Je Tsongkhapa explained that an authentic Secret Mantra practice must possess four attributes, known as the ‘four complete purities’. These are:
- Complete purity of place
- Complete purity of body
- Complete purity of enjoyments
- Complete purity of deeds
The practice of these four complete purities was not revealed in the Sutra teachings, but is to be found only in Secret Mantra.
Secret Mantra is distinguished from Sutra by the practice of bringing the future result into the present path. For example, even though we have not yet attained enlightenment, when we practise Secret Mantra we try to prevent ordinary appearances and ordinary conceptions of our environment and instead visualize our surroundings as the mandala of a Deity.
In the same way, we prevent ordinary appearance of our body, our enjoyments, and our deeds, and, in their place, generate ourself as a Deity, visualize our enjoyments as those of a Buddha, and practise performing enlightened deeds.
By doing such practices, we can attain the resultant state of Buddhahood very rapidly.
These four practices are essential for both the generation stage and completion stage of Secret Mantra.