Tibetan Buddhism- The Tantra Theory



Tibetan Buddhism also known as ‘Lamaism’ emerged around the late eighth century when the conflux of Buddhism started to arrive in Tibet from India. From thirteenth century onwards Tibetan Buddhism spread throughout the Himalayan region including the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. Tibetan Buddhism can be distinctly categorized into three periods. The first period began with the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet during the 7th century A.D. against the fierce opposition of the devoted followers of the indigenous shamanistic religion of Tibet, Bon. With the reintroduction of Buddhism from India began the second phase of Tibetan Buddhism. The commencement of the third period happened when the great reformer Tsong-Kha-Pa who founded the Yellow Hats sect to which the line of the Dalai Lamas belong.

The ready acceptance of the Buddhist Tantras, the emphasis on the relationship of the master and disciple for religious scholarship and meditation, its secretarinism, its recognition of a huge pantheon of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, deities, saints and demons fall among the characteristic features of Tibetan Buddhism and also form an integral and culminating part of the Buddhist way. Tibetan Buddhism is mainly based on the rigorous intellectual disciplines of Madhayamika and Yogacara philosophy and uses the symbolic ritual practices of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism.

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