Readers from the Himalayas Share their Favorite 84000 Features
Earlier this year, we shared some Reading Room Tips with our social media followers to make it easier for everyone to familiarize themselves with all the interactive features that come with opening an 84000 translation.
Building on our aspiration to revitalize interest in the foundations of the Buddhadharma, we took to the road (virtually, of course) to ask some of our friends from across the Himalayas which their favorite 84000 Reading Room features are, and why.
Read on to hear from Tulku Ngawang from Sikkim, Namgyal from Spiti, Thangtong Tulku from Bhutan, and Sonam Yangzom in Nepal.
Name: Tulku Ngawang
Location: Sikkim, India
For me, all the blue hyperlinks throughout the text – the glossary feature – is my favorite feature in the 84000 Reading Room. It helps me, and all the new age people like me who enjoy reading English, to learn more about the definitions of certain words, and to deepen my understanding of Tibetan and Sanskrit source words, and what they meant in the Buddha’s day.
I also really like the milestones feature, because – especially when I don’t have too much time – it allows me to save my favorite verses in as bookmarks, so that I can read it again whenever I want.
Location: Spiti, India
To be honest, all the features are so cool, but personally, living in a place like Spiti where you hardly get any internet, let alone reception, being able to download the translated sūtras so you can read them later on, when you feel like, is definitely a feature that I find useful!
Downloading sūtras allows me to read the sūtra whereever I am, hence it’s like always having the teachings accessible. There are definitely times when you are doubtful or confused about certain parts of teachings, so being assured that you have the file downloaded and available readily, especially if you don’t always have access to internet, is super convenient.
Name: Thangtong Tulku
Location: Thimphu, Bhutan
I have two favorite features from 84000’s Reading Room:
1. The Reading Room filters: It helps lazy people like me – who do not read the full Kangyur – to choose a specific section or a text based on my mood and what I need.
2. The bilingual feature: It helps people like me who studied in Tibetan to understand equivalent English words and so I understand the text better – in both English and Tibetan.
Name: Sonam Yangzom
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Currently, I am pursuing my BA in Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, in Kathmandu, in hopes of becoming a scholar-practitioner. As a Tibetan, I’m happy to have the opportunity to connect with my spiritual heritage in this way. However, we have very few Himalayan students here, and I am one of the few local students in my classes. So, I wish to see more of us studying and engaging with the Buddha’s words, so that we can help preserve it for future generations.
The Online Reading Room is so easy to access – whether by mobile, tablet, or PC. I really like that the overall organization of each sutra is so intuitive, so it is easy to click through different parts like the introduction, summary, and translation, which is very helpful. Also, I personally find the source texts and words helpful – it’s cool that I can click a button and the Tibetan ‘pecha’ or the glossary definition pops right up.
Having access to sūtras is important to me because when I first fell in love with this beautiful being called Siddhartha, I wanted to thank all of the scholars who were able to preserve his precious teachings and ‘lotsawas’ who made them accessible for us. I’m glad that the Reading Room includes information about the translators in the acknowledgements section; it reminds me to thank them and rejoice for their dedicated efforts. I also hope to be a small part of this process of preservation for the future Buddhists-to-be, after finishing my studies at RYI.
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Posted: 30 Mar 2021