Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism.


Modern Buddhism has roots in Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings, there are many Lineages/Schools, many Teachers, many Sanghas.

Schools include the Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Zen (Chan) Buddhism created by Buddha Bodhidharma, and many other.

Kagyü lineage/school, Kagyüpas.

'The accomplisher transmission within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Encompassess the old (Tib. Nyingma) and new (Tib. Sarma) teachings that reached Tibet. Being heavily practice-oriented it is sometimes called the 'oral' or 'perfecting' school.

It was brought to Tibet around 1050 by the hero Marpa and draws its strength from close relationship betweeen teacher and student.

Four major and eight minor schools have their origin in four main students of Gampopa. Major and minor relate to the direct connection to Gampopa (major or main schools) or indirect connection through a student of Gampopa (minor or subsidiary schools).

Today, out of the major schools, only the Karma Kagyü, whose spiritual leader is the Karmapa, remains.

From the eight minor schools, the Drugpa and Drikung Kagyü have many supporters in Bhutan and Ladakh.'

-- Quoted from 'Fearless Death' book by Lama Ole Nydahl.

Nyingma lineage/school, Nyingmapas.

'The oldest of the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, 'the old school'.

It was founded in the eight century by the Indian master Guru Rinpoche (Tib., Skt. Padmasambhava).

There is a distinction between Karma tradition (the school of direct transmission from teacher to student, which goes all the way back to Buddha Shakyamuni) and the Terma tradition, the transmission of hidden 'treasures' which were rediscovered and propagated later.

In the year 800, King Langdarma turned against Buddhism and destroyed these transmission lineages. But the tertöns (treasure finders) rediscovered the teachings of Guru Rinpoche for us today. Many tertons were Kagyüs, and were together with women. In sharing the transmission, a close connection developed between the Kagyü and Nyingma schools.'

-- Quoted from 'Fearless Death' book by Lama Ole Nydahl.

Sakya lineage/school, Sakyapas.

'One of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Khön Köonchok Gyalpo in the eleventh century; in this school weight is given to both intellectual study and meditation practice.'

-- Quoted from 'Fearless Death' book by Lama Ole Nydahl.

Gelug lineage/school, Gelugpas.

'(Tib. two possible translations: the Ganden School, named after their main monastery, or the Virtuous School): also called the 'Yellow Hat' School;

The newest of the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

This reformed school, first found in the 14th century by Tsongkhapa, emphasizes the textual studies as well as the monastic tradition.

Although this school also possesses various tantric transmissions, they see themselves mainly as Great Way rather than Diamond Way.'

-- Quoted from 'Fearless Death' book by Lama Ole Nydahl.

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