Talk:Tibetan Buddhism

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Tibetan Buddhism:
  • Discuss: What should be in this list?
  • Discuss: What should be in the introduction?
  • Discuss: What's missing in this article? (What do people need to know about Tibetan Buddhism?)
  • Improve footnotes & referencing.
  • How to shorten the article? Can we make some of it into another article? Does anyone know how?


Gelug -- Ganden Tripa and Dalai Lama[edit]

This statement on the Gelug Order is patently incorrect: "...its temporal [head is] the Dalai Lama". The Ganden Tripa article has it right. Since my edit to that effect was reverted, I'm not going to fix it myself, but leave it to @Montanabw: after he does a little research. djlewis (talk) 18:29, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Potential Addition[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians! I have composed an article on Karma in Tibetan Buddhism. I was wondering if it would make sense to add it to this page, or any other page. It seems rather applicable to be standing on its own. Here is the link to the article, let me know what you guys think! Thanks! Tara Nielson (talk) 22:49, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Tara. Thank you for your graciousness in using this Talk page. The Tib Bsm article is already long by Wikipedia standards. That makes it unwieldy for some users. A gradual process is underway to put material from it into other articles and refer to them in the main article.
There are two ways to refer. You can make a single word in the body of text into a link. In this case, you could do that with the word "karma". This can be fussy and complicated at times. The other way which I like is to put a "See also..." somewhere in the Tib Bsm article.
Making a "karma" link to the "Karma in Tibetan Buddhism" article has the potential problem that there may be articles competing with yours for that link, in this case "Karma", a long article that has a "Buddhism" subheading. It would be good to check the material there and see if you can add yours into it. After that, it is possible to make the word "karma" in the Tib Bsm article link specifically to that "Buddhism" section. (Can't remember how, though.)
If it looks like karma in Tibetan Buddhism is somehow different from karma in Buddhism generally, it could be made a subheading there.
Moonsell (talk) 23:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Black Hats[edit]

The Kagyu tradition is called here (and in other pages on Wikipedia: Kagyu, Red Hat sect) one of the "red hats sects". In the Encyclopaedia Britannica it is mentioned that the main subsect of Kagyu, Karmapa, is also known as "black hats" ("Among the many lineages that have developed within the Bka'-brgyud-pa [Kagyu] order, the one that is best known today is the Karma-pa (Black Hat) lineage"). I think it would be worthwhile to mention that under the section "Schools", either under the subsection "Kagyu(pa)" or at the end, after the chart of the four schools. I think it would clarify the place of the "black hats" regarding the red and yellow hats, which would be hard to find out otherwise (perhaps it would be useful in the Red Hat sect page too. --Nazroon (talk) 17:20, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Tibetan Tantrism...[edit]

The section, "Preliminary practices and approach to Vajrayāna" section has been amplified with a very long body of text starting with the words, "Tibetan Tantrism..." There are two problems with it: 1) It is entirely unreferenced. 2) It belongs in the Vajrayana article, since it is too long for an introductory article like this one. Moving the text to fix 2) would be easy enough, but what to do about the lack of referencing? Moonsell (talk) 06:04, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

I've deleted it. If anyone wants it back, please put in the Vajrayana article, where it belongs. May I suggest, it won't survive long there either without the addition of extensive references. Moonsell (talk) 21:19, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Study of tenet systems - The termas[edit]

This bit is not well-written. It is not part of tenet systems. It says, termas are still being created, which is a big swallow. It is completely unreferenced. Above all, do we even need a mention of termas at all in an introductory article of this nature? Moonsell (talk) 21:31, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I've deleted it. If anyone wants to restore it, please address the concerns above first. Moonsell (talk) 23:20, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Wrathful bodhisattvas[edit]

This bit is not well-written. It is not integrated with the rest of the article. It is completely unreferenced. Do we even need a mention of this at all in an introductory article of this nature? Moonsell (talk) 21:40, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I've deleted it. If anyone wants it back, please address the concerns above first. Moonsell (talk) 22:55, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

yes, better you delete it.... otherwise people could learn too much.- (talk) 17:16, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Reincarnating lamas: the Tulkus[edit]

This bit is not well-written and quite uninformative. It is completely unreferenced. The following section already contains a link to the main article on this. I've deleted it. Moonsell (talk) 21:42, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Schools - Genealogy of Tibetan Buddhist schools[edit]

This beautiful graphic is a welcome piece of decoration and colour. It makes the topic less dry. However, it has issues of its own.

1) There are so many names that are not mentioned otherwise in the text. Do we need them?

2) The diagram itself is not integrated with the body of the article. The article does not even refer to it.

3) It seems to say, Bon is one of the roots of Tibetan Buddhism. This is an idea that was taken for granted in the past but is disputed now. A contemporary native authority, the Dalai Lama even holds that Bon influences on Tibetan Buddhism have been few and superficial, such as in the form of musical instruments (Australian public talk, 2010).

When I double-click on the graphic itself, I see that it is copied from a book published in 1928. It should be an easy matter to substitute an edited copy of it that removes these difficulties and I am prepared to try. Does anyone else have any thoughts about this first? Moonsell (talk) 22:32, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I've substituted an edited graphic to address the last two of these concerns. Not sure yet what to do about the first one yet, though. Moonsell (talk) 03:27, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
I've substituted another edited graphic to simplify the material, as per concern 1) above. Moonsell (talk) 00:13, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


I've moved this section to the article, Tibetan Buddhist History. It was too detailed for an introductory article like this one. I've added Tibetan Buddhist History to "See also" at the end of this article.

If there are any problems with this, please discuss before trashing this work. It has involved some detail to make it nice. Moonsell (talk) 00:31, 31 October 2013 (UTC)


This section overlaps the Wikipedia article, List of Tibetan monasteries and largely duplicates it. The material in this section is not of an introductory nature, so that the Tibetan Buddhism article would be better not to include it and just to refer to it. This material and that in List of Tibetan monasteries need to be consolidated outside the Tibetan Buddhism article. Moonsell (talk) 04:24, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

No such thing as Tibetan Buddhism?[edit]

Buddhism beyond the nation state by Richard Payne. This is an interesting material. Komitsuki (talk) 12:04, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks to Komitsuki for that. It's curious, but does not seem helpful to us directly.
1) The article claims there is no such thing as Tibetan Buddhism. Like it or not, that term is not used geographically these days. We don't need the Tibetan nation in order to call things "Tibetan", and if we stop talking about Buddhism with that word, other people just won't understand us. It's just the way we use language. The literature of the premodern tradition was written in a dead language, Sanskrit. The modern inheritance of that literature is written in Tibetan.
2) The same thing goes for the idea, 'there is no equivalent for “Tibetan Buddhism” in premodern Buddhist literature from Tibet'. That is uninformed. All the literature from the Pāla period of Buddhism in Tibet was, not only the basis of Tibetan Buddhism, but more or less the same. Tibetan Buddhism, whether the Tibetan nation exists or not, is the modern survivor of the Pāla tradition of Buddhism, practiced in the Indian university of Nālanda and others.
3) The same thing goes for the proposal that Vajrayāna is the same thing as Tibetan Buddhism. The latter includes the former as well as other things. Other forms of Buddhism include it too.
The question that this other article highlights is, should our Wikipedia article here make all these things clearer than they are already?
  Moonsell (talk) 17:21, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I've added new material to the introduction to address these points.
   Moonsell (talk) 18:10, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm just helping by putting some pieces of info in the talk section most of the times. I have a tendency not to edit the actual articles. Komitsuki (talk) 15:06, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Is Tibetan Buddhism actually Buddhism? (talk) 19:13, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Tibetan Buddhist monasticism[edit]


Rajmaan (talk) 21:52, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

General methods of practice[edit]

Restored the original picture. The one substituted by Parabolooidal is already used in the section, "Study of tenet systems", further down in the same article. The latter belongs there because it is of debate over tenets. The old one belongs in General methods of practice because it is under the subheading of "Transmission and realization". Transmission is normally by reading from a text. Moonsell (talk) 00:20, 10 October 2014 (UTC)


Thanks to Victoria for her interest and wish to contribute but I have undid her changes to this section. Those changes were based on Sam van Schaik, who seems to be proposing that Bön "arose" from the 11th century, not more ancient times.

I have no interest in promoting or denigrating Bön but the stuff I undid had problems:

- It is potentially controversial. A Tibetan Bön friend of mine, for example is proud of Bön's pre-Buddhist heritage.

- It surely cannot be taken to deny Bön's more ancient roots, which are well-established. In that case, isn't it some kind of hair-splitting? Do we want side-issues like this in the main Tib Bsm article, which is already bloated?

I have restored the older text of the article. It does need rewriting for coherence but it also has good stuff that had been deleted without explanation. Moonsell (talk) 04:02, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

@Moonsell: See Wikipedia policy WP:VNT, which states editors "may not remove sources' views from articles simply because they disagree with them."VictoriaGraysonTalk 04:08, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Let's refrain from personal attributions. I gave reasons. If there are problems with them I'm interested to know what they are. Moonsell (talk) 04:18, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
@Moonsell: You are engaging in tendentious editing. See WP:TE. There is nothing personal. I am merely citing Wikipedia policy. Your "reasons" for objecting to my edit are multiple violations of WP:VNT. VictoriaGraysonTalk 04:21, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

The idea from van Schaik that Bon is a recent religion is not held by other scholars, as far as I am aware. On the ancient roots of Bön, see for example: <>. The writer, Alexander Berzin says here that while it did not become an organised religion until the 11th century, it traces its origins to "the remote, distant past". Berzin is just echoing the accepted consensus among scholars.

There is a specific Wikipedia Bon article too. Van Schaik's view is prominent there and there is no mention of others.

Whether you think van Schaik is better or not, I believe this introductory article on Tib Bsm is not the place for this controversy.

   Moonsell (talk) 09:25, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Your weblink talks of the myth of Shenrab. Yet that myth was only created in the 14th century by Loden Nyingpo. Nyingma Dzogchen traces its origin to Garab Dorje, yet that myth only arises with the Vima Nyingthig. Hinduism traces Krishna to 5,000 B.C. All of this is not actual history.VictoriaGraysonTalk 17:40, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that van Schaik himself rejects out of hand the idea that there was no "Bon" before the rise of organised Yungdrung Bon; the quote we are picking is out of context given the other work he has done on the topic as in this article, The naming of Tibetan religion: Bon and Chos in the Tibetan imperial period, where he carefully examines pre-11th century Tibetan religion. Perhaps we could clarify that the statement in question is in regard to a unified, organised Bon (Yungdrung Bon). As he writes, "Yet we should not be lead into thinking that we have only two alternatives: either to accept the there was a religion before and during the Tibetan imperial period that went by the name of bon, or to reject the whole concept of a pre-Buddhist religion." As you can see in van Schaik's article, much of what characterises Bon as a unique school of Buddhism (or para-Buddhism, if that is your personal viewpoint) is present in Imperial-era texts. It also explicitly refers to lha chos "Buddhism" in contrast to what van Schaik consistently calls "The Little Religion". Ogress smash! 22:39, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Please read more carefully. He is saying we shouldn't reject the concept of a pre-Buddhist religion. But this religion is not Bon. Sam van Schaik does reject Bon before Tibetan Buddhism. In his 2011 book he states:

"Though some people call the old pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet ‘Bon’, it is unlikely that before Buddhism the Tibetans had a clear sense of practising a religion as such, or a specific name for these practices. In fact, the Bonpo religion only started to take shape alongside the revival of Buddhism in the eleventh century. And when the scriptures of the Bonpo started to appear in Tibet, it was mainly through the work of truth the ‘old religion’ was a new religion..."

VictoriaGraysonTalk 22:57, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

@VictoriaGrayson:, that van Schaik article is brand new - 2014 - and therefore more recent. As he notes on his own blog:

I conclusion, I suggest that the idea of a non-Buddhist Tibetan religion as an entity came from the Buddhist missionaries in Tibet, in their criticism of Tibetan beliefs and rituals. It was the Buddhists who brought together this variety of Tibetan rituals and beliefs as an entity that can be identified, named and discussed. Some of the ritualists involved in these non-Buddhist practices were known as “Bonpo” and later Buddhist polemicists increasingly used this term for non-Buddhist ritual in general (though usually specifically for funeral rituals). Though I don’t go this far in the article, I would suggest that what happens after the tenth century is that this generalized use of the term Bonpo is reclaimed from the Buddhist polemicists by those who are reconfiguring the old rituals in a Buddhist-inspired framework, gradually evolving into what we mean nowadays by “the Bonpo school”.

He is finding more nuance than his older work, stating that while Yungdrung Bon was a new movement, it didn't materialise out of thin air, which is what the original quote suggests when it says "the ‘old religion’ was a new religion..." We could simply note what van Schaik says above to clarify his earlier position and link to or quote that statement. Bon in the Imperial age related to funerary rituals and practices specifically, but what was incorporated as Bon in the 11th century was existing ritual and beliefs. Right now it sounds like the tertöns wrote the medieval equivalent of Dianetics. Ogress smash! 07:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
The article is 2013, not 2014. And to repeat myself, you need to read more carefully. There is no change in Sam van Schaik's position in these 2 years. Schaik is saying we shouldn't reject the concept of a pre-Buddhist religion. But this religion is not Bon. Thats the entire point when he says "Yet we should not be lead into thinking that we have only two alternatives: either to accept the there was a religion before and during the Tibetan imperial period that went by the name of bon, or to reject the whole concept of a pre-Buddhist religion." VictoriaGraysonTalk 08:08, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
@VictoriaGrayson and Moonsell: VG, you are difficult to talk to because you post like 11 versions of your comments every time you post, each time changing what you wrote.
I suggested not that we excise his quote but merely add a clarification that he is not suggesting Bon was invented whole cloth. This is what other editors were commenting about in the first place: that it suggests a de novo invention à la Scientology instead of a continuation of pre-Buddhist Tibetan tradition. You told me on my talk page to read more carefully before making "bold claims", but I am making no bold claims. I suggest you reread the article starting at the bottom of 248 where van Schaik quotes Honko's notion of tradition as cultural potential:

In Honko’s terminology, tradition refers to the materials available (narrative accounts, ritual techniques, and so on), whereas culture signifies an ordering of the mass of traditional material into an integrated and functional whole, a system. In this sense, when we study the early Tibetan ritual materials, we are clearly dealing with a tradition. At the same time, we are struggling to understand the cultures (plural) that made use of these traditional materials. Thus I would suggest we should not look for an essence behind the term bon (or other terms from the pre-Buddhist religion), but rather for family resemblances within the material that is available to us. In this way we are free to talk about a ‘tradition’, ‘culture’, or even ‘religion’ without suggesting something possessing a centre (such as at the imperial court) or an essence (such as specific ritual narratives).

This is what I am talking about when I say van Schaik is stating a more nuanced response than the bare quote we currently have on this page. I see zero reason we should not qualify the statement to refer to the organisation of (Yungdrung) Bon out of indigenous chos - to use the Imperial-era Tibetan - as well as Buddhism. Ogress smash! 08:38, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
This quote does not help you. Schaik does not suggest Bon is a continuation of pre-Buddhist tradition. Quite the opposite. Bon and its myths developed out of terma, just like much of Nyingma. Bon is analogous to Nyingma terma and its myths of Garab Dorje, Yeshe Tsogyal etc. Loden Nyingpo created the myth of Shenrab in the 14th century. VictoriaGraysonTalk 08:54, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
You are ignoring my point. Also, what part of "I would suggest that what happens after the tenth century is that this generalized use of the term Bonpo is reclaimed from the Buddhist polemicists by those who are reconfiguring the old rituals in a Buddhist-inspired framework, gradually evolving into what we mean nowadays by 'the Bonpo school'" leads you to conclude there is no connection between Bon and Tibetan religion before the 11th century flourishing of Nyingma and Bon? Ogress smash! 19:33, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I am not ignoring anything. If we start inserting 14th century myth, then the Hindus and the Nyingmas will want the same thing. What part of this don't you understand:

Though some people call the old pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet ‘Bon’, it is unlikely that before Buddhism the Tibetans had a clear sense of practising a religion as such, or a specific name for these practices. In fact, the Bonpo religion only started to take shape alongside the revival of Buddhism in the eleventh century. And when the scriptures of the Bonpo started to appear in Tibet, it was mainly through the work of tertons. Loden Nyingpo was not the first Bonpo terton by any means, but he was one of the most influential, although he too died young, at the age of twenty-five. His vast terma, known as The Brilliance, contained the legendary biography of the founder of the Bonpo religion, and defined the religion itself in a way that is still influential today. The story told by Loden Nyingpo’s treasure is something like this. The founder of Bon was a man called Shenrab, who lived in Tazig (the land of the Tajiks, in or near Persia). He travelled far and wide in this world and beyond, accompanied by his many wives, sons and daughters, converting sinners both human and non-human. Later in his life he became a monk and meditated in a forest hermitage, where he contested with the Prince of Demons and finally converted him. Shenrab’s life story echoes those of other figures, particularly Padmasambhava’s travels and Shakyamuni’s quest for enlightenment. The Bonpos believe that the teachings of Shenrab travelled from the land of the Tajiks to the ancient Tibetan kingdom of Zhangzhung long before Buddhism came to Tibet. Turning the Buddhist histories on their heads, they see the great tsenpos as the villains of the piece, hated persecutors of Bon. The coming of Buddhism to Tibet is blamed on ‘the perverse prayer of a demon’, and the decline of the old religion is ‘the setting of the sun of the Doctrine’. The disintegration of the Tibetan empire is of course put down to the malign influence of Buddhism. In this topsy-turvy history (at least from the Buddhist point of view), Bonpo tertons such as Loden Nyingpo were the culture heroes who rescued the old religion from obscurity. But in truth the ‘old religion’ was a new religion...

VictoriaGraysonTalk 21:16, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Is the section on Bon sufficient?[edit]

Both this discussion and the sources used show that the section as it currently stands is both accurate and sufficient. Shii (tock) 04:25, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There is a disagreement among editors regarding the section on Bon; we cannot reach consensus about the issue of whether a quote accurately provides sufficient information on a the topic. One editor insists a particular quote suffices; another raised the topic because they feel it provides undue weight to one perspective; a third (myself) feels the quote is incompletely accurate and requires further qualification based on the quote author's subsequent work. More eyes would be very helpful. Ogress smash! 21:26, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

The above is inaccurate. Sam van Schaik's 2013 paper reinforces his 2011 book. There is no change in position.VictoriaGraysonTalk 21:39, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
I was requested to come here as it was an RFC..seeing old friends it seems. Anyway, I don't think that quote sufficiently shows that Bon is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism or that it fits those definitions, just that "Bon" refers to a set of beliefs that started to appear under the influence of Buddhism. Isn't it generally recognized that 'bon' believes are quite different than other Buddhist beliefs? Anyway, enough speculation. Powers says" Bon is commonly considered to be the indigenous religious tradition of Tibet, a system of shamanistic and animistic practices performed by priests called shen (gshen) or bonpo (bon po). Although this is widely assumed by Buddhists, historical evidence indicates that the Bon tradition only developed as a self-conscious religious system under the influence of Buddhism." is a very good article on the topic. Maybe can find better quotes there? Prasangika37 (talk) 03:27, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Your own source confirms what I am saying. The Bon tradition only developed as a self-conscious religious system under the influence of Buddhism.VictoriaGraysonTalk 03:34, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Yah I am not trying to contradict you... don't worry..sheesh! I am supporting what you are saying in a sense, but pointing out that calling it Buddhism seems to be a bit far fetched. I wouldn't include it in 'Tibetan Buddhism' at all, but would support that through the influence of Buddhism it gained traction as a religion. Prasangika37 (talk) 23:14, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Theres a lot more scholarship on this issue..Tibetologist Per Kvaerne says (page 12-13) "According to its own historical perspective, it was introdudced into Tibet many centuries before Buddhism and enjoyed royal patronage until it was supplanted and expelled by the "false religion" (i.e. Buddhism) coming from India." "Bon tradition holds that the early kings of Tibet were adhernets of Bon, and that consequently not only the royal dynasty but the entire realm prospered" "it does not of course, mean that Bon has not at some stage been powerfully influenced by Buddhism; but once the two religions, Bon and Buddhism, were establisheda s rival traditions in Tibet, their relationship was, it is now realized, a complicated one of mutual influence" from "Bon, Buddhism and Democracy: The Building of a Tibetan National Identity" 1993. Theres so, so much more out there--no time to look at it now. Its not a simple little answer though ;) Prasangika37 (talk) 23:22, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Right, thats all 14th century myth. Thats why he says "according to its own historical perspective."VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:24, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
No offense, but I think you've done some very limited research in this. These are from brief google searches that took less than a few seconds "Tucci and other scholars believe that Bon preceded the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet. They identify divination and exorcism as central elements of the indigenous folk religion but also of Bon, and believe that both the folk religion and the more structured Bon contributed to the undeniably shamanistic aspect of Tibetan religious practice and customs. In this view, Bon brought a multiplicity of gods, demons, and spirits of nature into the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon, where they joined the gods absorbed from Indian tantrism. Tucci attributed Bon's formal doctrinal structure to a later borrowing from Buddhism. According to the standard history, Bon vied with Buddhism for dominance during the early centuries after the introduction of the new religion, and during the period between the first and second diffusions. In any case, Buddhism prevailed, but Bon, or some form of it, has survived in parts of Tibet as well as in remote Himalayan areas, such as Dolpo in northwestern Nepal, and there has recently been a Bon revival in the West. " Prasangika37 (talk) 23:28, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Another option, which is a third-Bon was a Buddhism beforehand but strands from another part of the world. But it still existed in some heterodox form BEFORE "Tibetan Buddhism" (e.g. Tantrism etc) from India. "David Snellgrove, in contradiction, argues that Bon is not the old indigenous religion of Tibet. He agrees with the claim of present-day Bonpos (adherents of Bon) that their religion was, from the beginning, a form of Buddhism, however heterodox. Snellgrove maintains that before the famous introduction of Buddhism to Tibet in the seventh century under royal sponsorship, forms of Buddhism that had reached Central Asia were actually familiar to some Tibetans, and that Bon developed in Western or Central Asia earlier than its arrival, as traditionally understood, in Tibet. // PS. is the source. Prasangika37 (talk) 23:30, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Prasangika, these are old understandings that do not take into account documents and resources unavailable during the early study of Bon. Bonpos believe their faith dates back to Tönpa Sherap, but the historical record demonstrates that while there was a ton of religious stuff going on that was not Buddhist, it was not organised as a single religion; indeed, it never had any reason to be organised as such until Buddhism put pressure on it. The terms bon and bonpo is only found in connexion with funerary activities; while it is clear traditional Tibetan religious beliefs and practices were codified by Yungdrung Bon, they weren't organised before that anymore than "Shinto" was. Ogress smash! 23:33, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Prasangika37, listen to Ogress. The whole "topsy-turvy" (as Schaik describes it) mythological history of Bon is from 14th century terma. We don't take Nyingma termas (Garab Dorje, Yeshe Tsogyal) as actual history either. We don't believe Krishna dates to 5,000 B.C.VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:40, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Snellgrove and Per Kverne both offer alternative points of view though... Neither of them are 'old views' from my understanding(Per is early 90s, but maybe thats still old?) ? Snellgrove at the very least is very recent. Prasangika37 (talk) 19:25, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Snellgrove is 95 and has been retired since 1982. We're talking discoveries within the last 5 years at Dunhuang that have up-ended the field of Bon studies. Ogress smash! 20:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Okay sounds good :) I didn't realize how recent the studies were. Prasangika37 (talk) 13:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

What was wrong with the old (sourced) stuff that got excised *without explanation*?

"Bön "This is the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet and has also been recognized by Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, as a principal spiritual school of Tibet. In 1978 the Dalai Lama acknowledged the Bon religion as a school with its own practices despite the long historical competition between the Bon tradition and Buddhism, after visiting the newly built Bon monastery in Dolanji."

The source cited there is no longer available but this new one does an even better job. It gives multiple invaluable native Tibetan citations:

And by the way, this excised text, why is stuff like this missing in the Bön article?

I didn't write the excised material but I must say, it sticks to the topic (Tib Bsm). It avoids controversial digression. There is no need from this for semantics and verbose convolution in search of balance. It's readable and succinct. It does the job quite elegantly. It's informative to someone googling Tib Bsm. Is the stuff that replaced it so much better? Moonsell (talk) 20:23, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Oops. A slight tweak needed there. I didn't read the web page I mentioned carefully enough. It has Shugden polemics appended.

Still, without getting sidelined into the Shugden controversy, the stuff that's useful in it could be put together in a footnote. Moonsell (talk) 21:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

We could just quote the 14th Dalai Lama rather than a Dorje Shugden site quoting him because the latter uses the quote to launch into an attack on the Dalai Lama for not oppressing Bonpos: [1] is one example and [2] has the famous photo of him donning the rainbow vajra crown of the Yungdrung Bon at Menri Ling to show his support for the Bon tradition. He does not say it is Buddhism (but rather a valid religion of Tibet and that Bonpos are under his protection as "divine subjects") in any work I've located, but I'm hardly an expert on the Dalai's writings, so if you can find a reliable quote, do so. Ogress smash! 22:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)


the story so far

We editors seem to have been through an exasperating situation over a small new thing buried way down in the Tib Bsm article.

1) One of us had cut out material she didn't like without explanation. The lost material had been sourced.

2) She had inserted material others didn't like, restored it twice after undoes accompanied by careful talk and so far has remained adamant not to withdraw it even as long as others remained unconvinced.

3) She was disdainful of other editors here and on their personal pages.

4) The material cited a source who she represented as being at odds with not only other western scholars but also the native Tibetan scholarly consensus. The editor seemed unable to get this. A balanced treatment of the controversy would take up space.

5) The new material was challenged as not even accurately representing the view of the scholar it cites. Maybe we need a change in the rules: "WP is not a game of cards. An ambiguous newer source does not trump centuries of clear informed tradition." A balanced treatment of this would take up still more space.

6) The new material as it still stands is so embarrassingly simplistic as to lead to absurdity: Was there no Judaism (or Buddhism) before records? The proponent seemed not to have a problem with this. A balanced treatment of this aspect of the controversy would be a weird digression from Tib Bsm and take up still more space.

7) The editor has saddled us with an interpretation of her source that hinges on the odd question whether a name like "Bon" can be legitimately applied to a religion in a world where there were no known others to differentiate it from. As Seinfeld said, "What do the Chinese call Chinese food? 'Food'". A demoralising turn of events indeed. A balanced treatment would require more digression that's getting ever more off-beat and take up still more space.

8) I'm not sure if implicit or explicit, but another question wrapped up in this is what "religion" means. A balanced treatment would demand digression that is beyond the pale in an introduction to Tib Bsm and take up still more space.

9) The material duplicates that in the WP Bon article where it has the same substantial flaws. If it was revised there in a quest there too for balance, I doubt that relevance would be a lesser issue but space certainly still would be a big one. Perhaps a reader there would tolerate it in a footnote.

10) If the material is altered in the Tib Bsm article but left as it stands in the Bon article, WP will become self-contradictory and incoherent. This is always the pitfall of duplicating any material in two articles. What editor that gets their way with the material can guarantee to be vigilant about keeping it, right or wrong, in both places in the future? Another way that actually works is just glossing over details in one general article but including a link to the detailed specific one.

11) The Tib Bsm article is not the Bon one. Here the controversy is out of context and a trivial digression sure to exasperate readers.

So what are we to do? Space is at a premium in an introductory article that is already woefully bloated. We're trying to evolve towards pithy stuff on Tib Bsm in a nutshell.

A quick fix would be to just leave the proposed Bon non-antiquity sideline out of the Tib Bsm article but I suspect it may have gone beyond that now. On top of that, it looks just for starters like this whole talk section along with the one above also needs to be moved to the Bon talk page where it belongs.

I'll wait at least one day more and if no one else would like to lend a hand I'll do what I can to start to clean things up with the Tib Bsm article. I guess the next step, after reverting a third time to the old material, will be to see if it can be improved.

That will free the Tib Bsm article from a danger of excess verbiage but it will leave Wikipedia burdened with this controversy on the Bon page. A consensus about what to do there will be for others more informed than me to seek.

               Moonsell (talk) 20:55, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
The old section was sourced from 2 broken links. See link1 and link2. This is not proper sourcing. Ogress agrees with me that Sam van Schaik is a great source. We have a minor disagreement over interpretation. So you are going against consensus and Wikipedia policy on sourcing.VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:34, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I've restored the original text of the Bon section for the third time. For the third time I've removed the contentious material that had been substituted for it, and I urge Victoria to give her fellow editors the consideration of leaving it out as long as we have such problems with it. I've improved the wording of the restored text and updated its references. Thanks to Ogress for her suggestions with this.
Moonsell (talk) 20:37, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Ogress supports the use of reliable sourcing such as Sam van Schaik. You are using clearly nonreliable sourcing.VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:40, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
The current (Dec 6, 2014) article text is unacceptable. It is a distortion at best of van Schaik's characterization of Bon, and clearly contradicts common understanding of Bon among its adherents as well as other interested parties. That said, it makes sense for any text on Bon in this article to substantially agree with the Bon article. This discussion does belong there. Once some stable state is reached there, the next step would be to find a reasonable, brief summary to put here. Bertport (talk) 04:43, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Point out exactly why its a distortion.VictoriaGraysonTalk 05:27, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
"Bon is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism." Van Schaik does not say this. He says that Bon appeared as a recognizable thing with a name contemporaneously with Tibetan Buddhism, and shared many characteristics with Tibetan Buddhism, and that its proponents' stories of older origin were unsubstantiated myths. Bon should not be listed in the "Schools" section of this article, and possibly should not be mentioned at all. Bertport (talk) 20:10, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Unlike Ogress and Bertport I still don't have access to the van Schaik source but hope to in the new year. However, just going on the interpretation of him here in itself I've already detailed how this leads to absurdities that detract from the article. I'm keen for them to be addressed.

However, I guess it's time to examine the wording of the section to try to work out what the interpretation exactly is.

The Bon section as it stands is:

"Bon is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It arose in the eleventh century upward[Van Schaik, pp.99] and established its scriptures mainly from termas and visions by tertöns such as Loden Nyingpo.[Van Schaik, pp.99-100] Though Bon terma contain myths of Bon existing before the historical introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, 'in truth the 'old religion' was a new religion.[Van Schaik, pp.99-100]"

A few things seem clear. Bon is conflated with Tibetan Buddhism. If there is indeed evidence for that, it is grounds for mentioning Bon in this article. Otherwise, Bon is no more relevant than Islam in Tibet, which may or may not too have been influenced by Buddhism in some way.

We're saying Bon "arose" and that it arose "upward". Either it was somehow dormant before that or it didn't exist then. Which is it? If dormant, was the dormant Bon not also "Bon"?

If it didn't exist then, that means we're saying Buddhism came to Tibet 400 years before Bon. Please would the editors put their hands up who want to subscribe to that.

We are calling Bon before the 11th century "myths" so I guess the second interpretation of what we are trying to say is the correct one.

OK. That is what we're saying. But then van Schaik says there was "the 'old' religion". Which old religion is he referring to?

Apart from the absurdities our interpretation (whether correct or not) leads us to, please can we talk about the big picture which I raised at the start, namely:

1) We can't sweep it under the carpet that this stuff is contentious. That means we need consideration of more than just one side of the issues for the sake of balance. That means we need space and lots of words. That means it becomes a digression.

2) There is no source for the assertion that Bon is a school of Tib Bsm. That means Bon is not even tangentially relevant.

                   01:51, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

In the Bon section here and in the Bon article WP makes claims that are unverifiable.
The source cited says Bon started to "take shape" in the 11th century. WP jumps to the conclusion that Bon "arose" when it had started to "take shape". Christianity arose after the death of its founder. Judaism and Buddhism arose centuries after Moses and Buddha. (Or do we count the "mythical" tablets of stone?) Bon "arising" is not found in the purported source.
We have WP claiming that Bon did not "exist" before Buddhism in Tibet. This too is not found in the purported source.
The citation is misleading.
21:15, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I think we must agree, this is going nowhere. Please can we escalate this from RfC to the next level. Does anyone know how?

                   Moonsell (talk) 09:19, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

"When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources. However, some scholarly material may be outdated, in competition with alternative theories, or controversial within the relevant field. Try to cite present scholarly consensus when available, recognizing that this is often absent."

I've come to realise the lack of balance in this section is a side show. Bon is a religion that has been sidelined by Tibetan Buddhism. It has some relevance to it, but not enough to justify it having its own section in this article. Does anyone still want to keep the Bon section?

                   Moonsell (talk) 03:34, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
I support removing Bon from the article altogether. The article is about Tibetan Buddhism, not Tibetan religions. Bertport (talk) 04:16, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Hinayana"/ "Foundation Vehicle"[edit]

I've restored the term "Foundation Vehicle" in place of "Hinayana" at two places in the article. Please refer to the archived talk at <

A key point was made in this discussion of eight years ago and which culminated in a consensus among editors: "The Dalai Lama has dropped the term 'Hinayana' and now uses 'Foundational' or 'Basic' Vehicle."

               Moonsell (talk) 20:37, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
A discussion 8 years ago is hardly the gospel truth, consensus can change. Sources are required. Montanabw(talk) 04:35, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Two points here: Please don't make me rehash the talk that is already there. It was at a time when this article thrived with input from many editors and a lot of thought went into the discussion. I mentioned the Dalai Lama since he is not only a source but a big consideration.
If you want to reopen the discussion and need sources, please read the old talk first and say what is a problem there for you.
                   01:21, 22 December 2014 (UTC)


The article seems to have acquired more jargon over time, e.g., "sunyata" instead of "emptiness". A better way would be to use a readable term on its own but linked to the more technical article. I've made one change like this in "Study of tenet systems". The glossary at the end of the article was originally intended to help with this process. I'd like to add "improve readability" to the to do list at the beginning of this talk page.

               Moonsell (talk) 20:37, 6 December 2014 (UTC)


I've added this new section to make up for a longstanding lack of perspective in the article.

               Moonsell (talk) 20:37, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Looks like Victoria has a problem with this new section too, deriding it as my personal essay. She seems to have overlooked the "See also: History of Tibetan Buddhism" at the top of the section. The new material is hardly controversial and is just a summary. I suspect, we may be entering a period of vexatious editing.
               Moonsell (talk) 20:51, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Moonsell, see below. You must source no matter what and the material you added is absolutely unreadable. Montanabw(talk) 04:15, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
I've relocated this section to later in the article, as I said under "Collapsing long comments by one user".
                   09:19, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Moonsell replacing reliable sourcing with nonreliable sourcing[edit]

The citation of 2 letters from the Dalai Lama on some Bon websites is not reliable sourcing. And he inserted his own personal essay. VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:43, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Pinging @Joshua Jonathan, CFynn, Montanabw, Tengu800, Cullen328, and JimRenge:.VictoriaGraysonTalk 21:03, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Well I guess now, he is merely inserting his personal essay.VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:22, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Victoria, what on earth could you have found in this new section that is a genuine point of difficulty for you? Say what is going on and I'll see what source I can find to make you happy. Moonsell (talk) 03:52, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
The entire section is unsourced, save for one completely useless ref to an entire book. It's also incomprehensible gibberish. On an article such as this extensive and careful footnoting is required. BTW, the History of Buddhism article suffers from the same set of problems as far as being hard to read and some sources are sketchy. Montanabw(talk) 04:09, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
So there's nothing tangible actually wrong with the substance of the section then...
               Moonsell (talk) 04:14, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
That is not what I stated. You MUST follow WP:V. WP:RS and so on. You also need to write clearly WP:COMPETENCE is required. No one can determine what you are trying to say because the material you added is also poorly structured and has bad grammar. Absent sources, no one can verify if your material is accurate or not. Montanabw(talk) 04:23, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
We need to use sources. While we are in disagreement over the content, I think three of us agree the content you are adding is not wikipedia. There's no sources and it's badly written. Let us discuss here what the issue is that you feel needs addressing. Ogress smash! 05:54, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Well now Moonsell is blocked, so they can think about what they want to discuss maybe. Ogress smash! 05:56, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Collapsing long comments by one user

From what I've seen, this is common practice on WP: Where you have a source that expands on pretty much all the stuff in a paragraph or a section, you put that source at the end of the first sentence with the understanding that it applies to the rest too. I don't see that we need to keep repeating the same source without some special reason.

This practice seems good to me where a source has a developed exposition of something, not just a tidbit you can pick out, and the section is a pithy overview of that. The Tib Bsm bits of the book I cited are easy to see but the Indian roots of Tib Bsm are also covered there in a way that is good for readers who want that.

If people need more citations, please say just what those needs are. They are the points where more would indeed help and they're the bits others may have trouble with too. But it's not helpful if people won't say which bits are the problems.

If material isn't actually detracting from the article, an option besides deleting is leaving things in place, discussing and if need be, tagging.

                   Moonsell (talk) 01:08, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Just coincidentally, has anyone noticed that the entire Bon section consists of three sentences. The first is highly contentious and unsourced. The expression in it is simplistic and dogmatic. The other two cite the same two pages of the same book three times.
Moonsell (talk) 02:26, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

"The citation of 2 letters from the Dalai Lama on some Bon websites is not reliable sourcing." Can you please explain this, Victoria. Bear in mind that the citations were on a section headed "Bon", the Dalai Lama's letters are primary documents and he is a renowned *native* authority on things Tibetan.

                   12:18, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Why the Origins section is valuable[edit]

There are people around even in the 21st century who think Tib Bsm is an aberration. With little knowledge, some assume tantric stuff is mere aboriginal Tibetan shamanism, for example. Others have no idea how much Indian folklore (like water spirits) had become part of Buddhism before it went to Tibet. Still others assume Tib Bsm is some sort of home grown thing that has nothing in common with Buddhism past or present.

I've been trying to think for a long time how to make the article more informative to these people without too many words. So that's why I still think this section fills a need for the introductory reader. I have been having second thoughts, though, that it would be better further down in the article, just before the "Schools" section, since it's not of concern to as many people as the first stuff.

                   Moonsell (talk) 01:16, 22 December 2014 (UTC)


Adding material to this or any other article on wikipedia is subject to policy. Policy is that material needs to be neutral, verifiable and sourced to reliable sources. Relevant guidelines include WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NOR, WP:SYNTH and WP:CITE. Also, of course, WP:NPOV. Before any discussion of "this should be added," there needs to be a discussion of "what sources exist to support the addition of concept x, y, or z?" That applies to everyone. The problem of other poorly-sourced articles on wikipedia is an WP:OTHERSTUFF problem and not a useful or helpful article here. Read the guidelines and polcies, go do the research and then discuss. Montanabw(talk) 18:08, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

OK. I'll do as you ask and go over the guidelines and polcies.
Moonsell (talk) 22:34, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

It will take me a bit of time to do the research you've requested. In the meantime can I ask you to do something.
There is a sentence in the Tib Bsm article that needs to be cut out. It is unsourced. It is highly contentious. It is the first sentence in the Bon section.
I drew attention to it in the discussion you put behind "Collapsing long comments by one user." It is part of a section that over some months has made it virtually impossible for me to keep contributing and made collaboration here dysfunctional.
Such has been the assumption of bad faith from the start by the editor who composed this sentence that I am not in a position to follow the principles you've insisted on myself, for fear of my motivation being misinterpreted.
                   03:02, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I have little assumption of bad faith, I just think you don't understand how to properly edit wikipedia. If you are concerned about certain sentences, you can use the "citation needed" template to tag them. You type {{cn}} which will look like this: [citation needed]. Don't do it in 10,000 places on the article (we call that "tag-bombing") but you can tag the sentence you are most concerned about. Montanabw(talk) 02:54, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

I see. So if there's dispute over the presentation of sourcing but nothing's actually wrong with the content, we don't necessarily have to cut it out.
20:03, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • (**Pounding head on wall**) I did not say that there was "nothing wrong with the content" In fact, I said it is impossible to know if the content is valid or if it is merely the ravings from the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster until we see some valid, neutral, third party sources. Otherwise, how is anyone unfamiliar with the topic to know if this is legitimate content or just someone making up stuff and talking out their ass? I do not know how to make this any clearer. SOURCE this material! Then we can discuss if it should or should not be included! Montanabw(talk) 19:38, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
I see. Any bits another editor might not know already must have have citations. If we see one without we need to cut it out. Does that go for articles other than Tib Bsm?
21:02, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
PLase read the policies and guidelines of wikipedia. WP:BURDEN states that the person trying to change the article is the one who must justify their changes. Here, several people have told you that your material is in need of sourcing. So source it. Montanabw(talk) 00:01, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

I've done what you requested, Montanabw. This is unambiguous: "The policy on sourcing is Wikipedia:Verifiability, which requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations..."

It explains why there is so much material on WP that doesn't require sourcing, e.g. (by Mantanabw):

Montanabw and Victoria, my understanding is that the material I've proposed in the Origins section is common knowledge to scholars. *To demand a source for every sentence means you do not trust anything I write.*

I've asked you both to discuss what you want to challenge in the material but you've repeatedly declined. Do you have any problems with what I've proposed for this Origins section? Please say which bits you are challenging and why.

                   Moonsell (talk) 03:34, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Collapsing long comments by one user[edit]

Can anyone enlighten me as to where this came from? Moonsell (talk) 16:43, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Me. "Hatting" or collapsing long sections of closed topics is a permissible way to manage a talk page where a discussion has become unwieldy. Montanabw(talk) 04:31, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

splitting out Schools section to a list-article; help wanted! also notice of AFD[edit]

See Draft:List of schools and lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and see discussion/call for help at Draft talk:List of schools and lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. It seems to me that one list-article explaining the various schools and lineages branching off, would be helpful. Up front, I think it's better to have one big list-article, rather than separate ones for lineages in each major school. I really would welcome help and advice though. This relates to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Aro gTér, ongoing AFD about Aro gTér, a sect within the Nyingma school. --doncram 23:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Anything that makes the article less bloated without sacrificing valuable content. Thank you for proposing this.
Moonsell (talk) 02:53, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Introduction, Vajrayāna, rainbow body[edit]

I've moved two sentences about Vajrayāna and rainbow body from the introduction to the section "2.5 Preliminary practices and approach to Vajrayāna".

The reasons are:

- the material is not introductory; - a case needs to be made for singling out this aspect of Tib Bsm in particular;


- the article is more coherent this way.

I haven't changed the text. If my change is a bad idea, please discuss before reverting. Moonsell (talk) 17:34, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Of course the material is introductory. Its from a book called "Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism".VictoriaGraysonTalk 17:37, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the reference is helpful. But how many pages are in that book? Should we claim every page there can belong in the introduction to this article? If so, I still need to ask, why is that?

Please give some thought to the two other issues I've raised and thank you for this discussion. Moonsell (talk) 17:44, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Other Wikipedia articles such as Buddhism list the goals. To be consistent this article should also list the goals.VictoriaGraysonTalk 17:55, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Victoria, I can't understand this. Would you elaborate please.
     Moonsell (talk) 11:24, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Please explain why you reverted my change.
Moonsell (talk) 21:54, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
To be consistent with the lede of the Buddhism article.VictoriaGraysonTalk 21:58, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Can I put this another way. I changed the position of two sentences you wrote. You reverted. You haven't explained why.

So why, then, is it so important that those sentences be in the place you're insisting on? Moonsell (talk) 11:42, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Yet again, to be consistent with the lede of the Buddhism article.VictoriaGraysonTalk 13:09, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Your justification for this is that another Wikipedia article has it? Please confirm this.
Do you have any opinion about the difficulties I've raised? What is it?
Moonsell (talk) 20:25, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

There is a lot more we need to discuss about this. Can I ask you to please at least move these two sentences out of the introduction while we don't yet have consensus about them. (talk) 21:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

There is consensus. See WP:EDITCONSENSUS.VictoriaGraysonTalk 00:51, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

OK. Next point: rainbow body is an obscure term in Tibetan Buddhism. Why is Wikipedia mentioning it in the main article? Moonsell (talk) 22:09, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Victoria, please. This discussion mustn't be like pulling teeth. I've let material of yours stand in the past except for one that I had big problems with. The problems I have here again are genuine ones.

I feel shut out of the editing process. On past experience I fear getting into pulled into a war over anything I contribute here. My call for justification of your own material once more is legitimate and I'm making it once again now. Please continue the discussion. Moonsell (talk) 17:46, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

OK. The next thing: Rainbow body is not at all the same as Buddhahood.

My understanding is that it is a very subtle mind that is a basis for Buddhahood. If there is a source, please share it here.

To summarise this discussion, there are two sentences in question. They are:

"Tibetan Buddhism preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India. Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body."

Some flaws here are:

1 - Both sentences do not belong in the introduction (lede). They are detail that may or may not belong in the body of the article.
2 - Both sentences are about a certain subset of Tib Bst practices in particular without elaboration or mentioning others. This is arbitrary and makes the article confusing to the reader.
3 - Both sentences are about vajrayana. There is already a section on that class of practices later in the article. The sentences need to be moved there for coherence.
4 - In the second sentence WP mentions "rainbow body", an obscure term, without elaboration or mentioning others. This is confusing to readers, above all to those reading this, the main article.
5 - In the second sentence Wikipedia contends that rainbow body is the same as Buddhahood. It needs to be shown that this is not original material.

On the other hand, the following have been suggested:

1 - The material comes from a book that has the word "introduction" in the title, even though it is over 500 pages and presumably has other things not anywhere in this WP article.
2 - It's said that both sentences don't reduce the article's coherence but rather improve it. This is because they're there (with identical wording and contributed by the same editor) in another WP article and there too they're in the introduction. We still don't know why material in the intro of one WP article needs to be in the intro of another, let alone justification of why it is in the intro of either one.
3 - These sentences "list the goals". We still don't know what this means but the suggestion may be that it's not enough that the first section of the WP article (following the intro) is Buddhahood.
4 - My complaint that there is not consensus here between me and another editor is denied without explanation. This trivialises this whole discussion.

If there is justification for why this material should stand as is but no editor is prepared to give it, that must be explained or else WP must let go of it. So why?

If the material simply can't be justified, WP must let go of it. So can it?

Is there any reason why it should still stand? Moonsell (talk) 00:32, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Victoria, please show us why the bit about rainbow body is not original material. Moonsell (talk) 11:22, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Page 415: “rainbow body” of supreme buddhahood.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:07, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you but how does this support your claim?

Moonsell (talk) 20:25, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Rainbow body is Buddhahood.VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:33, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't see those words there. Moonsell (talk) 23:07, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Page 415 says "“rainbow body” of supreme buddhahood".VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:20, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
and you interpret this as meaning, "Rainbow body is supreme Buddhahood"? Moonsell (talk) 01:02, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Another book, Natural Liberation, says "To accomplish buddhahood in the best way is to accomplish it by achieving the rainbow body". VictoriaGraysonTalk 01:12, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes. I read this too in a highly reputable source. "To accomplish buddhahood in the best way" means that the goal is Buddhahood. "… is to accomplish it by achieving the rainbow body" says that rainbow body is a technique. "By" means that the technique is a way to get there.
This doesn't mean rainbow body is the same as Buddhahood any more than a car is the same as the place you arrive at. However, reading other references to "rainbow body" on WP makes me wonder whether the term might not be ambiguous. Like your other source, however, the evidence for rainbow body being taken as the same as Buddhahood is not clearly presented.
In these other parts of WP, rainbow body is presented as being the same as *one* aspect of Buddhahood, sambhogakaya. In these same places, however, two other aspects of buddhahood, nirmanakaya and dharmakaya are presented as being a cause of sambhogakaya (the former) and the result of it (the latter).
This presentation is very different from that in other schools of Tibetan Buddhism and I wonder if it too is accurate. It is hard to tell without details. In the other schools, as I understand it, the three aspects of buddhahood do not cause each other and this presentation is based on Abhisamayalankara, one of the key texts in Tibetan Buddhism.
Seeing as all this is getting controversial and murky at the least, we come again to the issue of, do we want to go into stuff like this in the main (introductory) article on Tibetan Buddhism? We can't just briefly present one view without explaining that there is another. We had this same problem with the Bon stuff last year, which turned into a huge red herring in us collaborating on this article.
That brings us to yet another problem with this: rainbow body is a specific practice in Dzogchen, which is a specifically Nyingma practice. Why are we starting to mention specific practices in this article and moreover, why this particular one?
So we still have the problem that you and I have clear sources for rainbow body only being a means for getting buddhahood but no clear ones for anything else. On top of that we have the question, why do we need to mention rainbow body at all in this particular article? Moonsell (talk) 09:55, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
You are misinterpreting the books. The book Lady of the Lotus-Born says "The rainbow body, synonymous with the diamond body, is the name given to the attainment of Buddhahood". VictoriaGraysonTalk 12:19, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
How am I misinterpreting books? Moonsell (talk) 03:40, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The book Lady of the Lotus-Born says "The rainbow body, synonymous with the diamond body, is the name given to the attainment of Buddhahood".VictoriaGraysonTalk 04:07, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
This discussion started about the mention of vajrayana in the introduction and the mention of rainbow body there. I steered it onto whether rainbow body was the same as buddhahood. I knew of a source that said it wasn't.
You don't have to shout. I can see that this last source clearly supports that. You've also shown others that are ambiguous and one that agrees with my source.
Are you shouting because you want it all to be simple and black and white? It's not. Different books don't agree with each other.
Initially I didn't understand that there was this difference of opinion. It's been interesting to see that now and I thank you for that, but it means WP shouldn't be black and white on this. Moonsell (talk) 04:56, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The books themselves agree. Its only your view that they disagree.VictoriaGraysonTalk 05:11, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I guess we won't get agreement on that. But back to the more important point: Why do you feel the need to mention rainbow body at all in this article? Moonsell (talk) 06:39, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Is it anything more than curious jargon? Moonsell (talk) 06:38, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I asked why we need to keep this term in the article. Does anyone still think we do? Moonsell (talk) 21:49, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

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RfC on use of the word "redeath" in the article and lede for Four Noble Truths[edit]

I'm posting this here in the hope of getting more eyes on this question regarding the best exposition of the four noble truths, a central teaching in modern Buddhism.

Is the word redeath (sanskrit punarmrtyu) commonly used in Buddhist texts and teachings, and is it an appropriate word to use in the Four Noble Truths article, and in the statement of Buddha's Four Noble Truths in its lede?

Comments welcome. Please respond on the talk page for the article here: RfC on use of the word "redeath" in the article and lede for Four Noble Truths


Robert Walker (talk) 09:16, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Lede, Tibetan Buddhism in the contemporary world[edit]

Hi, Montana. You've reverted me a second time this week. Last time you've written:

"Quit removing sourced material and please take proposed changes to talk, do not edit-war."

Please can you tell me which bit is the problem and I'll try to fix it.

Moonsell (talk) 21:24, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Most of it. Anything you removed that was sourced. Any changes to the lead. Anything you added that was inadequately sourced. Start by not changing anything in the lead and anything in the body text that is sourced. Only add material with properly formatted, reliable, verifiable sources. Then anything you wish to change, propose it here. Montanabw(talk) 01:18, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Please take the time to say exactly which bits you are concerned about and why. That will make your editing helpful to the rest of us.

Moonsell (talk) 06:59, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

OK. It's Victoria's rainbow body sentence. I reckon it's just jargon. I asked if she still insisted on it and she let the discussion drop six months ago. Now you're telling us it's hands off.

To be honest, the first time I cut it out I thought she had let go of it. The second time, I just forgot it was even there.

I think your threats are over the top. I know your thing is horses, not religion, but have some shame about trashing things you don't understand.

As to your fetish for sourcing as a pretext for acting like a vandal, here's an example of a contribution (by you) with no sources: It's not controversial, so there's nothing to challenge in it, so it doesn't need sources.

This is the WP guideline on it: "The policy on sourcing is Wikipedia:Verifiability, which requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations..."

If you can't understand an article, how can you challenge anything in it? You've challenged nothing in this article but in the year and a half since Victoria brought you to it, all your contributions have been reverts. You've given not a word about the meaning of anything you've trashed.

Destructive editing is not quite the same as vandalism. Vandals don't know how to work the system. They show us how open the system is; destructive editors show us how trusting it is. But the line can get blurry.

I'm going to keep editing. I'll try to work around that sore sentence but if you're going to take an interest in them you're going to need to show us how much responsibility you take for the edits you make.

Moonsell (talk) 20:24, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Actually, no, the policy is that any information may be challenged and removed, and the WP:BURDEN is generally on the person changing sourced material or trying to make the dramatic change. You have no grounds to question what my knowledge is or is not; I may understand more than you know and choose to let others do the heavy lifting. There is a huge difference between an amusing aside about rural life and discussion of a major world religion. WP:V and WP:RS is policy. If you want to change material on an article like this one, which is on a major world religion, you need verifiable, unimpeachable sources. It also helps if you write well. Seriously, if bovine bingo is the best you can do, you've pretty much proven my point. Now, I suggest that you try for one set of changes at a time and offer your rationale for those changes here, with citations. (Also, don't remove infoboxes and navboxes, that's just poor editing) Montanabw(talk) 02:01, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 04:53, 20 May 2016 (UTC)


You've reverted this twice this week, Montana. Do you have a problem with it?

Moonsell (talk) 21:25, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

See above section. Montanabw(talk) 01:18, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

shortening the article[edit]

There has been much talk over years about how long this article is. The agreed solution has been to move subsections into their own articles and consolidate bits that ramble but the stumbling block has been to find people with the time to do it. I made a start on this some time ago with the History of Tibetan Buddhism section and it has been successful.

I have time now to create new articles from the Monasticism and Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia and China sections and maybe others people would like to suggest, using the material here. I am ready too to consolidate the geographical info in the lede and the Tibetan Buddhism in the Contemporary World section.

Are there any issues with this and would anyone like to help with the work?

Moonsell (talk) 11:22, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

I've made the changes to the lede and the Tibetan Buddhism in the Contemporary World section, so everyone can see what I have in mind there. If there are any problems with it please spell them out in a way we can understand. Any constructive suggestions are welcome. Moonsell (talk) 11:33, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

I'd also like to move the Spread to the Mongols section to the article, History of Tibetan Buddhism. Moonsell (talk) 19:58, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

I disagree that the article is too long. ( I wrote an article about a racehorse that's longer than this one!) What it is is disorganized and poorly sourced. I think it's a good idea to create new, additional articles as needed, but I think that too much was chopped here and I'm tempted to revert. The better approach is to create the spinoffs first, and then use the good sourcing that we hope is used there to update the summary sections here with better phrasing and better sourcing. On this article, my suggestion is to arrange the existing material in a more logical and understandable fashion and then rewrite each section carefully and thoughtfully. Montanabw(talk) 05:53, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Thanks to Montana for her thoughts. In consideration of them I've made the following changes:

• moved the section, "Spread to the Mongols" to the article, History of Tibetan Buddhism along the lines she proposed;

• changed the section's title; (The subsection's original title was, "Spread to the Mongols and China". Presumably someone changed it for reasons of 20th century cultural sensitivities. I've changed it to "Spread to the mongols and central asia" (after Berzin,, which is more accurate.)

• created a new article, Tibetan Monasticism, moved the "Monasticism" subsection there and put a "see also" to it under "General methods of practice";

• reordered sentences in the lede for better coherence;

• deleted the redundant "Origins" section;

• moved "Native Tibetan developments" to later in the article for coherence and updated it a bit;

• tidied "External links" up a bit and removed the item, "Tibetan Buddhism: History and the Four Traditions" (already cited in the article, History of Tibetan Buddhism.

Does anyone else have any thoughts apart from the past consensus on this matter?

Moonsell (talk) 02:09, 28 July 2016 (UTC)