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Tantra in Tibet: Tibetan Buddhism

Subject: Tantra in Tibet: Tibetan Buddhism 
(sex, dakinis, Padmasambhava, Yeshes Tsogyel)
	Tantra -- Sanskrit, literally 'weft, context, continuum';...
	The 'ancient Tantras' of the Nyingmapa school divide the supreme yoga 
	Tantra into three further categories: maha-, anu- and ati-yoga (dzogchen). 
	These Tantras take the purity of mind that is always already present as 
	the basis for their practice... The polarity-oriented thought of the Tantras 
	finds its strongest expression in a many-layered sexual symbology. 
	Transcendence of the duality of the masculine principle (skillful 
	means, upaya) and the feminine principle (wisdom, prajna) through the 
	union of the two is given as the key characteristic of the supreme yoga 
	"The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", p. 217.
	...the method of attaining ecstatic union with the One Mind (or 
	Absolute Consciousness), known as yoga (which Patanjali in his 
	"Yoga Sutras" first systematized...),... is, undoubtedly, one of 
	the chief roots of [Tantra]. From this point of view, we should, 
	perhaps, be justified in defining [Tantra] as being a school of 
	eclectic esotericism based fundamentally upon yoga practically 
	applied, both to esoteric Brahmanism and to esoteric (or 
	Mahayana) Buddhism.
	Another of the peculiarities of [Tantra] its personification 
	of the dual aspects of the procreative forces of nature, the 
	shakta representing the male (or positive) aspect and the shakti 
	representing the female (or negative) aspect.
	Whatever be the origin or age of [Tantra], it has unquestionably 
	been an influence of the first importance through the whole 
	empire of Mahayana Buddhism....
	Philosophically viewed, [Tantra],...aims to interpret human nature 
	pragmatically. For this reason, the _Tantra Shastra_, historically 
	the latest of the Shastras, is held to be the Shastra best fitted for 
	the Kali-Yuga, the present age.
	"The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation", Evans-Wentz, page 58., being a fabric of correlative, interdependent, interacting 
	dualities, cannot be understood without knowing both aspects of the 
	dualities; and the Great Liberation is consequent upon attaining that 
	state of transcendence wherein all dualities become undifferentiated 
	Wisdom. Impartial judgement cannot be reached without knowing both 
	sides of a question; and evil must be philosophically understood and 
	tested along with good if man is to see life steadily and see it whole....
	Much has been argued, often unwisely, about white magic and black magic; 
	and yet all magic is alike; it is merely the way in which magical power 
	is employed that makes its usage good or bad. The supreme law of the 
	inseparableness...of good and evil, of white and black, of negative and 
	positive, is too often forgotten or else not recognized; and its non-
	recognition constitutes Ignorance (in Sanskrit, Avidya).
	[Tantra], in its higher esoteric reaches, of which Europeans have but 
	little knowledge, propounds, as do all philosophies, ancient and modern, 
	based upon the occult sciences, that the ultimate truth (at least from 
	the viewpoint of man) is neither this nor that, neither the Sangsara nor 
	Nirvana, but at-one-ment, wherein there is transcendence over all 
	opposites, over both good and evil. From the One proceed all dualities, 
	and in the One they dissolve in undifferentiation; and thus, ceasing to 
	exist as dualities, they are realized by the yogin to be phantasmagoria, 
	will-o'-the-wisps of the mind, children of Maya. 
	Ibid, pgs. 37-38.
	Of the two great schools of Buddhism, the Mahayana is prevalent in Tibet 
	and all the Buddhist countries except those in south-east Asia, where the 
	Theravada holds sway. The Tantras are embodied in a final section of the 
	Mahayana canon which the Tibetans received from India and translated 
	with great care and exactness into their own language. They are based 
	on teachings propounded by the ancient Madhyamika sect, one of whose 
	basic tenets was that truth is attained by adhering to the middle path 

	between belief in (or craving of) permanent existence and extinction, 
	since the real nature of ultimate reality is so subtle that it can neither 
	be said to exist nor not to exist.... Tantric Buddhism particularly 
	emphasizes METHOD as opposed to mere piety or scholarship. The very word 
	Tantra, being connected with a Sanskrit root meaning 'to weave', suggests 
	To understand the Tantras, it is important to know something of the 
	history of Indian Buddhist development, which can be divided up into 
	four distinct periods:

		(1) the early centuries during which the original teachings 
		   of Sakyamuni (Gautama Buddha) formed the main substance; 

		(2) a period of expanding the teachings to embrace philosophy, 
		   during which a rational systematization took place; 

		(3) a period of reaction in favor of less rigid views with 
		   emphasis on the compassionate Bodhisattvas, being who 
		   renounce Nirvana so as to assist others to reach it; 

		(4) a period of counter-reaction. 

	Very early Pali words and early Sanskrit works (preserved in Chinese 
	and Tibetan) suggest that the emphasis was originally on final 
	attainment IN THIS LIFE. "The Great Discourse on the Foundations of 
	Mindfulness"... goes so far as to say that from seven years down to 
	as little as seven days is sufficient for an earnest man to attain 
	Enlightenment.... In the fourth period, there was a strong reaction in 
	favour of the original ideal of practice and attainment in this life. 
	Like Zen, the Vajrayana became very much concerned with the Short Path 
	to speedy attainment. Meditation came back into its own.
	"The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet", pgs. 45-46.
	Tantric Buddhists, advocates of the Vajrayana, were dissatisfied with 
	the unhealthy emphasis on celibacy and withdrawal maintained by the 
	puritan elders, and they were impatient with the grand philosophizing 
	and convoluted intellectual superstructure of much of the Mahayana; 
	they wanted instead something more positive, direct and concrete. 
	Sex should be part of the Buddhist equation, some insisted: 'Sex was 
	the main preoccupation of Gotama when he was a prince in the palace, 
	which must have had something to do with his subsequent Buddhahood, 
	so why shouldn't we follow in his footsteps?' 
	"Lust for Enlightenment", pgs. 61-62.
	Since the king's ministers suggested that the prince be enticed 
	with all the pleasures of love in order to keep him addicted to 
	the palace, in addition to his wives Gotama was waited on by an 
	army of the most beautiful, accomplished, and adoring women in 
	the kingdom, all vying to provide him the utmost attention, 
	service, amusement, and comfort. 
	Ibid, p. 6.
	The king had a special 'chamber of love' constructed for Gotama, 
	decorated with erotic art and illumined with subdued light 'like 
	that of the hazy autumn sun.' Captivated by sexual extravagance, 
	the prince spent his days and nights in continual dalliance, 
	experiencing every imaginable sensual delight of heterosexual 
	intercourse with the indefagitable beauties of his vast harem 
	and, when he tired of them, with the professional goddesses of 
	love in neighboring pleasure groves. Gotama's life consisted 
	of opening women's skirts, unfastening their girdles, pressing 
	their swelling breasts, caressing their secret parts, and 
	devouring them with love....
	Gotama's life revolved around the five elements of physical 
	delight -- beautiful women, excellent music, pleasing scents, 
	fine food, and the best in raiment -- corresponding to the sense 
	of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
	Ibid, pgs. 7-8.
	Passions, Tantric Buddhists state, are the raw material of 
	enlightenment -- not obstacles, but true building blocks. Sex, 
	the greatest of passions, could if used properly be our greatest 
	ally instead of our deadliest foe. In the Tantra, the sex act 
	is neutral; if one acts like an animal or is in any way evil-
	minded, the repercussions are most grave, but if one behaves as 
	a bodhisattva, liberation is close at hand for both partners. 
	Sexual intercourse is generally marred by animal appetite and 
	superficial relief. Even here, though, one or both of the 
	participants usually has a fleeting experience of non-dual 
	bliss. Followers of the Tantra, in a state of acute arousal, 
	aspire to make that experience permanent and of cosmic 
	significance. For Vajrayana Buddhists, such communion idealizes 
	the emptiness and supreme bliss of awakening. 
	Lust for Enlightenment, pgs. 62-63.
	[The Prajnaparamita] the title given to a large section of 
	the Tibetan canon... As its name implies, it deals with the 
	Perfection of Wisdom (prajna).... as the whole of the Vajrayana 
	is rooted in its teaching, it demands an honoured place in all 
	books dealing with Tibetan Buddhism. The great Madhyamika school 
	which developed in ancient times around the Prajnaparamita 
	doctrines was the forerunner of all the Mahayana Buddhist sects 
	now in existence both in and outside of Tibet. It is from there 
	that Tantric Buddhism's central theme of voidness was derived.
	What has been said about the yogas of the Formless Path brings 
	us very close to the Prajnaparamita scriptures, for those yogas 
	set forth the essence of the teaching of the Prajnaparamita in 
	yogic form, that is to say in a form suitable for staged 
	meditations. Tibetan Buddhists have always held that Enlightenment 
	can be attained in two (overlapping) ways -- by the various yogic 
	means of experiencing voidness in the mind...; and by the wisdom 
	method, which consists of making a profound study of the 
	Prajnaparamita scriptures and realizing their full meaning during 
	ecstatic meditation. There is, to most Tibetans, no question of 
	the... experiential approach being superior or inferior to the 
	wisdom approach. Which one is selected will depend upon the 
	personality of the adept....
	Meditation upon teachings which at first have been intellectually 
	mastered is ...very different from ...visualization and 
	manipulation of psycho-physical processes; that they overlap is 
	due to two circumstances, the first of which is that the ecstatic 
	introspection that follow upon study is itself a kind of yoga. 
	The second is that many followers of the wisdom school attach a 
	special significance to a mantra which is held to contain the 
	whole essence of the hundreds of volumes comprising the 
	Prajnaparamita section of the canon. They find that the repetition 
	of this mantra induces a state of profound meditation in which the 
	true meaning of the teaching can be realized. Some of them have 
	gone even further and personified Transcendental Wisdom as a 
	goddess who fulfils a function similar to that of Arya Tara and 
	the other female deities on whom the Tantrists meditate. The 
	power of the mantra, and therefore of the goddess, resides in its 
	being able to confer yogic insight and its being the root from 
	which springs a complete categorical chain of vast logical 
	deductions which, taken all together, comprise the Doctrine of 
	the Void.
	"Tantric Mysticism in Tibet", pgs. 241-244.
	A number of Vajrayana texts have come down to us that describe 
	Tantric Buddhist practices. The compilation of these texts must 
	have been very haphazard, for there are, in general, a 
	bewildering jumble of the sublime, the horrid, and the 
	ridiculous. Most contain an explicit warning: 'These teachings 
	will, if correctly understood, allow one to attain Buddhahood 
	in this very life; if misconstrued, however, one will burn in 
	hell forever.' Few are truly qualified for these practices, 
	and genuine Tantric masters were extremely selective of their 
	students. Buddhist gurus typically insisted that prospective 
	candidates complete years of Hinayana (monastic) and Mahayana 
	(moral) training before initiation. Some teachers were so 
	cautious that they maintained that the rites should only be 
	visualized and not actually carried out. In any case, the sole 
	motivation of a Tantric Buddhist must be the wish to liberate 
	all sentient beings from suffering and distress.
	Sex, naturally, is a central concern of the Vajrayana texts. 
	Some, in fact, begin with the sentence, 'Thus I have heard: when 
	the Buddha was reposing in the vagina of his consort he 
	delivered this discourse....' The Buddhist tantras were 
	organized into four levels of difficulty -- kriya-, carya-, 
	yoga-, and annuttara-yoga -- corresponding to the stages of 
	sexual love: smiles, longing gazes, embrace, and union.
	In dramatic contrast to the misogynist sentiments so often 
	found in Hinayana and Mahayana texts, women are worshiped 
	unconditionally in the Buddhist tantras -- one text declares 
	openly, 'Buddhahood resides in the female sex organs' -- and 
	are venerated as vehicles of mahamudra, the Great Symbol of 
	Enlightenment. A Lady of Supreme Liberation is described in one 
	tantra as 'Neither too tall nor too short, neither quite black 
	or quite white, but dark like a lotus leaf. Her breath is 
	sweet, her perspiration has the scent of musk, and her yoni 
	is as fragrant as lotus blossoms and aloe wood. She is calm, 
	resolute, and pleasant in speech, with lustrous hair and a 
	luscious body -- altogether delightful!'
	This Tantric rite is detailed in the same Vajrayana text:
		The male participant should visualize himself as Lord 
		Buddha, and the female participant should imagine 
		herself as the Lady of Transcendental Wisdom. They 
		should first sit facing each other and gaze upon 
		their partner with intense desire. They kiss and 
		embrace tenderly, and she then has him suck her lotus 
		(yoni). Next she demands the ultimate from him, 
		asking if he is capable of eating her feces and 
		drinking her urine.
	Lust for Enlightenment, p. 65.
	Yidam -- Tibetan, literally 'firm mind'; in Vajrayana Buddhism, 
	a term for a personal deity, whose nature corresponds to the 
	individual psychological makeup of the practitioner. Yidams 
	are manifestations of the sambhogakaya [bodies of Buddha] and 
	are visualized in meditative practice (sadhana), i.e., perceived 
	with the inner eye. They can take on either a peaceful or 
	wrathful form of manifestation....
	...their function is as an aid in the transformative process 
	in which the practitioner comes to acknowledge his or her own 
	basic personality structure. The yidams also serve to bring 
	the practitioner to a sense of intimate connection with the 
	traditional lineage whose teaching he or she follows.
	The yidams can be classified according to their basic 
	qualities as follows:
	    Male Yidam:	active sympathy (compassion)
		peaceful: bhagavat
		semiwrathful: daka
		wrathful: heruka
 	     Female Yidam:	knowledge of supreme reality [wisdom]
		semiwrathful: dakini
		wrathful: dakini" Dictionary of B and Z , p. 253.
	Tantrik texts assert that the universe all about us is teeming 
	with thought forms and with beings good and bad -- deities, 
	demons, nature spirits, discarnate human egos, phantoms, monsters....
	...Dakinis, who are also known as Khadomas or 'lady cloud walkers,' 
	are the Tibetan equivalent of the Hindu yakshis. They are said to 
	bestow great benefits upon the yogi who knows how and when to 
	unite with them....
	On the walls of all Tantrik Tibetan temples will be found 
	paintings (thankas) showing the Dakinis in both their benevolent 
	and their wrathful aspects. In the latter form, they are 
	sometimes portrayed as ferocious tiger-woman vampires, who feed 
	on the flesh and blood of human victims. Others are naked, 
	except for a ritual green scarf... around their necks."  
	Tantra: The Yoga of Sex, by Omar Garrison, p. 157-158.
	Dakini -- Sanskrit; In Indian folk belief, a female demon to be 
	found in the company of gods; in Vajrayana Buddhism, the 
	inspiring power of consciousness, usually depicted in iconography 
	as a wrathful naked female figure.... As semiwrathful or wrathful 
	'yidam', the dakini has the task of integrating the powers liberated 
	by the practitioner in the process of visualization. In Tibetan, 
	'dakini' is translated as 'khadroma'. 'Kha' means 'celestial space,' 
	emptiness (sunyata) become an image; 'dro' has the meaning of 
	walking and moving about; 'ma' indicates the feminine gender in 
	substantive form. Thus the khadroma is a female figure that moves 
	on the highest level of reality; her nakedness symbolizes knowledge 
	of truth unveiled. The homeland of the dakinis is said to be the 
	mystic realm of Urgyen." 
	Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, p. 50.
	The Dakinis, who are always portrayed in female form, play a great 
	part in an individual's attainment of Enlightenment, for they are 
	in fact the forces welling from within himself by which he is driven 
	to master the hostile array of cravings, passions and delusions and 
	transform them into winged steeds that will carry him forward to 
	Enlightenment. In metaphysical terms it might be said that a man's 
	Dakini is the universal urge to Enlightenment as it acts in him. 
	The Dakinis are often ferocious in appearance; with their terrifying 
	expressions and gruesome ornaments, they are reminiscent of the 
	dread Hindu Goddess, Durga.... In any case, it is usual for an 
	adept to take to himself one of the Dakinis as his personal symbol 
	of communication with divine wisdom; by uniting with her, he 
	penetrates to the true meaning of doctrines too profound to yield 
	their secrets at the everyday level of consciousness.
	...The adept may in his imagination be warmly intimate with his 
	Yidam... The most frequently encountered Yidams of this kind are 
	the twenty-one Taras, each of whom has subtly different 
	correspondences with psychic realities; it is the Green, White 
	and Red Taras who are usually selected. In certain types of 
	sadhana, the Yidam is equated with the Dakini and even with the 
	Guru, so that devotees of the green Tara, for example, invoke 
	her with the words: 'Guru, Yidam, Dakini, Maha Arya Tara -- yeh!' 
	A Yidam who is also taken as a Dakini performs a dual function 
	during meditation; primarily she is the urge to Enlightenment 
	viewed as an essential part or partner of the adept's own self 
	and visualized under the aspect best suited to his stage of 
	spiritual, intellectual and emotional development.
	"The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet", by John Blofeld, pgs. 114-5.
	Adepts are taught that, even when nearing the highest level of 
	spiritual progress, they should continue their practice on all 
	four levels simultaneously. They will therefore variously regard 
	their Yidams as: 
		(1) having some of the characteristics of an external deity; 
		(2) as being identical with themselves and yet with the void 
		   (i.e. both relative and absolute); 
		(3) either as dwelling within or sometimes entering their 
		   hearts; and 
		(4) as identical with pure jnana...
	The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet, pgs. 176-177.
	Urgyen -- Tibetan (Sanskrit, Oddiyana [universal vehicle?]); a 
	mythical realm that in Tibetan Buddhism is considered the 
	birthplace of Padmasambhava and the dwelling place of the 
	dakinis.... Urgyen is considered the place of origin of certain 
	Tantric teachings. 
	Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, p. 240.
	Naga -- Sanskrit, literally 'serpent'; the 'dragon,' a beneficent 
	half-divine being, which in spring climbs into the heavens and 
	in winter lives deep in the Earth. Naga or mahanaga ('great 
	dragon') is often used as a synonym for the Buddha or for the 
	sages who have matured beyond rebirth. Nagaraja ('dragon king' 
	or 'dragon queen') are water deities who govern springs, rivers, 
	lakes and seas. In many Buddhist traditions (for example, 
	Tibetan Buddhism) the nagas are water deities who in their sea 
	palaces guard Buddhist scriptures that have been placed in their 
	care because humanity is not yet ripe for their reception. 
	Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, p. 151.
	"Terma -- ...Tibetan, literally 'treasure.' In Tibetan Buddhism, 
	a term for religious texts, which...were hidden in secret 
	places, so that at the right time they would be discovered and 
	newly expounded by qualified persons -- the terton. These are 
	regarded as authoritative works primarily by the Nyingmapa 
	school but also by the Bon school and later by the Rime 
	movement. The preservation of religious literature in hidden 
	places is a practice handed down from an earlier period in 
	India. Thus Nagarjuna is said to have found teachings, which 
	he later propagated, in the realm of the serpent spirits 
	(naga), where they were being guarded from falling into the 
	wrong hands.
	The Nyingmapas possess by far the most voluminous terma 
	literature, of which the most important works derive from 
	Padmasambhava and his female companion Yeshe Tsogyel. These 
	works are based not only on Indian sources but also on 
	teachings from the land of Urgyen. According to his 
	biography, Padmasambhava hid his works in 108 different 
	places in Tibet, in caves, statues, etc.  Among the 
	best-known terma texts are just this biography of 
	Padmasambhava and the "Tibetan Book of the Dead" ("Bardo thodel"). 
	In addition, works on astrology and the basic text on Tibetan 
	medicine were transmitted as terma.
	"Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", pgs. 222-223.
	Rime -- Tibetan, literally 'unbiased'; term for a current in 
	Tibetan Buddhism that ... arose from the need to overcome 
	sectarian bias in the evaluation of the doctrinal traditions 
	of various schools and to accept each tradition on its own merits....
	The main concern of the first Rime teachers and the succeeding 
	generations of their students was a clear structuring of 
	doctrinal and practical materials, based on the example of the 
	Gelugpa school.
	...It was in east Tibet that the Rime movement eventually 
	developed, its appearance being primarily a result of a 
	strengthening of the authority of the Nyingmapa school. This 
	school had developed as an independent tradition by the 14th 
	century through the discovery of so-called 'treasures' (terma). 
	In the following centuries it was the victim of various 
	persecutions and had to defend the authenticity of its teachings. 
	However, through the person of Jigme Lingpa ...the school gained 
	great influence in east Tibet, which was strengthened further by 
	the founder of the Rime movement, who was regarded as an 
	incarnation (tulku) of Jigme Lingpa.
	However, the process within the Rime movement of reviving 
	transmissions of teaching that had been thought lost and 
	providing them with fresh commentary also embraced the tradition 
	of the other schools. In the Rime collections of texts, works of 
	the Kagyupa, Sakyapa, Kadampa and Chod lineages are also found. 
	The Rime teachers also advocated revival of the bon teachings. 
	In addition to their religious activities they also found time to 
	be politically active as mediators with the central government 
	in Lhasa. 

	"Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", pgs. 177-8.
	Padmasambhava -- Sanskrit, literally 'the Lotus-born'; of 
	the historically identifiable founders of Tibetan Buddhism. He 
	left his imprint particularly on the Nyingmapa school and is 
	venerated by its followers as the 'second Buddha'. His special 
	task lay in taming the indigenous demons, or the forces of 
	nature embodied in them. The methods of Padmasambhava ranged 
	from the use of ritual implements, such as the phurba, to the 
	mastery of the meditation techniques of dzogchen. 

	In the course of centuries, the figure of Padmasambhava, who 
	continued the tradition of the mahasiddhas, took on an 
	increasingly legendary character. He is still venerated today 
	in the Himalayan countries under the name of Guru Rimpoche 
	(Precious Guru).
	...Padmasambhava was born in the country of Urgyen in 
	northwest Kashmir. He quickly mastered all the learned 
	disciplines of his time, especially the teachings of the 
	Tantras. In the 8th century he made his appearance in history 
	through his mission to Tibet, then under the dominance of 
	nature religion and the bon faith. His campaign came to an 
	end with the construction of the Samye Monastery (775).... 
	He transmitted his teachings to twenty five principal students, 
	including the Tibetan king. Especially important among these 
	teachings were the 'eight logos.' For the benefit of future 
	generations, he also hid a great number of teachings in the 
	forms of texts (terma). The most important female student 
	of Padmasambhava and the author of his biography was Yeshe Tsogyel.
	...The best known invocation of Padmasambhava is that in seven lines:
		In the northwest of the land of Urgyen
		On a blooming lotus flower
		You attained supreme wonderous perfection.
		You are called Lotus-born
		And are surrounded by a retinue of dakinis.
		I follow your example -
		Approach and grant me your blessing. 
	Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, p. 165.
	Padma-Sambhava, having come to be regarded by his many devotees...
	as being peculiarly a Tantric emanation or reincarnation of the 
	Buddha Gautama, exercized a very profound influence on the 
	shaping of Mahayana Buddhism; and this influence, in its own 
	sphere of [Tantra], was probably as far-reaching as was that of 
	Nagarjuna in the shaping of the Doctrine of the Voidness, as 
	set forth in the canonical Prajna-Paramita.
	"Book of the Great Liberation", p. 58
	Even as Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth of the Buddhist patriarchs, 
	was the great pioneer teacher of the Dhyana School of Buddhism to 
	the people of China, where he went by sea from India..., so was 
	Padma-Sambhava the great pioneer teacher of the Tantric School of 
	Buddhism to the people of Tibet, where he arrived from India... 
	by invitation of the Tibetan King... Both teachers taught that 
	Right Meditation is the indispensable means of attaining the Goal 
	of the Buddha's Nirvanic Path. 

	Accordingly, Bodhidharma founded the Meditation (Sanskrit: Dhyana) 
	School in China, known as the Ch'an, whence arose the Zen School 
	of Japan; and Padma-Sambhava founded in Tibet the Nyingma School, 
	of which the more esoteric teachings are set forth in the Adi-Yoga 
	System, otherwise known as the Doctrine of the Great Perfection 
	[Dzogchen]..., whence arose the Western Branch of the Chinese 
	Esoteric Sect known as the Tibetan Esoteric Sect...or the Lotus 
	"Book of the Great Liberation", p. 195.
	Padma -Sambhava...has not been immune to the criticism...and...
	to condemnation by the unenlightened... This has been due almost 
	entirely to his utter disregard of social, moral, and dogmatic 
	religious conventionalities or established codes of conduct based 
	upon mankind's limited conceptions of good and evil...
	The Buddhist Tantricism of Padma-Sambhava...postulates, in harmony 
	with these more ancient teachings underlying all Tantric Schools, 
	that good and evil are inseparably one; that good cannot be 
	conceived apart from evil; that there neither good per se nor 
	evil per se. 
	"Book of the Great Liberation", pgs. 35-37.
	"Yeshe Tsogyel -- ...Tibetan, literally 'Princess of the Wisdom 
	Lake,'...; intimate companion of Padmasambhava and the most 
	important female figure in the tradition of the Nyingmapa school. 
	Named for a miracle that occurred at the time of her birth, 
	the rising of a nearby lake...  Padmasambhava took her as his 
	consort and transmitted to her particularly the teachings of 
	the phurba cycle. Yeshe Tsogyel codified countless of her 
	guru's teachings in terma texts and also composed his biography. 
	In the last part of her life she was active mainly in east Tibet. 
	She is venerated up to the present day as a dakini. 
	"Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", p. 253.
	Tsogyel was wed to the emperor of Tibet at age thirteen. Three 
	years later, however, she was presented to the Great Guru 
	Padmasambhava for his sensual gratification. (Such generous 
	gifts to a guru were common in Indian and Tibetan Tantra.) 
	Although Padmasambhava accepted her as a disciple, he insisted 
	that Tsogyel first familiarize herself with every branch of 
	Buddhist learning and take ordination as a nun. A brilliant 
	student, Tsogyel quickly mastered all the required texts, and by 
	the age of twenty she was ready to be initiated into the Tantra. 
	During the ceremony the Guru, in his manifestation as Heruka 
	('the Wrathful One') 'took command of her lotus throne with his 
	flaming diamond stalk.'
	Padmasambhava told Tsogyel, 'Without a consort, a partner of 
	skillful means, there is no way to experience the mysteries of 
	Tantra.' He gave her the name of a sixteen-year-old boy and 
	where he could be found. After she met him, the two shut 
	themselves in a cave for seven months and continually 
	experienced the 'four joys' -- 'joyous excitement,' 'ecstatic 
	delight,' 'special delight,' and 'co-emergent delight.'
	Then, on a completely different track, Tsogyel embarked on 
	an extended period of solitary asceticism, livign as an 
	'ice-maiden' in the coldest mountains of Tibet. During the 
	long nights of meditation Tsogyel was, much like Gotama 
	Buddha, attacked by her inner demons. Foremost ws the craving 
	for food and material comfort. Next was intense sexual 
	desire. The most handsome youths imaginable appeared before 
	her, and she had visions of them caressing her, foldling her 
	breasts and vagina, and exposing their sex organs as they 
	teased, 'Would you like this, sweetheart?' 'How about 
	milking it, darling?'
	Tsogyel barely survived these and other torments during her 
	three-year retreat, but she was chastised by her guru for 
	mere role-playing as a hermit, as too proud to admit that 
	still had human feelings and desires like everyone else. 
	Tsogyel returned to the world and resumed her relationship 
	with her consort as well as taking two more. Following many 
	trials, Tsogyel eventually received full initiation into the 
	Tantra and was transformed into a 'Sky-walker,' a female 
	adept of the highest order. Padmasambhava said to her, 'The 
	basis for realizing enlightenment is a human body. Male or 
	female, there is no great difference. But if she develops 
	the mind bent on enlightenment, the woman's body is better.
	For many years thereafter, Tsogyel worked for the good of all 
	- feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, 
	instructing the ignorant, and 'giving her sexual parts to the 
	lustful.' Through her skill as a Sky-walker, Tsogyel managed 
	to convert seven men who gang-raped her. She raised their 
	consciousness by singing this song:
 	     My sons, you have met a sublime consort, the Great Mother,
	    And by virtue of your resources of accumulated merit,
	    Fortuitously, you have received the Four Empowerments.
	    Concentrate upon the evolution of the Four Levels of Joy.
	    Immediately you set eyes upon my body-mandala,
	    Your mind was possessed by lustful disposition,
	    And your confidence won you the Vase Initiation [sexual 
	    Apprehend the very essence of lust,
	    Identify it as your creative vision of the deity,
	    And that is nothing bu the Yidam deity himself.
	    Meditate upon lustful mind as Divine Being.
	    Uniting with space, your consort's secret mandala,
	    Pure pleasure exciting your nerve centers,
	    Your aggression was assuaged and loving kindness was born
	    And its power won the Mystic Initiation.
	    Apprehend the very essence of joy,
	    Mix it with your vital energy and maintain it awhile,
	    And if that is not mahamudra, nothing is.
	    Experience pleasure as mahamudra.
	    Joined to your sonsort's sphere of pure pleasure,
	    Inspired to involuntary exertion,
	    Your mind merged with my mind,
	    And that blessing won you the Wisdom Initiation.
	    Undistracted, guard the very essence of pleasure,
	    Identify pure pleasure with Emptiness,
	    And that is what is known as Immaculate Empty Pleasure.
	    Experience pure pleasure as Supreme Joy.
	Tsogyel also married a leper and served him as a model wife. 
	She died at a great age, and is now venerated as Tibet's top 
	female tantric master."  
	"Lust for Enlightenment", pp.??
	Mahasiddhas -- Sanskrit, roughly 'great master of perfect 
	capabilities.' In the Vajrayana, this term refers to [one] that 
	has mastered the teachings of the Tantras. He distinguishes 
	himself through certain magical powers (siddhi), which are 
	visible signs of his enlightenment. Best known is the group 
	of eighty-four mahasiddhas. They represent a religious movement, 
	which developed in India from the 8th to 12th centuries against 
	the background of, and in opposition to, the monastic culture 
	of Mahayana Buddhism....
	What is common to all of them, regardless of background, is 
	the manner in which, through the instruction of a master, they 
	transformed a crisis in their lives into a means for attaining 
	liberation. Then, through unorthodox behavior and the use of 
	paradoxes, they expressed the ungraspability of ultimate reality. 
	"Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", p. 135.
	"Phurba -...Tibetan, literally 'nail, wedge'; a dagger for 
	subduing demons introduced into the ritual of Tibetan Buddhism 
	by Padmasambhava. As a symbol for the direct transmutation of 
	negative forces, it plays a central role in a system of 
	meditative practice that was transmitted by Yeshe Tsogyel...
	The origin of the phurba is associated with a long Tantra 
	presented by Padmasambhava at the beginning of his journey 
	to Tibet. A deity personified as a phurba plays an important 
	role as a yidam in the Sakyapa and Nyingmapa schools; new 
	transmissions, in the form of terma texts, of teachings 
	relating to this deity were discovered in the 19th century (Rime). 
	"Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", p. 170.
	Dzogchen -- ...Tibetan, literally 'great perfection'; the primary 
	teaching of the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. This teaching, 
	also known as ati-yoga (extraordinary yoga), is considered by its 
	adherents as the definitive and most secret teaching of 
	Shakyamuni Buddha. It is called 'great' because there is nothing 
	more sublime; it is called 'perfection' because no further means 
	are necessary. According to the experience of dzogchen 
	practitioners, purity of mind is always present and needs only to 
	be recognized. The tradition...was brought to Tibet in the eighth 
	century by Padmasambhava and Vimilamitra, [and then]...sythesized 
	by Longchenpa into a unified system. The condensation of this 
	system by Jigme Lingpa... remains an authoritative expression of 
	the great perfection tradition up to the present day....
	A further tradition began with Padmasambhava, who received the 
	great perfection teaching from the dakinis. Common to all 
	expositions of dzogchen is the axiom that the mind, as self-
	existing intelligence, is by nature pure and undefiled. Because, 
	however, this is not recognized, beings wander in the cycle of 
	existence (samsara). A method for breaking out of this cycle is 
	direct experience of 'naked,' or 'ordinary' mind, which is the 
	basis of all activities of consciousness. This is the gateway 
	to primordial knowledge, the union of emptiness (shunyata) and 
	clarity. In addition to approaches of this kind that are 
	oriented toward emptiness and intended to be applied without 
	goal-oriented effort, there are also methods that place the 
	emphasis on the clear light aspect of primordial knowledge. Their 
	goal is realization of the 'rainbow body,' i.e., the dissolution 
	of the physical body -- that is, of the four elements that 
	constitute the body -- into light." 
	"Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen", pgs. 61-62.
	The Short Path practice is divided into physical, mental and 
	combined categories, most them conjoined with the peculiarly Tantric 
	form of meditation known as visualization, which involves the body, 
	speech and mind simultaneously. By the manipulation of forces 
	conjured up by means of mental power, mudras, mantras and dharanis, 
	samadhi (a blissful, void state of mind) is rapidly attained, and 
	the influx of intuitive wisdom accompanied by advanced mystical 
	states follows.
	A proper orientation of the adept's mind converts all virtues and 
	vices into stepping-stones to spiritual achievement. Nothing can 
	frighten or disgust him, for the vilest dross is transmuted into 
	pure spiritual essence; the 'animal' processes -- excretion, 
	eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, breathing and the pulsing of 
	the blood -- are transformed into divine functions. All sounds - 
	the clatter of trams beneath the bedroom window, the thunder and 
	scream of bombardment, the whine of a dentist's drill, or the 
	howling of demons -- become sweeter than the music of wind in the 
	pines or the thrilling voices of Dakini. Whatever meets the eye 
	-- the glow of massed chrysanthemums, factory chimneys or brick 
	walls seen across a prison courtyard -- all these take on a 
	mysterious meaning. The ordinary recluse needs the support of the 
	tranquil surroundings, perhaps a hillside hermitage where he can 
	delight in the blooming of alpine flowers and pass his nights in 
	contemplation of the moon; whereas those who tread the Adamantine 
	Way distil peace and beauty from within; withdrawing from nothing, 
	irked by nothing, they are gradually immersed in a plenitude of 
	"The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet", pgs. 75-76.
	One of my Lama teachers summed up the general requirement for 
	developing a Tantric attitude in three injunctions: 
		'Recognize everything around you as Nirvana; 
		 hear all sounds as mantra; 
	 	 see all beings as Buddha.'
	Recognizing everything as Nirvana means becoming aware of the void 
	and non-void nature of objects experientially. Everything must...
	be regarded and ...experienced in two novel ways: as intrinsically 
	void, since Nirvana is also void; as intrinsically perfect, since 
	reality even in its non-void aspect can be recognized as a realm of 
	unimaginable perfection if the consciousness is, so to speak, 
	transposed to another key....
	By an inner transformation of his way of perceiving things, the adept 
	comes to see everything as pregnant with beauty, as though the world 
	had been magically transformed. This is not just a matter of piously 
	telling oneself that it is beautiful, but of experiencing this as a fact.
	Hearing all sounds as mantra requires the same technique. Mantras 
	are sacred invocations recited in a special tone of voice; here, 
	however, the word signifies divine melody....
	Seeing all beings as Buddhas is an injunction familiar to Zen 
	followers. It is based on the understanding that every being has...
	the Buddha-nature, the meaning of which is: 
		(1) that all beings including Buddhas are ultimately 
		   manifestations of the undifferentiated non-substance, 
 	    and (2) that each being is endowed with the urge to and 
		   capability of Enlightenment...
	...Intent on causing his mind to leap into another dimension wherein 
	he perceives things not as potentially but actually perfect, the 
	devotee first imagines them so; and thereby promotes the influx of 
	intuitive wisdom which causes him to see them so. The first process 
	involves an element of make-believe the second is intensely real. 
	As time goes on, he reaches a point at which he sees each grain of 
	sand as containing the entire universe. This blissful vision, 
	normally attainable only under the influence of yogic trance or drugs 
	or at the moment of intense romantic feeling, becomes a permanent 
	possession -- the adept's ONLY mode of vision.
	"The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet", pgs. 76-78.
	...Sit facing your partner -- look into each other's eyes. You are 
	completely naked facing each other as two human beings...; experience 
	each other's sex and desire. You respect each other, share a 
	universal event, two divine people together with the whole universe.
	Meditate on each other, experience each other with desire and joy. 
	If you smile self-consciously or if you tense your facial muscles 
	or body, return to a relaxed natural state each time, get back 
	into the play and the seriousness of what you are doing. If 
	limiting thoughts pop up -- whatever happens -- turn back to the 
	experience of each other. Naked, you face each other, open and 
	sensitive, experiencing each other's body, eyes -- also the many 
	masks that appear as you concentrate on a face -- let everything 
	come and go. Go on experiencing your divine partner without 
	stopping for a long time. You don't have to demand or explain or 
	excuse anything. You're not accomplishing anything -- just being, 
	experiencing, enjoying.
	"Yoga, Tantra and Meditation", by Sw. Janakananda Saraswati, pg. 79.
	The Tantras can be divided into four or six classes, but there is 
	some disagreement among the sects as to the boundaries between them 
	and many Tantric works contain elements of several classes. The 
	classification given here is that of the Nyingmapas. It is said 
	that the Gelugpas do not use the term Atiyoga, but divide Annuyogic 
	works into Father Tantra, Mother Tantra and Non-dual Tantra, of 
	which the third category perhaps corresponds more less exactly to 
	"The Nyingmapa classification is:
	Kriya Tantra -- in which the deities are visualized as external.
	Carya Tantra -- in which the deities are visualized as identical 
		with the adept.
	Yoga Tantra -- in which the power of deities is recognized as 
		arising from nonduality.
	Mahayoga Tantra -- to which entrance is gained by the three siddhis 
		(supernormal powers) and the defilements of body, speech 
		and mind are basis of all cleaned THROUGH body, speech and 
		mind. The three samadhis (Also called the dharmas) 
		obtainable by this form of Tantra are those of jnana 
		(innate reality) and sunyata (void); of manifestation or 
		unwavering compassion towards all phenomena; and of cause, 
		which is meditated by a special symbol. This is the yoga 
		used for opening up the psychic channels and for the 
		visualization of deities.
	Annuyoga Tantra -- in which the adept comes to realize and honour 
		the true meaning of the Mantrayana (Vajrayana), never breaks 
		the stream of compassion for the beings of the Triple World, 
		and reveres his Lama as one who has discovered jewels in the 
		infinite ocean of Samsara. This yoga is used for the sacred 
		breathing; the deities appear of themselves.
	Atiyoga -- which is devoid of distinctions of depth, extent and 
		difficulty, (Also called and resembles a spontaneously 
		achieved state of unity in which the fruit) no rules 
		remain to be kept. This yoga is for certain mysteries.
	"The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet", pgs 220-221.
	The ancient yinyang symbol of the Chinese Taoists makes a useful 
	introduction to what will be said about the Tantric symbols, 
	because it illustrates how conclusions arrived at by ancient sages 
	who reached them intuitively by delving deep within their 
	consciousness; moreover it leads up to the principle underlying 
	the Tibetan mandala. Indeed, for that reason, it is widely known 
	in Tibet as well as China. 

	Though antedating Buddhism it is in perfect harmony with the Tantric 
	conception of the universe is germane to our thesis, which 
	is that such symbols are not arbitrary creations but arise 
	spontaneously from the depths of consciousness.
	"The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet", pg. 99.
	While Tantric Buddhism has many attractive features, most strains 
	contain elements that are very troubling even to those otherwise 
	in sympathy with its aims. It can include justifying outrageous 
	behavior -- Padmasambhava is portrayed as once killing all the 
	male inhabitants of a kingdom with black magic and then taking 
	all the women there to wife so that they would bear an army of 
	Buddhist children. It sometimes advocates superstitious 
	nonsense, such as liting magical formulae allowing one to gain 
	entry into any woman's bedroom. Many types of Tantra may even 
	degenerate into the worst kind of perversion -- 'Feast on my 
	feces, gulp my urine, and lap up the blood from my vagina,' for 
	example, is a frequent refrain of dakinis in more than a few 
	Vajrayana texts. Other recommended activities are outright 
	criminal -- 'You must slaughter your father, devour him, and 
	then make love to your mother.'
	Apologists claim that the Tantras are composed in 'twilight 
	language,' which is never to be taken literally. 'Kill,' for 
	instance, does not really mean 'slay,' but rather, 'take the 
	life out of dualistic thinking'; and 'have sex with all women' 
	means 'communicate with all the feminine principles contained 
	within one's own body and mind.' It may also be argued that 
	such frightful and disgusting imagery, if that is all it is, 
	is no worse than what psychoanalysts uncover in the psyches of 
	their patients, and that everyone has such thoughts at one time 
	or the other but suppresses them. Nevertheless, the constant 
	preoccupation with the darkest side of human nature seen in 
	certain Tantras can be just as destructive as attempts to 
	totally deny one's sexual and other urges.
	Also, despite the safeguards and other precautions supposedly taken 
	by Tantric adepts, abuses were widespread, and more sober Buddhists 
	were obliged to protest:
		Perform the Tantric rites literally
		And you will surely be reborn as a demon.
		It is amazing that Buddhists should act thus;
		If practices like yours resulted in enlightenment
		Then hunters, fishermen, butchers and prostitutes
		Would all surely have gained enlightenment.
	Other sources gave vivid reports of horrifying sex orgies and 
	human sacrifices conducted by self-styled Tantric Buddhists. 
	It appears, for example, that the Chinese Ming emperors were 
	trained by Tantric priests who actually acted out the descriptions 
	of the rites, including incest and human sacrifice. Aged lamas in 
	Tibet were known to have practiced sexual vampirism; they attempted 
	to rejuvenate themselves by procuring the services of young girls 

	and sucking on their tongues, breasts, and yonis. And it seems that 
	even the Tantra adepts themselves were occasionally ashamed of 
	their behavior. Langchen, a patriarch of the Nyingma School, tried 
	to hide the fact that a 'nun' disciple had borne him two children, 
	and his reputation never fully recovered.
	In certain schools, Tantra was in fact purged of its more unpalatable 
	qualities. Shingon, for example, the main Tantric school of Chinese 
	and Japanese Buddhism, retained much of the sexual imagery (though 
	not, with the exception of the Tachikawa-Ryu, sexual yoga) but 
	dispensed with the worst of filth and degradation. And Zen, 
	especially in its Japanese manifestation, was essentially Tantra 
	purified of excess. 
	Lust for Enlightenment, pgs. 84-85.

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