His Holiness Sakya Trizin stresses the importance of studying the words of the Buddha and the 84000 project

Venerable sangha members and all dharma brothers and sisters. First of all, I would like to welcome you all to this sutra reading assembly. I myself am very happy to participate in this sutra reading, because even just by one word of Buddha, to hear or to recite brings great merit.

As we all know, the source of all the happiness and benefit are the Buddha’s teachings. Lord Buddha who created [generated] the enlightenment mind for the benefit of all sentient beings and in the meantime accumulated merits and wisdom and eventually attained full enlightenment. After attaining enlightenment, he performed many great activities, such as physical activities and mental activities and so on; but the most important activity is turning the wheel of dharma – by giving the teachings.

What he has already realized, what he has gained, the wisdom he gained, he gave to the beings. What he gained, we practice. Through that, we overcome the suffering of samsara and attain liberation and enlightenment. So therefore the most important is Buddha’s voice activities.

Originally the teachings were in Sanskrit and Pali languages in India. Later, through the kind patronage of Tibetan dharma kings, and also the great blessings of Indian masters, and also through the great hardship of Tibetan translators, they were able to translate so many teachings. Probably the Tibetan collection is the most complete – as it contains Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings. Now the way to share this great treasure to the world is to translate.

I’m very happy this project is progressing. One of the incarnation of my great guru, the incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, is initiating this project. The present Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is the third incarnation. The 1st Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo was a very great master. Although in Tibet, among many different traditions, there were innumerable masters who had great wisdom and great activities in benefiting enormous beings; but most of them are in their own field: Sakya masters in their own school, others in their own schools. They have great wisdom and also in their own fields they have great activities. But there are very few who carry the entire Buddhist tradition; and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo is one of the few who took the entire Tibetan Buddhism – not just one school but entire school. He received the teachings from many sources, with lots of difficulty, going through lots of hardship. Not only did he receive them, but he studied and practiced them, and then later compiled them in a book, like the collection of Tantra, collection of sadhanas, collection of pith instructions, and so many different treasures. We don’t need to go anywhere. We can just receive them all very easily. Every tradition. He is really the “second Buddha,” I can call him, the second Buddha to appear in this universe.

Then the second Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo is Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, whom myself had the fortune to meet, personally – the first time in Lhasa, and then later he came to Sakya also. I received many, many teachings. He is of course another – he carried out the same activities and same teachings as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo did.

And now this present Jamyang Khyentse Dzongsar Rinpoche, he is the third incarnation. From a very young age he has very unique qualities. He has done so much even though he is fairly young. During this lifetime, so much teachings he received, so much things that many older lamas could not do. And now he is carrying on this 84000 project, which is very important.

I said, without the books it is difficult to study; without study, you can’t contemplate; without contemplate, you can’t meditate; without meditate, you can’t make progress. Therefore it is very important.

English is one most important languages in the world, so now to translate the entire 84000 into English is a very great project that I wholeheartedly support and rejoice the wonderful work that is going on.

The Kangyur – the collection of the Buddha’s teachings, and the collection of commentaries of the Kangyur by the great Indian masters – known as Tengyur, are both in every Tibetan monastery. Most monasteries have a copy of this too, as we have here, put it in the shrine, and then do prostration and make offering.

It is said that even just by doing one prostration or offering one light will of course earn great merit. But the more important thing is not just only to pay respect or to keep in the shrine and to make offerings. Most important thing, we must study, through the study we must gain the blessing. HH Dalai Lama pointed clearly that Kangyur is very important, very holy. We must respect, we must do prostration everything; but it is not just do the prostration. We must study, we must take them out of the shelves, we must open and study and learn and use them as textbooks, then you can gain the actual blessings.

Not only the monks and nuns but even the lay people should study also. HH Dalai Lama said, as Buddhist, now we must make the 21st century Buddhist, which means we should not just follow the traditions and do the ceremonies, worship, do prostration, make offerings, circumambulation. These are of course very meritorious and very important. But the more important, we must gain the knowledge.

The Buddha’s teaching is not just the temple or statues or offering objects. But they are in every individual’s mind and how we develop. If our mind becomes more pacified and more tamed, and we are able to control and not be controlled by our negative emotions, then we are making progress, then we are spreading the buddhadharma, then the dharma is progressing. Otherwise even though there are lots of people doing lots of practicing, but the dharma is not progressing. The progress of the dharma means the individual – we – must make progress in the practice of dharma. To do that, we need the texts. So therefore this project is very, very important. Of course it’s a very big project, but it’s an absolutely essential project. We wish this project to meet with complete success. I’m sure with the great blessing of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha that it will be done in great success.

And so now today, we will do recitation of the sutras. It is of course great merits. Also I feel that by doing this, it will clear the obstacles, so that the 84000 project will go very smoothly and successfully. So, by reciting the sutra here, we will dedicate it all to the project, so that it will be made with complete success; and all the leaders, directors and all the people who are directly involved in the 84000 project will completely fulfil your wishes.

(Watch this video :  http://vimeo.com/18293835 for Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s speech)

(For more on how to help this project: http://84000.co/)