This issue of Dharmadhatu Newsletter features a report of ongoing activities carried out by Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods (NIEM). From this issue onwards, we have decided to includes some selected International Buddhist activities linked with our Nagarjuna Institute in some way or the other. In addition to some International buddhist events we are also offering some information concerning International Buddhist net resources in each issue. The NIEM is a center of Buddhist learning, serving the needs of the Buddhist community in the Kathmandu Valley. It aims to conserve traditional Newar Vajrayana Buddhism and foster goodwill and understanding amongst all schools of Buddhism. I hope this issue will provide both information and inspiration for our readers.

Dec. 13, 1997

Nagarjuna Institute organized Nepal Buddha Sangha offering program on behalf of Taiwan Buddhist Association at the premise of Royal Nepal Academy Building. During the Sangha offering program about thirteen hundred Buddhist monks and nuns from about thirty five Buddhist monasteries participated in the program. One of the special feature of this program is that about 150 Buddhist Vajracharyas and Shakyas with ceremonial dresses together with five Buddha crowns participated in the Sangha offering ceremony to begin with the director of Nagarjuna Institute. Mr. Shakya offered a welcome speech in honor of delegates from Taiwan. He invited Buddhist monks, nuns, Lamas, and Vajracharyas, to recite the verses of Mangala (auspicious sutra) from Buddhist Sutras for the peace, happiness, and well being of all sentient beings.

After welcome speech and group prayers Taiwanese devotees offered some money and ritual items to the Buddhist Sangha for almost two hours.

Aug. 23-27, 1996
Nagarjuna Institute in collaboration with HMTTC organized classes on Buddhism at the premise of HMTTC central office. Ravi Bhavan, Kathmandu. About 120 Tourist Guides and travel personnels participated in the Training programs. During the program instructor Mr. M. B. Shakya offered following topics on Buddhism.

  1. The Life of Buddha
  2. Four Noble Truths
  3. Wheel of Life
  4. Karma and rebirth
  5. Symbolism of Stupa
  6. Iconography of Five Buddhas
  7. Introduction to Mahayana and Vajrayana
  8. Buddha Nature

Similar classes were organized at HMTTC, Kathmandu for the Tourist Guide on Dec. 19-24, 1996 and August 1997 of this year on the same topics.

August 23, 1996
Nagarjuna Institute organized a lecture program at the premise of its office at Chakupat, Patan. Dr. Alexander Rospatt from Leipzig University of Federal Republic of Germany spoke on “The Four Noble Truths from the view point of western perspective” amongst a gathering of 30 NIEM students and Buddhist scholars. Dr. Rospatt is a Buddhist scholar versed in Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan Buddhism. Dr. Rospatt, in course of his research studies on “Restoration of Swayambhu Stupa” visited Nagarjuna Institute and exchanged his views concerning the tradition of Newar Buddhism. Few remarks from his pen:

After many years of abstract, doctrine studies of Buddhism, I like to earn about and to earn from a living Buddhist tradition. Nepal is apart from Sri Lanka the only place where Buddhism has survived in South Asia and apart from Tibet the only place where Buddhist Vajrayana has survived. Therefore the tradition of Newar Buddhism is of utmost importance for the history of Buddhism as a whole. It is very encouraging to see that Nagarjuna Institute is trying its best to preserve what unfortunately is threatened.

Nov. 7, Taipei
The Corporate body of Buddha Education Foundation, Taiwan has kindly consented to reprint the Lalitavistara Sutra translated into Newari language by Pandita Nisthananda Vajracharya. This text was published in 1978 by YMBA, Nepal and edited by Min Bahadur Shakya for the first time and was out of print since 1979. This Sutra on the biography of Lord Buddha was said to be composed in Sanskrit language in the first century of the Christian era and was regarded as one of the Nine Vaipulya Sutras of the Newari Buddhism. The present Lalitavistara Sutra in Newari language includes the substantial chapters from the texts Bhadrakalpavadana which is very popular among Newar Buddhists of Kathmandu Valley. The present text also includes the ten color illustrations. After the completion of the reprint of the book. Nagarjuna Institute whishes to distribute it freely to Buddhist centers campuses, and libraries.

We are very grateful to the Chairman and the staff of The Corporate of Buddha Education Foundation, Taipei who kindly consented to reprint the book for the benefit of Newari readers of Nepal. The reprinted books are expected to arrive in Nepal in the month of July this year. Thanks to the support of the Corporate Body of Buddha Educational Foundation, Taipei for the diffusion of Buddhism in Nepal.

Dec. 9, 1996
Mr. Gyatsho Tsering, the Director of Library of Tibetan Works and Archives visited Nagarjuna Institute in course of his private visit to Kathmandu. During the visit he observed the entire collections of Tibetan and Bhutanese manuscripts preserved in Nagarjuna Institute Library. Next day he visited Nepal archives, Nepal Research Center and Asha saphukuthi collections of Tibetan, Sanskrit and Newari manuscripts.

Stating the purpose of his brief visit to Nagarjuna Institute, Mr. Tshering remarked that most of the Buddhist scholars who visited LTWA Dharmasala felt strongly the need of Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts for comparative study of Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. In this aspect, Nepal can offer a lot concerning Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts which are preserved in National Archives, Keshar Library, Ashasaphu Kuthi as well as private Buddhist monasteries of the Kathmandu valley. Mr. Tshering was followed by Mr. Lobsang Shastri, the librarian of Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Mr. Shastri is the member of the Parliament in the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, Dharmasala, India.

Dec.12.1996
A fifteen member Buddhist Pilgrims headed by Ven. Chau Chu visited Nagarjuna Institute at 8. 30 hours. In the reception program, Mr. M. B. Shakya informed the delegation about the activities of Nagarjuna Institute concerning Buddhist Studies Program, the publication of journal ‘Buddhist Himalaya’ and the newsletter ‘Dharmadhatu.’ Mr. Shakya stressed that Nepalese Buddhism should be promoted because the tradition is fast disappearing. If a concrete step is not taken now, the Buddhist world would lose a glorious heritage of the past for ever. The Newar Vajrayana Buddhism can offer a lot for the Buddhist world. Even today there are several Sanskrit Buddhist manuscript on Buddhist tantric rituals, dharanis, avadanas, stotras preserved in the National archives and other collections. There are several important traditions which are uncommon to Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He further informed that this year in the Sangha program he will be going to invite 150 Buddhist Acharyas from Newar Buddhist tradition and 1000 Buddhist monks and nuns from Tibetan and Theravada tradition. Ven. Chau chu, the leader of the delegation spoke about the purpose of their visit concerning Sangha Offering program and its impact on the enhancement of Buddhist monasticism in Nepal. Mr. James Wei-Manager of Hero Travel Services also spoke on the occasion vowing that Buddha Sangha Offering Program would be conducted from Taiwan every year.

5th March 1997
Nagarjuna Institute organization a book release ceremony at the premise of the Hiranyavarna Mahavihara, Lalitpur. Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche, released the two books namely, Arya Gunakarandavyuha and Atisha and his teachings published by Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods under its Buddhist texts Translation Project. The Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche is one of the foremost teachers of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He is renowned for his ability to make profound teachings understandable to western students on all levels. During book release session he begun the sessions by the sadhana of Avalokiteshvara with elaborate musical hymns played by momks of Thrangu Tashi Choeling, Bodhnath.

(Jan. 14, April 19, and July-Sept, 1997)
Nagarjuna Institute organized a Buddhist Studies Program for college Students at the premise of its office it Chakupat, Patan in two sessions. About forty graduate students studied the following subjects intensively in these sessions:

1. Jewel Ornament of Liberation:
Buddha Nature, Precious Human Body, Spiritual friend, Impermanence, Vicious state of Samsara, Karma and rebirth, Triple refuge, Practice of Bodhi citta, Six Perfections.

2. History of Buddhism in India
Twelve Principal deeds of Lord Buddha, The Four Councils, Life and works of Nagarjuna, Arya Deva, Asanga/Vasubandhu, Dingnaga/Dharmakirti.

3. History of Four Buddhist Tradition of Tibet. Srong btsan Gampo, Thri Srong bde-tsan, Ralpacan, Langdarma, Buston, Kanjur and Tanjur, Padma Shambhava and Nyingmapa Tradition, Atisha and Kadampa Tradition Sakya Pandita and Sakyapa Tradition Kagyupa and Marpa Tsong Khapa and Gelugpa.

April 19, 1997
Nagarjuna Institute organized a Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows ceremony at the premise of its office at Chakupat, Patan. Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche graciously conducted Refuge and Bodhisattva vows ceremony with an elaborate ceremonial music. Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche transmitted the vows according to the Profound lineage of Nagarjuna-Shanti Deva tradition. About 60 students and devotees participated in the program. Apart from Shakyas and Vajracarya students of Patan there were Tharus, Gurung, Gauchan and Kshetris too in the ceremony. After the formal taking of refuge and Bodhisattva vows Rinpoche distributed the certificates of Buddhist membership to the students followed by brief teachings session. Participants were rejoiced at receiving a new Bodhisattva name.

May 15, 1997
Nagarjuna Institute with the collaboration of Institute of Medicine, organized a talk program on the above subject at the premise of Institute of Medicine’s lecture hall at Maharajgung near Teaching Hospital. About 60 MBBS students including some medical doctors attended the talk program. During the talk program, instructor M. B. Shakya commenced his lecture stating that the medical profession is considered as one of the most prestigious profession in Nepalese society. But in the current years, this attitude has been significantly declined and the relation between doctors and the patients has widened. Majority of the doctors seemed to have emphasized more on monetary values than on serving patients or philanthropic activities. Poor patients cannot approach efficient doctors and can hardly receive good treatment.

Mr. Shakya stressed emphatically that the standard of medical profession is based on compassionate behavior of the medical practitioners. If they failed to behave compassionately, the relation between the patient and doctors would be futile. He further informed that compassionate behavior of the medical practitioner alone could heal the patients. After, the lecture, students questioned on many aspects of medical therapy and their relation with Buddhist teachings for instant Mercy killing, suicide and so forth. Dr. Joshi remarked that spiritual or mental aspect of the human personality is one of the most neglected part of the medical curriculum although its importance cannot be over-emphasized.

August 7, 1997
Mr. Jeffrey Cox, the publisher of the Snow Lion Publishing Company based on Ithaca, New York generously donated 54 titles of Books on Buddhism, Tibetan History and Dalai Lama, to Nagarjuna Institute Library. As a gesture of gratitude the Board of directors of the Institute has decided to regard Mr. Jeffrey Cox. as the patron of the Institute.

Titles of the Books donated are as follows:

  1. A Commentary on Guru Yoga
  2. Offering of the Mandal
  3. A Garland of Immortal Wish-Fulfilling Trees
  4. A Passage from Solitude
  5. A Strange Liberation
  6. Ancient Wisdom
  7. Buddhism Through America Women’s Eyes
  8. Calming the Mind
  9. Choosing Reality
  10. Daughters of the Buddha
  11. Deity Yoga
  12. Dream Yoga
  13. Emptiness Yoga
  14. Enlightened Courage
  15. Explore Tibet
  16. Feminine Ground
  17. Heart Drops of Dharmakaya
  18. Highest Yoga Tantra
  19. House of the Turquoise Roof
  20. Kindness. Clarity and Insight
  21. Mahamudra teachings
  22. Myriad Worlds
  23. Natural Great Perfection
  24. Open Heart, Clear Mind
  25. Path of the Bodhisattva Warrior
  26. Path of Bliss
  27. Retreat Manual
  28. Selected works of the Dalai Lama I
  29. Sky Dancer
  30. Tantra in Tibet
  31. The Beautiful Ornament of the Three Vision
  32. The Buddha’s question
  33. The Buddhism of Tibet
  34. The Clear Mirror
  35. The Dalai Lama A Policy Of Kindness
  36. The Dalai Lama at Harvard
  37. The excellent Path to Enlightenment
  38. The Four Nobel Truths
  39. The Golden letters
  40. The life of Gampopa
  41. The Path to Enlightenment
  42. The practice of Dzogchen
  43. The Quintessence Tantras of Tibet Medicine
  44. The Sand Mandala of Vajrabhairab
  45. The Three Silver Coins
  46. Tibet
  47. Tibetan Art of Love
  48. Tibetan Buddhism
  49. Tibetan Literature
  50. To the Lion Throne
  51. Transcendent Wisdom
  52. What color is your mind?
  53. Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattva Dharma
  54. Dharma Paths

Nagarjuna Institute has initiated a project of translating Buddhist texts from Sanskrit, English and Tibetan into Newari and Nepali languages in order to diffuse authentic Buddhist teachings to a wider mass. We have established Nepal Buddhist Text Translation Project (NBTTP). Under this scheme we have already published following books in series:

  1. Trisaranagamana in Newari language (containing translations of refuge vows, sevenfold prayer, Bodhisattva vows, Three principal aspects of the path, Thirty seven Practices of Bodhisattva’s son and Thought Transformation in eight stanzas)
  2. Arya Amoghpasa Hrdaya Sutra (containing introduction, and translation in English, text in Sanskrit and a Newari synopsis of the text.
  3. Arya Manjushree Namasangiti (containing English Introduction, Newari Translation, Glossary of Sanskrit and Newari terms)
  4. Atisha and his teahcings (containing English Introduction, biography of Atisha Dipamkara and Nepali translation of his major works composed in Nepal and Tibet.
  5. Arya Guna Karandavyuha Sutra (an extensive sutra containing the philanthropic activities of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Also a first Mahayana Sutra reached into Tibet from Nepal in 3rd Century A. D.

Forthcoming Publications

  1. Arya Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Pranid hana Sutra
  2. Arya Anityata Sutra
  3. Arya Bhaisajya Guru Pranidhana Sutra
  4. Arya Avalokita nama Mahayana Sutra
  5. Arya Kashyapa Parivartanama Mahayana Sutra
  6. Arya Manjushree Buddhaksetraguna Vyuhalamkara Sutra
  7. Arya Upayakausalya Sutra
  8. Arya Sukhavati Vyuha Sutra

Those who are interested to sponsor one of the forthcoming titles are gratefully acknowledge and will be considered as the Patron of the Nagarjuna Institute.

1. Numata Center
Non-profit of the Buddhist Canon Translation Series.
Numata Center was founded in November 1984 by the late Reverend Dr. Numata, a prominent industrialist, philanthropist and perhaps the greatest patron of Buddhism in modern times. Numata Center is going to publish 139 texts of Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese, and English (when available) titles in the series. Also included are the translation responsible for those texts. For details

Visit website: http://www.slip.net/~numata

Address:
Numata center: 2620 Warring St. Berkeley,
CA 94704 USA
Tel: 510-843-4128/510-843-4153
Fax: 510:845-3409
E-mail: numata@slip.net

2. Dhamma Dana Publications
The Dhammadana Publications Fund is dedicated to bringing a long standing Buddhist tradition to America by making high quality books on Buddhist teachings available for free distribution. We are interested in publishing original works, whether based on critical scholarly interpretation of the canonical teachings, or on the unique perspective that arise from extensive practical meditative experience. Photocopies of the books listed below are available free of charge.

Titles available from Dhammadana Publications:

The wings to Awakening
An anthology of the Buddha’s teachings from Pali canons by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1996)

An Unentangled Knowing
The teachings of a Thai Buddhist Lay Woman by Upasika Kee Nanayon (K. Khao-suan-luang); Thannissaro Bhikkhu, tr. (1995)

Living Meditation, Living Insight
The path of Mindfulness in Daily life, by Dr. Thynn Thynn (1995)

The Mind like fire Unbound
An image in the early Buddhist discourses, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1993)

For more informations, call us or write to us at the postal address below:
Dhamma Dana Publications
c/o Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
149 Lockwood Road, Barre, MA 01005 USA
Tel: (508) 355-2347 Fax: (508) 355-2798
Web: http://world.std.com/~metta/centers/ddp.html

3. Yeshe De Project (www.nyingma.org)
The 1981 Nyingma Edition of the bKa’-‘gyur and bsTan-‘gyur. It comprises: the 120 large Western-style volumes with 4,502 texts from the sDe-dge edition, 598 texts from the Peking edition, and 9 texts from the Chinese Canon, supplemented with 231 full-color thanka reproductions, 262 line drawing, and 120 historical maps, plus eight-volume Research Catalogue/Bibliography with comparative charts for each text together with bibliographies of published manuscripts, editions and translations.

4. Asian Classics Input Project (ACIP)
A dbase of texts from the Kangyur and Tangyur (classical collection of Sanskrit literature in Tibetan translation), and the Sungbum (Tibetan language commentaries on these) transliterated into roman (ASCII) characters. These texts span the time period from the 5th c. BCE to the 20th c.CE. These materials are also available form the FTP site: ftp://acip.princeton.edu/ as well as from the Coombspapers Social Sciences Research Data Bank

5. Buddhist Publications Society:
Description: Catalogue of Dharma Books

Address:
P.O.Box 6154, Sangharaja Mawatha Kandy,
Sri Lanka
Tel:(94)-8-223679
E-mail: bps@lanka,net
Web: http.//world.std.com/~metta/bps/home.html

6. Dharma Publishing
Description: Dharm books,esp.Tibetan,Vajrayana and Dzogchen

Address:
2910 San Pablo Ave.Berkaley CA 94702
Tel. 800-873-4276/510-548-5407
Fax: 510-548-2230
E-mail: Dharma-Publishing@nyingma.org
Web: http://www.nyingma.org/dp/dp.html

7. Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project
Description: The input of the entirely of the words of the Buddha and his immediate disciples, as preserved in the Sri Lanka version of the Pali “Tripitaka” was completes at the ‘Siri Vajiranana Dharmayatanaya” Bhikkhu Training Center, Maragama, Sri Lanka in 1994.
Address:
International Buddhist Information Center 380/9 Sarana Rd. Off Baudhhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo, 07 Sri Lanka.
E-mail: ibric@sri.lanka.net

International News

Los Angeles
U. S. President Bill Clinton received the abbess of Fo Kuang Shan (FKS) Hsi Lai Temple Ven. Tzu Jung on July 22 at the Century Hotel of Los Angeles. He not only praised Hsi Lai Temple as the most magnificent Buddhist monastery in the western hemisphere, but also commended it for promoting cross-cultural understanding between East Asia and the West. He furthermore complimented Ven. Hsing Yun’s endeavor to extend the Buddha’s compassion and thereby sanctify the minds of all beings. U. S. government officials have always displayed much respect for FKS temples in the United States. Vise President Gore even personally visited Hsi Lai Temple on April 29, 1996. During the inauguration of Hsi Lai Temple, former President Reagan both sent a telegram of congratulations and dispatched a representative express that “America has many things. All that we have lacked has been a magnificent Chinese temple like Hsi Lai.”

BLIA was inaugurated in 1992 in Los Angeles. Former President Bush took the opportunity to congratulate and praise BLIA’s compassionate tenets and its devotion to relieve the suffering of all beings. President Clinton is the first U. S. president to pay particular attention to Asian-Americas. So far, 197 Asian-Americans have been appointed as top officials.

Bodhgaya, India
Building a bronze statue – the biggest in the world of the future Buddha Maitreya in Bodhgaya link with the future Buddha, the late Lama Thubten, Yeshe, the founder of the FPMT, developed the wish to build a very large statue of Maitreya Buddha in Bodhgaya-a statue that would last at least 1000 years. This wish now becoming a reality. Bodhgaya is located in the state of Bihar, one of the poorest and least developed areas of India. Local and state authorities, who fully and enthusiastically support the project, anticipate that the Maitreya statue will bring tremendous economic benefits to the region. The project also includes a large temple featuring a statue of Maitreya Buddha in the Sambhogakaya aspect, a high technology cinema showing short films in Hindi, English and other languages, on themes such as the history and attractions of Bodhgaya,. Shakyamuni Buddha’s life and teachings, how the Maiterya statue was constructed, and India’s contribution to world civilization, philosophy and religion, a large Buddhist library, a book shop specializing in Buddhist publications in all languages, some teachings facilities. In addition, other buildings in the park include guest house, restaurant and shopping complex, information center, monastery, teaching center, project offices, staff accommodation, service and utility Buildings.

Taipei, Taiwan
Under the local sponsorship of Fo Kaung Shan, scholars from around the world gathered in Taipei for the Electronic Buddhist Text Initiative meeting April 5-8 1996. EBTI was founded in 1993 at a meeting at the University of California in Berkeley. It is a consortium of 26 grounds that are involved with the input of Buddhism materials into digital format. At the Taipei meeting, 50 scholar from 15 nations gathered to discuss their projects and to demonstrate the data that they have put into the computer. The presentations covered a wide range of projects from the Dunhuang Project at the British Library in London, Software for scanning Tibetan texts in Sendai Japan, Buddhist art in digitized from at Ohio State University, an Pali input centers in Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Among highlights of this year’s meetings were the first demonstration of the newly completed CD-ROM of the entire Korean Buddhist canon, Monastery in Korea Fokuang Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Thailand’s Buddhist Canon.

EBTI is led by Prof. Lewis Lancaster of the University of California, Berkeley and Urs Apps of the International Zen Research Center at Hanazono University in Kyoto Japan. This Year’s meeting featured several multimedia projects from centers in California and Smith College in Massachusetts. On-line service featured activities from Australia and Germany. This was the largest meeting of Buddhist computer groups ever held.

Description:
The Electronic Buddhist Text initiative is devoted to coordinating projects involving computer readable Buddhist texts in all languages and traditions.

Email: John A. Lehman ffjal@aurora.alaska.edu
Web: http://zorba.uafadm.alaska.edu/philo/ebiti/EBTI-home.html

Los Angeles
The “Fo Kuang Buddhist Canon-Ch’an Collection” donation Ceremony sponsored by Hsi Lai University and presided over by Ven. Master Hsing Yun, Presided, BLIA World Headquarters and Hsi Lai University, was held in Hsi Lai University, U. S. on the morning of March 2nd 1996, 37 copies of Kokuang Tripitaka were donated to 27 universities and 10 renowned scholars. Universities receiving the collection included UCLA, University of California Berkeley, Whitle College, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Wisconsin, lowa Minnesota, Northwest Utah and Toronto University. Dr. Lewis R. Lancaster of U C Berkeley indicated during the ceremony that many universities are currently facing budget reduction. The Tripitaka donated will greatly promote scholastic research and advancement

Bangkok, Thailand
The Dhammakaya Foundation based on Bangkok intended to create a haven for Dhamma practice, as a refuge of peace to a tormented world. The exemplary practice of that small group of devotees in the early days inspired the faith of an increasingly large number of people and in a short time the congregation grew from a hundred people to a thousand necessitating the construction of a large meditation hall to accommodate the crowd. Thus was born the idea to built the Great Sapha Dhammakaya Hall offering facilities unique in the world that allow Buddhists to meditate together, by the hundred of thousands in surroundings that are cool peaceful and amenable to attaining the Dhammakaya. The building will be a major educational resource for society, as a site for mortality training courses for school children, students and the general public and mass ordination scheme. In order that Dhammakaya Hall can bring as a two storey multi-purpose structure and is the believed to be the largest structure of its type in the world, covering an area of forty acres. The upper storey is to be used for training, meditation and teaching activities and is large enough to accommodate 100000 people and provide various services. The basement will have meeting space for the volunteers who take care of Hall and sufficient parking space for 4,500 cars. The construction works for Hall for now well underway and is expected to be ready for use by 1997.

Patrons
1 Mr. Jeffery M. Cox, Ithaca, New York, USA
2 Mr. Sudin Shakya, Patan

Individual Members
1 Mrs. Nivedita Kumari Mishra, Baneshwor, Kathmandu
2 Mr. Tej Prasad Gauchan, Beneshwor, Kathmandu
3 Ms. Ruthu A. Gyure, New York, USA
4 Mr. Narayan Gurung, Dhobi Ghat, Patan
5 Mr. Khadka Bahadur Thapa, Baneshwor, Kathmandu
6 Dr. Hans Guggenhein, Boston, USA.