Three Ways of Buddhism, The


IX


The Three Ways of Buddhism

In the Buddhist tradition there are three primary Ways—the
Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana (or the Ways of the Arhat, the Bodhisattva,
and the Mahasiddha).

The Hinayana Way of the Arhats is the Way of the transcendence
of sympathetic (and, ultimately, sorrowful) attachment to conditional self,
its relations, and its worlds of experience. It is the “masculine”
Way of uncompromising abandonment or transcendence of the motives of sympathy
or desire.

The Mahayana Way of the Bodhisattvas is the Way of the
transcendence of angry rejection of the conditional self, its relations,
and its worlds of experience. It is the “feminine” Way of self-surrender
and compassionate service.

The Vajrayana Way of the Mahasiddhas is the Way of the
transcendence of both sympathetic attachment and angry rejection, or all
the positives and negatives relative to the conditional self, its relations,
and its worlds of experience. It is the magical Way of the powers inherent
in the male-female unity (or the unity and equanimity of polarized opposites).

Behind and beyond these is Enlightenment Itself, or Realization
of the Transcendental Priority that is, under one Name or another, the
Ultimate Goal of all the Wisdom traditions.

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