Not quite the same as your general reading of it. . .It is an express train- In Vajrayana the chela is likened to a snake in a bamboo tube-- you'll either shoot straight to Buddhahood or directly to the hell realms. There is no in-between any longer. In the general 'rising and falling' that you speak of, there's many gradations from god, demi-god, animal, preta, human once again, etc.
If the image of the snake in the bamboo is correct, this must mean that at death you either attain Buddhahood or take rebirth in the hell realms. So someone entering Vajrayana will never again experience the hungry ghost, animal, human, asura of god realm. This must also mean that nobody that are now human can ever in any previous lifetime have practiced Vajrayana.
Do you agree with this?
Edit: or are the human realm within the bamboo tube?
I'm interested to know the answer myself-- from
a qualified teacher.. I do think the bamboo tube may be
a generalization itself, expressing the multiplication of karmic weight
and power that Vajrayana vows bring. Obviously it's not
strictly true that at death you'll only go straight to one
or the other-- certain practice texts guarantee enlightenment
within 7 lives for even the least meticulous of disciples...some say 14 lives if my memory serves-- so being born
again as a human being with the leisures and endowments, with karmic connection to resume the prior live's practice- this
is still heading directly up in the bamboo tube. .
and of course Buddhahood in this life is for the highest capacity. They both
require keeping the samaya though...
Let's just say the weight of your karma becomes that
much more magnified--- for better or worse. My best guess is
you'll either be born again in circumstances that
will reunite you with the guru in the human realm--or
go directly to a pureland-- either way to perfect your practice..
Or full enlightenment in this life or in the bardo. And if you break samaya
then straight to hell. There's probably room
for subtle extenuating circumstances-- this is a question for
a Khenpo or Geshe, or a master that can see
these things directly. But the snake in the bamboo tube
is the most oft quoted metaphor in teaching the potency
and pitfalls Vajrayana.