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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

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In tantra, techniques and methods are explained by which a person is able to utilize the fundamental innate mind of clear light that naturally manifests at the time of death or other occasions. Generally, in the sutra system, the last moment of a dying consciousness is said to be neutral though very subtle, but methods are explained in tantra to put that state of mind to positive use, by generating it into something virtuous. I have read in the works of the Indian master Vasubhandu that, compared to negative states of mind, virtuous states are more powerful.

So, when those who do not perform intensive meditations at this point feel tired of repeating mantras, they will only be able to end their session. The actual structure of the ritual texts emphasizes meditation first of all and treats mantra repetition as secondary. Meditation here refers to training in the profound and vast paths. Training in the profound path refers to meditiation on emptiness, not meditation on any emptiness, but rather an emptiness which is the unique nature of the deity you have visualized.

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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