The Vajrayana (“Diamond Vehicle”) designates the third vehicle of Buddhism after the Hinayana and the Mahayana. Appeared in India around the XNUMXth century, it was introduced to Tibet in the XNUMXth century by Padmasambhava, giving birth to the Nyingmapa school, “the school of the ancients”. This includes, among others, the teachings of Mahayana, Vajrayana according to the ancient tantras and those of Dzogchen.
Tibet experienced a second spread of Buddhism in the XNUMXth century, when several Tibetan translators went to India where they collected new forms of Vajrayana. The dissemination of these teachings gave rise to three so-called "new" schools: the Kagyupa school (founded in the XNUMXth century by the great translator Marpa, who had as a disciple Milarepa), Sakyapa (founded in the XNUMXth century) and Gelugpa (founded in the XNUMXth century by Tsongkhapa, who received the teachings of many masters from all Buddhist traditions).
Each school has its own forms of teaching as well as its leaders. Thus Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991), who was one of Matthieu Ricard's masters, was from the old Nyingmapa school. The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa tradition, the Karmapa to the Kagyupa school, Sakya Trizin to the Sakyapas. In the XNUMXth century, the “non-sectarian” Rimé movement also developed, comprising masters of all persuasions. Indeed, the goal sought by all these schools is the same: the recognition of our authentic fundamental nature in order to reach full Awakening.