appears to be the predominant religion in Sikkim, the real side of
religion in the state is Hinduism. Buddhism is followed by mostly
the Tibetans and Bhutias. Hinduism is followed by the Nepalese.
Other religions too flourish because of the tolerant mindset of
the Sikkimese like Christianity, Sikhism and Muslim.
After Buddha attained Nirvana, differences of opinion arouse in
the religion causing the formation of new sects. Finally in about
100 AD a split took place and caused the formation of two schools,
which later became known as the Hinayana (Southern) and the
Mahayana (Northern). The Hinayana adhered to more primitive
Buddhism, which was primarily a primarily a philosophy with rules
and ethics and also emphasized upon realisation of Nirvana
(freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth) only for oneself by
directly worshipping the Buddha. The Mahayana schools believes in
attaining Nirvana by worshipping the deities called Bodhisattvas
who do not want to attain Nirvana until they have freed all the
humanity from suffering. The Mahayana has a wider base as it
believes in attaining Nirvana for oneself as well as all suffering
The native religion of Tibet was called Bon which is said to be
founded by Shenrab Mibo. This religion was fused and refined by
Buddhism by Guru Padmasambva and this gave birth to the Red Hat
Sect of Buddhism. The Red Hat Sect was further reformed by Atisha
and the Kadampa sect was established. Tsong-kha-pa modified the
Kadampa and led to the formation of the Yellow Sect.
Tibetan Buddhism is therefore divided into the Red and Yellow
Sects. The Red Sect comprises of the Nyingma, Kargya and Sakya
lineages and the Yellow Sect consists of the Gelugpa lineaga.
Whereas the Nyingma Sect is associated with Guru Padmasambva, the
founders of Kargyu and Sakya are said to be Marpa and Sakya Muni
respectively. The sects and the lineages are differentiated from
each other by the rituals performed, monastic discipline and the
founder. However the differences tend to blur with rituals of one
lineage overlapping the other.
The Tibetan sacred books are called the Kanjur and the Tanjur. The
Kanjur correspond to the teachings of the Buddha whereas the
Tanjur are related to the teachings to the Bodhisattvas. Each year
of the Buddhist calendar is named after an animal.
Nepali Hindus constitute the majority community in the state.
Being orthodox Hindus, they celebrate each Hindu festival with
great passion. Dasian is their most important festival followed by
Tihar. The Hindu preaching and doctrine is followed strongly by
the Nepalis in every aspect of life - be it birth, death,
marriage, or any important event of life.
The Brahmins are thus an important part of the Nepali society.
They are responsible for performing sacred rituals and rites to
commemorate an individuals communication with God. And they do
have countless number of deities. Most of them are associated with