PARTNERSHIP GOLD: Missing Sutras Slated for Translation
 
 
"Information is one of the most valuable wealths we have. And that information has to be understandable. Translation isn't sexy business, but it is so important." 

-- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche 
 
 
 
RINPOCHE SPEAKING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSLATION
 
"I had tears in my eyes when Rinpoche gave his speech at the KF/DDBC partnership launch, since I now know that we will have one of the most comprehensive collections of Buddha's words in human history. May we have enough merit in our future lives to follow Rinpoche and to continue to translate Buddha's words into different languages for the benefit of all."  
-- Judy Cole, Seattle


The current agreement between DDBC and KF is for one year. The project will probably take more than six years to complete. Please join us in providing resources for continued partnership with DDBC and other important translation intiatives. May our collective merit ensure that current and future generations have access to the authentic Buddhadharma.

Photos by Pawo Choyning Dorji

DDBC & KF Commit To Closing the Gaps in the Chinese Buddhist Canon

As students and practitioners of Buddhism, we all rely on translators. The texts that we read and that our teachers read, the commentaries on those texts, and our daily practices are available to us thanks to the diligence and wisdom of great translators, going all the way back to the early masters such as Kumarajiva, Vairotsana, Yeshe De, and Marpa Lotsawa. On behalf of its donors, Khyentse Foundation recently made a major investment with the vision of unfettered access to the complete words of the Buddha.

History
The three major collections of the original sacred Buddhist texts are the Pali Canon (or Tripitaka); the Chinese Buddhist Canon (or Chinese Tripitaka); and the Tibetan Kangyur and Tengyur. The first documented translation of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese occurred in 148 CE with the arrival of the Parthian (or possibly Sogdian) prince-turned-monk An Shigao, and translation efforts continued intensively for the next 500 years thanks to translators such as Lokakshema, Kumarajiva, Dharmakshema, Paramartha, and Bodhiruci. In the 7th century, the great Xuanzang traveled all over India, studying with many masters, including a long period at Nalanda University. He brought numerous Sanskrit texts back to China, which he translated into Chinese.

The classical Tibetan translations followed during the unparalleled state-sponsored cultural transfer of the Buddhist teachings into Tibet from the 8th century onward. These translations included a huge range of texts available in Sanskrit by the end of the 12th century, when the great Buddhist universities, their libraries of precious texts, and Buddhism itself in India underwent rapid decline and destruction.

Scholars agree that for centuries the Tibetan and Chinese canons have both been missing important pieces. Neither is a complete record of the vast literature that once existed in Sanskrit, but each contains some of the works missing in the other.

KF Looks Ahead
On March 6, 2014, Khyentse Foundation and Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan, held an official signing ceremony to mark the beginning of their partnership to help close this gap. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche signed on behalf of Khyentse Foundation and Venerable Hui Min, president of DDBC, on behalf of the college. Each organization is committed to raising 50% of the funds needed for the first-year pilot project to translate Tibetan texts into Chinese and to train translators at the Dharma Drum Taipei center.


Professor Sonam Wangyal, a Tibetan scholar and the director of the DDBC project, explained that the complete Tibetan Buddhist canon has been translated into Mongolian and Manchurian four separate times in the past. He said that establishing a Chinese translation project of Tibetan Buddhist texts in a modern academic institute is a milestone in Buddhist history.

Professor Sonam will personally translate the 
Mahayanasutralankaravrttibhasya, Sthiramati’s great commentary on Asanga-Maitreya’s Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras. This text has 625 folios, and he plans to translate and edit about 120 folios in the first year.

Also, in the next two years, the organizers will contract several experienced translators and translation teams to translate the sutras and shastras of the Prajnaparamita; the shastras of the Cittamatra section of the Kangyur; and Atisha's Mahayana shastras.

After the signing ceremony, several senior translators in Taiwan expressed keen interest in collaborating with DDBC and KF.

"We should have done this 40 or 50 years ago," said Rinpoche. "But I feel sure now that in partnership with such an established institute as Dharma Drum, we will be able to complete this vast project." In addition to the DDBC project, KF's sister organization, 84000, is focusing on translating the Kangyur into English. KF is also supporting the programs of the University of Vienna and Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Dharma translation and translator training.

Rinpoche expressed his wish that once these and other texts have been translated, KF can help to make them available free of charge to everyone who wishes to use them for study and practice.  

 
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Partnership with DDBC Announcement
 
 

PDF: Rinpoche's DDBC Launch Address
 
 

Great Patrons of Buddhism XII:
Emperor Wu of Lian


KHYENTSE FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 156648, San Francisco, CA 94115
415-788-8048


Khyentse Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in
2001 to build a system of patronage to support all traditions of Buddhist study and practice.


 
Address postal inquiries to:
Khyentse Foundation
San Francisco, CA 94115