Tibetan Buddhism


July 5, 2022

Tibetan Buddhism or Himalayan Buddhism refers primarily to the Buddhist religious doctrines and organizational characteristics of Tibet and certain areas of the Himalayas (Nepal, Bhutan, and India). It is the state religion of Bhutan, but it is also practiced in Mongolia, as well as in certain areas of Russia (Kalmyukland, Buryatland, Tuva) and Northeast China. The texts (scriptures and explanatory texts) are contained in the Tibetan Buddhist canon, the language of which is classical Tibetan, the spiritual language of these areas. The Buddhist trend practiced in Tibet is popularly regarded as the Vajrayana form of Mahayana Buddhism, after the vajra, one of the Buddhist scepter-shaping ritual objects. It is a symbol of lightning, but it is also often called a diamond, which is why another name for the trend is the "diamond road". However, Tibetan Buddhism teaches all three main Buddhist schools (Mahayana, Hinayana, Vajrayana) depending on the person's development and academic progress. In the West, the school is also known as Lamaism, after their teachers, the lamas (aka Rinpoches). The successive line of lamas is based on the reincarnation of their person, on the numbered rebirths (Tibetan: tulku, Mongolian: kubilgan order of inheritance). The Tibetan diaspora spread Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries. His followers are estimated to be between ten and twenty million people. One of its most prominent representatives is the 14th Dalai Lama (Tendzin Gyaco), who won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Tibetan center of religious life is in Lhasa. Here is the residence of the supreme religious leader, the Potala Palace. Tibet, which is about 25 times larger than Hungary, is now a province of China, as a result of the Chinese annexation in the 1950s. The Dalai Lama currently lives in India, in exile.


Early period

According to Tibetan tradition, the Karandavjúha Sutra, containing the mantra Om mani padme hum, came from the sky in a treasure chest on the roof of the palace of Lha Thothori Nyance, the 28th king of Tibet. he was involved with Buddhism at some level, however, it is known that he married the Buddhist Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. The princess took a Shakyamuni Buddha statue with her to Tibet. It is known from Tibetan sources that many of the king's successors became fervent Buddhists. It is also clear from the texts that the Chinese Buddhists carried out considerable missionary activity in Tibet. Unlike Indian Buddhists, Chinese converts were not supported by their ruler. According to the tradition of Tibetan legend, Songchen Gampo also married a Nepalese Buddhist princess (Bhrikuti). By the second half of the 8th century, he was already seen as the embodiment of the bodhisattva Avalókitésvara. The successors of Szongcen Gampo were less enthusiastic about spreading Buddhism, however, in the 8th century, King Triszong Decen (755-797, the "Tibetan Ashoka") already made it the state religion. He also built the first monasteries in Tibet, including the important Samje Buddhist monastery. He invited Buddhist scholars from India to his court, thereby ensuring that Tibetan Buddhism followed Indian trends as opposed to Chinese. Sántarakshita, a yogácsara-svatantrika-madhyamaka philosopher who represented the university traditions of North India, and his student Kamalasíla also arrived in Tibet in his time. Sántarakshita later traveled back to India, as he found the task too difficult for him, he was followed by the famous tantric mystic Padmasambhava, who wrote extremely important texts (termák "what was lost"), some of which he hid so that only later so-called finders (finders) find them. Padmasambhava later in Tibetb