Tiger wrote:I am familiar with Sutras (and Suttas), but not much with the Tantras. In what way are both different from each other?
1. Are Tantras exclusively like training manuals of various Yogic and ritual practices unlike Sutras which contain both practices as well as metaphysical, moral and general discussion of Buddhism?
2. Tantras are meant to be secret where as Sutras are meant to be open?
How do you Vajrayanists reconcile with this fact?
A few days since my learned old Bauddha friend brought me a little tract in Sanscrit, with such an evident air of pride and pleasure, that I immediately asked him what it contained. "Oh, my friend!" was his reply, "I have long been trying to procure for you this work, in the assurance that you must highly approve the wit and wisdom contained in it; and, after many applications to the owner, I have at length obtained the loan of it for three or four days. But I cannot let you have it, nor even a copy of it, such being the conditions on which I procured you a sight of it." These words of my old friend stimulated my curiosity, and with a few fair words I engaged the old gentleman to lend me and my pandit his aid in making a translation of it; a task which we accomplished within the limited period of my possession of the original, although my pandit (a Brahman of Benares) soon declined co-operation with us, full of indignation at the author and his work! Notwithstanding, however, the loss of the pandit's aid, I think I may venture to say that the translation gives a fair representation of the matter of the original, and is not altogether without some traces of its manner.
Your post shows more similarities between Tantras and Sutras than differences. Why were the Tantras called "Tantras" instead of "Sutras"? Their format is similar to the Sutras and they contain discussions on Dharma, practices, moral discussions etc just as Sutras do.
Tiger wrote:Here, Malcolm, this is the Translator's not of Vajra-Suchi, that I was referring to, which shows that Brahmins usually were prejudiced heavily against Buddhism.
Tiger wrote:There are basically two theories about the origin of tantras from two perspectives : historical and mythical. The historical origin of Tantras point to Hinduism or proto-Hindu-Shamanism with a gradual adoption of Tantric methods into Buddhism by some monks and lay Buddhists to win over rival religions. This was a common tactic in the historical times for one religion to usurp another religion's traditions and color them in its own philosophy to win over new converts from the other religion. Hinduism did the same with Buddhism by calling Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu who had come to delude the demons away from holy Vedas.
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