Thanks for sharing the McKeown book, Greg. I have downloaded it and will give it a read soon. Is Templeman's dissertation on Lama Taranatha published somewhere?Yes, that is an interesting article. I wish I could get my hands on his dissertation (“Becoming Indian: A Study of the Life of the 16th–17th Century Tibetan Lama Tāranātha.” PhD diss., Monash University, 2008).
There is also some interesting discussion of late Indian Vajrayana in the nath community in "From Bodhgaya to Lhasa to Beijing: The Life and Times of Sariputra (c. 1335-1426)，Last Abbot of Bodhgaya" by Arthur Philip McKeown, http://www.scribd.com/doc/117058153/McK ... f-Bodhgaya, particularly in the introduction. McKeown writes (pg 25):
Increasingly, denying Indian Buddhism's survival creates more problems than it solves. The real questions are how and when it finally disappeared from India. Historians like D.C. Sircar argue that it survived in "family lineages," even if Buddhism's institutional form disappeared sometime before the eighteenth century. If a date were needed to mark Buddhism's demise, the fifteenth/sixteenth to eighteenth centuries interval provides one marker. Such decline would be neither drastic, dramatic, nor cataclysmic, but a more even downward slope with periodic resurgences.
McKeown's introduction is spot-on. This is another argument which I whole-heartedly agree with. Whilst Buddhism's institutional form has more or less disappeared in modern India it would be illogical to assume that it hasn't survived, even fractionally, within 'family lineages'. Bengal still has its share of practicing Buddhists and renowned scholars of Indology and Tantrism like Mm. Haraprasad Shastri, who was responsible for discovering the 'Charyapada' manuscripts; and his son Benoytosh Bhattacharya, author of ''Indian Buddhist Iconography'' and ''Introduction to Buddhist Esoterism'', were Buddhists. Perhaps it is imperative that a modern study of the presence of Buddhism in Bengal and its neighboring areas be facilitated for a better understanding of this situation.