84000’s Guiding Principles

84000’s approach to the fulfillment of its vision is guided by the following core values and principles:

1. We are a Project of Offering and Volunteerism

At its core, 84000 is a project of offering and service. We actively encourage people to volunteer their in-kind services in the spirit of offering. In return, we acknowledge our volunteers both privately and publicly, and we strive to create an effective system for volunteer development.

84000 takes measures to maintain a modest financial approach to all levels of its operations. While expenses are inevitable, where possible any offering based on one’s financial circumstances would be both meritorious and appreciated.

We remind those involved with us that at 84000 work is contributed out of a genuine wish to benefit the world and, is often motivated through devotion to the Dharma.

2. We are Committed to Translation Accuracy and Readability

As a project that strives to translate the entire Tibetan Buddhist Canon for the general educated reader, maintaining the quality and readability of translation is a non-negotiable.

While we strive to maintain the highest academic standards in our research, methodology, and accuracy, we also try to make the language of our English publications accessible to the educated general reader. And where possible, translators are encouraged to fulfil requirements in keeping with Buddhist traditions, such as receiving empowerments and transmissions.

We believe these to be important aspects in ensuring the continuation of a 2500-year living tradition.

3. We Nurture and Support Contemporary Translators

We appreciate every single application that is submitted by translation teams around the world. Though successful applications will be supported by an award of grant and nurtured by our editorial team, 84000 is also committed to encouraging and empowering  interested and promising translators.

4. We Place Equal Value on our Three Key Stakeholder Groups

The Tibetan Buddhist Canon is a crucial collection for both the preservation of a living tradition, and for the continued academic study of Buddhism. We equally value and balance the perspectives of three key stakeholder groups: the Indo-Himalayan Dharma teachers; the international scholarly community; and the practitioners and devotees of the Buddhadharma.

In order to ensure the integrity of the project, we make every effort to maximize the strengths of each group, seeking out complementary modes of partnership with the aim to produce excellent translations for our target readership.

5. We Recognize that Accomplishing our Vision will Require Perpetual Effort

While we seek to translate and make freely available the Tibetan Buddhist Canon within one hundred years, we consider 84000 to be a project that will continue indefinitely.

By acknowledging that both language and understanding are continually evolving, we appreciate that our translations will need to be amended, improved, and edited as time goes by. In preserving the words of the Buddha to facilitate scholarship and the practice of Buddhism by all future generations, there is no “rubber stamp” and no finishing line.

Related Reading:

84000’s Position Paper on AI and the Machine Translation of Canonical Literature (2023)