Professor Mark Blum has been awarded the 2015 Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation. Professor Blum holds the Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, at the University of California, Berkeley. He translated Volume I of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra from Dharmaksema’s 5th-century Chinese version. This is the first translation into English of this important sutra, an exposition of Buddha nature (tathagatagarbha).
Professor Peter Skilling noted the tremendous significance of this sutra, saying, “The Nirvana sutra is encyclopedic, drawing on traditional sutras, narratives of the life of the Buddha, jatakas, and avadanas, to weave complex metaphysical dialogs on key questions that Indian Buddhists faced as they moved inexorably towards new frontiers of thought. The Buddha, great monks like Sariputra, bodhisattvas like Manjushri, and the bodhisattva Kasyapa engage in spirited discussions using similes and debate to explore the dynamics of liberation.”
Khyentse Foundation applauds Professor Blum’s great service to the dissemination of the Dharma by making this lively and expressive translation available. We look forward to his translation of the remaining three volumes of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra.
On behalf of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Khyentse Foundation, and all the patrons of KF, Wyatt Arnold, Cangioli Che, and Sydney Jay presented the prize to Professor Blum in August, 2015 at UC Berkeley.
The Khyentse Prize for Outstanding Translation honors translators and encourages excellence in translations that make the Buddhist heritage universally accessible. Translations from all Buddhist traditions and all Buddhist source languages, including Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese, are eligible.