Tibetan Religion Essay

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RELIGION OF TIBET -------- Namrata Chaturvedi Roll No: 10SHMA18 The dominant religion in Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism. Religion has for centuries been the most defining aspect of Tibetan life and has fundamentally shaped Tibetan identity. Buddhism was introduced from India to Tibet from the 6th century where it came into conflict with the local Bon religion. The Tibetan king Trisong Detsen established Buddhism as the official religion of the state in the 8th century. He invited renowned Buddhist masters from India such as Shantaraksita and Padmasambhava who popularized the religion and helped found Tibet’s first monasteries. Bon was the indigenous religion of Tibet that, when partly absorbed by the Buddhist traditions introduced from India in the 8th century, gave Tibetan Buddhism much of its distinctive character. Tibetan Buddhism belongs to the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and is deeply influenced by Tantric (Vajrayana) Buddhism especially in reference to the reincarnation system which is a distinct feature of Tibetan Buddhism. There are four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. The aim of spiritual development in Tibetan Buddhism is to achieve enlightenment (buddhahood) in order to help all other sentient beings attain this state to avoid ‘samsaric’ or wordly sufferings through endless rebirths. On the path to enlightenment one must cultivate compassion and wisdom through meditation and analytical thinking on the nature of reality. Buddhahood is defined as a state free of the obstructions to liberation as well as those to omniscience.] When, in Buddhahood, one is freed from all mental obscurations, one is said to attain a state of continuous bliss mixed with a simultaneous cognition of emptiness, the

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