Highest Yoga Tantra

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Highest Yoga Tantra (Skt. Niruttara-yoga Tantra; Tib. བླ་ན་མེད་པའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་གྱི་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. rnal 'byor bla na med pa'i rgyud) is the highest of the four classes of tantra. According to the Sarma tradition, Highest Yoga Tantras are divided into Mother Tantras, Father Tantras and Non-dual Tantras.

In the Nyingma tradition, the Highest Yoga Tantra corresponds to the three inner tantras of Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga.

On the term Anuttarayoga

In spite of the popularity of "Anuttarayoga" as a so-called 'back translation' from the Tibetan rnal 'byor bla na med pa into Sanskrit, scholars now prefer the term niruttara-yoga as this is better attested in original Sanskrit sources.[1]


  1. See Jacob Dalton, "A Crisis of Doxography: How Tibetans Organized Tantra During the 8th-12th Centuries" in Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies vol. 28 No. 1, 2005, p. 152, n. 84, where he calls this "a time-honoured mistake that needs to be abandoned".

Further Reading

  • Daniel Cozort, Highest Yoga Tantra (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2005).
  • Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, The World of Tibetan Buddhism (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995), '19. Advanced Tantric Practice: Highest Yoga Tantra'.