The Rubin is transforming. Read important updates from our Executive Director.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu: Light of Kailash: A History of Zhang Zhung and Tibet, Volume One The Early Pe

May 29–April 29, 2013
7:00 PM–9:00 PM

Presented in association with the Shang Shung Institute
Free with admission
5–7 p.m. Himalayan Happy Hour
6 p.m. Bon tour of the galleries (free with the purchase of a book)
7 p.m. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu gives a short talk, followed by book signing
A History of Zhang Zhung and Tibet, Volume One explores ancient Tibet’s Zhang Zhung kingdom and the Bon religion, which preceded the advent of Buddhism in the seventh century. Countering the long-held idea that Tibet’s pre-Buddhist indigenous culture was primitive and undeveloped, this book shares the rich cultural origins of the kingdom of Zhang Zhung – the “cradle of Tibetan culture,” which encompassed a vast area of Western and Northern Tibet in an area that includes sacred Mount Kailash.

Presenting the meticulous research of internationally known Dzogchen Buddhist teacher and scholar Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, the book investigates the mysteries of Zhang Zhung’s Bon religion, a set of shamanistic and animistic beliefs and practices only recently studied by a handful of academic scholars. Offering a critical analysis of a vast array of literary and primary sources, Norbu discusses the role of the Bon traditions within Zhang Zhung’s lineages, dynasties, and culture. Examining Zhang Zhung’s written language, sacred ornaments, rock carvings, healing practices, music, and magical divination techniques, Norbu contributes to an understanding of the roots of Tibetan Buddhist culture and modern-day Bon religion – a practice followed by an estimated ten percent of Tibetans.

About the Speaker

Born in Eastern Tibet in 1938, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is an internationally known Dzogchen Buddhist teacher, as well as an emeritus professor of Tibetan and Mongolian language and literature at the University of Naples L’Orientale. He is the founder of three non -profit organizations: the Dzogchen Community, which aims at bringing together practitioners in the Dzogchen spiritual lineage; A.S.I.A., whichpromotes sustainable development processes in Asia; and the Shang Shung Institute, dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture, which is also a co-sponsor of this event.