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Buddhadharma : Win 2012
WINTER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 71 to spiritual life, he makes his prefer- ences clear. It is a text from which any Buddhist may learn much, but while a Nyingmapa or Kagyupa might choose it as the one text to take to the proverbial desert island, a Gelukpa or Sakyapa— not to mention a Zen or Theravada practitioner—probably would not. The methodology used in translating The Treasury of Knowledge into Eng- lish was not unlike that of the Indian pandits and Tibetan lotsawas who translated Indian texts into Tibetan a millennium or more ago. In both cases, the process was highly collaborative. Here (with two exceptions), one or two lead translators who knew both Eng- lish and Tibetan took responsibility for each volume, consulting regularly and intensively with Tibetan experts, all of them working under the supervision of the Kalu Rinpoche Translation Commit- tee’s director, first Bokar Rinpoche, then more recently Lodrö Dönyö Rinpoche. The lead translators, each of whom devoted many years to their labors, and some of whom undertook multiple volumes, deserve to be named: Richard Barron, Elizabeth M. Callahan, Gyurme Dorje, Elio Guarisco, Sarah Harding, Ingrid McLeod, and Ngawang Zangpo. I cannot discuss the details of individ- ual volumes in this brief review. Suffice it to say that all are ably and clearly trans- lated and all, to one degree or another, contain a large and useful apparatus to help the reader understand Kongtrul’s writings. Each volume includes a lengthy and informative translator’s introduc- tion, separate translations of Kongtrul’s root verses and commentary, a detailed outline of the text, and extensive end- notes, a bibliography, and an index. In addition, certain volumes append a list of key terms or names and/or a glossary of English, Sanskrit, and Tibetan terms. It is worth noting that the translation committee did not establish a uniform set of translation equivalents, so in reading multiple volumes, readers occa- sionally may be puzzled as to whether they are encountering the same original term or different ones, but this is a small inconvenience compared to the wealth of understanding the translation as a whole provides. The translation of The Treasury of Knowledge has taken nearly three decades to complete, and it has been worth the wait. The dedication of the members of the translation committee and the ongoing editorial commitment of Snow Lion Publications have been key to the process, but one other player needs to be acknowledged: the Tsadra Foun- dation, without whose financial support the project probably could not have been finished. In Tibet and China, transla- tions were sponsored by monarchs and nobles. In the West, we rarely have such state support, so we must be especially grateful that foundations like Tsadra and a host of others have emerged to help underwrite translations of major Bud- dhist works into our languages. In short, the completion of The Trea- sury of Knowledge is a signal event in the transmission of Buddhism to the West, and serious students of Buddhism will be grateful to have access at last to the full scope of Jamgön Kongtrul’s extraordinary overview of everything important a Buddhist should know. REVIEWS