Religion in Tibet Bon and Buddhism
Before the seventh century almost all the Tibetans including the kings and ministers believed and practiced Bon which is the native religion of Tibet. It is believed that the Tonpa Sherpa, who was the founder of Bon came from Olmo Lungriing to Shangshung and Tibet to spread his teaching. The main ideas and practice of Bon is very similar to Buddhism. For exampl , in Bon the wisdom of emptiness is very important and the practice of love and compassion for all beings is also highly valued.
Another important wisdom of Bon is about qualities of different natural elements and their relation and influence on our life. However, from the seventh century, Buddhism began to take root and develop. Gradually it became the main religion in Tibe . To talk about what Buddhism teaches, there are three important points to understand which are the view, meditation and conduct of Buddhism. Buddhist believe in cause and effect or Karma and rebirth. Because of this view, Buddhist practitioners have to avoid harming any living beings and help them with love and compassion. So they have to train their mind in these three motivations. In terms of conduct, we have to follow the Buddha’s teaching and practice generosity, discipline, diligence, patience, concentration and wisdom.
But to be a Buddhist we have to take refuge in the Buddha , Dharma, and Sangha. Buddhist believe sentient beings suffer from the diseases of the three poisons which are desire, anger and ignorance. So we are like the patients and Buddha is like the great doctor. His teaching is like the great medicine and the monks are like nurses who can help and guide us on the path.