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Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi receives award from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Khyentse Foundation Awards Prize for Outstanding Translation to Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi

Posted: July 9, 2013

(New York, June 10, 2013) — Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi was awarded the 2013 Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation for publication of The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2012). Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche met with Bhikkhu Bodhi in New York on May 27 to present the $8,000 award.

The Anguttara Nikaya (roughly, "Collection of Discourses Arranged by Numbers, in Ascending Order") is the second longest of the four basic suttas or discourse collections of the Pali canon, and the repository of many important and influential teachings not found elsewhere. The text was previously translated into English by F. L. Woodward and E. M. Hare as The Book of the Gradual Sayings, in five volumes, 1932-1936. Despite the long-felt need for a new translation, the sheer size of the collection has posed an almost insurmountable challenge to translators.

"Now at last the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi has risen to that challenge," said Paul Harrison, professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University and a member of the Khyentse Foundation Prize Selection Committee. "He has produced an authoritative and lucid rendition that will quickly become the standard English version and is likely to remain so for many generations. Into one massive volume (1,924 pages long) he has packed not simply a splendidly readable translation of the suttas of the Anguttara Nikaya, but a fine introduction, over 270 pages of erudite notes, and a number of useful appendices, making his work an indispensable resource for the study of the Buddha's word for scholars and practitioners alike. This is a major contribution to Buddhist scholarship."

With this award, Khyentse Foundation wishes to recognize not just the prodigious achievement that the publication of The Numerical Discourses represents in itself, but also Bhikkhu Bodhi's lifetime of dedication to the task of rendering the Buddha's words accessible to a wider English-speaking audience. Among other things, this dedication has resulted in his translation of the even more voluminous Samyutta Nikaya (2000) and his joint rendition (with Bhikkhu Nanamoli) of the Majjhima Nikaya (1995). No other living scholar has made a contribution of such magnitude to the translation of Buddhist scriptures into a modern language. Bhikkhu Bodhi is truly a worthy recipient of the Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Translation.

Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi is chief abbot of Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York. He said that he will be donating the award money to two non-profit organizations.

Khyentse Foundation is an international 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The foundation supports individuals and institutions engaged in the practice and study of Buddhism. The Foundation has supported the study and practice of Buddhism in 30 countries. In the past 10 years, the foundation has offered more than US$7 million in grants, directly affecting the lives of people around the world. Projects funded include a chair of Buddhist studies at the University of California at Berkeley, the digitization of the entire Tibetan Buddhist scriptural canon, endowments for traditional monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship program, and numerous other innovative initiatives. Learn more about Khyentse Foundation and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's activities at