21st Feb. 2018
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Tibet Introduction  

Although Tibetans are predominantly Buddhists, other religions like Bon, Islam & Christianity also exist in Tibet. However, the second largest religion in Tibet by population after Buddhism is the Bon. Bon was practiced in Tibet since the ancient times even before the arrival of Buddhism in the sixth century. Similarly, the followers of Islam have been living in Tibet at least since the time of 5th Dalai Lama.

Tibetan Buddhism:
Tibetan Buddhism is also known the Lamaism with the Dalai Lama as the supreme religious authority. Based on Tantra & yogacarya, Tibetan Buddhism belong to the Mahayana category as against the Hinayana practised in India, Sri-Lanka, Burma, and other South Asian countries. The mantras, mudras, rituals, supernatural elements, and the Dalai Lama incarnations make Tibetan Buddhism one of the most mystical religions on earth. Tibetan Buddhism combines the Mahayana philosophy with the Shamanism, and the ancient practices of the Bon religions.

The Tibetan Buddhism itself consists of four different schools within it: Nyingmapa, Kagyupa, Sakyapa, & Gelugpa. All schools include the three vehicles: Foundational, Mahayana, & Vajrayana. A prominent feature of the Mahayana school is the concept of Bodhisattva who refrains from obtaining the nirvana out of compassion & works for the emancipation all mortal beings.

The Tibetan Buddhism greatly influences the lives, rituals, & aritfacts of Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, & Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh regions of India.

Bon may be called the indigenous religion of Tibet, which predates the Buddhist influence. Bon may be identified with magic with its belief in such esoteric & occult practices like redemption from demonic forces, with animal and human sacrifices, and many superstitions, divinations, witchcrafts.

Islam, Catholicism, & Christianity:
There are also significant pockets of believers from Judeo-Christian tradition in Tibet. Islam, Catholicism, & Christianity are believed to have more than 700 years of history.

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