esoteric teachings in theory ［理秘密］ ( ri-himitsu): Also, esoteric teachings of theory. A concept set forth in Tendai Esotericism indicating those teachings that can be defined as esoteric teachings in terms of theory, but fail to describe mudras (hand gestures) and mantras (mystic formulas), which constitute esoteric practice. Tendai Esotericism divides the Buddhist teachings into exoteric teachings and esoteric teachings, viewing the three vehicle teaching as exoteric and the one vehicle teaching as esoteric. It goes on to classify esoteric teachings into esoteric teachings in theory and esoteric teachings in both theory and practice (or esoteric teachings of both theory and practice). Tendai Esotericism maintains that esoteric teachings in both theory and practice are superior to esoteric teachings in theory. It defines the Lotus, Flower Garland, and other sutras as esoteric teachings in theory, and the Mahāvairochana, Diamond Crown, and other sutras as esoteric teachings in both theory and practice because the former do not mention mudras and mantras, while the latter describe them. See also Tendai Esotericism.