Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kingdom of Zhang-zhung & Shambhala

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Just to the west of Zhang-zhung there once existed the vast Kushana empire ....... an area in which Indian Buddhism and the Bon teachings interacted with various strands of the great Iranian and Central Asian religions-- Zoroastrian, Zurvanist, Mithraist, Manichean, as well as Indian Shaivism and Nestorian Christianity.

Shangshung was destroyed by the Tibetans in the 8th Century AD.

In the Bon myth, Olmolungring was northwest of Mt Kailas, twice as far from it as the peak is from Shigatse, a major town in central Tibet. (Newman, 1985).....(i.e.. 1200 Miles?)

"The Chinese-pilgrim monk, Xuanzang, c. 634 CE, describes a journey from Chuluduo (Kūluta, Kulu) to Luohuluo (Lahul) and then states that, "[f]rom here, the road, leading to the north, for over one thousand, eight hundred or nine hundred li by perilous paths and over mountains and valleys, takes one to the country of Lāhul. Going further to the north over two thousand li along a route full of difficulties and obstacles, in cold winds and wafting snowflakes, one could reach the country of Marsa (also known as Sanbohe)."The kingdom of Moluosuo, or Mar-sa, would seem to be synonymous with Mar-yul, a common name for Ladakh. Elsewhere, the text remarks that Mo-lo-so, also called San-po-ho borders with Suvarnagotra or Suvarnabhumi (Land of Gold), identical with the Kingdom of Women (Strirajya). According to Tucci, the Zhangzhung kingdom, or at least its southern districts, were known by this name by the 7th-century Indians. In 634/5 Zhangzhung acknowledged Tibetan suzernaity for the first time, and in 653 a Tibetan commissioner (mnan) was appointed there. Regular administration was introduced in 662, and an unsuccessful rebellion broke out in 677.".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ladakh

The organized Bon religion traces itself from Shenrab (gShen-rab), a teacher from the fabled land of Olmo-lungring (‘Ol-mo lung-ring) on the eastern edge of Tagzig (sTag-gzig), who brought it to Zhang-zhung (Zhang-zhung) in the remote, distant past. Zhang-zhung was an ancient kingdom with its capital in western Tibet near the sacred Mount Kailash. Some modern Russian scholars, basing themselves on linguistic analysis, identify Olmo-lungring with Elam in ancient western Iran and Tagzig with Tajik, referring to Bactria.

SILVER PALACE OF THE GARUDA VALLEY....Capital of Shang Shung...."Khyunglung Nulkhar, the Silver Palace of the Garuda Valley, the ruins are to be found in the Sutlej Valley southwest of Mount Kailash." (80E 31N)...(Wangyal: 1993..pg 31)....Khyunglung Nulkar..(Khyung lung dngul mkhar)..."the Silver Palace of Khyung-lung (80E 31N) in the upper Sutlej Valley of Zhang-Zhung (Hoffman: 1979..pg 103)...

MT YUNGDRUNG GUTSEG..."old Bonpo texts describe how the 'nine story swastika mountain' had to be moved from the north to the present location at Kailas." (Allen: 1982..pg 30)..See: Flying Mountains..."To the west of Tibet in a larger country called Tazig is Mount Yungdrung Gutseg. At its bas springs 4 rivers flowing in the four directions. The mountain is surrounded by temples, cities and parks."...

Until the seventh century, Zhang-zhung existed as a separate state which comprised the land to the west of the Central Tibetan Provinces of U and Tsang and generally known as Western Tibet. The historical evidence is incomplete but there are some reliable indications that it may have extended over the vast area from Gilgit in the west to the lake of Namtsho in the east, and from Khotan in the north to Mustang in the south. The capital of Zhang-zhung was a place called Khyunglung Ngulkhar - 'The Silver Palace of the Garuda Valley' - the ruins of which are to be found in the upper Sutlej Valley to the south-west of Mount Kailash. The people of Zhang-zhung spoke a language which is classified among the Tibeto-Burmese group of Sino-Tibetan languages.

Bon religious historical identity. Investigated are: the creation of the myth of the Zhang zhung Empire of the Bon po-s (the Zhang zhung royal myth and the ‘location’ of Zhang zhung culture) and the development of the myth of the founder of Bon, Ston pa gShen rab(s) mi bo.....(The Three Pillars of Bon’: Doctrine, ‘Location’ & Founder—Historiographical Strategies and their Contexts in Bon Religious Historical Literature.)

"Zhang Zhung.....also Shang Shung, or in modern Chinese: Xanxun....Name of an ancient Himalayan kingdom that existed before (ca. 500 years earlier) and during the rise of the kingdom known as Bod (Tibet). .....Zhang Zhung roughly covered the area now known as West Tibet, specifically Guge and the region around Mt. Kailas (Tib., ti se) and Lake Manasarovar (Tib., ma-pham tsho), and Ladakh (now a part of Indian controlled Kashmir).....Once the Bod-kingdom had expanded into all directions - to the borders of Turkestan (north) and Persia (west) to parts of Nepal (south) and to Amdo (east) - also Zhang Zhung became a part of Bod, which by then had grown into what we are now accustomed to call Tibet......Although there is no exact history (yet) of Zhang Zhung and its cultural development, it seems that Buddhist and Tantric teachings have reached this area and merged with the indigenous tradition - a development that occurred way before the so-called first diffusion (of Buddhism into Tibet)......This is also indicated by the title of a genealogy of the Dzogchen teachings within the Bon tradition: Dzogchen Zhang Zhung Nyangyud (Tib., rdzogs-pa chen-po zhang-zhung snyan-brgyud) translates as The Oral Transmission of the Great Perfection of Zhang Zhung; also known in a short form as Zhang Zhung Nyangyud....(http://yoniversum.nl/dakini/zhangzhung.html)

SHANG-SHUNG..."Was an intermediary between historical periods and peoples." (Kuznetsov: 1970..pg 568)...Three regions: sGo-ba (outer), phug-pa (inner), bar-ba (middle)...King Trigum Tsenpo (1st century AD King of Shang Shung)...Shangshung was conquered by the expanding Tibetan empire in the 7th Century AD.

SHANG SHUNG...Information on the language and culture of Shang Shung (Zhang Zhung, Zan Zun). Until the 7th century, an independent, non-Tibetan kingdom, with its own language and history..... Especially the Zhang-zhung terms: WER RO (king), NYI RI (sun), SHE TUN (heart)(Kvaerne: 1996).... The Zhang-zhung dialect is somewhat related to Tibetan, but it is closer to the modern Kanauri language of the western Himalayas. (Reynolds:1996)... Translations on the early history of Zhang Zhung from the Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud (See Wangyal:1993 p 209)..."The Tibetan script U-Med is based on the ancient script of Zhang-Zhung. This script is called sMar-yig or Lha-bab-yi-ge, which means "script descended from the heavens" and is possibly 3000 years old. (Ngakpa:1986..pg 178)....Article in Montreal Gazette (December 12, 1997): The French explorer Michel Peissel announced that he has found remnants of Shangshung in the remote region of Tibet. (Reuters)..."Thirty three generations of Shang-Shung Kings reigned from Nyatri Tsenpo to Songtsen Gampo who died in 649 A.D.) (Norbu: 1995..pg xvi)....."The Dzogchen teachings of the 'Oral Transmission of ShangShung' have enjoyed direct and uninterupted transmission from ancient times to the present, whereby apart from the inherent value of the teachings themselves, they are also extremely precious as historical sources." (Norbu: 1995, pg 218)...See "The Zhang Zhung Language", A Grammar and Dictionary of the Unexplored Language of the Tibetan Bonpos" by Eric Haarh, Kobenhaven: 1968"..

According to Bon history there were six great translators who were responsible for translating and spreading the doctrines of Bon in the surrounding countries. The disciples of Mu cho ldem drug of sTag gzig translated the teachings into the language of Zhang zhung, and it was from here that the teachings were brought to Tibet during the reign of the legendary first King of Tibet, gNya’ khri btsan po9. Zhang zhung plays the same role for the Bon religion as India does for Tibetan Buddhists. According to Bon sources, Zhang zhung was a large kingdom stretching from Gilgit in the west and encompassing all of western Tibet. Its capital was Khyung lung dngul mkhar in the region of Mt Ti se (Kailash). Tradition maintains that the second king of Tibet Mu khri btsan po, invited 108 Bon scholars from Zhang zhung to Tibet, and 37 religious centres were established during his reign (Cech 1987). The Bonpo claim that most of their texts were originally written in the language of Zhang zhung.

dMu tsha tra he was an important scholar from sTag gzig. He studied under the guidance of gYung drung gTsug shen rgyal ba, Drang srong rgyal ba, rMa lo, g.Yu lo and Mu cho Idem drug, the sucessor of sTon pa gshen rab. Among his numerous disciples were rDzu 'phrul ye shes who brought the teachings of monastic discipline to Zhang zhung and Tibet. (BonPo Hidden Treasures...by jean-Luc Achard

"Until the 8th century Zhang Zhung existed as a separate kingdom, comprising the land to the west of the central Tibetan provinces of U (dBus) and Tsang (gTsang) and generally known as Western Tibet, extending over a vast area from Gilgit in the west to the lake of Namtsho (gNam mtsho) in the east and from Khotan in the north to Mustang in the south. The capital was called Khyunglung Ngulkhar (Khyung lung dngul mkhar), the “Silver Palace of Garuda Valley”, the ruins of which lie in the upper Sutlej valley southwest of Mount Kailash. Its people spoke a language classified among the Tibeto-Burmese group of Sino-Tibetan languages. The country was ruled by a dynasty of kings which ended in the 9th century A.D. when the last king, Ligmincha, (Lig min skya) was assassinated by order of the king of Tibet and Zhang-Zhung militarily annexed by Tibet. Since that time Zhang-Zhung has become gradually Tibetanized and its language, culture and many of its beliefs have been integrated into the general frame of Tibetan culture. Due to its geographical proximity to the great cultural centres of central Asia such as Gilgit and Khotan, it was through Zhang-Zhung that many religious concepts and ideas reached Tibet.

"The Bonpos came to identify this Shambhala with Olmo Lungring itself. All this suggests that certain trends within Yungdrung Bon, rather than being later plagiarisms and imitations of Indian Buddhism concocted in the tenth century, actually do go back to a kind of syncretistic Indo-Iranian Buddhism that once flourished in the independent kingdom of Zhang-zhung before it was forcibly incorporated into the expanding Tibetan empire in the eighth century. This "Buddhism", known as gyer in the Zhang-zhung language and as bon in the Tibetan, was not particularly monastic, but more Tantric in nature and its diffusion was stimulated by the presence of various Mahasiddhas in the region such as the illustrious Tapihritsa and his predecessors dwelling in caves about Mount Kailas and about the lakes to the east in Northern Tibet. Even into this century, Kailas remained an important site of pilgrimage drawing Hindu sadhus and yogis from India. Such a mixed "Buddhist" culture, being both Tantric and shamanic, was suppressed in the eighth century when, at the instigation of the Tibetan king Trisong Detsan, the last king of independent Zhang-zhung, Ligmigya, was ambushed and assassinated when he left his castle of Khyung-dzong on the Dang-ra lake in Northern Tibet. Zhang-zhung and its people were absorbed into the Tibetan empire and disappeared as an independent entity. The Zhang-zhung-pas were pressed into the service of the Tibetan army as it expanded westward into Ladakh and Baltistan. Today the Zhang-zhung-pas survive as the nomad people of Western and Northern Tibet, often possessing the same ancient clan names. But having been converted to the Drigung Kagyudpa school of Buddhism, they have forgotten their ancient heritage. The old caves, once the dwelling places of the Bonpo Mahasiddhas, are now thought to be the domain of ghosts, places to be shunned and avoided. Yet ancient ruins, believed to antedate the Tibetan empire, are still to be seen at Khyung-lung (Khyung-lung dngul-mkhar) west of Kailas and on the shores of the Dang-ra lake to the east in Northern Tibet.".....http://vajranatha.com/articles/traditions/dzogchen.html?start=3

"The first Bön scriptures were translated from the language of Zhang-zhung into Tibetan. The works contained in the Bonpo canon as we know it today are written in Tibetan, but a number of them, especially the older ones, retain the titles and at times whole passages in the language of Zhang-zhung. Until the 8th century Zhang-zhung existed as a separate kingdom, comprising the land to the west of the central Tibetan provinces of (dBus) and Tsang (gTsang) and generally known as Western Tibet, extending over a vast area from Gilgit in the west to the lake of Namtsho (gNam-mtsho) in the east and from Khotan in the north to Mustang in the south. The capital was called Khyunglung Ngulkhar (Khyung-lung dngul-mkhar), the 'Silver Palace of Garuda Valley', the ruins of which lie in the upper Sutlej valley south-west of Mount Kailash. Its people spoke a language classified among the Tibeto-Burmese group of Sino-Tibetan languages. The country was ruled by a dynasty of kings which ended in the 9th century A.D. when the last king, Ligmincha (Lig-min-skya) was assassinated by order of the king of Tibet and Zhang-zhung militarily annexed by Tibet. Since that time Zhang-zhung has become gradually Tibetanized and its language, culture and many of its beliefs have been integrated into the general frame of Tibetan culture. Due to its geographical proximity to the great cultural centres of central Asia such as Gilgit and Khotan, it was through Zhang-zhung that many religious concepts and ideas reached Tibet."......http://shenten.org/en/yungdrung-bon/history

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