by Kim Behan
Our chairman and founder, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, received a special honor in late April when he was informed that his translation of the Anguttara Nikaya, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, was chosen to receive the 2013 Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation Work. The prize was established by the well-known Bhutanese lama, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, founder and chairman of the Khyentse Foundation. The purpose of the prize is “encouraging and honoring excellence in translation works that make the Buddhist heritage accessible to a broader public.” The Khyentse Foundation board set up the prize in 2011 and Ven. Bodhi’s translation was the second work to receive it. The prize’s selection committee is made of five Buddhist scholars: Naomi Appleton, Sarah McClintock, Tom Tillemans, Paul Harrison, and Peter Skilling. Peter Skilling is also the chair of the committee.
On May 27th, Ven. Bodhi traveled to New York to receive the prize from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who was in New York on a short visit. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is also the founder of Lotus Outreach International, a humanitarian organization dedicated to serving and educating poor children in India and Cambodia. BGR has partnered with Lotus Outreach on numerous projects, among them the Girls Access To Education (GATE) and Non-Formal Education programs. Besides his eminence as a Buddhist teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is also known as a filmmaker, his two major films being The Cup (1999) and Travellers and Magicians (2003).
The $8,000 prize will be divided into two even portions. One portion of $4,000 is to be used to send sets of the four Nikayas, in English translation, to libraries, monasteries, and other institutions around the world. The other $4,000 was donated to BGR to fund projects in food aid, agricultural development, education, and right livelihood training.