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The Indigenous Religion And The Bon Po In Dunhuang Manuscripts

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Chapter Summary

Entire lamaist tradition since the middle of the 12th century presents the bon pos as the priests of the indigenous religion, partly from foreign origins, which reigned prior to the introduction of Buddhism. All Tibetologists have followed this tradition in stating that Bon was the pre-Buddhist religion in Tibet. Yet the authors cited never, on this subject, speak of the Dunhuang manuscripts which date, for the most part, from the 9th and 10th century and which contain some indications of the bon pos. The tomb in general and various lands in particular are qualified by an epithet based on the number four or eight. A funerary ritual from the Klu bum includes the tomb called se mo gru bzhi. In the Dunhuang manuscripts, the tomb receives the epithets se gru bzhi and rgyal thag brgyad.

Keywords: bon pos; Buddhism; Dunhuang manuscripts; indigenous religion; Tibet



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