Why Tantra Is More Efficient Than Sutra

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In “A Grand Presentation of the Stages of Hidden Mantra,” Tsongkhapa examines three levels of tantra: general tantra common to all four tantra classes, anuttarayoga tantra and Kalachakra tantra. In terms of each, there are four main reasons for tantra being a quicker and more effective method of practice for attaining enlightenment: (1) the obtaining causes for attaining the enlightening body and mind of a Buddha are more analogous to the results we wish to attain; (2) there is a closer union of method and discriminating awareness as the path; (3) through voidness meditation on the appearance of our body as that of a Buddha figure, there a special basis for the understanding of voidness that is more subtle, more stable and less deceptive than our ordinary body as the basis; (4) there is a special level of mental activity, the clear-light mind, used for perceiving voidness.