Vajrayana Theory

There are three main schools of Buddhism: Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana. Mahayana Buddhism is common in China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. It emphasizes the role models of bodhisattvas (beings that have achieved enlightenment but return to teach humans). Theravada Buddhism is common in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Burma (Myanmar). It emphasizes a monastic lifestyle and meditation as the way to enlightenment. Vajrayana is the major school of Buddhism in the region of Tibet and in Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia. It offers followers a faster path to enlightenment than Mahayana or Theravada.

The head of the Tibetan school of Buddhism and traditional leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, fled from China-controlled Tibet in 1959 to India in fear of his life. Many Tibetan Buddhists actively resist Chinese control of the region. Recently, the current Dalai Lama, who is understood to be the 14th reincarnation of the first Dalai Lama, has raised questions over whether and where he will choose to reincarnate.