Himalayan Art Resources

Bon: Tonpa Shenrab Main Page

Tonpa Shenrab Main Page | Bon Religion Main Page

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Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Tonpa Shenrab Definition (below)
- Tonpa Shenrab Outline Page
- Tonpa Shenrab (Four Transcendent Lords)
- Four Transcendent Lords
- Iconography Sub-sets Outline
- Life Story Main Page
- Nampar Gyalwa
- Tritsug Gyalwa
- Dulwa Shendrug (Six Teachers of Discipline)
- Choga Chunyi (Twelve Ritual Deities)
- Olmo Lungring (Sacred Geography)
- Confusions
- Others...

Tibetan: Tonpa Shenrab Miwo (ston pa g.shen rab mi wo) the founder of the Yungdrung Bon religion 8,000 years ago in the land of Tajik to the west of Tibet.

The life story of Tonpa Shenrab along with the recounting of his previous lives are found in three principal texts: the first, and considered the oldest, is the Dodu (Wylie: mdo 'dus) in one volume and twenty-four chapters. Second is the Zermig (gzer mig) in two volumes and eighteen chapters discovered in the 10th century, followed by the Zije (Wylie: gzi brjid) comprised of twelve volumes and sixty-one chapters discovered in the 14th century by Tulku Loden Nyingpo. The last two texts belong to the Revealed Treasure tradition (Tib.: ter ma) of the Bon religion.

Tonpa Shenrab is the fourth member of the important group known as the Four Transcendent Lords (Outline Page).

Tonpa Shenrab also appears in six different forms, the Six Teachers of Discipline (Outline Page), to train the various beings of the six different realms of existence.

There are twelve special forms of Tonpa Shenrab known as the Twelve Ritual Deities representing twelve important events in his life.

Tonpa Shenrab is represented in a twelve painting set depicting his life story. (See an essay on the Life Story of Tonpa Shenrab [Pdf]).

Jeff Watt 2-2000 [updated 4-2017]