Lifting the Veil off the Fourteen Root Infractions in Tantric “Buddhism”- Part 4: The True Colors of the Tantric Vajra Vehicle [Vajrayana]
(Reported by the True Heart News interviewing team in Taipei)
Tibetan “Buddhism” boasts that its tantric Vajra Vehicle [Vajrayana] is a dharma-gate for “cultivation at the fruition ground” and can enable attainment of Buddhahood in a single lifetime. In truth, the “Buddhahood” they attain is merely an orgasmic sensation brought about by the genital contact of sex. Put another way, what is “attained” in this process are the perceived physical sensations which the practitioners experience via their conscious minds and is the most coarse, lustful desire of the desire-realm. It has absolutely nothing to do with the awakening of the true Mind, upon which the attainment of true Buddhahood is predicated.
Tsonghkapa’s primary purpose of compiling the Fruit Clusters of Siddhis was to bridle the thoughts and behavior of Vajrayana practitioners by revising the Root Downfalls. In the Fruit Cluster of Siddhis, he defines the book title Vajra Vehicle Root Downfalls in terms of its meaning in tantric terminology:
“Vajrayana.” As Santipa says in his Handful of Flowers Commentary on the statement in the fifteen part of Guhyasamaja Tantra, “the Vajrayana is unsurpassed”:
“Vajrayana.” The entire Mahayana is collected within the six perfections. They in turn are collected within skillful means and wisdom, and these are collected within the single taste that is bodhicitta. That is the Vajrasattva meditative stabilization and just that is the vajra. It is a vajra and it is a yana; hence a Vajrayana, a Mantrayana.”
In this passage, Tsonghkapa agrees with patriarch Santipa that “the Vajrayana is unsurpassed,” a statement that is perfectly in line with the ultimate truth of the Buddha Dharma all by itself. But the Vajrayana that Tsonghkapa and Santipa recognized and practiced was the tantric Vajrayana as opposed to the Buddhist Vajrayana that describes the permanent, indestructible state of the true Reality. Tantric Vajrayana is basically a bunch of sexual techniques put together by tantric patriarchs. Their perverted Vajrayana cannot be openly transmitted and demonstrated, thus it is cloaked in oblique language to beguile unsuspecting neophytes.
In his definition of Vajrayana, Tsonghkapa consciously characterizes the tantric Vajrayana that he and all the lama gurus practice as the “unsurpassed” vehicle and not the Buddha Bodhi of the three-vehicle Bodhi. This is an often overlooked dead giveaway that the definition and cultivation of Vajrayana between Tibetan tantric gurus and disciples of orthodox Buddhism are distinctively different.
In the Buddha Dharma, the real Vajra Vehicle refers to an enlightened bodhisattva in the Buddhahood-Way, who aligns his cultivation with the dharma-characteristics of the Mind that is everlasting and indestructible like the “vajra (diamond),” from which all dharmas originate. This “Vajra Mind” is the only dharma that can exist independent of all other dharmas and has been so since time immemorial. It is called the “Vajra Mind” to highlight the fact that nothing in the three realms can damage it. A practice method based upon this “Vajra Mind” is called “the unsurpassable vehicle” for it cannot be excelled. The Mahayana Buddha Bodhi of Buddhism is this unsurpassed vehicle as its accomplishment, that is, the attainment of Buddhahood, entails the acquisition of “the unsurpassed and perfect enlightenment.”
As for tantric Vajrayana, vajra refers to a male’s “vajra pestle” erect from the stimulation of sexual desire. The pleasurable state this vajra generates is the main theme underlying all tantric practices. In terms of the Buddha Dharma, the sexually aroused male penis is a form dharma. Its existence and extinction depends upon the birth and death of the physical body and its erection cannot be changeless and everlasting. Therefore, the tantric Vajra Vehicle is far from qualifying as a vajra vehicle. Tsongkhapa’s claim that “the Vajrayana is unsurpassed” is a mere fantasy.
The True Enlightenment Education Foundation calls the four major Tibetan Buddhists sects - Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug -Tibetan fake “Buddhism” for good reasons. Before the time of the fifth Dalai Lama, another Tibetan Buddhist sect called Jonang existed in Tibet. Its central doctrine of “other-emptiness” (1) is exactly the doctrine of Tathagatagarbha propagated by the True Enlightenment Practitioners Association today. Insomuch as the Jonang sect preached the true Buddha Dharma, it is the one that befits the name Tibetan Buddhism. As for the four Tibetan sects today that are publicizing the tantric Vajra Vehicle worldwide, one cannot find in their teachings a single trace of the essence of the true Buddha Dharma. To draw attention to this fact, the True Enlightenment Education Foundation refers to the sects as Tibetan fake Buddhism or Tantric “Buddhism.”
An erroneous dharma is put right when spoken by an enlightened one. In order to steer the fake lamaist “Buddhism” back to the real Buddha Dharma, Dolpopa Sherab Gyeltsen of the Jonang sect at one point revised the Kalachakra Vajra Tantra, which professes tantric philosophies, into the Tathagatagarbha-centered tenets of Mahayana Vijinana-Only Doctrine. Tsonghkapa, however, discredited Dolpopa and made his own revision of the tantric texts to restore the original doctrinal basis underlying the Highest Yoga Tantra, upon which the tantric precepts are established. This doctrinal dissent between Tsonghkapa and Dolpopa highlights the conflicts between the phony and the real Tibetan Buddhism.
Tsonghkapa: “The entire Mahayana is collected within the six perfections. They in turn are collected within skillful means and wisdom, and these are collected within the single taste that is bodhicitta,”
This statement of Tsongkhapa is fallacious. In fact, “The entire Mahayana” essentially centers on the eighth vijnana, Tathagatagarbha, rather than the six perfections [paramitas]. The Tathagatagarbha, the Vajra Mind, is the basis and the goal of realization in Mahayana Buddhism. Skillful means are the ways to realize it and wisdom is the fruition of its realization. The dharma-gates leading to its realization can be divided into those cultivated by bodhisattvas on or above the First Ground and those for bodhisattvas below the First Ground, still in the three sage stages. In the latter, bodhisattvas who have not yet reached the Seventh Stay must extensively cultivate the “six paramitas of pre-enlightenment (literally ‘the outer circle’)” while those who are on or beyond the Seventh Stay the “six paramitas of post-enlightenment (literally ‘the inner circle’).”
The Mahayana Buddhahood-Way cultivated by bodhisattvas consists of fifty-two stages: the ten stages of Faith, the ten stages of Stay, the ten stages of Practice, the ten stages of Transference, the ten Grounds, Equal Enlightenment, and Wondrous Enlightenment. In the ten Faith stages, one develops faith toward Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. It takes anywhere from one to ten thousand great kalpas (2), depending on one’s industry, to fully accumulate the necessary merits required to complete them. After the ten Faith stages, one enters the first of the ten Stay stages to practice giving, then the Second Stay to practice precept observance, then the Third Stay to practice patience, till the Sixth Stay to practice wisdom. Since one has not attained the wisdom of prajna, his or her extensive cultivation of these six perfections are said to be pre-enlightenment cultivation.
After cultivating the pre-enlightenment six perfections for some time, if a practitioner chances to come upon a virtuous and knowledgeable mentor, he could awaken to the true Mind with the mentor’s guidance, thereupon becoming an enlightened bodhisattva and entering the inner circle. The six perfections he broadly practices now are called “post-enlightenment.” From the Seventh Stay to the completion of the Tenth Transference, one must spend a great asamkya kalpa to cultivate the six perfections before one is able to enter the ten Grounds stages. The First till the Tenth Ground are the saintly stages, in which a bodhisattva extensively cultivates the ten perfections. Another great asamkya kalpa is needed to complete the First to the Seventh Ground, and a third great asamkya kalpa is required to accomplish the Eighth Ground and above, as well as the stages of Equal Enlightenment and Wondrous Enlightenment. Thus the attainment of Buddhahood takes a total of three great asamkya kalpas. Tsongkhapa’s claim that “The entire Mahayana is collected within the six perfections” is false and misleading in that the six perfections do not encompass all cultivation required for the attainment of Buddhahood.
Tsongkhapa: “They [the six perfections] in turn are collected within skillful means and wisdom ...”
Here, Tsongkhapa misrepresents Tantric Yoga as the six perfections. Tantric Yoga focuses on the sexual union between a “daka” and a “dakini.” The daka (male) uses what Tsongkhapa calls “skillful means” to bring about sexual orgasm in the dakini (female) while the dakini employs “wisdom” to enable the daka to reach sexual climax - achieving what “Buddhist” academics call the “female-male equilibrium.” In terms of Buddhism, the six perfections refer to giving, precept observance, patience, diligence, meditative concentration, and prajna. Their cultivation is differentiated along the line of pre- and post-enlightenment, certainly not heterosexual intercourse.
Tsonghkapa: “They in turn are collected within skillful means and wisdom, and these are collected within the single taste that is bodhicitta. That is the Vajrasattva meditative stabilization and just that is the vajra. It is a vajra and it is a yana; hence a Vajrayana, a Mantrayana.”
The essence of Tibetan "Buddhism" is the same as that of the Mantrayana Buddhism flourished in the Tang Dynasty, which also proclaimed itself as the Vajra Vehicle because of its practice of the tantras. Tsonghkapa’s statement that “It is a vajra and it is a yana” per se does conform to the ultimate truth of Buddhism, because the bodhicitta (Bodhi mind) in the Buddha Dharma is the Vajra Mind, the eighth vijnana, Tathagatagarbha.
However, Tsongkhapa’s vajra is an allusion to the male “vajra pestle” in tantric practices, which is a physical transient dharma. In order words, what Tsongkhapa meant by “‘It’ is a vajra” is that the Bodhi mind is the male’s vajra pestle, and this vajra pestle is a “vehicle,” that is, a practice method. His earlier statement that “They in turn are collected within skillful means and wisdom, and these are collected within the single taste that is bodhicitta” is a euphemistic way of saying that all practice methods are ascribed to the sexual pleasure derived from the vajra pestle.
When Tsongkhapa says “That is the Vajrasattva meditative stabilization and just that is the vajra,” what he is referring to is a meditative stabilization practice that a practitioner has to take up for a period of time before engaging in actual tantric Vajaryana practice. The subject of meditative stabilization is the “playful interchanges” between the vajra pestle and the lotus (3), which Tsongkhapa calls “just that is the vajra.” After a practitioner has accomplished the visualization (meditative stabilization) practice, then it is the time to actually engage in real sexual intercourse, or in Tsongkhapa’s words, “these are collected within the single taste that is bodhicitta.”
The real content of tantric Vajrayana is the Couple-Practice Tantra of the Highest Yoga Tantra. Most people have no way to decode the hidden meanings of its teachings because the tantric gurus of Tibetan “Buddhism” appropriated much of the Buddhist terminology to mask their tantric practices. They also established the Fourteen Root Infractions to shield their secrets. Not only that the real contents of these phony “Vajrayana” doctrines in the tantras are largely unknown to most, the Japanese Mantrayana sect even compiled them into the Taisho Tripitaka. In this dharma-ending age, erroneous and perverted dharma teachings are so prevalent that all Buddhist learners should be extremely cautious and keep a discerning and critical mind.
Note 1: Other-Emptiness Doctrine regards the Tathagatagarbha as the root cause, from which all dharmas originate and holds that all dharmas of the three realms are empty and possess no intrinsic nature since they arise from the Tathagatagarbha in coordination with necessary conditions.
Note 2: A great kalpa is the time it takes for a galaxy to go through formation, stabilization, deterioration, and destruction.
Note 3: Lotus alludes to female genitalia in Tibetan "Buddhism."
This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on
April 5, 2014