This talk presents an outline of the Yungdrung Bön ’Treasure’ tradition
The Tibetan Bön religion, often called Yungdrung (‘Eternal’) Bön by its adherents, arose in Central Tibet at the same time as the ‘Latter Propagation’ (phyi dar) of Buddhism, i.e. in the 10th-11th century CE. In fact, it shares many traits with the Latter Propagation, and may be viewed as part of a broader socio-religious movement in Tibet at the time.
An important element, shared by both these religions, is the appearance of ’Treasures’, texts (and to some extent objects) considered by their respective adherents to have been hidden in former centuries at a time when the religion was persecuted or when the people of Tibet were not considered sufficiently spiritually mature to receive the texts. The Treasures are believed to have been brought to light by ’Treasure discoverers’ (gter ston), particularly gifted or divinely chosen individuals who passed them on to their circle of disciples or patrons.
This talk will present an outline of the Yungdrung Bön ’Treasure’ tradition, a tradition which is still alive, thus spanning more than a thousand years. From origins which are different compared to those of Buddhist ’Treasures’, it has developed and diversified over the centuries, ultimately becoming the most significant source of Yungdrung Bön canonical scriptures.