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To: alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan,alt.magick.tantra
From: Nicole Freed 
Subject: Re: Tantric?
Date: 20 Jan 1996 00:55:20 GMT

Tyagi--In my understanding, 'tantras' are a body of texts accepted as 
authoritative and canonical by realized Tibetan Buddhist masters (I can 
only speak about the Buddhist tantras).  They form the source material 
for the rituals, practices, and understandings of Tibetan Buddhism today. 
 They also constitute what is known as 'kama,' or the 'long transmission 
lineage' within Tibetan Buddhism--i.e. that which is passed mouth to 
mouth, teacher to student.  Other types of transmission lineage are 
'terma,' in which teachings are discovered or revealed to enlightened 
teachers, then buried, then rediscovered again when the time is ripe.  
Terma is considered 'short lineage,' because it is rediscovered afresh in 
the exact form in which it was buried, without a chance for it to become 
corrupted by individuals' twisting or word-of-mouth transmission.  It is 
easy to find out who received or discovered particular termas (they are 
generally attributed to their discoverers), but there is some dispute 
about who authored the tantras.  Many (including realized Tibetan 
Buddhist masters) attribute some of them to the Buddha himself, but many 
others are attributed to one or another primordial Buddha, such as 
Vajradhara, Samantabhadra, Padmasambhava, etc.  No, you can't write 
tantras--for the reasons described; they're an existing body of 
texts--although you might discover them; but can 'write' terma--if your 
mind is as spacious as the sky and completely free of any internal (or 
external) obstruction or thought of self.  Try reading THE HEART TREASURE 
by Tulku Thondup (both by Shambhala Publications).

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