Author Archives: Dr. Yar, D.D., M.A., Ph.D.

Manichaeism in Tibet

The following are excerpts from a recent lecture presented in Beijing, China (part 1)

Manichaeism has existed in Tibet since around 260 C.E. Adherents of the Religion of Light in Tibet strictly maintained Manichaean religious ideals all the while within a Buddhist context.

Over the years, Manichaeism began to appear, at least on the surface, like Vajrayana, Mahayana and Pure Land Buddhism throughout Tibet and China. The Religion of Light has had a profound effect on each of these Buddhist schools. At one time almost all of Tibet was practicing Manichaeism.
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Did Monijiao (Manichaeism) disappear in China?

…Manichaeism originated in Babylon and was expressed in Syriac and Persian terms. The religion quickly spread to other lands such as India, China, Tibet and even into the Western hemisphere. In the West adherents were severely persecuted and murdered.

In China, Monijiao accepted both the general Buddhist scriptures alongside those of Daoists. Monijiao accepted Amitabha Buddha (Amida), Ksitigarbha, Laotzu, and Manjusri as divine messengers as well as the majority of other Bodhisattvas. In the Monijiao tradition, Mani (Moni) is viewed as an emanation of Laotzu.

… During and after the 14th century in southern China, adherents of Monijiao became more involved with the Pure Land Mahayana schools of Buddhism.

Read excerpts from a lecture presented in Beijing on September 16, 2012 concerning Monijiao (Manichaeism) in China.

Biased Authors and Worthless Translations

It has been evidenced time and again that Christian and Muslim accounts of the Prophet Mar Mani and the Manichaean Religion can’t always be trusted for completely accurate information regarding the ancient Religion of Light.

It’s always best to go to the source when researching or documenting a religious group due to the obvious biases that exist in the writing of authors who are outright opposed to the group you’re studying. Unfortunately, for some of the more ancient religions that were heavily persecuted by both Christians and Muslims, their original texts are very difficult to locate and often times near impossible. Translations of such texts are usually made by those who persecuted the group in which the text belong, making the translation biased and unfortunately at times even worthless.
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