by Dmitry Ermakov
Hailed as a fascinating and unique book, this is the first in-depth study of its kind comparing the ancient Bön religion with the Siberian shamanic tradition of Lake Baikal. Combining scholarly research with spiritual insight and with over 200 illustrations, maps and diagrams, the information is presented in a clear and lively way, enabling the reader to navigate easily through the various topics dealt with and to follow the threads of the intricate tapestry which is woven as the parallels between the ancient shamanic traditions of Tibet and Siberia unfold.
Symbolism of the cover:
The black background symbolizes the Ultimate Nature of Phenomena (bon nyid) which cannot be defined in any way whatsoever. The Wisdom Khyung (Garuda) at the top symbolizes the Body of Perfect Enjoyment (longs pyod rdzogs pa’i sku). The Body of Manifold Multipurpose Emanation (cir yang sprul pa’i sku) in the rainbow circle is Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, the Buddha of Yungdrung Bön who manifested on this earth in 16,017 B.C. according to traditional Bönpo sources, and taught beings countless ways which lead out of samsara (‘khor ba). The silhouette of the bird of five colours swooping down symbolizes the five lights which manifest out of the Primordial Nature and turn into the five elements which further develop into the vision of phenomenal universe. The tongues of flame just above the bird’s silhouette symbolize the spiritual knowledge and transmission of Bө Murgel brought to earth from the realm of the Tengeri Sky-gods by the White-headed Eagle, and underline the vital importance of the fire element in the offering rituals of Bө Murgel and Dömai Bön (gdod ma’i bon). Below that is the Middle World of the phenomenal universe with Lake Baikal in the foreground. The lake is the symbol of the archaic spiritual and cultural traditions of the Eurasian continent and is flanked by the figure of a Buryatian Bө on the left and a Tibetan Dömai Bönpo on the right – the priests of the Prehistoric Bön of Eurasia who mediate between the beings of the Three Worlds (sa gsum) of samsara in order to bring harmony, happiness and prosperity to the people of the earth.
Paperback: 827 pages