History of Tibetan Buddhism


Buddhism traveled into Tibet towards the end of the 8th century CE when its King, Trisong Detsen, invited two Buddhist masters from India. Shantarakshita from Nalanda (in modern day Bihar, India) was the first to arrive, followed by Padmasambhava. Together, they translated several major Buddhist texts into Tibetan and built Tibet’s first monastery.

Buddhism in India had evolved considerably since the days of Gautama Buddha, assimilating the Hindu practices of yoga and tantra. Tibetan Buddhism combined the original, or Mahayanist practices with yoga, tantra, shamanic rituals and elements of an older Tibetan religion known as Bon.