Plan My Trip
India Buddhism
India's Leading Tour Operator Since 1987
Our Hotline 24*7 +91-9910903434
U.S. - 18772615387,
U.K. - 08004049290,

Tantric Buddhism

Also known as Vajrayana, Tantric Buddhism is rather unique from many other forms of Buddhism. Along with Theravada and Mahayana, Vajrayana is considered as one of the three major 'vehicles' (Yanas) of Buddhism. These are the three major schools of Buddhism that follow and practice the core teachings of the Buddha’s Dharma.

Vajrayana Buddhism is relatively based on the tantras, tantric techniques written in Indian scriptures. This form of Buddhism in India stresses on 'use the result as the Path' technique in which a person should try to identify with the enlightened body, speech and mind of a Buddha. In this form of the Buddhist religion, one can best relate to what is known as yidam (in Tibetan) or ishtadevata (in Sanskrit). The Buddhists adopt tantric techniques for the purpose of self-identification with a Buddha-form thereby making use of symbols and images.

The symbols in Tantric Buddhism can be quite confusing to a person introduced to it for the first time. Most of these symbols are supposed to have been taken from the Tibetan Buddhism. The major symbols used in Tantric Buddhism include.

The Vajra : One of the main symbols in Buddhist tantra, the Vajra appears to be a combination of a weapon and a scepter. It symbolizes the quality of indestructibility. Vajra is habitually held in the right hand during the time of tantric rituals.

The Bell : Bell stands for insight, emptiness, and the female aspect. It symbolizes the reverberation of the Dharma and is used in the rituals to offer sound. At the time of rituals, it is generally held in the left hand.

Other Tantric Symbols :

  • The Mala : or a rosary of prayer beads that is used for concentration
  • Kapala or skullculp : which represent disengagement and conversion of the world
  • Swords : signifying intelligence and knowledge
  • Kartika : or curved knife, which symbolizes impermanence
  • Khatvanga : or stick representing the magical powers or siddhis of a successful tantric practitioner
  • The phurba : or the ritual dagger, which refers to the transformation of negative powers on the Path to Enlightenment
  • Mallets : or hammers for the purpose of crushing strength or power
  • Bow and Arrow : symbolizing single pointed concentration
  • A Trident : that represents the attainment of the three Kayas or Buddha bodies
  • An Arrow : which signifies longevity and prosperity
  • The Lasso : representing the constraint of the negative forces