Asian Art Museum
- Introduction to the Himalayas
- Bön, Tibet’s indigenous belief system
- Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
- Tibetan Buddhist orders
- Sacred arts of Tibet
- Thunderbolt and bell
- Prayer wheel
- Cabinet for storing offerings
- Views of Tibet
- Tibetan thangka painting (sacred pictures)
- The Buddhist deity Mahakala as a Brahman
- The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
- Mandala of the Buddhist deity Chakrasamvara
- The Goddess of the White Umbrella (the Buddhist deity Ushnisha-sitatapatra)
- Buddhist text about the Bodhisattva Manjushri
- The Buddhist deity Simhavaktra Dakini
- The Buddhist protector deity Penden Lhamo
- The Great mystic Virupa
- Secrets of the stupa
Bön, Tibet’s indigenous belief system
Bön, Tibet’s indigenous belief system, is a high form of religious ritualism primarily concerned with righting the causes of human ailment and misfortune and coexisting with the underlying forces of the universe. It focuses on the living, but has a clear sense of an afterlife and seeks to bring benefits and hap- piness in both this world and the world to come.
The Bön outlook is basically one where humans are beset by a variety of spiteful demons and temperamental local gods, who are the major cause of disease and strife in this world and danger in the next. Some of the Bön practices of exorcism have been borrowed from Tibetan Buddhism, while some of its terrifying deities and mighty demons were converted and tamed to serve as guardians of Buddhism. Bön assimilated a great deal of Buddhism’s profound doctrines and powerful rituals and has come to emulate many fundamental Buddhist theories and practices, but it also influenced Tibetan Buddhism.
In the Bön view, mountain gods are particularly important. It is through them that many clan leaders trace their ancestry from mythic god-heroes, to the first kings of Tibet, and down to the present day. It is not that they themselves were gods, but that the deity of a local mountain sent a hero to lead its clan, giving divine legitimacy to their dynasty.
Want to join the conversation?
- Is the Bön religion still practiced today?(3 votes)
- Yes, although it has been almost eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism and its numbers were devastated following the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The current head of the faith is Lungtok Tenpa'i Nyima, who presides over the, now rebuilt, Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.(5 votes)
- I would like to see literature related to Mahakali. I Would also like to read about the relation or Bonpo in regards to Tibet.(1 vote)
- Dear Angel,
Your learning of these things will be facilitated by a conversation with almost any librarian in the world. Try that. OR, if that's inconvenient, Uncle Google and Auntie Wikipedia are always near.(1 vote)
- how old is the bon tablet(0 votes)
- I'm confused. No Bon "Tablet" is mentioned in the article. "Bon" is introduced as an indigenous belief in TIBET. Please, Anthony, help us to understand your question, then we can help you to find the answer.(1 vote)