British actress Joanna Lumley lends voice to save cultural heritage
New York City – Media OutReach – June 5, 2020 – 84000:
Translating the Words of the Buddha, a global non-profit initiative to translate and preserve the Tibetan
Buddhist Canon, is launching a video campaign to raise awareness around one of
the world’s largest and oldest collections of writings: With 230,000 pages
locked within the fading Classical Tibetan language, the world is on the brink
of losing access to a priceless archive of wisdom. This launch marks 84000’s 10th
In 2009, a conference of the world’s leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers, translators,
and academics concluded that less than 5% of the Canon had ever been
translated into a language spoken today. That 5% of writings has already
offered the modern world much insight into the mind, human psychology,
relationships, and ethics.
Since its founding, 84000 has awarded over US$6
million in grants to translation teams around the world–from UCSB, Oxford, the University
of Vienna, through to Rangjung Yeshe Institute (Nepal)–who work to decipher the
Tibetan Buddhist Canon.
“The number of scholars who are both proficient in
Classical Tibetan and trained to interpret this profound philosophy, is
fast-fading,” explains Huang Jing-Rui, 84000’s executive director. “If we don’t
act now, imagine how much wisdom might be lost forever, locked within this
In just ten years, 84000 has translated over 30% of the sūtras. It has the endorsement of all four major sects of
Tibetan Buddhism, and continues to work with the support of some of the most
learned, living teachers of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
This historic initiative makes freely available for
the first time, primary-source material in English that is proving invaluable
for international scholarship on Buddhist history, philosophy, and insight into
the development and transfer of cultures across Asia. And 84000 continually
integrates new technologies with its digital library giving its readers access to multi-language
glossaries, and source-text, bilingual reading ability. The translated Tibetan
Buddhist Canon is made available freely to the public to enjoy.
The launch of this 3-min animation, voiced
by award-winning, British
actress Joanna Lumley, is accompanied by a weekend “Like and Share” campaign from June 5th (5am EST/5pm SG) till June 7th (5pm EST/June 8 5am SG).
With millions confined to their homes, 84000 urges everyone to make their screen
time count: With one click, help preserve the world’s largest archive of
“It’s entirely possible that the survival of the
Buddhadharma could depend on it being translated into other languages,” notes
the Founding Chair, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche known for his long-sighted
vision and innovation in an arena that still highly values conservatism. “By
translating and making available the Tibetan Buddhist texts to modern people, a
vast swath of Buddhist civilization and culture may be saved from annihilation.”
Today’s launch coincides with Saga Dawa, a day
celebrated by Buddhists around the world to commemorate the Buddha’s birth,
enlightenment, and passing.
Directed by: Queena Li
Produced by: Blacksugar
Voiceover by: Joanna Lumley (English), Leah Dou (Chinese)