The development of Tantric Buddhism began around the 3rd century in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and in South India, and was partly Hindu, but is now primarily a Tibetan-Buddhist phenomenon.
The Tibetan Buddhism Vajrayana or Diamond Road focuses heavily on the content of Tantra, whose special theses and content are often considered the top step on the way to the Buddha stage.
Tantra focuses on a focus on existential problems and focuses on the opposite poles of life as it tries to reconcile, which is often symbolized in the female and male aspects.
According to Themakeupexplorer, Tantra follows the main theses of the Mahayana, but in practice, in Tantric Buddhism, the Buddha stage can be achieved through an “adjustable” form of meditation under the strict guidance of an initiated doctrine / guru / Lama. And where Mahayana “looks” at the individual, Tantra acts “through” the individual, just as Mahayana deals with philosophical considerations, where Tantra primarily uses practical methods to achieve cognition.
The highest Tantric exercises and techniques require deep understanding and insight into Mahayana Buddhism and are performed only by monks who have completed the Geshe degree
The long and difficult Tantric path begins with a student being approved by a Lama who initiates him into the Tantric practice. This comes through various forms of meditation, breathing exercises and a direct understanding of compassion, which provides insight into the human review of the carnal life and the suffering thereby.
The second stage on the Tantric path, deals with profound physical exercises, where special spiritual experiences are included. Among other things, meditative hand movements and postures, the so-called Mudras, are involved, which evoke different emotions and moods. The various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are drawn and cast with different mudras and can often be identified by this.
In addition, a Mandala is often included in the meditation, which becomes deeper as the insight is reached. Mandala is a symbolic image of the cosmos used as an aid in meditation. If one follows the written rules, a Mandala usually depicts divine similarities or symbols, placed around a symmetrical center with a central deity. A Mandala symbolizes the orderly cosmos, as well as the wholeness and harmony that exists in the enlightened mind. The person who meditates considers the Mandala based on what he has learned and may follow the written rules until he “possesses” the central figure and thus achieves some of the powerful qualities that Mandalas are said to have. Mandalas are often painted on a fabric painting, a so-called Thangka.
In addition to the various forms of meditation and spiritual imagery, the Mandalas make tantra much use of Mantra’s, which is a magical word composition or phrases that is perceived as a manifestation of the divine and the attainment of meditation.
The most well-known is the mantra of Avalokitesvara: Om Mani Padme Hum, which means something like Om Jewel in the Lotus Flower Hum and is used by the entire Tibetan Buddhist world. The mantra is often seen carved on stone, in rocks and printed prayer flags and pennants. In addition to Om Mani Padme Hum, there are dozens of other Mantra’s, where a few of the famous ones are:
Guru Rinpoche’s mantra: Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padme Siddhi Hum
Gyalwa Karmapa’s mantra: Om Karma pa Chi No
Amithabha’s mantra: Om Ah Mae Dewa She
Dorji Simbua’s mantra: About Mba Cha Sa Do Hum
Pemba Sumba’s mantra: About Ah Hum Mba Sa Ngo Rö Mma Si da Hum
Gyetse Droma’s mantra: About Da Rze Dou Da Rhe Dö Rze Sho Ha
In addition, symbols and icons are included in Tantric rites, which should illustrates that the poles are sought to be united, which is most often seen in Dorje & Trilbu, the thunder wedge (Dorje / Vajra) and the bell, respectively. They express the Tantric polarity, where the Drilbu is the female aspect that symbolizes the Buddha’s speech and body and the Dorje symbolizes the Buddha’s mind and the diamond – the unbreakable.
Through higher Tantric effects and aids, the Lama can visualize and identify himself with different divine aspects, each of which constitutes a cosmic force, which enables him to realize the essential truth, which is that each deity is equal to emptiness.
Here he attains the extraordinary consciousness, a state beyond all duality, which conditions eternal bliss.
As Tibetan Buddhism differs greatly from the other Buddhist directions, it is primarily due to the local traditions it acquired on the long journey from India, around the Himalayas to Tibet. But partly also because of the pre-Buddhist animist and nature religion Bön.
The founder Bön is Tönpa Shenrab Nipo, who according to the interpretation lived in the 2nd century BC. Shenrab was born and raised in the mysterious kingdom, Ölmo Lungring, where the population is believed to have been a level close to the Enlightenment and the landscape had a radiance like nowhere else. Ölmo Lungring is said to have been square rich, divided into nine squares. The eight outermost districts gathered around the innermost landscape, where there was a 9-story sacred mountain. At the top of the mountain was the king’s crown, and each of the nine floors represented one of Bön’s nine paths to attain enlightenment.
There is much disagreement about where Ölmo Lungring was located, many believe it was in the area around Mount Kailash in Western Tibet.
Shenrab left Ölmo Lungring primarily because of a demon Kyapa Langring, but also saw the opportunity to preach his religion to the Tibetans.
When Buddhism came to Tibet, the already resident, Bön nature spirits rebelled and fought against the new doctrine. This happened, among other things, when Tibet’s first monastery in Samye was to be built around the year 767. Guru Rinpoche managed to win over the local spirits and demons, as well as converting some of them to Buddhism. Since then, the two religions have managed to live peacefully side by side.
The immediate and visible differences between Bön and Buddhism are that the Bön-po’s walk right around sacred places where the Buddhists walk left around. Bön’s swastika looks like a swastika, where Buddhism’s is inverted. Many of Bön’s traditions, demons and rituals have later been swallowed up by Tibetan Buddhism, which is why there are so many Shamanic rites. Prayer has its own mantra, which reads: About Matri Muye Sa Le Du.
Bön is almost undead, but has a few haunts left, including in Dolpo in Nepal, Sikkim and in western and southeastern Tibet.
According to the profiteers, there will one day come a great guru who will follow Shenrab’s paths and further travel out into the world and preach Bön’s teachings.