Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Adamantine » Sun May 19, 2013 1:31 am

yegyal wrote:I don't know much about Khyentse Wangpo's Bon involvement, but Kongtrul was certainly involved with this tradition, escpecially as a child when he was known by the Bon name Tenyi Yungdrung Lingpa. I believe this is one of the reasons that he is considered an emanation of the translator Vairocana, who was also involved with both traditions.
Nevertheless, to compare Bon and Buddhism is kind of like comparing a very specific kind of apple that grows only in one place to every other kind of apple or pear that grows anywhere else in the world as if they were a singular group. A more reasonable comparison is to look at the similarities between Bon and the Nyingma, which are very closely related. Are they different traditions? yes. Do they have common ground? Lots of it. Do they share teachers and lineages? At times they do. In fact, there are Nyingma texts that are used by the Bonpos after having merely replaced the word "chos" with "bon". There's also a collection of instructions of Dudjom's Throma cycle that was being spread among the Bonpo, that was just recently edited to remake a "buddhist version" of the teachings. So these traditions often overlap. Of course, they're different, but so are the Nyingma from Sarma schools. And you'll find the same types of arguments about mixing those as you find here about practicing both Bon and Buddhism.


:good: well said
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Lhasa » Sun May 19, 2013 1:38 am

Jikan wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Well my own Lama felt this way, and I heard he was not pleased when visiting a Dzogchen Community center because it had pictures of Bonpo Lamas and possibly other images on display. However, I prefer not to ignore the sentiments of great masters such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, or even Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and rather examine them and try to fathom their understanding. I believe Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo Rinpoche even had a Bonpo name.


My understanding is that Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche appreciates the Dzogchen transmission in Bon, and the yogic achievements of some Bonpo practitioners. Rainbow bodies... Further, a repeated theme in his teachings is the equation of limitations with dualism and dualism with samsara. Of what use are arbitrary limitations to a Dzogchen practitioner? They're the opposite of useful.

So there's a real disagreement between the Rime movement and Dzogchenpas such as ChNN on one side, and the position represented in this thread by, say, Pabonka.


Namkhai Norbu has received Bon Transmissions. There are pictures of him and Lopon together with Tenzin Wangyal years ago. And today he mentioned that we unite all our teachers and transmissions from other lineages, and he specifically mentioned Bonpo, when we do Guru Yoga.
I wonder if he's reading this thread. :spy:
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Adamantine » Sun May 19, 2013 2:02 am

Konchog1 wrote:That's an Ad Hominem. You're talking about him, but haven't discussed his quote.

As he said, we shouldn't react to other views out of attachment or hostility, but instead honestly debate and consider both sides' arguments.


Well, he doesn't really make a logical argument in those quotes, he just makes absolute statements as if they are fact, and whether one accepts or rejects them really depends on how much faith one puts in the one making the statements, their omniscience or their delusion. So it does come down to talking about him in the end. I don't have much faith in the person based on clear historical records of their words and actions, so it is a waste of time for me to discuss their point of view.

There are other Lamas who hold a strict division between Buddhism and Bon who I may have more respect for, and who may also believe that it may damage one's refuge vows to place any faith in Bonpo Lamas or practices. However, I need to weigh their opinions -which are probably the more common ones amongst Tibetan Buddhists historically- with the great luminary Rimey practitioners with their very open viewpoints. Considering that most of these Lamas of whatever stature that may hold a sectarian view of Bon would not hesitate to prostrate at the feet of some of these masters such as Kongtrul or Kheyntse Wangpo or Dilgo Khyentse who did uphold the value of the Bon dharma, gives one pause to consider this from a bigger picture.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby ngodrup » Sun May 19, 2013 3:40 am

References:

In the protector section of the Rinchen Ter Dzod, you find the following empowerment:

bla chen dran pa yab sras kyi dbang don sgrub/ dngos grub char ‘bebs ltar

The empowerment for the concentrated practice of Great Guru Drenpa and his pupils,
in accordance with A Rainfall of Siddhis

Tertön: Bon Shik Mishik Yungdrung Dorje Lingpa
Empowerment author: Yundrung Tengyal

Most Nyingma and Kagyu Tulkus and Khenpos have received this empowerment.

Also "Vajra Garland," a biography of Guru Rinpoche, Chapter 7:

"The Bon traditions with incorrect views were suppressed,
And those with the authentic view further established."

Such was the activity of Buddha Padmasambhava.

H. H. the XIV Dalai Lama,
Not only has he received teachings from the corpus of Bon lineage,
he has, like Guru Rinpoche, propagated then. There are photographs
of him teaching at Menri wearing the bonpo hat.

And as has been pointed out, Bon Lamas often study at Buddhist
Universities such as Ganden; it is equally true that some Buddhist
Lamas study at Bon Colleges. There is one Monk from Sera Je, that
I know of who received a Geshe degree from a Bon Monastery.
Such things are not unheard of.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby heart » Sun May 19, 2013 6:43 am

Lhasa wrote:
I wonder if he's reading this thread. :spy:


I think not, he got to many emails to answer. :smile:

/magnus
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun May 19, 2013 6:44 am

Image

kalden yungdrung wrote: Image

Image

Image




Also:


Malcolm wrote:...Guru Chowang, the immediate incarnation of Nyangral, and the terton who revealed the seven line prayer. Guru Chowang wrote in his "Great Origin of Treasures:

"First: the two the supreme of all beneficial qualities, [5/a] the treasure of the true words of Bon emanations: the way the compassionate body came from the pure dimension of the ultimate nature [bon nyid i.e. chos nyid] and the after the treasure of body, speech and mind arose, the way the teaching was spread, i.e. the way a treasure descends from a treasure.

First: the pure dimension of the ultimate nature completely free from falling into any parts or divisions was singular and unique, the treasure of the hidden Bon dharmakāya [bon chos sku] which has nothing to give up, appeared from pure activity to tame beings as the sambhogakāya Shenlha Wodkar [gshen lha 'od dkar]. The way his compassion was moved is that in general he thought of all migrating beings. Specifically, he thought of beings in Jambudvīpa.

Second: after the treasure of the body, speech and mind was produced, the teachings were widely spread. The way the treasure descends from a treasure is that in order to tame the the confusion of ignorance, the root of samsara,at Wolmo Lungring in the land of Zhang Zhung the hidden treasure of compassion arrived in the form of Shenrab Miwoche [gshen rab mi bo che, i.e. the supreme one of the Shen clan, the greatest of men]. The hidden treasure was concealed in a single intention by all the Tathāgatas in the mind of Shenrab, and he taught the nine vehicles of Bon.

Afterwards, Shenrab's words were collected by the fortune Bonpos and placed in a catalogue. The cause Bon tamed ordinary beings, and result Bon tamed intelligent beings.

The teachings were spread in Tokharistan, where people wear silk turbans, the land India and the border lands and also spread in dPur rGyal in Tibet and Bon was disseminated in the beginning.

The King was given the name as the Elder Brother of Bon because he made sure the teaching did not decline, and also he concealed the Bon treasures of cause and result in Zhang Zhung the temple of Shampo Lhatse. Furthermore, as they were spread in the mountain of white peaks in Oddiyana, the Chinese mountain Dru Dzin [5/b] and in southern and northern Tibet, having concealed treasures which descended from treasures, the Bon texts were not destroyed, and the Bonpos became renowned.

Also I, Chowang, say that the profound teaching of Bon is uninterrupted."


And it could very well be that one of H.H. the Dalai Lama's inspirations for officially declaring Bön as the 'Fifth' Wisdom School of Tibet, in 1978, was Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche's work The Necklace of Zi (originally a text of a lecture given by Rinpoche in 1975; that was first published in Dharamsala, India by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in 1981 presumably a few years after Chögyal Rinpoche had sent a draft to H.H. the Dalai Lama). After-all, it is said that H.H. the Dalai Lama gave Chögyal Rinpoche a gold or golden pen to keep writing on the interrelated topics of Bön, Tibetan culture, and Dzogchen.

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun May 19, 2013 8:31 am

Caz wrote:
mutsuk wrote:
Caz wrote:[Wait are you saying Dalai lama Takes refuge in Bon ? :shock:

Yes, he went to Dolanji, received Refuge vows from the Abbot (Lungtok Tenpai Nyima) and received an enormous amount of transmissions, including Dzogchen teachings (ZZNG among others), as well as tantric and sutric teachings. There are pictures of this. Come on guys, this has been discussed for ever on e-sangha and elsewhere years ago.


Wow :jawdrop:
Welcome to reality Caz! :hi:

Bon is currently (officially) recognised as the fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism.

I think the script at this point says: Sectarians exit stage left.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun May 19, 2013 8:54 am

Bon has a vinaya that is virtually the same as the Buddha established (except there's an additional vow of vegetarianism), and it has Prajna Paramita, Madhyamaka, generation stage, completion stage, Chod, Dzogchen, you name it, all by the same names as Buddhism. I have not been able to discern any difference in the views of any of these from their Buddhist namesakes. If it teaches freedom from the four extremes as its highest view, it is the same as Buddha Shakyamuni's Dharma. And anyone who's realized what Buddha Shakyamuni has, that being is a buddha just the same, and that being teaches a buddha's Dharma. :shrug:
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Namgyal » Sun May 19, 2013 10:05 am

Is Bon Dharma?...No. The fact that a few enlightened masters are able study Bon in a spirit of friendship and tolerance does not make it 'the fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism'. A 'fifth Tibetan spiritual school' certainly, but it is not a tradition founded by Lord Buddha, so it is not Buddhism, regardless of how similar it may appear. If you were to ask the Bonpo themselves they would assert, very strongly, that they are not another Buddhist lineage.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Namgyal » Sun May 19, 2013 10:10 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Bon is currently (officially) recognised as the fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism.I think the script at this point says: Sectarians exit stage left.

Hopefully, I can question your views today Greg without being deleted, and hopefully this thread will continue past the point where you have said your last word, without being locked...
Please provide some evidence for this 'official' recognition.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun May 19, 2013 10:45 am

The Buddha-Dharma Dzogchen Teachings of Garab Dorje & the Buddha-Dharma Dzogchen Teachings of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava are closer to the Bönpo Dzogchen Teachings of Tapihritsa & Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche than they are to any other Buddhist Teachings.

Why?

Because Dzogchen is the source of all Buddha-Dharma Teachings (Buddha Shakyamuni is one of the Twelve Dzogchen Teachers), and since the Bönpo's explicitly teach Dzogchen, and Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug do not explicitly teach Dzogchen; Yungdrung-Bön is in essence closer to the Original Buddha-Dharma than any other Buddhist school.

And as is often emphasized by the wisest Teachers, Dzogchen is not a school or sect. Dzogchen is our Real Nature/Natural State.
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Sun May 19, 2013 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun May 19, 2013 10:49 am

Namgyal wrote:Please provide some evidence for this 'official' recognition.
Kværne, Per and Rinzin Thargyal. (1993). Bon, Buddhism and Democracy: The Building of a Tibetan National Identity, pp. 45-46. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. ISBN 978-87-87062-25-1
and here http://www.bonfoundation.org/letter.html

Now let's see you provide some evidence of its non-recogntion.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Adamantine » Sun May 19, 2013 11:12 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Namgyal wrote:Please provide some evidence for this 'official' recognition.
Kværne, Per and Rinzin Thargyal. (1993). Bon, Buddhism and Democracy: The Building of a Tibetan National Identity, pp. 45-46. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. ISBN 978-87-87062-25-1
and here http://www.bonfoundation.org/letter.html

Now let's see you provide some evidence of its non-recogntion.


Thanks Greg, I haven't looked into the first two, but the linked letter from HH doesn't reference Bon as the fifth lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, it just speaks of it historically in context, in positive terms.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Namgyal » Sun May 19, 2013 11:28 am

http://www.bonfoundation.org/letter.html
'...We Tibetans regard Bon as the ancient, indigenous religious and cultural tradition of our ancestors, which is the source and embodiment of many aspects of the Tibetan way of life. With the advent of Buddhism in the Land of Snows, most Tibetans became Buddhists. Nevertheless, Bon remained and has experienced periods of growth and revival since the eleventh century...' (H.H.Dalai Lama)

'The Bon religion is the most ancient religious tradition known in Tibet and nourished with royal patronage
as the state religion in the pre-literate period before the arrival of Buddhism in the 8th century CE. As a result of
various periods of suppression and a virtual Buddhist hegemony in Tibet, the Bon tradition became the religion
of a small minority and over time adapted itself in many ways to the dominant tradition. This has happened to
such an extent that many have argued that the Bon religion is now simply a fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Given the lack of written resources on the Bon tradition from pre-Buddhist Tibet and the clear and powerful
influence Buddhism has had on the Bon traditions over the past thirteen hundred years, it seems unlikely we
will ever have a clear picture of the tradition and its views before the advent of Buddhism. Rossi is in agreement
with Per Kvaerne, probably the leading Western scholar on the Bon religion, when he argues that while philosophical,
meditative, and ritual traditions are very similar today and much of the canonical literature is virtually
identical with that of Tibet's Buddhist traditions, "Concepts of sacred history and sources of religious authority
are, however, radically different and justify the claim of the Bonpos to constitute an entirely distinct religious
community
" (Kvaerne 1995, p.13, Rossi 1999, p.19).'
'The Philosophical View Of the Great Perfection in the Tibetan Bon Religion'
Donatella Rossi. Snow Lion Publications, 1999. P315.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby kirtu » Sun May 19, 2013 3:02 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:-Liberation in the Palm of your Hand pg. 415


Well he was also outspokenly sectarian, anti-Rimey, and anti-Nyingma, so I don't put much weight into his views on Bon considering.

From Wiki:
"Pabongka Rinpoche was at times at odds with the 13th Dalai Lama over Pabongka's supposed antagonism toward the Nyingma lineage.,,,"
That's an Ad Hominem.


No, it's not. If you disagree then please PM me directly.

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby kirtu » Sun May 19, 2013 3:06 pm

Please avoid accusing one another of sectarianism. This is not helpful. Please avoid mentioning the so-called protector venerated by the NKT and some others.

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Namgyal » Sun May 19, 2013 3:11 pm

Apologies for posting a slightly innaccurate reference...
'The Bon Religion of Tibet: The Iconography of a Living Tradition.' Per Kvaerne. Serindia. London. 1995. (Pp. 13, 17, 18, 22)
'To the casual observer, Tibetans who follow the tradition of Bon and those who adhere to the Buddhist faith can hardly be distinguished...In view of the many manifest similarities between Bon and Buddhism, one may well ask in what the distinction between the two religions consists...Rituals and other religious practices, as well as meditational and metaphysical traditions are, undeniably, to a large extent similar, even identical. Concepts of sacred history and sources of religious authority are, however, radically different and justify the claim of the Bonpos to constitute an entirely distinct religious community. According to its own historical perspective, Bon was introduced into Tibet many centuries before Buddhism and enjoyed royal patronage until it was finally supplanted by 'the false religion' (i.e. Buddhism) from India...fully ordained monks are called drangsong (drang srong), a term that in Tibetan usually translates Sanskrit rsi, the semi-divine 'seers' of the Vedas...when we turn to Bonpo historical literature. The introduction of Buddhism into Tibet is described as a catastrophe. Writing in 1842, a Bonpo scholar, an abbot of Menri monastery, Nyima Tenzin, described the introduction of Buddhism as ultimately due to ''the perverse prayer of a demon'' and put into effect when the moment was right by ''he who acted like a monk but retained The Five Poisons'', i.e. the Buddhist saint Santaraksita...

For Buddhists there is only one legitimate 'source of religious authority'; The Three Jewels. Hence Buddhism and Bon are mutually exclusive and cannot be practised simultaneously.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby kirtu » Sun May 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Namgyal wrote:Apologies for posting a slightly innaccurate reference...
'The Bon Religion of Tibet: The Iconography of a Living Tradition.' Per Kvaerne. Serindia. London. 1995. (Pp. 13, 17, 18, 22)
'To the casual observer, Tibetans who follow the tradition of Bon and those who adhere to the Buddhist faith can hardly be distinguished.....The introduction of Buddhism into Tibet is described as a catastrophe. Writing in 1842, a Bonpo scholar, an abbot of Menri monastery, Nyima Tenzin, described the introduction of Buddhism as ultimately due to ''the perverse prayer of a demon'' and put into effect when the moment was right by ''he who acted like a monk but retained The Five Poisons'', i.e. the Buddhist saint Santaraksita...

For Buddhists there is only one legitimate 'source of religious authority'; The Three Jewels. Hence Buddhism and Bon are mutually exclusive and cannot be practised simultaneously.


Posting sectarian sources (or sources that can be seen as sectarian) from the Bon side is also not helpful. As noted there have been several masters at least who in the mid-1800's were seen as both Buddhist and Bonpo.

Buddhist and Bon are mutually exclusive ...

Really? Tonpa Shenrab taught something actually contrary to Shakyamuni Buddha's Dharma? What was it?

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby ratna » Sun May 19, 2013 3:26 pm

Namgyal wrote:For Buddhists there is only one legitimate 'source of religious authority'; The Three Jewels. Hence Buddhism and Bon are mutually exclusive and cannot be practised simultaneously.
:namaste:


Exactly which of the Three Jewels is Bön lacking? It is a bit difficult to say they don't have the Sangha Jewel of realized Ārya beings if they are famous for adepts displaying the rainbow body as the sign of attaining the fruit. It is a bit difficult to say that they're lacking the Dharma Jewel if they have the teaching that takes one to that fruit. It is a bit difficult to say they don't have the Buddha Jewel because it would be impossible for such a teaching to originate from someone other than a Buddha.

It is also a bit difficult to say these two traditions are mutually exclusive if there are people who practiced both and manifested rainbow body, not to mention numerous other realized adepts.

I'm sure different-minded people would have all kinds of clever responses to this, this is simply how I resolve this issue to my simple-minded self.

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Namgyal » Sun May 19, 2013 3:36 pm

kirtu wrote:...contrary to Shakyamuni Buddha's Dharma? What was it?

'As practitioners on the path of liberation we take refuge in the Four Jewels...'

http://www.olmoling.org/contents/olmo_ling_refuge_tree
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