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Origin of Tibet Religion

Origin of Tibet Religion - Bon

Origin of Tibet ReligionBon, the indigenous and primitive religion of ancient Tibetans, was flourishing before the introduction
of Buddhism in the 8th century. The Tibetan Bon religion has its roots in pre-Buddhist religious
practices which in its early phase had similarities with animistic shamanist religious forms, when
partly absorbed by the Buddhist traditions introduced from India in the 8th century, gave Tibetan
Buddhism much of its distinctive character.
At different times in history, the relationship with Buddhism was rather unfriendly. Adherents of Bon
were periodically persecuted and often had to convert to Buddhism. Thus many emigrated into the
hinterland of Tibet, into the provinces Amdo and Kham as well as the bounder regions in North Nepal,
where they could practice their religion in relative freedom. In these areas, Buddhists and Bonpo live
peacefully side by side. Today, two Bon monasteries (sMen-ri und gYung-drung-ling) still exist in central
Tibet, yet neither of these is surrounded by a huge lay community which could support them.

Buddhism became a major presence in Tibet towards the end of the 8th century CE. It was brought from India at the invitation of the Tibetan king,
Tibet Religion Trisong Detsen, who invited two Buddhist masters to Tibet and had important Buddhist texts translated
into Tibetan.

First to come was Shantarakshita, abbot of Nalanda in India, who built the first monastery in Tibet. He
was followed by Padmasambhava, who came to use his wisdom and power to overcome "spiritual"
forces that were stopping work on the new monastery.


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