For the introduction to tibetan buddhism powers pdf by A. 7th century CE but might be older. The dating of the tantras is “a difficult, indeed an impossible task” according to David Snellgrove.

Yogini tantras and later works associated with wandering antinomian yogis. Later monastic Vajrayana Buddhists reinterpreted and internalized these radically transgressive and taboo practices as metaphors and visualization exercises. Yogini tantras” and represent the final form of development of Indian Buddhist tantras in the ninth and tenth centuries. There is even direct borrowing of passages from Saiva texts. Buddhist emptiness sees the world as being fluid, without an ontological foundation or inherent existence but ultimately a fabric of constructions. Because of this, tantric practice such as self-visualization as the deity is seen as being no less real than everyday reality, but a process of transforming reality itself, including the practitioner’s identity as the deity. As Stephan Beyer notes, “In a universe where all events dissolve ontologically into Emptiness, the touching of Emptiness in the ritual is the re-creation of the world in actuality”.

Negative mental factors such as desire, hatred, greed, pride are not rejected as in non Tantric Buddhism, but are used as part of the path. As noted by French Indologist Madeleine Biardeau, tantric doctrine is “an attempt to place kama, desire, in every meaning of the word, in the service of liberation. Those things by which evil men are bound, others turn into means and gain thereby release from the bonds of existence. By passion the world is bound, by passion too it is released, but by heretical Buddhists this practice of reversals is not known.

The Hevajra further states that “One knowing the nature of poison may dispel poison with poison. Tantric techniques, including sexual yoga. All individuals are seen as containing the seed of enlightenment within, which is covered over by defilements. Buddhist philosophy and adapted it to their commentaries on the major Tantras. The status of the tantric view continued to be debated in medieval Tibet. By now we have seen that Rongzom regards the views of the Sutrayana as inferior to those of Mantra, and he underscores his commitment to the purity of all phenomena by criticizing the Madhyamaka objectification of the authentic relative truth. Vajrayana is a method which works faster.

Various classifications are possible when distinguishing Vajrayana from the other Buddhist traditions. Vajrayana, belonging to the mantrayana, can also be distinguished from the paramitayana. Buddhahood in a single lifetime. In the Vajrayana the “path of the fruit” is taken whereby the practitioner takes his or her innate Buddha-nature as the means of practice. The premise is that since we innately have an enlightened mind, practicing seeing the world in terms of ultimate truth can help us to attain our full Buddha-nature. Some empowerment ceremonies can include large numbers of initiates. Many techniques are also commonly said to be secret, but some Vajrayana teachers have responded that secrecy itself is not important and only a side-effect of the reality that the techniques have no validity outside the teacher-student lineage.