Tibetan Buddhism

Buddhism was brought from India to Tibet over several generations, starting with King Songtsen Gampo in the 6th century AD, and was finally established as the state religion during the reign of King Trisong Deutsen in the 8th century. Tibetan Buddhism is unique in uniting the various levels and approaches of Buddhist learning and practice. In this way the Hinayana monastic discipline is the foundation, supporting the preservation of learning and wisdom, while the Mahayana mind training is practised by ordained sangha and laypeople alike.

The Vajrayana discipline of taking the view of fruition as the path is regarded as the summit of Buddhist theory and practice. Although the Vajrayana approach, because of its profundity, was practised in secrecy in India, it came to be practised openly in Tibet. Tibetan Buddhist history contains accounts of thousands of individuals who attained liberation through practising the Buddhist path, and consequently Buddhism flourished in Tibet. In the wake of the Communist invasion in the 1950s, Tibetan lamas in exile have been invited to teach around the world.