spreading in many different directions. Presently there are four which have not faded and still exist: the Karma Kagyud, Drukpa Kagyud, Drigung Kagyud and Taglung Kagyud. The Dharma lineages of the others have become very subtle or thin (having mostly been absorbed into larger lineages).

The learned Saint, Khedrup Khyongpo Naljor, travelled to India and met the two Wisdom Dakinis (Niguma and Sukhasiddhi), Rahula, Maitripa and many other Holy Beings. He received teachings from one hundred and fifty Saints and Learned Ones and then returned to Tibet and propagated what came to be known as the Shangpa Kagyud tradition. Nowadays, however, this tradition is no longer held as a separate tradition by anyone, although its lineages of initiations and oral transmissions exist in both the Sakya and Kagyud.

Also from India was the Saint Padampa Sangye, who taught the Zhije Lineage involving regulations for purification. Following him was the Dakini Machig Labdron who started the Lineage of the holy Dharma of gCod, which cuts through demonic interferences.

In Tibet there are a great many lineages of Secret Tantra, but these are different in name only. In their essential meaning there is no particular difference. They all have the same goal, the accomplishment of Enlightenment.

Special Characteristics Of Each Tradition
Each of the traditions does have its own special characteristics. It is well known that the Sakya and Gedan (Gelug) traditions both have the special ability and authority for giving good explanations of the teachings, and the Kagyud and Nyingma are experts in practising them. Actually, earlier scholars had a saying:

"In the Snow Land (of Tibet), the Nyingmapas pioneered the Dharma, the Kadampas were the source of one millon Dharma Holders, the Sakyapas spread the complete teachings of the Dharma, the Kagyudpas have no rival in the path of practice, and Tzong Kapa was the sun of speech, spreading excellent explanations. Jonangpa Taranatha and Zhalu were two great masters of the vast and deep teachings of Tantra."

This saying seems to really convey the essence of the different traditions.

Holy Treasure (Terma)
In the Nyingma tradition, there is the lineage known as Terma (Treasure), which comes from the great Master of Uddiyana, Padmasambhava, who, after coming to Tibet, manifested all the many common and uncommon Dharma teachings for the King (Trisong Detsen) and his followers. They then gathered these together in order to protect and preserve the Dharma for the sentient beings of future degenerate times, and conceal them as mind and earth treasures. At appropriate times, these are revealed by the highest human emanations as a source of benefit and happiness for sentient beings and the Dharma.

There are also many renowned Lineages of Pure Visions and of 'Ear Whispered Transmissions' existing in both 'new' and 'old' Secret Tantras.

Some scholars have questioned the validity of these Holy Treasures, but they need to examine the purpose and necessity of Terma. That these Treasures are the authentic Dharma is established by the three standard criteria of logical argument. So please be careful, because criticizing the Dharma with anger is a grave fault and will only cause your defilements to increase, becoming thick and heavy.

The One Hundred Thousand Verses of the Prajnaparamita Sutra etc. were Treasures revealed by Nagarjuna. Furthermore, many great Saints discovered and revealed Treasures of Sacred Writings of the Secret Tantra from the Stupa of Dhumathala in Uddiyana. And so, even in the Noble Land of India, we find Treasure revelations (Terma) occurring. There are many logical arguments concerning this, but I shall not present them here.

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