Tibetan Buddhism Part III

Tibetan Buddhism 3

At the beginning of the 15th century, Tsongkhapa’s reform efforts led to the establishment of the Gelugpa School (»School of the Virtuous«) with its ancestral monastery Ganden north of Lhasa. Tsongkhapa aimed at the renewal of Buddhist ethics and teaching and insisted on strict monastic discipline, including celibacy. Like the Kadampa School before, which finally merged into the Gelugpa School, the Gelugpa monks also preferred to study the non-tantric Mahayana philosophy, but did not neglect the tantras either, for the study of which they founded two colleges in Lhasa. Their heads, whose succession, according to the understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, as in the Karmapa school, represents a chain of rebirths (tulku), have been using the title Dalai Lama since the 16th century; the great abbot of the Tashilumpo monastery in southern Tibet (near Shigatse) was given the title Panchen Lama. The yellow headgear of their monks has registered the Gelugpa school (and erroneously all Tibetan Buddhism) in the west with the designation “yellow hats” (also “yellow church”).

The Gelugpa School achieved a steadily growing religious and political influence in the 16th century by, inter alia,. the missionary work of the Mongols, which had already begun in the 13th and 14th centuries by the Sakyapa monks, continued, whose Buddhist missionaries in turn brought Tibetan Buddhism to the Buryats and Tuwins. With Mongolian help, the (“great”) fifth Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (* 1617, † 1682) was able to defeat his opponents and establish a theocratic “priestly state” in Tibet with Lhasa as the capital (Tibet, history).

According to phonecations.com, the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950 went hand in hand with the complete destruction of monastic life. Many monks lost their lives; almost all monasteries were destroyed. Religious activities and the reconstruction of some monasteries only became possible again in Tibet after 1980. The Buddhist school heads who fled after the occupation reestablished their tribal monasteries in exile in India or Nepal. After 1959, numerous centers led by Tibetan lamas with a focus on meditation and ritual emerged in the West. In Europe there are centers of the Gelugpa School in Germany (“Tibet. Zentrum Hamburg eV”), France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Spain; Centers of the Karmapa Kagyüpa School and the Nyingmapa School in Germany (»Rigpa – Association for Tibetan Buddhism eV«), France and Great Britain; Centers of the Sakyapa School in the Netherlands, France and Great Britain.

At the end of the 19th century, the Rime movement (“rime”; literally: “impartial”) arose in Nyingmapa circles in Eastern Tibet, committed to uniting the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism on a common teaching basis. The ideas and methods common to all schools were highlighted and the various teaching traditions were commented on from the perspective of this overall view. The founder of the Rime movement is the Sakyapa Lama Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (* 1820, † 1892), who as the reincarnation of the Nyingmapa Lama Jigme Lingpa (* 1730, † 1798) is applicable. To this day it has essentially been a movement in the area of ​​the Nyingmapa school, but the Rime movement has also influenced followers of other Tibetan schools such as Karma-Kagyüpa, Gelugpa and Bon-po. The most important representative of the Rime movement is the Nyingmapa Lama Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (* 1896, † 1969), whose son Sogyal Rinpoche (* mid-1940s) is now involved in the movement in exile. The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) also acts in the spirit of the Rime movement. B. Performs rituals from other schools. Study centers of the Rime movement exist outside Tibet in London, Paris and Santa Cruz, California.

Tibetan Buddhism 3

World religions

World religions, term for religions that claim general validity with their message, pursue worldwide missions and / or cover a larger part of the world population.

World religions in the narrower sense are the Buddhism, that Christianity and the Islam, in the broader sense according to its share in the world population, also the Hinduism and after its worldwide spread that Judaism.


Buddha [ Sanskrit, = the enlightened ], later honorary name of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism (* around 560 BC, † around 480 BC).

Legend has it that Buddha, the son of a prince, lived in luxury with his family in the foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas until he was 29 years old.

After experiencing old age, illness and death, he recognized the pointlessness of his previous life. He left his family, went into solitude and for years sought in vain the way to salvation through asceticism. Under a fig tree near Bodh Gaya (North India) he is said to have achieved enlightenment after deep immersion. He founded an order of mendicant monks and then went teaching and preaching through northern India until he died on the border with Nepal (“went into nirvana”). His sermons were first given orally by his disciples, from the 1st century BC onwards. Chr. Also in writing in the holy language Pali, handed down. Later his life was embellished with many legends about his birth, his miracles and experiences in previous existences.