Although the first tantric Buddhist texts appeared in India in the 3rd century and continued to appear until the 12th century,scholars such as Hirakawa Akira assert that the Vajrayana probably came into existence in the 6th or 7th century,while the term Vajrayana itself first appeared in the 8th century.The Vajrayana was preceded by the Mantrayana, and then followed by the Sahajayana and Kalacakrayana.The period of Indian Vajrayana Buddhism has been classified as the fifth or final period of Buddhism in India.Vajrayana literature does not appear in the Pali Canon and the Agamas.

The earliest texts appeared around the early 4th century.Nalanda in East India became a center for the development of Vajrayana theory,although it is likely that the university followed,rather than led,the early tantric movement.Only from the 7th or the beginning of the 8th century,tantric techniques and approaches such as Mahamudra and Sahaja increasingly dominated Buddhist practice in North India.

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Although the Vajrayana claims to be as ancient and authentic as any other Buddhist school, it may have grown up gradually in an environment with previously existing texts such as the Mahasannipata and the Ratnaketudharani.The basic position of Vajrayana is still the same as the early Buddhist position of anatta.The changes that took place reflected the changing society of medieval India the presentation changed,the techniques of the way to enlightenment changed,and the outward appearance of Buddhism came to be dominated by ritualism and arrays of Buddhas,Bodhisattvas,and gods and goddesses.Statues of Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayus at Namdroling Monastery.There are differing theories as to where in the Indian sub-continent that Vajrayāna began. There are assumptions about the origin of Vajrayana in Bengal,Oddiyana,located at Odisha, or in the modern-day Swat District in Pakistan.