The Avatamsaka Sutra English Translation Project - Hosted by Reverend Heng Sure
The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua said:
The Flower Adornment (Avatamsaka) Sutra is the sutra of the Dharma realm and of empty space. Throughout the Dharma realm and empty space, there is no place where the Flower Adornment Sutra is not present. Wherever the Flower Adornment Sutra is found, the Buddha is to be found, and also the Dharma and the Sangha of Worthy Sages.
Master Hua brought the teachings of the Buddha to the West. In 1971, the Master began lecturing the Flower Adornment Sutra and completed the lecture series in nine years and six months. While the Master was lecturing the sutra, the disciples began the English translation of it. At that time, due to his Western disciples’ limited knowledge of the Chinese language, the meaning of the sutra was not thoroughly or accurately translated. Later on, more translators turned up to help; so, the original translation was gradually updated and polished. Hence, the English version of the Flower Adornment Sutra has been developing over time, but has lost its consistency due to the multitude of translators and their respective styles of translation.
Reverend Heng Sure noticed this inconsistency and hoped to complete an English version of the Flower Adornment Sutra in his lifetime. Rev. Heng Sure is a practitioner of the Flower Adornment Sutra. When he started his Three-Steps-One-Bow pilgrimage from Los Angeles to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in 1976, he carried the Flower Adornment Sutra. Whenever he bowed down, he recited, “Homage to the Great Flower Adornment Sutra of the Buddha's Expanded Mahayana Teachings and to The Ocean-wide Flower Adornment Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.” He completed the pilgrimage in two years and nine months. Furthermore, Rev. Heng Sure joined the original Flower Adornment Sutra lecture series taught by Master Hua, and has dedicated his life to tirelessly propagating the Flower Adornment Sutra.
In late February of the year 2011, Rev. Heng Sure called on all the committees of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) to collaborate in translating the sutra, and the request was enthusiastically received. The first sutra translation meeting was held on March 7, 2011 in the conference room of Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU), with more than twenty participants eagerly joining the discussion. Every person participated with sincerity and hoped to make contributions to this noble translation work. After the first meeting, the assembly was grouped by tasks and the direction was set.
The first translation work began on March 14, 2011. Lively discussion, exchange of opinions and debate occurred at that meeting. Every opinion was received respectfully. It was indeed a great learning opportunity for every participant. The meeting site was just like a big “Avatamsaka classroom.”
The translation meetings are scheduled for every Monday from 12:30 - 2:15 PM Pacific Time in the Avatamsaka Translation Room on the second floor of the Guest Building at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. These meetings have been held to date, with some remote participants joining online via Zoom. The total number of participants has grown to almost fifty, and some volunteers from branch monasteries also show great interest in this translation work.
Dates: Every Monday from 12:30 - 2:15 PM Pacific Time
Location: Online via Zoom and in the Avatamsaka Translation Room in the Guest Building, City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
The Avatamsaka Sutra is the most expansive teaching the Buddha gave on Bodhisattva practice. This is a rare opportunity to join the translation efforts of the Buddhist Text Translation Society.If you are interested in joining the session, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org