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The Religion/Philosophy of Tibet

Most of the Tibetan population observes Tibetan Buddhism, which has evolved into four divisions: Ngingma, teaches from translations from the 7th century; Kagyu, founded between the 10th and 11th centuries; Sakya, before the Dalai Lamas came about, this sect was led by the chief political rulers of Tibet; and finally the Gelugpa sect, the Dalai and Panchen Lamas belong to this sect, which became the largest of the four sects.

Religion is very important to the Tibetans with everything being centered around it.  Education (although there wasn't a formal educational system) as well as anything cultural or intellectual, was based on religious beliefs, with the leaders in the government being Buddhist monks.

Things changed during the Chinese cultural revolution with the Red Guard destroying anything religious and persecuting the nuns and monks.  Many temples were destroyed and other religious buildings during this time.

Buddhism is still prevalent in Tibet today and the temples and monasteries that were destroyed have been rebuilt.  The Chinese government still has a strong hold on religious practices, including placing a limit on the number of religious buildings.  Tibetans are resentful of the control the government has imposed on religion and the numerous restrictions that are in place.

 


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