Difference Between Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism

Most of the Asian countries follow Buddhism as their core religion and they somehow have different names prominently Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Himalayan Buddhism, and more.

How each of them originated and practiced has a huge book of numbers. Major classified Buddhism is conditioned whereas Tibetan Buddhism is an Un-conditioned and advanced form of Buddhism.

Several factors determine the separate forms of Buddhism and a few of them is explained below: 

Tibetan Buddhism vs Buddhism 

The main difference between Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism is that Tibetan Buddhism observes the teaching of Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama on the other side Buddhism follows the guidelines of Gautam Buddha. Tibetan Buddhism is one of the parts of Buddhism as it was bought and extracted from it. Buddhism comes before Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Buddhism vs Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is largely followed by the people of Tibet. In Tibetan Buddhism, they believe in supernatural powers.

It is a very strong religion between monastic communities and lay, people, where laypeople have outwardly religious activities. People also called it Himalayan Buddhism or Northern Buddhism.

In 1959 the leader of Tibetan Buddhism fled from China and settled in India.

Buddhism is one of the biggest religions followed in the world as introduced by Lord Buddha.

The practice of Meditation to solve the problem of people suffering in the 5th Century, prince Siddharth formed Buddhism for soul enlightenment and to break the chain of suffering-death and re-birth.

There are mainly 2 groups in Buddhism namely Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

Comparison Table Between Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism

Parameters of ComparisonTibetan Buddhism Buddhism
TeachingsTibetan Buddhism mainly follows the teachings of the Dalai Lama.Buddhism mainly follows the teachings of the Gautam Buddha.
Important TraditionsTibetan Buddhism mainly observes the following traditions namely: Nyingma (pa), Kagyu(pa), Sakya (pa), and Gelug (pa).Buddhism mainly observes the following traditions namely: Vinaya Pitaka and Nikayas of Sutta Pitaka
Elements Tibetan Buddhism has the following 2 elements: shamanistic and animistic.Buddhism has a shamanistic element. 
Ancestral leaders.Tibetan Buddhism till now has 14 Dalai Lama’s from 1600 bc as a leader.There is only one Gautam Buddha who founded and leaded Buddhism.
FoundationTibetan Buddhism was founded after Buddhism by Lamas.Buddhism was founded firstly by Siddhartha.

What is Tibetan Buddhism?

The Buddhism practice followed by the people of Tibet is generally called Tibetan Buddhism. It was introduced initially in India and China, Later on, it was also spread in Mongolia and Nepal.

Gradually it becomes a dominant religion in Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism follows Tantrik practice also which undertakes Deity yoga and Six Dharmas of Naropa.

If one lives in Tibet has to follow Tibetan Buddhism, Dalai Lama who founded Tibetan Buddhism is the governing leader of the Tibetan School of Buddhism. As per Tibetan Buddhism peace cannot be easily found and kept.

The range of Spritual practices in Tibetan Buddhism is adopted from Indian Buddhism which includes “Shamtaha” and “Vipassana”.

Tibetan Buddhism is the dominant religion in Himalaya territory and speared to neighborhoods of Tibet like Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia, and a few Indian parts.

It combines important teachings of Mahayana, Buddhism, shamanistic, etc. Tibetan Buddhism has its roots associated with India as a King in Tibet transmitted it from India in the 8th century.

The name of the king who bought Buddhism from Indian was Trisong Detsen.

Some Special features of Tibetan Buddism are Mantra’s, Meditation, Rituals, Initiations, Rich visual symbolism, and the Status of the lamas or the leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

What is Buddhism?

The term Buddhism is known as a spiritual practice followed by North-east Indians and some parts of North-India Himalayas to uncover the hidden truth in our soul.

It was originated 2500 years ago in India and has many beliefs and traditions.

Being one of the biggest religions followed by Asian countries, Buddhism has been further classified in various parts. 563–483 B.C.E. was the era when Siddhartha spread Buddhism in Asia and all over the world.

As per one of the beliefs followed by Buddhism that Life is a cycle where one has to suffer and die, then rebirth suffers and die.

To break this chain through enlighten (Nirvana) one needs to come out of this cycle with spiritual practice. Siddhartha prominently called Lord Buddha was the first man to break this cycle and achieve Nirvana.

Till now it is preached that Gautam Buddha was the only person to achieve Nirvana.

In Buddhism, they do not follow any God or Statue, though they have non-deity supernatural figures which Buddhist follow to attain the stage of Nirvana.

In Buddhism, there are mainly four truths about life Suffering, Origin of Suffering, Cessation of Suffering, and Lastly, Path after cessation of suffering leads to enlightenment.

Main Differences Between Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism

  1. Area of Observance: Tibetan Buddhism is followed by people of Tibet, Mongolia, and Nepal on a huge scale in contrast Buddhism is largely observed in Northern and Eastern parts of India.
  2. Inter-connection: Tibetan Buddhism is one of the parts of Buddhism and therefore Buddhism comes before Tibetan Buddhism.
  3. Groups: There are 5 groups in Tibetan Buddhism mainly Nyingmapa, Kagyupa, Sakyapa, Gelugpa, and New Kadmapa . There are 2 Major groups within Buddism namely Theravada and Mahayana. 
  4. Origin of Religion: Tibetan Buddhism was originated from Indian Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism and Buddhism was formed with the deep meditation practice of Gautam buddha.
  5. Practise Followed: Tibetan Buddhism, strongly believes in Tantric and supernatural powers whereas, In Buddhism, they hardly follow and believe Tantric Buddhism and 
Difference Between Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism


In Tibetan Buddhism, since they just follow the teachings of the Dalai Lama and some other monks too who failed to achieve the ultimate goal of re-carnation.

The unique part of Tibetan Buddhism of Tantric practice makes it stand out from other forms of Buddhism. Everyone has a Buddha inside him to vanish the effect of re-carnation.

Deep Meditation and Spritual beliefs are somewhere common in both Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism as Tibetan Buddhism has been originated from the Indian Buddhism of Lord Siddhartha.

ultimate goal of both Buddhism is to escape from the loop of re-carnation. 

The core teachings of Buddhism are to unravel the path of soul peace with deep meditation and discipline in life to attain enlightenment the final destination of Buddhism religion.


  1. https://philpapers.org/rec/PERDIT
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/074811897201895

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