He was a Hindu practitioner until the time of his bodhi. He unequivocally pointed out the flaws of thosespiritual traditions then. Many of those ideas are mirrored in some spiritual cocktails currently beingconcocted.~ edited for this page from a contribution by BB to the Kagyu email list, June 2002.Since Buddhism faded from India, authentic Vajrayana teachings owe their existence today to translators suchas
(11th century) who undertook a number of arduous journeys from the Tibetan plateau periodically toretrieve them. The texts and methods that were being preserved in the monasteries of Tibet until the mid-twentieth century, are now being collected and preserved by us.
< Lynne Haekert
the thunderbolt vehicle
) is the Buddhist system that incorporating tantricmethods. It means that exercises, practices and rituals are handed down directly fromteacher to student by word of mouth, though often with the aid of teaching materials in theform of pamphlets and pictures.Even thoughBuddha Shakyamunirejected the notion of a permanent Self, heacknowledged the belief in rebirth. He said that this was not inevitable and he taught themethods that he, himself, had used to achieve enlightenment and release from the bonds of the wheel of rebirth (Skt.
or samsara) in a single lifetime.Vajrayana works to transmute one's "imperfections" and ordinary awareness by means of un-ordinary and also, some extraordinary methods. For example, the system of
that some people know about from other contexts are also utilized in this system,where it is often called "working with the
winds and drops
."An advanced initiated student with an agreeable partner or consort can receive instructionin working with this energy as a couple. It must be stressed that the primary objective isnot enhancement of physical sensation.
Every Buddhist takes refuge regularly in the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. The Vajrayanist addsthree others of which the first and foremost is the guru. That is because without a mentor or lama, access to anyof the special methods would not be possible. We have seen (
) that even to begin the so-called preliminaries, it is not sufficient to have read about them..Ashvaghosha's
on Guru Devotion
, commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargey.)
Kinds of Guru
Tibetans say that each lama has his or her way of teaching. This is an ancient idea deriving from Indiantradition holding that there arevarious types of guru(Tib.
.) They range from "vidya gurus," teachingthrough knowledge of scripture, to charismatic or "diksha gurus," who directly transmit realization.
Creation and Completion
One of the main techniques used of any tantric practice is the use of the imagination. That is, we imagine ingreat detail, using the "mind's eye."There are usually two or three parts to a tantric practice: the visualization of the deity, the visualization of theself as deity, and then the dissolution or resolution of the visualization into Emptiness. For example, oneimagines the form, colors, clothes, and ornaments of Chenrezi not as a material body, but as a translucent formsimilar to that of a rainbow, or a virtual image like the moon in water.In the same way, the mantras, or speech element are understood as the union of sound and emptiness. Finally,the mental activity - - the imagination and the thought -- is understood as empty