orgyen jigmed wrote:
Although I find your arguments plausible, nevertheless the Bon maintains a different position as to the origin of the rGyud bzhi.
For example, in contrast to your argument in favour that the rGyud bzhi being a translation of an Indian work,
I never said that. The rgyud bzhi is definitely not a translation of an India work. It is a native Tibetan composition. More importantly, the text itself never pretends to be a translation. Unlike the rgyud chung, the rgyud bshi lacks a translator's colophon in every single edition, of which we have twelve. Not only does it lack a translator's colphon, it lacks a treasure colophon as well. The rgyud chung i.e. the minor tantra, the Amritahridayaguhyaupadesha tantra
on the other hand claims to have been written by Candrānanda (the author the major commentary of the Aṣṭanga hridaya samhita) and having been passed in a single lineage from one emanational person to another, found its way into the hands of Yuthog. This text is absolutely the basis for the man ngag rgyud and phyi ma rgyud and their 'bum bzhi corollaries.
the Bonpo Ga-rgya Khyung-sprul 'Jigs-med namkha'i rdorje (1897-1957) claims that the rGyud bzhi was written in the Zhang Zhung language. Whatever your opionion may be to his claim, what is known for certain is that medical texts believed to be of Zhang-zhung origin have been found among the Dunhuang manuscripts (PT 127), which asserts that it was based on the Zhang-Zhung medical tradition (Karmay, 2009).
These texts that mention Zhang Zhung do not mention the 'bum gzhi.
To reach an understanding how the Bon could have come to such a conclusion, one must consult with the Zhiji...
gzi gjid is quite late. And I have consulted it. It's discussion of medicine is very limited. It revealed after the rgyud bzhi was composed.
What I do find interesting according to this account, is not only that the doctrine of Tonpa Shenrab was spread by "six-great translators" to adjacent countries which included: Zhang-Zhung, Sum-pa (East of Zhang-Zhung), Phrom (Mongolia) China, Kashmir, India and finally Tibet, but that these teachings have also spread to India by Lha-bdags sNgags-grol ; pressumably these included medical knowledge, considering that all cultures have shared ideas of what makes people sick, what makes well and how people can maintain good health through time, and therefore may have also included the Variegated Collections of Therapies (dPyad 'bum Khra bo) and the White and Black Collection of Medicines (sMan 'bum dkar nag), although I must concur that I do not have any evidence in favour or against to further support these claims.
Ayruveda comes from the Atharva Veda. Not from Tazig. Caraka Samhita is a late commentary compiled between 200 BCE -- 200 CE, with large and signification portions reconstructed at a later date. The text around which Caraka was compile is a text called Agnivesha tantra.
But on the other hand, if this hypothesis is correct, it is not so difficult to understand how traditional medical knowledge and practices could have also entered India from the North (something the proud Indians would not so easily submit), as well as other neighbouring countries.
it is quite easy to understand northwestern influences on Indian culture i.e. Bactria.
This migration could have been part of pastoral adaptation in search of subsistence in different ecological environments. As a result of this process of syncretism with the multi-Hindu cultures and worldviews, Aryuveda, may have evolved as its own tradition. Thus, one must take into consideration this dynamic circular process instead of a static one way process.
There is no doubt that knowledge spread widely in the Ancient world along trades routes that had been well established for centuries. Who knows what interesting texts were in the library at Alexandria?
Another divergance in opinion held by the Bon is that g.Yu-thog Yon-tan mgon-po is considered to be not other then the Bonpo gter ston Khu-tsha Zla-'od (Karmay, 2009). However, as I am neither a scholar nor can I claim any competence in Tibetan Medicine and its history I must remain open to more expert views.
I find this quite unlikely simply due to the fact that most of the major elements of Yuthog's life and his immediate students are well attested. For example, in the mid-12th century, Chomden Rigpa'i raltri's commentary on the Aṣṭanga hridaya samhita criticized the rgyud bzhi tradition directly, see my blog entry here:http://www.bhaisajya.net/2008_09_01_archive.html
There are two articles I wrote that bear on our discussion. I did make one mistake in this article that was corrected by Dan Martin. Chebu Trishe is mentioned in the mdo 'dus. This is from the tenth century perhaps. But it is deprecated in Bon because it describes Shenrab as having a human mother and father, etc. It is not as grand as Ziji or Zermig.
Even more importantly, if Yuthog was also known as Khu-tsha Zla-'od, his grandfather was still a direct disciple of Rinchen Zangpo and heard the Aṣṭanga hridaya samhita from that translator. There is no possible way that the explanatory tantra and the 'bum khra bo are not based on Aṣṭanga hridaya samhita.
Basically, Bon claims to origins of brgyud bzhi simply do not stand up to text critical analysis. This is not personal, and I have no axe to grind. Bonpo physicians are just as good as Buddhist ones. We use the same basic text. But the text does not originate in Bon. Even so, if it did, it would still depend on the Aṣṭanga hridaya samhita for many things.
Further, I could give you a hundred words in the brgyud bzhi/'bum bzhi that are direct derivatives from Sanskrit i.e. tigta (tikta which means bitter in fact in Sanskrit i.e. swertia chirata), shing kun (a Tibetan mispronunciation of hing gu, i.e. asafeotida), Manupatra/puṣkarmūla i.e. inula racemosa etc. I really can go and on and and on. There are very few words in this text from Zhang Zhung language -- hong len (Lagotis brevituba, which may actually be a Chinese word), tre sam, etc., these are just a very few of the few words left over from Shang Shung language in this the rgyud bzhi/'bum bzhi.
Moreover, for example, the sngo 'bum chapter of the explanatory tantra definitely depends on two texts described in my blog article here:http://www.bhaisajya.net/2009_01_01_archive.html
For the most part, the whole of the Tibetan textual tradition about herbs depends on the two texts described in that article. There are no corresponding Bon sngo 'bums.
Anyway, this is my conclusion and in my opinion, the Bonpos do not have good support for their counter arguments.