Sunday, May 18, 2014

Zhangzhung (Zanzun) ... Phug-pa/Bactria ... The Kingdom of Zun

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"Phug pa ....Inner Shang Shung..... three month-walk from Mt Kailash westwards...The inner region is said to be sTag-gzig (Tazig) ...often identified with Bactria....

"Zhang Zhung (transcribed Zhang Zhung, Shang Shung, Zan Zun or Tibetan Pinyin Xang Xung) appears to have been more of a culture zone than an actual 'kingdom'"....The Bon religion of the royal period (seventh to ninth centuries) is said to have come from Tazig (stag gzig, Tajik/Iran) via Zhang Zhung

"The Zunbils worshipped a god named Zun (Zoon) from which they derived their name.....Their territory included between what is now the city of Zaranj in southwestern Afghanistan and Kabulistan in the northeast, with Zamindawar and Ghazni serving as their capitals. Although the rulers of the Zunbil dynasty were "worshippers" of the sun, many inhabitants south of the Hindu Kush practiced Buddhism and other ancient religions."

"Zhang Zhung, Shang Shung, or Tibetan Pinyin Xang Xung, Zan-zun ....... the Holy Language of the Tibetan Bonpo.......was an ancient culture and kingdom of western and northwestern Tibet, which pre-dates the culture of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. Zhang Zhung culture is associated with the Bon religion."

"Shang Shung was traditionally divided into three wide regions:
* Gopa (External Shang-Shung) – corresponding to modern Central and East Tibet.
* Phug pa (Inner Shang Shung)) – reaching three month-walk from Kailash westwards and which included 32 districts.....The inner region is said to be sTag-gzig (Tazig) ...often identified with Bactria...
* Bar pa (Central Shang Shung) – corresponding to the modern Ngari region or West Tibet, which included three districts named Maryul, Guge and Phurang.

"At Piyang in western Tibet many caves have been dug into the face of the mesa....Mysterious sacred caves in Tibet keep many secrets about the past and present and they are often inaccessible to ordinary tourists....Among them, there are Piyang caves, one of the most important caves of Zanzun....... situated in the western part of plateau in a close vicinity of the sacred Mount of Kailash....At Piyang there are "over 1,100 caves of varying shapes and sizes, some are clearly habitation sites, while others are probably meditation caves, and still others have ritual architecture within them....some of Piyang caves can be still considered as places of habitation, while others are possibly used ritually or serve as meditation places governed by gods and spirits...... The region Piyang, covering an area of 10,000 square meters, is extremely difficult to explore."....http://www.messagetoeagle.com/index.html

"Tradition has it that Zhang Zhung consisted "of three different regions: sGob-ba, the outer; Phug-pa, the inner; and Bar-ba, the middle. The outer is what we might call Western Tibet, from Gilgit in the west to Dangs-ra khyung-rdzong in the east, next to lake gNam-mtsho, and from Khotan in the north to Chu-mig brgyad-cu rtsa-gnyis in the south. The inner region is said to be sTag-gzig (Tazig) [often identified with Bactria], and the middle rGya-mkhar bar-chod, a place not yet identified....some of the ancient texts describing the Zhang Zhung kingdom also claimed the Sutlej valley was Shambhala,.....There is some confusion as to whether Tibet destroyed Zhangzhung during the reign of Songtsän Gampo (605 or 617? - 649) or in the reign of Trisong Detsen (Wylie: Khri-srong-lde-btsan), (r. 755 until 797 or 804 CE)."..... Karmey, Samten G. (1975). "'A General Introduction to the History and Doctrines of Bon"

"Bon originated just west of Mount Kailash in Guge (gu ge), the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zhang Zhung. Like the Buddhists who came centuries after him, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche (ston pa gshen rab mi bo che) combined the various native mystical cults under his own to fashion Bon, or Bön. He settled in Zhang Zhung, presently known as western Tibet's Guge region. Centered on the Tibetan Plateau, the tale of the kingdom of the Bon people is of profound importance, for it was from the Bon kingdom of Zhang Zhung that the myth of Shambhala arose. Shambhala, named Olmo Lung Ring ('ol-mo lung-rings), was considered to be one of the great centers of the Zhang Zhung culture of central Tibet. These people settled in Tibet and practiced some form of ritual Bon culture, which must have evolved from Hinduism and Zoroastrianism.".....http://www.yungdrung.org

"The eighth book of the grub mtha' legs bshad shel kyi me long in twelve volumes by the Tibetan lama Chokyi Nyima (chos kyi nyi ma dpal bzang po 1674 - 1740) gives some information on the rise of the Bonpo in the region of Zhang Zhung, identified not with the modern region of the same name in the northwest of Lhasa, but with Guge and Kinnaur.....The Zhang Zhung kings of the past lived in different places such as Guge and Khyunglung Ngulkar (khyung lung ngul mkhar), near Mount Kailash, and many others. The Silver Palace of Khyunglung is in the upper Sutlej Valley of Zhang Zhung."....http://www.yungdrung.org

"Guge was an ancient kingdom in Western Tibet. The kingdom was centered in present-day Zanda County, within Ngari Prefecture of Tibet. At various points in history after 10th century AD, the kingdom held sway over a vast area including south-eastern Zanskar, Upper Kinnaur, and Spiti valley either by conquest or as tributaries. The ruins of the former capital of Guge kingdom are located at Tsaparang in the Sutlej valley, not far from Mount Kailash and 1,200 miles (1,900 km) westwards from Lhasa."

"Zunbil, also written as Zhunbil, was a dynasty south of the Hindu Kush in southern Afghanistan. They ruled from the early 7th century until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan in 870 AD. The Zunbils are believed to be an offspring of the southern-Hephthalite rulers of Zabulistan and culturally connected to Greater India. The dynasty was related to the Kabul Shahis of the northeast in Kabul. "It follows from Huei-ch'ao's report that Barhatakin had two sons: one who ruled from after him in Kapisa-Gandhara and another who became king of Zabul".......The Zunbils worshipped a god named Zun (Zoon) from which they derived their name.....Their territory included between what is now the city of Zaranj in southwestern Afghanistan and Kabulistan in the northeast, with Zamindawar and Ghazni serving as their capitals. Although the rulers of the Zunbil dynasty were worshippers of the sun, many inhabitants south of the Hindu Kush practiced Buddhism and other ancient religions before the Islamization of the region. The title Zunbil can be traced back to the Middle-Persian original Zūn-dātbar, 'Zun the Justice-giver'. The geographical name Zamindawar would also reflect this, from Middle Persian 'Zamin-i dātbar' (Land of the Justice-giver)."....."The Temple of Zoor or Zoon in Zamindawar". Abdul Hai Habibi.

"Andre Wink Professor of History at University of Madison, Wisconsin writes: “…Qandahar [modern Kandahar]…. was the religious center of the kingdom where the cult of the Shaivite god Zun was performed on a hilltop…” “…the god Zun or Zhun ... shrine lay in Zamindawar before the arrival of Islam, set on a sacred mountain, and still existing in the later ninth century …. [The region was]… famous as a pilgrimage center devoted to Zun. In China the god's temple became known as the temple of Su-na. …The worship of Zun might be related to that of the old shrine of the sun-god Aditya at Multan. In any case, the cult of Zun was primarily Hindu, not Buddhist or Zoroastrian. “......A connection of Gandhara with the polymorphic male god Shiva and the Durga Devi is now well-established. The pre-eminent character of Zun or Sun was that of a mountain god. And a connection with mountains also predominates in the composite religious configuration of Shiva, the lord of the mountain, the cosmic pivot and the ruler of time… Gandhara and the neighboring countries in fact represent a prominent background to classical Shaivism.”……(source: How 'Gandhara' became 'Kandahar' - By Rajiv Malhotra and The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Volume I – Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7th-11th Centuries - By Andre Wink. Oxford University Press, New Delhi 1999. p.112 -193).

"Zamindawar is a historical district of Afghanistan, situated on the right bank of the Helmand River to the northwest of Kandahar, bordering the road which leads from Kandahar to Herat via Farah. The historic region of Zamindawar is located in the greater territory of northern Helmand and encompasses the approximate area of modern day Baghran, Musa Qala, Naw Zad, Kajaki and Sangin districts. It was a district of hills, and of wide, well populated, and fertile valleys watered by important tributaries of the Helmand. The principal town was Musa Qala, which stands on the banks of a river of the same name, about 60 m, north of Girishk.......Zunbils ruled Zamindawar before Islamization of the area. The title Zunbil can be traced back to the Middle-Persian original Zūn-dātbar, 'Zun the Justice-giver'. The geographical name Zamindawar would also reflect this, from Middle-Persian 'Zamin-i dātbar' (Land of the Justice-giver)."

884 mi.....Distance from Gangdisê Shan to Kabul

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….May 2014

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