Lamaism - Tibetan-Mongolian form of Buddhism that emerged in Tibet in the 8. Based on a combination of features of Mahayana and Vajrayana. Lamaism distributed in the autonomous regions of Tibet and Inner Mongolia (China), Mongolia, as well as in parts of Nepal and India. In Russia, has followers, mainly in Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva.
It is believed that around 1970 the term "Lamaism" gradually began to go out of use in European science. Formation of Lamaism began with the VII century. - Time of penetration of Buddhism in Tibet. In science, the question remains, what is meant by lamaism: Buddhism of Tibet, Mongolia, Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva in general, with all its schools, or only the Gelugpa school. There is indisputable, and the term Lamaism - his followers have their religion, so do not call.
In Tibet, the Buddha's teachings generally called "path" or "law", but each school represents itself in its own way: Kadampa, Kagyudpa, Sakyapa, Nyingmapa and Gelugpa. In Lamaism, as in other forms of Buddhism, presented its basic concept: samsara and nirvana (their opposition and identity), life as a form of suffering, the path to salvation and enlightenment, Kalachakra, bhavachakra, mandala, psycho system yoga, meditation practice, transmission of esoteric knowledge from master to disciple through personal contact and much more.
The main sacred texts of Lamaism are Gandzhur (a collection of sayings of the Buddha) and Dandzhur (comments to the sayings of the Buddha). With special emphasis on the texts of Tantra. The most efficient path to enlightenment, in Lamaism is Tantra Yoga, the philosophical position which, according to Lamaism, can not be effective without the active practice - Esoteric psychotraining based on the ancient Indian system of yoga, coupled with the erotic and the mystical practices.
In choosing the right way can help only a mentor, who, having studied the psychophysical structure of his pupil, and subjecting him to a number of tests, indicate what type of practice should be addressed. Tantric esoteric techniques and practices mainly transmitted orally from teacher to student. Training on the psychological and physiological program is aimed at achieving the highest individual's ultimate goal - enlightenment, however, and side effects, manifested in the psychotraining, are of no small importance in themselves in terms of understanding the essence and capabilities of the Lamaist practice.
Even in individual religious traditions arose the idea that full mastery of theory, practice and techniques of yoga allows you to reach a state in which it is possible to see and hear everything that happens in the universe, to become invisible, walk on water, fly through the air, to take any appearance, call the "inner fire" (UMM), giving the opportunity to not only warm your own body and melt the ice around him and warm up any creature in the zone of its action, the ability to postpone his own death at any time prior to the regularly scheduled day and hours, to revive the man after the onset of clinical death, etc.
The increased focus on the philosophical and moral teachings of Lamaism placed on the "wheel of life" (bhavachakra), in the practice of meditation - the role of the mandala, in mythology - the image of the country's welfare and happiness of Shambhala. In Lamaism was born and was absent in the development of other forms of Buddhism, the institution of "living gods" - the concept of rebirth and realization of a pantheon of deities in the body of real earthly people (Tulku, hubilgany, Gegen and Khutukhta).
True specificity of the national versions of Lamaism in Tibet, Mongolia, Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva has provided his contact with the pre-Buddhist cult practice of the peoples living in this territory. It is basically nature and ancestor worship, shamanism, religion, Bon (the Tibetans). This has resulted in the formation of syncretic religious practices, in which Buddhist philosophical ideas at a high level did not interfere and does not conflict with centuries-old folk religion, aspects of which were only slight adaptation of Buddhism in the lower level.
The Buddhist pantheon in Lamaism significantly enlarged and expanded due to popular mythology, the characters of Tibetans, Mongols and drill. With regards to history - in the late XIV - early XV century. Tibetan monk and philosopher Tszonhava decided to reform existed in the XI century. Kadampa Buddhist sect, desiring to return to the "original" doctrine, as he understood it, as well as raise the prestige of the monks (lamas). From that moment, many researchers are beginning to count the actual history of Lamaism.
Lamaism as the Tibetan form of Buddhism has given much greater attention to external, non-essential, ie, From our point of view of secondary attributes teachings. The idea in its pure form seemed Lamaists as daosistam, too simple, since for its realization requires not only time-of-age, but also time-leisure. There many recreational herdsmen in Tibet and Mongolia? Hence the selection of the priesthood as a special group of people responsible for the salvation of themselves and others.
Hence the "heredity" dignity of the great lamas (Lovsanga ramp) - careful design of meditation exercises of all kinds - the achievement of catatonia, levitation, spirit travel, and extremely detalizovannye astrology, taking into account more factors than, say, Chinese or Indian, and finally, a famous Tibetan medicine, which is elaborated may envy today's doctors, including a rich assortment of herbs, pulse diagnosis, accounting parameters astrological birth charts and the current situation.
However, all this involved only monks. Mahayana Buddhism, which is owned and Lamaism, in general, tends to release the "chosen" from the masses of its adherents. On the other needs only to observe rituals, largely simplified compared with the rites of other areas of Buddhist monks to obey and honor the Dalai Lama as a living god. For them esoteric knowledge are closed. Theory and practice of the same (first practice) esotericism been considered on the lot.
In addition, Lamaism, though, and goes back to Buddhism, has grown on the soil of the ancient local religions, from animalism with totemism and ending with the famous Bon religion, it is the Bon-Po. The word comes from the verb bod pa, meaning "to cause the gods to invoke the spirits." This dobuddistsky animistic cult of deities, spirits and forces of nature, containing many elements of shamanism.
Thus, if Buddhism in general and Zen Buddhism in particular, assume the maximum generalization, that is, have the character of esoteric philosophy in its modern sense, the Tibetan Buddhism (Lamaism) is a private, special teaching mainly applied, that is a magical character.