Khyentse Foundation Establishes New Chair of Buddhist Studies at Thailand International Buddhist College

- through Henry Oudin

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International Buddhist College, Sadao Campus, Thailand. Image courtesy of KF

The Khyentse Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by revered Bhutanese lama, filmmaker and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has announced the establishment of a new chair of Buddhist studies at the International Buddhist College in Thailand.

The Palyul-Khyentse Chair in Buddhist Textual Studies – established with the help of a matching fund from the Malaysia-based Buddhist Foundation Yayasan Pema Norbu Vihara (YPNV), an official Palyul Center in Malaysia – will promote the study and teaching of Sanskrit Buddhism and its transmission to the Tibetan world.

“The landscape of Buddhist studies is changing in Asia, and particularly in Southeast Asia, and the region has the potential to become a well-developed hub for the field. This is naturally a desirable development, given the region's Buddhist background,” the Khyentse Foundation said in a statement shared with BDG. “Most significantly, this is the first chair of Buddhist studies supported by the Khyentse Foundation in Asia. This reflects an important reality on the ground: even beyond the realm of Buddhist studies, Asian universities are becoming increasingly important and Asian students feel less pressure to study in other parts of the world. Asian universities with similar goals and priorities are gradually forming scholarly networks that can be of great interest to Buddhist communities, whether monastic or lay, in Asia or beyond.

The Khyentse Foundation was founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001 with the aim of promoting the teachings of the Buddha and supporting all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. The foundation's activities include major text preservation and translation projects, support for monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship and awards program, the development of Buddhist studies at major universities, training and development Buddhist teachers and the development of new Dharma-inspired education for children.

The foundation also announced that the new chair has been awarded to Dr. Maria Vasylieva. Dr. Vasylieva, originally from Ukraine, holds a doctorate in political science from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and is soon to complete a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy at the International Buddhist College.

"Her current area of ​​specialization, requiring skills in different registers of Tibetan and Sanskrit, and her experience as a Tibetan interpreter and translator make her an ideal choice for the position," the Khyentse Foundation said. “Already a Dharma translator since 2011 and having translated the teachings of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in Ukraine in 2013, from 2013 to 2019, Maria pursued in-depth studies in Buddhist philosophy and Tibetology at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI) in Nepal and Completed Esukhia's Total Immersion Tibetan course. -language program in Dharamsala, India, with the aspiration to become more qualified as a Dharma translator. Since graduating from RYI with an MA in Translation and Text Interpretation in 2019, she has been translating for a course in traditional Buddhist philosophy and teaching translation methodology at RYI.

Dr. Maria Vasilyeva.
Image courtesy of KF

International Buddhist College (IBC) is a non-sectarian Buddhist university offering courses in the four main Buddhist languages: Classical Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan.

“We are grateful for the support received from foundations that, like the chair itself, honor the broad vision of two non-sectarian Buddhist masters – the late Penor Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche – and Maria, a scholar and teacher whom we greatly admire. The Khyentse Foundation quoted Professor Mattia Salvini, Dean of Graduate Studies at the International Buddhist College. “The chair gives us the opportunity to foster the in-depth training of future generations of Buddhist scholars around the world. »

Achievements of the Khyentse Foundation over the past 20 years include over 15 million pages of Buddhist texts preserved and made available online; the education provided to the children of more than 1 families; support for Buddhist studies at more than 000 major universities through endowed chairs and professorships, support for graduates, and the establishment of centers for Buddhist studies; more than $35 million in sponsorship for Buddhist teacher training awarded; sacred Buddhist texts translated into more than 15 languages, through the efforts of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha, the Kumarajiva Project, and the Khyentse Vision Project; more than $1,8 million in funding awarded to support Buddhism in its home countries, including local partnerships to revitalize interest in Buddhism in India; more than 2 scholarships and awards in recognition of excellence in Buddhist study and practice; supporting over 000 monks and nuns to maintain the tradition of Buddhist scholarship in a monastic setting; and over 3 open-access Ashoka and Trisong scholarships distributed to support Dharma and wellness programs.

“The Khyentse Foundation would like to thank Yayasan Pema Norbu Vihara for making this position possible – their support has continued over the years of friendly, patient interaction and helpful guidance,” the foundation shared. “In particular, the chair owes its existence to the extremely generous offering of the late Dr. Sim Koon Weng, through Yayasan. We will ensure that Dr. Sim's contribution to the growth of the Dharma is amplified through our continued efforts.

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche. Image courtesy of KF

Born in Bhutan in 1961, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is the son of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and was a close student of master Nyingma Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991). He is recognized as the third incarnation of the 1820th century Tibetan terton Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1892–1893), founder of the Khyentse lineage, and the immediate incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1959–XNUMX).

In addition to the Khyentse Foundation, his projects include Siddhartha's Intent, an international collective of Buddhist groups supporting Rinpoche's Buddhadharma activities by organizing teachings and retreats, distributing and archiving recorded teachings, and transcribing, editing and translating manuscripts and practice texts; 84000, a global non-profit initiative to translate the words of the Buddha and make them accessible to everyone; Lotus Outreach, which runs a series of projects aimed at ensuring the education, health and safety of vulnerable women and children in developing countries; and Lhomon Society, which promotes sustainable development in Bhutan through education.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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