Xingraomiwo (幸饶弥沃, or Shenrab Miwo) was the founder of Tibet’s Bonismo (雍仲本教) Religion. The root of this religion, Bon (本, or Tibetan བོན་), is translated as core or moral character. Using similar methods as Irish Archbishop Ussher’s calculations to show Adam and Eve were born in the year 4004bce, Shenrab Miwo is believed to be born ~ 3,800 years ago, around the time Abraham was born in Ur. We know that followers of Abrahamic religions include Judaism, Christianity and Islam, representing 60% of 7+ billion people today.
While Bonismo was formalized 3,800 years ago, the oral tradition went back over 13,000 years when humans settled from their nomadic lifestyle. This means Bonismo pre-dates all major religions. Note that Bonismo is not the religion of Dali Lama who preaches a form of Buddhism preached by Buddha who lived about 2,500 years ago. Bonismo is also related to Dongba, among the world’s last active pictograph languages and religion popular in places like Yunnan Province, China. I have seen, first hand, the Dongba pictograph written in front of me by a teenager who interpreted what he wrote to me.
The equivalent of the book of genesis in this religion describes developing harmony with nature. The scripture has thousands of volumes and the earliest documents came from the Ali region of Tibet called “Tripitaka (象雄大藏经).” One of the books Kanjur (甘珠尔 or Tibetan བཀའ་འགྱུར ) has 187 sections that include religion, philosophy, logic, literature, arts, astrology, medicine, science and engineering. There is a recorded 4th meeting of this religion in the current day Sri Lanka back in the year 29 bce, over 2000 years ago. There is a Chinese book published in 2006 and reprinted in 2012 translated by ChaCang GaCangCaiDan (察仓尕藏才旦). The book describes the nomadic settlements that were isolated by both the high mountains and the influx of Zoroastrian, Buddhism, Chinese Dao, and other religions that have taken over Bonismo as a religion. Today, over 10% of Tibetans are still Bonismo followers, and Bonismo was recognized in 2014 as a protected cultural heritage by the Chinese government.
Geographically, the Ali region of Tibet is near the 6,721 meter high Mount Kailash (冈仁波齐峰) where the rainfall and melted ice flow into the Indus River and is sacred for Bonismo, Hindu, Buddhism and Jainism religions. As part of the Himalayas, this is where India tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian tectonic plate 50 million years ago. Today, Eurasian plate is still being deformed, and compressed at a rate of 4mm/year, meaning the Himalayas will continue to increase in height over time. The other way to look at this region is the fact that this was the coastal region for the island of Asia when the dinosaurs roamed until 65 million years ago, where the world’s largest volcanic eruption ever occurred over 30,000 years near today’s Mumbai, India that created the Deccan traps, before the island of India collided to become part of South Asia, creating the Himalayan mountain range that includes Mount Kailash. This is also near the region where 38 million year old primates were found in Asia, contemporary to African primates.
So what? So this region has a long history of changes, and their cultural heritage can tell us our long tradition of harmony with nature, living with moral integrity, free from the pressure to maximize wealth and try to join the top 1% of wealthy humans that control a disproportionately large share of wealth created by all humans. Everyone should have a chance to work hard and command their own lifestyles without exploitation of other humans. This, by definition, is zen. Among the visitors to this region to learn the art of zen? Steve Jobs.