chapter  1
9 Pages

Perfection of Insight : Buddhist Tantra within Mahayfma Buddhism

According to passages cited by Tsoil-kha-pa in the introductory section of his work on the stages of Tantra called Snags rim chen mo, the Mahayana (Great Vehicle) has two divisions-the prajiia paramita method (that part of Mahayana which is not tantric) and the mantra method (the strictly tantric part of the Mahayana). In his quotation (folio 12b-4) from the (Kalacakra work) Vimalaprabhti, these two wings of the Mahayana are termed "cause" and "effect" . But also the Diamond Vehicle (Vajrayana)-so called because the diamond is unsplittable and unbreakable-can be considered the Vehicle that incorporates both the prajiitiptiramitti side (the "cause") and the mantra side (the "effect"). Therefore, the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas (who are the Mahayana saints) has two degrees, first the perfection of insight (prajiitipiiramitii) and then the practice of mantras, initiation in the mat;uja/a, etc. To observe this in a textual way, the reader may refer to the final section of this work for the "Outline of the Thob Yig Gsal Bal}i Me Lon," and notice how this compendium first gives the non-tantric background for the Tantras, and then the Tantras. Tsoil-kha-pa introduces further terminology (folio 1 2b-6) with a passage from the Sekoddesa:

Holding the form of the void is the cause; The fruit is the adherence to incessant compassion. The indissoluble union of voidness (sunyatii) and compassion (karu!Jii) is called "mind of enlightenment" (bodhicitta).