Consider the following statements:
1. Vajrayana tradition developed out of the Mahayana school
2. Vajrayana tradition arose in Gupta and Pala periods
Which among the above statements is / are correct?

Answer: [C] Both 1 & 2

Throughout the Gupta and Pala periods, Hinayana Buddhists remained a major segment of the Indian Buddhist community. Their continued cultivation of various aspects of Buddhist teaching led to the emergence of the Yogacara school, the second great tradition of Mahayana philosophy. A third major Buddhist tradition, the Vajrayana or Esoteric tradition, developed out of the Mahayana school and became a powerful and dynamic religious force. The new  form of text associated with this tradition, the tantras, appeared during the Gupta period, and there are indications that distinctively Tantric rituals began  to be employed at this time as well. It was during the Pala period (8th–12th centuries), however, that the Vajrayana/Esoteric tradition emerged as the most dynamic component of Indian Buddhist life.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module