Newar Buddhism: Scholastic Tradition and Formal Buddhist Education in Nepal

- Shanker Thapa

Discussion Type: Research Seminar Series | Date: 23 Dec 2012 | Time: 03:00 PM


The oldest evidence of Buddhism in Nepal is Gum Vihara, however, myths regarding Buddhism is equally important because it has been the part of Newar Buddhist culture. Three types of Buddhism prevail in Nepal – Vajrayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism and all four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. When we talk about Nepalese Buddhism it indicates to Vajrayana Buddhism of Newars which is also called Newar Buddhism. It has very unique features. The ritual transformation of Newar Buddhism is very important aspect of its history. It also ceased to practice celibate monasticism as early as 13th Century.The intellectual history of Buddhist Newars and their literary tradition are significant aspects of history. It not only contributed in the development of scholarly tradition of Newar Buddhist society but also Mahayana Buddhism as a whole. But gradually this tradition ceased to exist which led to degraded condition of study and practice of Buddhism. In recent times, various institutions in Nepal took initiation to impart knowledge of Buddhism through secular education. The activities of four universities (TU, KU, NSU and LBU) may be appreciated; however, these activities probably suffer from various drawbacks. But there is still possibility that we can do better provided working environment and facilities are available.

- Shanker Thapa

Past Events