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Behind the Façade of Tibetan Tantra




Behind the Façade of Tibetan Tantra, a series of four volumes, explores the doctrines of the Secret Mantra Vehicle, also known as Tibetan Buddhism. In reality, Tibetan Tantra is wholly unrelated to Buddhism, given that its cultivation of Highest Yoga is nothing but the lustful practice of sexual union. Such a faith based on copulation contradicts the Buddha’s discourses, violates morality and ethics, disturbs social order, and has wrecked the peace and harmony of countless families. This in-depth expose illustrates the authentic Buddha Dharma and reveals the fallacies concealed behind the Buddhist veneer of Tibetan Tantra, hoping to guide the public onto the correct path to Buddhahood.


To obtain any achievement on the Path to Buddhahood, a Buddhist disciple must rely on Buddha’s blessing to realize prajnā, the wisdom regarding the ultimate reality. Therefore, a person who aspires to cultivate the Path to Buddhahood without adhering to Buddha Śākyamuni’s teachings is unwise. Unfortunately, this is precisely the case with Tibetan Tantric “Buddhism,” also known as Tibetan Tantrism, Esoteric Buddhism, Vajrayāna Buddhism, Secret Mantra Vehicle, or Lamaism—none of these names represents the real Buddhism.


Behind the Facade of Tibetan Tantra by [Xiao, Pingshi]


The rise of Tantric Buddhism will lead to the demise of true Buddhism, as the history of ancient India has aptly shown. Tantric Buddhism is a counterfeit form of Buddhism. If it gains enough popularity, it will undoubtedly replace true Buddhism again. Beneath its spiritual veneer, Tantric Buddhism is a sex cult that advocates eternalism and carnal pleasure, and its devotees are monastics who have no regard for Buddhist precepts and act like laity. If Tantric Buddhism supplants true Buddhism, then there will be nothing left of the latter; only the superficial presence of monasteries and monastics will remain, and Buddhism will be reduced to an occult religion of demon worship.


This book is motivated by several observations. First, most Tibetan Tantric Buddhists are unaware of the essence of their own religion and have been deceived and misled. Second, many renowned exoteric Buddhist masters in Taiwan have, in recent years, been eagerly fawning over the Dalai Lama, hoping to use his fame to raise their own status. Their behaviors have caused many monastics of Exoteric Buddhism to mistake Tibetan Tantric Buddhism for an authentic Buddhist tradition. Third, whereas the realization of prajnā is extremely difficult and requires extensive cultivation, almost all gurus in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism seem to possess incredible spiritual attainments, and many claim to have reached the First Ground or even the Buddha Ground. Their grandiose titles and “spiritual attainments” have attracted many Buddhists to seek tutelage under their wings. Finally, whenever sex scandals committed by lamas are reported in the practice centers of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, the general public thinks the culprit is a Buddhist monastic. The misconducts of these lamas have therefore tarnished the image of Buddhism. For these reasons, this book is much needed, because it dispels the myths and protects the genuine

Dharma of the Buddha.


In view of the far-reaching and detrimental influences of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, this book seeks to reveal in exhaustive detail its secret doctrines and practices. To help Buddhist disciples as well as the general public fully recognize its non-Buddhist nature, this book provides a thorough critique of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism and compares it vis-à-vis the correct teachings of the Buddha. The expulsion of tantric teachings from Buddhism should not only protect Buddhism from the infiltrations of tantric doctrines, but also encourage Buddhist followers to embrace the correct Dharma. Additionally, this book embodies Master Xiao’s effort torestore the purity that the Buddha Dharma enjoyed during the time of Buddha Śākyamuni.


About the Author

Born in 1944, Venerable Master Xiao Pingshi was raised in a farming family in central Taiwan. Seeking answers to the truth of human existence, he became a committed Buddhist disciple and practitioner in his forties and in 1990, attained awakening to the True Mind via Chan contemplation and the aid of an incredible Dharma-door called “signless Buddha-mindfulness.” In 1997, Master Xiao established the Buddhist True Enlightenment Practitioners Association in order to offer different levels of Dharma classes to practitioners. Presently, the Association’s practice centers have reached all major cities of Taiwan, and beyond to Hong Kong and the United States. Since the founding of the Association, Master Xiao has been giving weekly lecture on important Buddhist scriptures, such as the Lankavatara Sutra, the Surangama Sutra, the Sutra on Upasaka Precepts, the Srimaladevi Simhanada Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, and so forth. To elucidate the Buddha Dharma and its stages of cultivation for all interested learners, Master Xiao has also published more than a hundred books on a wide range of Buddhist subjects. These include the combined cultivation of Chan and Pure Land, the realization of the Path to Liberation expounded in the Agamas, the analysis of the profound Middle-Way teachings and the exegesis of key Consciousness-Only scriptures. All of his books emphasize the points that Buddhism is a path of personal realization and that realization can only come through a continual process of listening to, contemplating, and actual practice of the Buddha


About the True Enlightenment Practitioners Association (TEPA)

Led by Venerable Master Xiao Pingshi since 1997, the True Enlightenment Practitioners Association is a Buddhist cultivation community comprised of Great-Vehicle bodhisattvas. The Buddha dharma that has been taught since its foundation, which integrates Chinese culture and was formulated by Master Xuanzang, allows followers to realize the bodhi of Three Vehicles based on the tathāgatagarbha. For more than twenty years, the Association has been propagating the correct dharma and benefiting learners with firmness, purity, plainness, and a low profile. Practitioners begin their cultivation by learning “Signless Buddha-mindfulness” and then the aptitude to guard huatou (看話頭), realize the first-meaning truth of the Great-Vehicle Chan school, and forever proceed on the Bodhisattva Path, thus acting as true representatives of the Chinese Chan culture.


For quite some time, the Buddhist community and the academic field had been influenced by the claim made by some Japanese Buddhist researchers that “the Great Vehicle has never been a teaching of the Buddha’s”—a statement that endangers the development of Chinese Buddhism. In addition, under the Dalai Lama’s leadership, the false Tibetan Buddhism preached by the four schools had been poisoning the Buddhist community and the public with their wrong views and practices disguised as the Buddha dharma. Therefore, in 2008, Venerable Pingshi and the Association established the True Enlightenment Education Foundation, with a view toward refuting false teachings, manifesting the correct path, elaborating on the philosophy of the Buddhist inner-self insight, educating the public, purifying people’s minds, and disseminating the Buddha’s authentic teachings. The Foundation publishes books and journals, organizes seminars, offers its teachings on television, and provides other types of related educational avenues. Having successfully steered learners onto the correct path, its efforts have indeed resulted in the purification of Taiwan’s Buddhist community as well as all of society.


Summary of Behind the Façade of Tibetan Tantra from Chapter 1

Tantric Buddhism is commonly regarded as belonging to a tradition of esoteric teachings that originated from Buddha Śākyamuni. However, its esoteric nature has nothing to do with the implicit truth or secret intention hidden in Buddha Śākyamuni’s discourses, but instead refers to the occult tantric doctrines propagated in today’s world. Tantric Buddhism, also known as the Secret Mantra Vehicle, dates to ancient India when Buddhist practitioners recited mantras to beseech blessings from Buddhas, bodhisattvas, Dharma-protectors, dragons, and celestial beings in order to secure physical and psychological peace and forestall any obstacles that might hinder their Buddhist cultivation. An elaborate tantric system did not exist then as it does today. Over time, non-Buddhist views and practices were incorporated into this system of Secret Mantra and assigned Buddhist terminology. The philosophy of sexual yoga was used as a core framework to integrate these elements into a cogent doctrinal system, which slowly grew and expanded into their current scale. Unlike Exoteric Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism does not encompass the Three Vehicles of Buddhist cultivation, which were expounded in full during the three turnings of the Dharma Wheel and were implicitly or explicitly explicated in the four Āgamas. It is not authentic Buddhism, but rather a set of heretical teachings and practices formulated by ordinary persons based on their deluded thoughts. Occult and ludicrous practices abound in Tantric Buddhism. Its teachings regarding the Path to Liberation and the Path to Buddhahood contradict the correct principles set forth in the sūtras of the Three Vehicles and misguide Buddhist learners. Its practitioners cannot achieve any spiritual attainment despite long-term cultivation of the Buddha Dharma, as they are caught in a web of contaminated and compounded phenomena pertaining to the three realms of existence. The more they practice, the deeper they become mired in those phenomena, unable to break free. They are interminably entrapped in cyclic existence and may even slump into the three lower destinies of rebirth.


Few are aware of the detrimental impact of Tantric Buddhism on its followers. Those who do know this truth, be they insiders or not, usually dare not speak out or write about it for fear of being attacked, insulted, or even murdered by tantricdevotees. They can only guard the truth silently in their minds. The essence of Tantric Buddhism thus has long been concealed from Buddhist learners.


In this age of information technology, Buddhist practitioners have gained a Widespread understanding of basic Buddhist teachings. If there is someone who would challenge the overwhelming influence and fallacies of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism so that its Dharma-kings and living Buddhas could not retort, then Buddhist learners would stop abandoning exoteric teachings in pursuit of tantric teachings. Adherents of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, including its Dharma-kings and Rinpoches, could then return to genuine Buddhist teachings and be freed from a heretical trap that keeps them from realizing Buddhist teachings, or, worse, encourages them to commit the grievous sin of false speech due to announcement of false attainment. The heretical trap and the committing of the grievous sin would gradually disappear, and the extermination of Indian Buddhism by Tantric Buddhism would cease in Taiwan or mainland China, allowing Buddhism to retain its purity and to endure without the threat of corruption for thousands of years.


The exposure and rectification of the fallacies of Tantric Buddhism are profoundly important. No conscientious Buddhist disciple should treat the matter lightly. I hereby implore the elders, respected leaders, and Buddhist disciples of all nationalities and cultures, as well as the Dharma-kings and followers of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, to understand my most sincere intentions in writing this book.


Please examine the mistaken views of Tantric Buddhism revealed herein without prejudice and join forces to safeguard the longevity of Buddhism and the welfare of all present and future Buddhist disciples. False views and perverted practices abound in Tantric Buddhism. Foremost among them are the philosophy of Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka and the teaching of Highest Yoga Tantra. The former is a doctrinal theory that denies the existence of the ālaya-consciousness as the fundamental cause of all existence; the latter is a sex-oriented practice that claims to facilitate the most rapid attainment of Buddhahood. The view, meditation, conduct, and fruition of Tantric Buddhism are erroneous and unfounded. Its various kinds of initiation have no real substance.


Tantric Buddhism boasts many occult and outlandish practices, which have assimilated from a variety of non-Buddhist faiths. These include consciousness transference and the offering of nectar. Although regarded as Buddhist cultivation, these practices are irrelevant and even at odds with Buddhist cultivation. Consciousness transference stems from imagination and involves a ḍākinī’s conveyance of the practitioner’s fundamental consciousness toward the Ḍākinī Pure Land, or the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. The deity yoga set forth in The Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi Sūtra (Dari jing 大日經) and The Adamantine Pinnacle Sūtra: The Compendium of the Truth of All the Tathāgatas and the Realization of Samādhi of the Great Vehicle, Being the Scripture of the Great King of Teachings (Yiqie rulai zhenshi shedacheng xianzheng sanmei dajiaowang jing 一切如來真實攝大乘現證三昧大教王經) is even more absurd. It preaches that successful visualization of a meditational deity’s attainment of Buddhahood brings about the visualizer’s own achievement of Buddhahood. The nectar-seeking rituals are not Buddhist cultivation, but a mundane practice associated with the heavens of the desire realm. The practice with the “five nectars” (i.e., semen, blood, excrement, urine, and flesh) is even more bizarre and vulgar. The theorization that the physical body through which one attains Buddhahood is identical to the Dharma body is a groundless belief. The same can be said of the practice of winds and inner fire, the visualization of the drop in the central channel as the mind of enlightenment, the postulation of the visualized drop as the storehouse consciousness (the holder of the vitality and the five-aggregate body), and the vase breathing technique to realize the four concentrations and four formless absorptions.


Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug School, stipulated that for a person to qualify as a master of the Gelug tradition, his feces and urine must have a good odor. This is a most ludicrous criterion. According to Tsongkhapa, in the ritual of secret initiation, the guru deposits secretions from the four channels (feces, urine, semen, and sexual fluids produced from the sexual union of the guru with his wife or consort in the maṇḍala) on the tongues of his disciples. The taste of such fluids generates the samādhi of wondrous bliss. In the last stage of tantric practice, practitioners cultivate the “clear light of bliss,” Highest Yoga Tantra, and the union of bliss and emptiness. If during these practices, the sensation of sexual pleasure can pervade the body long-lastingly, and if, while experiencing the tactile pleasure one can meditate on the union of bliss and emptiness and experience the non-duality of bliss and emptiness, then one is said to attain the state of complete and perfect enlightenment. This highest secret of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism is supposed to result in the attainment of Buddhahood in one lifetime. The absurdity of these practices is obvious even to a regular person and should be more so to truth-seeking Buddhist disciples. Practitioners of the Two Vehicles (i.e., hearers and solitary-realizers) do not possess the transcendent insight of prajnā. However, they do have a clear understanding of the necessity to stop craving phenomena of the desire realm. How then can the highest esoteric method that surpasses the Three Vehicles foster attachment to the phenomena of the desire realm? It is unwise and irrational for tantric practitioners to proclaim that they can “subdue desire with desire” and stray away from the teaching of the Three Vehicles.


By refuting the existence of the seventh and eighth consciousnesses, Candrakīrti (an Indian tantric master held in high esteem and regarded as a great bodhisattva) as well as Tsongkhapa reduced the teachings of the Three Vehicles into a nihilistic theory that posits all phenomena as being generated through dependent origination without a fundamental cause. They destroyed the foundation of the Buddha Dharma and denigrated the Mahāyāna sūtras. In the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, such people are called “incorrigibles.” Followers of these unenlightened “patriarchs” or “masters” who deny the existence of the seventh and eighth consciousnesses also commit an incorrigible sin. Starting in ancient India, journeying through Tibet, and spreading to every continent in today’s world, the erroneous views of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism have undermined authentic Buddhist teachings. Tantric Buddhism has mutilated and ravaged authentic Buddhism long before it found its way into China. As Buddhism has been stripped of its central and foundational teachings, fewer and fewer Buddhist learners are able to understand or realize the Three-Vehicle Dharma expounded by the Buddha. With its life hanging on by a thin thread, Buddhism cannot withstand further devastation by Tantric Buddhism, which continues to covertly substitute authentic Buddhist teachings with heterodox ones. 


If no one steps forward to illuminate the correct Dharma and repudiate the false views propagated by Tantric Buddhism, then authentic Buddhism will not be restored, and the historical episode of Tantric Buddhism’s extermination of Buddhism in ancient India will reoccur in present-day China and around the world. It will continue to misguide billions of people and corrupt the minds of future generations. People are not at fault if they cannot see the impact of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. However, if they possess the pure Dharma-eye to recognize the falsities yet refuse to take actions to halt the downward spiral, then they fail the Buddha and the Dharma and should not be regarded as real Buddhist disciples.


I compose this book to reciprocate the immense loving-kindness of the Buddha, Buddhist patriarchs, the Dharma, and all sentient beings, so that after my passing from this world I shall be able to prostrate before Buddha Śākyamuni with a mind free of guilt and filled with joy. I will then accept rebirth according to the Buddha’s instruction and continue with my practice on the Bodhisattva Path. May all celestial and human beings understand my reasons for writing this book, and may all exoteric and esoteric Buddhists see the truth, return to the correct path of Dharma cultivation, and rejoice in the benefits of the Dharma.


About Tibetan Tantra – Several Links of TEPA

The practice of Tibetan Tantra commences with the contemplative method with signs, but its final objective is no different to what is set forth by the Exoteric Buddhist scriptures, which consists of the realization of the Ultimate Truth. Any teaching that deviates from or contradicts the Exoteric Buddhist sūtras of the Ultimate Truth is absolutely not Buddhist. However, the following contemplative methods found within Tibetan Tantra are merely variants of the Hindu philosophy related to the endless cycle of procreation by a male and a female: initiation, visualization, consciousness transference, the vase breathing technique, the exalted and joyful practice of sexual union, Hevajra, Highest Yoga, the radiance of bliss, the union of bliss and emptiness, and so forth. The core thought that underlies these practices from beginning to end consists of harnessing the method of sexual pleasure so that the entire body could experience bliss. Clearly, such sheer greed for the five pleasures found in the desire-realm does not allow those followers to either transcend cyclic existence within the desire-realm or eliminate the view of self, much less accomplish the Great Vehicle objectives of realizing the true mind and seeing the Buddha-nature. Therefore, the Tibetan Tantra doctrines are absolutely not Buddhist, and neither the Mahāmudrā of clear light nor the instruction of the Great Perfection contained therein can directly point to the non-arising and non-ceasing True Suchness.


Links to Ten Articles

1.      Sexual Abuse is Rare in Other Religions, While Sex IS the Essence of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism — Exposing the Lies Made by Dawa Tsering, Director of the Tibet Religious Foundation of H. H. the Dalai Lama (Part 1) (

2.      Old Booze in a New Bottle: Tsongkhapa’s Superficial Religious Reform — A Critique of Tsongkhapa’s “The Exposition of the Fourteen Tantric Root Infractions” (Part 3) ( )

3.      Lifting the Veil off the Fourteen Root Infractions in Tantric “Buddhism” — Part 4: The True Colors of the Tantric Vajra Vehicle [Vajrayana] (  )

4.      The Fourteen Root-less and Disarrayed Infractions — A Critique of Tsongkhapa’s “The Exposition of the Fourteen Tantric Root Infractions” (Part 1) ( )

5.      The Secret Sexual Consort of a Tibetan Buddhist Lama—the first Kalu Rinpoche ( )

6.      The Highest State of Practice that the Tibetan Buddhists Preach but Cannot Achieve, and the Couple-Practice Tantra that They Cultivate but Would Not Disclose ( )

7.      The Spiritual Mentors Whom Everyone Worships by Day Become Whoremongers at Night ( )

8.      German Scholars Verified through Research The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism Is to Practice Tantric Sexual Union — It is a False Buddhism ( )

9.      The Dalai Lama and the CIA (Part 1) First German Television and Southern German Daily Set off a Wave of Criticism ( )

10.  Masking the Myth with Sophistry — An echo to the China Times' article "The Myths about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Issue” ( )