Buddhist Philosophy/Esoteric Buddhism
- Mahayana Dictum - "Emptiness is form and form is emptiness" can be expressed as a formula:
- Esoteric Buddhist Schools include: Tendai, Shingon, Tantric and are the antithesis of the Yinyana and other open systems. Often based on supernatural teachings incorporating traditional beliefs (and superstitions), they nonetheless integrate some depth psychology and healing methods.
Esoteric Buddhism is generally classified under the Great Vehicle (Mahayana) Buddhism. There are two parts to it: the Exoteric and the Esoteric Buddhism. In order for us to understand Esoteric Buddhism, we need to explore the origins as well the constituent philosophy and historical context of how the respective schools were established.
Exoteric Buddhism is based on Madhyamika ('middle way') of Nagarjuna.
Esoteric Buddhism requires the study of Exoteric Buddhism as the foundation. Esoteric Buddhism is taught to practitioners as an 'advanced' dharma.
The doctrine of the Esoteric (or Tantric) Buddhism is based on Mahavairocana-sutra, and Kalacakraindriya-sutra. The following may best explain the doctrine:
- Taking the six elements as essence
- Five Wisdom Buddhas
- Taking the four mandalas as appearance
- Taking the three secrets as means
- Cause, base, final means
- Anger and fear
Lecture delivered by Master Sheng-yen on Esoteric and Exoteric Buddhism
Article by A. P. Sinnett Esoteric Buddhism