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