Unearthing Bon Treasures: Life and Contested Legacy of a Tibetan Scripture Revealer, with a General Bibliography of Bon

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The subject for this study, the Tibetan “treasure revealer” Gshen-chen Klu-dga’, is a crucial figure in the development of Bon as an organised religion after the eleventh century. Here for the first time he is situated in the context of what was happening in Buddhism at the time.
By scrutinizing his life and gter-ma (“treasures”), that were to be of much controversy in later ages, Dan Martin sheds light on the mechanism of Tibetan polemical tradition and the ways in which sectarianism accords itself legitimacy by resurrecting ancient arguments in a subtly distorted manner.
The exhaustive annotated bibliography of previous works about Bon, forming the second part of the work, can rightly be seen as a legacy of Gshen-chen. Both parts taken together make this an indispensable guide to any student of Bon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'”Unearthing Bon Treasures” is an erudite, original, and extremely useful volume, written in a way which renders it accessible to non-specialists. It augurs well for the future study of the Bon religion.'
Per Kvaerne, Indo-Iranian Journal, 2004.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004121232
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/15/2001
  • Series: Brill's Tibetan Studies Library Series, #1
  • Pages: 484
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Martin, Ph.D. (1991) in Tibetan Studies (Indiana University), is at present a Researcher affiliated with the Department of Indian Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His published monographs are Mandala Cosmogony (Harrassowitz, 1994) and Tibetan Histories (Serindia, 1997).
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Table of Contents

1 The Historical Setting: Early Tibet 1
2 What Bon Is 10
3 What Treasures Are 16
4 International Buddha 30
5 Gshen-chen Klu-dga': The Earliest Historical Sources 40
6 Gshen-chen's Own Narrative 56
7 The Biography of the Bla-ma Gshen 71
8 The Biography of His Disciple Zhu-yas Legs-po 81
9 Poisoned Dialogue: Gshen-chen Klu-dga's Final Hour 93
10 The Polemical Tradition against Gshen-chen and Bon 105
11 References to Bon in Early Chos Biographical Literature 117
12 Anti-Bon Polemic since the Thirteenth Century 124
13 The Single Intention 148
14 A Polemic and Its Object 183
15 Conclusions 208
App. 1 Tibetan Texts 221
App. 2 A List of Revelations and Compositions of Gshen-chen Klu-dga' 239
Bibliography 262
General Bibliography: A Partially Annotated List of Articles and Books About Bon 287
General Index 443
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