Tibetan Buddhism



Tibetan Buddhism seeks its origin from the confluence of Buddhism and Yoga. This Buddhism started to arrive in Tibet form India briefly around the late eighth century when Bengal in India was ruled by Sena dynasty. This Buddhism started its flow towards Tibet more steadily from thirteenth century onwards. Around that time Indian Buddhism had incorporated both Hindu Yogic and tantric practices along with the classical teachings of historical Buddha who lived around 500 BCE.

From very ancient times it’s acknowledged that there are two paths to enlightenment (a stage of complete transcendence of identification with personal self). First one is that had been taught in traditional teachings. This was based on morality, concentration and wisdom (which did not identify with the personal ego). The other path that became the cornerstone of Tibetan variation is the tantric one. This practice blended the sutra teachings with techniques adapted from Hindu systems of yoga and tantra.

Tantric system of thought and practice believes in the transformation of the basic human passions of desire and aversion for the purpose of spiritual development. Rather than repudiating such primal urges, tantra sanctifies them into wholesome and helpful forces. It is very much similar to try to deal with a wild horse charging towards you.

The best approach to deal with it is to step aside and then jump on its back as it charges past you. In this situation you have a chance to start coaxing it to move in desired directions, and over time you may be able to direct it into a stable. In tantric system both self-control and acceptance are required, to master over it.

In Tibetan Tantra (also known as the Vajrayana), the major aspects of both the Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhist teachings are incorporated. In essence it is an esoteric extension on these themes. Hinayana and Mahayana are two schools of Buddhist practice that have more or less similar goals and techniques but there is some difference in philosophies. For example, Theravadin Buddhism (known for its Vipassana meditation) is a Hinayana teaching while Zen Buddhism is a Mahayana teaching.

During the Karnakura period two major developments occurred in Japanese Buddhism.

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