Animism means “breath, spirit, life” in Latin. It encompasses the beliefs that spirits or souls exist not only in humans but also in animals, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, and other entities in natural environment such as thunder or wind.
Bon or Bonism is the indigenous religion of Tibet before the arrival of Buddhism. It’s name was probably derived from the ritual recitation (“Bon” means invocation). It is very controversial if Bon has influenced Tibetan Buddhism or the other way around.
Nyingma is the oldest school of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (The other three are Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug). The word “Nyingma” literally means “ancient” and Nyingma is also called Red Sect because all the monks wear red hats.
Sakya is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is the smallest school today. Sakya means “pale earth” in Tibetan and it got the name due to the grey land of Sakya Monastery.It is developed during the second translation of Buddhism from India to Tibet in the eleventh century.
Gelug was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) but the lineage can be traced from Kadampa tradition of the great Indian master Atisha (982-1054). Tsongkhapa was of the founder of Ganden Monastery built in Lhasa which became the main seat of Gelug tradition.
Kaygu is the third largest school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is also known as “Oral Lineage” or Whispered Transmission school because it emphasizes on oral esoteric transmission from teacher to disciple and Kagyu means “oral transmission” in Tibetan.