kirtu wrote:I was apparently not clear enough. Highest yoga tantra is absent in Tendai and I'm pretty sure in Shingon as highest yoga tantra was a later development from India and developed after the transmission from India to China.
In the 9th century we might say that what Kukai and other figures like Saicho and Ennin transmitted was sufficiently complete given the time period. To say it was incomplete would be simply anachronistic. How can you have transmissions that have not yet emerged into the world?
China does have a different focus wrt early Abhidharma and Vinaya. Nontheless the claim is correct that Tibetan Buddhism is the only form of Buddhism that has preserved all three yanas with full tantra/mantrayana.
It doesn't have a good chunk of Abhidharma and Āgamma literature. Hence one of them yānas is a bit lacking.
My point is really to demonstrate that some Tibetans, or Tibetan Buddhism in general, defines itself as a caretaker of a complete transmission of Indian Buddhism, despite the fact this is easily contested and moreover refuted. Still, it is part of the Tibetan national identity.
It is useful to push such propaganda because it justifies acquisition of resources to preserve Tibetan culture, which in turn ensures certain parties and their associated members have access to resources they otherwise wouldn't have. If large numbers of westerners hadn't bought the aforementioned myth, Tibetan Buddhism would not have gained so much money and resources from foreign benefactors, and they'd be a lot poorer. Plenty of people simply believe that Tibetan Buddhism is the best extant heir to Indian Buddhism and they give their money and time accordingly.
If Tibetan leaders actually gave an honest scholarly interpretation, they would undermine themselves by basically saying that Theravada and East Asian forms of Buddhism also have their respective features and qualities which Tibetan Buddhism simply lacks, and that there might actually be some merit to supporting those developments as well.
Communities work by defining how they themselves are different and in many cases superior to outsiders. It works well in a religious context because you need to convince benefactors why you're worth support as opposed to another sect or religion.
I personally try to see through propaganda. Don't believe everything you hear.