Another unique feature of Newar Buddhism is the use of tantric practices, such as the use of mantras, rituals, and the worship of tantric deities. This reflects the influence of Vajrayana Buddhism on Newar Buddhism, which was introduced to Nepal by Indian and Tibetan tantric masters in the 8th century CE.
Newar Buddhism also places a strong emphasis on the role of the guru, or spiritual teacher, who is considered to be the key to spiritual progress. The guru-disciple relationship is considered to be an important aspect of the spiritual path and it is through the guidance of the guru that one can attain the ultimate goal of Buddhism, which is the attainment of enlightenment.
Newar Buddhism also has a rich tradition of festivals and ceremonies, many of which are unique to Newar culture. Some of the most important festivals include the Bisket Jatra, which marks the start of the New Year, and the Machhindranath Jatra, which is dedicated to the worship of the god Machhindranath.
One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Newar Buddhists is the Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, which is located in Kathmandu. This ancient temple is considered to be one of the most sacred sites in Nepal and it is believed to have been built in the 5th century CE. Visitors can witness the daily rituals and prayers conducted by the resident monks and explore the many temples and shrines that are found within the complex.
In summary, Newar Buddhism is a unique form of Buddhism that is practiced by the Newar people of Nepal. It is a blend of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism, as well as elements of Bon, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet and other Himalayan regions. It has its own distinct culture, customs, and practices that reflect the Newar people’s unique history and social context. Visitors to Nepal can experience this unique form of Buddhism through visiting pilgrimage sites, participating in festivals, and learning about its unique customs and practices.