Bhutan: Ancient history. Untold stories. Captivating discoveries. Day one at the Mountain Echoes literary festival unraveled a story like never before for audiences from across Bhutan, India and the globe.
The ninth edition of the festival is being held in the picturesque Bhutanese capital of Thimphu from August 23rd till August 25th. One of the key themes at the festival this year, which aims to celebrate Untouched Beauty, Unexplored Ideas and Unstoppable Voices from the heart of the Himalayas, is the Spirit of Buddhism.
Acclaimed scholar Khenpo Sonam Phuntshok, presented an insightful session on 84000: Translating the Sutras on day one of the Festival, at the Royal University of Bhutan. Khenpo Sonam Phuntshok was seen in conversation with Veer Singh, founder of the Dehradun based Vana Foundation, that aspires to make India the world’s beacon of light for spiritual wisdom, to provoke a rebirth of some of its most meaningful and elegant traditions.
The session took the audiences on a journey through centuries as the duo talks about ancient Buddhist transcripts which have not yet been translated into modern languages.Festival Co-Director Tshering Tashi said, “With each edition of the Mountain Echoes literary festival, it is our aim to celebrate the shared histories and narratives of Bhutan and India. This year, as we celebrate the 50thanniversary of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan, we are focusing on a yet unexplored aspect of the two nations. The teachings of the Buddha play a key role in the cultural heritage and spiritual legacy of both countries and we are proud to present to global audiences a glimpse of the work being done by the 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha’.”
Launched in 2010 as a project under Khyentse Foundation, the 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha mission aims to uncover the timeless wisdom written in ancient Tibetan scriptures such as the Kangyur and the Tengyur. A team of 210 Buddhist scholars and translators from across the world are currently working together to translate these texts into modern languages, with an aim to eventually publish the work online for audiences from the world over. As of today, the team at 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha has successfully published over 2500 translated pages. Once translated, the texts will play a crucial role in the survival and revival of Buddhism.
The project aims to make available to people of all nationalities everything they need to follow the Buddha’s infinite path to liberation. In 2015 the organization met its 5 year goal of creating a representative sample of the Kangyur and Tengyur available in English. Today the translated works have been viewed over 8.3 million times by readers from over 239 countries.
An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation and India’s leading literary agency, Siyahi, the three-day festival is presented by the Jaypee Group and powered by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan.
Resonating with a mix of the old-world charm and the contemporary vibe, Mountain Echoes literary festival has set the pace for discussions on ancient cultures and contemporary issues. Come, be a part of Bhutan’s homegrown literary retreat and experience a mesmerizing blend of art and culture. To know more, visit http://www.mountainechoes.org/