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Form of MahayanaBuddhism that evolved from the 7th century in Tibet. Based on Madhyamika and Yogacara philosophies, it incorporates the rituals of Vajrayana, the monastic disciplines of early Theravada, and the shamanistic features of Bon. The predominant Tibetan sect for the past three centuries has been Dge-lugs-pa. Its spiritual head is the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan canon is divided into the Bka'-'gyur (Translation of the Word), consisting of canonical texts translated mostly from Sanskrit, and Bstan-'gyur (Transmitted Word), consisting of commentaries by Indian masters. Tibetan Buddhism has become better known worldwide since 1959, when the 14th Dalai Lama went into exile in India.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Tibetan Buddhism, visit Britannica.com.