Lelung Literary Preservation

Fundraising: Oxford MA Tibetan Studies - Scholastic translator - Lelung Literary Preservation Centre

  • £5,257

    pledged of £10,000

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This project received pledges on Mon 23 Feb 2015
The Challenge

Hi, I need your help to fundraise for an M.A. at Oxford University. I am on Hubbub to raise £10,000 to pay the fees for my first year of tuition. 

The Aim 

Under the guidance of my teacher, the 11th Lelung Rinpoche, I am embarking on a two-year masters’ degree in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. Rinpoche has specifically requested that I train at Oxford to become a scholar in this field in order to join his team of translators who will undertake to render into English the works of his predecessor, The Great 5th Lelung Rinpoche

Oxford University, being one of the most prestigious universities in the world, provides an incredibly rich and varied programme that will equip me, both academically and linguistically, to assist Rinpoche in the translation of these immensely rich and poetic Tibetan scriptures. I will graduate from Oxford with all the skills needed to translate the 5th Lelung’s texts for the benefit of the English-speaking world. 

The total cost of the two year M.A. programme at Oxford is £20,000, and I have had my living costs (and I’m talking basic living costs) for that period professionally estimated at £20,000. So all together I’m looking at a very expensive undertaking. However, I’m sure that if you read on, you’ll understand the value and importance of this endeavour, and how greatly privileged I am to have been asked to be a part of it. 

The Background 

The 5th Lelung Rinpoche was an 18th century Tibetan Buddhist Master. A truly non-sectarian scholar and practitioner, he was an influential and renowned teacher and a close personal student of the Great 5th Dalai Lama. He has left behind, for future generations, an immense body of work of 46 scriptures, ranging from sutrayana to tantrayana and covering everything in between. Indeed, this collection, painstakingly located, retrieved, and digitised by the 11th Lelung, is one of the largest bodies of work by any one scholar in Tibetan history. 

Not all of the 5th Lelung’s works survived the Occupation of Tibet and the subsequent Chinese Cultural Revolution, and those which have were spread far and wide across the Tibetan Plateau and Asia. Despite the odds, most of the texts have been rescued - some of them so rare and precious that only one copy of the manuscript is left in existence. 

My own story is that at the age of 20 I discovered Tibetan Buddhism while living in Asia. After seven years abroad I returned to the U.K. and was fortunate enough to meet the current Lelung Rinpoche. From the very beginning, Rinpoche has advised, and even requested, me to go to Oxford University and become a translator. It has taken me three years to take the plunge, but I am finally ready to embark on this epic journey. I have quit my job, despite associate directorship looming on the horizon, and I have moved to India to study in the Tibetan community in Dharamsala for six months. 

I currently live in a storage-room in the Lelung Literary Preservation Centre, surrounded by boxes filled with printed copies of the 5th Lelung Rinpoche’s works. It is very simple living, but it is enabling me to immerse myself in this Tibetan-speaking community. I am taking a traditional monastic approach to studying the language, through which I am building a firm foundation in preparation for the programme at Oxford. 

Conclusion 

In a nutshell, I firmly believe that the content of the 5th Lelung Rinpoche’s work is as relevant today as it was in the past. With depression and anxiety becoming a major problem in the developed world, the content of these wonderfully rich and powerful books will, when translated into English, be a source for many English speakers to find methods in which to find greater peace of mind and, as a result, happiness. 

On an even larger scale, once these texts are available in English, it will be possible for them to be translated into any language at all. Those of you who pledge anything at all to this cause will be enabling me to embark on a career which I know will be of benefit to a great number of people. I have made an educated decision to take a path in life which will mean I may never be rich. However, I know that monetary wealth is only a temporary pleasure, and that the non-material benefits of this endeavour will ultimately enrich myself and many, many others around the world . 

 Please help me to spread the word about what I am doing, and help me raise the money for my first year at Oxford. Tell you friends and family, and anyone you think may be interested in

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2 claimed

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I will write you an email with a beautiful poem taken from the work of the current Lelung Rinpoche's Tibetan book, unpublished in English as yet I will translate it and send to you in English and Tibetan. The topic will be on love.

5 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 April 2015

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I will send you a set of lungta (prayer flags) for you to hang in which to increase prosperity in your area. They will have been blessed.

1 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 June 2015

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I will send you a beautiful mala (prayer beads) made in the Himalayan country of Nepal.

6 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 June 2015

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I will send you a beautifully crafted thanka to hang on your wall of one of the three principle incarnations of - Chenrezig, Manjusri, or Vajapani. These will be painted by the very best Nepali artists and sent directly to you. This will be a medium thangkha and you can choose which you would like. The dimensions are approx 14x23 inches

1 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 August 2015

Pledge £1000 or more

I will send you a beautifully crafted embroidered thanka to hang on your wall of one of the following - Chenrezig, Manjusri, Vajapani, White Tara or Green Tara. These will be painted by the very best Nepali artists and sent directly to you. This will be a large thangkha and you can choose which you would like.

4 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 August 2015