Dharma Dispatch, 20-31 August 2018: New 84,000 Initiative, 6th International Buddhist Conclave, and Saving Cambodian Forests

Hello! The Khyentse Foundation, founded by the renowned Bhutanese lama, filmmaker, and writer Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has announced the undertaking of an ambitious new initiative to translate the Tibetan Buddhist canon of sutras and shastras into the Chinese language over the next 100 years—a task that Rinpoche views as the next major translation undertaking following his 84000 initiative launched in 2010.

“The Chinese Buddhist canon is another ancient collection of sutras and shastras of great importance to both Buddhists and scholars around the world,” the Khyentse Foundation said in an announcement on its website. “However, the Tibetan Buddhist canon contains a good number of precious sutras and shastras that are not present in Chinese because texts were translated into the two languages in different eras.”

The 6th International Buddhist Conclave opened in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan convention center on 23 August, hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, who partnered with the government of Japan as their co-organizer. The theme of this year’s conference is: “Buddha Path—The Living Heritage,” with a focus on India’s Buddhist tourism circuit. The conclave included forums focused on input from Buddhist leaders, opinion-makers, and media on the right approach, as well as business-to-business meetings between tourist operators, entrepreneurs, and other private stakeholders in Indian tourism. Delegates from more than a dozen countries also visited the Ajanta Caves, Maha Bodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the ruins of Nalanda, the Bamboo Grove, and Sarnath in Varanasi.

In Cambodia, Buddhist monks have united in organizations such as the Monks Community Forest (MCF) and the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ) to battle to save forests by demanding stronger government action against deforestation and by lobbying lawmakers for greater protection.

Another organization active in the preservation of Cambodia’s shrinking forests is the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ), which has more than 5,000 monastic followers who are teaching local people how to use social media to raise awareness of illegal logging by uploading photos and videos, and by writing articles. The monks also teach local residents what they can do to prevent deforestation.

Dharma Dispatch is a weekly curated summary of the most important Buddhist news. See all our briefings here

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