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Yamala Tantra

Yamala is a part of tantric literature. There are eight important yamalas – Rudra Yamala, Kanda Yamala or Skanda Yamala, Brahma Yamala, Vishnu Yamala, Yama Yamala, Vayu Yamala, Kubera Yamala and Indra Yamala.

These eight were supposed to have been communicated by eight Bhairavas, viz., Svacchanda, Krodha, Unmatta, Ugra, Kapalin, Thankara, Sekhara, and Vijaya.

Brahma yamala text is known to be preserved in manuscript form in Nepal.

There is also a supplement to Brahma Yamala which is called Jayadratha Yamala. This information is mentioned in another yamala (Pingala Yamala). The period of yamala ranges from 6th to 9th century AD. The old text of many of them are currently not available.

Yamalas mainly deal with tantric traditions. Many sadhanas described are diversified in nature.

It is believed that Ishwara communicated this knowledge to Srikantha, who incarnated himself in a village (Kanavira) near Prayaga. He in turn passed it on to Bhairavas; then on to Devadatta from whom it reached fourteen disciples in different parts of the Himalayan region. These sadhanas mostly related to Shakti.

Principles of Tantra (1952) – Avalon Arthur – Ganesh and Co Chennai.
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume XI page 582 - IHRF

Additional Information on the topic from Prabuddha Bharata January 2016 Issue given below:


The Yamalas constitute a class of tantric literature. They indicate a great development in the tantric sadhana. The principal Yamalas are eight in number and are said to be communicated by the eight Bhairavas. They are: Rudra, Kanda or Skanda, Brahma, Vishnu, Yama, Vayu, Kubera, and Indra. Whereas the Shiva tantras represent the Rudra or Sadashiva tradition, the Yamalas represent the Bhairava tradition.

These Bhairavas seem to have been human teachers who had attained complete spiritual emancipation and had almost become Shiva. The Yamalas try to define the various tantric traditions by introducing a great variety of tantric pantheon. To be more precise, the Brahma Yamala speaks of three currents in the tantric tradition: dakshina, the southern; vama, the left; and madhyama, the central. These represent three powers of Shiva and are characterised by the predominance of sattva, rajas, and tamas respectively.

The Yamalas affiliate a large number of local cults, and open up the field of tantric sadhana to people of other castes. Thus they at once preserve the orthodox tradition of tantras of earlier period and assume a heterodox nature themselves.

The supplementary literature of the Yamala group indicates a new orientation of the tantric culture. The sadhanas of the agamas assume in them a more pronounced character of Shaktism.

The tradition of the agamas developed through two channels the exoteric and the esoteric. The former was continued as pure Shaivism with a view to attaining salvation. The latter was continued as Shaktism with greater emphasis on the various Shakti cults, not so much to attain salvation as to gain control over the forces of nature.