Religion is very important to the Tibetans with everything being centered around it.along with education cultural was based on religious beliefs.
Article 7 of the 17-Article Agreement signed on May 23, 1951, includes the clause " the policy of freedom of religious belief laid down in the common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference shall be carried out. The religious beliefs, customs and habits of the tibetan people shall be respected, and lama monasteries shall be protected.
The Tibetan people are very self respected and we can easily faith on him. Generally they known as very faithful people. The oldest religion is Bon, after that the Buddhism has been spread. This religion is a blend of the Bon and the Buddhism. Bon is the ancient religion of Tibet. It is difficult to distinguish between Tibetans who follow the tradition of Bon and those who adhere to Buddhism. Both share a common heritage, as well as popular religious practice such as chanting mantras, making offerings, and spinning prayer wheels. Monks receive training in astrology, medicine, poetry, and the making 0f religious objects. Bon monks are often called to laypersons homes to perform rituals on holy days, when there is illness, and when someone dies.
Probably buddhism was first introduced to Tibet in 173 CE during the region of the 28th Yarlung King Thothori, but had apparentely no impact. The first official historic introduction of a buddhist scripture into tibet happend during reign of a King Hlato. Buddhsim revived, wity the help of King Yeshe O. A real revival occurred after 1042, when Atisha-di-Pankhara pur Tibetans "Back on the right Track". He presented the buddhist philosophy in a very clear and condensed manner, which became the basis for philosophical teachings in most Tibetans traditions. Buddhism is still prevent in Tibet and the temples and monasteries that were destroyed are rebuilt. The Chinese government still has a strong hold on religious practices, including placing a limit on the number of religious buildings.
They are the teachers of Buddhism. Lama's play an important role in Tibetan Buddhism. Lama teach all the monks. The Lama is the one that takes care that the system of buddhism will continue to work. In 1578 the Lama Sonam received the title of Ta-Le (Dalai) from the Mongolian ruler Atlan khan. Because he wad the third reincarnation found in a row he became the third Dalai Lama.
Tibetan Religious Symbols :
When traveling in Tibetan monasteries you can see many religious symbols. they are used as sacred adornments.
Dharma Wheel symbolizes the unity of all things, spiritual law and Sakyamuni himself. The wheel is usually flanked by two deer, the first to listen to Sakyamuni's teachings. The male deer symbolizes the realization of great bliss while the female deer symbolizes the realization of emptiness.
It symbolizes infinity, universe, and sometimes sun and moon. Buddhist draw it clockwise while bon followers draw it anticlockwise.
Wheel of Life :
The demon of impermanence holds a wheel, segmented into six sections. Which mean all realms of existence respectively. these are heaven, demigods, humankind, hell hungry ghosts, and animals.
Sun & Moon :
It symbolizes the source of light and union of opposites.
Kalacakra Seal :
It symbolizes the highest initiations into occult knowledge which can only be possessed by a few high lamas.
Prayer Flags :
Flags are actually colorful cotton cloth squares in white, blue, yellow, green, and red. Woodblocks are used to decorate the prayer flags with images, mantras, and prayers. at the center of prayer flag, there is an image of the wind horse which bears the Three Jewels of Buddhism. O the four corner of the flag, are images of Garuda, Dragon, Tiger and snow Lion which are four sacred animals representing the four virtues of wisdom, power, confidence, and fearless joy respectively. Prayers and mantras are printed in the blank spaces of images. There are two kinds of prayer flags,
a) The Horizontal Prayer Flags : known as Lungta. Flags are square connected at the top edges with a long thread.
b) The Vertical Prayer Flags : known as Darchor. These flags are used less than Horizontal Prayer Flags. The are usually single squares or groups sewn on poles which are planted on rooftops.
Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown heavenward as offerings to their deities and will bring benefits to the one who hangs them, his neighborhood, and all sentient beings, even flying birds. However, if the flags are hung on the wrong astrological dates, they will bring only negative results. And the longer it hangs, the greater the obstacles which will arise. Old prayer flags are replaced with new ones annually on Tibetan New Year.