Maha-vajra-bhairava, wrathful aspect of Bodhisattva Manjushri

My friend, Efendi said that Japan is famous center for studying Mantra-naya sect among Mahanaya Buddhism (See below) and thus Tibet is spot for great concern of japanese mantranaya Buddhism priests and scholars.

(I cannot deny that I am influenced by cultural bias, like buddhism attitude to hinduism, or mahanaya sect attitude to "Hinayana" (Theravada)...(for the former appeared from the latter as an antithese of the latter) so I have a bias to buddhism, as a voice of freedom against choking caste hierarchy of hinduism and extreme attitude to reverence which enhances the ignorance of populace.

Degital Dictionary of Buddhism

Indians believe reincarnation, and that defines social castes while in living, if you meet misfortune unluckily and it was not by the result of your action, it means you did something bad in previous life. (This process of cause and effect is "karma")

(Monotheists tend not to believe Samsara, so they don't need Nirvana.)

Historically, the prince was born in the caste hierarchy of Hinduism as Warrior / Ruler Caste (Kshatriya), and taught a teaching that is not concentrated to specified religion. And he never write his teaching as Muhammad / Christ, or other Great Religion founders didn't. But his disciples began to write down and begin to compile it, so honestly, no one remembering texts "begin" to appear, as original teaching of Christ or Patanjali.

So Nagarjuna taught the way to help others to reach Nirvana as to help yourself. (Mahayana Buddhism), so Boddhidharma came to China and taught the way to reach Nirvana by meditation and riddles, So Padmasmbhava came from India to Tibet and taught Yoga, so Six Priests of Vikramasila Temple School and Atisa taught Tibetan Priests about the Mystery of Yogic Practice and how it can be combined to Orthodox Mahayana Teaching of "Apparent (Paramita) Method" (See below)

So almost all of Major religions began as rather patriarchial, man chauvinistic, denying worship of Shakti Worship to Life, or Sexual Goddesses and physical pleasure or discipline as inferior. So monastery isolated from ordinary living thrived in each "Fundamentalists". And hinduistic pantheon is positioned as inferior beings than buddhas and bodhisativas.

Especially, fundamentally dangerous (later yogistic?) Gods like Shiva was carefully watched and sometimes despised as Ashura (Devil) rather than Deva. (But as worship of Virgin Mary in Christianity, Great Mother cannot be ignored clumsily...)

Buddhism reveres the state of "Void" called Nirvana, it is frequently equated with the concept of hinduistic "moksa" (Liberation from Cycle of Reincarnation) Europeans sometimes feel uneasiness to the concept of "Void" (Maybe as concept of Cipher from the point of view of Aristotle School, rejecting Islamic Philosophy), and sometimes it is equated with Nihilism as Schopenhauer did. And hindus are quite likely using this misconcept to their misadvantage....

My friend, Greg Stafford frequently uses word "Tantric" which meaning is unclear, and differently explained by each of sects (I think he uses this ambiguity intentionally, see below) Yogic practice, that is from Patanjali and derived from Indian Hinduism, is later development after Buddhism, but adopted and absorbed for its teaching is too fascinative for it justifies Animistic / Shamanistic, magic and cantrips, like curse to neighbors or making love portion.....and incorporated into Orthodox Patriarchical Teaching of Major Religions. (See below about the process of historical Changing in Mantra-yana sect.) So I share some feeling that "Unrealisation" is degenerated compromise to Void or Nothingness which buddhism teaches.

Esoteric Buddhism absorbs "oppressed" practice of shamanism / animism, and tries to systemise Orthodox teaching of Mahayana Buddhism taught by Nagarjuna. (See below about Chakra and Kundalini)

Hinduism since Veda text oriented have suffered with relation from other religions like Jainism and Buddhism, etc...but highly developed philosophy and creed (like Upanishad) might not have been there without it.  No one remember who Patanjali actually was (though the ancient gramatist might be same name and same person), but everyone knows he is the Founder of Yogic Tantrism.

(But I don't want to write here about why a sort of "corrupted" version of Yogism was so widespread among esoteric religion outside of India....and it needs more speculation.)

I can find several contradicting explanation for this word:

1) Compromise to animistic / shamanic religions practice of pre-Aryan Invasion
2) Shaktism, worship to Feminine Goddess, and reverence to sexual force
3) Strict Rituals to monasticism, and dedication to mentors (Guru?)

1), 2) and 3) superficially sound distinctly different and contradict for westerners without knowledge of Buddhism I assume. But if you grasp change also occured even limited only in Vajrayana, you might understand it as you do for the change of Christianity.

#Early Age Esoteric Buddhism
Beginning of adopting Sexual Methodology and Images, secular concern is not bad for it can be turned into energy to attain Liberation. Native shamanic / animistic practices (Like shitoism in Japan, Bon in Tibet, taoism in China, etc..) were absorbed and utilised by buddhism priests, but not oriented as a
sophisticated system.

#Middle Age Esoteric Buddhism (Japanese Shinngon and Tenndai Sect can be categorised here.)
Systemised Teaching began and disciples began to worship tutors as if they are living avatar of buddhas. Baptism to disciples and complicated rituals, a Japanese Priest perceived Mahavairocanabhisa teaching and Vajrasekhara Teaching as dualistic concept, and succeeded systemizing it as Japanese Mantra-yana text in Tang Dynasty. (Many scholars pointed out that it might be influenced from dualistic teaching of Chinese Yin and Yang.)

Dualistic Japanese Mandala, as symbols of Mahavairocanabhisa teaching and Vajrasekhara Teaching

#Late Age Esoteric Buddhism (Tantric Buddhism, Tibetan Orthodox Geluq can be categorised here.)
Yogic Practice finally incoporated with newer sutras, Yogistic materialistic concern is finally justified as a method to help people as Communion, as fundamental principle of Mahayana Buddhism by great Tsonkhapa, (from his Geluq sect, Dalai Lama line began.) he taught disciples that Vajrayana (Esoteric) is greater than Paramita (Apparent) as Sun is greater than  Moon, but that only after the strict practice of Apparent (Paramita) Methodology, (Meditation, fasting, etc...), it is available. I think "tantric" can only be applied to this stage, for yogic practice is never mainstream for Eastern Asia, though its sutras can be found among many.
http://mypage.direct.ca/w/wattj/Glossary.htm (In this classification of Sakya and Geluq, lesser level of tantra (Kriya -> Carya -> Yoga -> Anuttrara Yoga depends on more physical level than spiritual, though in higher level, more animistic, curses and sensual symbolism are found among higher level texts......)

Four-fold Tantra Methods Main Texts Note
Kriya (Action) Tantra
Carya (Ritual) Tantra Mahavairocanabhisa Sutra Maybe it can be equated with Japanese Mahavairocanabhisa Mandala....
Yoga Tantra Series of Vajrasekhara Sutra Maybe it can be equated with Japanese Vajrasekhara Mandala....
Anuttara-yoga (Highest-yoga) Tantra Father Tantra
(Producing Method)
Guhyasamaja Tantra Utpakikrama, meditating upon the symbolism of mandala, completing it. (Geluq sect considered its superiority over Mother Tantra...)
Mother Tantra
(Completing Method)
Chakrasambhara Tantra, Hevajra Tantra Utpannakrama Method, sensual (sexual?) and physiological yoga.
Non-separable Tantra Kalachakra Tantra

Sects of Tibet

Joseph Needham objected against typical simplified european categorization about Concept of History by counting difference of India and China. Like West (Occident) is the land of Clear Thinking and Logic, while East (Orient) is Mystical and caring only afterlives.

Many of ancient chinese sages didn't care anything about afterlife and tried to make good for own secular society. (As a reference, Japanese "Esoteric" Buddhism is not influenced from Tantric "Yogic" Buddhism, though practice of Mandala, and high-systemized Esoteric Buddhism imported from China in Chinese Tang Dynasty. So I hesitate to call practice of Mt. Kouya and Reverend Koubou "tantric"....Vajrayana is good, Mantrayana is better. See above.)

Some europeans feel term "Esoteric" too ambiguous, and use Adamantine or Diamond ("Vajrayana") as sect name for its prefixed sutra is one of main text of it, but it seems not to be prefereble fashion for insiders....japanese scholars prefer to call it "Mantrayana Sect" according to Japanese Main Sect name. Tibetan use both words. (From their Sansrit term Apparent Buddhism is usually called "Paramita-yana"....both of them included inside the category of Mahayana Buddhism, which seeks to help others as well as practitioners.)


Some call buddhism as Philosophical teaching and clarity of mind training, deny all other practices as "deluded". But for its students, method of Mahayana Orthodox and Esoteric Buddhism aren't standing against each other, and usually students of Esoteric Buddhism never be permitted to learn sexual images of Chakrasamvara, tantric rituals and succession until they would master Apparent (paramita) Methodology perfectly, both in orthodox Tibetan Sect and Japanese Sect.. (that is the term used by pratitioners of Esoteric Methodology.) This classification can't be applied to Hinduistic Practices. (Some Japanese Priests thinks Blood, Bone and Skin are key components for Esoteric Buddhism.)


(IMO as Confucianism, I suppose modern Communism can be called "secular religion". For though both teaching tries to be practical about making good, but they aren't, sometimes. Confucianism has produced lots of dogmatists, fanatics and anachronists.)

Mandala drawing is unique for Esoteric Buddhism, shared by both Japanese Teaching and Tibetan Buddhism.

I don't know whether hinduistic (non-buddhist) tantra practitioners use it or not, but anyway, indian vajrayana buddhists used only sand painting and it doesn't remain long, so only northerners have need to constantly remaining Mandalas, though Tibetans also use sand-painting as well as constant wall paintings and tapestries.

As you know, the control of body attained by Yogic Students is a result of effort to attain Nirvana by using Kundalini, (which normally makes people seek sexual and materialitic desire, as if he is a beast. (Tibetans generally believes it helps practitioners to attain more rapidly spiritual development than paramita method and power to help others.) that exists inside of the body along with the backbone of yogists, as a snake, or stream. And its intention is not to attain power, and it finally lets him realise that he and Cosmos in One and Same, Brahman and Artman.


And we know modern status for Buddhism is bad, from the beginning of Confucianism Attitude to Tantric Method (Watch japanese prejudice derived from Aum Shinrikyou.....) Buddhism was exterminated in homeland India and its role insisting equality against hinduistic castes was replaced with teaching of Muslim, and Esoteric Buddhism, which Japanese priests incorporated from China, is also extinct in homeland for maybe Chinese practical nature...isn't suited for highly oriented metaphysical teaching of Esoteric Buddhism. Some of Japanese Buddhism Scholar thinks that nature of buddhism coherently causes disbanding country and weakens structure.....And we can't ignore Modern Chinese Communism Oppression to Tibetan Buddhism (it is not coincidental that Confucianism and Modern Communism are both "secular" religion and oppressed "ignorant superstition",  Marx said, religion is "opium" for people...)

Though Japan also have adopted Middle Period Esoteric Buddhism, it was cautiously watched its shakti power despite thrived by mixing with Japanese Shinto and Chinese Yin-Yang Principle. Its practitioners regarded sometimes amoral, no concern to worldly moral affairs....

Anyway, I should study more relationship about Hinduistic Yogism and its influence to Esoteric Buddhism though I know its teaching can be sometimes dangerous (toleration of sexual liberation can be translated as superficial hedonism), and oppressed.

Some English and Sanskrit Glossary for Buddhism

#Artman: Spirit / Soul of humanity in Indian Cosmology.
#Brahman: Cosmic Mind, (or name of One of Trimulty of Hinduistic Pantheon)
#Esoteric Buddhism: General Term for Mantra-yana, or Vajra-yana Buddhism, it admits Worldly concern and such desire can be turned into good for Spiritual Ascension, it is a part of Mahayana Buddhism but sometimes feared or despised as dangerous and amoral.
#Hina-yana Buddhism: deragatory term to "Traditional" teaching from the point of view of Mahayana buddhists. Its practitioners usually call themselves Theravada sect.
#Kundalini: Serpentine Energy inside of human body along with backbone stream and flow. Its usage was practiced by Yogists.
#Maha-yana Buddhism: Great Vehicle teaching, which reveres boddhisattva (pre-buddha) that admit to help and liberate others as well as themselves.
#Mantra-yana Buddhism: (Mantra means "true word") Term for Esoteric Buddhism
#Mandala: Paintings or Composition mapping which describes buddhism cosmology, or each of independent entities which are worshipable. It is used by Esoteric Buddhism.
#Moksa (Mukti): Object for Eastern Asia mystical teachings to liberate from Samsara, but its interpretation and method is different in each sects and religions. (Nirvana seems to be identified with this Liberation in Buddhism.)
#Paramita Buddhism: "Apparent Method" opposite to Mantra-yana and Vajra-yana "Esoteric Teaching", it requires strict monasticism need to cut practitioners off from any of worldly attachments
#Samsara: Reincarnations of "Natural" state of Spirit in Eastern Mythic Cosmology, liberation from it is Nirvana
#Shakti: Worship to Goddess as Life Force or Sexual Energy, it is avoided by Orthodox Paramita teaching, but Esoteric Buddhism tolerates its use.
#Tantra: Vague term for some type of various teaching for Esoteric Practices in east and south Asian religion
#Vajra-yana: (Vajra means Adamant or Diamond) Another term for Esoteric Buddhism, tibetan buddhists use both term, this and "Mantra-yana" as their own sect.
#Yoga: (originally means "harness") Practice to gain control Kundalini and to use for physical and spiritual requirement, originated from India. (More accurately, it is only a part of Hatha sect of Yogism.)

Legendary King of Shambhala, Pundarika, the annotator of Kalachakra Tantra, Greatest and Last Tantric Text of Tibetan Buddhism