gZi-brjid

(ca. 1400)

The gZi-brjid, or “The Glorious,” is a fundamental text of the Tibetan Bon religion, said to have been spiritually transmitted to Londen Nyingpo, who recorded the revelation, in the fourteenth century. This twelve-volume text contains a biography and the teachings of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, the founder of Bon. Bon originally referred to practices associated with ancient Tibetan folk traditions. Over the centuries, Bon gradually developed a religious institutional structure, and in many respects it has merged with Tibet’s official religion, Buddhism. Bon is considered the oldest extant religious tradition in Tibet. Bon adherents refer to themselves as Bonpos.

The gZi-brjid presents Tonpa Shenrab’s life and teachings in sixty-one “episodes.” In episode 16, found in the fourth volume, Shenrab teaches the meditation practices that represent Bon’s highest teaching: Dzogchen, or the Great Perfection. There are three versions of the gZi-brjid, referred to as the Southern Treasure,...

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Tibetan refugees (Library of Congress)

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