Jikan wrote:Related question that Malcolm is particularly well positioned to address:
in the volume Heart Drops of Dharmakaya, it's claimed that Vasubhandu's cosmology shares a common origin with Bonpo teachings. Is this a plausible claim? If so, does it contradict the claim that it derives from the Sarvastivada school? Or does it follow that the Bonpo tradition may share a common origin with the Sarvastivada school also?
This is because the so called Bonpo Abhidharma, the Srid pa'i Mdzod Phug (revealed and written down by Shenchen Luga http://www.thlib.org/?wiki=/access/wiki/site/679c2e7e-ca49-462b-0038-a5e0534b709f/biography%20of%20shenchen%20luga.html (996-1035) in 1017) is held by the Bonpos to have been taught by Tonpa Shenrab. Tonpa Shenrab lived much earlier than Vasubandhu and the Buddha. There are some passages in the mDzod phug that are shared with the Kosha, but not very many, actually. But the Meru Cosmology etc., is basically the same. Therefore, the Bonpos claim the Mdzod phug influenced Buddhist cosmology.
Most modern scholars believe that the Mdzod Phug was partially influenced by the Kosha. However, the Mdzod Phug has a great deal of material in it that indicates it was also highly influenced by Dzogchen and so on. The materials in it are rich and have not been studiedvery much. The text is often incorrectly dismissed as a copy of the Buddhist Abhidharmakosha but it is nothing of the sort.
I studied one chapter of it recently, the chapter on the five elements with Dranpa Namkhai's commentary, and found it to be an amazing text of much interest, much more interesting in many respects than Vasubandhu's Kosha for someone who is practicing Dzogchen.
Dan Martin has done a lot of interesting analysis of the root text, but not so much on the commentary. Both texts, the root and the commentary were produced/revealed at the same time, in 1017.