To Enrich the Chinese collection of Buddhist texts by
translating existing canons of every tradition
About The Kumarajiva Project
Khyentse Foundation recently launched the Kumarajiva Project, a momentous effort to translate canonical Buddhist texts from Tibetan into Chinese. Buddhism is often described as a “religion of translation.” Indeed the Buddha himself encouraged his followers to widely translate the Buddhadharma into other languages, which helped fuel the transmission of the religion throughout Asia. Chinese Buddhism would not have developed were it not for the 800 years of translation from the mid second through ninth centuries. Translation is also crucial to Buddhism in that, the vitality of the tradition is periodically reinvigorated by the influx of additional scriptures. In this spirit, the Kumarajiva Project will train and employ a new generation of Buddhist translators in order to make freely available dozens of canonical scriptures from India that were not translated into Chinese during earlier eras.
The fruits of this undertaking will enrich Buddhist study and practice amongst the hundreds of millions of followers of the Dharma who read literary Chinese, a broad community that spans from Singapore and Malaysia in the south to Korea and Japan in the north and beyond. The Tibetan tradition is renowned for the accuracy of its translation from Sanskrit and the Kumarajiva Project will likewise endeavor to meet the highest standards of scholarship and readability in this sacred effort.The Kumarajiva Project is named after the most renowned and influential translator in the history of Central Asian and East Asian Buddhism. Kumarajiva (344-413) embodies the qualities that the Kumarajiva Project will engender in its own team of translators: inspiration, erudition, cosmopolitanism, and the energy to work tirelessly for the benefit of sentient beings through making Buddha’s wisdom available to all.
The Primary Goal of the Kumarajiva Project
The Kumarajiva Project aims to complete the translation of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, both the Kangyur and Tengyur, into Chinese within 60 years. The complete Kangyur and Tengyur will then be preserved and made available in Chinese.
According to the results of our study, there are 3,636 texts yet to be tranlsated into Chinese. In the Kangyur, 9% (101 texts, 3,602 pages) of the sutras and 65% (380 texts, 10,460 pages) of the Buddhist tantras do not have Chinese translations. In the Tengyur, 86% (565 texts, 69,266 pages) of important Indian scriptural commentaries and 98% (2,590 texts, 45,540 pages) of tantric commentaries have not yet been translated into Chinese.
We invite people who share the same aspiration to join us in supporting this remarkable translation project.