|Secret Mantra is often divided into four levels; the
first three levels spread to Japan and China, while the teachings and
practices of all classes of Tantra were disseminated in Tibet. The word
mantra means "mind protection" (man, mind and tra, protect). This
indicates that the practice of mantra protects the mind from ordinary
appearances. By cultivating a pure view of the external world, as well
as of one's physical, verbal and mental facilities, the aspirant can
transform ordinary appearances and activities into exalted ones; not
only in meditation, but in all aspects of daily life.
There are four main schools in Tibetan Buddhism, each with subsects,
monasteries, head and lineage lamas that uphold the various traditions.
Buddha, brocade applique Thangka, Venerable Gyaltsen Choephel,
Nechung Monastery, India
These are Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug, and Kagyu. With respects to terminology
and emphasis, the four schools may differ, but all contemporary masters
agree that the basis of the lineages remain the same. The purpose of any
spiritual practice is to accumulate meritorious energy and to overcome
defilements which are obscurations to liberation and omniscience.