Teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism

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Vajrayana Buddhism Vajrayana Buddhism (otherwise known as Tantric or Tibetan Buddhism) stands somewhat apart from the other major schools of Buddhist thought known as Theravada and Mahayana, although it is sometimes studied as a subset of Mahayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, it means "the diamond vehicle" (O'Brien 2012). Like other Mahayana sects, the tradition stresses the altruistic need to liberate all sentient beings from the bonds of suffering through the teachings of the Buddha as well as to renounce one's own sense of self and to develop a correct view of the universe. It is prominent in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and also Mongolia. Its most distinguishing feature is its reverence for the figure of the lama, or guru and reverence of esoteric practices to reach Enlightenment (Buddhist schools: Vajrayana, 2008, Buddhist Studies). Vajrayana fuses elements of Indian Tanta, Mahayana Buddhism, and "aboriginal shamanism" particular to Tibet (Vajrayana Buddhism, n.d, Kheper.net). Like Hinduism, it conceptualizes the human body as made up of chakras, but rather than seven chakras, Vajrayana Buddhist believe in only four, with the head being the least important, and the heart the most (Vajrayana Buddhism, n.d, Kheper.net). "Vajrayana practice involves manipulating the vital force through the mind and concentration," to activate internal heat (Vajrayana Buddhism, n.d, Kheper.net). Ritual, symbols, reciting of mantras and yoga practices are all used to bring the practitioner to

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