Tantric Buddhism defined as a " form of Buddhism employs the use of spells, symbols, very complicated rituals, and the acquisition of magical powers, in order to reach a stage of enlightenment,"(Chan). Others use the term tantra to refer to "systems of practice and meditation derived from esoteric texts emphasizing cognitive transformation through visualization, symbols, and ritual,"(Powers). My personal understanding of Tantric Buddhism is a method of practicing Buddhism, by different forms of meditation, to detach oneself from worldly possessions, desire, and dislike ect with a goal of spiritual enlightenment. .
Tantric Buddhism, also known as Vajrayana, is a combination of concepts, ideas, and practices from Hinayana and Mahayana teachings. It is said to be three parts or elements to the path Vajrayana. First, a foundation of ideas are established in the Hinayana texts and teachings. Second, Mahayana forms a practical and more structured set of practices that were developed from the Hinayana ideas. Third, the combination of both teachings now having a set structure to form a finalized approach to life, Vajrayana. To complete the journey through Vajrayana, one must travel and understand the first two sections, Hinayana and Mahayana before enabling themselves to reach the third, Vajrayana.
I-Hinayana & Mahayana.
The term Hinayana is expressed as a "vehicle of insignificance". The second portion of word Hinayana is "yana" meaning vehicle or vessel. The first section of Hinayana is "Hina" which has a number of different translations. It varies between small, narrow, lesser, minor, non-important, and even despicable, signifying bad qualities. Hinayana teachings explore the conception of individual and personal salvation from an inferior being. It is thought that all beings are within samsara, circle of birth, life, and death through reincarnation and live a life of suffering.