Who we are

YAMANTAKA is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), incorporated under the auspices of the UK Charity Commission, (#1201071). As such we are bound by our governing document, and we have a selection of trustees whose responsibilities are to ensure that we act in accordance with that governing document (or constitution), and within the laws that we are bound to. The objectives of this charity are clearly stated in the constitution, and they are:

To advance and support the practice of the ancient Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Yamantaka across the world for the benefit of the public through:

  • The production, publication and free distribution of websites and literature (including literature suitable for schools) on the tradition, history and practice of Yamantaka Buddhism
  • The holding of meetings, lectures, initiations, and other public events concerning Yamantaka, supporting qualified persons in their teaching and practice of Yamantaka Buddhism
  • The provision and maintenance of buildings and grounds as sacred spaces to be used for religious practice, meetings, lectures, initiations, and other public events concerning Yamantaka Buddhism

Our History

The Yamantaka community was founded by Jhampa Shaneman and the late Dr. Wolfgang Saumweber at the turn of the millennium with the purpose of providing support for practitioners, and offering education, and information on the ancient Mahayana tradition of Yamantaka. The name ‘Yamantaka’ is Sanskrit, and can be translated to “The ending of death”, which is an epithet of Manjusri, the Bodhisattva Buddha of Wisdom. In everything we do, we are sincere practitioners of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, in accordance with the lineages of Nagarjuna and Asanga.

A few members of the community have permission to teach on this topic. This permission is normally given via lineage holders for those of us who have completed the short or long retreats – but such permission may be withdrawn if such members act or speak in a manner contrary to the tradition. While the Yamantaka tradition is not so well known in ‘the west’, there are many practitioners spread across much of the Mahayana Buddhist world, with active practitioners being found from Kalmykia in Eastern Europe all the way through to Korea and Japan, and in many places the tradition has been kept active and alive for over a thousand years.


In accordance with the wishes of the teachers who have conferred the Yamantaka initiation certain aspects of the practice are reserved for initiates only. Any person who has received the various Single-Deity or 13-Deity Yamantaka (Vajrabhairava) initiations is welcome as member of the yamantaka.org website and is encouraged to apply for membership.

All you have to do is to fill out the registration form and answer a few questions.

All of the information you provide us with is strictly confidential and will only be reviewed by the administrator of this site.

What we do

As an organisation, our activities are bound by our stated purpose. We are available for information, talks, lectures, visits, as well as the performing of appropriate religious practices. For instance, we are happy to provide editing assistance or advice regarding copy that intends to inform about Yamantaka – both in praxis and in culture. We are happy to take part in interfaith dialogue, to present workshops, and offer supplementary lessons for schools at all ages. As of 2020 we are also able to preserve and store artefacts and art belonging to the Yamantaka tradition that may be bequeathed or given to us (we are unable to pay for shipping costs).

Most of our activities are centred on providing a meeting and support group to active practitioners via the website. However, we do not limit our activities to such members, and we serve the public and public interest.

While currently we are a small community, we are not a closed community. However, for the support group we expect members to adhere and commit to the same purpose as stated on this page and, due to the purposes of the support group, we do ask that members have formally taken the Bodhisattva vow, have faith in the ancient Mahayana tradition, and have entered a suitable mandala.

How to contact us

If you are interested in learning more about what we do, or have a specific request, or wish to have further information about how we can help, please feel free to contact us by email – to either Jhampa or Ben at yamantaka dot org.