The Different Tibetan Buddhist Sects

Posted on Fri July 27, 2018 in Quick Reference Tibetan Religion.

When visiting a monastery in Tibet, you will notice that this monastery belongs to a certain sect or lineage or even hat.
Read this article as a quick reference to understand the basics of the different Tibetan Buddhist Sects.

What are the different sects of Tibetan Buddhism ?
Here a quick overview of the different Tibetan Buddhist Sects.

The first Tibetan Buddhist School: The Nyingma Sect

As can be read in the blog how Buddhism arrived in Tibet. Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) introduced Buddhism in Tibet by translating Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan. He founded the first Tibetan Buddhism school called Nyingma, which was a mix of Buddhism and the local Tantric Bon Religion. Nyingma is part of what later became the red hats order.

Experience the history of the beginning of Tibetan Buddhism in the Chimpu Caves & Samye Monastery  

The 2nd Tibetan Buddhist School: The Kyaga Sect

This school started in the 12th century after tibetans went to India and learned Buddhism from an Indian master called: Naropa.
Marpa, Milarepa & Gampopa spread the knowledge orally to their students which became the Kyaga school.

The key part of Kyaga are meditation technique and 6 ways to get to a faster enlightenment (the 6 dharmas of Naropa)

The 3rd Tibetan Buddhist School; The Sakya Sect

The Sakya school comes from followers of the Nyingma school who were also interested in the new buddhist teachings coming from India. Core of Sakya school is a structured meditation system Lam-Dre that will lead to nirvana. The school believes every human can attain buddhahood as long as you remove the obstacles to get there in a structured way.


The 4th Tibetan Buddhist School : The Gelug Sect

The Gelug school sees itself as a reformation and is also the school of the Dalai Lama. It goes back to teachings of buddhist master Atisha. It’s core is studying the scriptures in great detail with a philosophical approach and apply logic and debating to sharpen your knowledge. It’s the newest Buddhist school an it considers Ganden monastery close to Lhasa as it’s founding monastery