Religion in Tibet
No other religion apart from Buddhism has been able to take root in Tibet. Only a small population of about 2,000 throughout Tibet has faith in Islam, while there is no trace of Christianity at all. The Bon, the aborigine religion of Tibet, a sect of Shamanism which chiefly worshipped idols and the Nature and practiced driving off of evil spirits, had at one time revailed in Tibet but lost round with the penetration of Buddhism. Thus, Buddhism can be said to tbe the sole religion of Tibet as well, and the faith has taken so deep in root that it means almost everything to the Tibetans. Well-to-do families even built in their compound their private chapels of prayer-rooms. To begin with, the first Buddhist scripture printed in Sanskrit was said to have been descended from Heaven in the 5th century during the reign of 28th Tsanpo Tho-Tho-Ri Nyantsan. It was translated into Tibet, and later in the 8th century after the visit the Indian Master Padmasambhava, the spread of Buddhism got accelerated and religious sect started taking shape. In the 11th century the visit of the Bengali Master, Atisha, to Tibet greatly encouraged the study of Buddhism into Tibet and sowed the seed for Gelugpa, the greatest sect that was to come. Finally, in the 15th century, Tsongkapa, the great reformer of Tibetan Buddhism, came to Tibet from Qinghai and founded the Gelugopa sect, the Order of Excellence, and hereafter Buddhism went all-out spreading like a wild fire into Tibet and the absolute ruler for Buddhism to rise to its paramount as the religion of the entire Tibetan nationality.
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