Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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ChooChoo
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Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by ChooChoo »

I don't follow Tibetan Buddhism but I have noticed that they put a lot of emphasis on visual art and costumes. I recently saw a video some one posted on facebook and I have to say it was very colorful. The monks had on these giant yellow hats that looked like mohawks, Their painting and depictions of Budhha are very colorful with a lot of stuff going on in the the background. At one point they entered a room and there was color everywhere and flashing lights. The monks broke off into a chant and the way they were chanting reminded me of a didgeeridoo. Tibetan Buddhism is a visual overload.

I don't know anything about Tibetan Buddhism. What are the central texts to that religion? Where can I learn about the basics?
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Aloka
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Aloka »

ChooChoo wrote: Fri May 10, 2019 5:49 pm
I don't know anything about Tibetan Buddhism. What are the central texts to that religion? Where can I learn about the basics?
Hi ChooChoo,

The best place to ask questions about Tibetan Buddhism is the "sister" Mahayana/Vajrayana website - Dharma Wheel:

https://dharmawheel.net/index.php


.
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Indeed.
I guess the artistic aspect of Theravāda definitely isn't what attracts people to the vehicle. :lol:
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
SN35.88
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Coëmgenu »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:30 pm Indeed.
I guess the artistic aspect of Theravāda definitely isn't what attracts people to the vehicle. :lol:
If I ever visit Cambodia, I'm certainly going to take in Wat Phnom. From reading wikipedia, it looks like it was built after the reign of Indravarman III, after he had given official state patronage to the Mahāvihāravasins. The only reason this is relevant to point out is to establish that it wasn't built as a Mahāyāna temple and then re-dedicated with new statuary, icons, etc., after the switch to Mahāvihāravasin orthodoxy.
1199px-Phnom_Penh_Wat_Phnom_04.jpg
669px-Stairs_Wat_Phnom_Cambodia_0536.jpg
1200px-Wat_Phnom_Temple-1.jpg
More on the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phnom

The temple had a renovation/restoration in 2015 according to that wikipedia page, which likely explains why the paint is so nice and fresh. It is unlikely that these structures are the original structures from ~1437, though. Likely at least one fire has damaged a building, earthquakes, etc., if I know anything about history. So Theravada is also very colourful, but generally only in its home countries.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Interesting!
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
SN35.88
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Coëmgenu
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Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Coëmgenu »

Coëmgenu wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:09 pmFrom reading wikipedia, it looks like it was built after the reign of Indravarman III, after he had given official state patronage to the Mahāvihāravasins.
This actually might technically be incorrect. The dates and the name of the king are from wikipedia, so we can presume they are more or less right.

It was some kind of Theravāda that was distinctly non-Mahāyāna that received patronage (so in all likeliness ultimately derived from the Sri Lankan Mahāvihāra), but it could have been Burma or Thailand from which the religious movement spread, not Sri Lanka and not from the Mahāvihāra directly. I don't actually know the particulars of how Cambodia and the Khmer became majority-Theravādin.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Coëmgenu wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:23 pm I don't actually know the particulars of how Cambodia and the Khmer became majority-Theravādin.
Time to study a very useful thing:

Image

:stirthepot:


Loved the cover.
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
SN35.88
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Kim OHara
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Kim OHara »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:30 pm Indeed.
I guess the artistic aspect of Theravāda definitely isn't what attracts people to the vehicle. :lol:
Different strokes for different folks, they say.
Each school has its own visual style. Some of us like the colour and exoticism of Tibetan Buddhism, some don't. Some of us like the very cool, calm aesthetic of Zen, some don't. Theravada is somewhere in the middle.

:namaste:
Kim
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Kim OHara wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:31 pm
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:30 pm Indeed.
I guess the artistic aspect of Theravāda definitely isn't what attracts people to the vehicle. :lol:
Different strokes for different folks, they say.
Each school has its own visual style. Some of us like the colour and exoticism of Tibetan Buddhism, some don't. Some of us like the very cool, calm aesthetic of Zen, some don't. Theravada is somewhere in the middle.

:namaste:
Kim
Yes. I meant, Vajrayana is so fancy, full of mandalas, colorful deities, tangka, blue Buddhas, cool depictions of the planes of existence (even Theravādins use the bhava chakra and the common illustration of petas with their thin necks and big bellies).
It all is attractive and pulls our attention, while Theravāda seems to deemphasize the artistic aspect despite it's present.

"I guess the artistic aspect of Theravāda definitely isn't what attracts people to the vehicle"... because there are greater things that attract people to Theravāda, like the authentic approach in regard to suffering by the historical Buddha and so on.
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
SN35.88
Inedible
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Inedible »

Tibetan Buddhism has a lot of Shamanism in it. When it combined with Bon, and I'm not sure how to put the dots over the o without a desktop keyboard, I'm not sure which took on more of the other.
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Kim OHara
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Kim OHara »

Inedible wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:39 am Tibetan Buddhism has a lot of Shamanism in it. When it combined with Bon, and I'm not sure how to put the dots over the o without a desktop keyboard, I'm not sure which took on more of the other.
I'm not sure, either, but (if I remember correctly - it was a long time ago, even for me :smile: ) tantrism developed in India and arrived in Tibet as part of Buddhadharma, so a lot of the non-Theravada parts of Tibetan Buddhism predate any contact with Bon.

:namaste:
Kim
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Aloka
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by Aloka »

Bon was the original shamanistic religion in Tibet before Buddhism was eventually introduced there from India. As far as I know, Bonpos don't revere Shakyamuni Buddha in the same way as Buddhists do, they believe in an ancient Buddha called Tonpa Shenrab, as well as various other deities.
tamdrin
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism is very colorful.

Post by tamdrin »

Tibetan Buddhism is colorful but it still all boils down to the single key point of understanding the nature of mind and all phenomenon.
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