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Vajrayana Buddhism

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Vajrayāna Buddhism, also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayana, Mantrayana, Mantranaya, Esoteric Buddhism, Diamond Vehicle (Chinese: 金剛乘, jingangcheng, Japanese: 金剛乗, kongōjō) although these terms are not always regarded as equivalent, is an extension of Mahayana Buddhism consisting of differences in the adoption of additional techniques (upaya, or 'skillful means') rather than in philosophy. Thus, before terms such as Vajrayāna or Tantrayāna came into use, scholar-monks such as Buddhaguhya (fl. mid-8th CE) state that Mahāyāna is subdivided into two categories: pāramitā-yana (the "Perfection Method") and mantra-yana (the "Mantra Method"). Some of these upāya are esoteric practices which must be initiated and transmitted only through a skilled spiritual teacher. The Vajrayana is often viewed as the third major 'vehicle' (Yana) of Buddhism, alongside the Theravada and Mahayana.

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Losar (Tibetan: ལོ་གསར་Wylie: lo gsar) is the Tibetan word for "new year." Lo holds the semantic field "year", "age"; sar holds the semantic field "new", "fresh". Losar is the most important holiday in Tibet.[1]

Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. On the first day of Losar, a beverage called changkol is made from chhaang (a Tibetan cousin of beer). The second day of Losar is known as King's Losar (gyalpo losar). Losar is traditionally preceded by the five day practice of Vajrakilaya. Although it often falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year, it is not directly connected to this holiday. However, it is related to Tsagaan sar in Mongolia and to the Korean New Year which also fall around the same time, since they are both based on similar calendars.

Losar is also the beginning of the New Year in Bhutan. The Nepalese New Year, referred to as either Losar or Lhochaar, is celebrated by the Gurung people, who usually count their age by calculating Lho.

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Tibetan Board Carving of Varjayogini Dakini

Vajrayogini or Vajravarahi (Tibetan: Dorje Naljorma, English: the Vajra yogini; also Tibetan: Dorje Phagmo, Wylie: rdo-rje phag-mo, English: the Vajra Sow) is a dakini, a tantric Buddhist ishta-deva (Tib. yidam). Her sadhana (practice) originated in India between the 10th and 12th century, having evolved out of the Chakrasamvara sadhana to become a stand-alone practice in its own right

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