About Tantra

Four Levels of Tantra

Secret Mantra has four levels: Action Tantra, Performance Tantra, Yoga Tantra, and Highest Yoga Tantra. Action Tantra principally emphasizes external actions, Performance Tantra places equal emphasis on both external and internal actions, Yoga Tantra principally emphasizes internal actions, and Highest Yoga Tantra is the supreme class of Tantra.

All four levels of Secret Mantra transform great bliss into the spiritual path, but the methods of transformation differ according to the level being practised.

All four levels of Secret Mantra transform great bliss into the spiritual path, but the methods of transformation differ according to the level being practised. In Action Tantra, the meditator generates bliss by looking at a visualized goddess, and then transforms that bliss into the path. In Performance Tantra, the meditator generates bliss by exchanging smiles with the goddess, and in Yoga Tantra, by holding hands with her and so forth. In Highest Yoga Tantra, the meditator generates bliss by imagining sexual embrace with a consort and, at advanced stages, by engaging in actual embrace; and then transforms that bliss into the spiritual path. It should be noted, however, that it is very difficult to use great bliss as a method for attaining enlightenment, and if we are able to do so we have indeed attained a formidable accomplishment. As the great Mahasiddha Saraha said, `Everyone is excited by copulation, but very few can transform that bliss into the spiritual path.’

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Tantric Grounds and Paths

Tantric Grounds and Paths

In Tantric Grounds and Paths Geshe Kelsang Gyatso gives an explanation of the four classes of Tantra, with special emphasis on the Generation and Completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra.

Drawing on his own experience and the teachings of Je tsongkhapa, Geshe Kelsang renders even the most profound, esoteric aspects of Tantra accessible to the modern reader

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All quotations from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's books copyright The New Kadampa Tradition - International Buddhist Union, all rights reserved worldwide. For more information on Geshe Kelsang's books visit Tharpa Publications.