vrijdag, maart 03, 2006

Tibetan Buddhism

I know that Tibetan Buddhism seems strange and alien to a lot of people, and Thought I'd write a bit about it here.
Tibetan Buddhism is often called Lamaism because of it's prominent lama tradition. "Lama" actually means Highest Mother, even though lamas most of the time are male. They ar so called because they have reached a level of insight that makes them think of all living beings as a mother loves her child unconditionally.

There are four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Nyingmapa, Kagyupa, Sakyapa og Gelugpa.

Nyingmapa is the second biggest school and the oldest. They consider Guru Rinpoche "the second buddha". He merged buddhism and the Bön religion that already existed in Tibet when Buddhism was brought there. The distinctive doctrine of the Nyingma school is Dzogchen ("great perfection"), also known as ati-yoga (extraordinary yoga). It also makes wide use of shamanistic practices and local divinities borrowed from the indigenous, pre-Buddhist Bon religion. Nyingma monks are not generally required to be celibate.

Kagyupa's ("oral transmission school") teachings were brought to Tibet by Marpa in the 11th century. As its name indicates, this school of Tibetan Buddhism places particular value on the transmission of teachings from teacher to disciple. It also stresses the more severe practices of Hatha Yoga. The central teaching is the "great seal" (mahamudra), which is a realization of emptiness, freedom from samsara and the inspearability of these two.

Sakyapa is the smalles of the four. The abbots were devoted to the transmission of a cycle of Vajrayana teachings called "path and goal" (Lamdre), the systemization of Tantric teachings, and Buddhist logic.

Gelugpa is the biggest and the newest version of buddhism that came to Tibet. It is the school of Dalai Lama, and they are often called "yellow hat school". It was founded in early 14th century and it restored celibacy and prohibition of alcohol and meat, enforced strict monastic discipline and established a higher standard of learning for monks.

So what is special for the Tibetan branch of Buddhism? In common with Mahayana schools, Tibetan Buddhism includes a pantheon of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and Dharma protectors. Arya-bodhisattvas are able to escape the cycle of death and rebirth but compassionately choose to remain in this world to assist others in reaching nirvana or buddhahood. Dharma protectors are mythic figures incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism from various sources (including the native Bön religion, and Hinduism) who are pledged to protecting and upholding the Dharma. Many of the specific figures are unique to Tibet.


8 opmerkingen:

DA zei

Wonderful post Guro. Thx for the teaching..

arulba zei

Thanks for the history lesson. That actually helps quite a bit!

enigma4ever zei

Thank you for the wonderful lessons...namaste....beautiful.

Callooh zei

my daughter's church group (and some parents) just spent some time with Buddhist monks (Gelugpa, I would now assume). It was fascinating, and peaceful and wonderful. the concept of suffering arising from the non-centred mind was finally explained in a way I could understand it (ie very simplistically!) but it made such beautiful sense.
I have also been recently reading about Kuan Yin from Chinese Buddhism - the Divine Giver of Compassion, and find the concept of a Bodhisattva so marvelous, to give up Nirvana to save the unsaved who are inumerable, it leaves me speachless.
Thank you for writing about this.

Nerdine zei

Thank you for your comments!

calloh - maybe I'll do a post on the Bodhisattva promise I took last summer? - I have been toying with at least writing about the bodhisattva idea.

Progressive Traditionalist zei

I am very glad you posted this.
I have been thinking that perhaps one of two things appear very likely; either that Buddhism is the culmination of all world religions, or that yoga already pre-supposes any religion that could ever possibly exist. These two things are by no means mutually exclusive.
I was unaware that the two were so close.
But Hatha is such a difficult form of yoga.

Mohammed Adwan zei
Deze reactie is verwijderd door de auteur.
Mohammed Adwan zei

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