Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shambhala: Tribes, Clans and Castes


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Tonpa Shenrab was born at the palace Barpo Sogye of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring. His father was Gyalbon Thodkar of the Mu clan and his mother Yonchi Gyalzhedma.

"Khedrup Khyungpo Naljor, whom Jamgon Kongtrul regarded as the greatest master ever to have graced Tibet after Guru Padmasambhava and the 25 disciples, was born in a year of the tiger in the southern part of Tibet, into a distinguished family, the clan of the Khyung, being the same extended family clan from which the lord of yogins Jetsun Milarepa hailed somewhat later......his own name meant "the Yogin of the Garuda clan."....

KHYUNGPO CLAN..."Jamgon Kongtrul provides a lengthy account of the divine origin of the ancestors of the Khyungpo clan, whose descendents include some of the most outstanding figures of both the Buddhist and Bonpo traditions." (Kongtrul: 15)...

"There is no mention in any of the original Sanskrit and Vedic texts about the two opposing races called Aryan and Dravidian. The word Arya was used to designate a person as 'noble'. A wife will call her husband, 'O Arya' or 'O Arya-putra' meaning 'O my noble one' or 'O son of your noble father'. It was in this context that the word Arya was used in ancient Indian literature including Mahabharata. This appellation was given even if the husband belonged to the Rakshasa tribe. The word 'Dravida' was used to denote a tribe of people. In Mahabharata it was used to denote a tribe living some where in modern-day southern Andhara Pradesh. This tribe themselves used the appellation 'Arya' to denote nobility of a person. The appellation 'Arya' has some remote similarity with the appellation 'Ahura' (which cognates with the Vedic 'Asura') of Zend Avesta which also denote nobility of a person. In some occasions, the term Dravida is used as a collective term to denote the southern tribes of Chola, Pandya and Kerala, much like the noun Bahlika was used as a collective term to denote the western tribes like the Madra, Bahlika, Kekaya, Gandhara and Kamboja or the term Mlechcha was used to denote all the sea-trading tribes established on the sea shores of what is now Gujarat, Karachi, Bengal and Bangladesh. Even then, there was no instances where the Dravida tribe was mentioned as being opposed by an 'Aryan' tribe from the north. Usually the Dravida tribes were found to be allies of the northern tribes, for example the Keralas, the Pandyas and the Cholas were mentioned as allies of the Pandavas in their battle against the Kauravas.".....

".... a thirteenth century manuscript called "The Appearance of the Little Black-Headed Man" (dBu nag mi'u dra chag), and in that case a yak is substituted for the snow lion, which had not yet emerged as the national symbol of Tibet. In the text, a nyen (wylie: gNyan, mountain spirit) kills his son-in-law, Khri-to, who is the primeval human man, in a misguided attempt to avenge his daughter. The nyen then is made to see his mistake by a mediator and compensates Khri-to's six sons with the gift of the tiger, yak, garuda, dragon, goat, and dog. The first four brothers then launch an exhibition to kill robbers who were also involved with their mother's death, and each of their four animals then becomes a personal drala (wylie: dgra bla, "protective warrior spirit") to one of the four brothers. The brothers who received the goat and dog choose not to participate, and their animals therefore do not become drala. Each of the brothers represents one of the six primitive Tibetan clans (bod mi'u gdung drug), with which their respective animals also become associated.".....Karmay, Samten G. The Arrow and the Spindle: Studies in History, Myths, Rituals and Beliefs in Tibet. Mandala Publishing: 1998 pg. 420

"Kaul, Koul, Caul or Kol (Kashmiri: कौल (Devanagari), کول (Nastaleeq)) is a surname used by the Kashmiri Pandit
community.The term also refers to the Kaul clan from which several other krams (surnames) of Kashmir have originated.
The word Kaul, meaning well born, is derived from Kula, the Sanskrit term for family or clan. Its use as a surname or
appellation is a derivative of the ancient name Kaula which means well born and is related to Saivite beliefs.....
Shiva followers were thus called Kaulas.....since the Aryan Saraswat Brahmins of Kas'mira were believers in Saivism
and Shakta, the peak of Saivism in Kashmir around the 9th century ~ 12th century gave rise to use of the
name.....Abhinavgupta was born into a Kashmiri Pandit family. "Abhinavagupta" was not his real name, rather
a title he earned from his master, carrying a meaning of "competence and authoritativeness".
Abhinavgupta was a one-word title given to him, and he was most likely from the Kaul clan and therefore a

"Society in the Avesta shows the division into the three classes: the Athravan or Priests, the Rathaeshtar or warrior, and the Vastryosh or Husbandman, corresponding to the first three 'castes' of India, in other words 'the Twice-born' classes. To these three was added at a much later period (just as was the case in India) a fourth class the Hutokhsha or Manual-worker. The king belonged to the warrior or the Ruler class, and held supreme power in the land; but the Religious Teacher was his equal in every way 'verily by reason of his Righteousness'. The name of the Priestly class, Athravan, indicates the cult of Fire, which the Great Teacher had definitely established in Iran.

"Within the territory of Olmo Lung-ring there are seven royal races (rgyal rigs) and chief among them is the clan of Mushen (dmu-gshen) from which Tonpa Shenrab descended. Thus the word "gshen" is also the name of a clan, as well as the term for a kind of practitioner. Besides the Mushen, there were six more royal races or clans (rgyal rigs) ruling in Olmo Lung-ring: "Hos", "Shag", "dPo", "rGya", "gTo", and "gNyan". There are also classes of ministers, merchants, artisans, commoners, and so on.

CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS...."70 different languages are spoken in the Caucasus Highlands. Many various tribes. (Le Strange: 180)...

KUSHANS...."The Kushan Empire had tremendous ethnic and cultural heterogeneity. Buddhism, Jainism, Shivaism, Zorastrianism, Manichaeism and many local tribal cults were practiced." (Gafurov: 1968)..."Mithra was especially venerated by the Kushans...."Kashgar, Khotan, Karashahr, and Kucha (the four garrisons) were defeated by the Arabs in 751 and the whole of inner Asia was lost."..(Knobloch: 224)..."The period of the invasion of the Sakas and Kushans into India in the 2nd century BC." (Acta: 239)..."Mithra was especially venerated by the Kushans in the east." (Acta 17: 209)..."In Kushaniya stood a temple on whose walls were depicted the ancient kings of various nations." (Litvinsky: 429)...King Kaniska is associated with the Tarim River basin in the 2-3rd centuries AD..."Kusha was mostly influenced by Persia."..(Knobloch: 224)..."More than 2000 years ago Central Asia, North India, West Pakistan, and East Iran were united in a single state formation."(Gafurov:1968)...Kushan Kings: Chandragupta (401 AD?)...Samudragupta (350 AD)...(Gafurov: 153)...

KHOTAN...(Li Yul)...near the Tarim River..."Khotan (kamsadesa, Li Yul) an ancient city-state in Central Asia, beyond the Karakorum Range. The city has been buried for centuries near the village known as Yotkan."...(Kongtrul: 153)..."The Khotanese Sakas, whose conversion to Buddhism was so complete that almost nothing remained of their original Iranian religion. The same is true of the Tokarians. The Sogdians kept many elements. Central Asian Iranian traditions: Khotanese Sakas, Sogdians, Bactrains, Khwarizmians." (Litvinsky: 431)...Khotanese: the Middle Iranian, Scythian (Saka) language of Khotan in Central Asia.

Bactria was the homeland of Indo-European tribes who moved south-west into Iran and into North-Western India around 2500–2000 BC.

MUKPO CLAN...The six clans (dong) of Tibet: Mukpo, Gade, Drupa, Denma, Shenpa, Tagrong, Dege(?)..."I have kept the name Mukpo as my family name, my identity, my pride." ( 94)..."gdong: face, a synonym of cha-chen; clan, beak, countenance"...For a description of the different lineages see: (Karmay: 1972)...."rMu bza (Mu wife) was the grandmother of Gesar." "sMug'po gdong or Idong, one of the four original tribes of Tibet from which the people of gLing were descended. Ancient saying: 'The descendants of the Mugpo Dong race think only of conquering other peoples." (Norbu: 5-8)..."The personal 'shen' of the Shangshung King Thothori was of the Mu clan." (Stein: 230)...."Shenrab Miwo's clan is considered to be descended from the bMu deities, an ancient class of celestial deities. dMu is also the name of one of the four original tribes of Tibet." (Tharthang: 114)..."According to legend, a messenger of Phyva goes to the heaven of dMu, asking for a dMu king to rule over the black headed men." (Bansal: 86)..."then the dMu people, belonging to gShen rabs forefather dMu-rgyal"..(Francke: 1950: 169)....."one of the six semi-legendary royal races of Olmolungring: dMu, dPo, Shag, rGya, gNyan, Hos"..(Norbu: 271)...


The major ancestral tribes of Tibet ....
The Se (se), closely associated with the Azha (a zha) tribe
The Ba (sbra or dbra)
The Dön (ldon, ‘don, gdon, sdon) associated with Minak (mi gnag)
The Tön (ston, gton, don) associated with Sumpa (sum pa)
The Ga (lga, sga, rga, dga’)
The Dru ('bru) divided into white, black and mixed
The Ma or Mu (smra, rma, dmu, rmu, smu) which corresponds with the clan name of the founder of Bon
The Wa and Da (dpa, zla)
The Go (sGo)
(R.A. Stein, in Les Tribus Anciennes des Marches Sino-Tibetaines)

The Puranas record that Yayati left Prayag (confluence of the Ganges & Yamuna) and conquered the region of Sapta Sindhu.[87] His five sons Yadu, Druhyu, Puru, Anu and Turvashu correspond to the main tribes of the Rigveda.

In this account, Lanshi 藍市 [Lan-shih] must surely stand for Bactra, as Burton Watson indicates, as it was certainly the largest city and greatest trading centre in the region..... Lanshi (identified as Bactra or modern Balkh), which Burton Watson and others have identified as the country’s “capital.” In the above passage it is quite clear that the country was not ruled by an overall king located in Lanshì nor was there any central administration of the country from that city......Zhang Qian carefully notes that, “It [Bactria] has no great ruler but only a number of kings ruling the various cities.” The Chinese word used to describe the status of Lanshi is du 都 [tu] which can mean either the capital (of a country) or, preferably here, a large town, city or metropolis. It is clear from the context that the latter is the sense in which it should be interpreted in this context. See Dorn’eich (1999b), p. 40; GR No. 11668; CED, p. 291

Median tribes: Busae, Parataceni, Struchates, Arizanti, Budii, Magi...... The achievement of Deioces was to unite under his rules the peoples of Media - Busae, Parataceni, Struchates, Arizanti, Budii, Magi.....The Persian nation contains a number of tribes [...]: the Pasargadae, Maraphii, and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished; they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Mardi, Dropici, Sagarti, being nomadic [Herodotus, Histories.

The garuda and the dragon have their origin in Indian and Chinese mythology, respectively. However, regarding the origin of the animals as a tetrad, "neither written nor oral explanations exist anywhere" with the exception of a thirteenth century manuscript called "The Appearance of the Little Black-Headed Man" (dBu nag mi'u dra chag), and in that case a yak is substituted for the snow lion, which had not yet emerged as the national symbol of Tibet.

"The Yuezhi were organized into five major tribes, each led by a yabgu, or tribal chief, and known to the Chinese as Xiūmì (休密) in Western Wakhān and Zibak, Guishuang (貴霜) in Badakhshan and the adjoining territories north of the Oxus, Shuangmi (雙靡) in the region of Shughnan, Xidun (肸頓) in the region of Balkh, and Dūmì (都密) in the region of Termez."......

"The Indo-Aryans were divided into a number of small tribes, each ruled by a king, or tribal chief, when they colonized Afghanistan and the Panjab. There was no caste system The con- among the Indo-Aryan tribes at the time of their immigration, but a priesthood had already grown up. Before the immi- gration, the functions of the tribal priest and the ruler seem to have been united, but the long wars which took place between the Indo-Aryans and the earlier settlers in Afghan- istan and the Panjab must have forced the members of an Indo-Aryan tribe to divide themselves into different groups according to their vocations in life. Magic rites being regarded as equally important with the conquest of the enemy, the functions of the tribal magician or priest appear to have become different from those of the tribal chief or the leader in war, at a very early date. But even after the settlement of the Indo-Aryans in India, the priestly functions were not confined to a particular class, or in other words, division of labour had not yet degenerated into a rigid caste system."......


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2012


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