The main peculiarity of Tantric Buddhism is that it is focused on the important role of the practitioner’s spiritual master or the so-called ďroot guruĒĚ. It is found that the ďroot guruĒĚ is the representative of Buddha on Earth and he can help to provide direct link to Buddha.¬† It means that the practitioner will have an opportunity to achieve enlightenment in his life.¬† That is why Tantric Buddhism practices teach the practitioners to respect and value ďroot guruĒĚ (Gethin, 1998, p.32). Deity or guru meditation is considered to be a common practice in Tantric Buddhism schools, and is closely connected with esoteric transmission. Lisa Erickson discusses the meaning of Tantric Buddhism in her article and states that ďthrough meditating on a Buddha, deity, or teacher a practitioner can connect directly to the insights and qualities they embodyĒĚ (Erickson, 2012, para.4). Tantric meditation practices are based on chakra techniques and some occult practices that are not used in the other Buddhist schools. Many of these practices are similar to kundalini yoga practices in Hinduism. It means that there are many historical connections between these two religions.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In conclusion, it is necessary to say that Tantric Buddhism offers its followers an alternative path to enlightenment without essential restrictions. When Tibet was converted to Buddhism in the 7th century, Tantric Buddhism was the most dynamic form of Buddhism in India. That is why this branch of Buddhism became so important in Tibet. The followers of Tantric Buddhist schools do not reject the teachings of Theravada and Mahayana, and believe that these teachings are significant foundation teachings in Buddhism which help to find paths to enlightenment in their own way. However, Tantric Buddhism cannot be regarded as an appropriate path for everybody in this world. Tantric Buddhism requires preparation and special world perception. Today the most prevalent forms of Tantric Buddhism can be found in the Tibetan schools. These teachings have become very popular in the West too.