Monday, September 15, 2014

Simply Buddhism: Mantrayana Vs Sutrayana (秘宗与显教)

I post this article specially aim at those friends lost in the world of Buddhism:


Many people stumbled into Buddhism and expect all Buddhist schools are created equal would experience a culture shock of their lives. The fact is that teachings in various schools can go to both extreme ends; unlike the highly standardized teachings in other standard religions. Basically Buddhism is subdivided into two schools: the Mantrayana and the Sutrayana.


Mantrayana or Tantric Buddhism as we know it today consists of two major schools: the Indo-Tibetan and Sino-Japan. The Sino-Japan is grouped under the lower 3 stages while the Indo-Tibetan system takes up the upper 6 stages of all 9 stages of Buddhism. The difference between the two system lies in that the Anuttara Tantra which is an important part of Indo-Tibetan system and the related sex yoga failed to spread in China and Japan due to Confucianism.


Sutrayana can also be subdivided into the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. Mahayana is the Buddhism that spread from India to China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam which is also known as the ‘Northern Tradition’. The Theravada Buddhism spread from India down south to Sri Lanka, to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.


Now comes the fun part: the arguments of which school is authentic never ceased until today:


·         Within general Buddhism, Sutrayana attacks Mantrayana especially the Indo-Tibetan system as not Buddhism because of the worships of Hindu deities and yab-yum deities (two deities hugged together naked).

·         Within the Sutrayana: the Mahayana said that their teaching can achieve enlightenment while the Theravada teachings cannot.

·         Indo-Tibetan systems also have many controversies on the practice of ‘liberation by slaughtering’ and the consumption of meat and alcohol.


Of course, time has changed now days as all Buddhist schools are treated as one. Everyone try to be politically correct and all practices are accepted as one Buddhism as a whole. Having said so, confusions remain as this liberty causes more confusion:


·         Do I eat meat or do I not?

·         If I pray to Buddha and get fortune, can I donate to charity organizations of other religions?

·         Can I worship Taoist deities together with Guanyin?



So, how does one go about in choosing which school is suitable?


·         Study the history of Buddhism thoroughly and understand the special traits of each school.

·         Follow just one school of thought that is if you believe that Buddhism is created all equal.


Finally, whatever you do, please don’t ask yourself this question:


“Have I regretted in following this school of thought?”


For If you do, you will go crazy!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dear Sir,
    With Due Respect.
    Since I am mere human, I cant criticise anyone about Buddhism...
    But I cant help,but to offer my half cent opinion.

    Buddhism, as we know today being influenced by HUMAN"S MACHIAVELLIAN!!! period.

    If we read the SUTRAS, we may understand that many practices, do not stated in the sutras!
    The sutras do not tell us to do this, or do that,...
    What the sutras ask us to do is creating more merit and diminish our bad karma!..meaning DONT COME BACK TO EARTH, a living being.

    There's a sutra , called NAMO ARYA SANGHATA SUTRA DHARMA PRAYAYA. excerpt from the sutra:

    The Blessed One said, “An orator of the Dharma is to be understood
    to be equal to a tathágata.”
    Sarva-shúra said, “Blessed One, who is an orator of the Dharma?”
    “Anyone who reads out the Sangháta sutra is an orator of the Dharma.”
    Sarva-shúra said: “Blessed One, since even those who hear the Sangháta
    sutra dharma-paryáya will produce such a mass of merit, what
    need is there to mention those who write it out and read it. How much
    a mass of merit will they produce?”

    The bodhisattva Sarva-shúra said, “Blessed One, how much will be
    the mass of merit of the one who reads it?”
    Then at that time the Blessed One spoke these verses:

    As for the virtues of those who have read
    one mere stanza of four lines,
    though conquerors as many as grains of sand
    in eighty-four of the Ganges rivers
    should describe uninterruptedly
    all the merit of those who have read
    this sutra, the Sangháta,
    still that merit would not run out.
    The Dharma taught by enlightened ones
    is hard to find, and limitless.
    At the time and at that moment as well, eighty-four hundreds of
    thousands of myriad millions of devas placed their palms together
    and bowed down toward where the teaching of the Sangháta sutra
    dharma-paryáya was. They said to the Blessed One, “Blessed One,
    for whatever purpose the Blessed One deposited such a Dharma treasury
    on this planet earth, it is good, very good.”
    and below a few line of the said stanza, where The Blessed one say, even mere read a stanza will greatly diminish one's bad karma...

    A king’s enjoyment is of no use to me,
    nor have I need of wealth or grain.
    Since in the buddhas I have faith,
    among humans may I become supreme!
    May I go where the Tathágata is,
    to the sphere of nirvana, which is peace.
    66 Sangháta Sutra
    The Dharma that leads home to nirvana:
    That should be explained to you.
    Seating himself cross-legged,
    He then made this avowal:
    Due to actions I did in the past,
    I came to be in the king’s jail.
    But by uttering this prayer,
    may my karma be depleted.
    Google for Sanghata-sutra, to read the whole sutra.
    This Sutra was found intact, in Sanskrit, in northern Pakistan before the WW2,in a broken stupa, by Englishmen archeologist.

  3. Dear Sir,

    I pay homage to Sanghata Sutra.
    One buddha has completed the merit of wisdom and the merit of virtue – there is nothing more to collect. The merit you collect by hearing the Arya Sanghata Sutra is equal to the merit of the number of buddhas equaling the number of grains of sand in the Ganga River, multiplied by twelve. And these grains of sand are not the ordinary type. It is explained in the teachings, in the great enlightened Pabongka Rinpoche’s notes, that these grains are made of extremely subtle atoms. There are seven kinds of subtle atoms: water atoms, earth atoms, and so forth. These sand grains are much, much finer than the normal kind.
    Extract from