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Buddhism in Tibet

Buddhism as it has been practiced and taught in Tibet for centuries, is the religion of an entire population of people; their lives and culture are intertwined with this faith. As early as the 7th century, Indian masters travelled over the high mountain passes, upon the invitation of the Tibetan kings, to teach the Buddhist doctrine. Pandits and adepts from the University of Nalanda and other prestigious centers of learning came to Tibet and, in turn, Tibetan scholars and philosophers journeyed the distances to India to study the Sanskrit language and the Buddhist teachings.A systematic grammar and written script for the Tibetan language was developed from Sanskrit. 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mussourie-India, circa 1962. photo by Dr. Joel Andress

Painstakingly, the words of the Buddha and commentaries of Indian masters were translated into Tibetan.

Tibetan Buddhism is a very complete form of Buddhism. Hinayana - the Vehicle of the Hearers, and Mahayana - the Vehicle of the Bodhisattvas are inclusive paths in Tibetan Buddhism. Within the Mahayana teachings and practices, there are the categories of Sutra or the Perfections, and Secret Mantra or Tantra. Buddhism as transmitted and practiced in the Tibetan tradition is a union of Sutra and Tantra.

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