34 Facts About Bon


Bon remains a significant minority religion in Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan regions.

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Early Western studies of Bon relied heavily on Buddhist sources, and used the word to refer to the pre-Buddhist religion over which it was thought Buddhism triumphed.

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Term Bon has been used to refer to several different phenomena.

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However, scholars have debated whether the term Bon should be used for all of these practices, and what their relationship is to the modern Bon religion.

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Yungdrung Bon is a universal religion, although it is mainly limited to Tibetans, with some non-Tibetan converts.

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Mixed Bon would include Secular Bon or the civil religion of the Himalayan borderlands studied by Charles Ramble in his The Navel of Demoness, as well as Buryatian B? Murgel, from the shores of Lake Baikal, the religion of the Nakhi in Yunnan, and so on.

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Bon attained Buddhahood several hundred years before Sakyamuni Buddha, in a country west of Tibet, called Olmo Lungring or Tazig, which is difficult to identify and acts as a semi-mythical holy land in Bon .

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Some Bon texts state that Sakyamuni was a later manifestation of Tonpa Shenrab.

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Bon had numerous wives and children, constructed numerous temples and performed many rituals in order to spread Bon.

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Bon taught them to substitute offerings with symbolic animal forms made from barley flour.

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Bon only taught according to the student's capability and thus he taught these people the lower vehicles to prepare them for the study of sutra, tantra and Dzogchen in later lives.

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Bon histories discuss the lives of other important religious figures, such as the Zhangzhung Dzogchen master Tapihritsa.

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Bon myth includes other elements which are more obviously pre-Buddhist.

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Bon created the sun and moon, and taught humans religion.

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Bon tradition holds that he was the father of another important figure, Tsewang Rigzin and some sources claim he was the father of Padmasambhava, which is unlikely as the great majority of sources say Padmasambhava was born in Swat, Pakistan.

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Yungdrung Bon is a living tradition that developed in Tibet in the 10th and 11th centuries during the later dissemination of Buddhism and contains many similarities to Tibetan Buddhism.

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Just like all forms of Tibetan Buddhism, Yungdrung Bon eventually developed a monastic tradition, with celibate monks living in various monasteries.

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Bon monks are called trangsong, a term that translates the Sanskrit rishi .

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The most important Bon monastery is Menri monastery, which was built in 1405 in Tsang.

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New Bon figures do not consider their revelations to be truly "new", in the sense that they do not see their revelations as being ultimately different than Yungdrung Bon.

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The work of these New Bon figures led to the flourishing of New Bon in Eastern Tibet.

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Bon suffered the same fate as Tibetan Buddhism did during the Chinese Cultural revolution, though their monasteries were allowed to rebuild after 1980.

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Present spiritual head of the Bon is Menri Trizin Rinpoche, successor of Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, the thirty-fourth Abbot of Menri Monastery, who now presides over Pal Shen-ten Menri Ling in Dolanji in Himachal Pradesh, India.

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Bon's leading monastery in India is the refounded Menri Monastery in Dolanji, Himachal Pradesh.

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Since 1979, Bon has had official recognition of its status as a religious group, with the same rights as the Buddhist schools.

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Bon monasticism has developed a philosophical and debate tradition which is modeled on the tradition of the Gelug school.

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Bon includes many rituals and concerns that are not as common in Tibetan Buddhism.

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Bon doctrine is generally classified in various ways, including the "nine ways" and the four portals and the fifth, the treasury.

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Bon Yidams are those deities which are often used in meditative tantric practice and are the mainly fierce or wrathful forms.

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Bon cosmos contains numerous other deities, including Shangpo and Chucham who produced nine gods and goddesses.

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Bon is seen as being a reincarnation of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, the legendary founder of Bon.

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Besides these, the Bon canon includes material on rituals, arts and crafts, logic, medicine, poetry and narrative.

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Largest part of the Bon canon is made up of numerous termas, which were believed to have been hidden away during the period of persecution and to have begun to be discovered during the 10th century.

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Cavern of Treasures is a Bon terma uncovered by Shenchen Luga in the early 11th century which is an important source for the study of the Zhang-Zhung language.

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