ASSEMBLE . TRANSCRIBE . DIGITIZE . TRANSLATE
Bon Canon Project
During the past 50 years in Tibet, many Bon religious texts and centers of spiritual learning have been destroyed. Bon Shen Ling has been instrumental in helping Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India (the center of the Bon religion), assemble, transcribe, digitize, and translate these ancient religious texts into English. These texts have been brought out of Tibet, often at great human cost. Through this project, we honor those who have worked and continue to work so diligently to preserve these texts and their culture. Since the invasion and assimilation of Tibet into the Chinese nation, religious freedom has been curtailed. Texts are often destroyed or lost. Over many years, refugees and scholars have made a concerted effort to obtain lost texts and take them to Menri Monastery for safekeeping. Under the direct supervision of HH Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, Bon Shen Ling has undertaken the task of printing a transcribed version of the Bon sacred texts known as the Bon Canon.
The Canon is painstakingly being put back together. Missing dialogue is being retrieved with the help of scholars and the Abbot of Menri Monastery. The Canon now consists of approximately 170 books (pecha). Once the Canon is complete, initial printing of 50 copies of the 170 books will begin. This initial printing will be distributed to the monasteries and other important sites for safekeeping. Future projects include translation into English, digital tagging for ease of research, and further printings for scholars and institutions.
UPDATED PROJECTED BUDGET
Support Bon Canon Project
For proofreading, Tibetan pecha design (a traditional Tibetan loose-leaf book, wrapped in cloth for protection).
One Volume Pecha $32 US.
One Full Set of 170 books $5,605 US.
Bon is the one of the oldest religions on earth. It was founded by Ton Pa Shenrap Mi Wo Che, based on the Sutra renunciation teaching, Tantra transformation practice and Dzogchen self-liberation teaching. These three teachings were taught by Ton Pa Shenrap primarily in Zhang Zhung, a huge ancient region believed to stretch from Persia to Tibet and surrounding kingdoms. After his passing, his most distinguished disciple, Venerable Mucho Dhemdruk and 12 other students collected and compiled his teachings into 170 books, called in Zhang Zhung, Ku Yik, or in Tibetan, Gyal Wei Ka Rin Po Che.
The Bon Canon was brought from many regions of Tibet into Tibetan Bon monasteries where Lamas developed indices over many years. One index was written by His Holiness the 23rd Abbot of Menri. This version became the official index of the Canon. During the time of the Chinese cultural revolution, only one set of the Bon Canon remained in the Nyak Rong region of Tibet, in the Dhomed province. After 20 years, three printings of the whole set were published by a group of Bon practitioners, but the printing was of poor quality. After several years, Lama Mongye Lhasay Rinpoche published this surviving Canon with improved printing techniques. Many universities in Europe and the US have copies of these books. A few years ago, the 33rd Menri Abbot asked the Bon Foundation in the US to make and distribute scanned CD sets of the Gyal Wei Ka Rin Po Che from this version. These are now available through the Bon Foundation. More recently, the 33rd Menri Abbot asked Chongtul Rinpoche to oversee the publication of a new version based on the official indexed version of the 23rd Menri Abbot. The project will include publishing indexed, pecha-style, books (Tibetan loose-leaf books), in a searchable digital format and creating a website to make it accessible. Ultimately, there will be translations into different languages. This official version will be computerized from the official indices of the 23rd Abbot of Menri and will include newly discovered texts previously thought to be lost.
- High Quality Legibility
- Searchable digital index
- Inclusion of newly discovered texts
A few years ago, Bon Shen Ling and Chongtul Rinpoche committed themselves to this highly important project. The Bon canon is the primary source of Ton Pa Shenrap’s teachings on Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. Thus, it is of great importance to preserve these texts with integrity.
Updated January 12th 2022
Bon Shen Ling and Chongtul Rinpoche want to extend their deep appreciation to all the supporters who have donated money and time toward completing, digitizing, and publishing the Bon Canon, texts that hold the wisdom of the Bon teachings.
Here are some exciting updates about progress on the Bon Canon project:
- Since November 2021, over 120 books of the 170 Bon Canon have been carefully proofread. The goal is to finish the proofreading by April 2022.
- When the final proofreading of the 170 books is complete, the next stage will be to publish the Canon in the 18 x 4” Tibetan traditional pecha-style, in a hardcover format. A sample of the pecha design will look as pictured on this page.
- The digitizing stage of the text has been completed, and the next goal is to make them available online so that scholars and practitioners around the world can access and read them. Our commitment is to support the translation of the Canon into English and other languages.
We are asking you to please keep the success of this project in your prayers so that it may be completed without delaying obstacles. Your heartfelt donation to this project is very much welcome and deeply appreciated. Your donation will be wisely used to help Chongtul Rinpoche continue making the Canon accessible and to support the flourishing of the Bon religion and it’s many spiritual teachings.
We thank you deeply.