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Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism, commonly referred to as Lamaism, is mainly practiced in areas inhabited by Tibetans and Mongolians. During the 13th Century AD Lamaism intertwined with the political powers to create a form of theocratic government. Its artistic heritage has borrowed from all areas of Buddhism in Asia, but has been dominated by Indian Buddhist art since the 14th Century. Buddhism was declared the state religion of Tibet a mere 100 years after its introduction to the region in the 7th Century AD. Although it experienced some problems it was firmly established as the dominant religion by the end of the 10th Century. Tibetan Buddhism or lamaism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet.
Tibetan Buddhism is characterized by its theocratic nature, devout believers and the belief in the system of reincarnation that produces the principle of the Living Buddha. Texts recognized as scripture and commentary are contained in the Tibetan Buddhist canon, such that Tibetan is a spiritual language of these areas. Tibetan Buddhism derives from the confluence of Buddhism and yoga which started to arrive in Tibet from India briefly around the late eighth century and then more steadily from the thirteenth century onwards. A Tibetan diaspora has spread Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity. The number of its adherents is estimated to be between ten and twenty million.

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