Mandala Teacher's Guide
Tantric Buddhism is the religion of Tibet. "The roof of the world," where clouds float on the ground, the land of Tibet is located in the Himalayas, a remote mountainous region of South Asia that includes Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. The rugged geography and relative isolation have shaped the economy, religion, and art of the Tibetan people. The art of Himalayan cultures is primarily religious, and the process of image making is considered an act of devotion.
Buddhism was brought to Tibet about a.d. 700 by monks from India. It is based on the spiritual teachings of the Buddha, an Indian philosopher and teacher who devoted his life to a search for personal peace or enlightenment. He believed that by giving up material possessions and worldly desires, such as fine food and clothing, a person could attain enlightenment, or nirvana, a blissful state of freedom from the sorrows of the world. These ideas took hold in Tibet and blended with the native Tibetan religion called Bon. The resulting Tantric Buddhism has influenced all aspects of Tibetan daily life and culture.