The History of Bon

Bon is the indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet and one of the world’s oldest living religions. According to the well-preserved records of the Bon, the origin maintains a record of 9,000 years. In ancient times this tradition permeated the major part of Central Asia to include the Himalayan region. Over this long period of time the Bon religion has experienced fluctuating fortunes, especially in modern times.

Over this long history Bon has developed and holds a wealth of ancient wisdom, which has formed the cultural base of Tibet and many other ancient kingdoms spanning Nepal, India, and Tibet in modern times. This indigenous culture can clearly be observed over a large part of the Himalayan region, traversing the borders and political systems of the region. These peoples, the Bonpos, have formed a strong spiritual foundation, which underpins their social structure and identity. This is the source of their inner peace and the key to their social harmony. In the second half of the Twentieth Century this observation is well documented by Western scholars and though because of the changing political climate is being gravely challenged.

Bon is rich in spiritual teachings of inner science and this carries a tremendous body of written practical knowledge in the ancient texts. This precious knowledge continues to be maintained in the libraries of the Bonpo monasteries. This practical knowledge has helped the Bonpo people in their daily lives and has enhanced their welfare over the eons of time. The Bon texts contain many volumes detailing the importance of living harmoniously within the natural environment and how to rectify environmental and personal imbalances. These peoples are well developed in the ancient sciences of astrology, metaphysics, prognostics and geomancy. The Tibetan medicine is today now recognized as a valuable system of traditional medicine. This scientific knowledge is contained and precisely detailed and methodically documented in the Bon manuscripts and the cultural/religious practices.

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