Why so many tantra?

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Why so many tantra?

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:05 am

If we look into tantra, they are so many tantric practices with so many deity.

For example, there are Hevajra Tantra, Vajrakilaya Tantra, Chenrezig Tantra, etc.

We also can receive more than one tantra empowerment.

However, does it cause confusion to you, like which one you will adopt and practice?

Do you just practice only one until all realizations come out although you may have received more than 1 empowerment?
Or do you practice more than one, for example Monday Hevajra, Tuesday Vajrakilaya, Wednesday Chenrezig?

There is a saying like: Indian people just practice 1 tantra with aboundant realizations, but many Tibetan practice so many tantrics with no realization.
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Re: Why so many tantra?

Postby Caz » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:02 am

Everyone has different karmic inclinations is why :)
You only really need to practice one as the synthesis of the rest. :buddha1:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Why so many tantra?

Postby Spirituality » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:09 pm

You pick the one your teacher gives you. As to why so many? I suspect it's simply because India was politically fragmented at the time the tantras came into the world.m
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Re: Why so many tantra?

Postby conebeckham » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:07 pm

First of all, one doesn't really "practice a Tantra." One practices a sadhana, based on a tantra, or tantras.

The Tantras are texts, first and foremost. These texts deal with a variety of topics--but not every Tantra addresses every tantric topic. One can find the basic "framework" for a variety of sadhanas in one Tantra for instance, sometimes various forms of one deity, or even different deities entirely, in a single Tantra. Or one can find a detailed explanation of common "stages" of visualization for various sadhanas in a single Tantra, without that Tantra focusing on a single deity. These Tantras are called "general," "shared," or "explanatory" Tantras. Broadly speaking, the stages of Creation and Completion are what is addressed in the Tantras, but those two stages are huge subjects, with many branches.

As an example, the famed Six Yogas of Naropa are, in reality, a collection of completion stage practices derived from a variety of Tantras. "Tummo" is said to derive from Hevajra and Chakrasamvara Tantras, while Illusory Body is derived from Guhyasamaja Tantra, etc. So, if one is practicing in this system, one is working with topics from a variety of Tantras.

Sadhanas themselves, which may have creation and completion stages more or less explicitly written out, or explained in their "Tri" or "explanation," or not, were formulated by various Mahasiddhas in reliance on the Tantras themselves, often in combination with the Mahasiddhas own personal experiences and understanding. A single deity--Vajrakilaya, for instance--can have many different sadhanas, from multiple-headed and multiple-faced (like the Jangter Kilaya) to the more common three-headed/faced, six armed one (Dudjom Phurba, Chogling Phurba, KhonLuk Phurba), to a single-faced two armed one (Khenpo Jigphun's Phurba).....

The practices one undertakes, therefore, relate more to a given lineage, stemming from a Mahasiddha or Terton, but the theory or philosophy underlying the practices can be found in the Tantras themselves.
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