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Tibetan Bon

Discussion in 'Asian Mythology' started by LearningGuy, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. LearningGuy

    LearningGuy New Member

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    I'm learning about Tibetan Bon right now, so if anyone has any information about it I would appreciate it.

    Has Bon absorbed parts of Buddhism into its beliefs? (Reincarnation, Karma, liberation from reincarnation)

    I know it has many aspects that are quite different and unique to Buddhism. (Animal sacrifices, sacred mountains that people do not climb but walk around, sacred lakes, and dieties that have no relation to Buddhist ones.)
     
  2. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    I've actually never heard of Tibetan Bon. Could you explain a bit more about it?
     
  3. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    I know too little so far, but my impression is that Tibetan Buddhism has absorbed Bon ideas. Perhaps the influence works both ways. You could start at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%B6n
     
  4. LearningGuy

    LearningGuy New Member

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    From the book I read it has lost a lot sway in Tibet (largely due to the majority of the population meshing it with Buddhism, and partly to do with the Culutural revolution in the time of Emperor Mao), I think in the Western side there is very little practice there. However in the Eastern side I think the book said there is 10% of the population following it.

    It has similarities with buddhism, there are monastaries, and monks, and the concepts of reincarnation, nirvnana, and karma were taken from buddhism.

    Buddhism in Tibet has however acquired a lot of the traditions specifically in Tibet, that wouldn't be found used by buddhists in China or Thailand Buddhists.

    Bon teaches about certain mountains and lakes being sacred. I forget the name of their most sacred mountain, there are Bon monastaries all around it, and it is forbidden to climb it. The lay people take pilgrimmages around it in one direction (I think counterclockwise).

    The monasteries need donations from lay people to stay open, and usually the lay people come in and buy something to get sacrificed to either a buddhist statue or a bon statue. And there are idol rooms that the public likes to see.

    There are a lot of spirits that have to be sacrificed to so they won't do mischef. There are building spirits that get things sacrificed to, so the building walls will stand up the night after they are built.

    There are ground or dirt spirits that have to be sacrificed to before plowing a field, or digging something.

    As well spirit traps to trap good spirits to protect people on mountain passes. There are shamans that perform special ceremonies for the people during festivals, and during festivals people wear masks representing gods and demons.

    Contracts in Bon were confirmed by sacrifices of chickens, goats, horses, cows, and oxen, this was done to appease the gods to watch over the contract, and if the contract failed to curse the person who failed it. The Kings (in the past) would have ceremonies (usually after the harvest when food is plentiful) where large amounts of goats, cows, horses, oxen and humans were sacrificed.

    Some Bon monks go alone into a cave for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days and close the cave up so all that is there is a small window where they can receive barely, water, wood, a kettle, and other neccessities 4 times a year. By the way, the monks choose a cave that has a natural spring to make this possible. People visit these monks to ask them to bless them, and their relatives, or for any important endeavor they plan on making.
     
  5. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    Please share the author and title. Do you find it reliable, or is it your only source so far? At least the counterclockwise thing tallies with what I have read.

    The difference between Bön and Tibetan Buddhism can't be too severe nowadays. I have seen a picture of HH the Dalai Lama in Bön costume on some common event. IIRC, traditional Bön was heavy on worship of the King.
     
  6. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    It is my understanding that Tibetan Buddhism is a synthesis of the indigenous Bon religion and Buddhism (which came to Tibet from both India and China). It's my understanding that a lot of the Bon deities were incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon, such as Manjushri and Vajrapani.
     
  7. LearningGuy

    LearningGuy New Member

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    Title: Tibet's ancient Religion, Bön
    Author: Christoph Baumer [translated by Michael Kohn]

    Was it reliable, I don't know, the guy was there to study it and was there for multiple visits. He met up with the head of Bon, he went to Menri Monastary, and New Menri (where head of Bon is), he learned about ancient traditions like Tonpa Shenrab the Khyung bird.

    It is my only source, in the library network there are very very few books on Bon. Although much more on Tibetan buddhism.
     
  8. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Hunt for it started.
     
  9. lung tha

    lung tha New Member

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    Hello Learning Guy,

    Bön is the oldest religion in Tibet and is founded 18.000 years ago by Buddha Tönpa Shenrab. This Buddha teached also the Buddha Shakyamuni in one of his Bodhisattva reincarnations.

    Bön doesn't originate even from Tibet, it stems from Tazig.

    So Bön explains the 9 ways and its highest teachings are the Dzogchen teachings.

    Bön was 2 times in Tibet persecuted and is therefore not so well known to us. Tibet has so its dark sides and one of them is the persecution of the old native Bön Buddhist religion.

    This was done because the 38th Tibetan king Trison Detsun wanted the Indian form of Buddhism for Tibet.

    Reason was for this the conquering of the silk road garissons like Kotan. The Zhang Zhung kings were ruling that area (of the Silk Road) in the province of Amdo / western Tibet.

    Now was Zhang Zhung also the reidence of the Bön king. The daughter of this king was married with the Tibetan king Tritson Detsun. Later did Tritson Detsun kill the father of the Zhang Zhung king, reason was the Silk Road.

    This formed the very reason to end all relations with Bön in Tibet which had in western Tibet Amdo its origin. Amdo had further 18 Zhang Zhung kings e.g. the Bön kings from Tibet. Further is Tibet very large so that Bön couldn't be eradicated.

    Conclusion is that the Indian form of Buddhism was imported in Tibet due to political manipulations.

    In no way is the Indian form of Buddhism inferior to the orginal Tibetan form of Buddhism e.g. the Bön, but the Buddha Shakyamuni never did teach Bön Dzogchen.

    What the Buddha finally teached was spoken and written in Pali and here was never Sanskrit used.

    So anyway the teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni were enriched with other kinds of philosophy which came later to flourish in Indian Buddhism.

    This all with some Shiva Tantric traditions came to Tibet were it was mixed up with some Bön cults or traditions. Well this they call Vajrayana /Mantrayana / Palayana.

    So the 5 Tibetan traditions e.g. Bön /Nyingma / Kagyu / Sakya and Gelug are based on a very complicated system and not easy to understand because the political backgrounds.

    The oldest Tibetan tradition is Bön and the latest Gelug where the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader. Further has so every Tibetan tradition his own leader and so is the Dalai Lama only the Tibetan political leader in exile.

    Don't hesitate to ask if there would be some questions about Bön.

    In Bön:

    Lung Tha
     
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  10. lung tha

    lung tha New Member

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    Hello,

    Regarding your question here a useful link:

    Look at Google for Forum: "Yungdrung Rignga Ling".

    This is a very good Bõn forum.

    Regards:

    Kalden Yungdrung / Administrator forum: "Yungdrung Rignga Ling".
     
  11. hindupridemn

    hindupridemn Defender of the Truth

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    fun fact: Bon is pronounced "pern"
     
  12. kundalini_snake

    kundalini_snake New Member

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    Tenzin Wangyal and Heart Drops of Dharmakaya is still given by that lineage in France.
     
  13. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Syncretic, Personal Panentheism
  14. kundalini_snake

    kundalini_snake New Member

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    I recommend "Heart Drops of Dharmakaya."
     
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