Religious Culture in Tibet

The Jokhang Temple is a famous site in Tibet.

Tibet, in the eyes of the world, is a mysterious plateau, its charm not only from its geographical location but also because of its mysterious religious culture. On the pilgrimage, the Buddhist monk who sings the Buddha and recites the scriptures, and the old man who turns the scripture and passes by. It all seems to epitomize Tibetan religious culture.

As early as the 7th century, before Songtsen Gampo,the king of Tubo ordered to send Tounmi Sambuza to create the Tibetan language, there was a mysterious dynasty rising on the plateau. The dynasty is also recorded in the Tibetan oral epic《 King Gesar》. This ancient dynasty has a vast territory, strong armed forces, and developed culture. It takes Bon as the state religion and has its own unique, writing system. In snow area plateau, people found the ruins of the Bon religion, not only found a lot of animal bones but also unearthed a bronze statue, its style was very different from Tibetan Buddhism. Religious symbols were also found on the rocks that were different from Buddhist rituals. Before Buddhism was officially introduced, it was the spirit of the tribes on the Tibetan plateau. Before Buddhism was officially introduced, Bon was the spirit of the tribes on the Tibetan plateau. Bon is one of the oldest religions in the history of the world. More than 3,000 years ago, there were only a few religions in the world, such as Brahminism. Bon is a kind of polytheism worship, believe that everything has spirit, sun, moon and stars, mountains, rivers, cattle, animals and beasts, etc. In the tradition of Bon, practicing in nature is a remarkable feature. In the eyes of Bon religion believers, the mountains represent men, or bravery, the lakes represent women or tenderness. Nowadays, Tibetan people still keep the tradition of Bon in their weddings and funerals, as well as in their treatment of diseases and exorcisms.

According to the DunHuang records, in the 7th century, Songtsan Gambo of the Tubo dynasty destroyed this mysterious dynasty. Songtsan Gambo united a dozen tribes and established a powerful Tubo dynasty. The Tubo culture originally believed in the Bon religion, but as the theocratic power of the Bon religion increased, the position and authority of Songtsen Gampo were threatened, so Songtsen Gampo introduced Buddhism for the need of political and religious reform. The Bon that once ruled the plateau declined rapidly. After the introduction of Buddhism, Songtsen Gampo ordered the construction of Ramoche temple and Jokhang temple, but there were no permanent monks or Buddhist teachings in the temple at that time. However, a different religion was born here. Songtsan Gambo was the political leader of the Tubo dynasty, and the introduction of Buddhism naturally became a political leverage in the hearts of the Tibetan King.

In the 8th century, during the reign of Chissong Dezan, he began to push forward Buddhism and introduced Buddhist monks from India. Under the policy of advocating Buddhism and restraining Bon, Tibetan Buddhism gradually became prosperous and became the dominant religion in the field of Tibet, while Bon received the biggest trauma and disaster in history.

By the middle of the 8th century, the last King of the Tubo dynasty, LangDama, had banned Buddhism, and Buddhism became the subject of repression. In the following years, Buddhism has absorbed many rituals of the Bon religion and successfully localized, eventually becoming the mainstream religion in the Tibetan plateau.

Today, there are only a handful of Bon temples. Besides the difference in the name of the initiator and god, the appearance of the Bon temple is similar to Buddhism. Now many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries initially were Bon temples.

In the long history, this mysterious ethnic-religious culture has always fascinated us, let us worship. The tour to Tibet is also a religious culture tour. Nowadays more and more people want to travel to Tibet.

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