A very Happy New Year and Losar to you!
In this New Year, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support of 84000, which has enabled us to move closer toward our vision of translating and making the words of the Buddha available to everyone. I am pleased to share an update on how far we have moved along.
You may be pleased to know that this year we have commissioned 19 new texts, including some very interesting ones such as:
• Aṅgulimāla Sūtra
• Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra
• Gaṇḍhavyūha Sūtra (Chapter 45 of the Avatamsaka Sūtra)
With your support, we have been able to work on a total of 192 texts or 22,556 pages of translation, which is more than 32% of the Kangyur. Among these works, 57 texts have been completed, and 19 texts are now accessible in our online reading room. To view a complete listing of all the texts that are in translation, please visit 84000.co/wip.
New Reading Room – Easier Access to Translations
With the texts being translated into English, it is important to develop the necessary technology to enable easy access to the texts. Last year, we made a leap forward when we launched the newly designed Reading Room, which is more informative and user-friendly, and is accessible on both computers and mobile devices. Guides to the history and contents of each section of the Kangyur are also available. We invite you to visit the new Reading Room at read.84000.co.
We are now in the midst of developing a new Reading Room Text Reader – the online platform where the actual translation is being displayed. The new Text Reader will present the translations in a professional and easy-to-read format, with improved navigation and quick access to the contents, glossaries and notes. An important change – which, while not so visible to the ordinary reader, will be very helpful to translators and researchers – is that the translations will be marked up in TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) format, which allows all kinds of linguistic, lexical, and structural data to be embedded in each text, and will enable us to make cross-comparisons with the Buddhist canon in other languages in the future. The new Text Reader will be launched this year.
Our Widening Reach
More and more people have been accessing the Buddha’s words via our efforts. The reading room has been visited by about 200,000 visitors from 158 countries/regions, with a total of 6.7 million views and nearly 160,000 text downloads. We rejoice in knowing that hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have successfully been able to access our translated sutras.
Resounding Across the Globe
To encourage people to read the words of the Buddha, every year we have been conducting sutra resoundings using our published translations. On December 5, 2015, we organized the first online sutra resounding together with volunteers from Siddhartha’s Intent. Over 800 people from 32 cities and countries connected online to recite the words of the Buddha together. From 1am in Halifax to 1pm in Singapore, and nearly all time zones in between, the resounding truly had a global reach. Gatherings ranged from small to large, meeting in apartments, homes, seminar rooms, and monasteries.
As Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, the 84000 Chair, said at the resounding:
“It is difficult to convince people, in this day and age, how material growth is not a sound and ultimate answer to all our endless failure[s], uncertainty, anxiety, which in turn leads to global destruction, terrorism, international conflict, domestic conflicts, and above all, conflict within oneself.
…the way to peace and harmony – and not just peace and harmony, but even seemingly mundane good life, management, leadership, raising children, building good communication and also a sound and healthy and non-harming growth, even on [the] material level — really depends so much on how much we utilize inner strength. Inner strength that no one can really, sort of, empower upon you, that we cannot download from somewhere… that we can only recognize this inner strength that we have it, inherently. And by doing so — generating, nurturing it, generating it, strengthening it and putting [it] into action — this is the only way that we can save ourselves, so to speak, and, in turn, save the rest of the world.
And there are definitely many different ways. But many of us, we come to the conclusion that only through the Words of the Buddha, only through the guidance of Shakyamuni Buddha, specifically known as the Prince Siddhartha or Gautama, only his teachings and the way for generations for centuries, have provided peace and harmony.”
Translating the words of the Buddha is a mammoth task, and it can only be accomplished through collective effort and dedication. On this note, I would like to offer you our thanks for partnering with us on this noble mission. Please continue to journey along with us as we work diligently to translate and share the words of the Buddha.
May the words of the Buddha continue to resound in different languages in the world, now and in the future.
Yours in the Dharma,
Huang Jing Rui