Yungdrung Bön, meaning “Eternal Light” or “Enlightened
Teaching,” is the original and authentic spiritual tradition
of Tibet. Its teachings are based on the principle of practising
indiscriminate love and compassion towards all and is the path
of Theg-pa Chen-po or Mahayana in its approach.
Many of the teachings are similar to those found in the four
principal schools of Buddhism, especially the Nyingma-pa school,
and are aimed at enabling all to access Enlightenment and freedom
from the shackles of Samsara.
The most obvious points of differentiation between the schools
would appear to be in their points of origin, the number of refuge
objects and in the nomenclature employed in relation to the deities
and Jang-chub Sempas (Bodhisattvas).
Whereas general Buddhism relates back to the teachings of Buddha
Shakyamuni, (who lived approximately two and a half thousand years
ago), Yungdrung Bön traces its lineage directly back to its
founder, Buddha Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, who came and taught in
Wolmo Loong Ring (otherwise known as Shambala) over 18,000 years
ago. From there his teachings spread around the world in different
guises, being introduced into Tibet from the neighboring country
of Zhang-Zhung — which includes western Tibet and Gangchen
Tisi (Mount Kailash).
The Refuge Objects
In Buddhism one finds three Refuge Objects: (1) Sangye (Buddha),
(2) Chö (Dharma) and (3) Ghe-dhun (Sangha); Bönpos have
four Refuge Objects: (1) Sang-gye (Enlightened Ones), (2) Bön
(Enlightened Teachings), (3) Shenrab Yungdrung Sempas (Spiritual
Heroes / Heroines) and (4) The Lama, who embodies the previous