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Author Topic: The Search for the Zhangzhung Empire  (Read 2484 times)

Offline zorgon

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The Search for the Zhangzhung Empire
« on: August 19, 2011, 04:31:53 AM »
The Search for the Zhangzhung Empire

Some time ago in the 'Stargates are Real" thread I found a picture of something that looked like the pedestal of a Dial Home terminals, just like one that was used in one episode...

Dial Home Device Schematic;



Ancient Megalithic Ruins in Tibet

A lot of Ancient stone edifices are more likely to be mere representations of things seen or talked about from stories that the people did not understand. A lot of this is seen in Egypt. As time progressed, the quality of the pyramids diminished. So did certain skills such as fine crafted stoneware. It was with this in mind that we sought evidence where tribes people may have tried to emulate things of the Gods...

There are dozens of sites spread over 400, 000 square kilometers, documenting the existence of the legendary Zhangzhung kingdom. The picture below is a "celestial observatory" at the Black Rock site. The stone structure in the middle has a very familiar look to it...


Celestial Observatory - Black Rock

Oddly enough, this was the first time I ever heard of the Zhangzhung kingdom. Very little is known about this ancient culture and it was only recently Archaeologists were even allowed to explore the region.  To start our search we will begin with the latest Wikipedia collection of material.

Now naturally this is not REALLY a DHD but it was the first reference I came across to the Zhangzhung culture

Ancient Megalithic Ruins in Tibet

A lot of Ancient stone edifices are more likely to be mere representations of things seen or talked about from stories that the people did not understand. A lot of this is seen in Egypyt. As time progressed, the quality of the pyramids diminished. So did certain skills such as fine crafted stoneware. It was with this in mind that we sought evidence where tribes people may have tried to emmulate things of the Gods...

There are dozens of sites spread over 400, 000 square kilometers, documenting the existence of the legendary Zhang zhung kingdom. The picture below is a "celestial observatory" at the Black Rock site. The stone structure in the middle has a very familiar look to it... but  coincidentally it was found in  a "celestial observatory" at the Black Rock site. 

The only other image I have from the Black Rock site so far is this one;


Caption: Also at Black Rock are the remains of what appear to be chortens (mchod rten),
and tenkhar (rten mkhar), shrines used in the worship of environment-based deities.

Since I created my webpage on this, I see there has been a little bit more added on Wikipedia..

Zhangzhung

Quote
Zhang Zhung, Shang Shung, or Tibetan Pinyin Xang Xung, was an ancient culture and kingdom of western and northwestern Tibet, which pre-dates the culture of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. Zhang Zhung culture is associated with the Bön religion, which in turn, has influenced the philosophies and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. The Zhang Zhung are mentioned frequently in ancient Tibetan texts as the original rulers of central and western Tibet. Only in the last two decades have archaeologists been given access to do archaeological work in the areas once ruled by the Zhang Zhung.

Recently, a tentative match has been proposed between the Zhang Zhung and an Iron Age culture now being uncovered on the Chang Tang plateau of northwestern Tibet

Extent of the Zhang Zhung kingdoms

According to Annals of Lake Manasarowar (Lake Manasarovar), at one point the Zhang Zhung civilization consisted of 18 kingdoms in the west and northwest portion of Tibet. The Zhang Zhung culture was centered around sacred Mount Kailash and extended west to Sarmatians and present-day Ladakh & Baltistan, southwest to Jalandhar, south to the Kingdom of Mustang in Nepal, east to include central Tibet, and north across the vast Chang Tang plateau and the Taklamakan Desert to Shanshan. Thus the Zhang Zhung culture controlled the major portion of the "roof of the world".

Tradition has it that Zhang Zhung consisted "of three different regions: sGob-ba, the outer; Phug-pa, the inner; and Bar-ba, the middle. The outer is what we might call Western Tibet, from Gilgit in the west to Dangs-ra khyung-rdzong in the east, next to lake gNam-mtsho, and from Khotan in the north to Chu-mig brgyad-cu rtsa-gnyis in the south. The inner region is said to be sTag-gzig (Tazig) [often identified with Bactria], and the middle rGya-mkhar bar-chod, a place not yet identified." While it is not certain whether Zhang Zhung was really so large, it is known that it was an independent kingdom and covered the whole of Western Tibet.

The capital city of Zhang Zhung was called Khyunglung (Khyunglung Ngülkhar or Khyung-lung dngul-mkhar), the "Silver Palace of Garuda", southwest of Mount Kailash (Mount Ti-se), which is identified with palaces found in the upper Sutlej Valley.

The Zhang Zhung built a towering fort, Chugtso Dropo, on the shores of sacred Lake Dangra, from which they exerted military power over the surrounding district in central Tibet.

The fact that some of the ancient texts describing the Zhang Zhung kingdom also claimed the Sutlej valley was Shambhala, the land of happiness (from which James Hilton possibly derived the name "Shangri La"), may have delayed their study by Western scholars


he Kushano-Hephthalite Kingdoms in 565 AD.

History of the Zhangzhung
Paleolithic findings


Pollen and tree ring analysis indicates the Chang Tang plateau was a much more livable environment until becoming drier and colder starting around 1500 BC. One theory is that the civilization established itself on the plateau when conditions were less harsh, then managed to persist against gradually worsening climatic conditions until finally expiring around 1000 CE (the area is now used only by wandering nomads). This timeframe also corresponds to the rise of the Tibetan kingdoms in the southern valleys which may also have contributed to the decline of the plateau culture.

Iron Age culture of the Chang Tang — the Zhang Zhung?

Recent archeological work on the Chang Tang plateau finds evidence of an Iron Age culture which some have tentatively identified as the Zhangzhung. This culture is notable for the following characteristics:

    * a system of hilltop stone forts or citadels, likely used as a defense against the steppe tribes of Central Asia, such as the Scythians
    * burial complexes which use vertical tombstones, occasionally in large arrays, and including up to 10,000 graves in one location
    * stone temples located in the mountains adjacent to the plains, characterized by windowless rooms, corbelled stone roofs, and round walls
    * evidence of a stratified social structure, as indicated by royal or princely tombs
    * petroglyphs which shows the culture was a warrior horse culture

These characteristics more closely match the Iron Age cultures of Europe and the Asian steppes than those of India or East Asia, suggesting a cultural influence which arrived from the west or north rather than the east or south.

The Conquest of Zhangzhung

There is some confusion as to whether Central Tibet conquered Zhangzhung during the reign of Songtsän Gampo (605 or 617? - 649) or in the reign of Trisong Detsen (Wylie: Khri-srong-lde-btsan), (r. 755 until 797 or 804 CE).[5] The records of the Tang Annals do, however, seem to clearly place these events in the reign of Songtsän Gampo for they say that in 634, Yangtong (Zhang Zhung) and various Qiang tribes "altogether submitted to him." Following this he united with the country of Yangtong to defeat the 'Azha or Tuyuhun, and then conquered two more tribes of Qiang before threatening Songzhou with an army of more than 200,000 men. He then sent an envoy with gifts of gold and silk to the Chinese emperor to ask for a Chinese princess in marriage and, when refused, attacked Songzhou. He apparently finally retreated and apologised and later the emperor granted his request.

Early Tibetan accounts say that the Tibetan king and the king of Zhangzhung had married each other's sisters in a political alliance. However, the Tibetan wife of the king of the Zhangzhung complained of poor treatment by the king's principal wife. War ensued, and through the treachery of the Tibetan princess, "King Ligmikya of Zhangzhung, while on his way to Sum-ba (Amdo province) was ambushed and killed by King Srongtsen Gampo's soldiers. As a consequence, the Zhangzhung kingdom was annexed to Bod [Central Tibet]. Thereafter the new kingdom born of the unification of Zhangzhung and Bod was known as Bod rGyal-khab." R. A. Stein places the conquest of Zhangzhung in 645.


Map of the Tibetan empire at it's Greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE

Revolt of Zhang Zhung in 677 CE

Zhang Zhung revolted soon after the death of King Mangsong Mangtsen or Trimang Löntsän (Khri-mang-slon-rtsan, r. 650-677), the son of Songtsän Gampo, but was brought back under Tibetan control by the "firm governance of the great leaders of the Mgar clan".

The Zhangzhung language

A handful of Zhangzhung texts and 11th century bilingual Tibetan documents attest to a Zhangzhung language which was related to Kinnauri. The Bönpo claim that the Tibetan writing system is derived from the Zhangzhung alphabet, while modern scholars recognize the clear derivation of Tibetan script from a North Indian script, which accords with non-Bon Tibetan accounts. A modern Kinnauri language called by the same name (pronounced locally Jangshung) is spoken by 2,000 people in the Sutlej Valley of Himachal Pradesh who claim to be descendants of the Zhangzhung

Zhangzhung culture's influence in India

It is noteworthy that the Bönpo tradition claims that it was founded by a Buddha-like figure named Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, to whom are ascribed teachings similar in scope to those ascribed to the historical Buddha. Bönpos claim that Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche lived some 18,000 years ago, and visited Tibet from the land of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring, or Shambhala. Bönpos also suggest that during this time Lord Shenrab Miwoche's teaching permeated the entire subcontinent and was in part responsible for the development of the Vedic religion. An example of this link is said to be Mount Kailash, which is the center of Zhang Zhung culture, and also the most sacred mountain to Hindus. As a result, the Bönpos claim that the supposedly much later teaching at least indirectly owes its origin to Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche

SOURCE: Wikipedia Zhangzhung


Mount Kailash - in the Heart of the Bon Kingdoms

Other Sources


Zhangzhung Kingdoms - Pegasus Pages

Expedició al Tibet (Zhang zhung)
A la recerca de l'antic regne de Zhang-zhung

Oral Tradition from Zhang Zhung, An Introduction to the Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings of the Oral Tradition from Zhang Zhung

Berzin archive article on Bon and the Zhangzhung

Zhang Zhung Meri



Zhangzhung
The Search for the Zhangzhung Empire - Pegasus Pages

Bon and Tibetan Buddhism
Alexander Berzin
Amsterdam, Holland, December 23, 2001
Lightly edited course transcript
Preliminaries


Mount Everest is so tall that it interferes with the clouds that pass by.
Here a lenticular cloud forms above its peak. - Credit: Howstuffworks.com

Oral Tradition from Zhang Zhung
An Introduction to the Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings
of the Oral Tradition from Zhang Zhung








Offline zorgon

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Re: The Search for the Zhangzhung Empire
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 04:37:15 AM »
Search for Zhang Zhung

Quote
Gelek, a Bön monk, accompanied by an American photographer undertakes a journey from Kathmandu to discover for himself the ancient kingdom of Zhang Zhung where the Bön religion flourished centuries ago.

In search of mythical palaces and holy sites, they journey to the shadows of Mount Kailash in far Western Tibet. Along the way they are joined by dhamis (oracles) and shaman priests, and together they make an odd group of contrasting characters.

As they travel through the starkly beautiful landscape of Nepal and Tibet their journey begins to shed light on Bön, a religion different and arguably older than Tibetan Buddhism, though it is largely unknown and neglected. Throughout the pilgrimage Gelek contemplates about what it means to be a Bön monk, struggles with his doubts and seeks to uncover the roots of his religion and identity.

It is a pilgrimage where both the spiritual and temporal realms are fluid realities and obstacles constantly need to be overcome. And while pursuing jeweled palaces and fantastic dreams, Gelek and Tom attempt to strip away their confusion in an attempt to find the essence of Zhang Zhung.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzQak7ODpHc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkIAg9yQsyM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDfGRlCdxUc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGyYxOg3rTk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp4616bn8og[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6NbPaBUFVk[/youtube]

 


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