Tantra Detail of the mandala shown above. This is a Garbhadhatu mandala, representing Vairocana Buddha surrounded by eight Buddhas and bodhisattvas (clockwise from top: Ratnaketu, Samantabhadra, Samkusumitaraja, Manjusri, Amitabha, Avalokitesvara, Dundubhinirghosa, Maitreya).
Vajrayana partially relies on various tantric techniques rooted in scriptures such as tantras and various tantric commentaries and treatises. Tantra is defined as an inner realization that functions to prevent ordinary appearances and conceptions and to accomplish the four complete purities of a Buddha (environment, body, enjoyments and deeds)."
Main article: Deity yoga
The most important aspect of the tantric path is to 'use the result as the Path'; which means that rather than placing full enlightenment as a goal far away in the future, one identifies with the indivisible three vajras that is, the enlightened body, speech and mind of a Buddha. The practitioner focuses on and identifies with the resultant buddha-form or 'meditation deity', the yidam (Tibetan) or (Sanskrit) 'ishtadevata'.
In order to achieve this self-identification with the yidam, much symbolism, ritual and visualization is used in Buddhist tantric techniques. Tantric techniques may initially appear to consist of ritualistic nonsense; however, it should only be practiced on the basis of a thorough understanding of Buddhist philosophy and strictly following the traditions.