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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

With the foundation of bSam-yas, the first Buddhist monastery, in 775 A.D. Buddhism took a decisive step to becoming the state religion of Tibet. In spite of the watchfulness of the “Religious Council”, one would expect that certain people followed the tantric teachings all the same and as will be seen it became the dominant faith during the period following the collapse of the monastic institution and the central authority. In contrast to the monastic establishment in the royal period, tantric teaching was now the dominant belief, but beside this mainstream of tantrism, a new philosophical speculation seems to have begun to develop. It is this philosophy which, borrowing the term rdzogs chen from the Guhyagarbha or similar tantras to designate itself, was to leave a strong imprint on Tibetan Buddhism in later centuries.

Keywords: bSam-yas; Guhyagarbha; rdzogs chen; tantric teachings; Tibetan Buddhism

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