Charya Tantra

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The Nine Yanas
5. Yana of charya tantra
Skt. caryātantra yāna
Tib. སྤྱོད་རྒྱུད་ཀྱི་ཐེག་པ་
chögyü kyi tekpa
Wyl. spyod rgyud kyi theg pa
Read main article for nine yana overview
Three Outer Yanas Leading From the Origin
1. Shravaka yana
2. Pratyekabuddha yana
3. Bodhisattva yana
Three Yanas of Vedic Asceticism
4. Yana of kriya tantra
5. Yana of charya tantra
6. Yana of yoga tantra
Three Yanas of Powerful Transformative Methods
7. Yana of tantra mahayoga
8. Yana of scriptural transmission anuyoga
9. Yana of pith instruction atiyoga

Charya tantra (Skt. caryātantra; Tib. སྤྱོད་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. spyod rgyud) aka Upayogatantra or Ubhayatantra (ཨུ་པའི་རྒྱུད་, u pa'i rgyud) — the second of the three outer classes of tantra and the fifth yana according to the nine yana classification.

The vehicle of charya or ‘conduct’ tantra is so-called because it places an equal emphasis on the outer actions of body and speech and the inner cultivation of samadhi. It is also called the ‘tantra of both’ (Skt. ubhaya tantra) because its view conforms with that of yoga tantra, while its conduct is similar to that of kriya tantra.

Overview Given by Alak Zenkar Rinpoche[1]

Entry Point

One is matured by means of the five empowerments, which include the empowerments of the vajra, bell and name in addition to the water and crown empowerments[2], and then maintains the samayas of charya tantra, as described in the particular texts themselves.


The view is determined in the same way as in the yoga tantra.


One visualizes oneself as the samaya being (Skt. samayasattva) and visualizes the wisdom deity (Skt. jñānasattva), who is regarded as a friend, in front of oneself, and then practises the conceptual meditations on the syllable, mudra and form of the deity, and the non-conceptual meditation on absolute bodhichitta by means of entering, remaining and arising.[3]


The conduct here is the same as in kriya tantra.


In the short term, one attains the common accomplishments and ultimately one reaches the level of a vajradhara of the four buddha families (i.e., the three families mentioned in the results of the kriya tantra vehicle plus the ratna family).


  1. A Brief Presentation of the Nine Yanas by Alak Zenkar Rinpoche
  2. Of the Kriya tantra
  3. ‘Entering’ refers to the realization that all phenomena are beyond arising, ‘remaining’ means to abide once the non-conceptual nature has manifest and ‘arising’ means developing intense compassion for all beings who do not realize this.