No. There are many students who have been practicing for years with the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) who have not taken Tantric empowerments, including the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments of Heruka and Vajrayogini that are granted approximately every two years.

Therefore, there is clearly no NKT policy of pressurizing people to take these empowerments. Taking Tantric empowerments, including Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments, is an individual decision and no one should make that decision for someone else.

Buddha Shakyamuni taught both Sutra and Tantra; and Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition emphasizes the union of Sutra and Tantra. Therefore, teachers need to explain to their students the benefits of entering the path of Highest Yoga Tantra, but they also need to explain the conditions under which somebody is ready to enter into this path. These conditions are a wish to always remain a Buddhist, and to have some familiarity with the three principal aspects of the path: renunciation, bodhichitta, and the wisdom realizing emptiness.