Bon has a link with Buddha Shakyamuni and Garab Dorje.
Buddha Shakyamuni is called in Bon Sangwa Dupa and does belong to the Uninterrupted Lineage
All the collected informations stem from the book:
Zhang Zhung Nyengyud”
by: Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche
Gyerpung Nangzher Lodpo is important for another reason, too. He unified in himself all the lineages of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud. The lineage we have been discussing so far is known as the Uninterrupted Lineage,64 so called because all the Masters in this lineage followed one after the other with no chronological breaks.
However, there was also an Interrupted Lineage65 which had several branches. This lineage is known as 'interrupted' not because it was actually interrupted but because gaps appeared in the chronology of the Masters when the oral tradition was written down. This is how Pa Tengyal Zangpo, the compiler of the life-stories of the Masters explains this:
[ there does not exist a total chronology for the transmission of the above instructions. Well then, it might be objected, if there does not exist an original source for the transmission of these instructions, how then may this be distinguished as Bon? The original source of any transmission is exceedingly important! We answer that, with regard to this original source, it was transmitted from Horti Chenpo (who is a reliable source).
So, this transmission which has become divided and fragmented, still has a single root (which is the great Horti). For the reason (that it has become fragmented), it is called "the discontinuous transmission.,, 66
There were 3 branches of the Interrupted Lineage which came directly to the Drubthob-Mahasiddhas of Zhang Zhung from 3 different Dersheg-Buddhas of the Mind to Mind Lineage:
- Yeshen Tsugphu 67
- Sangwa Dupa (Buddha Shakyamuni).
- Sangwa Dupa.jpg (152.67 KiB) Viewed 3311 times
All 3 branches came together with the Uninterrupted Lineage in Gurub Nangzher Lodpo.
ZHANG ZHUNG AND GARAB DORJE
In the branch of the Interrupted Lineage stemming from Sangwa Dupa we find a very interesting figure, a Master known as Zhang Zhung Garab.
64 Tib. rgyud pa 'khrug med.
65 Tib. rgyud pa 'khrug can.
66 Reynolds, The Oral Tradition p. 68.
67 According to Y ongdzin Lopan Tenzin Namdak, although Yeshen Tsugphii does not appear among the line of the Nine Dershegs, he is a Buddha and has a direct lineage from Kuntu Zangpo.
Several leading scholars of Bon such as Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak, Samten G. Karmay and John M. Reynolds have suggested that this Master might be identical with Garab Dorje of the Nyingma Dzogchen lineage.68
It may be then, that both Tibetan lineages of Dzogchen have a single root not only in terms of their ultimate source, Bonku/ Dharmakaya, but also in terms of lineage. Both lineages came from Central Asia to Tibet via different countries, with the Nyingma lineage tracing its origin to Oddiyana (Tib. Urgyen)69 and the Bonpo lineage coming to Tibet from Zhang Zhung.
Oddiyana (Urgyen) and Zhang Zhung were neighboring countries and their borders were vague, not like in our modern times.
Several Bonpo Drubthob Mahasiddhas such as Drenpa Namkha, Tsewang Rigdzin, 70 Perna Thongdrol and others travelled back and forth between Zhang Zhung and Oddiyana; furthermore there is a Cycle of Indian Bon. 72
So Garab Dorje and Zhang Zhung Garab may indeed be the same person. This hypothesis is further supported by the fact that Bonpo and Nyingma Dzogchen do not differ in terms of their base, path, view, or result. All this, then, suggests a common source.
There is also later textual evidence which connects Garab Dorje with Bonpo Dzogchen. For example, in the text the Golden Spoon 73 rediscovered by the great terton 74 Yungdrung Lingpa 75 we read:
Vairotsana was sitting in the Tiger's Nest 76 in Bhutan. When he was practicing in the cave there one night, the cave became filled with light, the earth trembled and emitted sounds like a dragon roaring. Vairotsana looked in front of him and in a rainbow circle he saw Drenpa Namkha77 with his two sons 78 they appeared directly to him.
68 Oral communication from Yongdzin Lopan Tenzin Namdak; Karmay, The Little Luminous Boy, p. 7; Reynolds, The Oral Tradition, p. 59; John Myrdhin Reynolds, The Golden Letters, (Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 1996), p. 227.
69 Tib. U rgyan.
70 Tib. Tshe dbang Rig 'dzin.
71 Tib. Pad rna mThong grol
72 Tib. rgya gar bon skor. For more information on Bon of India see Ermakov, Be and Bon,pp.23,205-206.
73 Tib. rDzogs chen gser thur ma lo rgyus spyi ching chen mo gab pa 'byed pa'i Ide mig zhes bya ba bzhugs,
74 Tib. gter ton - Spiritual Treasure Discoverer.
75 Tib.g.Yung drung gLing pa alias Tib. rDor rje gLing pa (1346-1405) was one of several tertons who found both Bonpo and Nyingma termas.
76 Tib. sPa gro stag tshang.
77 This is the second Drenpa Namkha, the prince of Zhang Zhung. See footnote 16.
78 I.e. Tsewang Rigdzin and Pema Thongdrol just mentioned above.
Drenpa Namkha was white in colour and decorated with the 6 bone ornaments. In his right hand he was holding up a Swastika which was spinning by his head. In his left hand he was holding a skull cup filled with blood. Under his arm he was holding a trident decorated with semiprecious and precious stones as well as with various silk drapes. He was in a dancing posture, and he was moving.
His son, Tsewang Rigdzin, was a darkish white colour. All his ornaments and decorations were penect and Vairotsana saw him clearly. He felt devotion to him at that time. This teaching was written in gold and kept inside a gold reliquary box. Drenpa Namkha touched Vairotsana's forehead, neck and chest with it and gave him the 4 empowerments.
He gave him the 3 important points of teaching and also advice.
He said: 'Ho! Boy of awareness, spiritual son! Do not be deluded! Listen to me!,
I am Garab Dorje,
I am Drenpa Namkha
I am Lhagod Thoglebar, 79
I am Namkha Yungdrung, 80
I am also Drugse, Chemchog Kagying.81
I show a Bon sku form.
To whoever is devoted to me, I will appear as Sambhogakaya, Impure beings will see me as Nirmanakaya. I am the King of the Quintessence of the 3 Kayas. I am also the Free Life, Lachen Drenpa, the great lama of Namkha.
This is the essence of the Ultimate Vehicle of Bon. This is the drops of nectar from the golden spoon. Practise and then hide this as a treasure.' And then he gave the teachings to Vairotsana. Vairotsana hid it in the Tiger's Nest.82
Tapihritsa is also said to have been one of the emanations of Drenpa Namkha83 so this brings us back to Zhang Zhung Nyengyud Dzogchen.
79 Tib. Lha rgod thog las 'bar.
80 Tib. Nam mkha' g.Yung drung.
81 Tib, 'Brug gsas Chern pa, Che mchog mKha' gying.
82 Banpo Tengyur, vol. 295, p. 23. Kindly translated by Yongdzin Rinpoche, 07.08.09, Shenten Dargye Ling, France. 83 Oral communication from Yongdzin Rinpoche.