A Brief Introduction to Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is both a religion and a philosophy of life. It is a deep and comprehensive philosophical system that embraces life in all of its manifestations - from the simplest microscopic creatures to beings in dimensions beyond human existence. Buddhism views all of life as one inseparable whole.
Tibetan Buddhism is also a disciplined practice of mental and spiritual techniques to develop compassion (loving-kindness for all beings) and wisdom (insight into the nature of reality). It is the path that was first taught more than 2,500 years ago by the Buddha Shakyamuni, who succeeded in achieving complete realization of perfect wisdom and compassion. It is a path that leads to the cessation of all sorrow (Samsara) and the experience of supreme joy (Nirvana).
Our school, the New Khadampa or Gelug ("Virtuous") School was founded by Lama Tsong-khapa. The Gelug tradition evolved into a fully independent school of Tibetan Buddhism towards the end of the fourteenth century. In 1409, Lama Tsong-khapa founded the great Ganden Monastery. Lama Tsong-khapa's teachings stress the importance of monastic virtues and upon the need to establish a firm understanding of the sutra teachings before graduating to the tantras.
The effect of the power of his teachings was that the Gelug tradition spread not only over Tibet but further to Mongolia, where almost the entire population became devout Gelug followers. The teachings also spread throughout China influencing the successive emperors of China who became great supporters of Buddhism. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama belongs to this tradition.
Discover local groups in the Indianapolis area that support and discuss Buddhism as well as other temples near you. IBC partners with several groups and would be happy to put you in contact with any of them.
Several movies have been made in recent years about Buddhism and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here we have collected some of our personal favorites that are excellent introductions.
Explore and find knowledge in the recommendations provided GesheLa and the IBC Center. Many of these books are also in the IBC library and can often be borrowed before purchasing. Please don't hesitate to ask a member questions on where to locate these wonderful resources as well as many are found at Shop Tibet!