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Rnying ma Tantras

(5,950 words)

Author(s): Robert Mayer
Tibetan scholars conventionally divide their canonical tantric literature under two major rubrics: the old tantras ( rnying ma) of the earlier spread of the doctrine ( bstan pa snga dar) and the new tantras ( gsar ma), of the later spread of the doctrine ( bstan pa phyi dar). The terminology developed after many previously unknown translations of Indian texts began to enter Tibet from the late 10th century onward, becoming known as the new tantras: hence the tantric traditions that had appeared before became known as the old tantras.This distinction applied only within the most esot…