Tibetan Buddhism


Tibetan Buddhism is a hybrid of three sources of teachings:


1/ Bon tradition, a pre-Buddhist religion (gods worship, magic beliefs,… etc…).

2/ Tantrism (Tantra : Hindu based doctrines aimed at self-realisation),

3/ Mahayana Buddhism : Heart Sutra and Prajna Paramita Sutra.


Having non-Buddhist influence (of Bon and Tantra), Tibetan Buddhism is considered as distinct from other schools of Buddhism. However, it can be regarded as a Mahayana school because of incorporating a central belief in Bodhisattva practice and attaining Enlightenment.  The practice of Tibetan Buddhism includes meditation, chanting and various esoteric rituals depending on the level of spiritual advancement of practitioner, the highest of which is the stage of Lama.  Another name for Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana Teachings which practice includes also esoteric rituals originating from Tantric doctrines (hand gestures, body movements, initiation by a master...).

A form of Vajrayana Buddhism was introduced in the 9th century to Japan by Kukai, a monk who established the Shingon (True Word) school.


Priesthood Holiness: A “Master” or “Lama” in Tibetan Buddhism is always referred to by “His Holiness” - implying achievement of  a “distinguished spirituality”, as compared with other lower stages of spiritual development of monks and ordinary believers. This distinction is accepted in all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism:

The Nyingma School , Kagyu School, Sakya School and Gelug School.


Tibetan chant: Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum:


TIbetan Buddhism has a common link with Nichiren Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra through its main mantra, implicitly referring to the “Law of the Lotus”.

The meaning of the Tibetan mantra is : “Praise to the jewel in the Lotus”,

while Nichiren’s mantra:

(Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo) means ; Devotion to the wonderful Law of the Lotus”,

and which was derived from the title of the text of the Lotus Sutra.


Researchers attribute the Tibetan mantra to the mythological figure of Bodhisattva (Avalokitasvara), called also Bodhisattva “Perceiver of World Sounds”. This Bodhisattva (being a central a pillar of Tibetan Buddhism) appears also in Nichiren Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra as one of the functions operating within the workings of the Mystic Law.


Main Beliefs in Tibetan and SGI teachings


                             SGI Buddhism                                  Tibetan Buddhism


Devotion:   Life of Buddha (Gohonzon)         Tara godess or Various divine beings

                                           

Practice:                         Chanting                                Meditation, chanting & various rituals


                                                                           

Community:               Lay Practitioners                           Priesthood structured

                                                   

Life’s continuity:             Rebirth                                    Reincarnation  

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The Difference between Rebirth and Reincarnation


Decline of Buddhism (Maitreya myth)


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