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Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche

Bön > Thangkas

"I bow in respect to You who,
Being motivated be compassion for the sentient beings
Of this cyclic existence who are difficult to subdue;
Pacified their suffering from afflictions
And released them from the lower realms;
Leading them to the path of liberation."

(Zit. Nach Sangye Tandar The Twelve Deeds, A Brief Life Story of Tonpa Shenrab the founder of the Bon religion, p.9)

Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche
"The founder of the Bonreligion in the human world is Lord Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.
According to the traditional biographical account, in a previous age Shenrab was called Salwa and studied the Bon doctrines with his two brothers Dagpa and Shepa in the Sidpa Yesang heaven under guidance of the Bon sage Bumtri Logi Cesan. After finishing their studies, the three brothers visited the god of compassion Shenlha Okar (see under thankas), to ask him how they could alleviate the suffering of the sentient beings. Shenlha Okar advised them to act as guides to mankind in three successive world ages. Dagpa tought in the past world age; Salwa manifested as Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche and is the teacher and guide of the present world age; the youngest brother, Shepa, will come to teach in the next world age.
Tonpa Shenrab descended from the heavenly realms and manifested at the foot of Mount Meru with two of his closest disciples, Malo und Yulo. Then he took birth as prince, the son of king Gyal Tokar and Queen Zangpa Ringum, in a luminous garden full of marvelous flowers in a palace south of Mount Yungdrung Gutseg, at dawn of the eight day of the first month of the Wood Male Mouse Year (1857 B.C.). He married while young and had children. At the age of 31 he renounced his worldly life and started to practice austerity and teach the Bon doctrine. Throughout his life, his efforts to propagate the Bon teachings were obstructed by the demon Khyabpa Lagring, who fought to destroy Shenrab's work; eventually he was converted and became Shenrabs disciple.
Once, Khyabpa stole Shenrab's horses and Shenrab pursued him through Zhang Zhung into southern Tibet. Shenrab entered Tibet by crossing Mount Kongpo.

Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche

This was the first and only visit to Tibet. At that time the Tibetans practiced ritual sacrifice. Shenrab quelled the local demons and imparted instructions on the performance of rituals using offering cakes in the shape of the sacrificial animals, which led to the Tibetans abandoning animal sacrifices. On the whole, he found the land unprepared to receive the five ways "of the fruit" of the higher Bon teachings, so he taught the four ways "of cause". In these practices the emphasis is on reinforcing relationships with the guardian spirits and the natural environment, exorcising demons, and eliminating negativities. He also taught practices of purification by fumigation and lustral sprinkling and introduced prayer flags as a way of reinforcing fortune and positive energy. Before leaving Tibet, he prophesied that all his teachings would flourish in Tibet when the time was ripe. Tonpa Shenrab passed away at the age of eighty-two."

(Zit. Nach Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Wonders of the natural mind, p. 41 f.)

Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche

(First Thangka: photo taken on retreat 2008;
Second Thangka: Family-collection Mösler;
Third Thangka: photo taken on retreat 2008)

Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche

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