oath-taking are tobe found in some texts. Explicit directions are given
by, for example, the fourteenth chapter of the Kaulvalinir~ayatantra,
while other texts furnish detailed explanations of the significance of
a cemetery as the most suitable place for the performance of initiation
ceremonies. The Sdhanaml (223), among others, gives an example.lO
A remarkable contribution to our knowledge of such initiation
ceremonies is given by the Tibetan text sambhalai Lam-yig, fol. 24b,
which in Grnwedel's translation reads: "In ryade5a (India) there
was no possibility of performing magical ceremonies at any time whatever, or to proeure a mudr, other than in a state of completely firm
belief and in complete secret. . . . ; but when the time approached for
the ceremony one went far away to the eight cemeteries, since it was
shameful to the abbot and the Sarigha-monks to perform it publicly,



David-Neel, 1930, p. 163; Trantha, 1869, p. 207.

A summary of the story in Pott, 1943, p. 233.
Grnwedel, 1900, p. 36; Moens, 1924, pp. 542 ff.
Edited by Bhattacharyya, Sdhanaml, vol. li, p. 437.



and it was never at any time or anywhere the case that the rite was
practised in the vihra itself." 11
Apart from the fact that, as appears from this passage, the rites
connected with such an initiation ceremony were horrible in the eyes
of outsiders, there is also another remarkable feature to be noted, viz.,
the mention of not one but eight cemeteries.
This is a nurober that we frequently come across in connexion with


We saw abov~ that Padmasambhava meditated in eight of these

places, and the legend of Gambhiravajra speaks of eight monks and
eight vetlas, facts pointing in the same direction. But there is more
than this.
V arious texts mention the eight mahiiSma.inas in passages dealing
with cosmogony. These are mentioned thus in the dPag-bSam-llonbZang,12 and the sncakrasaf?"bhratantra 13 also considers them expressly in connexion with the Sricakra as a cosmic symbol. Not only are
the names of various sma.Snas given, but various deities are also named
as their inhabitants, and, furthermore, various things such as trees
and clouds, etc., also have a place. Similar surveys are to be found
in addition in Lyi's sma.Snavidhi 14 and in the VajrapradiptJ!ippani,15
and they are of coursenot lacking from the Tibetan Book of the Dead,
the Bardo-Thos-gro/.16 But they are by no means unknown in modern
Indian sources. Thus the life-story of Sri Rma Kr~tJa tells how,
together with his wife Ktyyani and his guru Prl}nanda, he journeyed as a monk of the Bhairava sect to the eight cemeteries (~ta
malu:JJma.Snasdhana) in order to acquire supreme understanding.17
These legends conta.in yet another interesting feature, in that they
mention him travelling in company with his wife and guru. Together
these form a triad which shows a great similarity to the group of three
deities who appear in the concordant mat:~<_lalas. This correspondence
appears the greater when we examine the name of the wife. Ktyyani

11 Grnwedel, 1918, p. 23.

u Edited by Sarat Chandra Das (Pag-Sam-Jong-Zang, p. 4, lines 17ff.).
13 Tilntrik Tests, ed. Avalon, vol. VII, p. 19; Tibetan text (bDe-mchoglantra), p. 10.
14 Cf. Finot, 1934, pp. 49 ff, 62 ff.
m Cf. Tucci, 1936, vol. 111, ii, pp. 50, 173 ff.
16 Wentz, 1927, p. 128, cf. pp. 142ff.
1 '1 Cf. Zimmer, 1926, p. 35.



indeed is no other than Kli, while Rma Kr~t:~a attempts as Bhairava

to identify bimself with Mahkla.ts
It seems scarcely open to question that such mal)<;lalas, which represent the smaSna, played a part in the performance of rites which
accompanied initiation ceremonies such as described above, and which
were called gal)acakra by Trantha. The latter does not mention their
name in the life-story of Kukurarja alone, but also in other places.
They appear in the story of Kamalarak!?ita, and seem to be connected
there with a smasna, while the life-story of the crya Avadhti
also mentions this ceremony, about which Trantha hirnself observes,
as a point of special interest, that "after he had finished the great
gal)acakra of consecration, he stayed inside the temple with his father
and mother." 19 Here, too, we therefore find such a triad.
W e have now to subject these various triads, which belong in the
cemeteries, to another investigation. The evidence is provided in the
main by the group of eight sacred cemeteries of Nepal.
These make their appearance on a Nepalese ritual painting which
Hodgson was able to secure during his stay in Nepal. The painting
is supplied with inscriptions and represents the sacred legend of Nepal
according to the Svayambht1 PurtJa, a comparatively recent text of
mystical purport which apart from its name has nothing to do with
Purl)ic literature.2o The text has come down to us in different editions;
one of these closely agrees with the inscriptions on the painting.21
This is about 6 feet wide and 7 feet high, and is divided into six
horizontal strips about 10 inches high filled with pictures, while
explanations of these are to be found in the space next to them, which
is about half the extent. Sometimes these explanations refer to what
is painted above them, sometimes to what is illustrated undemeath.
It would Iead us too far afield to deal with all the pecularities of
this text, even though it possesses some interesting features.22 We
shall confine ourselves therefore to the representations in the lowest
Apart from the fact that Rma Kr~r,ta as Bhairava corresponds to Mahkla,
it should be noted that the name Knr,ta has a counterpart in Kla, both
meaning "the black one".
19 Trantha, 1869, pp. 260, 238.
w On the text, see Levi (1905-8, vol. I, p. 208) ; cf. Annual Report of the
Mysore Archaeological Department, 1926, pp. 21 ff.
21 On the painting, see Levi (1905-8, vol. I, PI. I; vol. III, pp. 158 ff.).
22 The legend of the drying up of the Iake of the nga Karkotaka by Maiiju5ri,
who wanted to see the origin of the Iotus Svayambh, which grew in this
Iake, and who in doing so found at the foot of the Iotus the goddess
Guhydvari. The dried-up Iake is the land of Nepal.



strip in the painting, those whieh represent the eight sacred eemeteries
and their denizens. These are all named in the aeeompanying inseriptions. It appears from this list that eaeh eemetery serves as dwellingplace for a group of three deities, of whieh one is eonsidered to form
an aspect of siva-Mahkla, and one an aspect of his consort Kli-Devi,
while the third figure displays eertain demonie features. Let us first
of all draw up a catalogue of the eemeteries and their inhabitants
aecording to the legends of the painting : 23
1. CatJf!ogra-sma.Sna, inhabited by Asitnga Bhairava, Brahmyal).i,

and Kacehapapda ;
2. Gahvara-sma.fna, in which dwell Krodha Bhairava, Kaumri, and
3. lvl1Jtkula-sma.fna, where Ruru-Bhairava reigns with Indryal).i
and Virpk~apda ;
4. Kalanka-sma.fna, where lives Kapla Bhairava with Vrhi and
5. Ghorndhaka-smasn a, where Unmatta Bhairava wields the sceptre
in eompany with Vai~I).avi and Carpatipda;
6. Lak~mivar'!Ja-sma.Sna, inhabited by SaJ!1hra Bhairava, Cmul).~,
and Varttl).a-nga ; 24
7. Kilakila-sma.Sna, where sukra Bhairava resides with Mahesvari
and Ngaripda ;
8. ANttahsa-sma.Sna, in which we find Bhi~al).a Bhairava, Mahlak~mi, and Kukkuripda.

If we look more closely at these dwellers in the eemeteries, we ean

divide them into three groups of eight deities eaeh, viz., eight Bhairavas,
- demonie aspects of siva-Mahkla -, eight female figures, demonie aspects of Devi -, and eight demonie forms of another
eategory, whieh is not at onee clearly to be defined.
The eight Bhairavas - Asitnga-, Krodha-, Ruru-, Kapla-, Unmatta-, Sa.rrhra-, sukra-, and Bhi~al).a-Bhairava - form a series
whieh oceurs with only slight variations in more than one text,
primarily in the texts whieh have great authority among the Kplikas
2 :J


Levi, 1905-8, vol. III, pp. 175 ff.

According to Levi, VaruQa-nga lives in the Kalaiika-smaSna as the
fourth deity, while only two deities are supposed to reside in the Lak~mivarl}a
smasna. The illustration, alas, does not allow a decision to be made, but
such a division seems unlikely to me for reasons of symmetry. I have therefore placed Varul}a-nga in the Lak~mivarl}a-smasna.



or Aghori, followers of the god Bhairava. The series may be regarded

as the eight aspects of siva-Bhairava hirnself and is indeed called so.25
Similar lists occur in other texts also, e.g., in the Prapaiicasratantra
(IX, 19) and in the MahnirvtJatantra (IV, 133).26
The Iist of the feminine deities - Bralunyal).i, Kaumri, Indryal).i,
Vrhi, Vai~l).a.vi, Cmul).<;l, Mahesvari, and Mah~mi - has
already shown that we are dealing with the group called the saptamfrks, here expanded to a group of eight by the addition of the
goddess Mahlak:~mi, who does not belong to the original group. The
group calls for a closer scrutiny. One of the places in which they
appear is in the story of siva's battle against the Iord of the Asuras:
"Andhaksura, the Iord of the Asuras, became so powerful by the
practice of asceticism that he did not shrink from affronting the gods.
The latter complained of this to siva. At the same moment Andhaksura appeared on Mount Kailsa, intending to abduct Prvati. Thereupon siva joined battle a.gainst the asuras; he used the famous snak:es
Vsuki, Ta~aka, and Dhanafijaya as girdle and necklet. An asura
named Nila, who had secretly tried to kill siva, appeared in the form
of an elephant. N andi was on guard and warned Virabhadra; the latter
assumed the shape of a lion - the natural enemy of the elephant and attacked and killed him. The skin of this elephant was presented
by Virabhadra to siva. He wore it as an upper garment.27 Thus clad,
and wielding his trisla, siva set out to battle. Vi~I).U and the other
gods and the gal).as accompanied him. When siva wounded Andhaksura blood flowed from the wound, but as soon as it reached the ground
a new aspect of Andhaksura sprang up, each of which siva met in
separate combat. Then siva thrust his trident through the body of
Andhaksura and began to dance. Vi~l).tt destroyed with his cakra the
asuras which had sprung up from the drops of blood. In order to
staunch the blood siva created a sakti called y oge5vari from a flame
coming from his mouth. Indra and the other deities similarly made
their saktis emerge, with the Same intention. These were: Brahml).i,
Mahesvari, Kaumri, Vai~l).avi, Vrhi, Indrl).i, and Cmul).4, sak:tis
respectively of Brahm, Mahe5vara, Kumra, Vi~I).U, Vrha, Indra,
and Y ama, and who ride on the same vhanas and bear the same
emblems as these."


Cf. Rao, 1914-1916, vol. II, p. 26.

Tntrik Texts, ed. Avalon, vol. III; Avalon, 1913, p. 120.
This attribute distinguishes ~iva as Mahkla. Cf. Pott. 1943, p. 221. For
the legend, see Rao (1914-16, vol. I, pp. 379 ff.).



I t is striking that the Kplikas link the various aspects of the god
Bhairava with just such a series of gods : Asittiga with V~~u, Ruru
with Brahm, Cru;t4a with Srya, Krodha with Rudra, Unmatta with
lndra, Kapla with Candra, Bhi~aJ].a with Yama, and S3.t!Ihra with
the Supreme Principle.2s
The Vrha Pur~a observes that there are eight Mtrks, and
counts Yoge5vari as one of them. The same text further mentions that
these eight Mtrks personify the eight morally bad qualities. Thus
Yogesvari stands for the quality of kma, desire; Mahe5vari stands
for krodha, anger ; V ai~t:~avi for lobha, greed; Brahmt:~i for mada,
pride; Kaumri for moha, illusion; Vrhi for asy, envy ; ln~i
for mtsarya, malice; Cmut:J.~ for paiSunya, slander. The story of
siva's battle with Andhaksura is the symbolic reflection of the struggle
of spiritual wisdom against the darkness of ignorance. So long as the
eight bad qualities are not brought entirely under control it is impossible to slay Andhaksura.29
W e have already quoted in the first chapter a passage from the
Mahnirvt].atantra (IV, 133) in which the eight-petalled lotus is discussed and in which it is said that on the eight petals there must be placed
the eight Nyiks of the Pithas with the eight Bhairavas: Asittiga,
Cru;tc.la, Kapla, Bhi~ru;m, Unmatta, Ruru, and Sarp.hra.
Who the eight Nyiks are appears from a practically identical
passage from the same text (VI, 100) : " .... and on the lotus of the
eight Mtrks, who are the eight Nyiks .... " (here follow the
From this it clearly appears that the eight smasna.s provide a symbolic representation of the nandakandapadma, the lotus of the heart,
which in the Purt:~as is already the seat of the ego, the "individual
self". As such, this lotus comprises both the good and the evil human
qualities. In the conception with which we have to do here, the lotus
of the heart is similarly the field of earthly desires from which one
must be liberated in order to break the bond with the phenomenal


Cf. Rao, 1914-16, vol. II, p. 27 ff.

Rao, 1914-16, vol. I, pp. 388 ff.
Conceming the composition of the group itself, see eh. 1. note 20. lt is
interesting that in this form of worship a "living yantra" can be employed,
viz., a group of nine young girls and nine youths. On this, which is called
Kutnarl pjll, see Ka1dilvalini~ayatantra XV (Tilntrik Te.rts, vol. XIV,
p.l6). To perform this ceremony backwards (nllyikiJsiddhi) as black magic is
thought to be extremely powerful.



Fig. 12.

world and thereby create the possibility of umon with the source of
all things.
Proof of the equivalence of the eight-petalled lotus nandakandapadma and the series of eight sacred cemeteries is to be found in the
form and the description of the smasna-Kli yantra. At first sight
this yantra, shown in Figure 12, has nothing of the eight cemeteries
about it. It consist of an eight-petalled lotus and a number of so-called
"feminine" triangles, surrounded by a bhpura.31 There is nothing
to be surprised at in this, however, when it is seen in connexion with
what we have written above. The commentary says that there are two
sorts of sma.Snas, viz., the cemetery with the funeral pyre, and the
Yonirpa Mahkli Smasna. The latter name undoubtedly alludes to
the sma.fna- or Dak~i1Ja-Kli form of this yantra.s2


On this yantra in particular, see Avalon in the edition of the Karprildistotra

(Tdntrik Texts, vol. IX, pp. 2 ff.). I have taken from this edition the illustration which is to be found in some of Avalon's publications. Closely connected
to this yantra is the "Triangulum Devi Bavani", illustrated in the Alphabetum
Tibetanum (p. 193), the symbol of Dharma-Devi, i.e. Guhyesvari. Cf. Levi,
1905-8, vol. I, p. 377.
This latter name also occurs in the lists of Nava-Durg in Nepal. Cf. Pott,
1943, p. 241.



We have already observed that the eight Bhairavas can be conceived

as the krodha-aspec.ts of the eight guardians of the world, while the
eight Mtrks thus form their saktis. But these forms of Bhairava
can as weil be seen as eight aspects of Bhairava himself, the demonie
form of siva. The same is the case with Devi. Instea.d of a group of
eight different saktis, who help to fight the asuras, there may be one
only in whom the qualities of atl eight are united and who can split
into eight emanations. A good example of this is furnished by the
Vmanapur~a of the goddess Ktyyani, apparently describing a
special form of Durg: 33
"After the gods had been defeated by Mahi~ura .... V~u,
Brahm, sa.tikara and all the other gods produced flames of anger
from their eyes, by means of which a mountain of fire arose. From
this emerged the goddess Ktyyani, shining like a thousand suns,
with three eyes, hair as black as night, and eighteen arms. The gods
provided her with weapons and Ktyyani went to the Vindhyamountains, to which Mahi~sura hastened in order to give battle to
her. In vain the goddess launched atl her weapons against the dernon ;
they left him unharmed. Finally the goddess mounted her lion, sprang
on to the back of Mahi~a and stamped so hard on his head with her
delicate feet that he fetl senseless on the ground, whereupon she cut
off his head with her sword." Rao, who gives us this story, comments
that "the destruction of the Mahi~sura is considered to be allegorical ;
the PadmapurJJa says that Devi on the Vindhya-mountains destroyed
the Ma~ura and that thus personified ignorance was killed by
Jiina5akti which is the same as personified wisdom." 34
In other Purl}ic texts we find similar stories concerning the killing
of Mahi~sura by Durg, as Devi in this form is usually called.35 The
number of representations of Durg Mahi~suramardini in sculpture
is incredibly large. In Java this is the form par e.-rcellence of Devi.
Durg is worshipped preferably in a ninefold form, and this is not
surprising when we see that her most important forms are provided
with nine pairs of arms. Rao provides details about this Nava Durg
which further confirm this: 36
"Durg is often worshipped in the form of nine figures, one of them
Rao, 1914-16, vol. I, p. 350.
Rao, 1914-16, vol. I, p. 353.
A very similar legend is that in the M4rkaf)tjeya PuriJI)a; cf. Knebel, 1903,
pp. 236ff.
ae Rao, 1914-16, vol. I. pp. 356 ff.




being set up in the middle and the remaining eight in positions corresponding to the eight points of the compass. They are all seated figures
having a Iotus as their seat. Instead of actual figures we may introduce
in their respective places their tattvk~aras in the yantra. The image
in the middle has eighteen hands, etc. This goddess who is capable of
granting all powers has in eight of her left hands : the tuft of hair of
the asura, khetaka, ghal).t, mirror, dhanus, dhvaja, 4amaru, psa, the
remaining hand the tarjani-mudr. The right hands carry the sakti,
tatika, sla, vajra, satikha, atikusa, dal).<;la, bl).a, and cakra. The central
Durg is in the li4hsana posture riding on a lion." In addition to
this eighteen-armed Durg, however, there exist also four-, eight-, ten-,
and twelve-armed forms. It is apparent that much variation is possible
in this respect.37
The group of nine Durgs, however, is scarcely Buddhist, and it is
therefore more or Iess surprising to meet with it in Buddhist areas
of Nepal. But a Nava Durg group is nevertheless known there. Levi
has published something about it in his standard work : 38
"Durg is often worshipped under the name of Nava Durg, 'Nine
Durgs', as a sort of collective being in whom nine personalities are
combined. Nepal has adopted the name but has slipperl in under this
loan-word a Iocal combination of nine 'Notre Dames' which differs
from the usual list. They are: Vajre5vari, Kote5vari, Jhatikesvari,
Bhuvane5vari, Matigalesvari, Vatsale5vari, Rjesvari, Jayavgisvari,
and Guhyesvari. The first after Guhyesvari is Vatsalesvari, (or
Vacchle5vari). Guhye5vari, Our Lady of the Secret, is the ancient
patroness of Nepal. Mafijusri discovered her and worshipped her
hidden in the root of the Iotus which supported Svayambh, manifested
however in the clear spring which sprang from the earth."
Levi describes the goddess Guhye5vari, on the basis of the Svayambh PurtJa, as follows: "She has the colour of saffron, has nine faces,
three eyes to each face, and eighteen arms ; her first two arms bear
the bindu and the ptra; the second pair, drum and club; the third,
sword and shield ; the fourth, arrow and quiver ; the fifth, discus and
mace; the sixth, the hook .... ; the seventh, thunderbolt and knot; the
eighth, trident and pestle; and the ninth pair make the gesture of
favour and safety. She wears a diadem glittering with all sorts of gems
and made of gold; she wears jewelled ear ornaments. Her tunic is of


Cf. Boeles, 1942, pp. 37 ff.

Levi, 1905-8, vol. I, pp. 378 ff.; cf. note 22 above.



contrasting colours; her necklace is made of skulls; her body radiates

flames; she is on the back of a lion, in the posture known as
pratyliQ.ha." 39
Now it is remarkable that an iconographically very dissimilar
description should be given of the same goddess, but now under the
name of Khagnan, and moreover in an edition of the V rhat
Svayambh Pur!Ja, a description only partially quoted by Levi.40
In this description, to which Professor Bosch drew my attention,
we read : "Khagnan. . . . clasping Vire5vara .... , standing on a
corpse, with three eyes, sacrificial knife and a skull drinking-bowl in
the hands, in the form of siva-sakti, .... imbued with the essence of the
nine dances, ruddy hair standing erect, naked .... , etc."
The goddess is recognizable here as the demonie sakti of siva, and
thus as Kli. In the text she is further referred to as "Mother of
Liberation" (mokfamiU). But in her eighteen-armed form, also, she
is the sakti of siva. In essence there is no fundamental difference; in
the first case, she is seen as the main figure of a group composed
of nine goddesses (Nava Durg), a group which is entirely complementary to the group of Bhairavas, while in the latter case prominence
is given to her nature as sakti, as the feminine complement to sivaBhairava, or Vire5vara, another name for the same deity. Guhyesvari,
the "Lady of the Secret" is thus the mystical phenomenal form of the
rya Tr or Prajfipramit, the Tr of the di-Buddha for
Buddhists, while she is the di sakti of siva for saivites. 41
This "Notre Dame" does not seem very sweet-natured from the
texts just referred to. From her appearance, and from the attributes
that she bears, it appears that she corresponds completely to Kli. She
is found in Tibet also in ex.actly the same form. There she is the great
and redoubtable goddess Lha-mo (Devi), and it is this goddess, who
occupies one of the foremost places in the mat:tQ.alas, we were discussing
in the beginning of the present chapter. Thus we are led back to the
beginning, i.e., to the cemetery where this goddess resides in company
with two other deities. We thus continually encounter similar groups
of three in these sacred places. And with this a problern looms before us.
We have seen that there is a connexion to be demonstrated between


Levi, 1905-8, vol. 111, pp. 164 ff.

Levi, 1905-8, vol. I, p. 381. The name Kha,gnana also occurs elsewhere as
that of .()kini, e.g. in the Lak~abhidhiJnatantratik; Cf. Tucci, 1930, pp.
Levi, 1905-8, vol. I, p. 377.



two figures in each of these groups of three; they are in each case
aspects of siva-Bhairava and his consort Kli. But who is the "Dritte
im Bunde", the third party?
The legend of Lha-mo seems to provide us with a clue. Let me
repeat from what I quoted about this goddess in my study of the
mat:~4alas referred to : 42
"Her name Lha-mo signifies only 'Devi', 'goddess', for she is the
the supreme goddess. Her full and most common name is in Tibetan :
'Dod-'khams-dbang-phyug-dmag-zor-ma, meaning 'the Goddess of arms
in the world of sensual pleasure'.
Her story teils us that she was the wife of Yama, the ruler of the
hells, before his conversion to Buddhism, and that by him she had
a son. As she was unable to convert either her husband or her son to
Buddhism, and had been told in a prophecy that the latter was destined
to grow up as an enemy to the sacred doctrine, she killed her son,
stripped off his skin, devoured his heart, and vanished. When Y ama
heard what had happened he flew into a passion and sent a magic
arrow after her. The arrow hit her mount in its left hindquarter. By
reciting a dhrat:~i - a magic spell - Lha-mo changed the wound
into an eye and so she succeeded in reaching safety out of the reach
of Yama's vengeance. Ever since, Lha-mo has remained a fervent
protectress of the sacred doctrine. As such she possesses a nurober
of attributes given her by various gods. Hevajra, for instance, gave
her a pair of dice which determine the fate of human beings; from
Brahm she received a sunshade, from Vi~ryu the sun and the moon,
the former she wears on her breast as an ornament, the latter in her
headdress; Vajrapt:J.i presented her with a cudgel, and so on.
According to another version of this tale, her husband was the king
of the Rk~asas, who at that time had incarnated hirnself in the king
of Ceylon.
She is generally represented riding her mount across the Raktargya-mts'o, the 'red sea of blood', in which the arms, legs, skulls, and
bones of the enemies she has devoured are floating about. As attributes
she carrit:s in her raised right hand the decorated trident and in her
left the blood-filled nal-thod, the skull of a child conceived in incest.
From her eyes fla:shes of lightning dart upwards, setting her eyebrows
on fire. In her ears she wears heavy earrings, one decorated with a


Pott, 1943, pp. 217 ff.



lion's head, the other with a snake. Sometimes she wears a tiger's
skin with a black cloak and a human skin.
It is clear that her legend is only meant as an elucidation for those
who for some reason or other are not sufficiently advanced in the
esoteric doctrine to understand the true nature of the goddess. Her
appearance, name, character, and her legend show us the principal
features of Kali, the bloodthirsty wife of siva Mahkla."
As we have said, this legend gives merely an "explanation" for the
occurrence of Devi and Y ama on one and the same ritualistic image,
and for the appearance of the goddess. However interesting the
elements of the legend may be, it has to he admitted that they cannot
possibly throw any light on the deeper significance of the triad.
Mahkla and Kli are indissolubly bound to each other, and next
to them, practically detached, stands the third figure. Exactly the same
situation is found in the eight sacred cemeteries of Nepal. In order
to determine the nature of the third figure we shall have to Iook more
closely at its various aspects.
At first sight there is not much to be learned from the names borne
by the several members of this group. On closer exarnination, however,
they appear to be the names of a number of great Tntrik teachers,
or at least the majority of them do. The honorific suffix -pda, which
is thought to have been formed by analogy from the Tibetan -pa, is
a first indication in this direction.
Kacchapa is the name of a dernon who in more than one legend
plays the part of a protective deity of Nepal ; 43 it is also the name, however, of a Tntrik teacher mentioned in the dPag-bSam-llon-bZang.44
The savaras form an ancient and very dispersed tribe in various
regions of India, and are at present known under the name of Sabar,
Saur, or Suir (Savaras). They are a conglomeration of peoples who
ranked, with the Pulindas, ndhras, Pul)qras and other peoples, with
the dasyus, nicakula and mleccha.45 savarapda is a Tntrik teacher
who probably lived around the rniddle of the seventh century and is
thought to be the author of many Tntrik manuscripts.46
Similarly Carpati is the name of a demon, while Carpatipda was


Cf. Levi, 1905-8, vol. I, p. 370.

Ed. Das, 1908, p. 109.
Cf. Gonda, 1933, pp. 167 ff.
Sadhanamiii, ed. Bhattacharyya, 1928, vol. II, p. cxiv.



probably a coeval of Lyi and is mentioned by Trantha as a Tntrik

teacher.47 Virpk~a is one of the Ekdasarudras and as such is
attributed demonie characteristics. He also oc.curs among the four
Lokaplas of the Lamaistic church. Virpk~apda is a Tntrik teacher
who, among other things, wrote a description of the eight-headed and
sixteen-armed Mahkla. 48
We meet Kukkuripda in the list of eight Siddhas of the seventh
century ; he was probably a great worshipper of Heruka, an extremely
demonie god indeed.49 Whereas the names Krkalsapda and Ngaripda are unknown to me, it may be asserted that the name V arul).anga
belongs to an entirely different kind of being. We are dealing here
with a famous nga-prince, about whom we can say more on the
grounds of material from the history of Nepal reported by Levi : 50
"For seven years Nepal was afflicted by drought, and all prayers
remained without effect. The king turned to Sntikara, who to the
accompaniment of magical rites drew an eight-petalled lotus on to
which he poured gold-dust and powdered pearls; in it he made a
representation of the nine great ngas and invited them by efficacious
charms to come and instaU themselves there. Varul).a, the V edic god
of water, transformed into a nga, came and settled in the centre, all
white, with seven jewelled hoods, a lotus and a jewel in his hands;
to the east, Ananta, of dark blue; to the south, Padmaka, the colour
of a lotus stem, with five hoods; to the west, T~aka, the colour of
saffron, with nine hoods; to the north, Vsuki, greenish, with seven
hoods ; to the southwest, sankhapla, yellowish; to the northwest,
Kulika, white, with thirty hoods ; to the northeast, Mahpadma, the
colour of gold. Only the image to the southeast, blue, with the trunk
of a man and the tail of a snake, remained unanimated; Karkotaka,
ashamed of his deformity, fled the menacing action of the charms
and preferred to face certain death rather than appear in person."
There is no need for us to go further into this story of rain-magic ;
what is important is that here too there is mention of the Varul).a-nga
in connexion with an eight-petalled lotus, and as the head of a group
of eight ngas. A completely similar list is given in the M ahiinirvtzatantra (XIII, 170), in which is mentioned a group of eight ngas which



Tran.tha, 1869, p. 106.

Siidhanamd/4, ed. Bhattacharyya, 1928, vol. li, p. cxxii; Bhattacharyya, 1924,
p. v.
Bhattacharyya, 1924, pp. v, 67; Siidhanam/., vol. li, p. cii.
Levi, 1905-8, vol. I, p. 322.



have to be sununoned at the consecration of a tatf,ga., a well. The names

of the eight ngas are almost the same as those in the Nepalese legend,
viz., Ananta, Vsuki, Padma, Mahpadma, Tak~aka, Kulira, Karkata,
and Sa.nkha. These are inscribed on eight asvattha-leaves which are
put in a jar. One leaf is taken out of the jar, and the weil is then
dedicated to that nga the name of which is written on the leaf. The
dedication of the well takes place through the erection of a ngastambha,
a ypa or wooden pillar, which is consecrated and planted in the middle
of the well, where it provides an abode for the nga.
It is this symbolism which in all probability is expressed in a group
of eight stone ngas drawn up araund a linga or stambha found at
Nland in 1935. This group is illustrated in Plate IX. There is a
great resemblance to this representation to be fottnd in the construction
of the roof of C~<;l.i Selagriya at the foot of mount Sumbing in Java.
This consists of a group of eight ngas, placed in a circle and together
bearing up a sort of cushion on which formerly a linga or stambha
used to stand.51
A similar group of eight large ngas is also known from a Chinese
Buddhist source. It is said in the "Great cloud wheel rain-asking
siitra" (Tai- Y un-Lun-tsing-u-King : M ahmeghama1J<falavar.Javardhananmastra) that the Buddha pronounced the Law to the eight classes
of heavenly ngas. In a commentary on such a text a figure is drawn
which is used in rain-magic, and which shows a circle of eight ngas
disposed araund a dernon sitting on a lion's head.52 Just as is reported
in the Nepalese relation, the eighth nga diverges in fonn from the
other seven.
Trantha mentions a similar summoning of eight ngas in bis
sketch of the life of the holy man Sanku ; 53 here too the desired end
is not attained, since saku sees no possibility of bringing the eighth
nga under his control after doing so to the other seven.
W e may thus conclude that not only do all the eight deities which
make up the third figure of the separate sma.<inas possess demonie


V an Erp, 1912, pp. 86 ff., PI. 24.

On the Chinese translation of the V ardhavar~astUra, see Fergusson, 1873,
p. 55 ff.; Beal, 1871, p. 417. Similar texts seem to have enjoyed a great
popularity in later Mahyna. There is a Tibetan translation in the bKahhgyur (rGyud XIV, 16; cf. Csoma de Krs, 1881, p. 328). The commentary
referred to is the Taish6-Shinsh-Daizky-Zuzo, The Tripitaka in Chinese,
edited by Takakusu and Ono, Picture Section, vol. IV (Chio-ch'an-ch'ao,
fig. 68).
Trantha, 1869, pp. 100 ff.



qualities, but that taken together they form an independent group

of eight.
In the legend of Sntikara, Varu~a-nga is the chief of the group
of ngas. In the series of eight third deities of the sacred cemetery
Varu~a-n.ga makes his appearance as one of the eight, and not therefore as a centrally placed figure. By analogy with the previously
mentioned comparisons between the other deities of the smasnas and
the figures which occupy the chief places in the smaSna-ma.t:tc;lalas,54
we should see Y ama as the centrat figure of this group of 'third' deities
with their demonie character. While the eight Bhairavas are the aspects
of siva-Mahkla, and the eight Mqks may be derived from Kli,
the comparison may be extended and Y ama be seen as the third figure
of the ma~Qalas and master of the group of third deities.
In my study of the smaSna-ma~c;lalas, which I have already cited
at a number of places, I have observed that Yama appears to occupy
the place of Vstupati, as Iord of the region, and thus as master of
the smaSna. 55 As such, the god of death is in the cemetery in his
rightful place. In the same study I have indicated that sometimes Y ama
is replaced by another deity, viz., by G~esa. The latter is far better
known as chief of a group of eight guardians of the cardinal points,
and therefore of a group of protective deities. The ngas also have the
character of protectors of an area which is entrusted to their care.
A well-known example of this is provided by Karkotaka in certain
episodes in the sacred history of Nepal.
Their character emerges even more clearly in the legend of Sro,
father of the sanku already mentioned above, and who, just like the
latter, tried with his seven brothers to banish the "Nga of the area";
but this did not succeed, and thus brought about the deaths of all
of them.56
I take it, therefore, that the eight third deities of the smasna may
weil be ascribed a similar role, that of "Iord of the region", Vstupati.
This may be made clearer by certain further considerations.
In the first place, we should remernher that the eight sacred Cerneteries appear to be complementary to the eight Iotus-petais of the
nandakandapadma, to the eight-petalled Iotus blossom which is thought


For the sake of brevity I shall henceforth refer to the rnaJ:!Qalas in question
as .Smasna-mai.J<;lalas, a designation which I have not met with anywhere
but which seems to me to be quite clear and apt.
Pott, 1943, p. 235.
Trantha, 1869, p. 99.



to be the seat of I~tadevat and of the jiva or ha.tpsa. W e have already

observed that particular human qualities may thereby be associated
with each of the petals, which together make up the human qualities.
If we pursue this parallel, the "master of a smaSna" is thus equally
a "master of one of the human qualities". If all eight "masters" are
brought together, they compose the harrsa or jiva.
Thus the third figure of the smasna-mar:u;Iala, as the uniting figure
of the eight "third deities" of the separate smasnas, is the master of
the field of human earthly desires, and thus the representative of the
The most noteworthy feature of this representative is his nature as
a Y ak~a, as weil as his power to split hirnself into a group of eight.
It has already been mentioned that Gal)da also has this character.
In South India in particular he is god of wealth and prosperity. He
is invariably represented with a large belly, a typical characteristic
of a Yak~a.
His brother Skanda, who sometimes takes his place, possesses many
of Gal)e5a's characteristics. In the Su.rruta (6, 7, 27) Skanda is the
foremost among a group of nine demons of sickness. In the Purl)as
he is a god of fertility and a protector of the forest (vanapla), together
with Varul)a.
We have already met Varul)a hirnself as head of a group of eight
ngas ; he stands for divine kingship. He is the guardian of established
order; he watches over the rta (dharma) which manifests itself in
the behaviour of mankind. He rewards and he punishes. He is the
king of the Yak~as.57
Y ama himself, finally, clearly displays the character of a Y ak~a.
Yama has all the characteristics of a vegetation-god. He has a large
belly, and in Lamaistic iconography mention is made of the characteristic of lingga-dmar-po, sign par excellence of fertility. Moreover,
Y ama is known in Lamaistic iconography as a god of wealth.
Now that we have considered the three deities of the various
smaSnas as separate quantities, let us turn our attention to the group
of three as a whole, a task in which we may confine ourselves to a
consideration of the triad of sma.4na-mal)Q.alas. Naturally the same
can be said of each of the triads in the various smaSnas.
Much has already been said in the study devoted to these mal)Q.alas,

Cf. Coomaraswamy, 1928-31; I am obliged to Professor

of the data adduced here.


Gonda for some



and it will suffice here to give a short summary of that study tagether
with some notes with reference to what has been discussed above.
In the first place I should point to the conceptions held by the
Aisvarikas, among others, concerning the sacred syllable 01?' This is
thought of as split into the three letters a, tt, and 1'!' with each of
which is associated one of the component parts of the Buddhist
triratna, viz., Buddha, Dharma, and Satigha. Hodgson has already
provided interesting evidence about this :
"The Aisvarikas, e.g., represent Buddha as a male figure, the
symbol of creative power; Dharma is a female figure as the symbol
of the power of producing, whereas Sangha their son and third in the
trias represents the actively creative and producing power and the
actual ruler, produced by the union of the essence of Buddha and
Dharma. Although Sangha is a member of the trias according to every
school of thought, still he is considered tobe a minor member of it."58
In the study referred to I have advanced the hypothesis that the
sarne triad may be recognized in these smasna-mat:I<;lalas also. Speculations such as the above aim at adducing another triad, viz., that of
masculine and feminine principles and the product of their union.
This corresponds with conceptions concerning the haTfZsa, which is
thought to originate from the union of the elements hat!t- and sa,
mystical symbols in saivite circles for siva and sakti.
In my study of these ffiat:l<;ialas I have already pointed to one detail
from the legend concerning the figures residing in the smaSnam~<;lala, in connexion with the relationship described above; here
I should like to indicate certain others.
It may be remarked that in Indian mythology Yama is not only
lord of the dead but also the first man, in other words : the prototype
of mankind. Now it is interesting that the form which Yama assumes
in these smaSna-m~<;lalas, Chos-rgyal-phyi-sgrub, "the great two-fold
king", i.e., Yama as a two-armed deity with a bull's head, armed with
staff and noose, clasps his sister Y ami - named expressly as his
sister, not sakti - who bears the trident and the skull drinking-bowl as
her attributes. Yama thu~ forms as it were a complement on a lower
level to the mighty group of Mahkla and Kli.
Certain other deities who can occupy the place of Yama have similar
characteristics; at the same time, in the legends they are practically
always sons of siva and Devi (Prvati or Kli).

Hodgson, 1874, p. 53.



The three deities of the smasna-ma.J].Qala ought also to be looked

at from another viewpoint. All three, namely, form part of a group
of eight terrible deities which, under the name of Drag-gsed, occupy
a place in the Lamaistic pantheon among the Dharmaplas. the protectors of the doctrine. This does not seem to be fortuitous. This group,
which is rather variable, always consists of seven gods and one goddess.
The best known composition is as follows :
1. Hayagriva {rTa-mgrin);
2. Begtse (lCam-sring), who may well be replaced by another god of
war such as Daicin Tengri;
3. Yama (Chos-rgyal);
4. Devi Mahkli (Lha-mo);
5. Yamntaka (gSin-rje-gsed);
6. Mahkla ~a4.b.huntha (mGon-po-phyag-drug-pa);
7. the white Mahkla (mGon-po-yid-bzi-nor-bu);
8. Kubera or Vaisrava.J].a (rNam-thos-sras).
This group is interesting in more than one respect ; firstly in that
the eight deities which are united here into one group are each elsewhere the heads of a real group of eight, though in reality the group
does not form a conceptional unit.
There is no need to elaborate on Mahkla, Kli, and Y ama once
The figure of Hayagriva has heen discussed in detail by Bosch and
afterwards by Van Gulik in his thesis.59 As Vidyrja he belongs
to a well-known group of eight, and has later been adopted into the
group of Bhairavas,so in which he formspart of a similar group.
Yamntaka is one of the most composite figures in the Lamaistic
pantheon. He is regarded as a form of Maiijusri 61 and is provided
by preferen.ce with thirty-four arms, sixteen legs, and nine heads. In
order to understand how he came by so many limbs we have to look
at the legend about him. When Yama was terrorizing the people of
Tibet, Maiijugh~a {Mafi.jusri) assumed the form of Yama, putting
on another seven heads in addition to the bull's head, and as many
arms and legs as there were windows and doors in Yama's stronghold.


Bosch, 1927, pp. 124 ff.; Van Gulik, 1935.

Van Gulik, 1935, pp. 28, 39.
The complete legend is quoted in my study (1943, p. 223).



This permitted him to imprison Yama and render him hsLrmless.

This is an instructive example of a secondary explanatory legend.
Actually, of course, it explains nothing. In order to understand the
figure of Y amntaka we should begin by realizing that he is a typical
product-figure of an eight-nine group. This is indicated by his 8
heads, 2 X 8 legs, and 4 X 8
2 arms.
Kubera also stands at the head of such a group. An illustration of
this deity in such a position, surrounded by eight identical followers,
is to be found in Bleichsteiner's Die gelbe Kirche, Plate 36a. Furthermore, De la Vallee Poussin mentions a kind of rain-magic in which
Jambhala, who may be equated with Kubera, is worshipped on an
eight-petalled lotus.62
The most mysterious figure in the eight is Begtse. Grnwedel writes
as follows about him: 63
"One of the deities whose meaning is very difficult to establish is
the repeatedly mentioned god of war lCam-srati, more correctly lCamsri, also known as Begtse. It is not as though his functions were
unclear - he is a god of war - but far more that it is extremely
questionable whether he is an Indian deity and whether he may be
identified with such a deity. If there is such a connexion, however, it
would seem obvious to think of the Indian god of war Krtikeya, the
son of siva, and the singular name of the god lCam-sri, 'Brother and
Sister', might be a counterpart to the nickname Kanybhartar (maidenbrother), as given by Boethlinck-Roth, if this latter name of Krtikeya,
is correct. His other name is Begtse, 'covered armour', which refers
to the fact that he wears a white tunic over his armour."
The name is indeed singular, but the parallel that Grnwedel draws
between this name and that of Krtikeya is not valid. The translation
"maiden-brother" is incorrect, for bhartar does not mean "brother"
but "husband".64 Nevertheless, the name has indeed a counterpart in
the figure of Yama as Chos-rgyal-phyi-sgrub, i.e., Y ama with his sister
Yami. In any case, Begtse is the name more commonly employed. The
characteristic to which he owes his name is one that he shares with
a number of deities and other important figures in the Lamaistic

De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1898, p. 216; cf. on the figure of Kuvera in combination

with eight-fold manifestions: Banerjea, Fadmini Vidya, in JISOA, IX, 1941,
p. 142.
oa Grnwedel, 1900, pp. 165 ff.
114 From bhartr-, not bhratr-.




pantheon. This is the case, for example, with his Mongolian confrere
Daicin Tengri, who can occupy his place. A few illustrations of him
are known ; at least, I think he can be identified, by comparison with
Bleichsteiner's Plate 36a, on two pieces. Both are illustrated and
briefly discussed in my study of smasna-tnal).~alas, the better being
found in Plate X of that work.65 Both display a warrior armed from
head to toe, wearing a loose rohe over his armour, seated on a horse
and bearing in his right hand a sword and in his left a spear with
a pennon. He is surrounded by a group of eight completely identical
followers. The latter are the chief argument for the interpretation that
this is a god of war and not simply a warrior such as the king Srongbtsan-sgam-po, which has been suggested. It is noteworthy, moreover,
that the Japanese Buddhist god of war is called Hachiman, i.e., "the
eight banners", a name which may find its explanation in a representation such as this of the Mongolian Buddhist god of war.66
I have shown in my study referred to above that this Mongolian
god of war dwells in a smaSna. Begtse hirnself also lives in such
a place, as may be discovered from an invocation to this deity which
has been translated by Pozdnejev.67
Now that we have examined separately the figures composing the
Drag-gsed group, we should Iook at the group as a whole. W e are in
a position to state that the group does not form a unity such as we
have found in the case of other groups. The appearance of a single
goddess in this group is a first indication in this direction, and her
presence is also a guide towards understanding that this is a case of the
contamination of a homogeneaus group of eight Bhairavas and a similar
group of three, consisting of the deities of the sma5na-mal).~ala. Since
Mahkla already appeared in the original group - even if in only
one of his aspects - the two other deities of this group of eight must
have been replaced by Kl'i and Y ama.
Here we encounter a phenomenon which does not stand alone and
which can present itself in various ways, namely the fact that a group
of three, one of the members of which is at the same time the central


Pott, 1943, pp. 238 ff., Pis. 17, 18. It is also possible that the deity illustrated
may be not Daicin Tengri, but Raudra-Kpgta-Vaisrava.IJa; cf. C!ark, 1937,
vol. II, p. 304, no. 319; an illustration of Begtse is to be found in the same
work, p. 308, no. 336.
De Visser, 1929, pp. 30-32.
Quoted in Bleichsteiner, 1937, p. 194.



figure of a group of eight, has occupied a place within the group of eight.
Entirely similar to the phenomenon such as we observe in the
composition of the Drag-gsed group is what may be remarked in
connex.ion with the series of eight deities which Hevajra holds in the
same number of skull drinking-bowls in his eight left hands. A single
goddess similarly appears here also, viz., Vasudhra. In addition to
Varut:ta, Vyu, Agni, Candra, Srya, and Yama, there appears as eighth
in the series a god known by the name Sa'i-lha-serpo, a name for which
Grnwedel is unable to find a Sanskrit equivalent. If I am not mistaken,
this is the yellow Vstudeva or Vstupati, which is the more striking
in connexion with what I have already said about the function of the
third deity of the smasna-mal).Q.alas. It is my view, that is, that he also
may be seen as a Vstupati.68
If we list the conclusions that we have been able to derive from this
examination, we may make the following points :
1. The eight-petalled Iotus nandakandapadma is the seat of the
haf!!sa or fivtman, the ego or the individual soul ;
2. From this it follows that with each of the eight petals one of the
human qualities must be associated. This distribution is usually effected
in such a way as to form a dual division into good and evil qualities
which are antipodal to each other;
3. The eight-pet:alled lotus is directly related to the system of eight
Lokaplas (guardians of the cardinal points) and to other well-known
groups of eight such as that of the Bhairavas. They are the eight
aspects, distributed by cardinal points, of one centrally positioned figure
which is seated in the heart of the lotus ;
4. This principal figure, however, forms part of a no less important
group of three deities, with the consequence that there may come about
a contamination of both groups, which can take place in various ways:
(a) By the group of three being incorporated into that of eight. In
this case three figures of the group of eight have to give up their
places, but, seeing that one of the group of three corresponds to each
of the figures in the group of eight, this amounts in practice to the
replacement of two figures in the group of eight by two essentially


Grnwedel, 1900, p. 105, III. 86. Serpo means "yellow"; lha is "deity", deva;
and sa means not only "ground" but also 'place, location". Under sa'i
lha, the Dictionaire Thibetain-Latin-Fran,ais ( 1899) gives "genius tutelari3
loci", of which Vstudeva is the Sanskrit equivalent.



unrelated members of the group of three (the composition of the

Drag-gsed) ;
(b) by the group of three as a whole finding a place in the group
of eight, in which case each of the members of the group of eight is
expanded to a separate three-fold group as aspects of those placed
in the centre ;
5. Each of these latter groups of three may ultimately be reduced
to a dyadic group of only masculine and feminine elements (the group
named in connexion with the nandakandapadma in the M ahnirv'l)atantra);
6. Finally, under further influence from saktism, the feminine element may become so prominent that this alone is mentioned, in which
case a group of eight feminine deities comes into existence, such as
plays a principal rle in the magical practices of Klacakra Buddhism. 69
There are therefore two groups, which have mutually influenced
each other: a group of three, and a group of eight. The influence,
which can be exhibited in various ways, is made possible by one of

the figures forming part equally of one and of the other group.
What we have now to do is to see what position each of these groups
occupies and what their fundamental relationship must be. For this
purpose we shall turn our eyes to Java.
But before we do so, I should like to turn once more to the examination of a certain passage from the Tibetan mystical text sambhalaiLam-yig which not only gives a good idea of the complexity of the
problern but also acquires some interest in the light of the foregoing.
It is interesting, too, in that it is connected with the famous Indian
king Asok:a, the 'Constantine of Buddhism'. The passage in question
is translated by Grnwedel as follows :
"At the sametime the promise was made to him (viz., Asoka) that
in all rebirths he would be a foliower of Devi, armed with weapons
of war. The king, therefore, while he was still an adherent of the
perverted religious view of these predecessors, became a great worshipper of Um and of the Mtrks, so that finally he was led to the
consideration whether the Tantras of Devi might not reveal to him
how to conquer the Yak~as." 70 A passage from Trantha is more
or less parallel to this: "Asoka believed what he was told by those
Cf. Cakravarti, 1930.
-.o Grnwedel, 1918, p. 36.




who worshipped the I)kinis and Rk~asas of the Bhrgu-family, and

he took Um and the Mothers of the cemeteries for deities." 71
At first sight this evidence seems highly unbelievable, but in the
light of what we have seen in the course of this chapter we may
unhesitatingly conclude that Asoka, before his conversion to Buddhism,
occupied hirnself with mysticism, was a worshipper of Kli-Devi, alias
Lha-mo, and therefore behaved as a Bhairava-adept, at least according
to the Tntrik authors quoted above.

n Trantha, 1869, p. 28.



In Java, as is generally the case elsewhere, the rule applies that if

we are to understand the art we must have a knowledge of the religious
ideas and conceptions forming the basis of the culture which produces
it. A history of art has therefore to begin with an exposition of the
religious concepts.
But there are obstacles in the way of composing such an introductory
exposition. For the sake of comprehensiveness it is necessary to make
divisions and to employ a terminology by which lines of separation
are drawn which in reality do not exist, or which seem to be so
prominent that they acquire the appearance of sharp boundaries whereas
in reality they are scarcely to be perceived.
It happens thus that through the selection of a terminology one is
bound in varying degrees to use particular terms which may weil be
thought tobe generally known but the content of which in any concrete
instance is usually extremely difficult to define. If, for example, we
employ the familiar distinction between sivaism and Buddhism we
use two such well-known terms, though it is very much a question
whether their content is really like what was ascribed to them in other
times and places. The matter is even more intricate when two complexes of beliefs have not developed separately side by side but instead
appear to have formed a mutual connexion, a phenomenon which is
explained in Java as the result of a tendency to syncretism among
the Javanese, i.e., an attempt to arrive at an apparently close and
peaceful mingling of an already existing religion with elements of a
new one, a process which is frequently repeated and continually creates
new forms in which the old continues to survive.
If, however, we wish to be able to state with certainty whether
a particular system originated in the amalgation of two or more
independent factors, then these latter ought themselves to be clearly
defined. In the example cited this is certainly not the case, so that



a great deal of caution is demanded with regard to the acceptance of

phenomena which seem to indicate such a mingling.
These are in the main theological identifications of deities belonging
to different pantheons, and especially the supreme deity or certain
groups of deities. Such identifications are made with great ingenuity
by theologians. They are known to us from various Old J avanese texts
such as the Kuiijarakarna, Sutasoma, and Sang Hyang Karnhyanikan.
There are certain difficulties associated with the use of evidence
from such texts. Such identifications, which have an unmistakably
mystical character, have been developed by theologians into a sort of
dogma which merely expresses the identification without explaining
it any further. Perhaps it was thought superfluous to do so.
Y et more important is the difficulty that these texts can practically
never be dated with any certainty and within really useful boundaries.
As far as can be established, the texts that are known to us come
from the east-Javanese period. But is the evidence contained in them
of value for the interpretation of religious systems from the middleJ avanese period? It seems doubtful that they are. A theological and
dogmatic explanation fixes at a particular moment the existing conceptions about certain points of belief in specific dogmas, but comparative as these latter are they at once lose all life. The real religion
remains a living entity, and mysticism in particular does not regard
itself as bound by dogma. If this were so, then it would be just as
lifeless as the dogma itself. There is justice in what a French aphorism
says about dogma, that it is "the living faith of the dead and the dead
faith of the living."
N ow it is precisely the mystical systems which are of great value
for archaeological research.
As far as the saiva system is concerned, it can be said that to judge
by its artistic products it has not been exposed to such great changes
as has the Buddhist system. As far as can be established, the eastJavanese system is practically the same as that of central Java. It
displays the same features elsewhere, and the study of Schomerus on
saiv31Siddhnta furnishes adequate material for the explanation of
sivaitic erections in Java in general.l It is incontrovertibly established
in this study that these erections had a role to fulfil in the practices
of a saiva doctrine of salvation.2
If the saiva-coloured mysticism had already assumed definite forms

Schomerus, 1912.
Cf. Bosch, 1933, pp. 8 ff.; Krom, 1924.



by the time that it was expressed in the stone monuments which have
come down to us, the Buddhist system of Iiberation found itself in
full growth when it received its artistic expression.
This makes even more interesting the evidence that can be found
in Buddhist structures and the Buddhist Iiterature of Java, though it
makes it more difficult to form it into a unit of conception. It is with
Buddhist conceptions and artistic products that we shall especially
concem ourselves in this chapter.
In his translation of the N garakrtgama, Kern observed that
Buddhism, so far as it could be known from this work, could be called
far from orthodox, but he was unable to provide an exact explanation
of why this was the case. This did not become possible until the
publication of hitherto unknown manuscripts, mostly Tntrik. Later
researchers were able to free themselves from the idea that attempted
to classify each form of religion known by a distinct name to one which,
on the ba.sis of manuscripts which were regarded as extremely sacred,
was taken to be its classical form. Thus Moens was able to understand
and describe, in a pioneering study, the true nature of Buddhism in
Java and Sumatra during the time of the kings Krtanagara and
It goes without saying that the evidence in the ritual texts is of
great importance. Kats has performed a major service with the publication of a translation of the Sang Hyang Kamahyanikan, and although
this translation is not without defects, Kats nevertheless deserves our
full appreciation for the pioneering work which he has a.ccomplished
in this edition. His textual commentary retains much of its value.4
Is it possible, however, for us to apply the evidence furnished by
this source to the Buddhist art of central Java? Goris has thought
it possible to find certain indications of a high antiquity for this text,5
and Stutterheim ha:s made grateful use of these in his attempt to arrive
at an explanation of Barabu9ur.6 But was he right to do so? Undoubtedly the text contains elements which are also to be seen in
a construction such as Barabuqur, but this may still be no reason
to conclude directly upon an identity of meaning.7
Moens, 1924, pp. 521-601.
Kats, 1911 ; Wulff, 1935.
lli Goris, 1926, pp. 151 ff.
e Stutterheim, 1928.
7 Wulff (1935, p. 5) remarks, moreover, that in bis interpretation Stutterheim
gives a different and not always more felicitous translation of the text than
does Kats.



Krom has devoted hirnself expressly to this problem. In his archaeological description of Barabuqur he devotes the following views to the
distinction between the various Buddhist systems and the texts from
which these are known: s
"Unless all the signs are deceptive, it can be stated with certainty that
the Mahyna of east-Java, at the height of the Majapahit kingdom,
is none other than the Tantrism of the Sang Hyang Kamahynikan."
The characteristic difference between Mahyna and Mantrayna,
also called Vajrayna or Tantrayna, is that the former urges every
believer to take the Bodhisattva-vow, to the end that eventually, in the
far future and by way of a difficult path, he may attain Buddha-hood;
whereas the latter believes that the attainment of this ideal is promised
in this present life, by means of continual yoga together with worship
of the Buddha and unqualified obedience to the guru.
Tntrik practices are found more or less clearly from the very
beginning of Mahyna; this is not surprising, since in one form or
another they had long been in existence before and outside Buddhism.
This applies of course particularly to yoga. The yogin, whether he b('
Buddhist or not, strives after the attainment of supreme insight, however he may conceive this. And one concomitant of this supreme insight
is supernatural power, so that every yogin thus strives to subdue the
natural and the human in order to acquire power over the supernatural
and the superhuman, even though in fact he may get no further than
the unnatural and the inhuman.9 Fundamentally, therefore, Tntrik
practices form an essential part of all yoga. In fact, Tantrism ultimately
does no more than to make this part the major one; in Mantrayna
the practice of yoga is no Ionger an aid, but itself becomes the prime
mover of the bodhi. Correspondingly, the bodhi changes in character
and the attainment of Buddha-hood becomes similar to the ideal of
non-Buddhist theosophy, viz., the union of the yogisvara's self with
the All-Spirit. If schematization were not reprehensible in all Indian
religious and philosophical systems, we could formulate the matter
as follows: there is no difference of principle between the practice of
yoga in Mahyna and Tantrayna, but only a difference of degree;
the aim can in both cases be represented as "the attainment of Buddhahood", but whereas the yoga of the Mahynist serves as an aid to the
acquirement of such supreme wisdom such that sometime he shall be

Krom, 1921, pp. 750 ff.

Kern, 1884-87, vol. li, p. 240.



made fit for Buddha-hood, the yoga of Tantrayna works in such a

way as to effect an immediate identification with the supreme being
called the Buddha. In my opinion, therefore, the difference resides in
the aim of yoga, not in the way that it is practised ; magical practices
and exorcism, however associated with Tantrism they may be, are
equally ascribed to the great masters of the irreproachable Mahyna.
W e cannot therefore believe that there is satisfactory reason to doubt
Trantha's report that Mantra-tantras had been employed since the
expansion of Mahyna, even though these had originally been regarded
as a matter of esoteric doctrine. In the time of Asanga and up to
Dharmakirti there were great mantra-magicians; the Anuttara-yoga,
however, was revealed only to those thought worthy of it, and was
least of all a matter of daily practice. Afterwards, however, the tautras
of Anuttara-yoga spread more and more, and under the Pla kings
(850-1050) there were many mantra-vajrcryas. The practice of this
mantra-theory has therefore clearly existed for a long time; but at
what point may one speak of Tantrism? The vajrcryas of the ninth
century, naturally, were Tautrists; but can we then speak of the
coevals of Asanga and of their predecessors as such? Where is the
line of demarcation to be drawn ?
BarabU<;lur furnishes evidence which tends partly in the direction
of the Yogcryas and partly in that of Tantrism. Has the line of
demarcation already been crossed here, and does Barabu<;Iur represent
exactly the phase of the Kamahynikan, a Tantrayna calling upon
the authorities of the Y ogcrya doctrine? Or is it previous to this and
still at the Mahynist stage, even though there are already enough
signs of the transition to Tantrayna which is soon to be effected?
The problern posed here is far from simple. It is made exceptionally
difficult by the use of terms the content of which is for the most part
not fixed. Von Glasenapp in particular has dealt with the value to be
attached to the terms Mantrayna, Vajrayna, and Tantrayna.lO
From his researches it appears, as Krom has already observed, that
what is at issue is not so much the development of particular practices
connected with the period, but rather the part played in the whole
complex of ritual activities by certain practices which had been known
from the beginning.
The Buddha founded his doctrine on the four noble truths, viz.,
to Von Glasenapp, 1936, pp. 120 ff.; 1936, pp. 546 ff.; 1940.



suffering, the cause of suffering, the conquest of suffering, and the

path leading to Iiberation. This path is eightfold : the first four are
followed by all Buddhists, the other four by monks ; they are 1. right
views, 2. right intention, 3. right speech, 4. right action, 5. right way
of life, 6. right effort, 7. right mindfulness, 8. right meditation.
The eightfold path, of which the first seven parts form a via purgativa
and the last a via illuminativa, can be conceived in a twofold form,
namely from the point of view of the uninitiated who sees it as a
sublime attitude to life, and from that of the mystic who certainly
not incorrectly sees this path as the mystical way of ru;;tngayoga.ll
By following the eightfold way the highest stage, that of arhat, can
be reached in four steps. In accordance with variation in conceptualization more lives than one might therefore be at stake.
But it soon came about that arhat-ship was thought not enough.
It was leamed that there was something higher to be reached, viz.,
bodhisattva-hood. But the appearance of this doctrine produced a
schism in Buddhism by which a terminological distinction was drawn
within the first-named school:
Mahyna, the Great Vehicle, which strives for the acquisition of
bodhisattva-hood, and
Hinayna, the Lesser Vehicle, which contents itself with the attainment of arhat-ship.
The Mahyanist concludes that one must freely forego arhat-ship
as soon as it is within reach, and then take the bodhisattva-vow, by
which, instead of striving for one's own salvation, one embraces the
idea of accomplishing the Iiberation of all beings by preparing oneself
for Buddha-hood. This too may be conceived in two ways, viz., as the
adoption of an attitude to life by which one prepares oneself morally
in such a way that in a later life bodhisattva-hood is attained and in
a subsequent one Buddha-hood, or else as to interpret the process
of the long way in a mystical sense and to regard its aim as attainable
in this life through the practice of a particular system of mysticism.
The latter Ieads us to suppose that the distinction between Hinayna

It has long been known that the a${ngikamarga was modelled on the example
of the a$[ngayoga. Cf. Heiler, 1918; Schayer, 1921, p. 241 and the Iiterature
cited there.
On the close connexion between Yoga and Buddhism in general, see chiefly
the studies by De 1a Vallee Poussin, (1898, chs. III and IV), further developed in Une derniere note sztr le Nirvll~;~a, in Etudes Linossier, vol. II,
pp. 346 ff.; and De Ia Vallee Poussin, 1937, pp. 223 ff., with a detai1ed



and Mahyna really rests on a mystical foundation which was later

elaborated into a dogmatic theory. This view is defensible if we reflect
that a distinction can be made here between two mystical paths: the
long and the short. It is interesting that it is precisely the bodhisattvavow which effects the distinction between the two schools, whereas
we have already seen that the nandakandapadma, the important point
of completion of the "long path", is extremely closely connected with
the ~tamahbodhisattvas.12 Moreover, it is more acceptable that a
mystical distinction should bring about a dogmatic one than the other
way round, while a similar cause may also supply the explanation of
the fact, remarked upon by Barth, that there are both Mahynists
and Hinaynists in all existing sects.13
Now it is striking that the story of the life of Ngrjuna, founder
of Mahyna, contai111s elements which point in the same mystical
direction. After Ngrjuna, who had already known the Vedas as
a youth, had spent years in wandering, he made the acquaintance of
Buddhist texts, in which an old monk instructed him in the Himlayas.
But none of the commentaries satisfied him. Eventually a nga-rja
took him to the bottom of a lake and there showed him unknown books
which he studied and copied, after which he returned to land. The
most famous writing which he received from the ngas was the
Prajiipramit, one of the most important texts, if not the most
important, of Mahyna.14
We see therefore that Ngrjuna, in order to attain supreme understanding, climbed up into the Himlaya, the dwelling-place of siva,
and was instructed there in the tenets of Hinayna, but came back
unsatisfied and then plunged under the waters of the lake, where he
received supreme wisdom. This journey corresponds overall to the
two parts of the long path of yoga: the ascent from Mldhra to
Sahasrra, this agreeing with the course of his life from birth to the
instruction in the Himlayas, and the descent to the nandakandapadma
etc., which finds its COunterpart in the story of diving into the lake.
Early in the beginnings of Mahyna a pantheon commences to
develop. A series of eight bodhisattvas appears in place of the few
in Hinayna; eventually they acquire feminine Counterparts. The foremost among them are almost Buddhas ; they could be such if they

Cf. p. 56 above.

1a Barth, 1914-18, vol. IV, p. 448.


Cf. Grnwedel, 1900, pp. 38 ff.



did not choose to apply their transeendental virtues to the benefit of

all creatures.
Like Buddha, the full Bodhisattva possesses a magical body, called
nirmtJakya, in which he visits the world, gives instruction, and dies;
soon - but, according to Grnwedel, certainly not at the beginning
of the Mahyna - the second body of the Buddha appears, that in
which he rejoices in all his perfections, and which body is known as
sa1!fbhogakya; after the death of the nirm:t:mkya the body of the
personified doctrine, the dharmakya, remains eternally sunk in meditation, as the eternal basis of Totality, repeated thousands and even
millions of times for every world-epoch. This dogmatic system is also
rooted in mysticism and can only be explained by the study of this.
Moens is the first to have made an attempt to arrive at a solution,
starting from the evidence supplied by the system of saivasiddhnta.15
By analogy with this he attempts to construct the system of MantraBuddhism. His demonstration, slightly abbreviated, runs as follows :
"According to Siddhntic writings the All-Highest is formed of
siva, pure knowledge, and sakti, supreme energy, leading to the supreme
wisdom and to salvation. When a world is to be created, Parama.~iva
releases his sakti and blows pure but unmanifested life (suddha my)
into it, siva assuming the form of the nda and sakti that of the bindu.
These are in fact personifications of the Sound that is the Doctrine,
and of the Energy which is the driving force of all works of salvation.
The trinity of Paramasiva, nda, and bindu form the threefold ni~kala
- the immaterial - form of the Lord.
This still entirely abstract divine triad displays itself in its turn
to the highest initiates as Sadsiva, i.e., as siva's sakala-n4kala form,
the immaterial but ernerging Bringer of Salvation, in whom wisdom
and energy are equally represented.16
Forthosesouls standing at a lower Ievel siva's Mahesvara-appearance
is meant, the highest wholly conceivable sakala-form, that which predominantly exerts energy and destroys the karma of souls. Finally,
for ordinary mortals, there is the lowest sakala-triad, unfolding from
Mahe5vara, of Rudra, Brahm, and Vi~r:tu, known together as suddhavidy, which tattva is more concerned with the spread of wisdom and
which brings the human soul its first knowledge of the Doctrine, which
has to be effected by liberating it from srup.sra.

Moens, 1919-21, pp. 520 ff.

Figured as such as Ardhanri; this is contrary to Moens' view that the
Ardhanri-fonn belongs to Paramasiva. Cf. p. 11 above.



When there is question of one triad, really of the triad, the Siddhantis
usually think of that which comprises the three sorts of forms of
manifestation, viz., ni~kala Paramasiva, sakala-ni~kala Sad.Siva, and
sakala Mahe5vara, the triad which is worshipped on the isle of Bali
under the slightly different names of Paramasiva, Sadsiva, and Bhatra
siva, or eise as Paramasiva, Bhairava and Bhatra Guru.17
Since, moreover, Sadsiva splits again into five gods of which he
hirnself is the foremost, and Mahe5vara is surrounded by a group of
eight gods (the Vidye5varas),18 the fertile brain of the Siddhantin
can ex:tract many groups of three, five, and eight from these forms
of manifestation which according to the demands of the circumstances
can be combined into one group."
"When we consider more closely the Mantra-Buddhistic system of
revelation, such as this is known from various sources, induding Javanese, the similarity to the Siddhantic system appears striking indeed.19
We read in the Sang Hyang Kamahynikan that Bhatra Buddha,
All-Highest, and Bharli Prajfipramit, his sakti, represent advaya
(i.e., the Supreme Yoga) and advaya-jfina (i.e., the purest jfina)
(fol. 42"). As duality-in-unity they form Bhatra Divarupa, the allencompassing, glorious Being, without beginnit_Jg or end, the light of
the world, the dharmakya. It is taught in addition that: Bhatra
Ratnatraya and the five Tathagatas are the embodiment of Bhatra
Buddha (fol. 52"), or that Bhatra Buddha manifests hirnself (fol. 44)
in the triad of Buddha, Lokesvara, and Bajrapl)i and the fivefold
Tathagatas Vairocana, Ak~obhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitbha, and
Amoghasiddhi (fol. 53 d ) .... 20
The Japanese Mantrayna, i.e., the Mantra Buddhism introduced
into Japan by Kb Daishi in the beginning of the ninth century,
comprises teachings which agree entirely with the above in connexion
with the dual phenomenal body.21 One part of this is formed of the



Cf. p. 136 below.

The eight Vidye5varas are beings associated with the final stage of the definitive Iiberation and who lend a helping hand to souls yeaming for Iiberation in
lower spheres (cf. Rao, 1914-16, vol. 11, p. 396). They are thus in fact, in
Buddhist terms, a group of bodhisattvas, and the group appears indeed to be
equivalent to that of the a~tamahbodhisattvas (note by Moens).
Cf. Table 11, based on the model by Moens.
I have omitted from the quotation a passage which in my opinion is inaccurate. To correct it would unduly disturb the argument: I shall retum to
the matter shortly below.
Susuki, 1907, p. 263; (note by Moens).



Garbhadhtu (Taizkai), which is "essential to the salvation of others",

and the other part is formed of the V ajradhtitu (Kongkai), "essential
to individual salvation".22 The former is thus the body of salvation
par excellence.23 Shingon Buddhism declares, accordingly, that the
dibuddha Mahvairocana (Dainichi Nyora.i) unfolds hirnself in an
eightfold fashion, namely threefold in the Garbhadhtu (San-bu) and
fivefold in the Vajradhtu (Go-bu). As the highest of the first dhtu,
he is at the same time the foremost of the second ; in both functions
he is Mahvairocana.
That Garbhadhtu and Vajradhtu must be regarded as separately
formed out of the three Jinas and the five Tathgatas will appear from
the following. According to Shingon Buddhism, Garbhadhtu comprises beings from the Tathgata-class (Butsubu), from the Padmaclass (Rengebu), and from the Vajra-class (Kongbu).24 It is not a
difficult matter to subsume the Javanese Buddhist triad of Buddha,
Lokesvara (Padmapt:ti), and Vajrapt:ti under these three classes. In
Japan the triad is called Mahvairocana (Dainichi), Avalokitesvara
(Kwannon), and Vajrapt:ti (Kongshu)."

Moens has also expressed the view that the vajra- and garbha-dhtu
deities belong in the sphere of sat!lbhogakya. This seems less probable
to me. Certainly the Vajradhtu belongs there, but the Garbhadhtu,
consisting of deities of differing "dimensions", should not, I think,
be confined to one of the kyas, but it should be represented by one
of its members in all three k:yas. In my opinion, the Sang Hyang
Kamahynikan quite singularly exposes the Mantra Buddhist system
by the observation that Bhatra Buddha incarnates hirnself in Bhatra
Ratnatraya and the five Tathgatas. Here we have both dhtus named
together, one of them being particularized by the name Ratnatraya.
This triratna consists of Buddha, Lokesvara, and Vajrapl)i, and thus,
according to Shingon Buddhism, it consists of beings from all three
classes. My own opinion is that from this the only conclusion to be
drawn is that Garbhadhtu consists of the three chief figures of the
kyas: Buddha as head of the dharmakya, betonging to the Tathgataclass, Loke5vara (Padmapt:ti) as head and centrat figureof ninnl)akya



Fujishima, 1889; (note by Moens).

Japanese Mantra Buddhism places the vajradhtu above the garbhadhtu (note
by Moens). Cf. Getty, 1928, pp. 32-33. On the Shingon Buddhist system, see
further Le Mandara de Kooboo Daishi, pp. 13 ff.
The padma- and vajra-classes are also known in Tibet. Cf. Lalou, 1935, PI. IX.



made up of deities of the padma-class, and Vajrapt?-i as the head and

central figure of srurbhogakya, made up of deities from the vajra-class.
The triad of Buddha-Lokesvara-Vajrapl)i is thus completely equivalent
to that of Paramasiva-Mahe5vara-Sadsiva (cf. Table II).
This interpretation finds support in various peculiarities of the
pantheon, and it Ieads us moreover to the fact that the system of
Mantra Buddhism is similarly constructed to that of saivasiddhnta,
something which of course was more or less to be expected.
In Mantra Buddhism there is thus a lower saguna-triad, consisting
of the gods Brahm, Vi!?I)U, and siva, and entirely parallel to the lowest
sakala-triad of the saivasiddhntic system.
In all probability this pantheon is constructed in conformity with
the cosmological conception, particularly with the conception of the
microcosm. The lower sagul)a (sakala) triad corresponds with the three
chief representatives of the l?atcakra system. Mahe5vara and Lokesvara
belong in the nandakandapadma, Sadsiva and Vajrapl)i therefore in
the Kalcakra, and Paramasiva and Buddha in the Sahasrra, according
respectively to the saivasiddhantic or to the Mantra Buddhist system.
Moens remarks that the eight Vidyesvaras are the Counterparts of
the eight great bodhisattvas. A comparison of the two systems shows
that both groups occupy entirely concordant places. That Padmapl)i
is the head and central figure of the group consisting of deities of the
padma-class is no less than we might expect. Particular forms of
Lokdvara are represented sitting on an eight-petalled Iotus, surrounded
by eight deities.25
In the case of Vajrapl)i we encounter what appears to be a difficulty. How can this figure be the chief of the group of Dhyni-Buddhas?
This becomes clear, however, if we consider that Vajrasattva, the
recognized head of this group, is none other than Vajrapl)i. Vajrasattva is merely another name for this bodhisattva in this function.
He is then adorned like a bodhisattva ; he is the "buddha pare" in the
group of Dhyni-Buddhas who are otherwise clothed in monks' robes.26
The figure of Buddha as head of the dharmakya raises no problems.
As such he is the di-Buddha and also bears the name Vajradhara
or Guhyapati.27

ll 7

E.g., Padmanarte.SVara-Lokelvara; cf. Foucher, 1900, vol. II, p. 37; Bhattacharyya, 1924, pp. 41 ff.
Mus, 1928, pp. 153-278; cf. Schermann, 1932; Bhattacharyya, 1924, p. 7;
Waddell, 1895, p. 352.
Grnwedel, 1900, p. 98.



Finally, we should like to draw attention to a remarkable phenomenon which is exhibited here, namely that the three deities who together
form the Garbhadhtu also appear in the group of the al?tamahbodhisattvas, even though in a rather different form.
Thus Padmapt)i (Avalokite5vara), as well as Vajrapt)i, belongs
to the group of the eight supreme bodhisattvas, while according to
certa.in doctrines Samantabhadra is the di-Buddha.28 In addition
to Buddha, Padmapt)i, and Vajrapt)i, who are also known in their
functions in the Garbhadhtu as Vajradhara, Loke5vara and Vajrasattva, we also find such figures as Samantabhadra, Avalokitesvara
and Vajrapt)i in the eightfold group of bodhisattvas. This is really
the same phenomenon as we have seen in the system of sacred
cemeteries of N epal.29 There too we found two groups, one of eight
and the other of three, the one linked to the other by the figure which
they had in common.
It may furtherbe remarked that the name Garbhadhtu makes sense
in the light of the views advanced here. The group consist of deities
who occupy the central place in each of the kyas, i.e., they are placed
in the womb of each. On the other hand, though the use of this term
does not necessarily come into conflict with the construction proposed
by Moens, it certa.inly does not give it any support either.
We may therefore conclude that the pantheon of Mantra Buddhism
follows the pattem of the pantheon of saivasiddhnta down to minor
details, which is not to be wondered at seeing that both are systems
of liberation based on mah-yoga.
At the same time, it is apparent from the foregoing that a comparison of individual figures from the two pantheons can only be
fruitful if each of the figures is seen in connexion with the place
which it occupies in its own system. A comparison purely and simply
on the basis of certain characteristics nevertheless remains attractive,
but it is highly dangerous because it leaves too m).lch room for
subjective judgement to be accepted unquestioningly.
\V e may now make the point that the two pantheons correspond
not only in their original plan but also in the course of their further
development. JUSt as the Sakti-principle Operated in the Saivasiddhnta,
so we find this feature in the system of Mantra Buddhism also.
Both systems teach that the supreme deity split itself, for the sake


Cf. Krom, 1921, pp. 758 ff.

Cf. pp. 99 f. above.



of creation, into two, a feminine principle and a masculine, a division

which is met with in the fundamental ideas of Srpkhya. Such a division
into two is mentioned only with regard to the Primordial Being. Now
this group, consisting of a masculine and a feminine aspect, seems to
have merged with the highest triad of each system. This becomes
clear from various particulars. Certain inscriptions from Further India
give clear evidence of such a development ; the inscriptions on the three
towers of Bat Cwp are all addressed to a triad, but not to one and the
same in each case. One names Buddha-Vajrapl).i-Lokesvara (Padmapl:)i), while the other two mention the triad consisting of BuddhaVajrapl:)i-Prajfipramit. Thus Lokdvara has made place here for
the feminine figure of Prajfipramit.30
This merging seems to have been facilitated by certain speculations,
e.g., by those concerning the sacred syllable Of!l. This is regarded as
breaking down into the three letters a, u, and tp, which stand
respectively for Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha in the system of
Buddhist mysticism. W e have already noted that Hodgson comments
on the Aisvarikas that these represent Buddha as a masculine being,
the symbol of creative power, Dharma as a feminine figure, symbol of
procreative power, while Sailgha as the third figurein the triad is taken
to be the son of them both, the representation of the active unified
power of creation and generation.31 It is noteworthy that such a
triratna is also represented in art. One example of such a representation, with a purely mystical purpose, is the threefold group of
smasna-trla.t)!J.alas as shown in Plate VIII. It is striking that the
third figure is represented by Y ama in his form of "great double
lord", i.e., together with bis "sister" Yami, and thus as the union of
masculine and feminine elements. 32
In this way the feminine element is introduced into the Garbhadhtu,
where it appears beside Buddha and Vajrapl).i as the third figure,
displacing that of Padmapl:)i-Loke..~vara. v\'hereas Vajrapl).i or bis
replacement is the Y ak~a-like representation of Satigha, the role of
representative of Dharma is transferred to a feminine figure. Padmapl).i thus makes way for a feminine figure or is even transformed into
a feminine being. The latter is found in China and Japan in the feminine



1908, pp. 213 ff. See also the inscriptions from Phnom Bnty Nn
(Kern, 1913-29, vol. III, 291ff.) and from Vat Srei Santhor (Senart, in
Aymonier, 1900-04, vol. I, pp. 261-70). On the appearance of both groups in
Further Indian sculpture, see Coedes (1937, pp. 37 ff.).
Cf. p. 95 above.
Cf. pp. 95 f. above, and Gadgil, 1944, pp. 53 ff.



form of Kwanyin or Kwannon. The hypothesis above seems to provide

an acceptable explanation of this change of form.33
The more place is found for the feminine principle the more we
meet it in multifarious ways in the pantheon. If Padmapl).i is surrounded by eight masculine bodhisattvas, his feminine counterpart,
as Tr, is accompanied by eight feminine followers. If the centre of
the third group in the sphere of sa'!lbhogakya is thought to originate
in the union of masculine and feminine principles, and is thus portrayed,
then in later developments the group of Dhyni-Buddhas which surround it are represented by preference in union with their respective
feminine energies.
Simultaneously the phenomenon of the demonizing of the deities
appears. The cause of this phenomenon is most probably to be sought
in the function which these deities had to fulfill in esoteric doctrine.
As we have seen, the nandakandapadma is the field of human qualities,
out of which the ego is built up, and which is to be destroyed by way
of the destruction of the eight elements out of which it is composed.
Originally this was seen in a purely symbolic sense, but eventually
this idea was developed to the point of giving the deities external
forms and attributes corresponding to their functions as destroyers.
Finally, it was put into practice in ritual intended to arouse this internal
image according to the principle laid down in the well-known formula:
yad ihsti tad anyatra, yan nehsti na tat kvacit.
In my opinion it is these elements - pervasion by the feminine
principle, and the demonization of the deities - which define the
extent to which one can speak of "Tantrism" in the sense in which
this term is generally taken today.
If we ask ourselves whether there is any question of Tntrik
developments in a structure such as Barabu4ur, then we can confidently assert that here there is still no sign of it; i.e., that there is
no trace of the influence of the feminine principle nor of a demonization
of particular categories of deities.

It may also be observed that the feminine form of Kwannon is preferably

either two-armed or eighteen-armed, just like Lokesvara. As an example
of such a Lokesvara, reference may be made to the figure of Padmanartesvara
(cf. note 25 above), and also to the vanished so-called Brahm-image at Djakarta,
described by Krom (1922, pp. 601 ff.). Various interesting eighteen-armed and
eight-headed forms of Kwannon, are to be found in Getty, 1928, pp. 77 ff. Cf.
also Reidemeister, 1932, p. 179, PI. 19, and the Tr image found in 1916 at
Nland and reproduced in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of
India, 1927-28, PI. XLIVb.



Over the yea.rs, attempts have not been lacl<ing to give an explanation
of Barabu<J.ur. These attempts may be divided into two large groups,
viz., those which try to give an explanation of the structure on
architectural grounds, and those which try to work out the meaning
of the structure on the basis of textual infonnation.
The former group begin from the assumption that the intention was
to build either a stpa or an enormous cat).<}.i, but that in the course
of the construction the plan had to be changed, for technical reasons,
which led to its present form.34 However ingenious such attempts
may be, they can never be confidently accepted by the archaeologist
since they are unprovable.
The second group of attempts can boast of more success in this
respect. The hypothesis of Stutterheim in particular, based on an
attempt at explanation made a hundred years before by H. N. Sieburgh,
who had far fewer aids at his disposal, and according to which three
spheres seem to be distinguishable in the structure, has contributed
much to a better understanding.S5 Paul Mus took this study as the
point of departure for his penetrating enquiry, which, although it has
brought more minute facts to light, has not been able to lead to
conclusive results. 36
In contrast to the architectural hypotheses, the philological ones
begin with the building as it stands and thus work on a more real
basis. Once this principle is abandoned we are back in the region of
unprovable hypotheses such as the solution which Poerbatjaraka thought
to have provided to the Barabu<J.ur problem.37 On the basis of a story
in the Divyvadna, he expressed the opinion that Barabu<J.ur was
erected a:s the focus of a complex. In the directions of the main axes,
and at three kilometres from the structure, four c~Qis are supposed
to have been projected after the fashion of Cat:t<J.i Mel).Q.ut. Van Erp
has rightly consigned this hypothesis to the realm of conjecture.38 To
judge by what Stutterheim writes in his famous work, he has not
discarded this hypothesis. 39
Of more importance is what Stutterheim has said about BarabuQ.ur




Hoenig, 1924; Parmentier, 1928. vol. li, pp. 264-272; Willekes Macdonald,
1932, pp. 655-691.
De Bruyn, 1937, pp. 78 ff.; Stutterheim, 1928, pp. 28 ff.
Mus, 1935.
Poerbatjaraka, 1925, pp. 536 ff.
Van Erp, 1931, p. 18.
Stutterheim, 1928, p. 5.



as a 111al):c;lala.40 He compares the structure with Tibetan mat.J.9alas,

and arrives at the conviction that Barabuc;lur should be seen as a
ma.I):c;lala, provided that it is borne in mind that the monument serves
other purposes at the same time. The structure is also a stpa and
a replica of the cosmic mountain on to which the supreme godhead
can descend, and it thus serves as a replica of the most sacred mountain
in the world, the Mahmeru in India.
In this, Stutterheim confined hirnself to a consideration of the
exterior, which was enough for his purpose. Mus went further in this
respect. W e are indebted to his study for the observation that Barabuc;lur is not only externally but also "internally" a mat.J.c;lala.
According to him, the structure should be seen primarily as a
tnal).c;lala, one moreover which was built exceptionally beautifully as
a cosmic symbol: it is equally a stpa and a world-mountain. These
aspects are thus not separated but are integrated into one conception.
At this point we may consider a Tibetan text already cited, the
Sr'icakrasa"'!fb/Uiratantra, in which there is a description of the Sricakra,
which may ultimately be assimilated to the Barabuc;lur as cosmic symbol
and as yantra, and the description of which at a number of places
directs one's attention to the monument.41 In the first part a "vihra"
is described as a square foundation with storeys, with doors on the
four sides and a circular, fourfold superstructure crowned with a stpa,
each decorated in the usual fashion. After this the text continues
however with a description of the eight sacred cemeteries. The question
presents itself whether the equivalents of these places should not be
sought at Barabuc;lur.
This question is answerable if we do not regard Barabuc;Iur as an
independent conception, but take account of the fact, established by
V an Erp, that this structure stands on a straight line with the sanctuaries
of Pawon and Met.J.c;lut.42 Van Erp considers it less likely that the
three structures should form a unity since the three sanctuaries are
differently oriented. In Barabuc;Iur, one of the two axes diverges by
only 10 to the West of the N orth line ; at Cal).c;li Pawon and at
Cal).c;li Met.J.c;lut respectively the North line makes an angle of 73 and
of 580 with the main axes.43

Stutterheim, 1933, pp. 233-37.

Tntrik Texts, vol. VII, pp. 23 ff.
V an Erp, 1911, pp. 582 ff.; 1931. pp. 8 ff.
As for the capriciousness of the angles, I may observe that the angles made
by the Ca~ljis Pawon and Me~ljut with the north-south axis of Barabuljur
are in the ratio of almost 5 : 4.



I can see no objections here against the idea that the buildings form
a triad, since it remains the case that they stand on one line, and there
is a popular tradition that the sanctuaries used to be connected by a
road. That V an Erp could discover no traces of such a road is in itself
no objection; it might very well have been symbolic, not a matter of
a solidly laid processional way.
I take it as probable therefore that the three erections did indeed
form a triad, and not only architecturally but also in their religious
conception. In such a case, C~~i Met).~ut could very weil be considered
to form the equivalent to the a1?tamahsmasnas as described in the
Sricakrasa'l!lbhratantra. As we have already proved, these eight cemeteries are representative of the eight petals of the nandakandapadma,
which however may also be symbolically represented by the a1?tamahbodhisattvas, whose figures have been carved on the flanking panels
of the outer walls of the Caf,l~i Met).~Ut. In its symbolic meaning the
Barabu~ur-Met).~Ut group corresponds completely which the description
of the sricakra in the tantra cited.
The bodhisattvas of Met).~Ut have already been many times the object
of discussion, but although this group is in itself interesting enough
it seems unnecessary to go deeper into it here.44 In the temple there
are three !arge stone images placed on three thrones, viz., Buddha
Skyamuni and the bodhisattvas Padmapl}i and Vajrapl]i. There has
long been uncertainty about the last, and it is still a question for
some whether it is indeed Vajrapl}i who is depicted here or whether
it is Mafijusri.45 My own opinion is that the choice here must fall on
the former, particularly because of the positions of the hands of the
image. These correspond in detail with those of a number of images
of Vajrapl]i the identity of which is not in doubt. A clear example



Cf. Krom, 1918, pp. 419-37; Moens, 1919-21, pp. 585 ff. Moens disputes the
theory of Krom, who, on the basis of the Paiicakrama text edited by De la
\' allee Poussin, wishes to assign a place to the bodhisattvas on the ground of
their orientation by the compass-points. Moens maintains that evidence from
such texts can only be used to establish a grouping by pairs. In general, he
declines to assign any absolute value to them though to my mind he is incorrect
in this. The group falls apart into four groups of figures placed opposite each
other, viz., Maitreya- Mafijusri, Khagarbha- K~itigarbha, AvalokitesvaraSarvanivara!)avi~kambhin, and Vajrap!)i Samantabhadra. As far as the
ultimate result is concerned, I am in agreement with Moens' formulation.
Cf. Krom, 1923, vol. I, pp. 318 ff.



is provided by the fragment of a relief representing this bodhisattva

which is at present in the Musee Guimet (No. 17841).46
If we glance at the composition of the group of images in the temple
chamber, we find that here we have precisely the three deities who
together form the Garbhadhtu. One of these three divine figures
would have been replaced in later times by a feminine figure had the
sanctuary remained in use. In this case there would have been a group
which was analogous to the central threefold group of the eight
smasanas, which was surrounded by eight groups of aspects of the
eight different smaSnas. The combination of the eight high bodhisattvas
and the Garbhadhtu composed of three deities is thus not striking.
Let us now rest our attention for a moment on the third sanctuary
of the triad, Cat)Q.i Pawon. The question presents itself what function

should be ascribed to this erection if the two others already provide

a sufficient explanation of the complex on the basis of evidence in the
SricakrasMJtbhratantra. But this also presents no difficulties if we
consider that the three deities who form the Garbhadhtu are each
the head of one of the kyas. The Buddha, as head of the dharmakya,
therefore rightly occupies the highest and central point of BarabuQ.ur;
Padmapl)i is the head of the nirm1;1ak:ya and connected with the
Cal)Q.i Met:J:Q.ut; and Vajrapl)i, finally, as central figure of the sm!!bhogakya, is allotted a place in the Cal)<;li Pawon, lying between
BarabuQ.ur and Mei)Q.ut.
If we take a step further back and no Ionger confine our attention
to these three chief representatives of the pantheon but regard them
more as representative of the three primary centres of the "left-hand
path", then Mei)Q.ut may be seen as the exemplification in stone of
the nandakandapadma, the place where the adept subdues his "individual self" ; Cal)Q.i Pawon is then a reflection of the Kal- or
Lalancakra, the place where the initiate in deep solitude recognizes
hirnself as a deity and worships hirnself as such; and the ascent to the
summit of BarabuQ.ur furnishes a picture of the attainment of the three
"secret cakras" of the Sahasrrapadma by which one becomes the
supreme deity.


Purchased from the Deslouis Collection. There is a photograph of this piece

in the collection of the Kern Institute; it appears also in Plate 3 of a
description of the museum in Bulletin des Musees de France, 1935 (to the
extreme right of the illustration).



It should be remarked here, finally, that we have dealt here only

with the "superstructure" of the system of Mantra Buddhism, while
the "substructure" has not been discussed. As is shown in Table Il,
this substructure is composed of saiva deities. If these also are
represented in stone in this complex, then they have to be sought
outside the complex of Barabuc;lur-Pawon-Met:~c;lut. Grounds are entirely lacking, however, for any settlement of this question.
There is incidentally another Buddhist complex in Java which
perhaps provides a clear picture of the whole system, together with
the saiva substructure, viz., the complex of Sewu and Prambanan.
On the basis of evidence in the Kelurak inscription it may be
assumed that the Buddhist complex of Caryc;li Sewu, together with
Caryc;li Bubrah and Caryc;li Lumbung, also induded the saiva temples
of Prambanan. In this case the "superstructure" of the system of
Mantra Buddhism is tobe found in the triad Sewu-Bubrah-Lumbung,
while the "substructure" is to be seen in the complex of Prambanan
(Lara Jonggrang) with its main temples for siva, Brahm, and Vi~r:tu.
In the inscription from Kelurak from 704 saka (782 A.D.), published
by Bosch, it is mentioned that an image of Mafijusri was erected by
a prince Indra(-varman) of the sailendra dynasty, with the rather
obscure information that the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are concealed in it.47 The representatives of this triratna together form the
Garbhadhtu. The most remarkable thing, however, is that the Trimrti,
the saiva Counterpart of the triratna, is named in the next verse. Here
apparently an intentional demarcation is made between two parts of
the system: a Buddhist upper part, based on a Saiva foundation, in
which the former represents the "left-hand path" and the latter the
"right-hand path" of mah-yoga. It may be remarked therefore that
the terms Buddhism and sivaism are here in fact the designations
of the two parts of which Tntrik yoga is composed, and there are
indeed facts from east Java and Bali which indicate that this distinction
is intended by the use of these terms.
A clear indication of this is provided by the well known Bubuk~ah
story, which is carved on a number of sanctuaries and is popular even
today on Bali; according to Balinese conceptions, it furnishes the
distinction between the pedanda Buddha and the pedanda siva, the
brata of pedanda Buddha being considered much higher since more

Bosch, 1928, pp. 51, 55 f.



difficult than that of the pedanda siva. Sang Buddha is thought to have
acquired his brata in a k~etra, a cemetery, where he had to feed hirnself
Oll everything hideous that he found there, while Bhatra siva acquired
the brata on a mountain-top, where he was able to nourish hirnself
on plants.4B
Let us now concern ourselves with east Java. Here we have the
advantage of possessing a number of written sources which can inform
us on the religious ideas of those days among the literate. These sources
are not only purely religious texts but also chronicles and stories.
A number of the former category have already been adduced. Thus
the Sang Hyang Kamahtiynikan contains much worthwhile evidence,
while texts such as the Sutasoma and others are highly useful as
supplement information. Moens has made extensive use of these texts
in his work.
He has also been able to make use of evidence from inscriptions
and from the Ngarakrtgama, the panegyric poem of Prapafica,
superintendent of the Buddhist clergy, in honour of his patron Rjasanagara, alias Hayam Wuruk. After the writer of this epic has informed
us about the family relations at the court, he gives a description of the
capital of the kingdom, and thereafter a very detailed account of a
journey made by this prince to the eastern tip of the realm, and to
which the major part of his poem is devoted. Prapafica finds occasion
to name a number of sanctuaries, in doing which he does not neglect
to praise his lord on account of the restoration of those that were
dilapidated. At the same timehe learns from a holy man at Singasari
about the history of the princely house, and he relates these facts in
his account. These so-called historical songs are obviously of the
greatest importance for our knowledge of the early history of east Java.
Before we turn to details, however, we should consider the epic
further in itself.
Here we have before us a work by a highly placed ecclesiastical
functionary, and it seems not improbable that this fact will be reflected
in the work itself. There are indeed indications which lead one to
suspect that Prapafica wanted to provide more than a chronicle alone.
The fact that he begins his work with a number of theological considerations is nothing to be surprised at ; and there is as little occasion
for argument about the fact that this exordium contains a number of

Cf. V an Eerde, 1911, p. 10; for the story, see Stein Callenfels, 1918, pp. 348 ff.,
repeated by Kat Angelino, 1922, pp. 35 ff. and Rassers, 1926, pp. 238 ff.



obscure points. The chief pecularity in it is that Y ama is invoked as

"lord of obstacles", a function usually ascribed to Gal)eSa. I have
elsewhere attempted to demonstrate the interchangeability of Gal)e5a
and Y ama under special circumstances.
After the glorification of the ruler himself, which is only to be
expected here, an account of his family relationships follows. In this
the prince's forebears are dealt with first, and then a few strophes
are devoted to the generations down to the ruler himself. And here
we encounter the first surprise, for the monarch's consort and his two
sisters are designated as Devi Su~Uml), Devi IQ., and Devi Pitigal.
These princesses have thus been named after the three great n<;lis
which are known to us from the description of the ~atcakra system.
These n<;lis are also conceived as being feminine, and they form
a microcosmic counterpart of the macrocosmic triad of the great rivers
Sarasvati, Gatig, and Yamun. It can be inferred from this comparison,
therefore, that the princesses Devi IQ. and Devi Pitigal (or, to indicate
them by their usual names, Bhre Kahuripan and Bhre Lasern) stood
in the same family relationship to Hayam Wuruk - a relationship
which is unclear from the text - and also that Prapafica was completely familiar with the terminology of yoga, seeing that he showed
off his knowledge of it at the first opportunity.
Such a passage makes us expect more from the text, but this turns
out to be a disappointment. The journey of Hayam \Vuruk occupies
the major part of the text, and in all probability it had a religious
background. But this emerges only unclearly. In many relations and
in other chronicles the mystical character of the description of a joumey
usually appears clearly, a fact already pointed out by Mangkunegara VII.49 The seeking and finding of supreme mystical understanding
is described as the undertaking of a more or less difficult and dangeraus
joumey, and it is striking how material of - for instance - Indian
origin is refashioned in this sense in Java, apparently with the intention
of increasing its mystical value. A good example of this is furnished by
the story of Sang Satyavn, which is a Javanese reworking, of the
same kind, of the famous Svitri-story from the Mahbhrata.50
Another lakon in which this character emerges clearly is the Bimasuci. The process of inner development, recast as the description of
a hard joumey, is still more clearly to be followed here. The content
is briefly as follows :

Mangkoenagoro VII, 1933, pp. 79-88.

Stein Callenfels, 1924, p. 140; cf. Poerbatjaraka, 1926, p. 42.




Bima (Bhima), the second of the Pl)gavas, undertakes a journey

at the behest of his religious teacher DrOI)a in order to seek the water
of life on the top of the mountain Candramukha; he does not find the
water of life but is attacked by two giants whom he defeats and who
then change into Bhatra Indra. The latter tells him that he had been
misled by his teacher DrOI)a, but that he must return to him and ask
for fresh directions about the location of the water of life. Bima does
so, and DrOf_la teils him that the water of life is to be found in the
depths of the ocean. After bidding his brothers farewell, Bima sets off.
The ocean appears to him in its most awe-inspiring aspect, but Bima
would rather die than return empty-handed. He leaps into the sea
and swims to the middle. On the way he is attacked by a nga, and
only by summoning up all his strength does he succeed in killing it
with his famous thumbnail. Then he comes to an island where he
meets a dwarf who instructs him to crawl into his belly. After demonstrating several times that this is impossible - the dwarf, Devaruci,
is no bigger than his thumb - Bima eventually crawls into Devaruci's
belly and there sees the "inverted world". He also sees Devaruci
hirnself there, and from him receives instruction of a philosophical
kind, particularly with respect to microcosmic and macrocosmic constellations. Finally he obtains the water of life, in which the group
of navasanga gods play an interesting and important part, and then
leaves the body of Devaruci in order to return to his brothers. He is
now completely purified and henceforth bears the name Bimasuci.
According to certain variants of the tale, there follows finally yet
another ascent of a mountain, with which he brings his journey to
an end.51
If there was ever a tale that clearly conveyed an internal process
by means of an external image, and which maintained its symbolical
character to the end, this is it.
The first ascent of the mountain, up to and including the directions
of Indra, forms the "right-hand" or "short" path by which supreme
understanding, in spite of the exertion of all one's' forces, cannot yet
be attained. This is symbolically represented by the failure to find the
water of life. Inexorably, Bima has to return to the point of departure
and there begin his journey anew, whereupon, after a preliminary
immersion, he receives supreme understanding from a dwarf on an island.
The island itself and the instruction by the dwarf display a close

On the Bimasuci and variants, see Poerbatjaraka, 1940, pp. 5-83.



resemblance to what we bave observed with regard to the nandakandapadma. In this place he then acquires supreme understanding;
he takes possession of the water of life.
It is not only in such well-known stories, which still enjoy a great
popularity and not least in connexion with the wayang, but also in
chronicles that we find sometimes similar elements. The Malay chronicle
Sejarah Melayu bas a story which in this respect is just as remarkable.52 When king Suran bad conquered the whole world within bis
reach - and bad thus secured bis recognition as cakravartin - he
bad a glass ehest made in which he went down to the bottom of the
sea, and after a stay there with its ruler he came up again. After bis
return he bad a "town" built consisting of a large Iake, enclosed by
a sevenfold wall, out of which rose an island planted with many lovely
trees and flowers. This town was given the name of Biji Negara.53
A number of very old motifs play a part in this tale, and in all
probability Suran's journey to the bottom of the sea is symbolically
to be equated with the submersion of Bima in the ocean, while Biji
Negara possesses all the features of the island within the nandakandapadma and of which the island of Devaruci similarly forms a
In the Ngarakrtgama, however, such features are less clearly to
be discerned, though it is not impossible tbat they are to be found
expressed in it. An attempt to identify them would present too many
dangers of a subjective interpretation. It is better, therefore, to leave
such an interpretation aside and to state tbat the journey of Hayam
W uruk, though carried out with a religious intention, is not so clearly
described tbat an outsider can recognize it as such from such features.
Moens had rendered us the greatest service in giving a clear exposition of Buddhism as it flourished in eastern Java and Sumatra
in the time of the monarchs Krtanagara and dityavarman. 54 He was
the first to demonstrate the correct understanding of the Tntrik
character ofthisform of Buddhism, in doing which he was at the same
time able to give an acceptable explanation of various rituals and
actions of these rulers about which the chronicles and inscriptions
inform us in often quite different ways. Although the heart of the
matter remained concealed from him - the "why" of the observed

Sejarah Melayu, ed. Munsji, 1840, pp. 23 ff.

Rouffaer (1921, p. 47) reads Biji Negara as Vijayanagara. The description
of the town given in the text would then be symbolically and factually as
inaccurate as is Prapafica's description of the capital of Majapahit.
Moens, 1924, pp. 521-601.



krodha-aspects of this form of Buddhism - he was able, with great

expertness, to give an explanation for numerous problems which had
made a closer understanding of the rites of these rulers impossible.
We are now in a position to state with greater accuracy what role
the Bhairava-cult must have played in esoteric Buddhism, such that
Bhairava hirnself was assigned a secure place in the pantheon corresponding to his function as the central figure in the nandakandapadma.
Thus the ruler's efforts to be recognized as worshipper of Bhairava
no Ionger seem to be an unusual preference, but appear as a conscious
choice determined by the stage of spiritual development which he was
thought to have reached. Though we can thus turn to Moens' study
as far as the religious practices themselves are concemed, we have to
consider certain particulars of the pantheon which formed the basis
of their worship for these rulers.
In this respect we are fairly weil informed.
Krtanagara had a number of replicas made of the pantheon of Ca.t)<;ii
Jago, the sanctuary in which King Vi~~tuvarddhana, father of Krtanagara, was laid. Such replicas all represent the deities in one group,
which is very important for us, since we know by this that we are
confronted with a rounded whole from which no figures are lacking.
In addition to a number of small bronze replicas he also had a stone
copy made which he sent to Maulivarmadeva of Sumatra. The image
was discovered at Padang Cal}<;li and in 1938 was taken to the
Djakarta Museum.55
The replicas show the figure of Amoghapsa-Lokesvara in the middle,
accompanied by four standing deities and surrounded in addition by
eight smaller gods seated on lotus-cushions (see Plate XII).
The four standing deities appear to be Hayagriva, Bhrkuti, Sudhanakumra, and syma Tr. It is a well-known group which also appears
as retinue of other Lokesvara-forms, e.g., Padmanarte5vara.56 Brandes


On the bronze replicas, see Brandes, 1904, pp. 95 ff. The Padang C3.1,1<Ji
image has been described and illustrated in P!eyte (1906, pp. 171-77), and
Kern has discussed the inscription on the back of the image in the same issue
(cf. Kern, 1913-29, vol. VI, pp. 165-175). The image is at present in the
Djakarta Museum, No. 6469; cf. Jaarboek van het Bataviaasch Genootschap
van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, 1939, p. 102.
Cf. Foucher, 1900, vol. II, pp. 37 ff. This Lokesvara is a typical "productfigure" : he is seated on an eight-petalled Iotus and is provided with eighteen
arms and nine heads, and is surrounded by eight goddesses. He is a complete
counterpart to the goddess Guhyesvarl, one of the most mystical forms of the
Buddhist Devl, who has already been discussed above (cf. pp. 87 f.). Illustrations are to be found in Sankalia, 1939, pp. 278-281.



has brought tagether an important quantity of evidence in the monograph he devoted to the Jago-monument,57 which Grnwedel has
amplified with a number of comments on some older groupings of
the so-called paiictmaka which must have formed the basis of the
group.SB In spite of this evidence the group remains rather puzzling.
It can be split into two parts, viz., the pair of snta-deities Tr and
Sudhanakumra, and the two krodha-forms Bhrkuti and Hayagriva.
Although each group consists of a masculine and a feminine figure,
the latter can no Ionger be regarded as the sakti of the former. In
both cases the feminine figure is of higher rank than the masculine.59
The group gives too little to hold on to for us to risk an explanation.
But the second group of deities also presents various difficulties
of interpretation. It appears to be composed of four Dhyni-Buddhas
and four Trs, who are to be taken as their feminine energies. But
this immediately presents certain peculiarities.
It should be noted in the first place that there are only four DhyniBuddhas and only four Trs instead of five. As far as the DhyniBuddhas are concerned, a solution may be sought in reckoning the
figure of Amitbha in the head-dress of Amoghapsa as the fifth in
the series. This is what is apparently done in the inscription in which
the Padang Cat:l<;li image is said to be caturdaitmika, "itself the
fourteenth", i.e., that it is accompanied by thirteen followers. If we
add together the four Dhyni-Buddhas, the four Trs, and the four
followers of Amoghapsa we thus arrive at twelve followers, so that
only one is missing. Here then Amitbha may occupy the thirteenth
Butthis procedure produces a new difficulty, since on the one hand
we have five Dhyni-Buddhas and on the other four Trs. Now we
can assume that the fifth Tr, that of Amoghasiddhi, corresponds
to syma Tr, whom we have already met among the four chief
followers of Amoghapsa, so that the latter need not be brought on
to the stage a second time. There is however another and more likely
possible solution to this problem. This lies in the interesting position

Brandes, 1904, p. 97.

Grnwedel, in bis edition of Trantha's Edelsteinmine (1914, p. 19, note).
This is clear in the case of Tr and of Sudhanakumra. The sakti of
Hayagriva is not Bhrkuti but Ekajati. Bhrkuti exhibits a number of peculiarities which are characteristic of Prajiipramit. Cf. Foucher, 1900, vol. I,
p. 131; Hbgirin, 1930, p. 72, art. Bikuchi.
Cf. Krom, 1918, vol. II, pp. 126 ff. The reference is made on the pedestal of
the image, found at Padang Rotjo.



of Locan, originally the Tr of Ak~obhya, but who later appears

to join Vairocana.
Brandes has already observed that the Locan image from C~4i
Jago exhibits a discrepancy. Instead of the vajra, the attribute of
Ak~obhya, she bears a cakra, the attribute of Vairocana, on the red
lotus which she holds in her left hand. There is no doubt as to the
identity of the image, for it is provided with a clear inscription which
stamps it as Locan. The same scholar also remarked that this is not
a mistake, particularly since this discrepant feature finds support in
an expression in the Sang Hyang Kamahynikan, in which a comparison is made between Locan, the Tr of Ak~obhya, and Vajradhtvisvari, the Tr of Vairocana,61 The two goddesses can therefore
be represented by one figure.62 How did this equivalence come about?
If we are correct, it is the figure of Vairocana that we have to
examine in order to arrive at an explanation of this peculiarity.
As is well known, this figure can appear as the fifth and central
memher of the group of five Dhyni-Buddhas, hut it can also appear
as one of a group of four, in which case he occupies the place of
Ak~ohhya. Another singularity is provided hy the name of his Tr.
Vajradhtvi:Svari is really a pure qualification of the Tr of the head
of the Vajradhtu, and thus of the Vajradhtvi:Svara, but according
to the scheme given in Tahle II this is not Vairocana but Vajrasattva,
the special sarphhogakya-aspect of Vajrap!.fi. This permits the Supposition that V airocana can also take the place of the head of the
Vajradhtu. It seems to me that this hypothesis finds support in the
figure of Mahvairocana of the Shingon system of Buddhism. As is
well known, this Dhyni-Buddha is not clothed in monk's rohes hut
is adorned in princely garments. N ow it is striking that V airocana in
the form of Vajradhtvi:Svara, as appears from the companionship of
his Tr Vajradhtvisvari, no Ionger wears monk's rohes hut is
similarly decorated with princely ornaments.3
That such shifts were possihle is most probably the result of the
complex make-up of the sarphhogakya-sphere of the system of Mantra


Kats, 1910, pp. 114 ff., 189. Cf. Brandes, 1904, pp. 59 ff.
Cf. Bosch, 1918, pp. 29-31.
An example is provided by the remarkable bronze at Leiden (No. 1402/2862)
of Vairocana and VajradhtviSvari: in royal rohes. Cf. Juynboll, Catalogus
Leiden, vol. V, p. 80, PI. XI, 2; Krom, 1916, pp. 321 ff.; Oudheidkundig
Vers/ag, 1917, pp. 141, 144. He is distinguished as a yak~a by the presence of
jewel-boxes, as for example in the bronze from Badawi now at Jogyakarta
(cf. Oudheidkundig Vers/ag, 1925, p. 88).



+ +

Buddhism (cf. Table li). The composition of this (4

1 1)-group
necessitated as it were a diminution to a more normal (4
The simplest alterationwas the replacement of Vajrasattva by Vairocana.
The position of Vairocana as Vajradha.tvisvara did not however
remain undisputed; it was possible for him to be driven out of his
central place by the true Vajradha.tvisvara. In this case he in his turn
displaces one of the other Dhyni-Buddhas, viz., Ak~obhya. But then
his Tr Vajradha.tvisvari cannot follow him; so he acquires Locan,
Tr of Ak~obhya, as his consort. 64 That Vairocana acquires first
Locan and then Vajradha.tviSvari must then have led to the equivalence of these two Tiiriis, even though this was not strictly necessary.
This equivalence had however its consequences. If Locan is in
question, namely, it is not immediately clear which place she is to
occupy in the pantheon. This is not possible even if she is named as
Tiir of Vairocana, without further identification, whether in the form
of a qualification of the function of Vairocana or in that of a definition
of the position of Locan herself.
N ow that W'e know more about Vairocana and his changeable
character, let us concern ourselves with the much disputed problern of
the mortuary statues of the king Krtanagara. Prapa.fica has recorded
information on them in a number of verses of his epic which excel in
obscurity. It is said in strophe 43: 5, at least according to Kern's
translation, that the king was generally called "he who died blissfully
in siva-Buddha's world", and that there is an unusually beautiful image
of siva-Buddha in the place where he is interred. Poerbatjaraka has
tried to make it appear probable that this information should better
be translated as: "here [i.e., at Tumapel, the residence of Ra~sa,
Prapa.fica's informant] is the place where is he interred [represented
as] an extremely beautiful siva-Buddha image." 65 This difference in
translation is not without significance, since the Iatter excludes the
possibility that the place concerned should be CaJ:t<;li Jawi, a saivaBuddhist sanctuary which was the repository of the king's remains
and which is mentioned explicitly in song 55 et seq. According to this
translation the siva-Buddha image should therefore be sought at
Tumapel, a possibility which is by no means excluded by Kern's


Vajradhtvisvari is then the sakti of Vajrasattva, as for example in the

Catpjamahro~a1}atantra, quoted in Avalon, Tntrik Texts, vol. XIV, p. 17.
Poerbatjaraka, 1918, pp. 113 ff.; cf. Biom, 1939, p. 127.



Moreover, strophe 43 : 6 mentions still further mortuary statues,

na.mely, according to Kern's translation; "And he is erected at Sagala
as an extremely beautiful Jina-image. Also as Ardhan.risvara united
[or coupling] with Her Majesty Vajradevi, his consort in [the
furtherance of] the welfare of the world, taking part in the sacred
rites and beliefs: the Supreme Being (hyang) Vairocana and Locan
[bis feminine counterpart] bear their likeness in an image which is
celebrated in the land."
Herewe have a Vairocana and a Locan in connexion with a mortuary statue which seems at the same time to be a Ardhanri. This image,
moreover, is apparently a "portrait", something which by western
conceptions is most exceptional since by virtue of its bisexual character
it scarcely lends itself to the purpose. How did it come about that
precisely this form was chosen ?
I suggest that in the first place we ought to try to determine the
position of Vairocana and Locan more exactly. The queen is identified
here with Locan and is also named Vajradevi. In this case it appears
that we should recognize Vajradhtvisvari in Locan, and see Vairocana as the hea.d of the 5a1!1bhogakya. If we see Vairocana and Locan
here as the representatives of sa.tpbhogakaya, originating in the nnion
of dharmakya, conceived as masculine, and nirmtfakya, regarded as
feminine, then the choice of this image is less strange. Fundamentally
the group forms the representative of the jivtman, the individual
soul. In saivasiddhnta Sadsiva corresponds generally to this figure,
and this figure also is represented by preference as Ardhanri.66
In his translation, Kern had taken the passage in strophe 43 : 6 as
the description of a single image, but it seems to me that it concerns
a Jina-image and an Ardhanri as well. In sum, therefore, strophes
5 and 6 of song 43 name three mortuary images which form a religious
triad and all three of which should be sought in the near surroundings
of Singasari, viz., a Jina-image (representing the dharmakya), an
Ardhan.ri (representative of the sarpbhogakya), and a siva-Buddhaimage, a Bhairava, as typical representative of the nirmtfakaya.
As for the identification of these images, the Jina of Sagala has
been identified by Bosch with fair certainty as the Ak~obhya of Malang,
the replica of the Ak~obhya image of Kedung W ulan, better known
as the Jaka Dolok of Simpang (Surabaya). Stutterheim has proposed
on good grounds that the Ardhanri image at Berlin must be the

Cf. Avalon, 1919, p. 65*; 1933, p. 382.




second image.67 The third image is to be found in the famous Bhairava

image of Singasari, at present at Leiden.
Let us pause a while at this last image, and consider especially the
question in which sanctuary this image must originally have stood.
We lmow from the Pararaton that the Purwapatapan was at Singasa.ri, where Krtanagara held his sacred conferences with his cakracompanions, and where he also met his death. Moreover, the ruler
was interred in this sanctuary.68
Miss Jessie Blom has shown in her thesis that the Purwapatapan
may weil find its location in "CaJ?.<;li B" of Singasari.69 Rouffaer has
already observed 70 that this temple may be the sivabuddhlaya which
is mentioned in the inscription of Gunung Butak of 1216 saka
(1294 A.D.), particularly on the basis of the saiva-Buddhist character
of the image of Prvati found in this structure and which is better
lmown as "the image with the bishop's mitre". It represents a female
figure, flanked by two smaller masculine figures in princely garments.
Above these acolytes there are another four smaller figures carved
against the backpiece, viz., to the right, GaJ?.esa and Guru, to the left
Mahkla (Bhairava) and Krtikeya. Two of these smaller figures
attract particular attention because they appear in exactly the same
form in a group of the demonie form of Devi, a CmuJ?.<;l. The figures
of GaJ?.eSa and Mahkla appear in this image also. The latter figure
strongly resembles in both groups the Bhairava image of Singasari,
at present at Leiden, and this makes it probable that the three images
belong with each other and perhaps were erected in one and the same
sanctuary. In this case the three images would originally be from
"Cal)<;li B ".
Rouffaer points out that Brumund had remarked that this structure
was divided into three compartments, and that the image of Prvati
was in the southern compartment. He suggests that the Leiden BhaiBosch, 1917, pp. 135-152; 1918, pp. 21-32; Stutterheim, 1932, pp. 715-26; Moens,
1933, pp. 123-150, 292-306.
68 Berg (1938, pp. 158 ff.) raises objections on this point, but they can for the
most part be dissolved if the character of a "mortuary temple" is seen in a
wider sense than as a sanctuary constructed for the very particular purpose of
depositing the ashes of a deceased king in it. It seems more correct to assume
that certain ca1.1<;lis were by their nature more or less suitable for such a
function, namely those in which initiation ceremonies had been held, symbolically destroying the ego or "individual self".
69 Biom, 1939, pp. 60 ff.
7 Rouffaer, in Brandes, 1909, pp. 76 ff., 87 ff.



rava belongs in the middle one, but finds it less easy to name an
occupant for the northern. As Jessie Biom rightly observes, what
stood here was not the linga-pedestal, as Rouffaer - for want of a
better hypothesis - concluded. 71 But this astute scholar did not know
either of the existence of the Cmut:t<;l-image which in 1928 was found
in fragments at Ardimulya in the immediate neighbourhood of Singasari
and was in that year reconstructed by the care of the Archaeological
Service.72 Although badly damaged, it remains a very interesting piece
(Plate XIII). I have remarked above that the piece is a complete match
to the Tibetan smasna-mat:t<;lalas. It is thus par cxcellence a piece
belonging to surroundings where ceremonies are performed which to
judge by their type formed a part of the Bhairava cult. W e can thus
imagine that the CmuiJ.<;l of Ardimulya stood in the northern compartment of Krtanagara's Purwapatapan, as a demonie form of Devi,
and that the image of Prvati, as a peaceful aspect of the sarne goddess,
constituted a counterpart in the southern compartment, while Mahk.la
had his place between the two.
Although a location for the Cmu:~f<;l image has thus been found,
not all the riddles connected with it have been solved. One of the
peculiarities which is as yet unexplained is the presence of a pair of
small carvings above the two followers of the main figure. One is so
damaged that it cannot be distinguished or explained. The other
displays a feminine figure sitting with drawn-up legs on a large fish.
This is a representation which is by no means unknown in East
Javanese art. It occurs more than once, namely in reliefs which - as
Galestin has shown- illustrate the Story of sri Taiijung.73 However,
it is precisely this scene which raises difficulties in the interpretation
of the reliefs. The text of the story itself makes no mention of it, and
it can only be explained in a round-about way. In any case, it seems
highly unlikely that the representation on the CmuiJ.<;l image should
have anything to do with the sri Tafijung Story. So it would seem
more correct to seek an explanation in a purely iconographical direction.
The representation answers in fact to the description found in texts
of the goddess Triveni or Yuktatriveni, who sits on a fish with her
legs drawn up behind her.74 But what has this goddess to do with
our image?
Biom, 1939, p. 66.
Oudheidkundig Verslag, 1928, vol. I, pp. 21 ff.; O.D. Photographs Nos. 88978906, 9019-9030, 9045-9046, 9066.
;a Galestin, 1939, pp. 154 ff.; Prijono, 1938.
74 Moor, 1864, p. 28; cf. Knebel, 1904, pp. 258, 292.




Triveni is the personification of the confluence of the three great

sacred rivers of India, the Ganga, Yamun., and Sarasvafi.75 As is
weil known, these are represented as feminine deities, and this macrocosmic image has a microcosmic counterpart in the three n.Q.is, I<;l,
Pingal, and Su~uml). The name Y uktatriveni occurs in the ~atcakra
system, namely as a designation of the M ldhra. Thus the small
figure on the fish may be an indication of the sphere to which the
image belongs, though we have to keep in mind that there can be no
question here of the Mldhra but of the nandakandapadma, which
because of their common character continually changes place with
the Mldhra.76
Let us now make some observations on a company of gods which
to this very day occupy a prominent place on Bali.

There is nothing surprising in the observation that there is a great

deal of mysticism under the surface of the ritual of the Balinese
pedanda. Various authors have already dealt amply with the matter.77
The use of mystical letters and figures in it is well known. Weck has
made a comparison within one illustration of the mystical character
rNam-bcu-dban-ldan, which has been examined above in the present
work, and the Balinese mystical figure which corresponds to it.78 We
repeatedly come across the symbols of moon-sickle, sun-disc, and flame
on Bali as representing the "secret cakras", candrama.t:lQ.ala, sryamal)Q.ala and agnimal)Q.ala, which are known on Bali also.79 We find
such symbols on macrocosmic representations, too, e.g., on the Karangasem meru (Archaeological Servicephotograph No. 2665).
Goris, who has specially concerned hirnself with the ritual of the
pedanda and with the mautras uttered in it, has discovered a number
of points of connexion with Purl)ic writings. Many rituals acquire
additional meaning in this way, and the Balinese ngili-atma ceremony
seems tobe a counterpart of the ~atcakrabheda of the Indian vajrcrya.
In both cases the priest adorns hirnself with a crown during this ritual,
bears the same attributes of vajra and ghal)t, and makes corresponding




It may be asked in this connexion which idea is primary. As is well known,

the Sarasvatl as an "underground river" is purely imaginary. Has the macrocosmic idea influenced the microcosmic or vice versa?
Cf. pp. 34 f. above.
Goris, 1926; Hallema, 1924-25; Kat Angelino, 1922; Weck, 1937.
Weck, 1937, p. 75, pl. 13.
Goris, 1926, pp. 21, 64.



use of flowers during the ceremony. Plate XIV shows both priests
side by side, one from Bali and the other from Nepal.
During the memukur-ceremony, a ritual of release on behalf of the
soul of a deceased, the pedanda employs a nurober of special attributes.
In the first place there is the kekasang, a square cloth kept on the lap
of the priest and which for this ceremony is usually decorated with
embroidered nava-sanga emblems standing for the group of nine deities.
Moreover, he does not use the suvamba as container for the holy
water during this ceremony, but the sangku sudamala or nava-sanga
cup, a special form of the prasens or zodiac-cup.SO
The nava sanga or nava devat thus appear to be specially connected
with this ceremony, and therefore with the mortuary ritual. However,
the group also occurs elsewhere, e.g., on a key-stone in Cat:t<;li Ngrimbi
(see Plate XVa).
Daroste has made a special study of the group and has collected
material on it.Sl He has the following to say about it:
"It was at a cremation feast at Karangasem that I first became
acquainted with it. In the death-chamber there was a bed of state next
to the deceased- a young girl- with a Iot of cushions. At the head
stood a likeness of Devi Ratih, the goddess of Iove and beauty ; a little
lower was a representation of Pertiva, representing understanding,
and then lower down there was an arrangement of nine bowls, one
in the middle and eight around it (the whole forming not a circle but
a square), each one with a cushion. All the cushions were of different
colours. The central one was multicoloured, and the eight surrounding
ones, each marking a point of the compass, were of single colours.
Each colour stood for a deity.
At later cremation ceremonies I saw the same ideas symbolized in
a square piece of cloth on which these gods were represented by
embroidered depictions of the divine weapons (astra or sikep) in the
appropriate colours. This group of eight gods of the cardinal points
(a~tadevat) exist in and derive from siva, and in the resultant total
of nine they are thus called the nava devat- or the nava sanga. Sometimes two gods are added to them, for the zenith and the nadir, thus
making ten guardians of the world (dasa lokaplakas) grouped around
siva, the whole grouping together with siva then being named Ekda.Sa
Rudras. All these deities have their energies (sakti), represented as
their feminine Counterparts, their consorts."


Scholte, 1919, pp. 64 ff.

Damste, 1922, pp. 74 ff.; 1926, pp. 254 ff.; Goslings, 1926, pp. 200 ff.



Such a kekasang, with the weapons of the nava sanga embroidered

on it, is illustrated in Plate XVb.S2 A similar cloth is to be seen lying
in the lap of the pedanda in Plate XIVa. The available evidence on
the N ava sanga is summed up below in tabular form, and a representation of the group in the form of a compass-card is given in Figure 13.83
The fact that we are dealing here with a group of eight aspects of
siva, centred upon siva himself, and with a group of eight aspects
of his consort, grouped in the same way about Um, forcefully recalls
the group of eight Bhairavas and their saktis which we have learned
to recognize as the dwellers upon the eight petals of the nandakandapadma. When we see that the group appears to have a special significance during the mortuary ritual, and that it is precisely this rite which
is aimed at the welfare, the Iiberation, of the individual soul, then we
can be assured that we are indeed dealing with an entirely equivalent
system. I t is singular then that qualities should be ascribed to the
various deities in the group, and in such a fashion that here once more
all the qualities and human desires are brought together. Similar
expositians aretobe found in, e.g., the Koraw.Srama (VII, 8 and VIII,









Mahdeva Sati















light red




gad or
Mahdevi trisla
light blue helpful

The originals are in the Royal Institute of the Tropics, Amsterdam.

The names are restored so far as possible to their Sanskrit forms.



Schematic representation of the Nava-sanga system of Bali.*

( N.)



(N.W.) Sankara

( W. ) Mahdeva - - - -


' / / Sambhu (N.E.)

----1vara ( E. )

(S.W.) Rudra / ; '

"'Mahe!vara (S.E.)


( S.}
Fig. 13.

11).84 The organs of the human body are also brought into relation
with this group.S5
I t is from an iconographical standpoint, however, that the group
is most interesting. In the first place it should be noted that although
the group is in principle an eightjnine group, i.e., it consists of a main
figure with eight aspects surrounding it, there is nevertheless one
important qualification to be made. \V e observe, namely, that the gods
seated to the N orth and the South are not in fact aspects of siva but
are the gods Vi1;>l)U and Brahm. This can be no accident, and all the
less because of the places they occupy in the group and which make
it possible to draw a vertical line through it connecting the trinity of
Vi1;il)U-Siva-Brahm. This feature can be explained if we assume that
in a group composed of siva with eight surrounding aspects another
group of three deities, in which siva was similarly the foremost figure,
was substituted at the same time as two of the eight aspects of siva



Cf. Scholte, 1919, p. &3.

Swellengrebel, 1935, pp. 79, 97, where it is told how Ga!J.e5a "oracles" the
gods about their nature from the magical book Lingapra1Jijla.
Cf. Kat Angelino, 1922, pp. 410-414; Goris, 1926, pp. 126-132.



were eliminated. Here too, therefore, we have a feature which we have

repeatedly encountered in other pantheons.S6
The nava sanga group becomes even more interesting when we
observe the way in which it is expanded into a group of eleven by
the addition of the deities occupying the zenith and the nadir, and that
this corresponds with the fashion in which the group of the Ekdasa
Rudras is composed. These two figures are respectively Paramasiva
and Sadsiva. I t should be noted here that in this process of expansion
Sadsiva and siva usually change places, so that Sadsiva occupies
the centrat position and siva the nadir. At the same time it is explicitly
explained that Sadsiva is Ardhasiva or else siva-Devi or sivaArdhanrisvara. 87
A comparison of this system with that of Saivasiddhnta Ieads to
the observation that here we are dealing with the contraction of the
latter system into a more concentrated form. Here too there is an
attempt at simplification by which deities of different "dimensions"
are compounded, as we have been able to establish was the case in
The nava sanga group forms in this way an unusually fine and clear
example of this process of simplification of more complex pantheons,
and at the same time aff<?rds us the opportunity the better to perceive
the process of development in other systems. However the name of the
Balinese group may be garbled, a profound original meaning is certainly
present in it.


Cf. p. 99 above.
Van der Tuuk, 1897-1912, vol. I, p. 542, s.v. nava-; cf. Goslings, 1926, p. 204.


Taking to heart Grnwedel's remark that archaeology must be

founded upon an understanding of the nature and meaning of the
yantras, in the widest sense of this word,l I have attempted here to
make these objects of meditation the subject of an inquiry.
Such an investigation is only possible, however, if evidence is
available on the way in which such objects of meditation are employed,
particularly in Tntrik yoga. To study the evidence on classical Rja-yoga is unsatisfactory for this purpose; the ideas of Hatha-yoga and
their further development in Tntrik yoga need to be brought into
the investigation. Y et this stipulation raises the most difficult problems
in our research, for Hatha-yoga is a secret doctrine and the facts which
we happen to have at our disposal form a still practically unexplored
territory. In different works Avalon has brought together and set in
order a great deal of material,- particularly in hisSerpentPowerbut this has still not explained all the peculiarities of the system. W e
still need to possess more facts for this to be possible.
Meanwhile, there is one category of ideas which lend themselves
to closer study and which are at the same time of prime importance
for our investigation, viz., the category of microcosmic and macrocosmic concepts.
From a painstaking examination of this material it appears that
two original systems have been united in the microcosmic ideas of
Tntrik yoga, and in an exceptionally ingenious way, whereby each
of the component parts has remained largely independent and represents
one of the two paths of the complete procedure.
The first path, that of the "right hand", is found in its most
elaborate form in the microcosmic conception as a series of six centres
lying one above the other in the body, these being connected by
"channels" and crowned by a seventh.
A closer examination of these cakras reveals however that this
system - which Avalon has well described in his justly renowned

Cf. p. 57 above.



work 2 - in reality derives from a simpler system of three such centres.

The granthi{;thnas are indications of this. \Vhen, moreover, we see that
a form of Devi is localized in the lowest cakra} and siva in the highest,
above the six others, it becomes feasible to discern in such an arrangement an underlying idea which also lies at the basis of Smkhya} viz.,
the concept of a triad consisting of a masculine and a feminine principle
tagether with the product of their union.
This union is precisely what yoga is about : one strives for the
complete subjection of the functioning of the organs in order that
they may be wholly directed to the aim in view, vis., mystical union
with the Supreme Being; or, to put the matter in microcosmic terms,
the elevation of Devi from the lowest cakra to the highest and her
union with siva, whereby supreme bliss, symbolically expressed by
the production of soma} is attained.
During the course of this path of yoga, bhakti} adoring submission
to the Supreme Being, plays an important part. Here the union with
the Supreme Being is sought in an emotional and dynamic sense; in
its striving to transcend the subject-object duality this form of yoga
recognizes a self-sacrifice, a transport, in which the soul - which
itself is passive - is lifted by divine mercy and in which there is
brought about an identification born in ecstasy.3
The other path of Tntrik yoga differs totally in character from
the "right-hand path" just described. By this "left-hand path", identification with the Supreme Being, at the supreme moment of which
duality no Ionger exists, is sought in a speculative and static sense.
This method sees the "ego-less" being as entirely identical with the
divine Unity; it starts from the identity of the human and the divine
principle which is manifested through introspection. Here man hirnself
is the omnipotent factor. It is clear that it is merely a step from this
kind of yoga to magic; the practitioner of this yoga often strays from
the path, and the descriptions of how this path is followed continually
testify to the grave dangers of erring in such a manner.
In following the left-hand path the sdhaka strives for the annihilation of the "individual self" by the destruction of the elements of

Avalon, 1919, 1933.

On the distinction between these two forms of yoga, cf. Schuurman (1934,
pp. 21 ff.). The same author also provides particulars on a similar distinction
between mystical systems in Java, known by the names "pamor ing kawula
gusti" and "ingsun".



which it is composed, of human tendencies and desires which are

generally grouped under eight headings. One strives to become avadhta, a passionless being, feeling neither love or hate, joy or sorrow,
and so on. What is at issue here is not temporary subjection of the
operation of the senses, but a complete destruction of the passions.
This is thought possible to attain only by bringing the senses intentionally in touch with their objects, by which one becomes possessed
by the consciousness of interrelatedness found in any form of intoxication. The practices of the "left-hand path" are largely explained by this.
In order to understand these practices properly, however, it is
necessary to make another point.
A symbolic conception of the process of the destruction of the ego,
the individual self, is formed, and in such a way that this symbolic
representation can at the same time be carried into practice. The inner
process is brought about by the performance of an external ritual, on
the basis of a saying such as that in the ViSvasratantra which forms
the motto of the present work, yad ihsti tad anyatra, yan nehsti na
tat kvacit, "what is here is elsewhere, what is not here is nowhere",
an utterance strongly reminiscent of Hermes Trismegistos.
The idea of destruction naturally evokes the association with the
cemetery, where the corporeal body is disintegrated. The place where
initiation ceremonies of the left-hand path are preferably carried out
is thus this cemetery, and the prescribed ritual practices find their
inspiration in this sphere.
It is one of the most typical characteristics of Tantrism proper that
these sympathetic trains of ideas have been pursued to their most
extreme consequences, with all the aftermath of the demonie practices
connected with them. At the centre of this cult stands the god Bhairava,
the bloodthirsty aspect of siva, with his henchmen.
N ow it happens that it is not only the conceptions and practices
of the followers of the left-hand path of Tntrik yoga - i.e., of
Bhairava-worshippers - which may be explained in this way and
therefore cease to appear meaningless, but the centres of the microcosm which play a part in this process have also assumed a form which
once more corresponds with these conceptions and practices.
This holds in particular for the nandakandapadma, which forms
the basis of the microcosmic system of the "left-hand path". It is the
eight-petalled "lotus of the heart" which is the source of all bliss, and
which, under the name of hrdaya-putJifar'ika is by no means unknown



in Purl).ic literature.4 The eight specifically human cha.racteristics are

linked with its eight petals.
This Iotus only acquires its full interest, however, in the light of
the fact, which has emerged in the course of the present work, that
it is equally the seat of Bhairava, surrounded by his eight aspects, one
on each of the petals.
This discovery has made it possible to determine with certainty
the function of a nurober of groups of deities in the pantheon of
saivasiddhnta and above all in that of Mantra Buddhism.
It has now been common practice for about a hundred years to
explain the appearance of demonie deities, derived from saivism, in
the Buddhist pantheon by the terrible aspect of these deities. They
have been thought to owe to this their suitability as dharmaplas,
guardians of the doctrine, in which function their task is on the one
hand to scare away and even pursue and destroy unbelievers, and on
the other hand to be helpful to the adept in his strivings to acquire
supreme understanding.5 The first tas~ has been easy for outsiders
to appreciate and has therefore been placed in the foreground ; but
the second admitted no explanation by reference to the external
appearance of the various deities and remairred a formula without
content, often repeated and paraphrased but never understood.
Now, however, it seems possible to fit in the missing link and to
ascribe to the "terrifying" deities a function agreeing with their actual
character. In this way it becomes clear how and why their more
important task is the furtherance of the believers' striving after supreme
understanding, whereas their character as "guardians of the doctrine"
is relegated to the status of a secondary explanation.
To distinguish the function of a certain group belonging to a hierarchically ordered pantheon has its consequences. It initiates a process
of further and continuing revelation concerning the nature and functions
of other groups in the same pantheon, and eventually it may make
possible the systematic reconstruction of an important part of the
Although such a reconstruction is undoubtedly open to great dangers
of incorrect interpretation, I have tried to work out the structure of
the pantheon of Mantra Buddhism, particularly the important groups


Cf. Goris, 1926, pp. 63 ff.

First ( ?) formulated by Koeppen (1906, vol. II, pp. 33 ff.).



which compose the "superstructure" of this system, the part which

for the foliower of the "left-hand path" is of the greatest importance.
The "suhstructure" of the system is sivaitic as far as the names
of the divine figures are concerned; these are the figures which
participate in the "right-hand path", that of the practitioner of the
~atcakrabheda. The "superstructure" begins with the eightjnine group
of the supreme bodhisattvas. The central figure of this group is joined
with the central figures of two other groups into a triad. The triad
and the eightjnine group have exerted a mutual influence on ea.ch
other. Through the fact that they bad one figure in common they
were able to merge into each other. Sometimes such a merging can
be established with certainty, and it then becomes possible to explain
a great part of the pantheon concerned. Such formations, with their
exceptional difficulties and peculiarities, constitute some of the most
interesting subjects in Indian iconography.
In Tntrik yoga two mystical systems are combined in a way that
is as sublime as it is profound. So long as there is an intentional
transition between the two forms, so long as they form a unity, we
are in the presence of one of the highest conceivable forms of mysticism,
and one which has found expression in the most forceful and beautiful
way in art.6
This unity, however, has not been preserved. The emphasis has
increasingly fallen on the "second path", to the simultaneous neglect
of the first. The balance has been disturbed and speculative thought
has been increasingly directed towards the really magical practices so
easily arrived at by this path. Evenh1ally they led to practices which
necessarily brought about the downfall of the whole system. Thus it
came to an end.
Is there a way back?
The question is not meaningless. The spirit of mysticism is predominant in Indian religions. Any attempt to establish spiritual contact
with the people of India must take account of this fact, and the missions
in particular have to recognize that this is the case. But can they
establish a connexion with what exists?

The Tantras themselves stress the commandment that the "left hand path"
may not be followed until after the "right hand path" has been completed,
and even then only under the guidance of an experienced guru. Tantrism
ought not therefore to be judged exclusively by the standards of the "lefthand path", as is commonly done in Western evaluations of the process.



It might be possible in a certain way to link up with the "right-hand

path". But the existence, and more seriously the supremacy, of the
other, the "left-hand path", cannot be denied. An attempt might perhaps
be made to undermine this supremacy, i.e., to force a way back.
The possibility of doing this is not to be thought of; it is unrealizable.
Thus the present work has led me to a definite conclusion. It may
have clarified certain problems ; it has certainly posed and underlined
the importance of other and weightier problems. The solution of such
questions must be left to others, even though the search for solutions
may well seem like the quest for the philosopher's stone. But, after
all, is it not ultimately the search for this stone, not the finding of it,
that counts ?


(N.B.: for abbreviations used, see pp. 157 f.)

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London, 8vo.
Principles of Tantra (Tantratattva). 2 vols. London, 8vo.
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The Serpent Power, &c. 2nd edition. Madras, 8vo.
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Aymonier, E.
1900-04 Le Cambodge. 3 vols. Paris, 8vo.
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Naauwkeurige beschryvinge van Malabar en Choroman1672
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Banerji, R. D.
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W oodroffe, John
Shakti and Shkta. Essays and addresses on the Shkta
Tantra Shstra. 3rd ed. Madras, 8vo.
See also: A valon, Arthur.
Woods, J. H.
The Yoga-system of Pataiijali, or the ancient Hindu
Doctrine of Goncentration of Mind. Cambridge (Mass.),
Harvard Griental Series, XVII.
Wulff, K.

Sang Hyang Kamahynan Mantrnaya; anspracke bei

der weihe buddhistischer mnche. Aus dem altjavanischen
bersetzt und sprachlich erltert. K~penhavn, 8vo.
Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Hist.-fil. Medd.
XXI, 4.

Zimmer, H.
Kunstform und Yoga im indischen Kultbild. Berlin, 8vo.

Abh. kn.-Bayer. Akad. d. Wissensch. : Abhandlungen der kniglichenBayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (in German).
Annuaire Inst. Phil. & Hist. Orient. : Annuaire de !'Institut de Ia
philologie et histoire orientale (in French).
BEFEO: Bulletin de l'Ecole franc;aise d'Extreme-Orient (in French).
Bijdragen TLV: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (van
Nederlandsch-Indie) (in Dutch).
Cult. lnd. : Cultureel Indie (in Dutch).
Djw: Djw, tijdschrift van het Java-lnstituut (in Dutch).
Elsev. Geill. Maandschr.: Elseviers Geillustreerd Maandschrift (in
Etudes Linossier: Etudes d'Orientalisme publiees par le Musee
Guimet a Ia memoire de Raymonde Linossier, Paris 1932, 2 vols.
(in French).
Feestbundel Bat. Gen. 1928: Feestbundel uitgegeven door het Koninklijk Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen bij
gelegenheid van zijn 150-jarig bestaan 1778-1928, 2 vols. Weltevreden 1929, 8vo (mainly in Dutch).
Gedenkschr. Kon. lnst. 1926: Gedenkschrift uitgegeven ter gelegenheid van het 75-jarig bestaan op 4 Juni 1926 van het Koninklijk
lnstituut voor de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde van Nederlandschlndie. Den Haag 1926, 8vo (in Dutch).
Gr. 1.-A. Ph.: Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde.
Hand. 1e Congr. TLV Java: Handelingen van het Eerste Congres
voor de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde van Java, Solo 1919. Weltevreden, 1921, 8vo (mainly in Dutch).
Ind. Hist. Quart. : Indian Historical Quarterly.
Int. Arch. f. Ethn. : Internationales Archiv fr Ethnographie (in
German, English and French).
JASB: Journal of the (Royal) Asiatic Society of Bengal.
J. As.: Journal Asiatique, periodique trimestriel publie par Ia Societe
Asiatique (in French).




Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art.

Bombay Br. RAS:

Asiatic Society.

Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal

]RAS: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Med. Kon. Akad. v. W.: Mededeelingen van de Koninklijke Akademie
van Wetenschappen (in Dutch).
Mel. chin. & bouddh. :

Melanges chinois et bouddhiques (in French).

Mem. cour. et des Savants etr.: Memoires couronnes et des savants

etrangeres publies par l'Academie royale de Belgique (in French).
Ned.-Ind. 0. & N.:

Nederlandsch-Indie Oud & Nieuw (in Dutch).


Ostaziatische Zeitschrift (in German).


Orientalische Literaturzeitung (in German).

Oudh. Vers!.:

Oudheidkundig Verslag (in Dutch).

Pub!. Oudh. Dienst : Publicaties van den Oudheidkundigen Dienst in

Nederlandsch-Indie, I, 1925 (in Dutch and English).
ROC: Rapporten van de Commissie in Nederlandsch-Indie voor
Oudheidkundig onderzoek op Java en Madoera (in Dutch).
TBG: Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde uitgegeven door het (Koninklijk) Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en W etenschappen (in Dutch).
V erh. Bat. Gen. : V erhandelingen van het (Koninklijk) Bataviaasch
Genootschap van Kunsten en W etenschappen (in Dutch).
V erffentl. Kn. Mus. f. Vlkerkunde: Verffentlichungen aus dem
Kniglichen Museum fr Vlkerkunde (Berlin) (in German).
Vers!. Kon. Akad. v. W.: Verslagen van de Koninklijke Akademie
van Wetenschappen (in Dutch).
Vers!. ( e) Congr. Oost. Gen.: Verslag van het e Congres van het
Oostersch Genootschap in N ederland (in Dutch).
Wendingen: W endingen, maandblad voor bouwen en sieren van
'Architectura et Amicitia' (in Dutch).
Zeitschr. f. Buddh.:

Zeitschrift fr Buddhismus (in German).


abhi~eka 24 ff., 63
cra 24ff.
di Buddha 88, 111, 113
di Sakti 30, 88
dityavarman 104, 124
advaya-(jiina) 110
Ady Kli 19
.Ady Klik 15
aghorcra 25 f.
Aghori 83
Agneyidhral_1mudr 11
Agni 69, 99
agnimai}.Q.ala 21 ff., 37, 132
aharpkra 22 ff., 26, 37
ahirpsa 4
Airvata 31
Aisvarika 95, 114
jii-cakra 8, 19, 21 ff., 31, 37 f., 43,
ksidhral].mudr 11, 12
Ak~obhya 110, 127 ff.
Alaksmi 50
altar~pieces 53 ff.
amkala 22
Amarvati 62
mbhasidhranmudr 11
Amitbha 74, O, 126
Amoghapsa 62, 125, 126
Amoghasiddhi 110, 126
Amsterdam (museum) 67
amulet 43, 60
Anhatacakra( -padma) 8, 15, 16, 22, 38
nandakandapadma 14 ff., 18 f., 21-24,
35 f., 84 f., 93, 99 f., 108, 112, 115,
118 f., 124 f., 132, 134, 139
Ananta 91 f.
Andhaksura 83 f.
ndhras 90
antartman 21, 36
anusvra 11
anuttarayoga 21, 106
Aparjit 16
Arapacana 44
Arapacana Maiijusri 44
Ardhanri 109, 129
Ardhanrisvara 11, 129
Ardhasiva 136

Ardimulya 131
arhat 107
arkamandala 22
arpadhtu 57
ryadesa 79
rya Tr 88
sana 5, 7, 11
Asanga 79, 106
Asitnga Bhairava 16, 82, 84
Asoka 51, 100 f .
a~ta-devat 133
a~tamahbodhisattva 55 f., 108, 110,
112 f., 118 f.
a~tamahsmaSna 80, 118
a~tamahSmasnasdhana 80
a~tamangala 53 ff., 61 ff., 74
a~tngayoga 4, 60, 107
a~tngikamrga 107
astra 133
asura 83, 86
Asurndhakapadma, see Visuddhi-cakra
AttttahsasmaSna 82
avadhta 139
Avadhti 81
Avalokite5vara 111, 113, 118
Avatamsaka 44
avidy.1, 6

Badawi 127
Bagalmukhidhral}.yantra 32
Bahal ( li) 67
Bajrapl].i 110
Balapramathal}.i 49
Balavikaral}.i 49
Bali 20, 63, 120, 132 ff.
bali-pitha 40
bl}.a-liilga 38
BarabuQ.ur 51, 62, 104 ff., 115-120
Bardo-Thosgrol 67, 80
Baroda (museum) 67
Bat Curp 114
Bavani 85
Begtse 96f.
Bhadr 16
Bhagavadgit 1
Bhairava 16-18, 48, 81ff., 86, 88, 93,



96-99, 110, 125, 129 f., 134, 140

Bhairava-cult 80, 101, 125, 139
Bhairavi 34
Bhai~ajyaguru 73 f.
bhaktiyoga 3 f., 24, 48, 138
Bharli Prajfipramit 110
Bhatra Buddha, -Guru, -siva 110 ff.
Bhatra Divarupa 110
Bhatra Indra 123
Bhatra Ratnatraya 110
Bhatra siva 121
Bhima 49 ; cf. Bima
Bhimapadma, see : Svadhi~thna-cakra
Bhi~al}a Bhairava 16, 82, 84
Bhre Kahuripan 122
Bhre Lasern 122
Bhrgu 101
Bhrkuti 125 f.
Bh 40
bhdhral}mudr 11, 32
bhpura 40, 43, 74, 85
Bhutpur (State) 67
Bhuvane5vari 87
bija 9, 11, 32, 59, 64
bijamai}Qala 72, 74
Bija Negara (Biji Negara) 124
Bima 36, 123 f.
Bimasuci 36, 122 f.
bindu 11, 19, 23, 42, 58, 109
Bodh-Gay 54
bodhi 56, 105
bodhisattva 55 f., 109 f., 112 f., 118 f.
bodhisattvabalividhi 26
bodhisattva-vow 107
Brahm 17, 32, 36, 38 f., 67, 83 f., 86,
89, 109, 112, 115, 120, 134 f.
Brahmarandhra 19, 21, 36
Brahmni 84
BrahmYani 82 f.
Brahmi 16
brata 120f.
Bubrah, Cai}Qi - 120
Bubuk~ah 120 f.
buddha 17, 18, 47, 108
Buddha 16, 46, 54, 56, 62, 92, 95, 106,
109 ff., 112 ff., 119 f.
Buddha-l;:>kini 66
Buddha-pd 54
buddhi 22f.
Buddhism (versus sivaism) 120
Butsubu 111
Byan-fian-bun-bal-po 55

caitya 52

Caityapr~ngava 53
cakra (padma) 7 ff., 13, 37 f., 58, 138

cakrdhi~thtri 32, 50
cakraratna 61
cakravQa 45
cakravartin 61, 68, 124
lCam-srail (ICam-sriil) 97
Cmui}Q 16, 82 ff., 130, 131, 134
Cai}Qa 58, 84
Cal}qa Bhairava 16, 58, 84
Cai}Qali 69
Catt4amahroiat~atantra 14, 128
Cai}Qik 16
Cal}<;iograsmaSna 82
Candra 69, 84, 99
candramai}Qala 11, 22-24, 37, 47, 132
Candramukha 123
Carpati 90
Carpatipda 82, 90
Cauri 69
cemetery, see : smaSna
Ceylon 89
China 18, 47, 51, 56, 62, 72 f.
Chio-ch'an-ch'ao 62, 92
mch'od-rten 51 f.
Cilu 57
cincra 18
Cinacrasaratantra 18
Cinmayi 15
Citkla 32
citta 46, 48, 58
citta-cakra ( -mai}Qala) 58
citta-srup.skra 4, 5 f.
Comilla 67
C'os-rgyal-phyi-sgrub 50, 77, 95, 97

'Dab-brgyad 66
Daicin Tengri 98
Dainichi N yorai 111
Qkini 66 f., 101
l;:>kini 32, 34, 46, 50, 88
dak~?il}cra 24 f.
Dak~?il}a Kli 85
daSksaro vci 57
dasa lokapla 133
dasyu 90
Deslouis, collection 56, 119
Deva 46
Devaruci 123 f.
Devi 15, 17, 21, 26, 46, 50, 82, 86, 88 ff.,
96, 100 f., 130, 138
Devi Kui}Qalini 8 ff., 12 f., 19 ff., 29,
32, 35, 38
Dhanafijaya 83
dhar bija 31 f.
dhar mai}Qala 31
dhral} 6
dhral}mudr 11



dhrat:ti 47, 89
dhanna 94
Dharma 46, 95, 114, 120
Dharma Devi 85
dharmadhtumai;l<;lala 72 f.
dharmakya 109 f., 112, 119, 129
Dharmakirti 106
dharmapla 96, 140
Dharmapradipaka 55
dhtu 111
dhtumai;l<;lala 72
dhyna 6, 24
Dhyni-Buddha 51, 112, 115, 126ff.
Divarupa 110
Divylivadna 116
Djakarta (museum) 115, 125
:Oombi 69
Drag-gsed 96-100
Drona 123
Dub~jed, see: sGrub-byed
Durg 15, 48, 86 f.
cf. Kli-Durg, Nava Durg

Ekdasa Rudras 91, 133 f., 136

ekgrat 5
Ekajati 126

G-bu 111
golayantra 54 f.
mGon-po-phyag-drug-pa 96
mGon-po-yid-bzi-nor-bu 96
granthi~thna 9, 38
sGrub-byed ceremony 65 f.
Guhyasamajatantra 13, 14
Guhyapati 112
Guhyesvari 81, 85, 87 ff., 125
guru 14, 15, 30 f., 36, 65, 141
Guru 21, 46, 130
Gunung Butak 130

Hachiman 98
Hkini 36
haqlsa 14, 16, 19, 21, 36, 94 f., 99
Hatr~sopani~ad 16, 23, 26
hathayoga 2, 6 ff., 11, 12, 137
Hayagriva 96, 125 f.
Hayam Wuruk 121 f., 124
Heruka 64 ff., 91
Hevajra 68 ff., 89, 99
H evajrasekaprakriy 68 f.
Hevaj ravasit 68 ff.
Himlaya 108
Hinayna 107 f.
hrdaya-pui;l<;larika 139


fakir 2, 29
flame (symbol) 21, 37, 59, 132
foot-prints 54 ff.
fo-yen-tsun 63
Further India 39, 69, 114

GahvarasmaS.na 82
Gambhiravajra 78, 80
gai;la 83
gai;lacakra 78, 81
Ga~!javyha 44
Gandharva 20
Gandharvamlik(-tantra) 18, 20
Gai;le5a 93 f., 122, 130, 135
Gatig 8, 122, 132
garbhadhtu 111 ff., 114, 119f.
garbhadhtumai;l<;lala 72
Gauri 69
Ghasmari 69
Ghera~l}asatr~hita 7, 11, 15, 32
Ghorndhakasmasna 82

I<;l 7 f., 59, 122, 132

Indra 83 f.
Indri:ti 16, 84
Indryat:ti 82 f.
Indravarman 120
indriya 23
indumai:t<;lala 22
ingsun-mysticism 138
I~tadevat 15-21, 28, 47 f., 63, 94
itara-litiga 36, 38
Hvara 134 f.

Jaggayyapeta 62
Jago, Cai:t<;li - 125 ff.
Jaka Dolok 129
J alatUI:IQa 35
Jaina 64
Jambhala 97
Japan 72
Java 67, 68, 86, 100, 102 ff., 124
Jawi, Cai;l<;li - 128
Jayanti 16




Jayavgisvari 87
Jhailkesvari 87
Jina ( -pati) 67, 111, 129
j!va 14, 16, 19, 45, 94
j!vnmukta 25 f.
j!vtman 16, 18 ff., 99, 129
jfina 110
jfinamrga 2 f., 24
j finasakti 86
jfinayoga 2 f., 26
J vl~pkulasmaSna 82
Jye~thdevi 49 f.

Kacchapa 90
Kacchapapda 82, 90
mKha'-'gro-ma 66
Kailsa 40, 44 f., 83
Kla 15, 49, 81 ; cf. Mahkla
kalcakra 21 f., 112, 119
Klacakra 22, 57, 66, 73, 79, 100
Kalankasmasna 82
Kalavikarana 49
Kalavikarani 49
Kli 15, 1i, 26, 49 f., 76, 81 f., 88 ff.,
93, 95 ff., 101
Kli-Durg 48; cf. Durg
Klikulmrta 19
Kma 32
kmadhtu 57
Kamalaraksita 81
Kanklamlini 21
Kanybhartar 97
Kapla Bhairava 16, 82, 84
Kplikas 82, 84
Kapilavastu 61
Karangasem 132, 133
dKar-chag 55 ff.
Karimun-besar 54
Karkotaka (Karkata) 81, 91 ff.
karma-mandala 72
karmayog~ 3 f.
Karprdistotra 85
Krtikeya 97, 130
Kathsaritsgara 17
Kafhopani~ad 13
Ktyyani 80 f., 86
kaulcra 25 f.
K aulvali~;~irna:,a 14, 79, 84
Kaumri 16, 82 ff.
kya 46, 58, 111, 113; cf. trikya
kyacakra 58
kya-sa~pskra 4 f.
Kedung W ulan 129
kekasang 133 f.
Kelurak 120
Kerima 67

Khagnan 88
Khagarbha 118
Khubilai Khagan 68 ff.
KilakilasmaSna 82
kle5a 1 ff.
Kb Daishi 110
Kong-bu 111
Kongkai 111
Kongshu 111
Koravsrama 134
Kotesvari 87
kramadiksbhiseka 25
kriyyoga 2 f., 26
Krkalsapda 82, 91
Krodha Bhairava 16, 82, 84
krodha-deities 86, 125
Kr~IJ.a 1, 81
Krtanagara 104, 124 f., 128, 130 f.
KsntiSila 79
ksetra 121
K~itigarbha 118
Kubera 96
Kukkuripda 67, 82, 91
Kukurarja 78, 81
kulcala 33 ff.
Kulika 91 f.
Kumra 83
Kumri 16
kumri-pj 84
kumbha 29, 62 f. ; cf. prl).akalasa
kumbhaka 5, 19
Kul).<;ialini, see : Devi Kul).<;ialini
Kunjarakarna 103
kurma mudr 20
Kutarja 78
Kwannon (Kwan-yin) 111, 115


Lai bumpa, see: Las-thams-cad-pa'i

Lak~bhidhnatantratik 88
Lak~mi 134 f. ; cf. Mahlak~mi
Laksmivarnasmasna 82
lalati-cakr~ 21 f., 119
Lalitavajra 75
Lam-yig 57, 59 f.
Lara J onggrang 120
Las-thams-cad-pa'i bumpa 65
laya 9, 13
'Left-hand path 13 f., 18, 22, 25, 36, 48,
120, 138, 141 f.
layayoga 3 f., 9, 13
Leiden (museum) 39, 47, 130
Lha-mo 15, 77, 88 ff., 101
lh'lga 35, 38, 92, 131
Lingapra~;~la 135



litigodbhavamrti 39
Locan 127 ff.
Lokapla 49, 91, 99, 133
Loke5vara 110 ff., 113 ff., 125
Lumbung, Cal)<;li - 120
lucky signs 54 ff.
Lyi 91

macrocosm 39, 45 f., 48, 132, 137
magical practices 77, 79, 141
M ahbhrata 122
M ahcinkranwcara 18
Mahdeva 18, 49, 134 f.
Mahdevl 135
Mahkla 15, 76, 81, 83, 90 f., 95 ff.,
98, 130 f.
Mahkll 67, 96
Mahlak~ml 16, 82 f.
mahmal)Qala 72, 74
M ahmeghamm;tjalavar~avardhana
namastra 92
Mahnirvt;~atantra 13, 15, 16, 19, 29,
34, 63, 83 f., 91, 100
Mahpadma 91 f.
mahprl)dik~bhi~eka 25 f.
mahsarprjybhi~eka 25
mahsukhamal)<;lala 64 f., 67
Mahvairocana 63, 111
mahvyu 21
Mahyna 51, 92, 105 ff., 107 ff.
mahyoga 21, 24, 26, 113, 120
Mahesvara 83, 109 f., 112, 134 f.
cf. siva Mahesvara
Mahesvarl 16, 82 ff.
Mahi~sura 86
Mahissuramardinl 86 f.
maithtma 30
Maitreya 55, 118
Majapahit 124
Malang 129
manas 22 f., 36
manas-cakra 22 f., 36
mnaslpj 15, 48
mal)<;lala (cosmic symbol) 71 ff., 117
mal)<;lala (yantra) 11, 63
mal)<;lala (cakra) 21 f.
mal)<;lala-offering 45 f.
Maii.gal 16
Mali.galesvarl 87
Mal)ipra-cakra ( -padma) 8, 22
Mafijugho~a 96
Mafijusri 44, 72, 81, 87, 96, 118, 120
Mafijusrini'lmasa'ltlgiti 57
Manonmani 49 f.
Mantrayna (Mantra-Buddhism) 72,

105 f., 109 ff., 112f., 120, 127 f., 136,

mantrayoga 3 f.
Mra 61
Mrkat;~if,eyapurt;~a 34, 86
Mtrk 16 f., 40, 45 f., 48, 83 f., 86,
93, 100
Maulivarmadeva 125
memukur-ceremony 133
Mel)<;iut, Ca1.1<;ii - 116-120
Meru 7, 35, 40, 57, 132;
cf. Mahmeru
microcosm 13, 23, 39, 45 f., 48, 112,
132, 137
mleccha 90
Mok~amt 88
Mongois 77, 98
moon(symbol) 21, 37, 59, 132
mudr 11
Mldhra 7-9, 19ff., 22, 29, 31 ff.,
35 f., 43, 108, 132
Mlapadma 8, 19
mrtisvara 49 f.
Muttra (Mathur, museum) 67

Nbhi-cakra ( -padma) 8
nabhodhranmudr 11
nabhomal)<;lala 11
n<;la 19, 58, 109
n<;li 7 f., 122, 132
nga 35, 45, 56, 81, 91 ff., 108, 123
Nagapertala 35
Ngarakrtgama 104 ff., 121, 124
Ngaripda 82, 91
Ngrjuna 108
ngastambha 92
ngi 8
Nland 57, 92, 115
r N am-bcu-dbaii.-ldan 56 ff., 132
Nandi 83
rNam-rgyal bumpa 65 f.
Nandin'i 16
Nrasimhi 16
Nryai;tl 16
nava-devat 63, 133
Nava-Durg 48, 85 ff.
navaratna 63
nava sanga 133 ff., 136
navayonicakra 41, 63
Nyiks 16, 84
Nyiksiddhi 84
Nepal 6, 47, 51, 72, 76 ff., 81 ff., 85,
87, 90, 91, 93, 113, 133
ngili-tma 109, 132
Ngrimbi, Cal)Qi - 133
nlcakula 90



Nila 83
nirmQ.akya 109, lll, 119, 129
nirvnakala 22
niskaia 109 f.
ni~rtti 13, 25
niyama 4f.
Njai Ageng Nagapertala 35
01!1 37, 44, 56, 95, ll4

Padang Rotjo 126
Padang CaQ.<;ii 62, 125, 126
padma ( cakra) 8 ff., 13 f.
Padmaka 91 f.
padma-class 111 f.
Padmanarte5vara 112, 125
Padmapl).i 111 ff., 114 f., 118 f.
Padmapur1Ja 86
Padmasambhava 66 f., 78, 80
Pdukpaiicaka 9
dPag-bSam-I!on-bZan 80, 90
'Phags-pa 68
Paharpur 69
Pla-dynasty 106
pamor ing kawula gusti (mysticism)
Paiicakrama 118
pafictmaka 126
Pan-cen Rinpoche 74
Pndavas 123
par~ ~ lhi.ga 38
Paramadevat 19
Paramaha111sa 26
Paramasiva 36, 109 ff., 112, 136
Paramtman 19
Paramesvari 20
Pararaton 130
Prthividhral).mudr 11, 32
Prvati 17, 83, 95, 130 f.
Pasir Pafijang 54
Pasupati 49
pta 71
Patafij ali 4
Pawon, CaQ.<;Ii - 117-120
pedanda 20, 120 f., 132 f.
Peking 70
Pertiwa 133
Petabumi 35
Petunggriyana 35
phur-bu 46
Phnl!l Bantey Nan 114
Phi.gal 7 f., 59, 122, 132
pitha 16, 27
Prajfipramit 88, 114
Prajiipramit 44, 108

prakrti 22 f.
Prambanan 120
prl).a 7, 13, 19
prl).aprati;;t}l 20 f., 63
prl).aropl).aprakra 19
prl).yma 5, 60
pranava 37
Prapafica 121, 122, 124, 128
Prapaiicasratantra 7, 16, 63, 83
prasidhraQ.mudr 11
pratyhra 5
pravrtti 13, 25
Prthivi 19, 49
pj 40, 47
Pukkasi 69
Pulinda 90
Pul).<;ira 90
prl).bhi;;eka 25, 29, 68
prl).adik;;bhi;;eka 25
prl).a-kalasa 64
Prnnanda 80
puru.;;a 6
Purusa 23
Purnapatapan 130 f.

rjadhirjayoga 12
Rjasanagara 121
Rja-yoga 2, 6, 13, 137
Rjesvari 87
rk;;asa 89, 101
rakta-rgya-mts'o 89
Rma-Krsna 80f.
Ratih 133.
Ratnmsa 128
Ratnni 61
Ratnasambhava 110
Ratnatraya 111

Raudri 49, 134
Renge-bu 111
'right-hand' path 13 f., 24 f., 36, 48,
120, 123, 138, 141
ro-lang rite 78
r;;imal).<;ialayantra 64
rta 94
Rudra 38, 49, 84, 109, 134 f.
Rudraymala 17
rpadhtu 57
Ruru Bhairava 16, 82, 84

Sabar 90

Sadsiva 11, 12, 18, 50, 109f., 112,
129, 136



sdhaka 19 f., 24 ff., 138

sdhana 6
Sdhanamiil 67, 79, 91
Sagala 129
sagttl).a 112
Sahasrrapadma 7, 8, 12, 18-23, 36 ff.,
43, 45, 112, 119
Sailendra 120
Sa'i-lha ser-po 69, 99
Saivcra 24 f.
Saivgama 49
Saivasiddhnta 103f., 109 ff., 1I3ff.,
129, 136, 140
sakala 109 f., 112
sakala-niskala 109 f.
Skini li
Saktbhiseka 25
Saktlina~ataratigi~Ji 19
Sakti 8, 9, 17 f., 19, 30, 36, 95, 109
saktipithlaya 40
Skyamuni 55, 62, 74, 118
samdhi 6, 26, 58, 77
Samantabhadra 113, 118
sampathi 6
samayamat;H;lala 72
Sambhala-lam-yig 55, 79, 100
sarpbhogakya 109, 111 f., 115, 119,
127, 129
Sambhu 134 f.
Sarphra Bhairava 16, 82, 84
Srpkhya 22, 114, 138
sarppannakrama 58
sarprjybhi~eka 25
sarpsra 1, 5, 6, 26, 109
sarpyama 6


San-bu 111
Sailgha 46, 95, 114, 120
Sang Hyang Kamahynikan 53, 62,
103-105, 110 f., 121, 127
sangku sudamala 133
Sang Satyavn 122
Sankara 86, 134 f.
sailkhapla 91 f.
Sailku 92, 93
Sails-rgyas mKha'-'gro-ma 66
Sntikara 91, 93
Sapta-Mtrks 83
Saptaratna 53 f., 62 ff., 68, 74
Sarasvati 8, 122, 132, 134
Sro 93
Sarvabhtadamani 49
sarva mailgala 53 f.
Sarvanivarat;~avi~kambhin 118
~atcakra(-bheda) 9, 13, 16, 20, 22ff.,
30, 50, 112, 122, 132, 141
SatcakranirPa7Ja 9, 10, 12, 15, 31,
33, 36
Sati 134


Saur 90
savara 90
savarapda 82, 90
Savari 69
Svitri 122
Sejarah Melayu 124
Sekakriykrama 71
Selagriya, Cat;~<Ji - 92
Sewu, Cat;~<Ji - 120
Shingon Buddhism 111, 127
siddhntcara 25 f.
Siddhrtha 61
siddhi 79
sikep 133
Sikhim 66
Simpang 129
Singasari 121, 129 f.
si$ya 30
sitavana 77
Siva 8, 12, 18 f., 21, 30, 38 f., 44, 48 ff.,
83 f., 86, 88, 95 f., 97, 109, 112, 120,
133 f., 138
siva-Ardhanarisvari 136
Siva-Bhairava 48, 83, 88, 89
~iva-Buddha 128 f.
Sivabuddhlaya 130
siva-Devi 50, 136
siva-Mahkla 67, 82, 90, 93
siva-Mahesvara 109
siva-Rudra 48
siva-sakti 88
Sivasa!?fhil 7, 13
sivasthna 45
Skanda 94
smasna 26, 64, 76 ff., 80 ff., 84 f., 92 ff.
smasna Kli 85
smasnamat;~<Jala 93-100, 114, 131
Smasna~idhi 80
soma 8, 138
somacakra 22
Sri (Devi) 134
Sricakra 40, 43, 63, 64, 80, 117, 118
Sricakrasa'l?fbhiiratantra 43, 64, 65, 67,
80, 117-119
Sri Tafijung 131
Sriyantra 40, 44
Sroil-btsan-sgam-po 98
stambha 92
stpa 51 f., 116 f.
suddha my 109
suddhavidy 109
Sudhanakumra 125 f.
Suir 90
sukra Bhairava 82
Sumatra 62, 67, 104, 124 f.
Sumbing, Mt. 92
Sumeru 47 ; cf. Meru
sun (symbol) 21, 3'1, 59, 132
snya 6



Surabaya 129
Suran 124
Srya 69, 84, 99
sryamat:u;lala 21, 22 f., 37, 132
Su~tuiU). 7, 8, 19 f., 59, 122, 132
Sutasoma 67, 103, 121
suvambha 133
Svdhi~thna-cakra ( -padma) 8, 22
Svayambh 81, 87
svayambh-liftga 32, 38
Svayambha PurtJa (Vrhat-) 81 f., 87 f.
Sve~tadevasya pjana 17, 47
Syma Tr 125 f.

vc 46, 58
Vacchlesvari 87
Vairocana 47, 110, 127ff.
vai~l}.avcra 24 f.
V ai~l}.avi 16, 82 ff.
Vaisraval}.a 96
vajrcrya 106, 132
Vajradevi 129
Vajradhara 112f.
Vajradhtu 111, 127
vajradhtumal}.c;lala 72 f.
Vajradhtvisvara 127 f.
Vaj radhtvisvari 127 ff.
vajrakya 58
vaj ra-dass 111 f.
Vajrapl}.i 89, 111 f., 114, 118 f., 127
V ajrapradipafippani 80
Tai-Yun Lun-tsing-u-King 92
Vajrasattva 112, 127 f.
Taishan-temple 73
V ajrasattva 47
Tazkai 111
Vaj ravrhi 67, 69 f. ; see also : Vrhi
Tak~aka 83, 91 f.
Vajrayna 105
rTa-mgrin 96
Vajre5vari 87
Tantra-school, cf. Tantrayna
Vkcakra 58
Tantrarajatantra 16
Tantrayna (Tantrism) 14, 70, 77, 79 f., Vm 49
vmcra 25
105 ff., 115 f., 124 f., 139
Vmadeva 49
Tapanuli 67
V mana purtJa 86
vanapla 94
Tr 15, 88, 115, 126 f.; see also:
Vrha 83
rya Tr
Trantha 67, 77 ff., 81, 91 f., 100, 106 V araha purtJa 84
Trtantra 17
Vrhi 16, 82 f. ; see also : Vaj ravrhi
Tashi-lhumpo 74
Vardhavar~astra 92
tathgata 55, 61, 110 f.
Var~aparvata 35
tathgata-class 111
Varul}.a 69, 91, 94, 99
tattva 9, 109
Varul}.a-nga 82, 91, 93
tejas 20
Vsini-deities 48
tejodhral}.mudr 11
V asi~tha 17 f.
Teli-ka-pao 67
Vstupati 93, 99
ten, 'All powerful -, see:
Vsuki 83, 91 f.
Vasundhar 69, 99
Tibet 18, 21, 47, 50, 51, 56, 66 f., 77, 88 Vatsalesvari 87
Trawas 35 f., 39
Vat Srei Santhor 114
trikya 111 ff.
vyavidhral}.imudr 11
trimrti 120
vyaviyadhral}.imudr 11
triratna 120
Vyu 69, 99
Triveni 131 f.; see also: Yuktatriveni vedcra 24 f.
Trivikramasena 79
vetla 78
Tumapel 128
vetlasiddhi 78
Vetlapaiicavi11J~ati 17, 79
Vettali 69
vidhy 6
vidhyrja 96
Vidhyesvara 110, 112
Ugra Bhairava 49
vihra 117
Um 100, 134 f.
Vijay 16
Unmatta Bhairava 16, 82, 84
Vijayanagara 124
utpannakrama 58
Vindhya mountains 86



vira 15
Virabhadra 83
Viresvara 88
Virpk~a 91
vi~a 8
Vi~l).U 38 f., 48,

82, 91

83 f., 86, 89, 109, 112,

120, 134f.
ViglUvarddhana 125
Visuddhi-padma ( -cakra) 8, 10 f., 12,
22, 43, 59f.
Viivasaratantra 29, 139
Vrhat Sva;yambh purat~a 88

world-mountains; see Meru

yab-yum (position) 69
Yajamna 49
Yak~a 94, 100, 114, 127
yama 5

Yama 50, 69, 77, 83 f., 89 f., 89 f., 93,

96-99, 114, 122
Yamntaka 96 f.
Yami 95, 114
Yamun 8, 122, 132
yantra 3, 19, 20 f., 27 ff., 53, 64, 70, 84
yoga 1 ff., 13
yogcra 25 f.
Yogcrya 78, 106
Y ogakttt~t!alini-Upanilad 23
yogadik~bhi~eka 25
yogsana 19
Yogastra 4
Yogesvari 83 f.
Yogini 47, 66
Y oginihrdayatantra 38
yoni 38
Y onirpa Mahkli 85
Yuktatriveni 8, 131 f.
ypa 92

Zodiac-cup 133


-.. Visuddhi-cakra






Photo: A. A. Bake

(Woreldkroniek) ,

Y ogin in zajrswza, showing the location of the cakras and the main nt}is.


Photo: Claire Holt.

The Trawas monument, originally the centrat fountain

of the Jalatunda hathing-place.


Pho lo: Kern Institute.

Relief representing the Buddha seated under the bodhi-tree,

accompanied by the a,f!amahbodhisafl<:as.
Formerly Deslouis collection.


Filchner Expedition.

Bronze dish for ritual purposes, decoratcd with the sign

of the 'All powerfnl ten'.


Srh lagintweit, 1881.

Thc 'Dab-brgyad yau tm.


Photo: Kern Institutt' .

Tibetan bronze representing Hevajra,

collertion Rotterclam 11useum, no. 29922.


Photo: E. E. S C'hlieper.

Group of Lamaistic bronzes found near Peking, and prohably used in a IIevajravasit,
vanished shortly after their discovery.









c .8d


























Photo: Archat'ological Survey of lndia.

Xga-stone from Xland.


Photo: Royal Institute for the Tropice.

Thanka representing Daicin Tengri with his acolytes.

V erbert collection.


Photo : Archaeological Service of lndonesia.

Barabu<;iur from the air.


Photo: Archaeological Service.

The Amoghapsa stone sculpture from Padang Cal)Qi.

The Cmul).<;\-sculpture from Ardimulya, the so-called Guhyesvari.

Photo : Archaeological Service.





Photo: A. A. Bake (Wereldkroniek).

a. Balinese pedanda during the ngili-tma ceremony.

b. Nepalese vajrcrya during a corresponding ceremony.

Photo: A. A. Bake (Kern Ins titute).





sanga emblems.

a. K ey-stone from the ceiling of Cary.<;li N grimbi with the nava-

Photo: Arrh aeological Service .

D ams t ~ ,

b. Kekasang f rom Bali with the nava-sanga emb!ems.

from :






Additional material from Yoga and Yantra,

ISBN 978-94-017-5626-6, is available at http://extras.springer.com

(cf. pp. 108 ff., and p. 128)





V AJRADHARA (di-Buddha)


(Bhatra) Buddha & Prajfipramit

Parama siva & .Adi-sakti


( sagu~a-nirgu~a-deities)



Amitbha -

( sakala-ni,l'kala-deities)

V AJRASATTVA (Vajrapl}i)


(together they compose the Vajradhtu)


( sagu~a-deities)


SADSIVA - Mahe5vara


( sakala-deities)


Maitreya -








surrounded by the 8 Vidye5varas 1









These are: Anantesa, Sk~ma, Sivottama, Ekanetra, Ekarudra, Ekapda (Trimrti),

Srikantha, and sikhai}Q.i. Cf. Rao, 1914-'16, II, p. 396.