The Tradition of Everlasting Bön

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“I am very happy to see the publication of this book. The five texts included in this volume, ably translated by J. F. Marc de Jardins, are perfectly chosen by His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoché to represent the diversity of the Bӧn canon. Yungdrung Bӧn is a complete path, and its Nine Ways contain deep wisdom for navigating the vicissitudes of this life, preparing for our future lives, and ultimately achieving liberation. The Tradition of Everlasting Bӧn gives an excellent taste of Sūtra, Tantra, and Dzogchen as revealed by Tönpa Shenrap. It should be of interest to both practitioners and to scholars.”—Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoché

“In The Tradition of Everlasting Bön, Marc des Jardins brings together in a wonderfully scholarly way five important texts of the ancient Yungdrung Bön tradition, encompassing Sūtra, Tantra, and Dzogchen. This is a great addition to Wisdom Publications’ The Library of Tibetan Classics, which includes classic texts from all Tibetan spiritual traditions. The Tradition of Everlasting Bön will be an invaluable support for scholars of Tibetan traditions as well as for practitioners in the Bön lineage.”—Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, author of Tibetan Yoga: Magical Movements of Body, Breath and Mind

The Tradition of Everlasting Bön is a game changer in the study of Tibetan religious thought and practice. Presenting lucid translations of five key texts spanning the principal teachings of Yungdrung Bön—from the esoteric path of the Greater Vehicle through the tantras and culminating in the visionary precepts of the Great Perfection—no other work that has yet appeared covers so much ground with comparable precision and clarity. For the breadth and depth of his scholarship, J. F. Marc des Jardins merits laurels. This is an unparalleled, essential contribution.”—Matthew T. Kapstein, professor emeritus, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, and the University of Chicago

“This remarkable volume, a collection of five key works from the Everlasting (Yungdrung) Bön tradition, together with a lucid introduction, notes, and glossary by the translator, fills a major gap in the literature for those new to this tradition, providing an introduction that is both reliable, informed, and comprehensive. Marc des Jardins’ work on these important texts takes the Western encounter with Yungdrung Bön to a new level, challenging the reader to encounter it as a major spiritual tradition in its own right.”—Geoffrey Samuel, professor emeritus, Cardiff University, author of Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies


Five Key Texts on Scripture, Tantra, and the Great Perfection

J. F. Marc des Jardins

This authoritative annotated translation of five key texts of Everlasting (Yungdrung) Bön by Marc des Jardins opens up a relatively unknown tradition, which since the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet has undergone great transformations in its philosophy, doctrinal teachings, and meditative practices.

The texts each represent an important aspect of the tradition. The first text, by Drogön Azha Lodrö Gyaltsen (1198–1263), presents the grounds and paths of the Greater Vehicle of the Bön tradition and represents the philosophical ideology of its teachings based on the scriptures contained in the Bön canon. The second text is a short root tantra attributed to revealed teachings from Kuntu Zangpo, the personification of the unconditioned absolute. The third text is a commentary on this root tantra attributed to Drenpa Namkha (fl. eighth century), a Bönpo sage contemporary with Padmasambhava. The fourth text, by Nyamé Sherap Gyaltsen (1356–1415), presents a general exposition of the tantric system according to Yungdrung Bön. The final text, by Drutön Gyalwa Yungdrung (1242–90), pertains to the oral instructions on the meditation practices of Bön, especially on the cycle of practices associated with experiencing the nature of the mind, the Great Perfection systems. All five texts have been selected by the late H. H. Menri Trizin Rinpoché, Lungtok Tenpai Nyima (1927–2017), the thirty-third abbot of Menri Monastery, the central institution of the Yungdrung Bön school.



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book information
  • Hardcover
  • 796 pages, 6 x 9 inches
  • $69.95
  • ISBN 9780861714483
  • ebook
  • 796 pages
  • $46.99
  • ISBN 9781614298793
about the author
The Tradition of Everlasting Bön

J. F. Marc des Jardins is Associate Professor of East Asian Religions in the Department of Religions and Cultures at Concordia University in Montreal. He teaches the social and cultural history of Chinese and Tibetan religions. His research focuses on the cultural interactions and religions along the former Sino-Tibetan frontiers, where Tibetan and Chinese cultures mixed and nourished each other. Since 1991 he has researched Tibetan indigenous ritual practices and the Bön religion of Tibet. He has published a monograph (Le sūtra de la Mahāmayūrī: Rituel et politique dans la Chine des Tang) on the importance of esoteric Buddhism during the Tang dynasty as well as articles on Tibetan indigenous magic, tantric ritual practices, the ritual of exorcism, and others. He is the chief editor of The Journal of the International Association for Bön Research.

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