The Outer Tantras are the second three divisions in the ninefold division of practice according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism[1]. This system divides the whole of the Buddhist path into three divisions of three and is in contrast to the division of the Sarma, or New Translation schools (Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya) which use a fourfold division. The three divisions of the Outer Tantra correspond to the lower three category of tantras of the New Translation (Sarma) schools.

The three divisions of the Outer Tantras are:

As well as being differentiated in terms of emphasis in practice, the three categories of Outer Tantra are also textual categories, with lists of texts assigned to each category; for which see the individual articles for each section.


  1. Ray, Reginald (2002). Indestructible Truth : the Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism. Boulder: Shambhala. ISBN 1570629102. 

See also

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