Authentic Tantric Practice?
Hinayanists are very aware of the faults of attachment and regard attachment as their main object to be abandoned. For this reason, the Hinayana is sometimes known as the ‘Separation from Attachment Vehicle’.
To abandon attachment temporarily, Hinayanists renounce their families, homes, and so forth, retire to an isolated place, and meditate on unattractiveness; and to abandon attachment completely they meditate on emptiness.
For those who are attracted to the vast path, Buddha expounded the Paramitayana, in which he taught the six perfections and the ten Bodhisattva grounds. The main objects to be abandoned by Bodhisattvas are the obstructions to omniscience.
Just as farmers use impure substances such as manure to fertilize their soil, so Superior Bodhisattvas use delusions such as attachment as aids to attaining Buddhahood, having rendered them harmless through the strength of their wisdom and compassion.
The Vajrayana, or Secret Mantra Vehicle, is sometimes called the ‘Attachment Vehicle’ because, instead of trying to abandon attachment immediately, practitioners of this vehicle use attachment as an aid to generating spontaneous great bliss, with which they then meditate on emptiness.
Furthermore, when they finally attain enlightenment, even though they have no desirous attachment they nevertheless display the aspect of having attachment by appearing as Tantric Buddhas in the aspect of Father and Mother in sexual embrace.
Although we can transform attachment into the spiritual path by practising Secret Mantra, we need great skill to be able to do this because normally, when attachment develops strongly, it automatically disturbs our peaceful mind.
The main reason why most Buddhas will not expound Secret Mantra is that there is a danger that unqualified practitioners will use it for the sake of worldly pleasure; and qualified practitioners among disciples are very rare.
Buddha Shakyamuni, however, is an exception.
There is a prophecy that when the Dharma of Buddha Shakyamuni is about to end, the practice of Secret Mantra will briefly flourish very widely in this world, as a candle flame flickers brightly just before it finally burns out.
It appears that nowadays there are many books about Tantra, many Teachers teaching Tantra, and many students trying to practise Tantra. However, not all these books and teachings are pure and authentic.
We are extremely fortunate to have met the completely pure Tantric teachings that have been passed down from Buddha Shakyamuni through Je Tsongkhapa and many realized Teachers of the New Kadampa Tradition.