The Tantric path is entered through attaining the general path, meaning the three principal aspects of the path: renunciation, bodhichitta, and the realization of emptiness. This makes it very clear that we need these three realizations before we can enter the Vajrayana, otherwise any tantric practice we do will not even be the cause for liberation. Without renunciation we can never free ourselves from attachment; without emptiness we can never eliminate the root of samsara; without bodhichitta we can never develop the cause of enlightenment.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
from the book Bodhichitta: Practice for a Meaningful Life
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