Spirits in the sky and on earth

Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
Post Reply
User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:10 pm

Tashi delek,

We all know there are spirits / goasts.
They can cause illness to body and mind and are therefore known in Tibetan Medicine and Shamanism.
Shamanism is based on pre - Buddhist culture and Buddhism integrated many of these spirits.
Some demoniacal behavior, like under explained is well known to us and from others.
Many illness is caused by our own mind but also from outside the mind, or in a combination.

Tsen - 02.jpg
Tsen - 02.jpg (108.4 KiB) Viewed 5682 times

by :
Tulku Urgyan Tenpa Rinpoche (1)
Terry Clifford – Tibetan Buddhist Medicine and psychiatry (2)

Types of Spirits:

According to folk beliefs, the world has 3 parts: (1)

- sky and heavens
- earth
- the "lower regions."

Each of these has its own distinctive spirits, many of which influence the world of humans.

- The upper gods (steng Iha) live in the atmosphere and sky,
- the middle tsen (bar btsan) inhabit the earth
- the lower regions are the home of yoklu (g.yog klu), most notably snake-bodied beings called lu (klu naga), which live at the bottoms of lakes, rivers, and wells and are reported to hoard vast stores of treasure.

nyen (gnyan) / rakshasas :
The spirits that reside in rocks and trees are called they are often malicious, and Tibetans associate them with sickness and death.

Sadak (sa bdag )
"lords of the earth") sadak" or ground-owner demons are beings that live under the ground and are connected with agriculture. They are pre-Buddhist Bön deities. They cause psychological problems to meditators who get into trouble while in deep meditation. Building houses or other structures must first propiate these Sadaks. Their maliciousness may be expressed including headaches, skin eruptions, general misfortune, widespread epidemics, pestilence and damage to herds.

Du (bdud, mara):
were apparently originally atmospheric spirits, but they came to be associated with the Buddhist demons called mara which are led by their king (also named Mara), whose primary goal is to lead sentient beings into ignorance, thus perpetuating the vicious cycle of samsara. The Shakyamuni Buddha was visited by such a du.

Lha’i gdon:
God Demons. Typically male spirits, white in color, who usually do not care to trouble humans. In Indian practice these are known as devas. People afflicted by God Demons suffer from insomnia; they obsessively clean themselves, display good natures, and speak sweetly.

kLu’i gdon:
Serpent-spirit Demons. Extremely powerful residents of water and trees, manifesting as serpent bodies with human heads, green in color, who guard subterranean treasures, and who control the waters of lakes and springs. If a person suffers from insanity because of possession he or she will occasionally slither on the ground, lick the corners of the mouth very rapidly, become very irritable, and will like candy, honey, and milk. The face will be glowing and the eyes will be bloodshot, with piercing stares. kLu are known as nagas in Indian practice. They are usually associated with skin diseases, such as leprosy.

gNod byin:
Harm-giver Demons. Typically male spirits, red in color, who also guard treasure. They typically haunt mountain passes. Their king is Kubera, the god of wealth and guardian of the north, who is usually depicted with his left hand holding a mongoose disgorging jewels. If a person suffers from insanity as a result of possession, his or her eyes will become copper colored, the body will present a pleasant appearance, red clothing will be favored, there will be a serious demeanor, he or she will move very fast and speak very infrequently, he or she will be tolerant and display a radiant complexion, and will constantly think of giving things to people. He or she will also occasionally display hatred toward doctors and priests, chatter thoughtlessly, and will crave fish. gNod byin are known as Yakshas in Indian practice. In the Menla practice are 12 of these Generals helping their adherents. They have been incorporated into Buddhism.

Male spirits, black in color, who are extremely wicked. They eat human flesh and require blood sacrifices. There are 4 , which are known as the demonic forces of the afflictions, aggregates, death, and the heavenly son. The latter is similar to a demonic Cupid.

Male spirits, red in color, who are regarded as the restless spirits of ill-tempered monks. They are spirits that live in the atmosphere, and are believed to shoot arrows at humans who disturb them. These cause illness and death. Tsen appear as demonic figures with red skin, wearing helmets and riding over the mountains in red horses.

Gyal po’i gdon:
Male spirits, white in color, who wear shining armor and are regarded as the spirits of deceased kings and lamas who failed to reach liberation. These are also known as King Evil Spirits and are known for their mischievous and violent nature.

Female spirits, black in color, who require blood sacrifices. They are generally evil but are sometimes employed in a protective capacity.

gZaa yi gdon:
A class of male planetary spirits, usually black in color, who assume various forms, such as a black dog, a monster with a dragon’s tail, a phoenix, or a man on horseback. They are regarded as extremely malevolent, and are associated with epilepsy, sudden paralysis, and strokes.

Below an explanation (2) according the Gyu Zhi:

18 separate ''elemental spirits"

('byune-po'i adon) that cause a sudden type of insanity. These elemental spirits have peculiar traits and characteristics that are expressed as psychopathology in the human beings affected or "possessed" by them. The classification of the elemental spirits, then, is a classification of 18 varieties of psychoses.

Each of the 18 elemental spirits is named after a higher type of god, force, demon, or human whose behavior is imitated in the psychopathology of the patient. In the text, the names of the higher gods, demons, etc. are affixed with a grammatical term for the possessive case and then with the word gdon, meaning negative force, radiating effect or demon.

Thus, the first elemental spirit is named lha'i gdon, which means the demonic effect of the gods, the ghost of the gods, god-demons, or the negative effect of the gods. That is to say that the person is not possessed by the gods but by a negative force that causes him to behave in a manner reminiscent of the gods.

The question of whether the negative effects of the elementals arise from within the patient's own mind or whether they come from outside is not addressed in the text. However, they are all archetypal forms of negativity that suddenly overtake consciousness and thus provoke insane behavior very different from the patient's normal mode of action.

Each of the 18 elemental spirits is listed below.

1. Lha. Gods. The whole class of minor gods from the upper regions of samsara. Gods (devas) form one of the 6 main divisions of the wheel of life; they are full of pride and have long pleasurable lives.
Lha 'i gdon: demonic effect of the gods.

2. Lha-min. Jealous Gods (asuras). The anti- or jealous gods, although they have a high position in the wheel of life, are entirely consumed with jealousy of the higher gods, whom they are always attacking. Their bodies are half god and half animal. They are said to live on the banks of the great ocean that surrounds Mt. Meru, the center of the universe where the gods live. A measure of the constant state of anxiety in which they exist is that they spend their time carving huge vats of wood to empty out the ocean that they fear will imminently overflow. Lha-min-BYi gdon: demonic effect of the jealous gods.
hills and other foul smelling places.

3. Dri-za . Scent eaters (Gandarvas). They come from the zone of scents., .They are attracted to sweet smelling things, but also to dung, bills and other and other foul smelling places.Dri- za´i gdon: demonic effects of the scent eaters.

4. kLu. Serpent-Spirits (nagas). They have serpent bodies with human heads. They live in water and trees. The deities among them guard great Dharma treasures beneath the ocean. They are extremely powerful and dangerous when angry. kLu'i gdon: demonic effect of the serpent-spirits.

5. gNod-sbyin. Harm-Givers (yakshas). They haunt mountain passes and similar places and are sometimes called direction-demons. Travelers are advised to make offerings to them, for they often cause harm.
gNod-sbyin-BYi gdon: demonic effect of the harm-givers.

6. Tshanos-pa. Pervasive Spirit (Brahma). Brahma is the Hindu Supreme Being, "pervasive holiness." Tshanas-pa 'i gdon: demonic effect of pervasive holiness.

7. Srin-po. Cannibal Spirits (rakshas). Gargantuan red-eyed, red-necked cannibal-spirits who go about at night and harm humans. Guru Rinpoche subdued them in Tibet.
Srin-po'i gdon: demonic effect of the cannibal spirits.

8. Sha-za. Flesh-Eater Spirits. These are invisible eaters of human meat and blood.
Sha-za 'i gdon: demonic effect of the flesh-eater spirits.

9. Yi-daas. Hunary Ghosts. These are one of the 6 major divisions of beings in the wheel of life. Beings are reborn in that realm due to extreme greed. They have huge bloated stomachs and thin parched throats. They are tormented by constant and insatiable want of food and drink which, even if they find, they are unable to ingest.
Yi-daos-kyi odon: demonic effect of hungry ghosts.

10. Grul-bum. Vampire Ghouls. They live in cemeteries and cremation grounds and drink blood.
Grul-bum-oi adon: demonic effect of vampire ghouls.

11. Byad-stems. Evil-Curse Ghosts. These are negative spirit forms created by humans and sent to harm an enemy.
Byad-stems-kyi odon: demonic effect of evil curse ghosts.

12. Yena-ched. Mental Aaitators. Spirits of distractions who disturb the mental process, especially memory, and who produce inattention and mindlessness.
yena-ched-kyi ad on: demonic effect of mental agitators.

13. Ro-lanas. Zombies. A dead body infused with an evil spirit. Some cannot bend from the waist; they have enormous strength.
Rolanas-kyi adon: demonic effect of zombies.

14. mTshun-lha. Ancestor Gods. The original household gods of the Tibetan shamans. The spirits of the ancestral lineage.
mTshun-lhayi edon: demonic effect of ancestor gods.

15. bLa-ma. Guru. A spiritual teacher, guru, lama or mentor.
bLa-ma'i edon: demonic effect in the manner of a guru. The demon behaves in the manner of a spiritual teacher and likes to perform pujas, etc.

16. Drane-srone. Sane.
The demon adopts the manner of rishis, sages who dress in white and have great wisdom, like to stay alone and keep very clean.
Drane-srone-ei edon: demonic effect of sages.

17. rGan-po. Respected Elder. They are old, pure in learning and manner, have the posture of old men, and prefer quiet places.
rGanpo'i edon: demonic effect of respected elders.

18. Grub-pa. Maeical Emanation. This is a magical emanation created by a siddha, one who has accomplished tantric powers by the power of his tantric practice.
Grub-pa'i edon: demonic effect of magical emanations (or the actual siddhas).

These are the 18 "great elementals" from among all elemental spirits.

The first one and the last 4 of them, that is, the god-demon, the guru (lama) demon, the sage demon, the respected elder demon and the accomplishment emanation demon, form a separate category known as the five highest elementals.
These 5 are said to be like seeds-the seeds of future madness and possession; the body is the land where they are planted.

The 18 great elemental spirits, in general, are like the farmers who nourish the seed and bring it to fruition. Madness and possession by elementals cannot come out of this order.

Here it describes how people who are possessed by these elementals act mad in accordance with the particular demon's disposition, behavior and cravings. The descriptions are brief but highly evocative. They often correspond to classical symptoms and types of psychopathology as described in Western psychiatry.

Evil spirits are explained in 5 groups:

- elemental spirits
- madness-causing demons
- amnesia-causing demons
- planetary-spirits [causing epilepsy]
- serpent-spirit demons [causing leprosy]
Regarding the elemental spirits, the teaching is 5-fold:

- Cause;
- Character
- Class
- Symptom
- Cure.

The Cause: Performing many sins and unvirtuous actions; sitting alone without even a single friend, defiling, harming, and despising the demon's place; going against what is worthy of honor; and being
tormented by sorrow etc. [In short] entering into improper physical and spoken action opposed to law.

The Characteristics: The non-human elemental spirits reside in one's body, speech and mind and control one's behavior.

The Classes: The 18 great classes of elemental spirits are called:

- god-demons
- anti-god demons
- scent-eater demons
- serpent spirit demons
- harm-giver demons
- pervasive-spirit demons
- cannibal demons
- flesh-eater demons
- hungry-ghost demons
- vampire-ghoul demons
- evil-curse spirit demons
- mental-agitator demons;
- zombie demons
- ancestor-spirit demons
- guru demons
- sage demons
- respected-elder demons
- accomplishment emanation demons.
The Symptoms: These elemental spirits possess one's body, speech, and mind and commit one's acts. One's mind becomes unhappy, and consciousness wavers restlessly.

[people possessed by] the demonic effect of the gods speak Sanskrit and sweet words, sleep little, are good natured, and keep very clean.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the anti-gods like meat and wine, look indirectly out of the corners of their eyes, and speak much reckless talk. They have great pride and fierce anger.

[People possessed by] the effect of the scent-eaters are graceful and delight in fragrant smells. They like to sing, dance, and play. They love to wear nice clothes and are attracted towards red ornaments

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the serpent spirit have radiant faces and red bloodshot eyes with straight piercing stares. They desire the whites [curds, milk, and butter] and the red [meat]. They flick their tongues and sleep face downward.

[People possessed by] the effect of the harm givers like offering cakes (torma) and fish. They tell secrets and hate doctors and holy people.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of pervasive holiness cry out the name of God and expound on religious scriptures. They beat themselves, abuse others, and like to laugh.
[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the cannibal demons possess great physical strength, talk roughly, and like meat.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the invisible flesh eaters are ashamed of themselves-they have low voices and downcast manner. They faint without reason and talk disjointedly, they scratch at the earth and fields.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the hungry ghost, act according to the mode of action of hungry ghosts.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of ugly evil ghosts quake with fear and have no desire for food.
[People possessed by] the demonic effect of vampire ghouls have dark faces, walk slowly, and have swelling on their genitals.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of evil curse ghosts like to carry wood, go naked, and sit in solitary places.
[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the mental agitators drink much water, speak suddenly then stop, and do not like food.

[People possessed by] the demonic effect of the zombies speak the straight truth, sleep much, like ornaments, and have shaking bodies.

(People possessed by] the demonic effect of the ancestral spirits have dry mouths and squinting eyes. They wear their clothes backwards.

[People possessed by] the demonic effects of the guru, the sage, the respected-elder, and the accomplished emanation are all consistent in their paths of action and diet. They befriend all
children, go naked, and cannot stay in one place. They have wild hair, unhappy minds, and feel long abandoned.

https://www.himalayanart.org/search/set ... 554&page=2

Names of the Spirits:
1. King [spirit]. gyalpo (rgyal po). 51340
2. Ghost, dust [colour]. [preta] Yidag tal (yi dwags thal) 51341
3. God-demon, red [colour]. lha dud mar (lha bdud dmar) 51342
4. Demon, black. dud nag (bdud nag) 51343
5. Aggregate Demon, white. phung po dud kar (phung po bdud dkar) 51344
6. Delusion Demon, yellow. nyonmong dudser (nyon mongs bdud ser) 51345
7. Demon, dust colour. gong dre tal dog ('gong 'dre thal dog) 52346
8. Teurang, blue. teurang ngonpo (theu' rang sngon po) 51347
9. Death Demon, black. chidag dudnag ('chi bdag bdud nag) 51348
10. Enemy Demon, multi-[colour]. Dradre Tra (dgra 'dre khra) 51349
11. [Karmic] Creditor, blue. Lanchag ngonpo (lan chags sngon po) 51350
12. Queen [spirit]. zun mo (btsun mo) 51351
13. Ancestor [spirit], black. tsundre nag (mtshun 'dre nag) 51352
14. Smell-eater, spotted. driza khra (dri za khra) 51353
15. Emaciated [spirit]. shakem (sha skem) 51354
16. Tsen, red. tsen mar (btsan dmar) 51355
17. Victory [spirit], white. gyalkar (rgyal dkar) 51356
18. Ogress, black. mamo nag (ma mo nag) 51357
19. Vampire, blue. sinngon (srin sngon) 51358
20. Eclipse [spirit], black. za nag (gza' nag) 51359
21. Dropsy Disease [spirit], yellow. muchu ser (dmu chu ser) 51360
22. Harm Bringer [spirit], yellow: [yaksha] nujin ser (gnod sbyin ser po) 51361
The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:51 pm

Tibetan Buddhist protective amulet for guarding against demons, ghosts and evil spirits.

The text below is a treasure teaching (gTerma) of Padmasambhava.
protective amulet - 00.jpg
protective amulet - 00.jpg (157.27 KiB) Viewed 5609 times
The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:52 pm

Tashi delek,

Samten Karmay La, gives here a good story about the cause why the Nyen spirits are the humans badly inclined.
Buddha Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche, helped the humans in finding a solution for their problems with the Nyen.

Here we can see that Bön Shamanism, is traced back to a very long time ago. In those days there were female and male Shamans.


Samten Karmay La.

. There are 4 texts in this collection of Bön canonical works:
1. Lubum (Klu’bum)
2. Nyenbum (Gnyan’bum)
3. Sadag-bum (Sa bdag’bum)
4. Töbum (Gtod’bum)

They are concerned with 4 types of spirits believed to dwell in the natural environment, such as water, mountain, ground, and rocks. The Lubum, the first of the 4 texts, is in 3 volumes. It is about the lu or water spirits (nāga in Buddhist texts). This text is known to scholars from the studies of A. Schiefner3 and R. A. Stein, but the remaining 3 of the 4 have hardly been investigated by any scholars until now. It is the 2nd , the Nyenbum, The Nyen Collection, that is the subject of this chapter.

The Nyenbum Text

The subject of this study is a text entitled The Precious Collection of the Nyen (Rin po che gnyan gyi ‘bum). It has 26 chapters of varying length. It has no colophon. That leaves us wanting to know who the real author is, but unfortunately just as in the manuscripts from Dunhuang mentioned earlier, no indication is made concerning its authorship.

According to the Bön tradition,

3 hunters, led by one Marpa Penzang (Mar pa ‘Phen bzang) went in search of wood fuel. When they began to dig up the root of a dead bush on the bank of the lake Mu-lé-hé (Mu le had), 3 wooden boxes emerged containing manuscripts. Being illiterate, they could not understand what the manuscripts were about. They eventually gave them to Shubön Genyen Tsugpü (Shu bon dGe bsnyen gtsug phud). The identity of this man remains unknown. He is obviously a Bön practitioner, judging from his name. It would seem that it was he who had assembled the myths and arranged them in a single text in 26 chapters. Apart from the main theme, which is the nyen spirits, there is no thread in the subject matter woven to join one chapter to another, but most of the chapters have a common character or name of a character. Tradition seems to suggest that its having been found by the hunters took place prior to the revelation of Shenchen Luga (Gshen chen Klu dga,’ 996–1035). If this is the case, it would date back to the early 10th century CE.

The hunters are said to have recovered the manuscripts on the bank of the lake Mu-lé-hé. Mu-lé-hé is another name of the lake Lag-ngar Tso (Lag ngar mtsho, Raks.as Tal). It is situated to the west of the lake Mapang Yutso (Ma pang g.yu mtsho, Manasarovar). This therefore suggests that the manuscripts originated in the vicinity of Mount Tisé (Kailash). While most of the chapters of the Nyenbum each focus on one single myth, a few of them treat several myths in the same chapter. The names of the characters in these myths are sometimes given in what is known as the language (skad) of Nampadong (Nam pa ldong), as well as in the language of Menyag (Me nyag). It is hard to verify whether these correspond to real languages or not. However, F. W. Thomas has already noted that the Nam people played an important role in rituals found among the Dunhuang manuscripts. According to him, the Nam people lived in the vicinity of Mount Amnyé Machen.21 In this regard, it is interesting to note that in myths contained in the Nyenbum, the local deity Amnyé Machen, mentioned earlier, is one of the prominent characters. This also reminds us of the fact that Amnyé Pomra was considered to be the ancestral deity of the Dong (Ldong) clan, one of the 6 original clans of Tibet known as the miu dung drug (mi’u gdung drug).

Regarding the content of the Nyenbum, the main theme is usually a conflict between the spirits lha and nyen on the one hand, and Man on the other. It is Man who for the most part provokes the
conflict through his actions against nature. This consists of cutting down trees; digging up stones from the ground; polluting lakes, springs, and rivers; and hunting wild animals. Man’s actions disturb the aforementioned spirits that dwell in water, stone, ground, and mountains.

Men incur the wrath of the spirits, and as retribution, invariably become ill. Their livestock suffer as well. The soul, symbolized by turquoise or layu (bla g.yu), which men wear around their necks, wanders away or is captured by the spirits. The yang (g.yang), quintessence of yaks, dri (‘bri), horses, and sheep vanishes. Man seeks to remedy this situation through the services of the local priest, the lhabön. The latter tries to restore the harmonious state which formerly existed, by performing a ritual. However, he often fails. In this case, he recommends that the matter be taken to another lhabön who is depicted as being more effective. Through the performance of ritual, the tibetan ritual harmony is reestablished and Man is then made to propitiate the local spirits and is restrained from his actions against nature.

However, the antiquity of the text is self-evident. Its ancient writing is similar both in form and content to the Bön ritual texts found among Dunhuang manuscripts. A number of passages are exactly identical word for word to those in Dunhuang documents. In order to give the reader an idea of the text and its contents, I conclude here with a summary translation of a myth from the Nyenbum’s chapter 16 entitled “The Medium Length of the Opening of the Padlock of the Nyen.

nyen 00.jpg
nyen 00.jpg (143.11 KiB) Viewed 3334 times

Summary Translation of the Nyenbum Chapter 16 “Salutation!
Here is the opening of the padlock of the Nyen. Formerly, the Si (Srid) pitched the sky.
The Kö (Skos) spread the earth.
The Cha (Phywa) constructed forts.
The Nyen reigned.
Man took possession of the locality.

The first god was Lha Tsenpa-teng (Lha btsan pa steng).
The first Man was Tsenpa Nga-nga (Btsan pa nga snga).
The first Nyen was Nyenjé Kharwa (Gnyan rje mkhar ba).
The first Lu was Lutsen Ngardrag Dingwa (Klu btsan ngar drag ding ba).
The first Men (Sman) was Mentsun Tangpo (Sman btsun thang po).
The first Zé (Gzed) was Zé Gyaltangpo (Gzed rgyal thang po).
The first Sin (Srin) was Sitsen Guwa (Sri btsan rgu ba).

There were the Gods, the Lu, the Nyen, the Ze, the Men, Man, and the Sin, 7 (kinds of beings) in all. The country was small.
The earth was narrow.
The sky was not extensive, only just about all.
Man had no room to roam about.
His cattle were unable to find food.
So Man called loudly up to the sky.
The Si, the Kö and the Cha all heard him.
They said: “the land must be divided.”
They sent down stakes to be played for.
At Gungtang (Gung thang), land of the Gods,
The Gods won Zedrang (Ze ‘brang), fort of the gods (as their stakes).
At Poma Yagteng (Pho ma yags steng), land of the Nyen,
The Nyen won Tsegu (rTse dgu), fort of the Nyen.
In Natog (Na tog), land of the Lu, The Lu won Gyangdang (Rgyang dang), fort of the Lu.
The Men won Dungpang (Dung ‘phang), land of the Men.
The Zé won Pangtra (Spang bkra), land of the Zé.
The Sin won Nagpo Gusel (Nag po dgu sral), land of the Sin.
Man won Kyiting (Skyi mthing), land of Man.
Thus the land sphere was designated and earth was divided.
The Gods were victorious.
The fort Zédrang need not be restored even if it is damaged.
The clothes of the Gods need not be sewn even if they are torn.
Their wealth need not be looked after.
Their food was made from 9 kinds of grains, and no fields need to be dug and ploughed for it.
The Men and the Zé also won.
(The same for the Lu and Sin).
Sakhar Kyawo (Sa mkhar skya bo), fort of Man, however, needs to be restored if it is damaged.
The domestic animals of Man need to be looked after.
The clothes of Man need to be sewn if they are torn.
The (fields of) food grains of Man need to be dug and ploughed.
So Man felt: “Oh! We lost (our stakes)!”
Re’u Mig Nön (Re’u mig non) and Lo Sonön (Glo so rnon) [of the Nyen],
Went to report to the Gods, the Lu and the Nyen about Man’s (situation).
They said: “Will extra be given? Who lost? We, the Nyen, lost.
The land is small, it cannot be extended.
The fort Zédrang of the Gods need not be restored even if it is damaged.
The white clothes of the Gods need not be sewn even if they are torn.
But the white horned deer of the Gods have no hair on their back.
If one milks them, no milk would come. . . .
The forts of the Lu and the Nyen
Need not be restored if they are damaged.
The clothes of the Lu and those of the Nyen
Need not be sewn if they are torn.
But the cattle of the Lu and the Nyen have no hair on their back.
No milk would come if they were milked.
The forts of the Men and the Zé need not be restored If they are damaged.
The clothes of the Men and the Zé need not be sewn if they are torn.
The fort of the Sin need not be restored if it is damaged.
But the cattle of the Sin have no hair on their back.
If milked, no milk would come.
The Sin need not wear hats.
Who lost? It is us, the Nyen, who lost!
Who won? It is Man who won!
Even though the land of Man is small, it can be extended.
Even though the fort Sakhar Kyawo is low, It can be built higher.
If the clothes of Man are torn,
These can be sewn up.
If they get old, they can be changed.
Man has much food.
He eats food in the morning and in the evening.
His older generation is not yet dead
His future generations will be increased.
His cattle and sheep have hair on their backs.
Their breasts produce milk.
But for the Nyen, us, nothing can be added to our loss.”
Having said that, Re’u Mig Nön and Lo Sonön left.
Then they went to the land of Man.
They sowed calumny between Man and the Nyen.
They misinterpreted their conversation (with the Gods, Lu and Nyen).
Re’u said: “The Gods, Lu and Nyen said: ‘It is true. Man lost. For the loss, (we give them): hundreds of thousands of snow leopards and wildcats of snow; hundreds of thousands of dear and reindeer of the meadows; hundreds of thousands of bears and the dré (dred) bears of the forests; hundreds of thousands of vultures and eagles of the rocks; hundreds of thousands of beavers and otters of the water.
Man cuts the trees of the Nyen with an axe.
He digs the stones of the Nyen (from the ground) with a hook, and stirs water of the Nyen with a ladle.
Man cries out from the high mountain pass.
Here is the compensation to Man for the loss.’
” Mitsen Ngapa (Mi btsan nga pa) thought: “
I will kill hundreds of thousands of the beasts of the white snow mountain.
I will kill hundreds of thousands of snow cocks and grouse of the blue slate mountain.
I will kill hundreds of thousands of beavers and otters of the rivers.
I will cut the trees of the Nyen.
Dig up the stones of the Nyen.
I will plough the land of the Nyen as my field.
I will irrigate my home land with the water of the Nyen.
If I need to set up a cemetery, I will do that on the slope of the brown mountain.”
Then Re’u Mig Nön said to the Nyen:
“Man is angry.
The Nyen should send bad omens to Man:
A hundred deer that eat frogs.
A hundred snakes that eat men.”
Nyibu Kangring (Nyi bu rkang ring) and Dabu Lagring (Zla bu lag ring),
The messengers of the Nyen,
Went to steal the (turquoise) of soul of Mitsen Ngapa and the soul of his animals.
They hid the turquoise of souls.
They killed the snakes and deer that came as bad omens.
The Nyen therefore summoned their army.
The Nyen of the snow rose from snow.
The Nyen of the rock rolled off like boulders.
The Nyen of the slate mountain blazed like fire.
The Nyen of the meadow agitated like a gush of water.
The soul of Mitsen Ngapa and that of his animals
Were locked in the interior of a fort that had nine walls around it.
The padlocks were locked on the eastern side.
(The sense of the line here is unclear).
Other padlocks are locked on the northern side.
The doors of the fort made the noise “trag-se-trag” (khrags se khrags)
[when they are open or shut].
They are sealed, war re war.
The Nyen and Man began to dispute.
Mitsen Ngapa had now no locality where he could live.
If he herds his cattle up-stream, wolves attack them.
If he ploughs his fields downstream, they are harmed by drought and hail.
His descendants risk having no offspring.
The yang (g.yang, “quintessential core”) of his cattle is seized.
In summer, lightning comes down from the sky.
Mitsen Ngapa therefore asked male and female shen [priests]
To perform divination and prognostication.
But they could not identify the malignant spirits.
So Shenrab Miwo (Gshen rab Mi bo) was requested to do the same.
Shenrab Miwo said: “What went wrong was the dispute between Man and the Nyen.
The soul of Man is locked up in the padlocks of the Nyen.”
Mitsen said: “I request you to perform the to ritual and diagnosis.”
Shenrab said: “Go and find the priest Nyenbön Tangtang Drölwa (Gnyan bon Thang thang grol ba).” The Nyenbön said: “We need to look for ritual items to offer to the Nyen.
Look for snow leopards and wildcats for the Nyen of snow mountain.
Look for snow cocks and grouse for the Nyen of slate mountain.
Look for deer and reindeer for the Nyen of meadow.
Look for eagles for the red Nyen of the rocks.
Look for tigers and leopards for the Nyen of forests.
Look for beavers and otters for the Nyen of water.
Look for gold and silver for Nyibu Kangring (Nyi bu rkang ring) and Dabu Lagring (Zla bu lag ring).
They are the messengers of the Nyen.
To open the padlock of the Nyen, we also need gold, turquoise, silver and conch.
We must have silk curtains and wool dyed in five colors.
Look for goats, sheep, horses, and yaks of the Nyen.
Mitsen had a hard time finding them.
He put forward all that he had by way of wealth.
That which he did not have, he obtained from the plain (i.e., elsewhere).
He offered them all to the Nyenbön.
The Nyenbön opened the 1st padlock with (the key in the form of) a white bird of the Nyen.
He opened the 2nd padlock with (the key in the form of) a sheep of the Nyen.
He opened the 3rd padlock with (the key in the form of) a yak of the Nyen.
He opened the 4th padlock (with key in the form of) an ox.
He opened the 5th padlock with a white horse.
The rooster of Mitsen, Is it the wealth of his ancestors?
Its father was the warmth of the sky.
Its mother was the essence of the earth.
It was hatched out of a brown egg.
It was then given to Mitsen,
By the 9 brothers of the gods.
Its crest is red like copper, zangs-se-zang.
Its ear is white like a conch and hears clearly.
Its sound overpowers the Nyen.
Its feathers are adorned with silk.
A gold key is attached to an iron axe that hung around its neck.
The rooster opened the 9 padlocks without hindrance.
The turquoises of the soul of Man and cattle were recovered.”
The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:22 pm

The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:52 pm

Tashi delek,

The La is mostly translated as the soul.
It is the soul which feel happy or sad. Everybody likes happiness.
Accordingly, bad deeds / karma causes un-happiness and good deeds happiness.
But also the outer attack of evil spirits can cause un-happiness.
The soul is in Buddhism seen as the cause for bad reincarnation or better reincarnation, seen in the light of its related karma.

This La can be stolen and damaged by some dangerous spirits and it is the way of the lower ways of the Shen, to get the soul healed or back.

Tenpa Dukte Lama - 00.jpg
Tenpa Dukte Lama - 00.jpg (207.57 KiB) Viewed 3074 times

The Ven. Tempa Dukte Lama La


According to the Way of the Bön of existence, we are each the result of the coming together of 3 essential energies:

- La = The La is our soul
- Sog = The Sog is our life force
- Tse = The Tse is our life span; it is the unification of La and Sog.

When we experience a state of shock or very difficult circumstances, the La can be disturbed.

Both the La and Tse can leave our body.

The La may leave our body due to shock, or it could be taken away or even destroyed by the 8 classes of spirits.

Likewise, the Tse, our life span, can be interrupted, disturbed, taken away, or destroyed.
Our well being and longevity. depend on the La and Tse.

It is therefore very important to keep the La and Tse in balance.

The Sog only leaves our body when we die. It departs our body at the moment of death when our mind consciousness and body disintegrate.

There are certain signs that indicate that our La may be disturbed, weakened, or stolen. We may have difficulties sleeping or be scared easily. We may experience nightmares and strange dreams, panic, depression, or self-judgment. To help someone whose La is weakened, the practice of soul retrieval or La Gug can be performed.

When the Tse is disturbed, we turn inward and isolate ourselves from people. Our face and body lose their luster and become pale. We may feel restless, impatient, easily frightened, and constantly frustrated. To strengthen the Tse of an individual, we can either do the longevity practice Tse Drub or the life force retrieval Tse Gug.

Unwholesome actions of the 3 doors of body, speech, and mind open the door for disturbances in the La and Tse.
Unwholesome actions are generally all actions that have harmful effects on ourselves or others.
We engage in unwholesome actions when we are under the influence of the 5 poisons of ignorance, anger, desire-attachment, pride, and jealousy.

When we think and speak ill of others, we are creating bad energy for them and they may be affected. This is why we do not gossip or speak ill of others.

Through healing practice and practice in general we help the energies of La, Sog, and Tse to be in balance.

When we pray and perform healing practice for others, we increase the strength of their individual deities. :twothumbsup:

This can make our healing practice very powerful.
The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:23 pm


Geshela Chapur:

Mandala (Kyil Khor in Tibetan) means an abode or dwelling place. According to Bön tradition there are many different categories of Mandalas. This particular Mandala is called Sadag Nyelam Mandala. The Sadhag Nyelam Mandalas represents the world of Earth-owning spirits, spirits of water bodies, spirits of trees, and the spirits of rocks and boulder.

These 4 different spirits are the most powerful beings on this earthly realm because they are endowed with potent magical powers. Good things and bad things happen depending on the moods of these spirits. Even the well being of an ordinary person depends on the disposition of these spirits. Accordingly it is beneficial for us to treat those spirits gentleness and respect. The Shrine Trinity security and stability of this earth depend on these spirits. Natural disasters are caused by discontented spirits.

Sadhag are the earth-owning spirits and they dwell in earth.
When earth is destroyed, dug, or dirtied, it disturbs the earth-owning spirits who in turn affect the material or physical wellbeing of individuals who cause the disturbance. Lives of these people could also be in danger. Earthquake is result of displeased earth-owning spirits. In short, if one wants to live on earth and make use of it one should live in harmony with the earth-owning spirits. If, on the other hand, you abuse earth, it angers the spirits of earth and causes misfortune to not only the agent of abuse but also to those who are close to him or her. Even when building sacred abodes like temples and monasteries, we should ask permission from these spirits through proper rituals and invocations. Sadhag Nyelam Mandala and rituals associated with it are particularly good for protection against earthquakes. The individual who appeases the earth-owning spirits benefits in ways of material and physical comfort.

Lu are the spirits who dwell in water bodies.
These water-owning spirits come in three different forms, white, black and mixed colors. The white type exhibits love and compassion and aids people in the worldly endeavors. The black type causes harm and brings diseases and misfortune. The mixed color type brings both good and bad. These spirits dwell in bodies of water such as ocean, springs facing north, and springs that never freeze. But there are some water-owning spirits who also live among boulders, rocks, and trees. The water-owning spirits have power to affect the physical and material as well as mental wellbeing of people.
Physical appearance of individual is also believed to be influenced by water- owning spirits. People who have the white water-owning spirits near their houses are positively affected by these spirits and hence tend be gifted with pleasing physical appearances. These people are also protected from illnesses tend to be successful in their endeavors.

The right seasons to call upon the water-owning spirits is spring and summer because in the cold weathers they retreat. These spirits are attracted to cleanliness and hygienic habits and are upset by lack of hygienic habits and desecration of their abodes. When they are displeased, these spirits cause ill health. In particular, health of the joints and limbs are adversely affected and cause phlegm related illnesses.

Nyen are the plant-owning spirits that dwell among plants but in particular near old trees that grow by themselves.
The best preferred abodes are trees that have appearances of snakes or heads. Cutting trees, especially trees that grow near springs, should be avoided because these are preferred abodes of the tree-owning spirits.

Tod is the spirit of the boulders and rocks.
When big rocks need to be broken we have to ask permission from these spirits because if these rocks happen to be dwelling places of Tod spirits they will cause us harm. In particular, f the boulder or rock stands by itself, or if it has unusual formation such that of a head, Tod spirits are most likely to reside there.

It is important not to disturb the 4 dwelling places of these 4 different spirits. But in case you have to disturb them to build houses, you have to appease them by saying the necessarily ritual invocations to ask their permission.

Due to improper use of our environment we are forced to witness strange weather phenomena like tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and forest fires of unheard of magnitude. There are many new diseases that didn’t exist in the past. All these are caused by the 4 spirits whose abodes are disturbed by our hands.

The water bodies, the mountains, and the forests are the ornaments of these sprits and when we destroy these ornaments it upsets the spirits.

To avoid friction between humans and these powerful spirits and for them all to live in harmony, Tönpa Sherab taught his followers Sadak Nyelam Dezhi and created the Sadak Nyelam Mandala. Wherever these teachings are followed and rituals practiced, there the place is blessed with balance in the elements. The crops are abundant in such places and the people of the area are devoid of diseases.
The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:23 pm

The best meditation is no meditation

User avatar
kalden yungdrung
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Spirits in the sky and on earth

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:16 pm


By: prof. Samten Karmay

In Bön cosmogony there is a particular group of 33 spirits (yen), who are subdivided into 3 categories:

- "spirits in the sky" (namyen)
- "spirits in the intermediate sphere" (baryen)
- "spirits on earth" (sayen).

There are:
- 13 celestial rirual experts for namyen,
- 9 for baryen
- 11 for sayen.

The 33 spirits are regarded as malevolent and can bring harm to living beings. Their dwelling place is called, "sphere of the spirits" (yenkam).

It is said that in a previous life Buddha Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche, appointed one Bön ritual expert for each type of spirit to restrain its malevolent effects.

The Bön ritual expert himself belongs to a corresponding type of spirit, e.g., Walbon (No. 1 of the group 13), a spirit belonging to the category of the Wal spirits.

There are accordingly 33 Bön ritual experts, whose main task is to hold the spirits in check (kanon).

The 13 celestial Bön ritual experts of the 13 spheres in heaven are:

1. Walbon Rompo, the Bön of the Wal spirits
2. Yogbon Mutogyal, the Bön of the Yog spirits
3. Trinbon Chasang, the Bön of the Trin spirits
4. Nyerbon Tochen, the Bön of the Nyer spirits
5. Obon Drangzu, the Bön of the 0 spirits
6. Tsambon Yotru, the Bön of the Tsam spirits
7. Dubon Chuchag, the Bön of the Du spirits
8. Mubon Yeten, the Bön of the Mu spirits
9. Tsenbon Tselchag, the Bön of the Tsen spirits
10. Sibon Mucho, the Bön of the Si spirits
11. Kobon Tsugse, the Bön of the Ko spirits
12. Chabon Teley, the Bön of the Cha spirits
13. Lhabon Tokar, the Bön of the Lha spirits

The 9 celestial Bön ritual experts of the nine spheres in the intermediate space are:

1. Dabon Tsepa Gyelyug, the Bön of the moon spirits
2. Nyibon Drangma Yoshu, the Bön of the sun spirits
3. Karbon Tsedang Darkar, the Bön of the star spirits
4. Trinbon Tulkya, the Bön of the cloud spirits
5. Jabon Kugtang Gyimbu, the Bön of the rainbow spirits
6. Dalbon Luku Wukar, the Bön of the spirits of lightning
7. Zerbon Dangnyen Jurwa, the Bön of the spirits of rays
8. Lobon Tochen Kyolpo, the Bön of the spirits of the year period
9. Dzibon Ngangdrug Chasang, the Bön of the spirits of the air

The 11 Bön ritual experts of the 11 spheres on earth are:

1. Lubon Yarnya Gyimbu,the Bön of the water spirits
2. Nyenbon Tangtang Trowa, the Bön of the mountain spirits
3. Gyalbon Bongpo Tongje, the Bön of the Gyal spirits
4. Menbon Drimtang Kyolpo, the Bön of the water goddesses
5. Zebon Latsa Kugpa, the Bön of spirits of the thunderstorm
6. Sibon Ya-ngal Gyimkung, the Bön of the underground spirits
7. Drebon Lubon Gyerke, the Bön of the malevolent spirits
8. Sinbon Mupen Peu, the Bön of demons
9. Churbon Nabon Lichin, the Bön of spirits of misfortune
10. Shinbon Tabon Chontri, the Bön of spirits of the dead
11. Chubon Tarbon Drukyol, the Bön of the Chu spirits

The iconographic description of the Sipa Rignga is contained in a text called Kunbum trawo
(The Variegated Collection),i though it is also known by other titles. Its 735 pages are divided into 5 sections.

The iconographic descriptions of the 33 Bön ritual experts are given in the first section (pp. 48-50) and in the third (pp. 355-56) of the text. Each section is devoted to the ritual veneration of one of the 5 gods of the 5 sciences.

The texts' origin goes back to Guru Nontse (b. 11 36). Born in Tanag in Tsang, Central Tibet, he later bestowed the texts upon his disciple, Nyagton Shonu.

The 33 figures in the painting, however, do not exactly correspond to the descriptions given in the text. It is, therefore, difficult to identify the figures individually, but there does not seem to be any doubt that the 33 figures are the depictions of the 33 Bön ritual experts. They occupy the outer rim of the mandala of the god Yewang, god of the cosmos.

The painting is therefore a simplified depiction of the extremely elaborate mandala of Yewang.
In the hagiographical accounts of Tönpa Shenrab, the 33 ritual experts appear at the birth ceremony when Buddha Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche is born in Olmo Lungring, and they turn up again to listen when he begins to teach the Bön religion.

Some of the features of the 33 Bön experts stand out quite prominently due to their dress. The cloaks or costumes they
wear are cloaks made of falcon feathers (tralag).

There are:
- horned eagle cloak (kyunglag)
- rain cloak (charlag)
- wind cloak (lunglag)
- light cloak (olag)
- tiger cloak (taglag)
- yak cloak (yaglag).

They wear a kind of hat called trapu, described as "iron-horned eagle".
The best meditation is no meditation

Post Reply

Return to “Bön”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests