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Tibetan Buddhism Sects  
Tibetan Buddhism Sects

Numerous Buddhist Acts emerged after the mid-11th century, including the Nyingma, Gatang, Sagya, Gagyu, Zhigyed, Gyoyul, Gyonang, Kodrag and Xalhu sects. The latter five were rather weak owing to the lack of political support. They were thus forced to join force or were otherwise annexed by other sects, and as individual entities fell into the oblivion of the long flow of history. The following five sects enjoyed impressive popularity:

Nyingma Sect

Nyingma BuddhaStatueThe sect, founded in the 11th century AD, is also known as the Red Sect and is the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The sect paid great attention to absorbing the fine points of the Bon religion and, at the same time, did its best to locate Buddhist sutras secreted away when Darma moved to suppress Buddhism. Based on its practice of Buddhism deeply rooted in the Tubo Kingdom of the 8th century, the sect called itself Nyingma, a word meaning ancient and old in the Tibetan language. Monks of the Nyingma Sect wore red hats, hence the name the Red Sect. The Red Sect mainly advocates the study of Tantrism. Its theory was strongly influenced by Han Chine language Buddhism, and is quite similar with the theory of Zen Buddhism in China's hinterland. Today, the Red Sect is not only active in Tibetan inhabited areas in Ghina, but also in India, Bhuttan, Nepal, Belgium, Greece and France, as well as in the Unite States.

Gatang Sect

The Gatang Sect, founded in 1056 AD, primarily advocated the study of exoteric teachings, with later emphasis on Tantrism. In the Tibetan language, Ga refers to the teachings of Buddha, with tang meaning instruction. The combination Gatang thus refers to advising people to accept Buddhism based on the teachings of Buddha. Its doctrines were promoted far and wide and thus exerted great influence on various Tibetan Buddhist sects. However, along with the rise of the Gelug Sect in the 15th century, the Gatang Sect dissolved with its monks and monasteries merging with the former.

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