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Subdivisions of Buddhism:

Mahayana and Tibetan


Buddhism
By Hugo Michielsen and Ben Wasden

Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism is a collection of Buddhist traditions (it is


not its own)
Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism
Emphasizes the search for liberation from samsara
Samsara is a cycle from birth, to death, to rebirth, and so on
Talks a great deal about the bodhisattva, or the enlightenment
being
The bodhisattva is an example for all Buddhists as to how they
should live
This is a way of life, a way of selflessness; it is a deep wish for all
beings, no matter who they are, to be liberated from suffering.
States that there are 3 bodies of the Buddha called the trikaya

Dharmakaya: Buddha is the ultimate truth

Sambhogakaya: Buddhas body of bliss

Nirmanakaya: Buddhas earthly body

(BBC-Religion: Mahayana Buddhism)

Figure 1 - Triyaka (Dharma Flower Temple Trikaya)

Bodhisattva Vow
However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow
to save them. However inexhaustible the
defilements are, I vow to extinguish them.
However immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow
to master them. However incomparable the
enlightenment is, I vow to attain it.
(BBC-Religion: Mahayana Buddhism)

Figure 2 - Bodhisattva
(Wanczura, Dieter)

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is syncretic

It combines the beliefs of


The ancient Tibetan religion of Bon

The classical teachings of Mahayana


Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is a religion in exile

Figure 3 - Buddhist Monks (Rasch, Jane)

Tibet has been a part of China since 1959

At one time it was said that 1 in 6 men


in Tibet were Buddhist monks
Teachers or Lamas educate monks on
Buddhist principles

(BBC-Religion: Tibetan Buddhism)

The central teacher is the Dalai Lama

(The Guardian- Dalai Lama Called for Focus on Climate Change)

Figure 4 - The Dalai Lama (Burke, Jason)

Beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism

Figure 5 - Tibetan Buddha


(Christopher, Bob)

Drawing on the Mahayana belief, the Buddha is seen as


divine
Life and Death are of utter importance, central to all
aspects
Stresses that everything around us is in a constant
state of death and which is a constant reminder of
our own impertinence
When a person dies they spend 49 days in Bardo
As with all forms of Buddhism worldwide, the Buddhas
teachings are essential to reach Enlightenment
(BBC-Religion: Tibetan Buddhism)

Figure 6 - Book Cover ("Bardo Thodol, the


Tibetan Book of the Dead")

Beings of Tibetan Buddhism

Supernatural beings are very prominent in Tibetan


Buddhism
Bon deities from ancient Tibetan times are still
venerated
Bodhisattvas, or enlightened people who decided
to stay in the earthly realms to help more humans
reach Nirvana or Enlightenment, are also taken
seriously
(BBC-Religion: Tibetan Buddhism)

Figure 7 - Bon Deity ("Tibetan Religious Painting)


Figure 8 - Bodhisattva
(Wanczura, Dieter)

Rituals of Tibetan Buddhism 1 of 2

Tibetan Buddhism has a strong emphasis on


outwardly religious activities
Events at temples
Often noisy and colorful, with flags
Multiple repetitions of prayers,
brass instruments(Buddha
Horns), and gongs
Application of visualization meditation to
prepare for the coming of death and Bardo
They work towards an understanding
and absolute acceptance of death; one of
the many steps to reaching Nirvana
(BBC-Religion: Tibetan Buddhism)

Figure 9 - Altar (Tibetan Buddhist Temple (Norbulingka))

Rituals of Tibetan Buddhism 2 of 2

For 49 days after a Buddhist dies, a Lama


guides them through Bardo and the deceased
member's family prays for them (Samsara)
Yoga forms a very important part of a Tibetan
monks set of rituals (BBC-Religion: Tibetan Buddhism)
Requires many long, demanding hours of
meditation
It is said that senior Tibetan yoga adepts
are able to control bodily functions like
heart rate and body temperature
Figure 10 - Altar ("Samsara")

Works Cited

Bardo Thodol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead." Buddhachannel. N.p., 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
Burke, Jason. "Dalai Lama Called for Focus on Climate." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 16 Dec. 2010. Web. 24
Mar. 2016.
Buddha Horns. Rec. 4 Feb. 2014. 2014. MP3.
Christopher, Bob. "Tibetan Buddha 2 by Bob Christopher." Fine Art America. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
"Dharma Flower Temple Trikaya." Wikimedia. Wikimedia Commons, 17 July 2010. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
"Mahayana Buddhism." BBC - Religions. BBC, 2 Oct. 2002. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.
"Pure Land Buddhism." BBC - Religions. BBC, 2 Oct. 2002. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
Rasch, Jane. "Tibetan Monks Performance at Edinburgh Fringe 2015."Indiegogo. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
"Samsara." Hesse-Siddhartha. Tangient LLC, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
"Tibetan Buddhism." BBC. BBC, 14 Jan. 2004. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
Tibetan Buddhist Temple (Norbulingka)." DeviantArt. DeviantArt, 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
"Tibetan Religious Painting." NGV. National Gallery of Victoria, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
Wanczura, Dieter. "Bodhisattvas." Artelino. N.p., 30 Oct. 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
"Zen Buddhism." BBC - Religions. BBC, 2 Mar. 2002. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.