Harunaga Isaacson, a leading scholar of Vajrayana Buddhism, remarks:
“though we do not know precisely at present just how many Indian tantric Buddhist texts survive today in the language in which they were written, their number is certainly over one thousand five hundred; I suspect indeed over two thousand. A large part of this body of texts has also been translated into Tibetan, and a smaller part into Chinese. Aside from these, there are perhaps another two thousand or more works that are known today only from such translations. We can be certain as well that many others are lost to us forever, in whatever form. Of the texts that survive a very small proportion has been published; an almost insignificant percentage has been edited or translated reliably.”
Key features of Vajrayana
The distinction between traditions is not always rigid. For example, the tantra sections of the Tibetan Buddhist canon of texts sometimes include material not usually thought of as tantric outside the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, such as the Heart Sutra and even versions of some material found in the Pali Canon.
The distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is ritual, which is used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations. For Vajrayana Tibetan death rituals, see phowa.
Goal and motivation
The goal of spiritual practice within the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions is to become a Buddha (i.e. attain complete enlightenment), whereas the goal for Theravada practice is specific to become an arahant (i.e. attain the enlightenment and liberation of nirvana). As with the Mahayana, motivation is a vital component of Vajrayana practice, and Vajrayana teaches that all practices are to be undertaken with the motivation to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The Vajrayana is based on the concept of “skilful means” (Sanskrit: upaya) as formulated in Mahayana Buddhism. It is a system of lineages, whereby those who successfully receive an Empowerment (Tibetan Buddhism) or sometimes called initiation (permission to practice) are seen to share in the mindstream of the realisation of a particular skillful means of the vajra Master. In the Vajrayana these skilful means mainly relate to tantric, Mahamudra or Dzogchen practices. Vajrayana teaches that the Vajrayana techniques provide an accelerated path to enlightenment.
Two Truths Doctrine
Vajrayana subscribes to the two truths doctrine of conventional and ultimate truths, which is present in all Buddhist tenet systems. The two truths doctrine is a central concept in the Vajrayana path of practice and is the philosophical basis for its methods. The two truths identifies conventional a.k.a. relative, and absolute a.k.a. nirvana. Conventional truth is the truth of consensus reality, common-sense notions of what does and does not exist. Ultimate truth is reality as viewed by an awakened, or enlightened mind.
In the Sutrayana practice, a path of Mahayana, the “path of the cause” is taken, whereby a practitioner starts with his or her potential Buddha-nature and nurtures it to produce the fruit of Buddhahood. In the Vajrayana the “path of the fruit” is taken whereby the practitioner takes his or her innate Buddha-nature as the means of practice. The premise is that since we innately have an enlightened mind, practicing seeing the world in terms of ultimate truth can help us to attain our full Buddha-nature.
Experiencing ultimate truth is said to be the purpose of all the various tantric techniques practiced in the Vajrayana. Apart from the advanced meditation practices such as Mahamudra and Dzogchen, which aim to experience the empty nature of the enlightened mind that can see ultimate truth, all practices are aimed in some way at purifying the impure perception of the practitioner to allow ultimate truth to be seen. These may be ngondro, or preliminary practices, or the more advanced techniques of the tantric sadhana.
From the Buddha’s awakening originated the Buddhist Path.
[web 1][web 2] By following this path Buddhahood can be attained. Following this path dissolves the ten fetters and terminates volitional actions that bind a human being to the wheel of samsara.
The early Buddhist tradition preserved by the Theravada features four progressive stages culminating in full enlightenment. The four stages are Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahat.[web 3]
Three types of buddha are recognized:
- Arhat (Pali: arahant), those who reach Nirvana by following the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes the term Śrāvakabuddha (Pali: sāvakabuddha) is used to designate this kind of awakened person;
- Pratyekabuddhas (Pali: paccekabuddha), those who reach Nirvana through self-realisation, without the aid of spiritual guides and teachers, but don’t teach the Dharma;
- Samyaksambuddha (Pali: samma sambuddha), often simply referred to as Buddha, one who has reached Nirvana by his own efforts and wisdom and teach it skillfully to others.
In the field of parapsychology, clairaudience [from late 17th century French clair (clear) and audience (hearing)] is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person acquires information by paranormal auditory means. It is often considered to be a form of clairvoyance. Clairaudience is essentially the ability to hear in a paranormal manner, as opposed to paranormal seeing (clairvoyance) and feeling (clairsentience). Clairaudient people have psi-mediated hearing. Clairaudience may refer not to actual perception of sound, but may instead indicate impressions of the “inner mental ear” similar to the way many people think words without having auditory impressions. But it may also refer to actual perception of sounds such as voices, tones, or noises which are not apparent to other humans or to recording equipment. For instance, a clairaudient person might claim to hear the voices or thoughts of the spirits of persons who are deceased. In Buddhism, it is believed that those who have extensively practiced Buddhist meditation and have reached a higher level of consciousness can activate their “third ear” and hear the music of the spheres; i.e. the music of the celestial gandharvas. Clairaudience may be positively distinguished from the voices heard by the mentally ill when it reveals information unavailable to the clairaudient person by normal means (including cold reading or other magic tricks), and thus may be termed “psychic” or paranormal.
Many modern Esoteric Christian movements acknowledge reincarnation among their beliefs, as well as a complex energetic structure for the human being (such as etheric body, astral body, mental body and causal body). These movements point out the need of an inner spiritual work which will lead to the renewal of the human person according to the Pauline sense. Rudolf Steiner and Max Heindel gave several spiritual exercises in their writings to help the evolution of the follower. In the same direction are Tommaso Palamidessi‘s writings, which aim at developing ascetic techniques and meditations. In Bulgaria Peter Deunov opened an Esoteric Christian School, which he called School of the Universal White Brotherhood. It consisted of two classes of students and had 22 school years. George Gurdjieff called his teaching The Fourth Way—the way of conscience, whereby the student learns to work with and transform the negativity and suffering of one’s ordinary life to come to real life (“Life is real only then, when I Am.”). According to all of these esoteric scholars, the ensemble of these techniques (often related with Eastern meditation practices such as chakra meditation or visualization) will lead to salvation and to the total renewal of the human being. This process usually implies the constitution of a spiritual body apt to the experience of resurrection (and therefore called, in Christian terms, resurrection body). Some Esoteric Christians today also incorporate New Age and traditional “magical” practices in their beliefs, such as Qabalah, theurgy, goetia, alchemy, astrology, and hermetism.
Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal and mysterious Creator and the mortal and finite universe (His creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a denomination in and of itself; it is a set of scriptures that exist outside the traditional Jewish scriptures. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realization. Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought and constantly uses classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by kabbalists to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible, תַּנַ”ךְ ) and traditional rabbinic literature, their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.
传统之间的区别并不总是刚性的。例如，文本的藏传佛教佳能的密宗部分，有时也包括材料，如“心经”不是通常认为密宗藏传佛教的传统外，，甚至版本的巴利佳能发现了一些材料。[23 ] 仪式
在超心理学，clairaudience领域从17世纪后期法国克莱尔（清）和观众（听觉）]是一种超感官知觉其中一个人奇异的听觉手段获取的信息。它通常被认为是一个形式的洞察力。 Clairaudience本质上是能够听到一个超自然的方式，而不是超自然看到（千里眼）和感觉（clairsentience）。 Clairaudient人PSI -介导的听证会。 Clairaudience不健全的实际感知可参考，但可能类似的方式，很多人认为，而无需听觉印象的话，而不是表示“内在的心理耳朵”的印象。但它也可能是指
许多现代的深奥的基督教运动，承认他们的信仰之间的轮回，以及作为一个复杂的人类的能量结构（如以太体，星体身体，身体心理和身体的因果）。这些运动指出的内在精神的工作，这将导致人类根据宝莲感的人重建的需要。鲁道夫斯坦纳和最大Heindel了在他们的著作中的几个精神演习，以帮助追随者演变。在同一方向托马索Palamidessi的著作，旨在发展禁欲主义者的技巧和冥想。在保加利亚，彼得Deunov开了一门深奥的基督教学校，他称之为通用白兄弟学校。它包括两个班的学生，有22个学年。乔治葛吉夫所谓他的教学的第四之路，在良心的方式，，让学生学习到工作与和改造的消极和一个人的普通生活到现实生活中的痛苦（“生命是真实的才，当我。”） 。根据所有这些深奥的学者，这些技术的合奏（往往与相关脉轮冥想或可视化，如东方冥想的做法）将导致救赎人类的总重建。这个过程通常意味着宪法的灵性的身体容易复活（因此被称为，在基督教方面，复活的身体）的经验。  有些神秘的基督徒今天也纳入新时代，传统的“神奇“实践他们的信仰，如Qabalah，神通，goetia，炼金术，占星术，并hermetism。
卡巴拉是一个深奥的教义，为了解释一个永恒和神秘的创造者和凡人和有限宇宙（他的创作）之间的关系。 ，虽然它在很大程度上一些教派，它是不是在和本身的面额;它是一个集以外的传统犹太圣经中的经文。卡巴拉旨在界定的性质，宇宙和人类存在的性质和目的，以及其他各种本体论问题。它也提出了一些方法，以帮助这些概念的理解，从而达到精神实现。卡巴拉最初的开发完全是在犹太人的思想境界，不断采用传统的犹太来源讲解和演示其深奥的教义。因此，这些教诲都是由卡巴拉举行，以确定双方的Tanakh（希伯来文圣经的内在含义，תַּנַ“ךְ）和传统的拉比文学，以前隐蔽的传播维度，以及解释犹太宗教仪式的意义。[1 ]