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A Brief Excursus On Bon

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Chapter Summary

In 1997 the author presented the results of a research effort at Indiana University. This work was motivated by reading Anne-Marie Blondeau and Samten Karmay's &t;La cerf à la vaste ramure: en guise d'introduction&t;. Struck by the unusual contents of its text, the Sha ba ru rgyas, the author studied 165 Bon ritual texts around this work. In brief, although these texts have many elements that distinguish them from normative rituals of the Phyi Dar schools, those elements are not in the rituals. Rather, these reflect the usual Bon emphasis on smrang, which are themselves almost always ancillary to the rituals. Their purpose seems to be to give confidence that Bon practitioners understand the correct basis of the problem and thus had an effective ritual means (bon) to deal with it.

Keywords: Bon ritual texts; Phyi Dar schools; Sha ba ru rgyas; smrang



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