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Form of tantric Buddhism that emerged in India in the first millennium AD and spread to Tibet, where it is the predominant tradition in Tibetan Buddhism. Philosophically, Vajrayana is a blend of the Yogacara and Madhyamika disciplines. It aims to recapture the enlightenment experience of the Buddha Gautama, and it places special emphasis on the notion that enlightenment arises from the realization that seemingly opposite principles are in truth one. It introduced innovations involving the use of mantras and mandalas as aids to meditation, and, in rare cases, the use of yogically disciplined sexual activities.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Vajrayana, visit Britannica.com.
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