Bhutan is the only country in today’s world that still retains the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism as its official religion. This form of Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan by Guru Padmasambhava (the second Buddha) in the 8th century. According to legends, Guru Padmasambhava made his legendary trip from Tibet to Bhutan on the back of a flying tigress to subdue evil spirits who hindered the spread of Buddhism. Before Buddhism arrived, the people of Bhutan practiced Bon or Bonism. The place he landed in Bhutan is known as “The Tiger’s Nest” in Paro Valley where he meditated for 3 months. Till now, this place remains one of the most prominent and sacred places in Himalayan Buddhism. Since then many revered Buddhist masters from Tibet and India visited Bhutan thereby spreading the teachings of Buddha and establishing important Buddhist institutions and practice centers.
Almost more than 90 % of the people follow Buddhism. Rest 10 % of the population also practices Hinduism and other religion. Buddhism plays an important role in the everyday lives of the people. Buddhism has found a center stage in the daily lives of the people. It binds the people together. All over the country monasteries and Lhakhang adorns the landscape symbolizing the extent of Buddhism and the practice of Buddhism in the community
There are many scared hidden places known as ‘Nye in Bhutan. Some of these places are where the great saints and Buddhist masters meditated and attained enlightenment. Some are the place where Guru Padmasambhava canceled or hid a treasure to be revealed by his Heir at an appropriate time. Buddhist values of compassion, non-violence and interdependence are some of the greatest values that has shaped the lives of the Bhutanese people for long time and will continue to do so. Bhutan is also known as “Bayuel” or the hidden land. It is believed that Guru Padmasambava had concealed many great teaching in the form of treasures in the high mountain caves and deep mountain valleys to be discovered latter by his disciples known as ‘TerTons’.
Since then many great treasure revealers had undiscovered this teaching and propagated at an appropriate time. Besides, many great yogis and masters from both India and Tibet visited Bhutan and expounded the dharma teaching of Buddha thus upholding and expounding this vast teachings of Buddha.