Bon, like the other forms of Buddhism in Tibet, embraces a wide-ranging sphere of cultural and religious activity, whose elaborate traditions of ritual, art, and learning derive from both indigenous sources and the ancient religious matrices of India, Iran, and China. Besides the originally "foreign" traditions of Buddhism and Bon, Tibetan religions embrace a broad range of beliefs, practices, and specialist practitioners that appear to be of autochthonous origin. These may be found in both Bon po and Buddhist settings as well as in some contexts in which sectarian affiliation is left unclear.
Almost a century passed until it found favor again under King Trisong Detsen, who with the aid of Padmasambhava strengthened its position. But even after that "first diffusion," the new religion lost ground, and it was not until the "second diffusion" of Buddhism in the ninth and tenth centuries that it became firmly and finally established as the majority religion of Tibet.
While this basic outline is not disputed, scholars have disagreed about precisely what it was that Buddhism replaced. Certainly, indigenous religious beliefs and practices dominated Tibet before even the first introduction of Buddhism in the seventh century, and during the subsequent stages of its history there.
But with what did Buddhism struggle during that period between the "first" and "second" diffusions? And what were the influences that led Tibetan Buddhism to diverge so markedly from Indian Buddhism that later observers attached to it a new name -- Lamaism -- as to a separate, distinct cult?
The great Tibetologist, Giuseppe Tucci, called Tibet's indigenous religious beliefs and practices "the folk religion," for which R. Stein adopted the telling designation, "the nameless religion. But besides those popular beliefs, with their local cults and magical rites, another belief system either pre-dated Buddhism in Tibet or co-existed with it, and the relation of those two has been the subject of research and controversy.
That other religion is Bon. Giuseppe Tucci, David Snellgrove, and other scholars have worked to reconstruct the theology and iconography of early Bon, and have researched the question of Bon's origins, its history, and the extent of its relation to Buddhism.
Tucci and other scholars believe that Bon preceded the Tibet and the religion of buddhism of Buddhism into Tibet. They identify divination and exorcism as central elements of the indigenous folk religion but also of Bon, and believe that both the folk religion and the more structured Bon contributed to the undeniably shamanistic aspect of Tibetan religious practice and customs.
In this view, Bon brought a multiplicity of gods, demons, and spirits of nature into the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon, where they joined the gods absorbed from Indian tantrism. Tucci attributed Bon's formal doctrinal structure to a later borrowing from Buddhism. According to the standard history, Bon vied with Buddhism for dominance during the early centuries after the introduction of the new religion, and during the period between the first and second diffusions.
In any case, Buddhism prevailed, but Bon, or some form of it, has survived in parts of Tibet as well as in remote Himalayan areas, such as Dolpo in northwestern Nepal, and there has recently been a Bon revival in the West. According to this line of thought, the Bon that has survived was so heavily influenced and infused with later adaptations and borrowings from Buddhism that its original form can no longer be definitively distinguished from what is now the majority religion.
Yet Buddhism was also heavily influenced by Bon: David Snellgrove, in contradiction, argues that Bon is not the old indigenous religion of Tibet. He agrees with the claim of present-day Bonpos adherents of Bon that their religion was, from the beginning, a form of Buddhism, however heterodox.
Snellgrove maintains that before the famous introduction of Buddhism to Tibet in the seventh century under royal sponsorship, forms of Buddhism that had reached Central Asia were actually familiar to some Tibetans, and that Bon developed in Western or Central Asia earlier than its arrival, as traditionally understood, in Tibet.
He points out that the Bonpos, like the orthodox sects, believe in an enlightened being, Shen-rab, analogous to Buddha, and that Shen-rab, like Shakyamuni, had previous incarnations and appears in various manifestations; he maintains, moreover, that the Bonpos also have a fully developed theology and a set of tantras that he finds corresponds with Buddhist practice.
Snellgrove considers Bon much closer to the Nyingma-pa, known among the recognized orthodox Buddhist sects as the "old" school, than it is to the popular folk religion with its multitude of spirits, magical rites, divination, exorcism, auguries, etc.
He argues that those supernatural aspects of the indigenous cult were accepted perforce by both Bonpos as well as Buddhists, as old, deeply ingrained customs against which it was futile to contend, however irrelevant or alien to their own beliefs.
To complicate matters, some Bonpos of the present time identify Bon as the religion that prevailed in Tibet prior to the introduction of Buddhism, a position that contradicts those who argue that Bon is merely another form of Buddhism, having developed at about the same time as Buddhism reached Tibet, if not somewhat earlier.
And while Bonpos consider their religion as a form of Buddhism, present-day Tibetan Buddhists regard Bon as a distinct, different religion, not as a heterodox form of Buddhism. In light of these contending, disparate views about the origin, history, and nature of Bon, and its disputed relation to Buddhism, Per Kvaerne has thus defined the three main theories: Bon was the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, its central figure a king with sacred powers; Bon was a form of Buddhism that developed in western Tibet at least as early as the period in which Buddhism was introduced into Tibet, and was similar in many respects to orthodox Buddhism; Bon, so-called, was not a religion in its own right, but the sum of all the indigenous beliefs, cults of local gods, popular rites, etc.
Whatever the true origin, history, and nature of Bon, Tibetan Buddhist monastic orders are broadly tolerant of the old practices, some of which have almost no recognizable affinity with Buddhist belief. These native elements, whether they derive from Bon or from a folk religion, were strongly concerned with defence against hostile or ambivalent powers, ensuring that the dead do no harm to the living.
Many of the rites and practices meant to defeat such hostile powers have survived not only in the folk religion, but were even, in Buddhist guise, absorbed into orthodox Buddhist ritual.Buddhism, budism, budhism, what is Buddhism, whatisbuddhism, types of Bhuddhism, typesofbuddhism, history of Buddhism, hystoryofbuddhism, Buddhism beliefs.
Art and Religion Nepalese expressions of art, classical and modern, are imbedded in the daily practice of religion. Before Buddhism was brought from India to Tibet, the bon religion was widespread in our country.
It had originated in the neighboring country of Shang-Shung, and until recently there were still centers in Tibet where the followers of bon pursued deep study and meditation.
Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism fast facts and introduction The Tibetan expression of Buddhism (sometimes called Lamaism) is the form of Vajrayana Buddhism that developed in Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan region beginning in the 7th century CE.
The Economist, 21 March MY COLLEAGUE Banyan reports in the print edition this week on the surreal spat involving China and the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama, who is nearly 80, has been denounced by Chinese officials and media for daring to suggest that he might not be reincarnated after his death.
Tibetan Buddhism is the form of Buddhist doctrine and institutions named after the lands of Tibet, but also found in the regions surrounding the Himalayas and much of Central plombier-nemours.com derives from the latest stages of Indian Buddhism and preserves "the Tantric status quo of eighth-century India." It has been spread outside of Tibet, especially due .