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Transcript
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibet used to be known as ‘The Land of the Snows’
and in this secluded area of our world a unique
culture used to flourish and Buddhism was the main
factor.
Sadly, in 1959 the Tibetan culture has been
systematically destroyed by the Chinese
Communists who have slowly but surely forced
their Marxist ideology on the people.
There have been some signs that a certain level of
Buddhist observance is now allowed to take place
but with Tibet seemingly disappearing off world
maps, who knows what the future holds?
It is generally accepted that there are two
periods of Tibetan Buddhism interdispersed
with ‘The Dark Ages’ which were from about
838 - 1000.
They are:- The First Transmission 640 – 838
The Second Transmission 1000
– 1959
The First Transmission 640 – 838
1. Primitive, nomadic and warlike
2. Spiritually inclined towards animism
3. Priests called Bon - Po existed
who recited mantras and performed
exorcisms
4. Only with the arrival of the Tantric
PADMASAMBHAVA (Guru Rinpoche)
towards the end of 8th century did Buddhism
take off

The First Transmission 640 – 838
(cont)
5. He conquered spirits at the first Buddhist
monastery in Tibet in Samye
6. It is hard to disentangle truth from myth
but most believe Buddhism flourished
during the Three Great Religious Buddhist
Kings in Tibet namely :- Gampo 609 – 649;
Detsen 704 – 797 and Ralpachen 805 - 838
The First Transmission 640 – 838
(cont)
7. Gampo was believed to be an incarnation
of Avalokiteshvara
(known in Tibet as Chenrezig)
8. Detsen invited the famous Indian
Buddhist master Sangharakshita who was
very influential and means that at first
Tibetan Buddhism was exclusively Indian
based Buddhism
9. They then set about translating Indian
Buddhist texts

The Dark Ages 838
- 1000
1. Ralpachen was weak, he was murdered
and his brother took over who was evil and
repressed the dharma
2. He was himself murdered by a vengeful
Buddhist monk
Buddhism did not entirely die out but little is
known of it during the Dark Ages

The Second Transmission – 1000 - 1959
1. Translators, temples springing up, trips to
India and Buddhist universities all
characterise the second wave of Buddhism
in Tibet
2. Organisational and spiritual development
of Buddhism flourished and a number of
distinctive schools emerged
3. There also developed a Buddhocratic
(made up word!) style of government

The Second Transmission – 1000 – 1959
(cont)
4. ‘Doors’ to the outside world became
closed , teachings of the Buddha were
analysed and by the 14th century a complete
Buddhist canon in Tibetan had been
standardised masterminded by a scholar
named Buton
5. So we get two texts – The Kangyur 108
Tibetan teachings and the Tengyur which
comprise of 225 commentaries
The Second Transmission – 1000 – 1959
(cont)
You now need to look up two things if you
want to do Tibetan Buddhism in the exam (if
it crops up!)
(a) Look up the different schools of Tibetan
Buddhism that emerged (see previous notes
you did and John Snelling pages 201 – 210)
(b) Look up different special aspects of this
type of Buddhism e.g. figure of the Lama
(see John Snelling – Buddhism pages 210 213