Encyclopedia of Bön

EncyclopediaPonlop_02

Menri Lopon Rinpoche, head teacher of Menri Monastery, is nearing completion of an Encyclopedia of Bon Religion.

Lopon Rinpoche’s new encyclopedia contains more than twelve thousand different entries, which include a comprehensive set of articles and definitions employed in the Bon religion and by Bonpo practitioners. Even the largest reference works currently available in Tibetan or English do not include most of the information that will be available in this new work. Entries include:

  • Tibetan and Zhang Zhung words and terminology specific to the Bon religion
  • Biographies of Bonpo scholars and practitioners, both historical and contemporary
  • Descriptions of significant places in Bon history
  • Descriptions of Bon religious symbols, images and objects
  • Names and descriptions of Bon deities

Scholars of Tibetan culture regularly have problems understanding the language in texts of the Bon religion because such texts use words that are often different, or have different meanings, than the terminology used by Tibetan Buddhists. In 2001, Lopon Rinpoche traveled to Portland, Oregon to work with Donatella Rossi in translating a book about Bon; at that time, he realized that there was a great need for a reference work specifically concerning the Bon religion, so in the same year, he commenced work on the Encyclopedia, which has grown to over two thousand pages.

A work of this scope on this subject has never been published before. The Encyclopedia is in the Tibetan language, but after initial publication, Lopon Rinpoche hopes to have it translated into English.


We have begun collecting donations to help with translating and publishing this book in English. Any amount would be a great help and greatly appreciated.

Donations can be sent to Khyungdzong Wodsel Ling at the following address or use the PayPal button below (please put “encyclopedia” in the memo box):

Dika Ryan
1977 N. New Hampshire Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027