Re: Tibetan Buddhism and influence of Bon

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Posted by Lim T. S. on November 14, 1999 at 00:53:49:

In Reply to: Tibetan Buddhism and influence of Bon posted by Bill on November 07, 1999 at 11:21:13:

: Hi,

: I have been studying Buddhism for some time now,
: Both Theravada and Mahayana, mainly the four schools
: of Tibetan Buddhism.

I am curious how Americans
: are able to relate to the influences that Bon has
: had on Tibetan Buddhism? From what I have read The
: Buddha never spoke of many of aspects that are specific
: in Tibetan Buddhism. Don't get me wrong, I feel that
: His Holiness The Dalai Lama is a great teacher and
: one of the great figures of this century.

: Regards,
: Bill

Hi Bill.

I receive initiation in the Sakyapa sect( one of 4 main sects of Tibetan Buddhism).
I observe a misunderstanding in your statement about '4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism'.
There are 4 main sects of Tibetan buddhism, and they are all known as Vajrayana.
Their teachings include all the Theravada and Mahayana and also the highest tantric teachings
which were passed down from padhmasambava, an enlightened Siddha from India.
Buddhism was at that time not acceptable to the Tibetan people whose tradition and culture were deeply immersed in Bon.
Therefore, in order to convert this race of people to understand the Buddhist teaching Padmasabava had to incorporate some of the of their practices into Buddhism.
That was how today we the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist and the Vajrayana Buddhist practise some rituals which are common, like the one thousand arms Bodhisattva.
I have observed that many westerners are fascinated by Tibetan rituals, which seem esoteric
and are drawn to Vajrayana Buddhism.
In short, the ritual parts convey the meaning
of transformation of the human ego-centric, and afflicted consciounesses into the pure realm.

H.H. The Dalai Lama is the lineage of the Gelupa
sect, also one of the 4 sects.

Hope this brief account helps.
I will be very please to offer more information
in Buddhism, if you email me.

Yours in the Dharma,

Lim T.S.

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