Gateway to Dharma
What is Tantra?
Tantra is the practice of the Vajrayana Path (Diamond Path) undertaken by the advanced practitioners of the Bodhisattva Path. The goal of the Vajrayana Path is the attainment of purity and purification. One who can bring these two principles to fruition is referred to as a Vajrasattva - a Diamond Being. The focus of the Vajrayana Path is orientated toward the spiritual development of human experiential potential through the systematic attainment of ground, path and fruition. Traditionally, Tantras can be categorised into Outer Tantras and Inner Tantras. Outer Tantras are composed of Kriya-Tantra (Action Tantra), Charya-Tantra (Elaboration or Performance Tantra), and Yoga-Tantra (Visualisation Tantra); while Inner Tantras, also known as Anuttara-Yoga-Tantra (Supreme or Highest Yoga Tantra ), are composed of Mahayoga, (Method or Father Yoga), Anu-Yoga (Knowledge or Mother Yoga), and Ati-Yoga (Great Completion Yoga).
The main characteristic of Supreme Yoga Tantra is the transcendence of the duality of skilful means and wisdom through the union of the two opponent principles. What distinguishes the Vajrayana Path from that of the other paths, such as that which is orientated toward the study of sutra (scripture), is the realisation of complete purity of mind that is already present and which serves as the basis of the Vajrayana practitioner's practice, and from which further complete purity of the environment, body, resource and deeds is generated.