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Difference Between Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism vs Buddhism

Buddhism is a religion that encompasses many beliefs and traditions. It has been divided into many sects with different beliefs, traditions, and practices. It is really hard to make out a difference between Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism as the Tibetan sect is a part of it.
First of all, let us look at Buddhism. This religion is largely based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who is popularly known as Gautama Buddha. Buddha is known to have lived in India and Nepal between 563 and 483 B.C. Buddhism is mainly based on the four Noble Truths of suffering or the first teachings of Buddha after attaining Nirvana.

In Buddhism, there is no single text that is universally referred to or accepted by all sects. But some Buddhist scholars refer to Vinaya Pitaka and the first four Nikayas of Sutta Pitaka as the most important teaching of all traditions. But the Mahayana sect does not consider these to be prime teachings but only considers them to be just preliminary teachings. It should also be noted that the Tibetan Buddhists have not translated a large part of these agamas.

Tibetan Buddhism, which can also be called as Lamaism is the Buddhist sect that is mainly found in Tibet, some regions of the Himalayas, India, Bhutan, and Northern Nepal. Tibetan Buddhism is Bhutan’s state religion. Tibetan Buddhism has both shamanistic and animistic elements. They believe in the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama. Mahayana, Foundational Vehicle, and Vajrayna are the three vehicles that Tibetan Buddhism is founded upon.

Tibetan Buddhism has four traditions such as Nyingma (pa), Kagyu(pa), Sakya (pa) and Gelug (pa).

Summary:

1. Buddhism has been divided into many sects with different beliefs, traditions, and practices.
2. Buddhism is largely based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who is popularly known as Gautama Buddha.
3. In Buddhism, there is no single text that is universally referred to or accepted by all the sects. Some Buddhist scholars refer to Vinaya Pitaka and the first four Nikayas of Sutta Pitaka as the most important teaching of all traditions.
4. Tibetan Buddhism, which can also be called as Lamaism, is the Buddhist sect that is mainly found in Tibet, some regions of Himalayas, India, Bhutan, and Northern Nepal.
5. Tibetan Buddhists believe in the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.
6. Tibetan Buddhism has four traditions such as Nyingma (pa), Kagyu(pa), Sakya (pa) and Gelug (pa).


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1 Comment

  1. This brief piece makes the mistake of getting caught up in the exoteric Indian terminology of the religion. Basically, an advocate of Buddhism attempts to rid oneself of attachment to the learned and false self and to discover the true and eternal self, although Buddhism does not use those terms. It identifies the cause of individual suffering and lays out the cure for suffering: The Four Noble Truths identify the cause of suffering and prescribe the Eightfold Path to end suffering. Gotama (or Gautama or Shakyamuni) Buddha spoke of God and the Holy Spirit, understood in India as Brahman and Atman, only rarely, pointing out that what is important is inner change of the individual person. Only those who have freed themselves from attachment to self can know Brahman by discovering Atman (or Brahman imminent) in oneself.

    All Buddhists understand that individual beings are “dependent- arising” beings—dependent on good and bad behavior in this and in previous lives (karma) and that many, many lives are necessary for sentient beings to finally free themselves from the attachment to self that is responsible for so much evil in the world. It follows, then, that some Buddhists share the exoteric beliefs that beings that are not sentient, such as dogs, cats, snakes, ants, fleas, etc., may move up in successive lives toward sentience, while very evil sentient beings (Adolph Hitler, for example) may move backward and become animals.

    The distinction between Indian and Tibetan Buddhism is chiefly a distinction between exoteric terms and beliefs that have nothing to do with the Buddhist core practice: to extinguish the self and achieve liberation from it.

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