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Lang Darma Destroys Buddhism

During the period when Lang Darma destroyed Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism suffered severe attack and persecution. When Buddhism was introduced into Tibet, it was resisted by the local Bon religion at the very beginning, and the struggle between the two sides lasted for more than 200 years.

The famous King Tritsug Detsen Ralpachen gave his great support to the development of Buddhism in the early years of the 8th century, leading to strong indignation among aristocrats. They therefore actively planned to destroy Buddhism in Tibet. After the death of Tibetan King Trisong Detsen, his son Muni Tsangpo also advocated Buddhism and was poisoned by his mother in 798. His younger brother Khri Ide srong btsan assumed the throne, but this new ruler still respected Buddhism. Khri Ide srong btsan had five sons. His eldest son became a monk when he was young. After the death of King Khri Ide srong btsan, his fourth son Lang Darma strongly opposed Buddhism. Under the leadership of Lang Darma, the royal aristocrats opposed Buddhism first targeting the monachal eldest brother. They assaulted him saying that though as a monk, he did not follow the Buddhists' conventions, and thus banished him to a remote place. These aristocrats executed many other aristocrats that believed in Buddhism, staged a coup and finally made Lang Darma the ruler of Tibet in 838.

The destruction of Buddhism by Lang Darma was the second Buddhism-banning campaign in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. It was even bigger in scale than the first one, and launched more violent attacks to Buddhism. Lang Darma first stopped the construction of monasteries, closed Buddhist temples and destroyed relevant facilities. Then, he burned sutras and suppressed Buddhist monks. Although the period of Lang Darma's destroying Buddhism didn't last long, it caused heavy damage to Buddhism, so the period of about 100 years after Lang Darma was called Buddhism Destructing Period.

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