Generals introduction of Buddhism
The root master of all the Tibetan Buddhist lineage is the teaching of Buddha. Buddha was the prince of Skaya Clan. his teaching is rooted in an observation: Despite all the effort to find Happiness and avoid suffering. Life is full of suffering and dissatisfaction. He recognized the cause of all suffering as the dissonant mental state- envy, pride, delusion, and attachment. He learns it is possible to free oneself permanently from such suffering through a rigorous and well-structured training of ethics, Meditation and insight, which lead to the profound understanding of the way of things really are that is enlightenment.
a Buddhist is the one who takes refuge in the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha (the teacher), Dharma (his teaching) and Sangha ( the monastic community).
History of Tibetan Buddhism
In the 7th century, it was the prime ambition of the first emperor of Tibetan Empire, the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to unified Tibetan inhabitants in Tibetan Qinghai Plateau and modernize his empire up to date way of life and technology. Which is why he has many cultural and crafts imported from the neighboring states.
Tibetan Food came from the Tang and other regions of modern China, Tibetan clothes came from Mongols and spirituality came from India. It is necessary to bring the Buddhism into Tibet to help taint the wild nature of Tibetan inhabitants. We are said to be a warrior clan and would always love to fight a lot.
The greatest accomplishment he made in the sense of Tibet Buddhism is bringing two holiest statues of Buddha in the world to Lhasa. One is from Tang dynasty and another is from Nepal. he builds two temples in Lhasa to house these two statues.
Later in the 8th century, Tibetan king Trisong Detsen finally establish Buddhism as the official religion of the Tibetan empire. He builds the first Buddhist Monastery of Samye Monastery in Tsedang and establishes the first school of Tibetan Buddhism called Nyimapa with the help of Guru Padmasambhava. Nyingmapa school mainly focus on the practice of Tantric Buddhism.
During the reign of the Last King of the Tibetan empire, Langdharma, he strongly prosecutes the Buddhism and forces everyone to abandon the practice of Buddhism. he was assassinated by the Buddhist practitioners. After this entire Tibet is disintegrated into local rules. The period is known as the dissemination period.
Late the king of Guge kingdom invites Atisha to his kingdom to rejuvenate the Buddhism in Tibet. Atisha also traveled to central Tibet and start the new school of Tibetan Buddhism called Kadampa. Later lots of individuals put their own efforts to go to India to learn the language and study the Buddhism and later translate the Buddhist scripture into Tibetan. Two major schools of Sakya and Kagyu was started the student of Such translators.
In the 14th century, Je Tsongkhapa started a new school of Tibetan Buddhism with the insight of the teaching of Kadampa and other tradition. The Gelug has later become the most powerful sects in Tibetan Buddhism and Rule Tibet for many centuries under the institution of Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.
from the period of rejuvenation of Buddhism in Tibet to the fifth Dalia Lama, there has been many conflict amount the different sect of Tibetan Buddhism for the influence and power. Many time different side has sought help and military aid of Chinese Yuan dynasty.
Unique Practice in Tibetan Buddhism
Institution of Reincarnation
One of the most important developments of the Tibetan Buddhism is the institution of Reincarnation. As a Buddhist, we believe in life after death. Our next life will be determined by how we lived. with this concept of next life, we also believe the highly realized spiritual being can choose when, where and in what form to take a rebirth. The ordinary folks like us, can’t choose what form of life we would like to reincarnate. it purely depends on one’s Karma.
We believe all the high lamas are manifestations of bodhisattvas, who vows to help liberate all the sentence being. To continue helping the all being these high lamas would come back over and over again to help liberate everyone from the ocean of suffering. The first lama to choose to reincarnate is the Karmapa of Kagyupa. The institution of reincarnation is adapted into all the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the coming times.
Adaptation of Native Bön practice into Buddhism
In Tibetan Buddhism, there are lots of native element in the practice adopt from the local Bon religion. The adaptation was very much necessary and it is the main reason why Buddhism in Tibet was so successful. The most common form of adaptation was the ritual dance of Cham dance, Prayer flags, Praying wheels, sky burial and Ritual music in the monasteries.
Different sects in Tibetan Buddhism
Unlike other Buddhism in World. Tibetan Buddhism has many different school or sect. There are four major sects in Tibetan Buddhism. The oldest one Nyimapa and the newest one is the Gelugpa. Each school differs in terms of their ways and approaches to the enlightenment. Rather then that all the schools have same common root teacher that is the Buddha himself and his teaching.