Deity yoga

completion stagegeneration stageDzog-rimKye-rimcompletioncreation-phasedevelopmentdzog rimgeneration phasekye rim
Deity yoga (Tibetan: lha'i rnal 'byor; Sanskrit: Devata-yoga) is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, and the realisation of emptiness.wikipedia
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Vajrayana

Vajrayana BuddhismTantric Buddhismtantric
Deity yoga (Tibetan: lha'i rnal 'byor; Sanskrit: Devata-yoga) is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, and the realisation of emptiness.
The fundamental, defining practice of Buddhist Tantra is “deity yoga” (devatayoga), meditation on a chosen deity or "cherished divinity" (Skt.

Subtle body

subtle bodiesBody of LightYoga physiology
Completion stage practices can also include subtle body energy practices.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, liberation is achieved through subtle body processes during Completion Stage practices such as the Six Yogas of Naropa.

Buddhism

BuddhistBuddhistsBuddhadharma
Deity yoga (Tibetan: lha'i rnal 'byor; Sanskrit: Devata-yoga) is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, and the realisation of emptiness.
A central feature of Buddhist Tantra is deity yoga which includes visualisation and identification with an enlightened yidam or meditation deity and its associated mandala.

Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

ChakrasamvaraCakrasaṃvaraCakrasamvara
These are achieved through deity yoga (visualizing oneself as the deity) and the use of mantras.

Mahayoga

MahāyogaEighteen great tantrasMahayoga tantras
It is associated with the 'Father Tantra' (Wylie: pha-rgyud; pa-rgyud) class of anuttara-yoga-tantras of the Sarmapa or associated with what is known as Mahayoga Tantras by the Nyingmapa.
Mahāyoga is held to emphasise the generation stage (or "development stage") of Tantra, where the succeeding two yana, anuyoga and atiyoga, emphasise the completion stage and the synthesis or transcendence of the two, respectively.

Buddhist meditation

meditationmeditatingmeditative
In Tibetan Buddhism, deity yoga includes visualisations, which precede the realization of sunyata ("emptiness").

Dzogchen

AtiyogaGreat PerfectionAti Yoga
At the path of liberation the practitioner applies mindfulness, a preparatory practice for Mahamudra or Dzogchen, to realize the inherent emptiness of every-'thing' that exists.
According to van Schaik, the concept of dzogchen, "great perfection," first appeared as the culmination of the meditative practice of deity yoga around the 8th century.

Yidam

iṣṭadevatāmeditational deitydeity
In the generation stage, one dissolves the mundane world and visualizes one's chosen deity (yidam), its mandala and companion deities, resulting in identification with this divine reality. The generation stage engages creative imagination or visualization as an upaya or skillful means of personal transformation through which the practitioner (sadhaka) either visualizes a meditational deity (yidam) or refuge tree before themselves in front generation, or as themselves in self generation, to engender an alteration to their perception and/or experience of the appearance aspect of reality. The purpose of Deity yoga is to bring the meditator to the realization that the yidam or meditation deity and the practitioner are in essence the same, that they are non-dual (advaya). In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam:
During the (meditation) practice of the generation stage, a practitioner (sadhaka) establishes a strong familiarity with the Ishta-deva (an enlightened being) by means of visualization and a high level of concentration.

Anuttarayoga Tantra

anuttarayogatantraHighest Yoga TantraAnuttarayoga
It is associated with the 'Father Tantra' (Wylie: pha-rgyud; pa-rgyud) class of anuttara-yoga-tantras of the Sarmapa or associated with what is known as Mahayoga Tantras by the Nyingmapa. Representations of the deity, such as a statues, paintings (Tibetan: thangka), or mandalas, are often employed as an aid to visualization in both the Generation Stage (Tibetan: Kye-rim) and the Completion Stage (Tibetan: Dzog-rim) of Anuttarayoga Tantra.
In the Deity Yoga practices of Anuttarayoga Tantra, two stages are practiced: the Generation Stage and the Completion Stage.

Refuge tree

Field of Meritone's lineage of teachers
The generation stage engages creative imagination or visualization as an upaya or skillful means of personal transformation through which the practitioner (sadhaka) either visualizes a meditational deity (yidam) or refuge tree before themselves in front generation, or as themselves in self generation, to engender an alteration to their perception and/or experience of the appearance aspect of reality.

Mahamudra

Mahāmudrāgreat sealAbhāvanā
At the path of liberation the practitioner applies mindfulness, a preparatory practice for Mahamudra or Dzogchen, to realize the inherent emptiness of every-'thing' that exists. The "wind energy" is directed and dissolved into the heart chakra, where-after the Mahamudra remains, and the practitioner is physically and mentally transformed.
Following the great Sakya exegete and philosopher Sakya pandita (1182-1251), mahāmudrā in the Sakya school is seen as the highest tantric realization, which means that mahāmudrā practice is only taken on after having been initiated into tantric practice and practicing the creation and completion stages of deity yoga.

Jigme Lingpa

Jigmed LingpaJigmé LingpaJikmey Lingpa
The numerous treatises, sadhanas and prayers it contains deal primarily with tantric practice, in particular the generation stage and Dzogchen.

Je Tsongkhapa

TsongkhapaTsong KhapaTsongkapa
According to the Tibetan scholar Tsongkhapa, deity yoga is what separates Buddhist Tantra practice from the practice of other Buddhist schools.

Tantra

TantricTantrismTantrik
According to the Tibetan scholar Tsongkhapa, deity yoga is what separates Buddhist Tantra practice from the practice of other Buddhist schools.

Mandala

mandalasmaṇḍalamandalic
In the generation stage, one dissolves the mundane world and visualizes one's chosen deity (yidam), its mandala and companion deities, resulting in identification with this divine reality. Representations of the deity, such as a statues, paintings (Tibetan: thangka), or mandalas, are often employed as an aid to visualization in both the Generation Stage (Tibetan: Kye-rim) and the Completion Stage (Tibetan: Dzog-rim) of Anuttarayoga Tantra.

Nondualism

non-dualnondualitynondual
The purpose of Deity yoga is to bring the meditator to the realization that the yidam or meditation deity and the practitioner are in essence the same, that they are non-dual (advaya).

Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche

Gyatrul RinpocheTrungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche Sherpa
According to Gyatrul Rinpoche, the point of this practice is to "understand your buddha nature, which is the very essence of your being" and is "intrinsically present" in all beings.

Buddha-nature

Buddha natureTathagatagarbhaTathāgatagarbha
According to Gyatrul Rinpoche, the point of this practice is to "understand your buddha nature, which is the very essence of your being" and is "intrinsically present" in all beings.

Kleshas (Buddhism)

defilementskleshaskilesa
This visualization method undermines a habitual belief that views of reality and self are solid and fixed, enabling the practitioner to purify spiritual obscurations (Sanskrit: klesha) and to practice compassion and wisdom simultaneously:

Thangka

thankaThangkastanka
Representations of the deity, such as a statues, paintings (Tibetan: thangka), or mandalas, are often employed as an aid to visualization in both the Generation Stage (Tibetan: Kye-rim) and the Completion Stage (Tibetan: Dzog-rim) of Anuttarayoga Tantra.

Sacred architecture

religious architecturesacredsacred building
The mandalas are symbolic representations of sacred enclosures, sacred architecture that house and contain the uncontainable essence of a yidam.

Nalanda

NālandāNalanda UniversityArchaeological Site of Nalanda ''Mahavihara'' (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar
In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam:

India

IndianRepublic of IndiaIND
In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam:

Tibet

TibetanGreater TibetThibet
In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam:

China

People's Republic of ChinaChineseCHN
In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam: