Page 1


Papers Presented at the International Conference on Bon 22-27 June 2008, Shenten Dargye Ling, Ch창teau de la Modetais, Blou, France

New Horizons of Bon Studies, 2

Samten G. Karmay and Donatella Rossi, Editors

Founded by Giuseppe Tucci


IsIAO Vol. 59 - Nos. 1-4 (December 2009)

CONTENTS Preface by Gherardo Gnoli................................................................................................ Introduction by Samten G. Karmay...................................................................................

11 13

Part I. Myths and History Per Kværne, Bon and Shamanism...................................................................................... Tsering Thar, Mount Ti se (Kailash) Area: The Center of Himalayan Civilization .......... Francisco Ayllón, Lha: Towards Assessing Discontinuity in Paradigms of the Sacred...... Samten G. Karmay, A New Discovery of Ancient Bon Manuscripts from a Buddhist st∑pa in Southern Tibet ...............................................................................................

19 25 31 55

Part II. Monasticism and Philosophy Stéphane Arguillère, mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan on the Special Features of the Bon Monastic Discipline .............................................................................................. Matthew T. Kapstein, The Commentaries of the Four Clever Men: A Doctrinal and Philosophical Corpus in the Bon po rDzogs chen Tradition ....................................... Seiji Kumagai, Development of the Theory of the ‘Two Truths’ in the Bon Religion .......

87 107 131

Part III. Medicine and Yogic Practices Colin Millard, The Life and Medical Legacy of Khyung sprul 'Jigs med nam mkha'i rdo rje (1897-1955).................................................................................................................. Alejandro Chaoul, From Caves to the Clinic and Research: Bon Magical Movement (rtsa rlung 'phrul 'khor) Can Help People with Cancer.............................................. Philippe Cornu, A Comparative Study of the Bar do Views in the Bon Religion and the rNying ma pa School ....................................................................................................

147 167 191

Part IV. Ritual and Society Charles Ramble, Playing Dice with the Devil: Two Bonpo Soul-retrieval Texts and Their Interpretation in Mustang, Nepal ...................................................................... J.F. Marc des Jardins, Bon Institutions in Contemporary Tibetan Territories and the Dynamics of Religious Authority................................................................................. Heather Stoddard, The Lexicon of Zhangzhung and Bonpo Terms. Some Aspects of Vocabulary in Relation to Material Culture and the Persian World ........................... Kengo Konishi, Reconstruction of the Education System in a Bon Monastery: A Case Study of sKyang tshang Monastery in Amdo Shar khog Today ...................................

205 233 245 265

Hiroyuki Suzuki, Tibetan Dialects Spoken in Shar khog and Khod po khog .................... Mona Schrempf and Jack Patrick Hayes, From Temple to Commodity? Tourism in Songpan and the Bon Monasteries of A'mdo Shar khog .............................................. Katia Buffetrille, Khyung mo Monastery (A'mdo) and Its ‘Map’ of 'Ol mo lung ring...... Mara Arizaga, An Introduction to the Study of Bon in Modern China ............................. Donatella Rossi, A Brief Note on the Bonpo Texts of the Giuseppe Tucci Fund Preserved at the Library of IsIAO ................................................................................................ *


273 285 313 327 337


Brief Notes and Items for Discussion..................................................................................


Chiara Bellini, An Autobiography by David Snellgrove..................................................... Gherardo Gnoli, Giuseppe Vignato, Saerji and Francesco D’Arelli, Giuseppe Tucci’s Indo-tibetica. A Chinese Edition ................................................................................ Fabio Scialpi, The Figure of the Great Mother in India. A Comparison between the East and the West ........................................................................................................

349 357 365

Obituaries Ahmed Hassan Dani (1920-2009) (by Luca M. Olivieri) .................................................. Walter Belardi (1923-2008) (by Gherardo Gnoli and Adriano V. Rossi) ........................ F.A. Khan (1910-2009) (by Sh. Khurshid Hasan).............................................................

379 385 393

Book Reviews by Michela Clemente, Matteo De Chiara, Marcello De Martino, Lionello Lanciotti .....


Books Received ...................................................................................................................


List of Contributors ............................................................................................................


Table of Contents ...............................................................................................................


David L. Snellgrove


It is with great pleasure that I welcome the publication of this Special Volume in the East and West collection. The unique series of articles contained in the present Volume definitely show the state-of-the-art in terms of research carried out by first-rate scholars in a great variety of fields pertaining to the ever-flourishing discipline of Tibetan Studies; however, their value becomes even greater, if we consider that they were all written to honour the geniality and the pioneering work of the great scholar to whom the Volume is wholeheartedly dedicated: Professor David Llewellyn Snellgrove. I take this opportunity to express my admiration and respect for his scholarship, and also for his personal character, which I have both appreciated in various occasions, occasions that have also progressively become the locus of our longstanding relation and friendship. Prof. Snellgrove was the first Western scholar to embark, during the second half of last century, in the daunting task of presenting the Bon religion and its multi-faceted expressions in a way that eschewed biased cultural superimpositions, thus allowing this religious tradition to finally speak for itself, by way of some of its most knowledgeable representatives. In the touching Introduction written by Prof. Karmay, readers will be able to understand the ways in which such a seminal task was undertaken. The results and effects of David Snellgrove pioneering endeavours, as well as the influence of his far-reaching vision can now be assessed through the philological and field researches, publications, and conference panels focused upon the Bon religion and Bonpo traditions, which have multiplied during the course of time, and which continue to shed light and deepen our understanding of one of the most valuable components of the Tibetan culture, especially as far as its foundation and origins are concerned. In this regard, we cannot but gratefully turn our minds to the memory of Giuseppe Tucci, who in addition to his innumerable outstanding accomplishments, founded the East and West Review in 1950. I believe that the prestige of this historical Review is confirmed and enhanced by this Special Volume, and I hope that in future times it will also come to be considered as a preferred interface for many more scholarly works in the field of Tibetology, such as the ones presented here. GHERARDO GNOLI


From the 22nd to 25th of June 2008 an international conference on the Bon religion was held under the auspices of the Bon religious centre Shenten Dargye Ling at Blou, France. It was Rev. Tenpa Yungdrung, the Abbot of the Tritan Norbutse Monastery in Kathmandu and the head of Shenten Dargye Ling who wished for a conference of scholars of Bon studies to be convened. This was part of his project to foster the development of Bon studies by scholars in parallel with the spiritual practices which the religion professes, and whose centuries old spiritual tradition brings benefits to modern practitioners. An Organizing Committee consisting of four members, the Abbot himself, Isabelle Catona, Stéphane Arguillère, and myself was formed. The conference was entitled: Bon, the Indigenous Source of Tibetan Religion and Culture. The conference was attended by internationally renowned scholars in the field, and by a number of young Ph.D. candidates from The Netherlands, Japan, China, and Taiwan. Twenty-seven out of thirty-three, who were invited, participated in the gathering. They were from twelve countries. It turned out to be a very enjoyable occasion, blessed with good weather, and the calm of the country-side of the Val de Loire. However, this was not the first time such an international conference on the Bon religion had been organized. In 2002 Professor Yasuhiko Nagano of The National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan convened a similar one under the title of New Horizons of Bon Studies. It was the first of its kind. Its proceedings were published in 2000 (New Horizons of Bon Studies, Bon Studies, 2, Senri Ethnological Reports, 15, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka). European Bon studies date back to the nineteenth century, but it was only in the 1960s that a serious attempt was made for the first time to understand the religion, its history, and literature with the first-hand knowledge of the indigenous sources, a rarity outside of Tibet before 1959. It was Professor David Llewellyn Snellgrove, who having developed a strong interest in the Bon religion after his field trip to Dolpo in 1956, embarked on a research project of this religion. In 1961, with the financial assistance of the Rockfeller Foundation, he invited Lopon Tenzin Namdak, Sangye Tenzin, now the Abbot of the Menri Monastery (Dolanji, Himachal Pradesh, India), and myself to the University of London to work with him. We were refugees in India. Although this volume is published in his honour, it is not my intention to give a detailed account of David’s life here: this is far beyond our scope, and also beyond the too many facets of this great traveler-scholar, who covered almost every field of oriental studies. Moreover, Dr Tadeusz Skorupski has written an excellent account

of David’s life entitled ‘The life and Adventures of David Snellgrove’ in Indo-Tibetan Studies, which is dedicated to him (Indo-Tibetan Studies, Buddhica Britannica, Series continua II, The Institute of Buddhist Studies, Tring, U.K. 1990, pp. 1-21). David himself has also published a major account of his own life (Asian Commitment, Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and Southeast Asia, White Orchid 2000). I met David in India in March 1961. One early morning around six o’clock somebody woke me up. I was sleeping on a long table in a printing house in Old Delhi where my companion Sangye Tenzin and I were having Bon texts printed. I was completely taken by surprise by his sudden incursion. He was the first Western man I had come across then. He said something to me which I could scarcely understand, but finally I managed to work out that he would come and see me later on that day. It was a few months later on the green lawn near the edge of a swimming pool in the Claridges Hotel’s garden in New Delhi that for the first time he began to teach us the Roman alphabet, after giving an exercise book and a pencil to each of us. In order to help us open our minds to other non-Tibetan religions, he often led us to visit Churches, Christian monasteries and to attend Masses on Sundays in the local church, where we used to light candles. After arriving in England from India in 1961, he let us all lodge in his house in Berkhamsted for more than six months. He himself being a bachelor, there were no other family members at his home. This gave us a unique chance to know David, who in a very short time had become somewhat of a father-figure for all of us, particularly for myself, since I was the youngest one in the group. From the very beginning of our meeting he began to initiate us into Western education by teaching us such subjects as geography, history of religions, and science, not in formal college classes, but through conversations at meal times, or during afternoon walks in the woods. *



Later David begun to work with the assistance of Lopon Tenzin Namdak on the translation of excerpts from the twelve volume, fourteenth century compendium called gZi brjid, The Glorious One. It was an experience to watch the two working side by side at the same desk. Most of the time they worked very calmly, but there were moments when they stumbled over difficult passages, and you could feel their frustration and hot temper. Later, in his Introduction to the volume, David wrote: Tibetans who can help with these texts are now very rare indeed [...] They know their monastic liturgies and the names of their own bonpo gods, but very rarely indeed are they at all experienced in reading the sort of bonpo texts in which we most need assistance, namely material which represents ‘pre-Buddhist’ traditions. This lack of familiarity on the part of present-day bonpos with what Western scholars would regard as real bonpo material, may come as a disappointment.



It was true: we totally lacked the modern philological method of critical reading and explaining which we were then learning from him. In 1967 the fruit of this cooperation was later published under the title of Nine Ways of Bon (London Oriental Series, Vol. 18, Oxford University Press, London). This publication, which prompted further academic interest in the subject, laid a solid foundation for future studies of the Bon religion. Since then, a number of works has been published, and it is most encouraging to see that more and more young scholars have taken up Bon studies. This is not just an isolated development, but falls within the general upward trend of Tibetology. At the Conference in Blou, when it was proposed that the proceedings be published in honour of David in recognition of his pioneering work, all the participants unanimously agreed. In October 2008, when I was writing this introduction, a Festschrift was very kindly published in my honour by Françoise Pommaret and Jean-Luc Achard in Revue Tibétaine (RET, 14, 15, 2008). David contributed to the volume by writing an article entitled ‘How Samten came to Europe’. Naturally, I thanked him for his kind contribution. Later, I received an e-mail message from David, who is now 88 years old, reading: Thank you for your kind message. I have led a quiet summer here, swimming every day so long as the weather was good. I shall leave here for Cambodia on October 27th (2008), and intend to stay at my house in Siem Reap until mid-March. I lead a very quiet life, made up of reading, writing, swimming, and short walks around Angkor […]

It is encouraging that he is still carrying on his intellectual life. *



The present volume contains most of the papers presented at the conference, and it shows various aspects related to Bon studies. The first part begins with a discussion whether Bon has any connection with Shamanism. This is followed by a presentation of Zhang zhung which was regarded as the place where the Bon religion originated. That leads to the study of the concept of the ‘sacred’. A recent discovery of ancient Bon manuscripts is then discussed. The second part begins with the study of the monastic discipline. It is followed by the study of rDzogs chen tradition and the philosophical concept of the ‘two truths’. The third part deals with history and practice of medicine. These are followed by the studies of the ancient yogic practices, and the concept of the ‘intermediate state’. The fourth part contains an anthropological study of the ‘Soul-retrieval ritual’, accounts of reconstructions of monasteries, aspects of the local culture and language of the Sharwa people in Shar khog (Amdo), a full account of Bon studies in modern China, and an overview of the collection of Bonpo texts of the Giuseppe Tucci Fund preserved at IsIAO. [3]


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Gherardo Gnoli, President of IsIAO, for graciously accepting to publish the proceedings of the conference in the East and West journal. The two editors also owe many thanks to Dr Francesco D’Arelli, Director of IsIAO Library, who very kindly gave us much advice for the preparation of this publication, and to Dr Beniamino Melasecchi, Art Director of East and West, for his precious cooperation. SAMTEN GYALTSEN KARMAY Kyoto, October 2008



Bon and Shamanism by PER KVÆRNE

When I entered the words ‘Bon’ and ‘shamanism’ in my computer to make a Google search, a couple of seconds provided no less than 82,600 hits. At first sight this might seem overwhelming, but in fact, it is not so surprising, for the combination of the two terms, not just lexically, but also conceptually, has been firmly entrenched not only in the minds of many scholars from Helmut Hoffmann onwards, but also, and to an even greater extent, in the minds of the general public. The term ‘shamanism’ in particular often seems to function as a kind of mantra, but what is meant by it is often none too clear. I propose, first, to briefly review several approaches to the concept ‘shamanism’; then I shall discuss how far this term can be applied to Tibetan religion in general; and finally I shall consider whether it would seem to be useful to link shamanism with the equally problematic term ‘Bon’. Clearly these are complex questions which can only be treated superficially here, given the limitations of a short conference paper. The basic problem posed by the term ‘shamanism’ is how to define it. Klaus Sagaster has stated this succinctly: Is shamanism only to be found among the circumpolar peoples of Asia and America, or throughout the entire world? Is it a religion or a religious technique? Has it left traces from pre-historic times, or are reliable sources only to be found from historical periods?i(1)

The very etymology of the word ‘shaman’ is disputed. It has entered Western languages through Russian, where it occurs c. 1700 as a loan word from Tungus (Evenki) samâni(2). It has been claimed that the Tungus word is derived from Tocharian B samâne, in turn a loan word from Sanskrit rama∫a, ‘monk’i(3). In other

* This paper is published here in the same form as it was written, with the shortcomings inherent in a paper meant for oral presentation. It is nevertheless hoped that it may contain some material for further reflection, which was the sole purpose of reading it at the time. (1) K. Sagaster, ‘Schamanismus’, in Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Vol. XXX 1, Berlin 1998, pp. 72-76. (2) Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2006. (3) The American Heritage Dictionary, 20064.



Mount Ti se (Kailash) Area: The Center of Himalayan Civilization by TSERING THAR

A Geographical Outline of Zhang zhung Originally, the word Zhang zhung was not a Tibetan one. In the Zhang zhung language, zhang means valley or land; it corresponds to lung pa in Tibetan. Zhung is a contraction of zhung zhag, meaning the garu∂a bird, which is khyung in Tibetan. The word therefore means the valley or land of the khyung (MY, p. 2). That in turn corresponds to khyung lung in Tibetan. This explanation was entirely agreed upon by the Ven. Tenzin Namdak (BLNP, p. 26). At the same time, according to a manuscript entitled dBra dkar khyung po'i gdung rabs byon tshul rnam dag shel 'phreng, and several other genealogical texts, such as the Khyung rabs (the genealogy of the Khyung clan), zhung or zhang zhag in the Zhang zhung language was also the name of an ancient clan of Zhang zhung. According to a legend, in ancient times a khyung bird landed in Kha yug of Zhang zhung, and hatched three eggs, from which three men appeared. They were lHa khyung dkar po, Klu khyung sngo ljang, and Mi khyung smug po. A shepherd of the Zhang zhung king informed the king about them, and later on, the king invited Mi khyung smug po to be his religious teacher. Mi khyung smug po was also called Khyung rgod thog la 'bar. The king offered land of the dBra clani(1) to his master, and called that land Khyung lung dngul mkhar, the Silver Castle of the Khyung Valley. Since that time, this is considered to be the origin of the Khyung clan. The khyung bird became the symbol of the clan. In the genealogical text of the Khyung clan (Khyung rabs), Zhang zhung was the land of the khyung bird. The present paper is not going to dwell on the relationship between the garu∂a in India and the khyung in the Tibetan culture, although it is known that the word khyung in Tibetan corresponds to garu∂a in Sanskrit. According to Bonpo sources, Zhang zhung was divided into three parts: Zhang zhung phug pa, Inner Zhang zhung, with Khyung lung dngul mkhar, the Silver

(1) The clan dBra is mentioned in the Khyung rabs as the oldest clan of ancient Zhang zhung; the clan later moved towards the east. Today, the descendants of the clan can be found in Khyungpo, Derge, and Nyagrong.



Lha: Towards Assessing Discontinuity in Paradigms of the Sacred by FRANCISCO AYLLÓN

Presentation This paper presents a tentative proposal for an analytical/explanatory model on how the sacredi(1) is conceived in Tibetan societies, within a historical perspective and with Bon always in the background. More specifically, the focus is on aspects of the tension between what are termed secular and clerical understandings of the numenal entities known generically as lhai(2). An essential premise in the building of this model is the need, in the study of Tibetan Bon’s early development, to draw on anthropology of religion and ethnology in an effort to counterbalance and complement the historiographic, textual approach. Secondly, and concurrent with this premise, is the need to place this field into a broader, comparative context, as much geographical, social and ethnographic as historical. Lastly, a case is made for incorporating thorny theoretical issues of human sciences, such as deconstruction or the criticism of Western ethnocentrism, in search of enriching points of view that add new perspectives for observing Bon, while trying in the process not to fall into yet another kind of dogmatism: a postmodernist one. In the end, the model proposed here is specifically presented as a tool for assessing the chances that Bon, whether arrived at from outside or evolved entirely from within the Tibetan plateau, may have introduced radical alterations on the preexisting spiritual milieu of the local peoples at some historical point in Zhang Zhung or early Tibet.

(1) I follow the terminology for divine, Holy, numinous and sacred defined in Rappaport 1999. Since the present article deals with how the alleged existent object (the divine) of religious experience is conceptualized, I will deliberately ignore the pure, non conceptual aspect (the numinous) of the Holy implicit in that experience, and will be concerned instead with its discursive component which can be expressed in language: the sacred. Furthermore, I will avoid for the most part the use of terms as god, deity, spirit or spiritual, favoring numen and numinous instead. (2) Throughout the paper, lha, by reference to a simple, well-known traditional classification, will be understood as 'jig rten gyi lha (folk numens, generally rendered ‘worldly gods’, in contrast with the higher class myang 'das kyi lha which includes Buddhas and Bodhisattvas).



A New Discovery of Ancient Bon Manuscripts from a Buddhist stu-pa in Southern Tibet by SAMTEN G. KARMAY

The gter ma Tradition Both the Bon tradition and the Buddhist rNying ma school have a vast amount of religious literature which they claim to have been hidden as treasures (gter) and later rediscovered (gter ma). Nevertheless, the reason why texts of the rNying ma school were hidden is far from clear. If the adepts of this school believed in hiding their texts, no plausible explanation has ever been provided in unison for this phenomenon. The Bon tradition, on the other hand, maintains that its scriptures had to be hidden away, in order to save them when there was a persecution of the religion in the 8th century A.D., and Buddhism was adopted as the state religion of Tibet. The places of concealment of Buddhist texts are said to be royal temples, particularly those founded by the Emperor Songtsen Gampo (d. 649), although other places, such as caves and hermitages are also mentioned. The places where Bon texts were hidden were mostly caves and mountains. However, in all these accounts of concealing and revealing texts, some st∑pas are quoted as the places where manuscripts of religious texts were hidden. It is said that after the persecution of the Bon religion, ‘the Bonpo books were thrown into the water, and those that remained were later withheld and placed in the black st∑pa’ in Samyei(1). The building of this st∑pa is believed to have been carried out under the sponsorship of the famous minister Ngan lam sTag sgra klu khong (Stein 1961: 42, ll. 6-7) as each of the other three st∑pas in Samye had also a specific sponsor. To honour the memory and services of Ngan lam sTag sgra klu khong, an imposing inscription was erected, describing him as a great minister * I am deeply grateful to Patshab Pasang Wangdu of the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences, Lhasa, for very kindly sending me his book, TGB, when it was published, and to Françoise Pommaret, Director of Research, C.N.R.S., Paris, who read the manuscript of this article with great care, and made a number of suggestions. (1) sBa bzhed: bon gyi dpe kun chab la bskyur/ lhag ma phyis mchod rten nag por mnan (gnan)/ (Stein 1961: 28, ll. 5-6). This passage is not in the version of the sBa bzhed published by Pasang Wangdu & Diemberger (2000).



Fig. 1 - Photo taken in the 1940s by Hugh Richardson. Courtesy of H. Richardson.

Fig. 2 - Photo of the st∑pa before its restoration. Courtesy of P.W. Patshab.

Fig. 3 - Photo of the st∑pa after its restoration, dated 07.08.2007. Courtesy of P.W. Patshab.

How the Manuscripts Were Found It was in 2006, when the old Buddhist st∑pa was restored, that those who worked on the site began to see a large quantity of pieces of paper mixed with earth and sand. There were fragments of Buddhist texts written in gold on blue background paper, pieces of birch bark manuscripts of mantras, as well as parts of papers bearing dhåra∫¤s, which belonged to the main content of the st∑pa (gzungs gzhug). From this heap of residues emerged some pieces that looked like old manuscripts, written on rectangularly shaped paper folios. Most of the folios were loose; others were bound in one bunch, and stitched together with a thick thread at one end, at the left hand side, particularly the medical text. It was Langru Norbu Tsering, the leading person for the restoration of the st∑pa, who was also doing research into the local culture of Lho brag shar, who recognized the distinctive character of the manuscripts, especially the paper, the style of writing, as well as vocabulary mentioning sTon pa gShen rab Myi bo. He realized that there he was, looking at ancient Bon manuscripts which were totally different from other Buddhist manuscripts. He wondered if they belonged to the imperial period. When he was a student in Chengdu, he had studied Buddhist and Bon doctrines; that fact obviously helped him to see the difference between the manuscripts. He soon reported what he saw to his superiors. In order to confirm the value of his discovery and of his 60


mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan on the Special Features of the Bon Monastic Discipline by STÉPHANE ARGUILLÈRE

My aim here is to make a few remarks about monastic discipline ('dul ba) in the Bon tradition, especially in contrast with parallel aspects of the Buddhist Vinaya. My corpus is mainly composed of two treatises by mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan (1356-1415), one of the main figures of Bon scholasticismi(1), who, in 1405 or 1406, founded sMan ri monastery, soon to become the main seat for Bon studies. Accordingly, his writings in the field of monastic discipline are nowadays of utmost importance in Bon. The two treatises which I will be mostly following are commentaries by mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan on writings by the important bon po author Me ston Shes rab 'od zer (1058-1132)i(2). See the bibliography at the end of this paper for a short notice about these two texts (‘A’ and ‘B’), and the compilation in which they are included. (1) Bon po scholars assert that he introduced some new doctrines in Bon, notably the idea that the ultimate form of wisdom (ye shes) is a cognitive faculty (blo) that realizes the absolute (don dam), impermanent, born of causes and conditions – a subject that cognizes the ultimate as its object – whereas the ‘Ancients’ (snga rabs pa) regarded ye shes as a mere interruption of all the mind-functions. This innovation is strikingly parallel to one of the main features of the doctrine of Shes rab rgyal mtshan’s famous contemporary, Tsong kha pa. But, besides mere legends, nothing is seriously established about any contact between the two thinkers. Shes rab rgyal mtshan is said to have studied philosophy with another central figure of his times – Rong ston ‡å kya rgyal mtshan (1367-1449), whose intellectual posterity, especially Go rams pa bSod nams seng ge (1429-1490), strongly criticized that precise thesis (among others) in Tsong kha pa’s doctrine. An inquiry on the matter of Shes rab rgyal mtshan’s studies with Rong ston and other events of his life brings up various chronological difficulties, especially about the date (1386?) of the destruction of g.Yas ru dBen sa kha, the centre of the philosophical studies in Bon before the foundation of sMan ri. Many perplexing chronological inconsistencies lead to the conclusion that the commonly accepted idea – namely, that the foundation of sMan ri was somehow a consequence of, and a reaction to, the destruction of dBen sa kha – might well be no more than a ‘myth of transference of legitimacy’. See Arguillère 2006 for details about these issues. (2) Me ston Shes rab 'od zer also wrote, among other texts, a dBu ma bden gnyis to which mMyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan devoted a commentary that is regarded as very important in the Bon monastic tradition even nowadays (a few lines about this treatise and its commentary can be found in Arguillère 2006). Me ston is definitely a key figure for Bon doctrines, and the fact that he is quite early also has its importance. Still, here, I will focus on mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan without checking whether his ideas about the difference between the Bon pos and the Buddhists are already clearly phrased, or just vaguely alluded to, in Shes rab 'od zer’s source-texts.



The Commentaries of the Four Clever Men: A Doctrinal and Philosophical Corpus in the Bon po rDzogs chen Tradition by MATTHEW T. KAPSTEIN

Among the major cycles of the early rDzogs chen tradition of Bon, the Byang sems gab pa dgu bskor (BGGK), or the ‘Ninefold Cycle of the Secrets of the Enlightened Mind’, has not received more than passing attention from contemporary scholarsi(1). While I shall not attempt to examine the cycle as a whole at this time – its complexity demands more sustained treatment than is possible here – one of the notable textual collections that is related to it will instead be my topic. This is a group of four commentaries devoted to the BGGK, reporting the views of four legendary masters, and said to have been discovered together in sPa gro, that is, Paro in what is today Bhutan, by the famed physician and gter ston Khu tsha zla 'odi(2). The presumed role of the latter in the redaction of the collection provides us with a plausible basis for its dating – at least for the dating of the received text – placing it roughly in the second half of the 12th centuryi(3). This is quite significant, as it permits us to relate these works to parallel developments within other traditions (1) Brief bibliographical notices will be found in Kværne 1974: 111, no. K 109, and 139, no. T 257; Karmay 1977: 95, nos. 53-53, and 143, no. 73.ii.5; and Martin 2001: 255, no. 20. See, too, Klein & Wangyal 2006: 327. The fundamental texts of the Byang sems gab pa dgu bskor were published in a lithographic po ti edition by the Tibetan Bonpo Monastic Community in 1967 (Karmay’s nos. 52-53). (2) The four commentaries were published in Gal mdo, pls. 147-498, reproducing the sMan ri xylographic print. When citing passages from this work below, I will provide the plate number with a point followed by the line number. Bon po hagiographical traditions concerning Khu tsha zla 'od may be found in Karmay 1972: 145-48. Prats (1982: 35-40, 91-92) translates and transcribes the brief rnam thar included by 'Jam mgon Kong sprul blo gros mtha' yas (1813-1899) in the gTer ston brgya rtsa'i rnam thar, where Khu tsha is called Ku sa sman pa. (3) Khu tsha’s lifetime may be assigned to the mid or late 12th century on the basis of a pointed reference to him in the life of the Buddhist treasure-finder Gu ru Chos dbang (1212-1270), where the latter’s father is presented as saying, ‘Doctor Kutsa, owing to his medical practice, neglected to serve living beings through the doctrine’ (Dudjom 1991: 765). As Gyatso (1994) has shown, Gu ru Chos dbang’s relationship with the Bon po gter ma tradition was in fact quite close, so that his awareness of Khu tsha, whose activities in sPa gro placed him in regions in close communication with Chos dbang’s native Lho brag, seems plausible. Klein & Wangyal (2006: 177, n. 40), state that Khu tsha composed the Four Commentaries in 1037, but this early dating is not supported by the sum of the evidence available.



TEXT: GAL MDO, 167.2-174.4



Development of the Theory of the ‘Two Truths’ in the Bon Religion by SEIJI KUMAGAI

INTRODUCTION In Mahåyåna Buddhism, the ‘two truths’ (bden gnyis) is a very important theory. As I mentioned in a previous paper (Kumagai 2008: 1164-66), this theory exists also in a Bonpo treatise, the bDen gnyis. I have also found that there are variations of this theory in other Bonpo treatises. This gives rise to problems such as how did the Bonpo theories of the ‘two truths’ develop? Are they different from the Buddhist ones? By paying attention to these points, in this paper I introduce the outstanding characteristics of each classification of the ‘two truths’ in the Bon religion. I also present an overview of the development of those classifications. As we shall see later, the Bon religion has created its original conceptions and developed various theories of the ‘two truths’. 1. THE BDEN GNYIS OF ME STON SHES RAB 'OD ZER (1058-1132 OR 1118-1192)i(1) Sketch 1 bden gnyis don dam kun rdzob dag pa kun rdzob ma dag kun rdzob yang dag kun rdzob log pa kun rdzob (1) Martin (2001: 75-76) suggests that Me ston’s dates 1058-1132 presented by Kværne (1971: 230) should be pushed forward by one cycle to 1118-1192. As I discuss later, the latter is more probable.



The Life and Medical Legacy of Khyung sprul 'Jigs med nam mkha'i rdo rje (1897-1955) by COLIN MILLARD

Khyung sprul 'Jigs med nam mkha'i rdo rje (hereafter Khyungtrul) was one of the foremost Bon lamas of the 20th century. His creative outputs covered a wide range of activities. He was a renowned scholar and lama who wrote on astrology, Tibetan grammar and Tibetan medicine. He was a competent painter and poet and wrote ten volumes of religious songs. He established the Guru Gyami(1) monastery in the Ngari district of west Tibet, which in its time became a major centre of Bon learning and religious activity. He travelled extensively in Tibet, India, Bhutan and Nepal, and was perhaps one of the first Tibetans to realise the potential of modern printing technology; much of the activity in Guru Gyam was devoted to preparing Tibetan texts for publication in Delhi. This paper will present a brief introduction to the life of Khyungtrul, his contribution to the Bon religion, and specifically his work in the area of Bon medicine. I first heard about Khyungtrul in 1996 when I was carrying out research on learning processes in the Tashi Gyegay Bon medical school, situated in the valley of Dhorpatan in the Baglung district of West Nepal (Millard 2002). The main medical texts used in the school were the Bon 'Bum bzhi, the Buddhist rGyud bzhi and Khyungtrul Rinpoche’s four volume medical commentary which is referred to simply as the Khyung sprul sMan dpe. The school was established in 1990 by Tshul khrims sangs rgyas, a Bon monk and Tibetan doctor from the Khyungpo area of the Kham region of east Tibet, who is known as Amchii(2) Gege. I studied several sections of the Khyung sprul sMan dpe with him and most recently with his student, Amchi Nyi ma bsam 'phel, a family lineage doctor from Jharkhot in Mustang. What I have to say about Khyuntrul’s medical text draws principally on my studies with these two knowledgeable and experienced contemporary Bon medical practitioners. Considering the large scale of his literary outputs, and his achievements as a lama, traveller and publisher, very little has been published in the West on

(1) It is named after the valley where it is situated at Khyung Lung. (2) A word of Mongolian origin used as an epithet for a Tibetan doctor.



Fig. 1 - Picture taken by Anagarika Govinda in 1948 of Khyungtrul at Guru Gyam.

Khyungtrul. In 1957 the two volume biography was completed by his student dPal ldan tshul khrims and published in Delhii(3), based, it seems, partly on Khyuntrul’s own descriptionsi(4). Kværne has published an article which focuses primarily on Khyungtrul’s pilgrimages to Bhutan (1998), India and Nepal, drawing largely on information in this biography. Dekhang Sonam Chogyal, in an unpublished article on the Guru Gyam monastery, also provides information on Khyungtrul’s lifei(5), drawing partly on Tshul khrims’ biography and interviews he conducted with bsTan 'dzin dbang grags, the abbot who succeeded Khyungtrul at Guru Gyam monastery. What I have to say specifically about Khyungtrul’s life is based partly on information (3) Tshul khrims 1957. It has the poetic title ‘The summer like melodious biography of the master and scholar 'Jig med nam mkha', whose faith was single minded as the display of a multitude of peacocks’ (sKyabs rje mkhas grub 'jigs med nam mkha'i rnam thar dbyar skes rnga dbyangs dad pa'i rma bya rnam par rtse ba'i gsung pod dang po bzhugs). (4) As Kværne (1998: 72) points out, the narrative of the biography is often in the first person, which seems to indicate that it is derived from Khyuntrul’s own notes or direct dictation. We also find very precise details such as the price he spent on train tickets when travelling in India. (5) Chogyal (unpublished paper). I would like to thank Charles Ramble for bringing my attention to this paper.



From Caves to the Clinic and Research: Bon Magical Movement (rtsa rlung 'phrul 'khor) Can Help People with Cancer by M. ALEJANDRO CHAOUL

Introduction The last decade has seen not only a growing interest for Tibetan contemplative mind-body practices in the West, but also its introduction to medical settings. Just as the 20th century was concluding, Bon meditative and yogic movement practices began touching people at one of the largest cancer centers in the world. It started with classes for cancer patients and their support friends and family, and then moved from the clinic to research. In 2000 a team composed by the Bon Ligmincha Institute and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, began a randomized controlled clinical trial using channels-breaths (rtsa rlung)i(1), and magical movement ('phrul 'khor) from the Bon tradition. The practice intervention was called ‘Tibetan Yoga’ (TY). We ran two pilot randomized control trials utilizing the TY intervention, that consisted of the Bon practices of channels-breaths from the Mother Tantra (Ma rgyud)i(2), and magical movement from the Oral transmission of Zhang zhung (Zhang zhung snyan rgyud)i(3). Both studies utilized the same intervention. The first * Parts of this article have been published before, and also in a forthcoming chapter, ‘Reintegrating the dharmic Perspective in Bio-behavioral Research of a “Tibetan Yoga” (rtsa rlung 'phrul 'khor) Intervention for People with Cancer’, in Medicine Between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Grounds, V. Adams, S. Schrempf & M. Craig, eds., forthcoming. (1) Borrowing from David Germano’s translation ‘channels-winds practices’ (Germano 1994: 662), I will use ‘channels-breaths’ practices. I feel this translates it accurately from the Tibetan, and brings a better sense of the subject-matter: a specific practice that utilizes the channels and different aspects of breath. (2) Milu Samlek (rGyal gshen Mi lus bsam legs) 1971, Ma rgyud sangs rgyas rgyud gsum rtsa 'grel, The Three Basic Mother Tantras with Commentaries. Kun tu bzang po is considered to be the author of the Root Texts, and rGyal gshen Mi lus bsam legs of the Commentaries; gter ma rediscovered by Gu ru rnon rtse in the 11th century. There is also a later edition: Ma rgyud thugs rje nyi ma'i rgyud skor, 1985, T. Tashi, ed. For this study, I especially use the chapter on the ‘Luminous Sphere of the Elements’ ('Byung ba'i thig le), pp. 591-619. (3) Chandra & Namdak 1968. The magical movement chapter is the ‘Quintessential Instructions of the Oral Wisdom of Magical Movements’ ('phrul 'khor zhal shes man ngag, hereafter Quintessential Instructions), Chapter A: 631-43.



A Comparative Study of the Bar do Views in the Bon Religion and the rNying ma pa School by PHILIPPE CORNU

Introduction I would like to make a small presentation about the question of the Intermediate State in Tibetan religions and especially in the rDzogs pa chen po doctrines, both in the g.Yung drung Bon and rNying ma pa schools. First, let me remind you that the idea of intermediate state (Skt. antaråbhava, Tib. bar ma do, bar do) was formulated for the first time in some ancient Indian buddhist schools, maybe as soon as the 3rd or 2nd century before Christ, especially by Pudgalavådin, in order to explain the transference of the samskåra from one life to the next, through five intermediate aggregates produced after the moment of death, and destroyed just before the moment of conception, at the time of rebirth. Then, in their abhidharma, the Sarvastivådin developed this concept, describing in particular the intermediate being in all its aspects, as well as its behaviour and duration (expected to be seven to forty-nine days). In the context of the abhidharma, the intermediate state is one of the four kinds of existence (bhava) that the psycho-physical individual series has to go through. First is the ‘existence of the time before’ or life period (purvakålabhava), second is the existence of the death moment (mara∫abhava), third is the intermediate existence (antaråbhava) or state between death and rebirth, and fourth is the rebirth existence (upapattibhava). In Mahåyåna, the Yogåcåra school later developed the concept of antaråbhava in relation to the doctrine of ålayavijñåna (kun gzhi rnam shes) and to the doctrine of traces or karmic seeds (våsanå, bag chags/b¤ja, sa bon). The next step, which is decisive in the evolution of the intermediate state, is linked to the inner tantras, especially to Guhyasamåjatantra (gSang ba 'dus pa, around the 5th century). It relies first on the analogy between trikåya and the states of death, intermediate being, and rebirth, and second, on the analogy between the mental body of dreams, the mental body of intermediate state, and the illusory body. The practice of illusory body, combined with the stabilization of the clear light mind, becomes a preparation to Enlightment in Sambhogakåya when one enters the intermediate state after death. In the system of Naropa’s Six Yogas, one may notice another evolution: the notion of intermediate state also includes moments other than the post mortem state. Three [1]


Playing Dice with the Devil Two Bonpo Soul-retrieval Texts and Their Interpretation in Mustang, Nepal


Introduction In August 2007 I was passing through the settlement of Kag (Nep. Kagbeni) in Nepal’s Mustang District, and stopped to visit my friend Pema Drolkar, the owner of the well-known Red House Lodge. Here I found another friend, Lama Tshultrim, a hereditary tantric priest from the nearby Bonpo community of Lubrak (Klu brag). Lama Tshultrim, Pema Drolkar’s family chaplain, had been invited to the house to perform a healing ceremony for Pema Drolkar’s daughter-in-law – also called Pema Drolkar – who had been feeling unwell and unsettled for some time. She was anxiously awaiting the outcome of an application for a visa to travel to the USA, and she was expecting a baby. Lama Tshultrim had earlier diagnosed the cause of her affliction: she had lost her soul. The two-day ceremony for the retrieval of the errant soul was about to begin, and the family asked me if I would like to stay and attend. Rituals for recapturing lost souls are well known among the Tibeto-Burman populations of the Himalayan region, but few studies have been carried out on the related textual traditions. The pioneering work in this field is Ferdinand Lessing’s ‘Calling the Soul: A Lamaist Ritual’ (Lessing 1951). Lessing’s study is based on a text composed by the 18th century Tibetan scholar Thu'u kwan Chos kyi nyi ma. He did not have access to the Tibetan original, but depended instead on a Chinese translation. As he points out, the text ‘provides a good illustration of how a “pagan” practice was disguised as an orthodox Buddhist rite and integrated in a body of Buddhist ceremonies’ (ibid.: 264). Lessing cites an excerpt from Thu'u kwan’s introduction: This is one of the rites instituted through the grace of the Buddhist religion for the benefit of those who maintain such superstitious beliefs in spirits harassing mankind. For them this ritual is designed in order to set their fear-tortured hearts at rest. (Ibid.: 264).

This excerpt suggests that Thu'u kwan’s project was not a matter of disguising a pagan ritual so much as appropriating it and re-identifying it as a lowly Buddhist practice. The process is analagous to the Buddhist (and Bonpo) strategy of recognising local divinities as minor proctectors in the mandalas of central tantric [1]


Fig. 2 - The opening folios of Kong tse bla glud.

Bon Institutions in Contemporary Tibetan Territories and the Dynamics of Religious Authority by J.F. MARC



The 11th century and the foundation of g.Yas ru dben sa kha by Bru rje g.Yung drung bla ma (b. 1040) in 1072 correspond to the forming moments of contemporary Bon traditions (Kværne 1972: 22-40. Also Karmay 1972: 139). The six different Bonpo lineages of Zhu, Bru, rMe'u, sPa, gShen and Khyung not only created their representative institutions but also began over the next centuries to organize and develop a body of scriptures, commentaries and practices which will distinguish them from the other Buddhist lineages (Karmay 1972: 4-14, passim). The destruction the g.Yas ru dben sa kha by flood in 1386 precipitated the foundation in 1405 of the sMan ri monastery by mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan (1356-1415). From that period until the Chinese occupation beginning in the 1950s, it has been the bastion of Bon orthodoxy and the source of many lineages of teachings, ritual and spiritual practices while family or clan based traditions slowly began to be overshadowed by its growing authority. It extended its spiritual lineages and reach through branch institutions which were established throughout the Tibetan world. From its early history (15th century) Bonpos from all corners of traditional Tibet went to this institution to study, to learn and to receive lineage transmissions. Its importance in the formation of a unified Bon tradition known as g.Yung drung Bon

* This paper is the result of accumulated field researches from 1991 to 2007. These involved the collaboration of many individuals ‘priest and scholars’ from the various regions of Kham (in particular Nyag rong, Ye shes dgon), A mdo (Zhung chu [Songpan xian], Reb kong [Tongren xian] and other regions of South A mdo). Although I would like to thank each and everyone individually, space do not permit it here. However, I must thank the following individuals and institutions: Professors Qing Xitai, Tang Dachao and Li Gang from the Institute of Research on Religions (zongjiao yuanjiu suo) of Sichuan University; from Ye shes dgon: first and foremost the late g.Yung drung bsTan pa'i rgyal mtshan, dGe bshes Rig 'dzin nyi ma, A rgyal bla ma, sTag bon; in Brag g.yung drung kha, the two masters (Aku Xiuwang and Bral'u bon gsas) and their disciples; in sNang zhig rGya'o Bla ma, mKhan po bsTan 'dzin phun tshogs, the sNang zhig sprul sku bsKal bzang blo gros rgya mtsho, as well as A lags Bon rgya in Reb kong. Support for the various researches from which extracts for this paper results was provided in part by the Post-doctoral fellowship, the Institute of Asian Research, ‘Asia Pacific Program on Crosscultural and Comparative Research on Disputes Resolution’, The University of British Columbia, as well as from the Start Up Funds from the Faculty of Arts of Concordia University.



The Lexicon of Zhangzhung and Bonpo Terms Some Aspects of Vocabulary in Relation to Material Culture and the Persian World









The Lexicon was published in Osaka, 2008, in three languages, Zhang zhung, Tibetan and English. Not being involved directly in Bon or Zhang zhung studies, these observations are based solely on the author’s work of translation of the corpus from Tibetan into English, in collaboration with Tritsuk Namdak, under guidance from Samten Karmay, in the summer of 2007. Tritsuk Namdak is one of a group of learned Bonpo dge bshes who have been researching into Zhang zhung vocabulary for a number of years. Indeed, their data-base today contains a more extensive corpus of terms, including contexts and bibliographical references, as compared to the list of words presented in the Lexicon. Thus, in view of the important ground work that has been accomplished and the questions that arise from it, it would be appropriate and fruitful, sometime in the near future, for a group of linguists, specialists in Tibetan, Sanskrit, Himalayan, Persian and Central Asian languages, and perhaps Chinese, to work in collaboration with the Bonpo dge bshes, in order to sort out, where possible, the origins and etymologies of the words, with a view of preparing a more elaborate work on Bonpo terminology. This first part is resumed in the two appendices. Appendix 1 addresses in a simple way some of the linguistic problems that the Lexicon presents to a Tibetologist. Without going into the question as to whether Zhang zhung actually existed as a language in its own right, or whether it was ‘created’ a posteriori, the first thing to be said is that the distinction made between ‘Zhang zhung’ (Z) terminology and Tibetan is often not perfectly clear. While certain words noted (Z) belong distinctly to the Zhang zhung-Bon universe, such as wer, wer ma and gyer, others are hybrid, or even clearly of ‘Tibetan’ origin, but are presented as being (Z). In many other cases, the ‘non-Tibetan’ (i.e. Zhang zhung?) origin of the word is obvious from the point of view of the syllabic structure, the resonance and the manner of linkage with other syllables in pre- or post-position. There are a number of bi- or tri-syllabic verbs that fall into this category. Furthermore, hybrid Zhang zhung-Tibetan terms are legion, as are what appear to be phonetic forms of classical Tibetan lexemes and semantemes. [1]


Fig. 1 - Thangka of 'Ol mo lung ring. Rubin collection, New York,

Fig. 2 - Jerusalem on a Tibetan Map, Tel Aviv newspaper Ma’ariv, May 1972, based on slob dpon Nam bdag’s map, (re-)created visually from his reading of the Zhang zhung nyan rgyud. After Martin 2007: fig. 61.

to weave, I think that most probably they wore robes made of natural skins. In one Chinese (hi)story it is said that the king of Tibet wore a skin robe [...] Later on, during the time of the Dharmarajas, since they had great power and authority, they would have made liberal use of silken robes. It is clear from Tibetan historic sources that silk was distributed to Tibetan subjects after the take over of large Chinese fortified townsi(1). At that time, it appears that the Tibetan sovereins and ministers copied the style of the Ta zig kings (i.e. the Persian world). They wore silk (1) See Dunhuang manuscript P1287, line 0343.



Fig. 6 - Stone stele dedicated to the Sun-god, by Nabu-apla-iddina, Sippar (Babylone), c. 855 B.C.E., British Museum BM 91000, Babylone 2008: fig. 90. Note the high bound turban and hair rolled at the nape, and the moon, sun and stars above the Sun God. For other images of different periods showing the perenity of this hairstyle, turban and mode of representation, cf. ibid.: figs. 4-5, 17, 48, 53, 69, 91, 95, 146-147.

Fig. 7 - Two noble ladies making Buddhist offerings. Note the low bound turbans, hair rolled behind the ears, and cloaks made of Samit with Sassanian rondels and pearl borders, Kalai Kafirnigan, end 7th-early 8th century C.E. After Oxus 1993: fig. 62. Fig. 8 - Noble personnage drinking wine from a rhyton. Note the conical bound turban, and the edging of his robe made of Samit showing Sassanian rondels, and the pearl border at the top of the painting, wall painting, Pendjikent, house 24, first half 8th century C.E. After Oxus 1993: fig. 70.

guests. In any case his observation is quite accurate, especially with regard to robes and the materials worn by the Tibetan nobles at the time. Although the comparison of turbans in Middle and Western Central Asia during the period immediately preceding or contemporary to the sPu rgyal empire is not obvious from most of the images seen by the author, a few 7th-8th century wall paintings from Sogdiana do show similar head cloths but more especially robes made of silk Samit with ‘Sassanian rondel’ designs, often with pearl borders (Figs. 7-8). As for example, the two Sogdian noble ladies from the Buddhist site of Kalai Kafirnigan, bearing lotus flowers (Fig. 7)i(6), and the nobleman drinking from a rhyton found in the Sogdian city of Pendjikent (Fig. 8). The ladies wear headbands or head cloths, their hair are rolled at the ears, and they wear cloaks of Samit over their tightly fitting dresses. The Sogdian nobleman is wearing a conical turban rising to a point, and a tight-fitting robe of Samit very similar to the one worn by the balding Minister mGar in the Buniantu painting (6) See Litvinskij 1981. Kalai-Kafirnigan (south-east Tadjikistan, Dushanbe) is described as an important site for the history of Buddhism in Central Asia (5th-8th century). It was revealed during excavations carried out by Soviet archaeologists (1974-1980). Their finds include a Buddhist vihara and temple, dating to the pre-Islamic period.



Fig. 9 - Minister mGar sTong brtsan Yul zung (centre) wearing a robe made of Central Asian silk Samit adorned with Sassanian rondels showing bird and animal motifs (cf. Figs. 10-13); Stoddard 2008: fig. 6. ‘Buniantu’ scroll painting by Yan Liben (627-673), court painter during reign of Tang Taizong (r. 626-649) (Song dynasty copy). Palace Museum, Beijing.

(Fig. 9). This painting is the only one from Tang China in which a Tibetan of the sPu rgyal dynasty is portrayed. It was painted originally in a time frame comparable to the Sogdian paintings, during the reigns of Srong btsan sGam po and Tang Taizong, c. 639 C.E. In this Song dynasty copy, mGar wears a narrow head cloth and his hair is bunched slightly at the nape, as if he has a plait or a roll of hair at the back. This aspect of the image is comparable to the Sogdian ladies mentioned above (Fig. 7). The Sassanian rondel motifs on both the main material and the borders of his green and red robe, include animals and birds. Examples of such animals in mirror image (Figs. 10-11), as well as single figures, e.g. the haloed pheasant showing the bird with a jeweled ribbon around its neck (Fig. 12) are now well known and documented, and the same motifs are often seen on contemporary silverware (Fig. 13). This latter artistic domain is another in which close links between Tibet and the neighboring peoples of Central Asia and further to the West have been demonstrated. Cyrus’s Tomb in the Centre of 'Ol mo lung ring (?) This present attempt at associating images arose from the evocative terminology for helmets, arms and armour found in the Lexicon, and also from Dan Martin’s [9]


Fig. 10 - Sassanian Samit silk, with medallion motif showing facing humped bulls, Sogdiana, 7th century, Abegg Foundation, Riggisberg, Inv. No. 4867. After Stierlin 2006: fig. 252. Fig. 11 - Sassanian Samit silk, with medallion motif showing facing stags, Sogdiana, 7th century, Abegg Foundation, Riggisberg, Inv. No. 4901. After Stierlin 2006: fig. 253.

Fig. 12 - Samit silk, rondel with haloed goose or pheasant motif, with a silk ribbon around its neck, from the Sassanian empire or Sogdiana, 7th-8th century C.E., Jouarre, Abbaye NotreDame-de-Jouarre (Seine-et-Marne). After Les Perses sassanides 2006: fig. 126. Fig. 13 - Silver urn with rondel showing haloed goose or pheasant motif, with a silk ribbon around its neck. N. Iran, 7th C.E., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Inv. MFA No. 58.94 (coll. Holmes, gift of Mrs. E. Jackson [Holmes]). After Splendeur des Sassanides 1993: fig. 91.

Reconstruction of the Education System in a Bon Monastery A Case Study of sKyang tshang Monastery in Amdo Shar khog Today


Introduction This paper deals with the reconstruction of monk education, which has been developed at Bon monasteries in China since the 1980s. In particular, this paper focuses on the establishment of a new educational center in Amdo Shar khog, paying attention to the economic growth that forms the backbone for the continuation of the monasteries in western China. After the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, traditional religious activities have been strongly influenced by national policies. Most monasteries among Tibetan residences had stopped the function of being educational centers from the 1950s to the 1970s. Regarded as a symbol of the old political and economic systems, they were incapacitated because of the destruction of the buildings and the exclaustration of the monks. Bon monasteries were no exception. However, these policies were reassessed after 1978 when Deng Xiaoping gained dominance in the Communist Party of China at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Party Congress Central Committee. Since then, religious activities have been revived and monasteries have been rebuilt in the 1980s. And these reconstructed monasteries have been restored to their positions as religious centers in each area, though their scale is not always the same as in former times. In the 2000s, the Bon monasteries in China face a rapid economic growth that causes drastic changes in the way of living of both the lay and clerical people. This tendency has been encouraged firstly by the ‘Open and Reform policy’ (gaige kaifang) since the mid-1990s. Then, the ‘Great Western Development Strategy’ (xibu daikaifa) has been promoted since 2001 and extensive development, such as tourism, improved the people’s level of living by creating new job opportunities. In these situations, they are seeking a way to continue and develop monastic activities. In this paper, monastic education is focused on so as to consider the continuation of the Bon monastic tradition in the context of producing young successors. At first, based mainly on the data gathered in my fieldwork from 2006 to [1]


Tibetan Dialects Spoken in Shar khog and Khod po khog by HIROYUKI SUZUKI

1. Introduction This paper introduces the Tibetan dialects spoken in Shar khog and Khod po khog, and provides a preliminary comparative linguistic analysisi(1). Shar khog (Songpan) and Khod po khog (Jiuzhaigou) are located in the northern region of Sichuan Province of China (Figs. 1-3), populated mainly by Bonpos (see Karmay & Sagant 1998). In almost all previous works of the Tibetan dialects spoken in this region, their linguistic features were not fully described and explained. In addition, the complex language situation must have been taken into consideration since the language contact with other non-Tibetan languages such as Baima, Qiang and Chinese strongly influenced the development of Tibetan dialects spoken there. This short paper aims at supplementing the previous works and at clarifying their historical linguistic position with the light of linguistic substratum. This paper deals with five Tibetan dialects shown belowi(2): Tibetan (dialect name)


Chinese local namei(3)

Ke tshal (Ketshal) Thang skya (Thangsha) sKyang tshang (Shangtshang) Ha 'phen (Hamphen) Phyugs skyid (Sugtsi)

lower-Shar khog lower-Shar khog upper-Shar khog upper-Shar khog Khod po khog

Gaotunzi, Shili, Songpan Datun, Shili, Songpan Shanba, Shanba, Songpan Hanpan, Shuijing, Songpan Shuzheng, Zangza, Jiuzhaigou

(1) This study is practically supported by Mr Samten G. Karmay (mKhar rme'u bSam gtan rGyal mtshan) and his relatives and acquaintances living in Songpan. Several field researches were funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science ‘Linguistic Substratum in Tibet’, conducted by Yasuhiko Nagano (No. 16102001), and by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science ‘Dialectological Study of the Tibetan Minority Languages in the Tibetan Cultural Area in West Sichuan’. (2) Each dialect name is pronounced as /˚ke tshɛɛ/, /thaŋ ɕa/, /˚ɕaŋ tshaŋ/, /ha mmphe˜ /, and /˚shu htsiː/ respectively. The sign ' ˚ ' stands for a high (tense) register. (3) The item consists of the names of ‘village, administrative village, county’. The map of the geographical location and the scenery of two villages are provided in the next two pages.



Fig. 1 - Sketch map of Shar khog and Khod po khog.

Fig. 2 - sKyang tshang Village (Shar khog).

Fig. 3 - Phyugs skyid Village (Khod po khog).

From Temple to Commodity? Tourism in Songpan and the Bon Monasteries of A'mdo Shar khog by MONA SCHREMPF and JACK PATRICK HAYES

Introduction Since 1999, after the logging ban and at the beginning of the ‘Opening of the West’ Campaign (Ch. Xibu da kaifa) Songpan County and its main town known by the same name (Tib. Zung chu mkhar) has undergone major visible transformations through tourism developmenti(1). These include the Tibetan area of Shar khogi(2) with its small Bon po villages and rebuilt monasteries situated to the north of Songpan town, and also the former Bon pilgrimage mountain of Shar Dung ri (‘Eastern Conch Mountain’) surrounded by beautiful forest and turquoise-colored lakes (Tib. gSer mtsho), now known as Huanglong Nature Reservei(3). In order to better understand the diversity of local developments and transformations through tourism, we will focus on and compare the rural Tibetan area of Shar khog with its Bon monasteries, some of which have engaged in tourism in the past nine years, and urban tourism of Songpan town. In 1999, the China Daily announced that southwest China’s Sichuan province had initiated a dozen new tour routes as part of the 1999 nationwide ‘eco-tourism’ campaigni(4). The list included tours that connected the Chinese Buddhist (1) Acknowledgement: Parts of this article were presented by Mona Schrempf at the conference ‘Exploding Cities: Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development of Historic Cities in Asia. Safeguarding Traditions and Ancient Knowledge to Promote Development’, Berlin (Dec. 2007). Jack Hayes presented parts of this article at the annual Canadian Asian Studies Association meeting, Edmonton (Oct. 2005) and 2008 Beijing Seminar on Tibetan Studies. The authors would like to thank the organizers and participants of these conferences for their useful comments. (2) See Map (Fig. 1). On Shar khog and its Tibetan inhabitants, the Shar ba or ‘people of the east’, prior to Chinese occupation in 1958, see the ethnohistorical account written by Karmay & Sagant 1998. On Bon monastic revival in Shar khog, see Schrempf 2001. (3) Shar Dung ri’s importance as a sacred Bon site has been entirely replaced by Chinese tourism since its mid 1980s transformation into the ‘Huanglong nature reserve’. On this process and the history of another tourist attraction, the Long March memorial situated at the entrance road to Huanglong, see Huber 2006. (4)



Fig. 1 - Map of Songpan town and Sharkhog’s villages and Bon monasteries to the north.

pilgrimage sites of Emei Shan and Leshan located to the south of Chengdu, with the famous Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong Nature Reserves situated in the Tibetan areas of Khod po khog and Shar khog respectively, together with river rafting, hiking along ancient mountain paths, and trips to areas rich in flora and fauna. As a result of this tourism drive, by 2004 Songpan town and tourist hot spots in Shar khog, commonly known among both Chinese and Tibetans as Chuanzhusi (Tib. gTso tshang dgon) and Huanglong (Tib. gSer mtsho), were serving over 500,000 guests per yeari(5). The cultural politics of place name changes from Tibetan into Chinese in these (and other) areas populated by a majority of ethnic Tibetans in China represent and symbolize the transformative politics of place-making through tourism orchestrated by the Chinese state. Thus, for the following reasons we intentionally use either Tibetan or Chinese place names in the first instance with their respective Chinese or Tibetan alternative form in (5) Songpan itself received over 210,000 overnight hotel stays, and over 70,000 of these were foreign tourists. For 2004, this entailed tourism revenue for fees, hotel stays, tickets, food and associated tourism monies in excess of 99 million Yuan (Songpan Xian Jingji Ziliao 2005: 3).



Fig. 2 - The ‘touristified’ north gate of Songpan town. (After Hayes 2006).

was demolished, houses on and around the city wall were destroyed, the wall painted a uniform light grey, and the downtown business district rebuilt in the style reminiscent of architecture in Chengdu and eastern Chinai(21). Equally, local Han Chinese and Hui temples were given a facelift, and an ‘ancient Imperial fort’ (the pre-2003 version dating from the late 19th century) above the city is also being rebuilt. After the old town was clearly bounded by the new-Ming Dynasty wall, the border between mundane and touristic space was further defined through gates, pedestals, and wall paintings. The town gates were rebuilt, spotlighted, and old (21) The Tourism Bureau in Songpan County wanted to ‘rebuild’ a late imperial Ming-Qing town with appropriate houses, businesses, and color. Songpan was actually rebuilt in what Chinese officials term ‘Tibet style restoration’ (Ch. zangzu fuyuan). The building styles in the downtown district, with wood facing and tracery, traditional scalloped roofs, and roof tiles and gables reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing are distinctly Chinese. But the paint façades around lintels and windows were painted in Tibetan patterns; that is, geometrical patterns in shades of ochre, sometimes highlighted with azure blue or malachite green, as well as ‘Tibetan style’ iron doors. Local Hui Muslims were allowed to paint green and white crescents on their buildings.



Fig. 3 - The sprul sku of sNang zhig monastery gives a public blessing. The victory banners hanging at the temple facade symbolize local lay sponsorship of 700 Yuan each. (Photo by M. Schrempf 1996).

control of the small monasteries. At the site of the old dGa' mal monastery (dGa' mal gYung drung dar rgyas gling) which had been rebuilt like most of the other Bon monasteries in the area in the beginning of the 1980s, an altogether new monastery had been constructed. It was to serve as a unifying symbol and focused location for Bon religion. Before 1958, this federation had existed only through ritual rotation of its otherwise autonomous member monasteries, centering on annual ritual dances ('cham). The latter were – and still are – an important occasion for demonstrating lay support to the monasteryi(28). dGa' mal dgon khag thus seemed to materialize an old wish of the Shar ba, the Tibetans from Shar khog of whom about 95% are followers of Bon, for a Bon monastic centre to strengthen their power vis-à-vis their much stronger Buddhist (in particular dGe lugs pa) monastic neighbors in dMu dge (Ch. Mao'er gai) or Bla brang (Ch. Xiahe). However, with its creation, this new monastic centre came under focused scrutiny of the Songpan County Religious (28) Interestingly, the ritual masked dances called 'cham performed annually at certain times according to monastic calendars were the main time for collecting donations – which would usually, together with the money earned for performing individual rituals, cover the annual monastic economy (Schrempf 2000, 2001).



Fig. 4 - The thang ka of 'Ol mo lung ring.

Fig. 5 - Detail of the thang ka. The base of g.Yung drung dgu brtsegs, the Nine Stacked Svastika Mountain, with a circumambulation path followed by pilgrims walking anticlockwise.

Fig. 6 - Detail of the thang ka. The Sham po lha rtse palace.

the 19th century (if we take 1837 as his birth date). As for the copy we know that it is very recent. In his article (1999: 276) D. Martin also mentions an 'Ol mo lung ring ‘map’ displayed in dGa' mal dgon pa in Shar khog (A mdo) which was observed by T. Huber while he was working there. The brief description he gives of it led me to believe it may have been based on sBra ser bla ma’s depiction. Thanks to the kindness of T. Huber who sent me a picture, I can assert that this is in fact another copy of the sBra ser Pa∫∂ita painting. It was painted at the end of the 19th century ‘by an artist named gNyan 'bum rgyal from the village of Ha 'phel’ (ibid.: 276) and is thus older than the copy I saw in Khyung mo monastery. The differences we observe between these ‘maps’ can be explained by the written sources (or maybe the visions) on which the painters based them. Following the liberalization initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s, a lot of religious objects were brought out of hiding at that time. This was also the case for the narrative paintings of dGa' mal dgon pa and the one of Khyung mo dgon pa. Many more are now back on display in their original places and it would be advisable to make a survey of all these ‘maps’ in order to study them in detail and learn more on the history of 'Ol mo lung ring. [13]


An Introduction to the Study of Bon in Modern China by MARA ARIZAGA

Since the triumph of the communist revolution in 1949, in China research of religion has had its own characteristics, including the heavy influence of politics. Bon studies are no exception. Before 1949 there is almost no research available on Bon in Chinese. Between 1949 and 1976 religious studies in China where almost suspended, especially during the years of the Cultural Revolution (1965-1976). It is only after the Cultural Revolution and the launch of economic reform and open-door policies by Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) that religious studies started to take shape as an independent and self-contained field of study. With that shift a new vitality was brought to this field of studies. Research on religion was greatly influenced by the Soviet model, fervently adopted by Chinese scholars at the dawn of the communist era. The basic notions of this model relate the history of religions to the Darwinist evolutionist model. The broadly used terms of ‘old’ and ‘new’ to refer to anything related to the ‘backward’ past and ‘progressive’ present, was based primarily on Darwin’s theory of evolution and Marxist theory of history. The later was considered ‘an eternal cycle or steady decline into chaos, views common to Buddhism or Daoism theology, but in fact linear and progressive steadily advancing toward a goal’ (Miller 2006: 42). Religion and religious research were, therefore, responsible for promoting the anti-imperialism and patriotic education in the beginnings of new China, with the obvious consequence of a very limited spectrum of choosing materials and research approaches in almost any research field. We can outline two general phases in the research of religion in China since the beginning of the Communist government to the present. During the first phase, the government adopted the hard line of militant atheism, as advocated by Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviks. They viewed religion as the opiate of people (Fengyang & Tamney 2005: 21). In this context religious research meant high risk for those involved. So Chinese research has almost nothing to express about religion in general; therefore there was very limited research on Bon. It is only after the shift from militant atheism to scientific atheism started in the early 1980s that official thought changed to ‘the theoretical basis for tolerating religion while carrying out atheist propaganda’ (ibid.). [1]


A Brief Note on the Bonpo Texts of the Giuseppe Tucci Fund Preserved at the Library of IsIAO by DONATELLA ROSSI

The Tucci Tibetan Fund preserved at IsIAO (ex IsMEO) consists of a total of one thousand five hundred and fifteen titles, which have been progressively catalogued during a very long and painstaking work carried out by Prof. Elena De Rossi Filibeck (1994 and 2003). The collection was originally part of the private library of Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984) (for a biography of G. Tucci see Gnoli 1985), who donated it in 1959 to the Institution he contributed to found. The texts were acquired by Giuseppe Tucci during his expeditions in Western and Central Tibet (1933, 1935, 1937, and 1948). The great value of this collection, as Elena De Rossi Filibeck puts it, is also represented by the exquisite workmanship of the xilographies and manuscripts (see De Rossi Filibeck 2007: 213). Moreover, as the author of the Catalogue specifies, it testifies to the great genious and competence of its collector, who did not merely came to acquire texts by chance, because ‘Tucci was searching for works that were truly representative of what Tibetans considered and consider to be shes bya’ (ibid.: 215). For what concerns the Bonpo part of the Fund, it consists of a total of seventy seven main ‘volumes’ (see Ead. 2003: 260-309), under which we can find many distinct works grouped together. For example, Volume 493 includes fourty different texts. (see ibid.: 261-65). Some of them are indeed of superb workmanship, and are adorned by very beautiful dbu lha and mchog lha images, as can be seen from the samples reproduced here below. The presence of titles related to the Great Perfection doctrines is substantive. In this regard, I would like to introduce a short text that, as far as my very limited knowledge is concerned, appears to be inedited: it is titled Don gsum, and is included in Volume no. 493 (marked in the Catalogue as section 14, 1a-8-a, marginal title don gsum, bdu med script) (see ibid.: 262). It consists of songs attributed to Lady Co-za Bon-moi(1), which in a very essential fashion present the three aspects of the Great Perfection in terms of View, Meditation and Conduct, following esoteric (1) For a sketchy biography cf. e.g. Rossi 2008: 138-39.



Figs. 1-6 - Vol. 493, sample text and images.

instructions by Ye-gshen gTsug-phud (see Karmay 1972: 57-58; and 1988: 44, n. 18. See also Achard 2004: passim). The text is a gter-ma, found, as the colophon states (7a, 6-7), at lHo brag Kho mthing by lHa-rje bZhod-ston [sic] (12th century) (see Karmay 1972: 154-56). Each verse of the text is followed by an in-text commentary that expounds and clarifies the main contents of each phrase. Excerpts from the commentary will be quoted in note when necessary.

Kun tu bzang po bde ba'i ngang la phyag 'tshal lo /i(2) Homage to the blissful condition of Kun-tu bZang-po, Kun gyi[s] mi rig theg pa chen po'i don / Essence of the Great Vehicle inaccessible to the many. E Ma Ho / Wonderful! (2) In this article only the section concerned with the View is presented. The text as a whole is the object of a forthcoming publication.



An Autobiography by David Snellgrove by CHIARA BELLINI

The autobiography of the English scholar David Snellgrove, Asian Commitment. Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and South-East Asiai(1), starts with his first contact with the culture of the Indian sub-continent and follows him through the study and research which have been central to his life. The result is a literary and historical work of the greatest interest. Stretching to over five hundred pages, this impressive autobiography provides the reader not only with informations regarding the intellectual and professional experience of a great scholar, but also furnishes an insight into the life of a man who first visited India at a very delicate time, when the country was a base for British operations during the Second World War, and thus witnessed the momentous changes of the last and the present century. Snellgrove takes the reader back to his youth, his first posts at London University and recalls his numerous trips to Asia, not only recounting his memories, but reproducing letters written to his family and friends throughout his life. So, in other words his reminiscences bring us not just a description of the episodes which filled a rich and intense life, but let us share the emotions he experienced at the time. The enthusiasm and on occasion the callowness of a twenty-two-year-old, shine out from his first letters written in the nineteen-forties, when he finds himself on a ocean liner bound for India to do his military service during the Second World War. The ship weighed anchor on 10 March 1943 and took two months to reach its destination. But the strong possibility on such a long journey that it would be attacked by an enemy submarine did nothing to dampen Snellgrove’s youthful excitement at the prospect of at last seeing a country that had long fascinated him. The very first things to stir his interest in Central Asia were some photos of the Himalaya shown to him in 1938 by his college friend Denis Wood and the experience of reading After Everest, by T. Howard Somervelli(2). This book has remained his favourite mountaineering book, and his curiosity about its author led him to discover that Somervell spent most of his life as a medical missionary in Kerala, prompting him to remark, ‘I know him only from his writings, but my admiration for him has remained with me all my life’ (p. 1). Chapter one is divided into two sections and deals with the three years Snellgrove spent as a lieutenant in India during the Second World War. He describes the discomfort of

(1) D. Snellgrove, Asian Commitment. Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and SouthEast Asia, Orchid Press, Bangkok 2000, 587 pp., numerous b/w and col. ill., maps. ISBN 9748299317. (2) T. Howard Somervell, After Everest: The Experiences of Mountaineer and Medical Missionary, London 1936.



Giuseppe Tucci’s Indo-tibetica A Chinese Edition


Giuseppe Tucci’s interest in China was not a passing one, and between 1925 and 1930 he not only taught Italian and Tibetan but also Chinese at the universities of Shantiniketan and Calcutta and, later, from the end of 1930 to October 1932, Chinese Language and Literature at the Istituto Universitario Orientale of Naples, where he was appointed as a result of his prestige. And the Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (IsMEO), founded by Giovanni Gentile and Tucci in 1933, likened the civilizations of India, China and Japan to that of Italy for their antiquity, culture, philosophy and art. Brilliant pages of topical information and hitherto unpublished issues were dedicated to China in the Bollettino (1935) and Asiatica (1936-1943), the first two IsMEO periodicals. Just as, in the series ‘Letture e Conferenze’ the first documented articles were published, guaranteed by the knowledge of their authors, who included the most prestigious Italian and foreign sinologists and historians (R. Almagià, L. Binyon, C. Costantini, P.M. D’Elia S.I., J. Kao, G.R. Loehr, O. Sirén, G. Vacca, among others). Starting from the 1950s, IsMEO could boast of the richest Chinese library in Italy, particularly in view of the importance of several collections of Chinese books; a ‘Committee for the Dissemination of Sinological Studies’ (1955), chaired by Tucci himself, and a periodical titled Cina (1956) edited by Lionello Lanciotti, the most distinguished Italian sinologist and untiring animator of studies on China. So far thirty volumes of Cina have been published (1956-2002). This is evidence of the non occasional commitment, first by IsMEO and then by the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (IsIAO), its natural heir, in spreading knowledge of China and its civilization. Furthermore, a large number of articles on various topics, but always regarding China, have been published ever since its inception by the periodical East and West and the works appearing in the series ‘Serie Orientale Roma’, some by distinguished scholars (J.J.L. Duyvendak, N. Egami, R.E. Emmerick, A. Forte, R.H. van Gulik, C. Hentze, J.G. Mahler, L. Petech, E.G. Pulleyblank, H.E. Richardson, J.F. Rock and A.C. Soper), which still today represent true classics in the history of sinological studies. In this way, Italy, IsMEO and IsIAO, above and beyond the present daily, often confused, din, wish to dedicate to China a solid, long-standing attention, as ‘we Italians’, wrote Tucci himself, ‘have always been interested in it owing to its culture ever since Marco Polo unveiled it to Europe or Matteo Ricci described its strengths and weaknesses with rare objectivity. This interest consists of pure, simple humanistic curiosity, stimulated and fostered by the desire to understand in increasing depth, in its creations and in its



The Figure of the Great Mother in India A Comparison between the East and the West


In India the Goddess has many names and many formsi(1). Which means that all through history the creative imagination of the Indian culture has associated to an extrahuman feminine being variegated ideas, conceptions, traits that have corresponded to diverse exigencies and have constituted the expression of diverse cultures and human groups. It is not, therefore, a type stable in space and time, nor with a single function, inevitably hinging upon the gender; nevertheless, the maternal aspect underlies, along an all but uninterrupted line of continuity, the various forms that have emerged, from time to time, and imposed themselves upon the veneration of the devotees. Art and literature have given ample expression to this individual and collective representation, which inspires the Indian way of being and manifests itself in sentiments at times contradictory and often far from our way of thinking. The fascination and the assurance deriving from the maternal presence thus traverse all of the Indian civilisation and win over not only the minds of passionate poets and mystics heady with love, from Caitanya and Råmprasåd Sen to Råmakrishna, but also the hearts of masters celebrated for the subtlety of their arguments, such as ‡a¥kara. However, it needs to be clarified that the idea of maternity that one finds in this culture is very different from ours, as observed by Giuseppe Tucci: […] per gli indiani la maternità è qualche cosa di fatale, su cui pesa il destino della mâyâ. Non c’è alfa senza omega. La madre colla vita ci ha dato il suggello di tutte le tribolazioni che ci attendono nell’agonia della vita e segnato col crisma della morte.i(2)

* This paper is the revised and enlarged edition of a text presented to the International Conference ‘Anthropology in India Today. Postmodernism and Globalism in Perspective’ (Bhubaneswar, 16-19 December 2007), organized by the Department of Anthropology, Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar, in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Department. The Author wishes to express his gratitude to the Convener and Director of the Conference, Prof. P.K. Nayak, Head of the Department, for his invitation to take part in it. (1) S. Kramrisch, ‘The Indian Great Goddess’, History of Religions, 14, 4, p. 235. (2) ‘For the Indians maternity is something fatal, upon which depends the destiny of måyå. There is no alpha without omega. With life the mother has given us the seal of all the tribulations that await us in the agony of life and has anointed us with the unction of death’, G. Tucci, Forme dello spirito asiatico, Milano-Messina 1940, p. 154.




Ahmed Hassan Dani, archaeologist, Professor Emeritus at Quaid-e Azam University, Islamabad and Honorary Director of the Taxila Institute for Asian Civilizations, passed away on 26 January 2009 at the age of 88. Time and place do not make a man a witness by right of birth. Witnesses are those who actively mark their eras, or else those through whom an era manifests itself. The biography of A.H. Dani places him in the first group. A.H. Dani was born into a Kashmiri family in Basna, in the state of Chahattisgahr, Central Provinces, British India. His interest in antiquities led him to study Sanskrit at Banaras Hindu University, where he was the first Muslim student to obtain a MA honours degree in 1944. The same or the following year he began training as a field archaeologist at the Taxila School of Archaeology under Mortimer Wheeler; again under the guidance of the great British archaeologist, in 1950 he attended the Mohenjo-daro School. Wheeler’s watchful eye had from the outset fallen upon Dani and other young persons, including F.A. Khan, and they began to form the basic nucleus of his reorganization of Archaeological Survey of India, which enabled the British administration to bequeath to the future States a comprehensive and efficient government archaeological service. While F.A. Khani(1) was beginning his career in West Pakistan (in the late 1950s he became the Director General of the Department of Archaeology & Museums of Pakistan), Dani, already an officer of the Archaeological Survey (first posting to the Taj Mahal, Agra) was posted to the East Pakistan in 1947. In 1949 he was promoted Superintendent-in-Charge. These were years of transformation, in which the Department of Archaeology of Pakistan still borrowed its positions, nomenclature and management from the old Archaeological Survey. In this sense, as Dani left the service in the early 1960s, it may be said that if he ever belonged to the structure that would later be known as Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM), it was only for a few years, above all in the Dhaka period (1950-1962) when, as well as the university chair, he held the post of Curator of the Dhaka Museum. In 1950 he was appointed Assistant Professor (History) at Dhaka University. In 1955 he received a PhD at the Institute of Archaeology of University College of London. It was precisely in the university that Dani was to find the environment most favourable to the expression of his capacity. In addition to study and research, he also had a genius for organization and dissemination, as well as being an interlocutor open to civil society. His work as a scholar capable of embracing vast areas of history and archaeology and of combining a scientific approach with an interest in popularization, clearly emerges from the long list of his monographiesi(2): Bibliography of the Muslim Inscriptions of Bengal (1957),

(1) See F.A. Khan obituary, this Volume. (2) During the past twenty years his publisher was generally Sang-e Meel of Lahore.



WALTER BELARDI (1923-2008)

Walter Belardi, born in Rome on 22 March 1923, studied Iranistics and general linguistics under Antonino Pagliaro at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome from 1942 to 1946, supplementing the courses at this university with those (Avestic and Pahlavi) taught by Giuseppe Messina, a pupil of J. Markwart and his successor, after 1928, at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (the names of the two ‘Iranistic masters’ appear together on the dedication page of Studi mithraici e mazdei). He graduated in 1946 under the tutorship of Antonino Pagliaro with a thesis on IndoEuropean morphology; he immediately became an assistant lecturer in glottology at the Istituto Universitario Orientale, where he taught as full professor starting in 1956; in the early 1960s he was called by Pagliaro to Rome where he continued the latter’s teaching at the Institute of Glottology and directed the specialist School of glottology. At the Orientale he also taught Armenian from 1961 to 1969, a course later taken over by Giorgio R. Cardona, who had graduated under his direction with a thesis on the Armenian and Syriac religious lexicon, with a view to establishing this specialization at the Orientale (which however for various reasons could not be continued). The works of his pupils, who hold glottological courses at the Sapienza (Giorgio R. Cardona, Palmira Cipriano, Paolo Di Giovine, Claudia Ciancaglini) and two of whom had premature deaths, as well as those of Marco Mancini, another of his pupils who established a substantial nucleus of glottology and linguistics at La Tuscia University of Viterbo, continued several of the Iranistic interests of their teacher in the field of both historical linguistics and of the study of linguistic contact. After working in the 1950s as editorial secretary in Pagliaro’s periodical, Ricerche linguistiche (which closed after number 6, in 1974), Belardi set up and directed at the Orientale the linguistic section of Annali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale (AION-L: i, 1959-ix, 1970), in which he published, among others, Iranistic articles by H.W. Bailey, F.B.J. Kuiper, M. Mayrhofer, A.J. van Windenkens, L. Zgusta, E. Hamp, O. Szemerényi, W. Wüst, V.I. Abaev, J. Duchesne-Guillemin, G. Dumézil, W.B. Henning, D. Weber. In the Quaderni series (second Quaderno, Naples 1963), which paralleled the periodical, he also published A Vocabulary of Marw Baluchi by Josef Elfenbein, which marked the beginning of Italian and Neapolitan interests (initially through the work of Alessandro Bausani) in the Balochi language. Starting in 1974 Belardi promoted the series ‘Biblioteca di ricerche linguistiche e filologiche’, published by the Institute of Glottology of the University of Rome (later by the Department of Glottoanthropological Studies, and then by the Rome publisher ‘Il Calamo’), now at its 62nd issue and interrupted with the unanimous consent of his students at the death of its founder, which has published articles on Indian, Iranian, Germanic, Slavonic, Armenian, Illyrian, Latin, Greek, Italic, Etruscan and Romance linguistics. In Belardi’s youthful publications of the period immediately before and after his university teaching qualification of 1951, his (already substantial) Iranistic skills were mainly applied (a) to languages representing the documentation of the ancient phases (Avestan and



F.A. KHAN (1910-2009)

Dr. F.A. Khan, a celebrated Archeologist, expired at Karachi on 18th February, 2009. He was nearly 99. Born on 1st October, 1910, Dr. Khan held a double M.A. degree in History and Geography from Muslim University Aligarh and Ph.D. in Archaeology from the London University. He joined the Archaeological Survey of India in 1938. In 1947, he was sent to China for studies in Chinese Archaeology. He served the Federal Department of Archaeology, Govt. of Pakistan, as its Director form 1958 to 1970. During his tenure of office as Head of the Department, a great activity was witnessed in every branch of ‘Archaeology’. The most notable contribution made by him was in the field of Archaeological Excavations. The excavations carried-out by him at Kotdiji, district Khairpur had been quite rewarding from the point of view of the ‘forerunners of the Indus Civilization’. Kotdiji turned out to be an early bronze age site representing a pre-lndus Culture. Moreover, it also represents the earliest known fortified urban settlement in the subcontinent. A major breakthrough in the archaeology of Taxila was achieved with the discovery, by Dr. Khan, of Serai Khola. It had brought to light the presence of Neolithic and Kotdiji settlements, pushing back the history of Taxila to 3100 B.C. The other important sites excavated by him were Banbhore and Mansura in Sindh. The excavations at Banbhore uncovered the structural remains of a harbour town most-certainly of Daibul, which fell in 711 A.D. to the Arab forces led by Mohammad Bin Qasim. Mansura is the first Arab capital of Sindh, where the excavations have laid bare the town planning of the early muslim cities. Dr. Khan encouraged extra Departmental researches. With this in view, a number of foreign Archaeological Missions were invited to conduct excavations in Swat, Mardan and certain ancient sites in Baluchistan. The field work done by these Missions, under the able guidance of Dr. Khan, added new horizons to the ancient history of Pakistan. The contribution made by Dr. Khan for the promotion of ‘Museology’ is no less significant. At the time of Independence in 1947, a properly set-up museum in Pakistan was only at Taxila. Dr. Khan set-up a chain of museums throughout the country, at Saidu Sharif, Harappa, Umerkot, Mohenjodaro and Banbhore. Besides, setting up Allama Iqbal Museum at Lahore, new Mughal and Sikh galleries were also added in Lahore Fort Museum. The development of archaeological activities in the former East Pakistan owes much to the sustained field work done in this direction by Dr. Khan. Excavations conducted by him at Mainamati, district Comilla and Mahasthangarh, district Bogra resulted in the discovery of Monastic establishments. Besides, museums were set-up at both these places including an Ethnological Museum at Chittagong, the first of its kind in the sub-continent. Dr. Khan was author of several books including his well researched books on (i) Indus Valley and Early Iran and (ii) Architecture and Art Treasures in Pakistan. It was Dr. Khan, who had started the publication of the annual research journal Pakistan Archaeology. The image of Pakistan was projected abroad in a most effective way by holding exhibitions of cultural relics in several European Countries, U.S.A., Japan, Australia etc.



East and West 59 (2009)  

East and West Vol. 59 - Nos. 1-4 (December 2009) Bon: The Everlasting Religion of Tibet. Tibetan Studies in Honour of Professor David L. Sne...

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