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(336 words)

[German Version]

literally “diamond vehicle,” name of the form of Mahāyāna Buddhism practiced throughout the Himalayan region, in Tibet, Mongolia, and Buryatia, and as far as the lower Volga. The term Vajrayāna as a generic name for Tantric practices (Tantrism) developed after the 7th century from the symbolic significance of the term vajra in Tantric texts. Sanskrit vajra means “diamond” but also “thunderbolt,” the weapon of Indra, the Indian king of the gods; in Tantric texts, it stands for the indestructibility and power of the enlightened consciousness (Sanskrit bodhi). On the …

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Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina, “Vajrayāna”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 December 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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