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By Tenzin Gyatso (His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)

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Extra resources for A Survey of the Paths of Tibetan Buddhism

Sample text

In the Kalachakra we find very detailed explanations of these things. The entire structure of the practitioner's body with its channels, energies and the drops is called the internal Kalachakra, which is the basis of purification. The Kalachakra Tantra speaks of three types of Kalachakra or wheel of time, the outer, inner and the alternative Kalachakras. Based on a proper knowledge of the physical structure of his or her body, when the meditator focuses on certain vital points and penetrates them, he or she is able to withdraw and dissolve the flow of the gross level of wind and mind.

In the tantric case, the interpretation is much deeper, one word can have many different levels of meaning and interpretation. It is said that one word of the tantra can have four interpretations, four modes of explanation: the literal meaning; the explanation common to the sutra system and the lower tantras; the hidden or concealed meaning which is of three types:- that which conceals the method for taking desire into the path, that which conceals appearance, and that which conceals conventional truth - the illusory body; and finally, the ultimate meaning.

In addition, tantra speaks of the point in the completion stage when the practitioner is advised to seek a consort, as an impetus for further realization of the path. In such cases of union, if the realization of one of the partners is more advanced, he or she is able to bring about the release, or actualization of the resultant state, of both practitioners. Therefore, it is explained in Highest Yoga Tantra, that a practitioner can become totally enlightened in this lifetime as a female. This is explicitly and clearly stated in tantras such as Guhyasamaja.

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