Friday, December 2, 2011

The old gods are still around and doing well

Long before the rugged Himalayan region was conquered by the benevolence of Buddhism and the blessings of Lord Buddha and his many loyal guardians the lands were at the mercy of powerful deities and terrifying spirits. People's houses were converted to small fortresses to ward off evil creatures and the populations were at the mercy of divine madmen, possessed bonpo shamans. When the famous Guru Rinpoche was brought in from India by King Trisong Detsen the bonpos may finally and officially have converted, but their masters and deities persisted and the old guard never went away. Much as other local powerful beings or spirits, they remain in service of their people once more, though now under the watchful eye of Lord Buddha. And although there might now be gentle smiling monks performing the services instead of wild eyed bonpo shamans, the practice never really subsided, it just transformed and merged into a school of Buddhist discipline among karmapas and nyingmapas and so on.

Today some people living in this region realize the origins of their belief system and trace it back to the bön. Another pair of explorers recently reemerged from a journey into the distant corners of this wilderness. Small villages and dilapidated and crumbling dzongs were the starting points for excursions into the vastness of the old guard. Even in the shadow of Mount Kailash the presence of Buddha Tönpa Shenrab can be felt. Join Seetyca and Artin Mucht as they don their Parikrama moniker once more to open a treasure box of mysterious old gterma. As you gaze into this old world, remember to equip a spirit catcher and carry your phurba close to you at all times.

[gterma009] : Parikrama - Top of the Morning by the lost gterma