One needs all three aspects, ideally from the same Lama, or at least from Lamas authorised/recommended by the one who gave us the wang. But that is also no guarantee as it's possible to pick up all sorts of wangs these days from travelling Lamas and they are given quite freely. The best thing"do is to stick with what one is given by ones main Lama rather than cutting corners simply to "do practice" X motivated by some form of spiritual materialism.
Excellent advice Glyn! Not sure at who it is directed, but it would certainly be senseless to indulge in these practices without proper Wang, Lung, Tri, and personal guidance of a lama.
Do we know if any of these terse / concise sadhanas still exist? Are maybe even still being practiced in their more original form?
Yeah but only in retreat. Or in secret. They show the image or give brief description and you run with that.
Ok I see, that would make sense. Can I ask you how you know this? Although obviously the answer could be that it's secret
Actually, Kongtrul kept many sadhanas terse, when compared to some others. I think he was influenced by the terma tradition in that regard.
Vajrayogini sadhana is "composed" by Karmapa Tongwa Donden, mainly....the praises and offerings go back to original sadhanas from India. The "self generation" is Marpa's oral tradition, or so it is said. The "preliminaries" of the refuge, Vajrasattva, 7 branch prayer (from Avatamsaka Sutra, originally), Guru Yoga, are specific to earlier Karma Kagyu liturgy, much of which is based on various Indian sources. Same with the remaining parts--the Preliminary Torma, the Hand blessing, the torma offering, Front and Vase generations, and "dak Shuk," etc.
Kamtsang's Chakrasamvara sadhana is composed mainly by Mikyo Dorje, but is based on DuSumKhyenpa's tradition of the "Five Mandalas of Five," as well as earlier Indian sources from which these are drawn, as well. There's quite a bit of Sanskrit included, in the praises and offerings, especially.
In addition to these, there are appended liturgical and visualization manuals that are added in, at various places, and that either replace parts of the texts, or supplement them, depending on what practice one is doing.
It is said that the longer sadhanas are for beginners, while the shorter ones are for experts. The longer sadhanas spell out, explicitly, many different visualizations and ritual functions. Short, pithy sadhanas presuppose one is familiar with all the complex visualization stages, etc., already.
Kongtrul wrote most of the empowerment manuals, as well as the actual sadhanas, for the practices in the Rinchen Terdzo, as well as the Kagyu Ngakdzo, and much of the Dam Ngak Dzo, in addition to his own "writings" in his collection Gya Chen Ka Dzo. Often, he was just fleshing out, or completing, work that had been started or outlined by someone before him. But some of his writings were based on his own experience and the requests of others--Milarepa LaDrup is a good example of this.
Thanks again Cone, that's really all I could ever publicly ask for