Tonpa Shenrap Miwoche
Tonpa Shenrap (the Supreme Teacher), also known as Shenrap Miwo, is the founder of the Bon tradition. Calm in appearance, he is adorned with the 13 ornaments of a peaceful deity. His right hand is extended across his knee and holds the yungdrung (yung – unchanging, drung – unceasing), which represents the eternal truth. His left hand is placed in his lap with the palm upturned in the gesture of meditation. He sits in meditation posture upon sun and moon disks, on a lotus throne.
According to Bon history, Tonpa Shenrap was born approximately 18,000 years ago into a royal family in the ancient kingdom of Tazik, to the west of Tibet. After he became king, he spread the teachings of Bon by traveling throughout the land and performing various rituals. On one occasion while traveling, his horses were stolen by the Prince of Demons. In the process of retrieving the horses he entered the kingdom of Zhang Zhung in western Tibet. There, Tönpa Shenrap disseminated the first Bon teachings in that region. His many wives and children also played significant roles in the history of Bon. The written biography for Tonpa Shenrap comprises 15 large volumes.