In the late 1990s, it was determined that only 5% of the Tibetan Buddhist canon had been translated into English or any other modern language. To address the concern that the canon might soon become inaccessible because much of it was written in a form of classical Tibetan that few could read or understand, Khyentse Foundation coordinated a conference of over 50 prominent translators and spiritual leaders. The 2009 conference resulted in a unified mission to translate the approximately 70,000 pages of the Tibetan Kangyur (Buddha’s words) and 162,000 pages of the Tengyur (commentaries on the Buddha’s words) into English and other modern languages within roughly 100 years.
With support from all the main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and countless others, Khyentse Foundation’s initiative quickly took shape and became known as 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. After four years of incubating the project by providing infrastructure, administrative assistance, and funding, 84000 became an independent, global, nonprofit organization in 2013.
With its focus on scholarly research, specialized translation, and open access technology, 84000 continues to make steady progress in realizing its vision. Alongside these tasks are continuous efforts to improve the efficiency and productivity of the translation output process and to promote interest in career translation through partnerships with leading academic institutions. 84000 is becoming a globally recognized resource for source material of the Buddha’s teachings.