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Tibetan Bon – an Ancient Religion or another version of Buddhism? - Explore Tibet
Once believed to be the indigenous religion of Tibet, Bon is believed to have been around as a religious teaching and way of life for more than 18,000 years. Similar in form to Buddhism, in the 7th century, when the Buddhist teachings first came to Tibet and were recognized as the national religion, many of the proponents of this ancient yet modern religion were incorporated into the Buddhist traditions that now make up Tibetan Buddhism. One of the most important is the New Year Festival known as Losar, which is believed to have originated in the ancient Bon religion more than a thousand years before Buddhism came to the plateau. Modern Bon is very similar to Tibetan Buddhism, so much so that there is a wealth of controversy surrounding the ideas of whether Bon influenced Tibetan Buddhism or vice versa. The modern version of the Bon religion came about in the 14th century, after the second diffusion of Buddhism in Tibet, and many scholars regard it as the “ancient new religion”, as many of the scriptures used in Modern Bon come from “termas”, the hidden teachings discovered by “tertons”, the discoverers of those hidden teachings. Ancient because the texts tell …