The Buddha's Dharma, can be divided to two vehicles, the Hinayana and the Mahayana. The Hinayana itself can be divided into the vehicle of the shravakas and the vehicle of the pratyekabuddhas. The shravakas and pratyekabuddhas can be differentiated according to the relative inferiority and superiority of their faculties and the results they obtain, but the doctrinal features of the paths they follow are basically the same. People with the propensity to follow these two Hinayana vehicles take them up for the sake of their own emancipation as they feel the urgency to first free themselves as quickly as possible from the vicious cycle of existence. Since the main cause of bondage in samsara is grasping at a self, the main cause of obtaining the freedom of liberation is the wisdom that realizes the meaning selflessness. Thus, shravakas and pratyekabuddhas, like bodhisattvas, realize selflessness. They meditate on it accompanied by the other paths of moral conduct, meditative concentration and so forth, and thus extinguish all their passions, greed, hatred, ignorance and so forth.
Even though Hinayanists do not engage in their path intending to obtain Buddhahood, their path is in fact a means for ultimately leading such people to the stage of Buddhahood. Thus, do not misapprehend the Hinayana paths as being solely an obstacle to enlightenment, because the Saddharmapundarika sutra and other texts teach that they are methods for achieving Buddhahood. The Buddha appears in the world so that sentient beings may obtain the gnosis that he himself obtained. Thus, the Buddha's demonstrations of the path are strictly means to lead sentient beings to Buddhahood. Even though the Hinayana paths do not lead directly to Buddhahood, it is taught that followers of the Hinayana do in fact eventually enter the Mahayana and obtain Buddhahood.
Although followers of the Hinayana, like followers of the Mahayana, realize that phenomena are devoid of own-being, it is not the case that there is no difference at all between the Hinayana and the Mahayana. The doctrines of the Mahayana do not merely illuminate the selflessness of phenomena, they teach the bodhisattva stages, the perfections, the prayer to achieve perfect enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, great compassion, and so forth. They also teach the dedication of merits to enlightenment, the two accumulations of merit and gnosis, and the inconceivable reality that is purified of all stains.
Thus, the Mahayana and Hinayana are not distinguished due to differences in their philosophical viewpoints, but they are differentiated according to their respective practice and non-practice of the entire range of skillful means. This is the assertion of Arya Nagarjuna and his disciple Aryadeva: A mother is the common cause of all her sons, and their fathers are the causes for distinguishing their races. Just so the mother, the perfection of wisdom, is the common cause of the sons, all four kinds of aryas: shravaka aryas, pratyekabuddha aryas, bodhisattava aryas, and buddha aryas. The cause for differentiating them into the particular Hinayana and Mahayana lineages is whether or not they have the methods of generating bodhichitta and so forth. The general Mahayana, like the Hinayana, can be subdivided into two vehicles: the Paramitayana and the Mantrayana. The common aim of the Mahayana is to train oneself in the six perfections by practising them out of a desire to obtain unexcelled enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. It is clear that one proceeds in the Mantrayana by this same path, because it is taught in the tantras. However, Mahayana practitioners who follow the paramitayana merely take up that much of the general body of the path, whereas followers of the Mantrayana cultivate the perfections by means of special tantric techniques that are not taught in the paramitayana.
The terms "Cause vehicle", "Paramitayana", and so forth are synonyms, and "Mantrayana", "Vajrayana", "Effect vehicle", and "Method vehicle" are synonyms as well. There is a difference between the cause vehicle and the effect vehicle: the cause vehicle is the Mahayana vehicle in which there is no meditation on oneself having a like aspect with any of the effects-the four complete purities-during the period of the path of training. The Mahayana vehicle in which there is meditation on oneself as having a like aspect with the four complete purities during the period of the path of training is called "The Effect vehicle" or "The Mantrayana". This is what the master Tsongkhapa said in the Ngag Rim Chenmo: "With regard to vehicle, since it is the vehicle of, i.e., conveys, the effect that is desired here and the cause that desires this, it is called 'vehicle'. The effect is the four complete purities of abode, body, property, and activities, a buddha's palace, body, wealth, and deeds. One meditates from the present on oneself as having a divine mansion, a divine entourage, divine ritual implements, and the divine deeds of purifying the cosmos and its inhabitants, just like a Buddha, Thus, it is the Effect Vehicle because one progresses through meditating in accordance with the vehicle of the effect."
Thus, the Mahayana as a whole is divided into the Paramitayana and the Mantrayana because these two have substantially different means for achieving a Buddha's Form Body that accomplishes the aims of others. In general, the Hinayana and the Mahayana are not distinguished according to any difference in their wisdom of emptiness, but must be distinguished due to differences in their methods, as mentioned above. In particular, although the Mahayana is divided into the Paramitayana and the Mantrayana, this is not due to any difference in their wisdom that realizes the profound emptiness; the two Mahayana systems must be distinguished from the point of view of differences in their methods. The main aspect of method in the Mahayana is the portion dealing with achievement of the Form Body, and the method that achieves the Form Body in the Mantrayana is just the deity yoga of meditating on oneself as having an aspect similar to that of a Form Body. This method is superior to the method employed in the Paramitayana.
With regard to the disciples of the Mantrayana, there are four types: inferior, middling, superior, and most excellent. The four classes of tantra were taught with these four types of disciples in mind. Since the disciples enter the Mantrayana through the four classes of tantra, the four classes are likened to "four doors." Should you wonder what the four are, they are Ritual Tantra, Conduct Tantra, Yoga Tantra, and Unexcelled Yoga Tantra. The Kalachakra, which will be described below, belongs to the Unexcelled Yoga Tantra class.
"He taught the unexcelled Mahayana, the system of the Perfection of Wisdom, to the bodhisattvas on Mount Vulture Heap. Then at the same time the Tathagata dwelt together with bodhisattvas and others in the great stupa, in the mandala of the sphere of phenomena. He dwelt in the house of universal vajra, in space, immaterial and very lucid, unpartitioned and radiant. He taught the tantra in the beautiful sphere of phenomena, for the merit and gnosis of human beings."
The Kalachakra was taught by our teacher, the Buddha Shakyamuni. He showed the way of actualizing highest perfect enlightenment underneath the bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya in India, at early dawn on the full moon of April/May. For one year he taught the general Paramitayana. In particular, at Mount Vulture Heap he turned the Dharma Wheel of the Perfection of Wisdom, the chief, ultimate Dharma Wheel of the Paramita system of the Mahayana.
On the full moon of March/April, the twelfth month counted from the time he obtained buddhahood, the Buddha was teaching the Paramitayana at Mount Vulture Heap. At the same time he manifested another form inside the great stupa of Shri Dhanyakataka, which is near Shri Parvata in south India where he taught the Mantrayana.
Cilu realized that, in general, in order to achieve buddhahood in a single lifetime he would need the Mantrayana, and in particular, that he would need the clarifications of these doctrines contained in the Bodhisattva commentaries. Knowing that these teachings were extant in Shambhala, and depending on the instruction of his deity, he joined up with traders who sought jewels in the ocean. Having agreed with the traders, who were setting out across the sea, to meet up after six months, they went separate ways.
The Dro tradition continued on to Lama ChöKu Özer. This lama mastered all of the teachings of the Dro clan, including the Kalachakra. His disciple was Lama Galo, who mastered both the Dro tradition and the Ra tradition and passed them on in a single combined lineage.
Practice of the Kalachakra tantra, like all Buddhist tantric systems, is based on first receiving the proper initiations. For the initiations to be properly given and received it is necessary that both the guru and the disciple have certain qualifications. The qualifications of the Mantrayana guru are described by Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen as follows: "He should have control over his body, speech, and mind. He should be very intelligent, patient, and undeceitful. He should know the mantras and tantras, understand reality, and be competent in composing and explaining texts". We are very fortunate that such gurus can be found even now.
The disciple should have experience of the three principal aspects of the Mahayana path: renunciation of samsara, bodhichitta, and understanding of emptiness. If the disciple has not actually experienced these, he or she should at least have intellectual familiarity with them and admiration for them.
When you read a Buddhist book or web page, or hear aBuddhist talk, it is critical to know which yana is acting as the framework ofthe discussion. A statement based on the principles of one yana often appearsfalse or nonsensical if you try to understand it using the principles ofanother yana. This leads to serious confusion, or even yana shock. 041b061a72