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Buddhism & Culture

Development of Buddhism in Tibet (Part I)


Interview with Geshe Lobsang Dawa, a teacher of Tibetan Buddhist School of Dialectics at Dharamsala, India, on the spread and development of Buddhism in Tibet. Geshe Dawa says, Buddhism came into Tibet when Songtsen Gampo, a 7th century Tibetan king married two Buddhist princesses : one from Nepal and other from China. The king sent representatives to India and China to learn more about Buddhism. Somehow, he became convinced of the benefits of Buddhist tenets and his faith strengthened. He built many temples and encouraged the growth of Buddhism among his people. After that, in the 8th century the Tibetan King, Trisong Detsen, invited two Buddhist masters - Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) and Shantarakshita to Tibet from India. This king initiated translation of many important Buddhist texts into Tibetan. Buddhism remained a prominent part of life in Tibet until China's invasion and occupation of the country in 1959, Geshe Dawa added.

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