Buddhism in Tibet
Buddhism is different form of tradition, beliefs and religious as well as spiritual practices and techniques based on the principal teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddhism is considered as the symbol of peace among all the religion and there are number of various Buddhist tradition based on the tradition of country, beliefs and spiritual practices and influence of great Buddhist master. Some of the popular form of Buddhism are Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, Buddhism in Nepal, Tibetan Buddhism, Chan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism etc. Even though the final goal of each and every form of Buddhism is to attained Nirvana as Lord Buddha attained , but the Buddhist practices, influence of Buddhist masters makes difference among these Buddhism traditions.
Tibetan Buddhism is also one of the most popular Buddhist tradition in South Asian Countries and Western Countries. Basically Tibetan Buddhism is another form of Buddhist tradition taken from the Vajrayana Buddhism. One of the key features of Tibetan Buddhism is its rich iconography and mythology. Since Tibet is a secluded region in China, this Buddhist tradition had not been introduced to the outside world for many centuries. One other important reason for such popularity of Tibetan Buddhism is due to the popularity of 14th Dalai Lama in the whole world after being exiled from Tibet to India.
History of Buddhism in Tibet
It is believed that Tibetan Buddhism was derived from Indian Buddhism that entered in Tibet many centuries ago. Another factors that helped in the development of Tibetan Buddhism to its heights was due to the Licchavi Princess Bhrikuti Devi who was the first wife of Songtsan Gampo, the earliest Emperor of Tibet. According to the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, Bhrikuti Devi was devout Buddhist and when married with Emperor, she brought many Nepali Buddha statues, Buddha images, sacred Buddhist sculptures made by expert and skilled craftsmen and group of Newar craftsmen with her dowry. In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there is a quote for the honor of Bhrikuti.
"Then during the reign of bTsan po Khri Srong btsan, after his marriage with Khri btsun, the daughter of the king of Nepal, the temple (gtsug lag khang) of Ra sa [Lhasa] Pe har gling was built. Furthermore, the construction of the forty-two temples of the Ru bzhi was requested and the Brag lha [temple] was built. 'Thon mi gSam po ra was sent by royal order [to India] in order to get the Indian doctrine and the model of the alphabet (yi ge'i dpe). . . ."
It is also believed that the tradition and quality of Tibetan Buddha statues came to such beauty with the help of such skilled Newar craftsmen and Nepali Buddha statues. Nepal Tibet Buddha statues hold quite importance in the Buddhist tradition and is popular in many Western Countries. Jokhang Temple of Tibet is one of the important Buddhist temples in Tibet and the main reason of its establishment was to become place where all the Nepali Buddha statues as well Chinese Buddha statues, Buddha images that both wife of Emperor Songtsan Gampo brought as a dowry.
Schools of Tibetan Buddhism
The Four Buddhist Schools in Tibet are some of the important Buddhist schools that provide teachings of Buddha according to different beliefs, practices and experienced gained by different Buddhist masters. These four Buddhist schools are:
- Nyingma Buddhist School
- Sakya Buddhist School
- Kagyu Buddhist School
- Gelug Buddhist School
Nyingma Buddhist Schools is the oldest Buddhist schools in Tibet and second Largest Buddhist school while Gelug Buddhist School being the largest. Kagyu Buddhist school is the third largest Buddhist school in Tibetan Buddhism. And Sakya Buddhist school is the smallest among the four Buddhist schools.