Lamaistic Buddhist Religion
The Lamaistic Buddhist Religion is also known as Tibetan Buddhism and is characteristic of religious beliefs and doctrine of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Mongolia, Russia and Northeast China.
It includes the teachings of the three sectors of Buddhism: the Foundational Vehicle, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.
In the wake of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, a Tibetan diaspora has made Lamaistic Buddhist Religion more widely accessible to the rest of the world. Tibetan Buddhism has since spread to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity.
The goal of spiritual development in Tibetan Buddhism, a Mahayana tradition, is to achieve enlightenment in order to most efficiently help all others attain this state. Buddhahood is defined as a state free of the obstructions to liberation as well as those to omniscience.
When, in Buddhahood, one is freed from all mental obscurations, one is said to attain a state of continuous bliss mixed with a simultaneous cognition of emptiness, the true nature of reality. In this state, all limitations on one's ability to help other living beings are removed.
There are accepted that there are four schools of the Lamaistic Buddhist Religion: Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Geluk.
Nyingma (The Ancient Ones)
This is the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is based on a lineage of teachings and traditions introduced during the reigns of the Buddhist Kings of the Yarlong Dynasty in the eighth and ninth century by Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, Vilalamitra, and others.
Kagyu (Oral Lineage)
The particular feature of the Kagyu lineage is that the teacher, after having mastered the teachings, clears away defects - relating to intellectual understanding, meditational experience, and the various levels of realisation. Upon completion of the process, the teacher is able to point out and introduce mahamudra to the disciple. The Kagyu teachings have been transmitted and preserved this way, in an unbroken line, until the present time.
Sakya (Grey Earth)
The Sakya tradition originated in the eleventh century, and has been closely associated with the Khon Family. Khon Lui Wangpo Sungwa became a disciple of Guru Rinpoche in the eighth century. Through the next thirteen generations, the Dharma continued to be propagated through the Khon family. In 1073, Sakya Monastery was built by Khon Konchok Gyalpo which established the Sakya Tradition in Tibet. He studied under Drokmi the Translator (992-1072) and became a master of many deep teachings.
Gelug (Way of Virtue)
This is lineage combines the teachings and practices of the Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya with the Sutra and Tantra systems of Indian Buddhism and the intellectual heritage of Nagarjuna and Asanga. It was founded by Gyalwa Tsongkhapa (1357-1419)
Tsongkhapa's disciple, Gyalwa Gedun Drupa was the first of the fourteen successive rebirths of the Dalai Lama.
The present Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, known to his followers as Vajradhara Vagindra Sumati Shasana Dhara Samudra Shri Bhadra. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 in recognition of his tireless efforts on behalf of world peace and alleviating the sufferings of the Tibetan people under the genicidal policies of the Chinese government.
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