The Buddha was purported to have lived between the 6th and 4th centuries B.C. It was not until the 7th century A.D., however, that Buddhism reached Tibet. While there are many forking paths of Buddhism -- branches that diverge in practice and interpretation of Shakyamuni’s original teachings -- Tibetan Buddhism is one of the most devout branches.
Having been introduced by King Songsten Gampo in the 7th century, the seed of Buddhism was planted. Although it originally sprouted as a foreign religion, centuries later, the sapling grew and enveloped the local Tibetan folk religion Bon, many of whose gods, demons, and spirits became intertwined with and infused into Tibetan Buddhism. The grown tree became integral to Tibetan culture and custom, becoming what is known today as Tibetan Buddhism.