The Story of a Monk and a Missing Text

Earlier this year, a monk at Chökyi Lodrö College of Dialectics in Chauntra, India was searching for the ten-volume Collected Works of Rongton Sheja Kunrig (1367-1449), the founder of Nalendra Monastery in Tibet.

The monk logged on to the web site of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) and located the volumes in their online catalog. Like all the texts listed in the cata- log, these volumes had been collected by Gene Smith and the TBRC staff. The original woodblocks were scanned and saved as high resolution PDF files. The monk then contacted David Lunsford of Palri Parkhang (Glorious Mountain Printing House) to see if he could get a printer-ready version of the texts.

Located in Austin, Texas, Palri Parkhang is a small formatting and print-on-demand center that converts TBRC’s massive PDF files into documents that are printer ready. This Austin test facility is a model for a future facility in Bhutan and possibly other parts of Asia. Setting up a print center in Bhutan would not only serve the worldwide Buddhist community, it would also create jobs and provide skills training for a number of Bhutanese.

Upon receiving the monk’s request, David Lunsford burned CDs of the texts and sent them to him in a format that can be printed on standard-sized paper in India. This monk was lucky that his texts were available. Currently only a quarter of the 12,000 volumes in TBRC’s library have been scanned, and so far fewer than 250 volumes are printer friendly. For this reason, Khyentse Foundation is supporting the continuation of TBRCs scanning project and is seeking funding to establish formatting and print- on-demand facilities in Bhutan, India, and Sikkim. Our efforts are currently directed toward securing funding from major foundations.