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Tibetan Buddhism

Introduction

Tibetan Buddhism, form of Buddhism prevailing in the Tibet region of China, Bhutan, the state of Sikkim in India, Mongolia, and parts of Siberia and SW China. It has sometimes been called Lamaism, from the name of the Tibetan monks, the lamas [superior ones]. The religion is derived from the Indian Mahayana form of Buddhism, but much of its ritual is based on the esoteric mysticism of Tantra and on the ancient shamanism and animism of Bon, an older Tibetan religion. It is also called Tantrayana [tantra vehicle] or Vajrayana [vehicle of the thunderbolt].

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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