The Union of Sutra and Tantra in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition
by Khabje Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
I will be talking about the three vehicles of Buddhism, about the difference between sutra and tantra, the spoken words of the Buddha and also the words he spoke in other forms. I will also discuss the difference between the Foundation Vehicle, the Great Vehicle and Mantra Vehicle.
When looking at the different vehicles – whether at the sutras or the tantras, whether at the Foundation Vehicle (Hinayana) of the Listeners (shravakas), at the Great Vehicle (Mahayana) or at the Secret Mantra Vehicle (Vajrayana) – all are teachings that the Buddhas and the Buddha himself gave and spoke with his very own words. Therefore, there is no distinction between good and bad, better and worse, greater and lesser. We need to understand that all of these are the teachings of the Buddha. In that regard, the vehicles are all the same – that is true. However, each vehicle addresses a specific need and therefore each has its own particular characteristics.
Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Trust, P. O. Box 6259, Wellesley St, Aucland CBD, Auckland 1141, New Zealand
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