Vajrayana

Buddhist temples at Mount Wutai.

Chinese Esoteric Buddhism

Chinese Esoteric Buddhism Chinese Esoteric Buddhism refers to traditions of Tantra and Esoteric Buddhism that have flourished among the Chinese people. The Tantric masters Śubhakarasiṃha, Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra, established the Esoteric Buddhist Zhenyan ( 真言, “true word”, “mantra“) tradition from 716 to 720 during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. It employed mandalas,...

Representatives from the three major modern Buddhist traditions, at The World Fellowship of Buddhists, 27th General Conference, 2014.

Schools of Buddhism

Schools of Buddhism The schools of Buddhism are the various institutional and doctrinal divisions of Buddhism that have existed from ancient times up to the present. The classification and nature of various doctrinal, philosophical or cultural facets of the schools of Buddhism is vague and has been interpreted in many different ways, often...

Chöd ritual, note the use of Damaru drum and hand-bell, as well as the Kangling (thighbone trumpet).

Vajrayana

Vajrayana Vajrayāna, Vajrayana, Mantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Tibetan Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism are terms referring to the various Buddhist traditions of Tantra and “Secret Mantra“, which developed in medieval India and spread to Tibet, Bhutan, and East Asia. In Tibet, Buddhist Tantra is termed Vajrayāna, while in China it is generally known as Tángmì Hanmi (“Chinese Esotericism”) or Mìzōng (“Esoteric Sect”), in Pali it is...

Mallas defending the city of Kusinagara, as depicted at Sanchi.

History of Buddhism

History of Buddhism The history of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present. Buddhism arose in the eastern part of Ancient India, in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama. This makes it one of...

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, chief residence and political center of the Dalai Lamas.

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism (also Indo-Tibetan Buddhism) is the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet where it is the dominant religion. It is also found in the regions surrounding the Himalayas (such as Bhutan, Ladakh, and Sikkim), much of Chinese Central Asia, the Southern Siberian regions such as Tuva, as well as...

mandala

Mandala

What is Mandala? A mandala (मण्डल, maṇḍala – literally “circle”) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe. In common use, “mandala” has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the...

Religion and Drugs

Religion and Drugs Many religions have expressed positions on what is acceptable to consume as a means of intoxication for spiritual, pleasure, or medicinal purposes. Psychoactive substances may also play a significant part in the development of religion and religious views as well as in rituals. Neolithic In the book Inside...

Matrika – mother goddesses

Tantra

What is Tantra? Tantra (तन्त्र, literally “loom, weave, system”) denotes the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that co-developed most likely about the middle of the 1st millennium AD. The term tantra, in the Indian religions, also means any systematic broadly applicable “text, theory, system, method, instrument, technique or practice”....

Yoga Buddhism

Deity Yoga

What is Deity Yoga? Deity yoga (Devata-yoga) is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, and the realisation of emptiness. According to the Tibetan scholar Tsongkhapa, deity yoga is what separates Buddhist Tantra practice from the practice of other Buddhist schools. Deity...

Scroll Up