Subject Information

SUBJECT Tibetan Buddhism
TYPE AAT
ALTERNATE Lamaism
REFERENCE ID 300265647
NOTES Refers to a distinctive form of Buddhism that draws heavily on Mahayana Buddhism, which was introduced to Tibet in the seventh century. Tibetan Buddhism incorporates a great deal of the esoteric tradition of tantra of Vajrayana Buddhism as well as features of ancient Bon shamanism. The monastic disciplines of early Theravada Buddhism are also an important part of Tibetan Buddhism. The religion is, in fact, often considered the most intellectual branch of Buddhism. Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is particularly revered in Tibetan Buddhism and each Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, is believed to be his reincarnation. A noteworthy feature of Tibetan Buddhism is the unusual percentage of the population actively involved in religious life: approximately one-quarter of Tibetans were members of religious orders up until the Chinese takeover of the country in the 1950s.
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