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The Nine Paths of the Ancient School

According to the Ancient School of Tibetan Buddhism,
there are nine paths or Yanas, and this text begins
with praise for the Basic Vehicle of Hinayana,
the Greater Vehicle of Mahayana, and
the Diamond Vehicle of Vajrayana.
Next comes the description of Hinayana,
followed by the description of its two paths
of Disciples and Hermit Buddhas.

Goodness at the start is to be
found in the teachings that are
the stepping stones for the path.
Goodness in the middle is to be
found in the basis for the path itself.
Finally, goodness of the end is to be
found in the main part of the path.
Connected to these three kinds
of goodness are teachings —
the stepping stones — which describe
how to attain the skillful grace of gods
using the basic goodness of humans to pursue
the state of liberation and enlightenment.

It is said the motivation for those monks who travel
the Path of the Basic Vehicle — the Fundamental Vehicle
and the Individual Vehicle — is to aim for
the personal liberation of nirvana, for they lack the courage
to pursue the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

Faith and renunciation are the stepping stones
for shravakas — who are Auditors, Disciples,
Hearers, Listeners and Pious Attendants,
and pratyekabuddhas — who are solitary realizers,
intermediate buddhas, hermit buddhas and self-realized ones.
For devotees of lesser and medium capacity,
it is called the gradual path.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Path of the Basic Vehicle,
the Greater Vehicle of Mahayana, and the Diamond Vehicle,
together form the nine Yanas consisting of
the two paths of Hīnayāna, Śrāvakayāna and Pratyekayāna,
and the path of Mahāyāna consisting of Bodhisattvayāna —
the three previous paths being Sutrayāna —
and Vajrayāna, which consists of the Outer Tantras of Kriyatantra,
Upatantra / Ubhayatantra, and Yogatantra; and
the Inner Tantras of Mahāyoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga / Dzogchen.

  • Nyingma:
  • Basic Vehicle:
  • Shravaka:
  • Pratyekabuddha:
  • Nine Yanas:
    • Nine Yanas:
    • Yana - Nine Yanas:

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