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History of Tibetan religion

History of Tibetan religion

Tibet Religion

In the 7th century, the Tubo Kingdom emerged on the Tibetan Plateau after Songtsan Gambo (?-
650) unified the Tibetan Plateau. He introduced Buddhism into Tibet to defy the original religious –
Bon. He married Princess Bhributi from Nepal, who brought a life-sized statue of Sakyamuni at the
age of eight, and then married Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), who brought a
life-sized statue of Sakyamuni at the age of 12, as well as 360 volumes of Buddhist sutras as her
dowry. From then on, Buddhism started to flow into Tibet from India and the central plains at one
time. In the following 100 years, Buddhism and Bon were conflicting incessantly. The first large-
scale Buddhist monastery in Tibet started in the late 8th century. By the early 9th century, more
monasteries were constructed, and the influence of Buddhism in Tibet reached its zenith.

In the middle of 9th century of the reign of Lang Darma, Buddhism was persecuted, known as “Lang
Darma Persecution of Buddhism” in the history. Then, the Bon Religion revived. Tibetan Buddhism
became almost extinct. Then, Buddhism flow into Tibet and became popular again, but it emerged
many sects reflecting political loyalties

Tibet ReligionTibetan Buddhism history is divided into two periods by historians. The period from the reign of
Songtsan Gambo to that of Darma as the "Early Period of Buddhism”, the period after “Lang Darma
Persecution of Buddhism” and the renaissance of Buddhism as the "Later Period of Buddhism".
Many monasteries were constructed in Tibet during the Early Period of Buddhism, such as Jokhang
Temple, Ramge Monastery, Samye Monastery and Potala Palace, etc. However, few of the monasteries
constructed in the Early Period of Buddhism remain apart from ruins. Great changes took place in the
monasteries in Tibet in the Later Period of Buddhism in both their architectural styles and their social
functions. During this period, feudal serf-owners were usually the biggest benefactors or lamas of the
monasteries, leading to a fusion of politics and religion. In the mid 13th century, religious leaders
appointed by the Central Government administered local affairs. In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing
(1644-1911) dynasties, the policy of "integration of state and religion" in Tibet continued. For these several centuries, the local religious leader
served as the ruler of his area, integrating politics, military affairs, economy and religion, leading to changes in the structures and functions of
monasteries in Tibet.

Tibet Religion

Nowadays there are no conflicts among religions or among the different sects of Buddhism in Tibet.
Modern civilization has not only brought great changes to Tibet, but also make the divine light shine
even more brightly forth from the region's monasteries.
In the past few decades, the Central Government of China has invested a lot to protect and improve the
Buddhism constructions.


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