Vajrayana -- Tibetan Buddhism  

third vehicle of Buddhism is Vajrayana, often known as Lama-
ism, which originated in Tibet in the eighth century and gradual y
spread to its neighbouring countries. Vajrayana is part of Maha-
yana Buddhism, an offshoot, developed out of Mahayana philoso-
phy which is also regarded as Tantric or Esoteric Buddhism. To
practise it, one must have the skilful guidance of an accomplished
Lama because its emphasis is mainly on ritualistic ceremonial ac-
tions and practices which involve the body, speech and mind; the
body being valued as the proper vehicle for salvation.
is brief account is meant as a general introduction to the ird
Vehicle or `Yana', which, together with the Hinayana and the
Mahayana, make up the ree Yanas of Buddhism. Beginners
to Buddhism are advised to have a thorough knowledge on the
teachings of the Buddha as contained in the Hinayana before
moving into Mahayana practices. Only when their founda-
tions are strong enough and they have gained sufficient wisdom
should they consider entering the Vajrayana. It may be a vehicle
that promises enlightenment within a single-life-time and many
are therefore likely to be at racted to it. However, it must be
stressed that the slow and gradual paths of the Hinayana and
the Mahayana should be preferred as they, have lesser pitfal s
and are therefore much more suitable for the average person.

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