Feast of the Morning Light- The Eighteenth Century Wood-Engravings of Shenrab's Life-Stories and the Bon Canon from Gyalrong

Feast of the Morning Light- The Eighteenth Century Wood-Engravings of Shenrab's Life-Stories and the Bon Canon from Gyalrong

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZG933
Author: Samten G. Karmay
Publisher: Vajra Books, Nepal
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9789937623742
Pages: 292 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50x7.00 inch
Weight 490 gm

Book Description

This volume is a report of some of the results of two successive research projects conducted under the sponsorship of Monbusho Grants-in-Aid for International Scentific Research (08041040 and A211691080) Japan. These projects are 1) An plary Beld Survey of the Bow Culture in Tibet (1996-1998 fiscal years), and 2) Reconstruction of the Zhangohung Language and the Formation of Written Tibetan (1999-2001 fiscal years). In close cooperation with Dr Sansten Kamay (CNRS, Paris 1 kod the above-mentioned projects, the results of which are being published under the Bon Stoches series in Sener Emological Reports (SER). The volumes already published:

Mandalas of the Bon Religion (2000)

Bon Shadies 2 SER 15 New Horizons in Bon Studies (2000)

Bon Studies 3 SER 19 New Research on Zhangzhong and Related Himalayan Languages (2001)

Bon Studies 4 SER 24 A Catalogue of the New Katen Texts (2001)

Collection of Bonpo Bon Studies $ SER 25 A Catalogue of the New Collection of Bonpo Katen Texts-Indices (2001) SER 32 The Call of the Blue Cuckoo (2002)

Bon Studies 6 Bon Studies 7 Bon Studies & SER 40 A Catalogue of the Bon Kanjur (2003)

SER 38 A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya (2003)

In these projects, I have been making a sustained effort to develop a solid foundation for research on Bon culture. Thanks to the generous assistance of the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. I have been able to successfully collect basic research materials, such as mandala, thangka, and a huge collection of Bonpo canonical texts.

The present volume is a detailed descriptive analysis of a set of Gyalrong wood engravings, which were imprinted in the 1940's from woodblocks kept at a royal palace in Gyalrong These woodblocks seem to have been destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Since the 11" century, Gyalrong has been a stronghold of the Bon religion and Bon culture still alive and well among the Gyalrong people.

Gyalrong is situated to the southeast of Khams and still remains to this day a very difficult place to get to The region is now divided into two halves. The northern part is under the administrative unit of the rNga bo (Ch Aba) Autonomous Prefecture Its administrative centre is in 'Bar khams. The southern part, which begins just after the Chu chen rdzong, comes under the dKar mdzes (Ch. Ganzi) Autonomous Prefecture Its seat of administration is Dar rtse mdo (Ch Kangding). Both units come under the administration of Chengdu, Sichuan province, although both are completely cut off from the Sichaun basin by the watershed of the massive mountain ranges Gyalrong therefore no longer exists in its traditional entity. However, in the pre-communist era, it was a Tibetan region with its own history and culture.

The name of this region in Tibetan is spelled as rGyal rong which is derived from its full name rGyal mo tsha ba rong? It is related to the name of the river rGyal mo. dngul chu which is the main river in the region. The toponym Gyalrong in Tibetan usually covers the whole region that had originally included eighteen principalities of varying sizes. The equivalent name of the region in Chinese is often given as Jinchuan, but in fact Jinchuan designates only two principalities in Gyalrong: bTsan la and Chu chen. The Chinese use the name Jiarong for the whole region of Gyalrong. The name Jiarong is obviously a transcription of the Tibetan name ragyal rong.

In Tibetan geographical vocabulary the region is described as rong, gorge. (Pl. 1 3] It is one of the four great rong (rong chen bzhi). They are: Kong po rong. A stag rong. Tsha ba rong and rGyal mo rong. The first refers to Kong po where Mount Bon ri is situated, the exact location of the second rong remains unknown, the third is the region of Mount Tsha ba dkar po in south-east Tibet and the fourth refers to Gyalrong Indeed, the main valley of the region is long and very narrow. It is cut deep by the huge river called rGyal mo dngul chu which flows through it. The river starts in the north of the valley from the confluence of rDo chu which runs from the area of 'Dzam thang and So mang chu that flows through the valley of Tsha kho. Downstream after about 200 kilometers from the confluence the river is called Dadu in Chinese and here the valley also gradually widens out at a place called ICags zam, 'Iron bridge. From this point the landscape and its inhabitants become explicitly Chinese. The iron suspension bridge over the river is believed to have been originally constructed by the Tibetan engineer Thang stong rgyal po (b. 1385). [PL. 4] It marks the traditional Tibeto-Chinese border in the area.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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