Newar Buddhism

Form of Vajrayana Buddhism practiced by the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Newar Buddhism is the form of Vajrayana Buddhism practiced by the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.[1][2] It has developed unique socio-religious elements, which include a non-monastic Buddhist society based on the Newar caste system and patrilineality. The ritual priestly (guruju) caste, vajracharya (who perform rituals for others) and shakya (who perform rituals mostly within their own families) form the non-celibate religious clergy caste while other Buddhist Newar castes like the Urāy act as patrons. Uray also patronise Tibetan Vajrayana, Theravadin, and even Japanese clerics.[3] It is the oldest known sect of the Vajrayana tradition outdating the Tibetan school of Vajrayana by more than 600 years.[citation needed]

Dīpankara Buddha (Bahi-dyah) on display during Gunla.
The bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, 16th century CE.
A Vajracharya priest

Although there was a vibrant regional tradition of Buddhism in the Kathmandu Valley during the first millennium, the transformation into a distinctive cultural and linguistic form of Buddhism appears to have taken place in the fifteenth century, at about the same time that similar regional forms of Indic Buddhism such as those of Kashmir and Indonesia were on the wane.

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