Inge wrote:So many people speak about samaya, but it is my impression that they, like me, have no idea what samaya really is.
I have never read a satisfactory explanation, neither in books, nor online. Nor have I heard any teacher explain this properly.
In your knowledge, what exactly is samaya?
samaya in brief, is vows that shouldn't ever be violated or broken.
there definitely are books, and it's quite a good topic to study.
there are 'three disciplines (vows) commentary' in Sakya and Nyingma school, which list all the vows people should follow at different stages.
For vajrayana, it is said that there are 100000 or more vows for anuttarayoga, but in very brief you can summorize them to body speech and mind, and to be a bit more precize you need to at least study 14 root downfalls, 8 rough violates, 5 families vows; you also need to keep basic bodhisattva vows if you think you are a vajrayana practioner, as no vajrayana practice can happen without bodhisattva vows as base. Bodhisattva vows have two traditions, Nagajuna system and Matriya system. Also, there is no vajrayana practice without very basic paramoksha vows, eg. no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct etc.
So as far as I know, what samaya is for anyone who kind of seriously want to follow vajrayana path, it will be:
1. five paramoksa vows at least
2. bodhisattva vows
3. depends on which level of tantra you follows. If kriya tantra, it's basically just 1. and 2., maybe plus a little bit extra requirements. For anuttarayoga tantra, you have to know 14 downfalls etc.
It's common that masters only give brief explanation after empowerment. Maybe because they don't have time, maybe because there are some people who just come to get connection rather than really want to get into practice. But in anyway I can't imagine someone who truly wants to become an anuttaratoga practioner doesn't need to follow 14 root vows etc.