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Hinduism Tantra And Buddhism Tantra – Differences

Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra are two distinct but related spiritual traditions that share some similarities but also have significant differences. Here are some of the key differences between the two:

Religious Background:

Hindu Tantra: Hindu Tantra is rooted in the Hindu religious tradition and is often seen as an extension of various Hindu philosophies and practices. It incorporates elements of Shaivism, Shaktism, and Vaishnavism, among others.

Buddhist Tantra: Buddhist Tantra, also known as Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism, is a branch of Buddhism that incorporates tantric practices. It is primarily found within Tibetan Buddhism and certain schools of Mahayana Buddhism.

Goal and Purpose:

Hindu Tantra: In Hindu Tantra, the ultimate goal is often moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). Tantra in Hinduism is seen as a means to achieve spiritual growth and realization.

Buddhist Tantra: In Buddhist Tantra, the goal is typically enlightenment or Buddhahood. The practices in Buddhist Tantra are aimed at achieving enlightenment in one lifetime, rather than the traditional gradual path to Nirvana.

Deities and Symbols:

Hindu Tantra: Hindu Tantra often involves the worship and invocation of specific deities such as Shiva, Shakti, Kali, and others. Yantras (sacred diagrams) and mantras are integral parts of Hindu Tantra.

Buddhist Tantra: Buddhist Tantra incorporates Buddhist deities and symbols, such as Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and specific tantric deities like Tara and Vajrayogini. Mandalas and mantras, such as the Om Mani Padme Hum, are also central to Buddhist Tantra.

Lineages and Schools:

Hindu Tantra: There are various lineages and schools of Hindu Tantra, including Kashmir Shaivism, Shakta Tantra, and others, each with its own practices and philosophy.

Buddhist Tantra: Tibetan Buddhism is the most well-known tradition that incorporates Buddhist Tantra. Within Tibetan Buddhism, there are several Vajrayana schools, including Nyingma, Kagyu, Gelug, and Sakya, each with its unique tantric practices.

Approach to Desire and Attachment:

Hindu Tantra: In Hindu Tantra, there may be an acknowledgment of desire and its transformation as a means to attain spiritual realization. Shakti is often seen as the divine feminine energy responsible for creation.

Buddhist Tantra: Buddhist Tantra emphasizes the transformation of desire and attachment into wisdom and compassion. Practices involve the sublimation of desire rather than indulgence.

Rituals and Initiations:

Hindu Tantra: Initiations and rituals in Hindu Tantra are typically carried out by a guru (spiritual teacher) who imparts specific mantras and practices to the student.

Buddhist Tantra: In Buddhist Tantra, initiations and empowerments are essential. A qualified teacher (lama) transmits the teachings and practices through a series of empowerments.

It's important to note that both Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra are diverse traditions with variations in practices and beliefs within each. Additionally, both traditions have contributed to each other's development over the centuries, leading to some degree of syncretism and shared elements.