INTRODUCING THE UNITED BUDDHIST FOUNDATION

UBF WORKING PROJECTS

UBF WORKING PROJECTSWe are working on 4 main projects which already started years ago. They are: 1. Collecting Buddhist Sutras (Vietnamese, English and ancient Chinese); 2. Proofreading Vietnamese translations of Sutras; 3. Translating sutras from ancient Chinese into Vietnamese; and 4. Publishing sutras via the Internet (online) and Amazon (paperback, offline). Following are descriptions some of the features of these projects.

I. COLLECTING BUDDHIST SUTRAS

The Buddhist Tripiṭaka is the most important to all Buddhists. For more than 2,500 years, the Buddha's words have been spread all over the world via sutras in the Tripiṭaka. However Vietnamese Buddhists now are unable to access all the Buddhist sutras for they aren’t combined into a systematic system but displays scattered in many places. The purpose of our project is to collect as many sutras as possible and display all of them in one website, so that everyone can easily access any sutra they need.

What have we done?

We have collected all the Vietnamese translations of Pali sutras and display them here, adding English versions of them where possible. We also have collected all the sutras in ancient Chinese and display them here with tools to look up Chinese words’ meaning and adding Vietnamese and English versions where possible.

We have also published a catalog or list of all Vietnamese translations of sutras, providing all needed information about each of them. With the help of this publication, translators will be able to find all the related sutras for reference when they are at work.

What will we do?

Many Buddhist sutras are now scattered everywhere, so we have to find and collect as many as possible and list all of them in one place for convenient use. We are inviting all Buddhist individuals and organizations who can help with the collecting work to join us and contribute to this task.

II. PROOFING VIETNAMESE TRANSLATIONS OF SUTRAS

Currently there are about more than one thousand sutras that have been translated from ancient Chinese language into Vietnamese. However, the quality of these translations is still an open question. Anyone can translate and publish a sutra translation without any proofreading or editing work, and this has led to many poor and maybe incorrect translations of sutras. If now we sit by and do nothing about this, then for the next decades maybe these incorrect translations could become permanent versions and would be considered the Buddha's words by default.

This UBF project will select from all current translations of the sutras and find the most correct versions (comparing with the original) to introduce to Buddhist readers. For the rest, we will continue to do the proofreading and editing before showing them to the public.

What have we done?

We have already proofread about more than a hundred sutra translations and made all necessary corrections. These translations of the sutras should become more clear in meaning and of course more correct in comparing with their originals. Some of them have been published in Viet Nam and also in the US or Europe and many other countries. We also already set up an office in Westminster, CA (USA) to make it easier for this project.

What will we do?

The proofreading and editing works will continue with all the rest of the sutra translations. With all the original sutras that have been collected we now can easily compare the translations with their originals and decide to make necessary corrections.

III. TRANSLATING SUTRAS FROM ANCIENT CHINESE INTO VIETNAMESE

There are some very important sutras that need to have their Vietnamese translations as correct as possible. We are working to have these sutras translated from ancient Chinese into Vietnamese.

What have we done?

One of these most important sutras has been translated into Vietnamese by our translator Nguyen Minh Tien. That is the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra (42 volumes). He worked for approximately ten years to finish this translation along with many important commentaries and published it in Viet Nam in 2009. The publication was reprinted just in 2016 with a thousand copies. In 2017 we published this sutra in the US and Europe and other countries via Amazon’s CreateSpace (ISBN: 978-1539544975). Other important sutras that have been translated and published by our Foundation include the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa Sutra, the Great Compassion Lotus Sutra, the Amitābha Sutra... And we are making efforts to prepare the necessary steps to continue on other important sutras.

What will we do?

With the UBF Office established in Westminster, CA, the translation of sutras will be easier for us. To give this project full efforts of our main translator, Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, we have officially invited him to move from Viet Nam to the US to work in our Office, primarily for the translation work. With more than twenty years of experience in sutra translation, he will work most effectively with all the best conditions in the US instead of his poor office in Viet Nam where electric current could be cut off at any time and from time to time he had to work with only his laptop's battery.

All necessary preparations have been done to make sure that Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien will have the best working conditions in our Office, so this project will be carried out much more effectively. If everything is OK, he will soon be here in the US.

IV. PUBLICATION

In order for everyone to be able to access the Buddha's words in the sutras, we have make efforts to publish sutras both in printed books and ebooks online. Hundreds of Buddhist books and sutras have already been printed in Viet Nam and recently also printed in the US via CreateSpace. This will give any Buddhists a chance to find and read from many sutras. We also make the sutras available via the Internet with many forms such as PDF or audio books (MP3). Many books and sutras also are published via Apple iBooks (here) and Amazon Kindle (here) or Smashwords (here), so users can now easily read on their smartphones or iPhones, iPads... With all these efforts, the Buddhist books and sutras are spreading everywhere all over the world and anyone who can access the Internet can easily use them for their learning and practicing.

However, there are many books and translations of sutras which are still present in their first drafts. We are working hard to make these books and sutras soon be available to everyone. The UBF's Amazon bookstore now has about 80 books (and sutras) and for the next year we can increase this number to about 150. A lot of work has to be done before this target can be fulfilled and Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien will play a very important role in this project.



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