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Newar Buddhism is the form of Mahayana-Vajrayana Buddhism practiced by the Newar ethnic community of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. It has developed unique socio-religious elements, which include a non-monastic Buddhist society based on a caste system and patrilinial descent. The ritual priests, Bajracharya or Vajracharya, and their Shakya assistants form the non-celibate religious sangha while other Buddhist Newar castes serve as the laity. Newar Buddhism seems to preserve some aspects of the Indian Buddhism that died out during the 12th century and appears to have not been preserved in Buddhist schools elsewhere. Newar Buddhism is characterized by its rich artistic tradition of Buddhist monument and artwork as well as by being a storehouse of ancient Sanskrit Buddhist texts, many of which are now only extant in Nepal. According to the authors of Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-century Nepal: "Today traditional Newar Buddhism is unquestionably in retreat before Theravada Buddhism."[1]

See also


Further reading

  • Lewis, Todd L. (2000). Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal: Narratives and Rituals of Newar Buddhism (SUNY Series in Buddhist Studies). State University of New York Publications. ISBN 978-0791446119. 
  • Gellner, David N. (1992). Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest: Newar Buddhism and its Hierarchy of Ritual (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521383998. 

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