Credit: Image courtesy of Pawo Choyning Dorji
Issue 29 | October 2017
84000 eNews: Perseverance
Image courtesy of Pawo Choyning Dorji
70000 Pages to be translated
14845 Pages have been sponsored
55155 Pages to go

The Questions of an Old Lady contains profound teachings on emptiness given by the Buddha to a 120-year-old impoverished laywoman.

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Cutting, Carving, and Communicating: Efforts of Past and Present Translators

Over the ages, translation efforts have been fraught with struggle, from texts not being allowed to cross borders to inaccurate and misleading translations to the need to carve texts in stone for fear of reprisal. Huang Jing Rui, Executive Director of 84000, invites us to remember the immense hardship endured by translators of the past, reminds us that every sūtra has its own unique story of survival, and delights in a story of Indian and Chinese dignitaries relishing a treasury of hard-won Buddhist translations.

Planting a Seed for the “Impossible”

Ding Nai-Chu, a well-known theatre producer in Taiwan and avid supporter of 84000, shares her story of a humbling experience in a small Himalayan village. What followed ultimately led her to a profound understanding of how planting a seed can lead to the most amazing results. In the same vein, she is thrilled to have helped plant the seed (and, we might add, water it!) for the translation of the Buddhist canon and laughs at the short-sightedness of her original belief that it was an “absolutely impossible” task.

Questions for a Not-So-Old Lady

84000 translator Yangchen Dolkar Tsatultsang is one of the few female Tibetan sūtra translators in the typically male-dominated field. Although ethnically Tibetan, she felt for a long time that her English was better than her Tibetan, and has put a great deal of effort into being proficient at both. Read the endearing account of how she had to rework her drafts of The Questions of an Old Lady after they came back “with all the red marks” and learn of her heartfelt effort to inspire “all young Tibetans to take interest in the sūtras.”

84000 is a global non-profit initiative to translate the words of the Buddha and make them available to everyone.
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