Survival of the Buddhadharma depends on vision, courage, determination and strength of the dharma upholders.
We have witnessed in history that there is always an individual and usually an unsung person who would serve and protect the dharma. If we all look back to what he has achieved and done, E. Gene Smith is no doubt such a person. I have always said that Gene Smith has done much more for the dharma, and has achieved much more selflessly than many tulkus and lamas of the present time. I think that time will tell that my remarks are not an exaggeration.
His insistence on joining the last BLHP (Buddhist Literary Heritage Project) meeting even at his frail age and condition alone should be worthy to take as an example, of how dedicated he is to serve Shakyamuni.
The loss of Gene Smith is such a loss for the dharma in general. It is also a loss for me personally, as he has been ever encouraging to me and to all of my activities, such as Khyentse Foundation.
Let us remember him by up-keeping his work and vision.
I also pray that the wishes of Khabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Deshung Rinpoche who are the main gurus of the late Gene Smith be fulfilled in years to come.
From Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, in retreat at Pharping, Nepal, December 19, 2010.
The Four Pillars of TBRC
Gene envisioned four main activities for TBRC: to seek out, preserve, organize, and disseminate Buddhist writings that might otherwise be lost.
The Tibetan literary culture is vast and much is yet to be discovered. Gene wanted TBRC to seek out rare or hidden manuscripts and incorporate them into his larger holdings, and also to support the efforts of others. His efforts produced considerable acquisitions, far beyond the core collection that he amassed earlier. At TBRC we are continuing a series of programs to carry on his lifelong commitment to locate Tibetan texts.
The heart of TBRC is digital capture. Every text that TBRC acquires is scanned and incorporated into the digital library. These assets are copied in multiple locations around the globe so they will never be lost.
As technology evolved, Gene envisioned incorporating electronic texts into the library so that readers could search the texts themselves. He recognized the awesome potential of a fully searchable library, and TBRC is committed to using technology to fulfill his wishes.
A library of this size and extent requires organizational methods that go far beyond traditional library cataloging. Gene envisioned this system, and in the last 10 years, worked extensively with a dedicated team of technologists to create a detailed, highly interlinked database and search engine. This is an area of ongoing work for TBRC. Scholars at TBRC continue to enter data, as Gene prescribed, and this data is indexed and searched. As more and more data is entered, TBRC continues to expand and improve the underlying layers of software.
TBRC is open to all. Over the next several years, the database will be installed and used at every monastery, shedra, monastic college, university, and institution that can use it. Gene always envisioned such a world, where the treasures of Tibetan civilization would be available to all.