Press Release: 84000 Launches the words of the Buddha, for iOS and Android
New Mobile App First to Offer Ability to Scroll Buddhist Scriptures in English
October 27, 2021, New York City —
84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha (84000.co), a global nonprofit initiative to translate and make freely available the 231,000 pages of the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, announces the launch of its much anticipated mobile app for iOS and Android.
This marks the first app to market that presents a dynamic collection of teachings on the mind, straight from the source, for English-language users. Founding Chair, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche speaks to Wisdom CEO, Daniel Aitken, on the future of Buddhism and how it intersects with technology.
The 84000 app offers users resilience: it includes narratives, dialogues, stories and more that expound upon the nature of reality and offers solutions that develop the mind’s capacity for equanimity. It allows users to share their inspirations by easily selecting passages from sūtras and sending real Buddha quotes to friends; and it supports offline practice and study allowing those working towards a digital detox, fully functional interactive tools without the noise.
Ven. Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, humanitarian, and author, who has sometimes (to his own embarrassment) been called the “happiest man in the world,” says: “The whole teaching of the Buddha can be more present in every moment of my life, so I’m immensely grateful to the team at 84000 for all their work, and for making this app available in particular.”
Almost one in ten people around the world live with depression, a rate that has been exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and mindfulness—a traditionally Buddhist technique often developed through meditation—has consistently been found to be associated with lower rates of anxiety and depression. The growing interest in mindfulness as a secular practice across the US is an encouraging trend, and 84000’s free provision of the Buddhist scriptures allows practitioners to engage more deeply, connecting them with the texts from which these techniques originated, and reduces the need to fact-check sources, thereby meeting the private needs of people in the midst of very busy lives.
84000’s most recent translation of the sūtra known as the The Stem Array (Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra) is also now published and is exclusively available on the free 84000 app until October 30th when Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche will offer a public teaching on this sūtra. It will then be published in 84000’s online Reading Room.
This text, which tells the beautiful story of the young layman Sudhana’s quest for awakening through encounters with a variety of spiritual teachers, forms the forty-fifth and final chapter of the Buddhāvataṃsaka (A Multitude of Buddhas) Sūtra. This “chapter” is perhaps most widely recognized as the inspiration for one of the greatest Buddhist monuments ever built: Borobudur in Indonesia. Over 500 of its carved panels illustrate this sūtra.
84000’s interactive Reading Room, visited by people worldwide over 40,000 times a month, and with over 35,000 downloads annually, is a leading resource for accurate and nuanced translations of the words of the Buddha used by scholars of Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Buddhist teachers of the living tradition, and practitioners. The new app now makes this collection of respected translations more easily available to everyone.
“In ancient times, such texts were extraordinarily difficult to access. We need only recall Vairotsana’s and Xuanzang’s arduous trips to India to realize that the search for the true Dharma could even be life-threatening. Yet until recently, the best formats one could get for translations of the Buddhist sūtras–a collection akin in both spiritual and historical importance to the Bible–were books of single translations, or PDFs,” explains Huang Jing Rui, 84000’s executive director. “But even navigating to specific chapters or verses was near-impossible. Leveraging technology, our online Reading Room creates all sorts of interesting ways for people to explore the sūtras, from interactive glossary features to e-Kangyur integrations, and our mobile app–developed pro bono by XMind–now builds upon that technology to make it even easier for the entire world, from its most far-flung corners, to access the Buddha’s words with the click of a finger.”
THE APP INCLUDES
- A dynamic collection of Buddhist sūtras encompassing teachings on everything from meditation techniques to epic and inspirational journeys and narratives; from profound presentations of philosophical logic to short stories illustrating the workings of karma.
- Access to sūtra-specific introductions that articulate its key concepts, its narrative frameworks, and its socio-historical context.
- Interactive reading tools such as pop-up definitions of key terms like “samsara” or “non-duality” in a comprehensive trilingual glossary.
- Search function that allow you to look for characters, places, or philosophical concepts such as ‘Mañjuśrī’, ‘Vārāṇasī’ or ‘Bodhicitta’.
- Ability to read bilingually or to compare translations with source Tibetan e-Kangyur folios integrated throughout the publications.
- Ability to bookmark favorite verses and to share them on various social media platforms.
- Over time, 84000 will continue to add features to the app.
Download the app from 84000’s website
Stay connected and join the 84000 community
84000 is a global nonprofit initiative to translate all 231,000 pages of the Buddha’s words from the Tibetan Buddhist Canon and make them available in English, for free, often for the first time ever.
As a grants-based translation project and online publication house, we leverage and integrate new technologies to make our digital library of the Buddha’s wisdom as accessible and beneficial as possible to readers, practitioners, and scholars around the world. Our work relies upon the dedicated and collaborative effort of scholars, professionals, volunteers, advisors, and sponsors around the world, working remotely and online, across continents. Together we translate for preservation and engage through open access for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Posted: 27 Oct 2021