Khyentse Foundation Supports Dharma Drum Buddhist College to Translate Sutras
Having accumulated Buddhist talent for tens of years, the wish of people studying Buddhism to jointly translate the Tibetan Buddhist sutras has finally came true! At two o’clock on the afternoon of 6 March 2014, Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC) and the Khyentse Foundation signed a memorandum of agreement for translating Tibetan Buddhist Sutras into Chinese and cultivating the talent of Tibetan-Chinese translation. The translation of Tibetan Sutras that required great effort to achieve is ready to commence. As the representatives Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Venerable Hui Min, signed the agreement, Kris Yao, Tsai Po-Lang and approximately 300 honored guests from education and Buddhist organizations joyfully witnessed this important moment in the start of this big project.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche expressed it is a pleasing moment that even though in such an era of materialism, the compassion and wisdom of Buddha still pervaded the world. Rinpoche stated that having pondered the Buddhist educational landscape for many years, he considered Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) as one of the most important organizations propagating Mahayana Buddhism across the Chinese-speaking community. He decided to work together with DDM to undertake the mission of sutras-translation, and believes followers will uphold it joyfully.
The president of DDBC, Venerable Hui Min, noted the good affinities as between Kris Yao and Jenifer Yo and how best to work through the project. He also added that the resources of DDBC for translation include a language center comprising of the groups of Hindi, Chinese, Tibetan, and the modern Information Technology Section for Buddhist Studies. He noted that like the founder of DDM, the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche focuses on culture and education. Venerable Hui Min believes that DDBC and Khyentse Foundation will have more opportunities of cooperation in the future.
Sonam Wanggyal, who obtained a Ph.D. in Japanese religion with a Tibetan background, was invited to host the ceremony. He said that from the Yuan Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, Tibetan Buddhism sutras had been translated into Mongolian and Manchu alphabets four times. It was an important milestone for the translation project from Tibetan into Chinese that the translation was completed in higher education institutions. He noted that many people think it is not necessary to translate Tibetan Buddhism sutras into Chinese because exoteric and esoteric schools are greatly different. However, ancient Tibetan translators communicated with their Indian counterparts until the last phase of Buddhism in India. Apart from esoteric scriptures, there are still thousands of sutras worth translating within Tibetan Buddhism sutras that Chinese Buddhism sutras and treaties lack.
The project also aims to cultivate the outstanding talent of the Tibetan-Chinese translators and to attract young students who have ambitions to undertake a career of Tibetan-Chinese sutras translation to join. DDBC plans to perform the sutra-translation project of a sufficient quality so that Sanskrit Buddhism scriptures can be compared with Chinese and Tibetan version in the future. DDBC will provide the corresponding curricula and framework to welcome scholars to continue the great vows and spirit of the great Venerable Master Xuan Zang and translators of all the past dynasties to join such a rare and extraordinary sutra-translation project.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)