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Vajrayāna is usually translated as Diamond Vehicle or Thunderbolt Vehicle, referring to the Vajra, a mythical weapon which is also used as a ritual implement.Founded by Indian Mahāsiddhas, Vajrayāna subscribes to the literature known as the Buddhist Tantras.As explained by the Tantric commentator Lilavajra, this "intrinsic secret (behind) diverse manifestation" is the utmost secret and aim of Tantra.According to Alex Wayman this "Buddha embryo" (tathāgatagarbha) is a "non-dual, self-originated Wisdom (jnana), an effortless fount of good qualities" that resides in the mindstream but is "obscured by discursive thought." Another fundamental theory of Tantric practice is that of transformation.The Mañjusrimulakalpa, which later came to be classified under Kriyatantra, states that mantras taught in the Shaiva, Garuda and Vaishnava tantras will be effective if applied by Buddhists since they were all taught originally by Manjushri.According to Alexis Sanderson, the Vajrayana Yogini-tantras draw extensively from Shaiva Bhairava tantras classified as Vidyapitha.
CE), and used methods that were radically different than those used in Buddhist monasteries including living in forests and caves and practiced meditation in charnel grounds similar to those practiced by Shaiva Kapalika ascetics.The importance of the theory of emptiness is central to the Tantric view and practice.Buddhist emptiness sees the world as being fluid, without an ontological foundation or inherent existence but ultimately a fabric of constructions.These yogic circles came together in tantric feasts (ganachakra) often in sacred sites (pitha) and places (ksetra) which included dancing, singing, sex rites and the ingestion of taboo substances like alcohol, urine, meat, etc.It is interesting to note that at least two of the Mahasiddhas given in the Buddhist literature are actually names for Shaiva Nath saints (Gorakshanath and Matsyendranath) who practiced Hatha Yoga.
It includes practices that make use of mantras, dharanis, mudras, mandalas and the visualization of deities and Buddhas.