English Translation Institutions

Tibet House

Tibet House was founded at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who at the inauguration in 1987 stated his wish for a long-term cultural institution to ensure the survival of Tibetan civilization and culture, whatever the political destiny of the six million people of Tibet itself.

Tibet House is dedicated to preserving Tibet’s unique culture at a time when it is confronted with extinction on its own soil. By presenting Tibetan civilization and its profound wisdom, beauty, and special art of freedom to the people of the world, we hope to inspire others to join the effort to protect and save it.

Under the direction of Dr. Robert Thurman, a team of scholars are engaged in translating material on the Kalachakra Tantra and the Guhyasamaja Tantra.

Completed Projects as a Tsadra Foundation Grantee

•  Kalachakra Tantra /Vimalaprabha Chs. III, with annotations from commentaries of Jonang, Geluk, and Nyingma Masters. Translators: Dr Jensine Andresen, as directed by Dr. R. Thurman

•  Kalachakra Tantra /Vimalaprabha Chs. V, with annotations from commentaries of Jonang, Geluk, and Nyingma Masters. Translator Dr James Hartzell, as directed by Dr. R. Thurman

•  Guhyasamaja Tantra / Pradipoddyotana / mChan ‘Grel  Chen mo of Tsong Khapa,  with annotations from commentaries of Sakya, Zhalu, and Kagyu Masters. Translators: Dr Chrisitan Wedemeyer with the assistance and collaboration of P. Hackett and J. Campbell, as directed by Dr. R. Thurman

Robert A. F. Thurman is a scholar, author, former Tibetan Buddhist monk, and co-founder of Tibet House in New York City. He is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. In 1964, Geshe Wangyal introduced Thurman to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and described Robert as, "...a crazy American boy, very intelligent and with a good heart (though a little proud), who spoke Tibetan well and had learned something about Buddhism [and] wanted to become a monk…. Geshe Wangyal was leaving it up to His Holiness to decide." Thurman became the first Westerner to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Thurman describes this phase of his life: "All I wanted was to stay in the 2,500-year-old Buddhist community of seekers of enlightenment, to be embraced as a monk. My inner world was rich, full of insights and delightful visions, with a sense of luck and privilege at having access to such great teachers and teachings and the time to study and try to realize them." But when he returned to the United States, he found that “the only lay institution comparable to monasticism is the university, so in the end I turned to academia." Robert Thurman currently holds the first endowed chair in this field of study in the United States, at Columbia University, where he serves as president of the board of the American Institute Buddhist Studies.

 

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