Tibetan Buddhism is the body of the Buddhist doctrine and institutions found in Tibet, the Himalayan region, Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva, Kalmykia (Russia) and northeastern China. It is also known by the name of Vajrayana. In this article, we will provide you with a brief introduction to Tibetan Buddhism...
The union of Buddhism and yoga in Tibet led to the emergence of the Tibetan Buddhism. The yogic method started appearing in Tibet (from India) somewhere around the late eighth century. However, the initial progress of yoga in Tibet was quite slow. It was from 13th century onwards that yoga started gaining pace in the country. By that time, both Hindu yogic and tantric practices had been integrated in Indian Buddhism, along with the classical teachings of Buddha. This method advocated that there were two paths to enlightenment.
The first path is the one that has been explained in the sutras, mainly comprising of morality, concentration, and wisdom. The second path, which gave Tibetan Buddhism its unique features, consisted of tantric methods. In this method, the techniques of Hindu systems of yoga and tantra were integrated with the sutra teachings. The Tantric systems suggest the basic human passions of desire and aversion should be transformed for the purpose of spiritual development. However, it does not advise total renunciation of these basic cravings.
Rather, tantra purifies them into wholesome and helpful forces, which helps a person in attaining enlightenment. For the purpose, a person needs to develop the qualities of self-control and acceptance. The Hinayana as well as the Mahayana Buddhist teachings also find a place in Tibet Buddhism. It is basically an esoteric extension on these themes. Just like the Mahayana Buddhist teachings, Buddhism in Tibet also believes in the Dharma protectors, namely Pantheon of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and Dharmapala.
This article provides introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Find out more on Tibetan/Tibet Buddhism.