History of the Bön religion Taught by Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche Paris, October 16-17, 2004
I will explain briefly what my religion, Yungdrung Bön, is. Generally, the name Bön is very popular in Tibetan indigenous culture and religion, but there are three completely different aspects within this name.
An informal lecture by Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche at Shambahala Centre, Paris, 19 May, 1998
I would like to say a little about history, about where the Teachings come from. Now they come from Tibet, but their origin was Zhang Zhung. Zhang Zhung was a kingdom in early times and the Tibetan civilization comes from the Zhang Zhung civilization. Zhang Zhung was one of the biggest kingdoms in early times, until it was destroyed by the Tibetan king Trisong Deutsen in the seventh century. Since then it has been slowly invaded by Tibet and the Teachings emigrated from Zhang Zhung to Tibet. Zhang Zhung existed in what is now the West and North of Tibet, and Tibet itself was only the central part (i.e. Utsang).
In this article, we will take a brief excursion into the story of Drenpa Namkha, one of the most famous and powerful masters in Yungdrung Bön. According to Yungdrung Bön sources, there were three major emanations of Drenpa Namkha throughout history, and all were great yogis and scholars. The later two, Drenpa Namkha of Zhang Zhung and Tibetan Drenpa Namkha, are both renowned for preserving the Yungdrung Bön teachings in times of persecution and bear the title The Defender (of the Teachings) in the Degenerate Age.
665th Anniversary of Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen – a Concise Life Story
by Dmitry Ermakov
Today, (the fifth day of the first lunar month according to the Tibetan calendar), Bönpos celebrate the 665th anniversary of Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen (Tib. Mnyam-med Shes-rab rgyal-mtshan, 1356-1415), a reincarnation of an early Bönpo mahasiddha (Tib. grub-thob), Tonggyung Thuchen (Tib. Stong-rgyung mthu-chen).
Anniversary of Tönpa Shenrab Miwo’s Birth – a brief introduction to The Twelve Deeds
by Dmitry Ermakov
Today, the fifteenth day of the twelfth Tibetan month, we celebrate the 18,038th anniversary of the First Deed of Yungdrung Bön’s Buddha Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche (Tib. Ston pa Gshen rab Mi bo che) – the Deed of Birth (Tib. Sku bltams-pa’i mdzad-pa). During his life, Shenrab Miwo manifested The Twelve Deeds of Buddha (Tib. Mdzad-chen bcu-gnyis). Here is a brief summary of this traditional account:
Today is the anniversary of the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni who taught the path of liberation from samsara in India sometime over 2,500 years ago. In Yungdrung Bön Shakyamuni is considered an emanation of the sage Sangwa Düpa (Tib. Gsang ba ‘dus pa) who studied with Buddha Tönpa Shenrab (Tib. Ston pa Gshen rab mi bo) in the celestial dimension of Sipa Yesang (Tib. Srid pa ye sangs, Primordially Pure Existence) and later, having been born into a king’s family of kshatria warrior caste in Lumbini (modern-day southern Nepal according to traditional beliefs) he subsequently renounced his princedom, became an ascetic and finally achieved Buddhahood in Bodh Gaya.
Introduction to the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud Dzogchen Lineage
by Dmitry Ermakov from Masters of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud: Pith Instructions from the Experiential Transmission of Bönpo Dzogchen
Main topics discussed: – Historical background to Bönpo Dzogchen – Qualities of Master and disciple – Introduction to the Path of Dzogchen – Introduction to the Lineage Masters of Zhang Zhung Nyengyud – Structure of Zhang Zhung Nyengyud cycle – Comparison with writings on Dzogchen by Longchen Rabjampa – Lineage Tree – Zhang Zhung Garab and Garab Dorje – An excerpt from the “Golden Spoon” discovered by Yungdrung Lingpa translated specially for this publication by Yongdzin Rinpoche – A Mongol Connection – Experiential Transmission – Modern-day Transmission
БÖН: Древние духовные традиции Средней Азии и Тибета
Статья дает сжатую информацию о бöне — древних духовных традициях Средней и Внутренней Азии, и Тибета: доисторическом бöне и юнгдрунг бöне, а также более поздних типах бöна: новом бöне и смешанном бöне. Основное внимание в статье уделяется различным аспектам юнгдрунг бöна, доктрины Средне-азиатского Будды Тöнпа Шенраба Миво, таких как: краткая история, три пути и четыре категории текстов, космология, теория достоверного познания, четыре категории практикующих и дзогчен.
Статья была изначально написана Дмитрием Ермаковым для Энциклопедии Буддизма, но прошла редактуру и была сильно урезана. Вариант представленный здесь, включает статью в полном формате и с некоторыми дополнениями.
The swastika has been used as a symbol of good luck, happiness and truth by very diverse cultures in many locations all over the globe since prehistory. Today it can still be seen throughout Asia as a symbol of general good luck. However, this ancient symbol has been much maligned.
This short article explains swastika symbology in four points:
– Swastika controversy
– Swastika as a solar symbol
– Swastika in the Prehistoric Bön of Eurasia and Bө Murgel
Historical annals show Gna’-shul Palace and Khyung-lung Dngul-mkhar (Silver Palace of Garuda Valley) in Central Zhang-zhung to be one and the same
by Lama Tsultrim Phuntsok of Gurjam Monastery Translated by Pöntsang Phuntsok Namgyal and Dmitry Ermakov Edited, additional notes and Wylie transliteration by Dmitry Ermakov English text edited by Carol Ermakova
Main topics to be discussed: Zhang-zhung Khyung-lung Dngul-mkhar and ‘Om-po sgo-bzhi; Ston-pa Gshen-rab; erected castles; Gna’-shul Palace; stone statue of Dran-pa Nam-mkha’.
Bön is a complex phenomenon which was once spread far beyond Tibet, but do its origins lie beyond the Tibetan Plateau? I shall examine this by looking at certain cultural phenomena. Firstly, I would argue there are four types of Bön: gdod ma’i bon, g.yung drung bon, bon gsar ma and what I have dubbed Mixed Bön, which comprises a conglomeration of the first three types along with various elements from other religions. Secondly, I take a closer look at the Deer Cult which was common throughout Eurasia from Palaeolithic times until today using archaeological evidence such as Deer Stones as well as myths and ritual costumes from France, the Caucuses, South Siberia, Mongolia, Amdo and West Tibet to demonstrate the importance of the Sky Deer. I then relate this to the Bon culture of Zhang Zhung, in particular to the smrang from a g.yang ‘gug ritual. Having established possible routes this cross-pollination of ideas and cultural mores may have taken to and from Tibet, I move onto the question of whether Bon mdo sngags gsems gsum may also have originated outside Tibet. In view of the lack of textual evidence, I base my argument on concrete archaeological finds, namely rock carvings of stupas/mchod rten found in Gilgit and Ladakh. I then compare these with the depictions of Bönpo mchod rten described in gZi brjid. In the light of the breadth and depth of the Bön tradition, a multi-disciplinarian approach is needed to better understand this multifaceted phenomenon and its multiple origins.