A kapala or skullcup is a cup made from a human skull and used as a ritual implement (bowl) in both Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra (Vajrayana). Especially in Tibet, they are often carved or elaborately mounted with precious metals and jewels.
Apart from classical Mahāyāna Buddhist practices like the six perfections, Tibetan Buddhism also includes tantric practices, such as deity yoga and the Six Dharmas of Naropa as well as methods which are seen as transcending tantra, like Dzogchen.
In Tibetan Buddhism, practices are generally classified as either Sutra (or Pāramitāyāna) or Tantra (Vajrayāna or Mantrayāna), though exactly what constitutes each category and what is included and excluded in each is a matter of debate and .
Tantra are the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed in South Asia from the middle of the 1st millennium CE onwards.
The term tantra, in the Indian traditions, also means any systematic broadly applicable text, theory, system, method, instrument, technique or practice.
A key feature of these traditions is the use of mantras, and thus they are commonly referred to as Mantramārga ("Path of Mantra") in Hinduism or Mantrayāna ("Mantra Vehicle") and Guhyamantra ("Secret .
Tibetan Buddhism, in the form of Vajrayana ritual, provides a critical set of techniques for dealing with everyday life.
Tibetans came to see these techniques as vital for their prosperity in this life.
Tibetan Buddhism rituals are generally more elaborate than in other forms of Buddhism, with complex altar arrangements and works of art (such as mandalas and thangkas), many ritual objects, hand gestures (mudra), chants, and musical instruments.
A special kind of ritual called an .
Vajrapani is one of the earliest and most recognizable characters of Buddhist art. He is known for carrying a vajra scepter and being a close attendant to the historical Buddha according to the Mahayana Sutras. In Vajrayana, Buddhism Vajrapani is entrusted to safeguard all of the Tantra literature and in this regard, he is known as Guhyapati - the Lord of Secrets.
Different Forms of Vajrapani
Vajrapani manifests in a variety of forms and looks, ranging from placid .
The Goddess of the Dawn is depicted in many different forms. Sometimes Marichi rides a white horse through the sky, banishing the darkness and driving back the night with the orb of the sun in the outstretched right hand.
More commonly Marichi is yellow or red in color, with one, three or more faces and six to twelve arms, seated on a chariot drawn by seven pigs, or horses, removing all obstacles to happiness and .
Vajrayogini is a tantricBuddhist deity who is also called as Vajravarahi in Tantric Buddhism, or Vajrayana, a tradition in which she is considered the supreme deity more revered than any male buddha. She represents the path leading to female Buddhahood.
She is also a dakini, a term that describes a female supernatural being or an accomplished yogini, and is considered the queen of the dakinis.
Her name comes from the Sanskrit, vajra, which means “diamond” or “thunderbolt,” .
Lion-faced Dakini is a secret form of Vajrayogini also has a relationship to Troma and the practice of chöd. She is appropriate for clearing obstacles of the most pervasive and malignant kind and cutting through the “three poisons” of mind.
This ancient practice has been important in Tibetan Buddhism since the time of Guru Rinpoche. PeGyal Lingpa received this revelation directly from Padmasambhava, appearing in a red-black form, instead of the more common dark blue .
Mother Tara sincerely and with strong faith, will protect us from all obstacles and fulfill all our wishes. Since she is a wisdomBuddha, and since she is a manifestation of the completely purified wind element, Tara is able to help us very quickly.
Tara is our common mother, our Holy Mother. When we are young we turn to our worldly mother for help. She protects us from immediate dangers, provides us with all our .
Descriptions of the kingdom of Shambhala are based both on literature said to emanate from Shambhala itself and by later commentators, mainly Tibetans, who claimed to have visited the kingdom in the material realm, on an etheric plane, in dreams, or by some other means.
As the descriptions will make clear, this is not of “historical” Shambhala; i.e., a country that once existed in the time-space continuum recognized by Western historiography—for instance, the ancient kingdom .