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Vajrayāna Buddhism, also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayana, Mantrayana, Mantranaya, Esoteric Buddhism, Diamond Vehicle (Chinese: 金剛乘, jingangcheng, Japanese: 金剛乗, kongōjō) although these terms are not always regarded as equivalent, is an extension of Mahayana Buddhism consisting of differences in the adoption of additional techniques (upaya, or 'skillful means') rather than in philosophy. Thus, before terms such as Vajrayāna or Tantrayāna came into use, scholar-monks such as Buddhaguhya (fl. mid-8th CE) state that Mahāyāna is subdivided into two categories: pāramitā-yana (the "Perfection Method") and mantra-yana (the "Mantra Method"). Some of these upāya are esoteric practices which must be initiated and transmitted only through a skilled spiritual teacher. The Vajrayana is often viewed as the third major 'vehicle' (Yana) of Buddhism, alongside the Theravada and Mahayana.
The Kadam (Tibetan: བཀའ་གདམས་པ་, Wylie: Bka'-gdams-pa) tradition was a Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist school. Dromtönpa, a Tibetan lay master and the foremost disciple of the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (982-1054), founded it and passed three lineages to his disciples. The Kadampas were quite famous and respected for their proper and earnest Dharma practice. The most evident teachings of that tradition were the teachings on Bodhichitta (later these special presentations became known as Lojong (Blo-ljong)) and Lamrim (Stages of the Path) by Atisha.
Tsongkhapa (Btsong-ka-pa) a reformer, collected all the three Kadam lineages and integrated them, along with Sakya, Kagyu and other teachings, into his presentation of the Doctrine. The pervasive influence of Tsongkhapa was such that the Kadampas that followed were known as "New Kadampas" (Tib. Sarma Kadampa) or, more commonly, as the Gelug school, while those who preceded him became retroactively known as "Old Kadampas," or simply as "Kadampas."
Atiśa Dipankara Shrijnana (Bengali: অতীশ দীপঙ্কর শ্রীজ্ঞান; 982-1054 CE) was a Buddhist teacher from the Pala Empire who, along with Konchog Gyalpo and Marpa, was one of the major figures in the establishment of the Sarma lineages in Tibet after the repression of Buddhism by King Langdarma (Glang Darma).
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