Friday, 20 March 2009

Bhutan : Kangyur to be translated into English

Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigme Y Thinley on March 17 extended his appreciation to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche for the translation project as relevant to the youth and people of Bhutan who have come through the modern education system.

Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference is being hosted by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and the Khyentse Foundation at Deer Park Institute in India. It brings together the leading Tibetan-English translators, scholars and lamas to translate the entire Buddhist canon including 108 volume of Kangyur – the Buddha’s direct teachings, into English.

Translating those teachings from Sanskrit to Tibetan 1,000 years ago took nearly 100 years under Tibetan royal patronage. The gathering also intends to generate collaboration among translators required to realise this vision in the west.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said, “My main reason for convening this conference is that I believe it’s entirely possible that the survival of the Buddha dharma could depend on it being translated into other languages. I also believe that by translating and making available the Tibetan Buddhist texts to modern people, a vast swathe of Buddhist civilization and culture may be saved from global annihilation.”

In his keynote address at the conference, Rinpoche said that translating the Kangyur was a massive and extremely daunting task, and while it was not the sole purpose of the conference, it could not be ignored.

He also said that there were other equally daunting tasks. For example, revising and updating existing translations into current, everyday language. “It’s an unnerving prospect, I know, but the sacred texts must always be available in a form the present generation can understand,” Rinpoche said. The conference is held in the Indian village of Bir.

The 50 translators attending the historic Translators Conference led by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in Bir this week will meet with the Dalai Lama tomorrow in Dharamsala. They will brief His Holiness about the progress of the conference which discussed translating the 108 volume Kangyur into English to ensure the future of Buddhist culture and Buddha’s direct teachings for centuries to come.


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