KF SUPPORTS TRANSLATORS
Many Languages | All Traditions
One year at a board meeting, we heard Rinpoche say, “I would like to see the words of the Buddha available in every major language in the world.” KF's efforts to make Rinpoche's vision a reality take many forms – translation studies scholarships, grants to individuals to translate specific texts, awards for outstanding translation, cooperative projects with academic institutions.
Our biggest achievment is founding 84000, which is now a completely independant organization. This success intensified the foundation's commitment to translating the words of the Buddha, especially by supporting translators.
- FEATURE: Anne MacDonald, winner of Translation Award
- CHINESE TRANSLATION: Three major initiatives
- APPLICATION DEADLINES: There's still time to apply for the next round of grants and scholarships
- ARTICLE: Khyentse Foundation Translation Scholarships
- FIRST PERSON: Stephanie Suter
- UPDATE: Collaboration with RYI
- FROM THE ARCHIVES: Video - Practitioner Translators John Canti and Wulstan Fletcher
Banner images: The Ashoka Lion; Vairotsana; Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo; Anne MacDonald; Keng Senghui.
*Saṃskṛte dharma etatkathamucyate? means "How do you say Dharma in Sanskrit?" (it's a trick question, because Dharma is a Sanskrit word.) If you can't read Sanskrit, or Pali, or Tibetan, thank a translator for the ready availability of so many Buddhist texts.
WORDS FROM RINPOCHE
"Chandrakirti has no problem if you are searching. Chandrakirti has a problem if you find something."
— Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
KHYENTSE FOUNDATION TRANSLATION STUDIES SCHOLARSHIPS
KF Translation Studies Scholarships support students in advanced degree programs in translation studies and Buddhist philosophy with the express purpose of training Dharma translators for the future. Submissions are accepted between February 1 and March 1, and applicants are notified of the outcome by July 1.
In 2016, the TSS committee awarded 7 new scholarships and 12 continuing scholarships. Recipients attended the University of Vienna; University of California at Santa Barbara; University of California at Berkeley; Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal; Qinghai Nationalities University; University of Munich; Oxford University; University of Wisconsin at Madison; and Deakin University.
OTHER KF TRANSLATION PROJECTS AND GRANTS
These are just a few of the individuals who received grants for translation projects in the past year:
- Gyurmé Avertin, to translate the teachings of Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche and make them available on the all-otr.org website.
- Ahmed Baghat (Getsul Palden Dhondup), to translate Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's "Heart of Compassion" into Arabic.
- Anne Benson and Padmakara, to translate Chökyi Lodrö's biography into French.
- John Rockwell, to create an updated, easy-to-use edition of the "Primer for Classical Literary Tibetan."
- John Wu, to continue translating the works of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo into Chinese.
Above: John Wu with Khenpo Phuntsok Namgyal.
BECOME A PATRON
It is said that the patron and the practitioner ascend to Tushita Heaven together. KF's system of patronage offers a way to double the amount of your contribution through the matching funds program. Every donation you make is matched dollar for dollar by the Patrons of Manjushri, a group of donors who have kept this program thriving for more than 15 years.
To become a monthly donor at any level, go to our website. Even $5 per month is appreciated. Another great way for you to support Khyentse Foundation is to become knowledgeable about our activities — to read the Communiqué and Focus newsletters, ask questions, make connections, keep us in your prayers. The foundation is all of us who believe in Rinpoche's vision.
With our warmest wishes,
The KF Team
Above: The Buddha visiting Tushita Heaven.
VIDEO Practitioner Translators: Wulstan Fletcher and John Canti
"The inspiration behind Padmakara was to produce texts for practitioners, and that’s always been a priority. Although we also try to reach a level that is academically acceptable, which is not that easy. Connecting with the lineage is a really important element, and the texts that we work on have always been taught to us at some point by a lama who holds it, so there’s a transmission there." — John Canti, Padmakara Translation Group, 2016 KF Fellow
Applications for KF Buddhist Studies Scholarships and KF Individual Practice Grants will be accepted from December 15, 2017 to January 15, 2018.
Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Studies Scholarships are grants to support individuals who wish to study the dharma. Individual Practice Grants support individuals who wish to practice dharma on retreat, at public teachings, or in other practice environments. KF accepts applications from teachers, students, practitioners, scholars, and translators, from all traditions, schools, and sects of Buddhism.
KF accepts Ashoka Grant applications twice a year, from January 15 – February 15 and from July 15 – August 15.
SUBMISSIONS INVITED FOR THE
KF CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE
With a shared vision to inspire and educate generations to come, and to encourage the development of Buddhist resources for parents and children, Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids (Shambhala Publications’ new children’s imprint) are teaming up to offer The Khyentse Foundation Children’s Book Prize for the best Buddhist children’s manuscript. Submissions of exceptional stories for children ages 0–8, both fiction and nonfiction, from all Buddhist traditions, are warmly welcomed, and new authors are especially encouraged to apply. The winning submission will receive a prize of $5,000 and will be offered a publishing contract from Bala Kids. Application closing date is February 15, 2018.
Visit www.khyentse.org for descriptions of the primary organizations founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. There are also smaller but important initiatives such as the Peace Vase Project.
Siddhartha's Intent (SI) is KF's sister organization. It supports Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche’s Buddhadharma activities worldwide by organizing teachings and retreats, distributing and archiving recorded teachings, transcribing, editing, and translating manuscripts and practice texts, and establishing a global community committed to continual study and practice.
Chinese speakers are encouraged to visit the KF Chinese Language website. 歡迎瀏覽欽哲基金會中文網站。A new Portuguese site is coming soon.
Coming soon: A Focus on Donors, the Heart of KF; Endowing the Future, a Letter from Rinpoche. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular announcements and updates on our activities.
If you are not receiving the Communiqué and Focus newesletters directly from Khyentse Foundation, please sign up on the Khyentse Mandala Mailing List. And if you have moved or changed your address, or if any other contact details have changed, be sure to update your information.
Vairotsana was a lotsawa (translator). He lived during the reign of King Trisong Deutsen, who ruled Tibet from 755 to 797 CE. He was one of the 25 main disciples of Padmasambhava and was among the first seven monks ordained by Santarakshita. He was sent to Dhahena, India to study with Sri Singha, who taught him in complete secrecy. Sri Singha in turn entrusted Vairotsana with the task of propagating the semde and longde sections of Dzogchen in Tibet. He is one of the three main masters to bring the Dzogchen teachings to Tibet; the two others were Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra. He was also a significant lineage holder of trul khor.
Anne MacDonald, Winner of the 2016 KF Prize for Outstanding Translation
"[In the past century,] a number of old Sanskrit manuscripts of [Chandrakirti's] work have been discovered, and Anne MacDonald has harvested their riches for this new edition of its first chapter. Her accompanying copiously annotated English translation makes accessible in all their complexity and brilliance Chandrakirti’s arguments against his opponents, and significantly enhances our understanding of seminal aspects of his Madhyamaka vision."
— From the publisher's description of In Clear Words.
The 2016 KF Prize for Outstanding Translation was awarded to Dr. Anne MacDonald for her translation of the first chapter of the Prasannapada, which is contained in her book In Clear Words. (In Clear Words. The Prasannapada, Chapter One. Two volumes, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2015, 951 pages.)
"Although the title suggests clarity, the text is actually quite challenging," said Dr. MacDonald in an article published in Der Standard, a Viennese newspaper. The Prasannapada, written in Sanskrit by the 7th century scholar Chandrakirti, is a commentary on Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika.
Dr. MacDonald is a researcher at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Her primary focus is the development of Madhyamaka thought in India and Tibet. Her research on Chandrakirti’s Prasannapada and Madhyamakavatarabhaṣya is based on newly available manuscripts of these works.
Dr. Anja Hartmann, chair of the KF Academic Committee, presented the award to Dr. MacDonald on October 9, 2017, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria.
Left to right: Birgit Kellner, director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; Anja Hartmann, Khyentse Foundation; Anne MacDonald; Michael Alram, vice president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
In her acceptance speech, Dr. MacDonald said, “I would like to sincerely thank Khyentse Foundation for having selected my book for their Prize for Outstanding Translation…I am sure that Chandrakirti would be thrilled were he alive today to see his work acknowledged by such a remarkable foundation, and by extension, by its exceptional founder and head, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, held by the Tibetan tradition to be an emanation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva associated with prajna, insight, who is repeatedly mentioned and praised by Chandrakirti in his works.
“I have long admired the wide-ranging activities and impressive achievements of Khyentse Foundation, especially its dedication to excellence in scholarship, indeed critical scholarship, in Buddhist Studies, and its support of scholars both in the modern university system and in traditional monastic and lay settings. I have seen ﬁrst hand the fruits of its generosity at the University of Vienna’s Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies."
Previous Winners of the KF Prize for Outstanding Translation
Above: Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi in conversation with Rinpoche
Initiated by KF Advisor Professor Peter Skilling in 2011, the Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation is awarded annually for exceptional translations from the main classical languages of Buddhism—Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese—into English. The original text may be a sutra, commentary, treatise, biography, history, liturgy, or practice manual, from any tradition of Buddhism, published within the preceding 2 years. The list of winners represents some of the very best in the field.
2012 Professor Todd Lewis of Holy Cross University (Worchester, Massachusetts) and Subarna Man Tuladar of Nepal Bhasa Institute received the inaugural Prize for Outstanding Translation for their translation from Newari into English of Sugata Saurabha: An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha by the Nepali poet Chittadhar Hridaya. (Oxford University Press, 2010)
2013 Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi was awarded the 2013 prize for publication of The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya. (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2012)
2015 Professor Mark Blum received the award for his translation of Volume I of the Mahaparinirvanasutra from Dharmaksema’s 5th-century Chinese version. This is the first translation into English of this exposition of Buddhanature (tathagatagarbha).
First Person: A Visit to RYI
By Stephanie Suter, Chair of the KF Scholarships and Awards Committee
At the end of April 2017, Stephanie Suter, chair of the KF Scholarships and Awards Committee, and Lynn Hoberg, KF administration director, visited RYI. Stephanie and Lynn met with more than a dozen students who receive financial aid through the KF/RYI joint scholarship program. The students shared their stories of how they came to study at RYI, what their goals are, and how vital financial aid is for them.
Stephanie and Lynn were delighted to connect faces with the names they're familiar with from RYI’s yearly grant reports. They appreciated hearing the students’ stories, and they were encouraged to hear that many of them hope to become translators.
Above: KF scholarship recipients at RYI. Back row: Left, Greg Whiteside, RYI. Center, Claudia Roth, RYI; Lynn Hoberg, KF (in white), and Stephanie Suter (KF).
Lynn Hoberg and I visited Rangjung Yeshe Institute while we were in Kathmandu for Rinpoche’s teachings on Prajnaparamita in April. We were warmly welcomed by Claudia Roth, director of administration; Greg Whiteside, RYI’s principal; and Joanne Larson, director of programs. A tour of the campus included an outer view of the original gompa, made uninhabitable by the earthquakes of 2015, and the new offices, dorms, and classrooms that RYI is currently occupying. The monks were conducting a puja in the main shrine room, and the sound of their practice followed us as we walked around the campus. We were served tea and cake and sat for a PowerPoint presentation of RYI’s programs, history, and progress.
RYI and Khyentse Foundation have had a partnership for the past 10 years. Our matching grant scholarship program has supported up to 15 students each year, through work-study and merit-based scholarships and most recently, a Himalayan Student Scholarship Program to support students from countries in the Himalayan region (at the request of Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche). We were pleased to meet several of these students. We sat on the lawn together, were served more tea and cake, and they shared their stories of how they got to RYI, what they are studying, and their personal histories. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, countries, and ages, and are both laypeople and monastics. RYI has students from Israel, Italy, Tibet, and Nepal, and this year they enrolled their first student from an African country. All of them were smart, engaged, and welcoming, and they expressed their gratitude for the help they receive from KF, which allows them to study Buddhism at RYI.
Lynn and I left RYI impressed, feeling like they are a very worthwhile recipient of aid from KF. They are using the funds responsibly, the school is academically sound, and everyone seems happy. Most of the students, as well as the staff, came to hear Rinpoche teach later in the week.
"Meeting with Khyentse Foundation was our chance to pay gratitude to those generous people who sponsored us so that we can achieve our dreams for the sake of others. Meeting them in person and hearing their words filled us with encouragement and has motivated me to be even more focused and determined towards becoming who I am aiming to be: a good translator, a scholar-practitioner, and a good human being all for the sake of benefit of others. Without the scholarship, I would be wandering around looking for a job that would pay me so that I can be able to study Dharma. However, I am here at RYI learning Himalayan languages and gaining in-depth knowledge about Buddha Dharma without any financial stress. Thank You, Khyentse Foundation, for this opportunity!”
— Laxmi Bajracharya, RYI student
Khyentse Foundation's Collaboration with Rangjung Yeshe Institute
The ongoing partnership between Khyentse Foundation and Rangjung Yeshe Institute establishes a joint financial aid fund to help translation students develop into mature scholar-practitioners through the degree-granting programs of the institute. Most graduates are working as textual translators or oral interpreters (or both) in various places around the world. The skills they developed in the program are already helping others to access teachings through high-quality, trustworthy translations in their own languages.
"The scholarly approach and the practitioner approach to translation are one and the same: It’s not about being right, but getting it right.”
— Oriane Lavolé, recent graduate of RYI
| CHINESE TRANSLATION INITIATIVES
Tibetan to Chinese Translation Pilot Project
The Tibetan to Chinese Translation Pilot Project was launched in early 2017 with the goal of translating into Chinese the texts in the Tibetan canon that are missing in the Chinese canon. Of the 17 translators who applied to translate sections from 19 Kangyur texts (Buddha's words) and Tengyur texts (commentaries of Indian scholars), 9 were selected for the pilot phase. Draft translations of 13 texts are already being reviewed, and all of the translations should be completed by spring 2018. The lessons learned from the pilot phase will be helpful for future translations.
Collaboration with Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts and Fa-Guang Institute of Buddhist Studies
In parallel with the translation pilot project, Khyentse Foundation is collaborating with Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) and Fa-Guang Institute of Buddhist Studies. The collaborations concentrate on training Dharma translators from Tibetan to Chinese. Both institutes are offering translator training programs for both Chinese students and Tibetan scholars to sharpen their language and translation skills, so that they can support the Tibetan to Chinese translation project.
Also, to strengthen students' understanding of Tibetan Buddhist literature, DILA is offering Tibetan Buddhist text courses, taught in Chinese by Tibetan scholars. This year they plan to offer a course on Mind in Tibetan Buddhism. The course focuses on explaining the human mind through logic.
Fa-Guang Institute of Buddhist Studies continues to offer a translator-training program, with support from Khyentse Foundation. In 2016-2017, 20 students received the scholarship. Of the 20 students, 10 are actively engaged in the training program and 8 are junior translators in the Prajnaparamita Workshop. Also, starting in the fall of 2017, two more translation practical classes led by two senior Tibetan translators are offered. These classes focus on translating Madhyamaka and Yogd Yog Tibetan texts.
Agama Research Project, Nan-Hua University
The Agama research project of Nan-Hua University continues this year. (The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools.) This research work provides valuable references for translators and researchers of the early Buddhist teachings in the Chinese canon.
Nan-Hua University Campus.
“It’s entirely possible that the survival of the Buddhadharma will depend on it being translated into other languages.”
—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche at the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference, March 2009, Bir, India
Read the latest episode of Rinpoche's serialized autobiography, Mugwort Born. In A Variety of Heroes Rinpoche tells us stories about his grandparents, HH the 16th Karmapa, nonduality, and the power of storytelling itself.