The Yungdrung Bon Kanjur was scanned and digitized in 2006 by monks at Menri Monastery's Tibetan Yungdrung Bon Library at the request of H. H. Menri Trizin 33rd. It consists of a collection of canonical texts authored by Bon's founder Tonpa Shenrab and revealed by his students and embodiments. Bon Kanjur texts were originally translated from ancient sources, probably in the Zhang Zhung language and have gone through various terma or "revelations." During the eighteenth century the lama Kundrol Drakpa [b. 1700], a teacher of the Tibetan princes of the Gyalrong province, received funding and support from various of his patrons to gather and catalog the many volumes of Bon Kanjur texts and to produce woodblocks of the complete set. Over the next two centuries, copies of the texts from Kundrol's woodblock set were broken up, destroyed, or hidden, and it was thought that no complete version existed. In 1999, however, Mongyal Lhasay, a lama from the Mongyal Monastery in Kham and from the family lineage of Kundrol Drakpa, was able to collect and publish a complete handwritten set in Chengdu. It is that set on which is preserved on compact disks the entire 179 volumes.
Over the centuries, the Bon Canon's two parts - the Kanjur and the Katen have, like so many important Tibetan texts, been lost, destroyed, or hidden due to a variety of political circumstances. When a set of Kanjur manuscripts reappeared after the Cultural Revolution, it was believed to be the only existing copy and was published in the 1980s. The Katen, however, does not seem to have survived in any single, complete version. Sogde Tenpai Nyima, the publisher of this Katen collection, could not initially find the funding and support needed to publish these texts in a systematic way, and, as a result, this "New Collection" was assembled urgently and indiscriminately in an effort not to lose them.
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In order to create a catalogue for this vast array of material, Samten G. Karmay and Yashuhiko Nagano worked with several monks at the Triten Norbutse Monastery in Nepal. That project resulted in the Catalogue of the New Collection of Bonpo Katen Texts that was released as one of the Senri Ethnological Reports (24) and published by the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan in 2001. Further details can be found in their catalogue. Please note that the Osaka catalogue shows Volume 239 to be missing, although it exists in some printed versions of the Katen that have appeared elsewhere. Also, the Osaka catalogue lists Volumes 75 and 76 as having been merged into one volume. As a result, the total number of volumes in this current set is 298. Menri Monastery acknowledges that this publication is not complete and intends to publish in the future a final edition that presents the texts in a more coherent order.
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Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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