Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is a hybrid of three sources of teachings:

1/ Bon tradition, a pre-Buddhist religion (gods worship, magic beliefs,… etc…).

2/ Tantrism (Tantra : Hindu based doctrines aimed at self-realisation),

3/ Mahayana Buddhism : (Tibetan) Heart & Diamond Sutras.

Tibetan Buddhism is regarded as a Mahayana school because of incorporating a central belief in Bodhisattva practice and attaining Enlightenment.  The practice of Tibetan Buddhism includes meditation, chanting and various esoteric rituals (depending on the level of spiritual advancement of practitioner, the highest of which is the stage of Lama). 

Another name for Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana Teachings which practice includes also esoteric rituals originating from Tantric doctrines (hand gestures, body movements, initiation by a master...).

A form of Vajrayana Buddhism was introduced in the 9th century to Japan by Kukai, a monk who established the Shingon (True Word) school.

The Holiness of Priests: A “Master” or “Lama” in Tibetan Buddhism is always referred to by “His Holiness” - implying achievement of  a “distinguished spirituality”, as compared with other lower stages of spiritual development of monks and ordinary believers. This distinction is accepted in all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism:

The Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug school.

Tibetan chant: Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum:

Tibetan Buddhism main practice is silent meditation - assisted by chanting the mantra, of Om-Mani-Padme-Hum - in which Padme means the Lotus Flower as a Jewel of purity and wisdom.  The meaning of this mantra is : “Praise to the jewel in the Lotus”.

Nichiren chant: Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo :

Nichiren Buddhism basic practice is chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo - in which (Nam) refers to the individuals’s “desire for devotion” to the Law of Life (Myoho-Renge-Kyo) as included in the teachings of the Lotus Sutra .

The meaning of this mantra is: “Devotion to the wonderful Law of the Lotus”.

Researchers attribute the Tibetan mantra to the mythological figure of Bodhisattva (Avalokitasvara), called also Bodhisattva “Perceiver of World’s Sounds” (Kanon).  This Bodhisattva (being a central a pillar of Tibetan Buddhism) appears also in Nichiren Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra as one of the functions operating within the workings of the Universal Law of Life (Myoho-Renge-Kyo).

        Main Beliefs in Tibetan and SGI teachings

                                        SGI Buddhism                                  Tibetan Buddhism

Teaching or Sutra                          Lotus Sutra                           Diamond & Heart Sutras

Object of Devotion     Life of Buddha (Gohonzon)             Tara godess or Various divine beings

Practice:                                   Chanting                                Meditation, chanting & various rituals


Community:                          Lay Practitioners                              Priesthood structured


Attaining Enlightenment      In this Lifetime                               After many lifetimes


Tibetan Lamas Reincarnation Procedure

Tibetan Belief in Decline of Buddhism (Maitreya myth)