Tibetan Buddhism has exerted extensive and profound influence on the Tibetan race. Buddhism spread into Tibet in the 7th century, and gradually infiltrates Tibet's history, politics, economics, culture, exchanges and habits and customs to become the most extensively worshipped religion of Tibetans.
• Early History
Nyingma Sect: the oldest sect in Tibet Buddhism. Nyingma means old and ancient in Tibetan language. The monks of the sect are wearing red hat, so it also named Red Sect.
Kagyu Sect: the one with largest number of smaller sects. Kagyu means “pass on through oral instruction”. It had two founders, Khyung-po-rnal-vbyong-pa and Marpa Lotsawa. As the monks wear white clothes, so it is also named White Sect.
Gelug Sect: dge-lugs-pa in Tibetan language, which means good rule. It is also name Yellow Sect, as monks wear yellow hats. Gelug Sect has distinctive characteristics and strict management system, which making it become one of the important sect in Tibetan Buddhism.
Features of Tibetan Buddhism
Dalai Lama in Tibet is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered as a reincarnation of Lord Buddha.
Lama, in Tibetan language, means “superior master” or “superior man”. Normal monks used to called “Drakpa” in Tibet, and later, they were also called “lama”.
One of the most famous aspects of Tibetan Buddhism is the prayer wheels. These are turned by the faithful in the conviction that the prayer will go up in the air and help humanity gain enlightenment.
Inheritance from master to apprentice: Nyingma Sect, Kagyu Sect, Kadam Sect.
Family inheritance: Sakya Sect.
Living Buddha inheritance way is most unique one. Unification of the state and the church is a distinctive character of Tibetan Buddhism, which ended after the liberation of Tibet.
Tibetan Buddhism Doctrine contains both Hinayana and Mahayana, exotoric and esoteric Buddhism, and absorbs some character of Bon. The inheritance way is various, sadhana drubtab is complicated, which are the outstanding features different from Han Buddhism.
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