The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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[[Image:Buton.JPG|thumb|Butön Rinchen Drup)]
Though these collections aimed at exhaustiveness, most Nyingma tantras were left out by their Sarma compilers. This lead to the creation of the Nyingma Gyübum that brings together the Nyingma tantras.
Before the compilation work started, most of the texts in these collections existed in several translations. The editors chose the one they considered the best.
While the 'chosen one' became authoritative, most of the other ones disappeared. The different editions mostly show minor variations in the texts collected.
- Paul Harrison, 'A Brief History of the Tibetan bKa' 'gyur' in Cabezón and Jackson, ed., Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, Snow Lion, 1996
- Peter Skilling, Translating the Buddha's Words: Some Notes on the Kanjur Translation Project, Nonthaburi, March 11, 2009
- Peter Skilling, 'Kanjur Titles and Colophons' in Tibetan Studies, vol. 2. Oslo, 1994, pp.768-780
- Tibetan Canonical Works at the TBRC
- Electronic versions of the Kangyur at asianclassics.org (ACIP)
- Online searchable Kangyur
The Tibetan Buddhist canon is a loosely defined list of sacred texts recognized by various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, made up of the Kangyur or Kanjur ('The Translation of the Word') and the Tengyur or Tanjur (Tengyur) ('Translation of Treatises').
The last category is not always sharply distinguished from the others: the tantra division sometimes includes material usually not thought of as tantric in other traditions, such as the Heart Sutra and even versions of material found in the Pali Canon.
The Tibetans did not have a formally arranged Mahayana canon and so devised their own scheme which divided texts into two broad categories, the "Words of the Buddha" and later the commentaries; respectively the Kangyur and Tengyur.
Unfortunately, we have no proof that Bu-ston also took part in the collection and edition of the Tsal pa Kangyur, but he consecrated a copy of this Kangyur 1351 as he visited Tshal Gung-thang (Eimer 1992:178).
We know from sakya mchog ldan (1428-1507) that Bu-ston edited a Kanjur; unfortunately not which one. "The Kangyur usually takes up a hundred or a hundred and eight volumes, the Tengyur two hundred and twenty-five, and the two together contain 4,569 works."
Kangyur or "Translated Words" consists of works in about 108 volumes supposed to have been spoken by the Buddha himself. All texts presumably had a Sanskrit original, although in many cases the Tibetan text was translated from Chinese or other languages.
The Tengyur contains around 3,626 texts in 224 Volumes.
It includes texts on the Vinaya, monastic discipline, metaphysics, the Tantras, etc. Some describe the prajñāpāramitā philosophy, others extol the virtues of the various Bodhisattvas, while others expound the Trikāya and the Ālaya-Vijñāna doctrines.
When exactly the term Kangyur was first used is not known. Collections of canonical Buddhist texts existed already in the time of Trisong Detsen, the sixth king of Tibet, in Spiti, who ruled from 755 until 797 CE.
Currently there are about 12 available versions of the Kangyur.
The Bon Kangyur
The Tibetan Bön religion also has its canon literature divided into two sections called the Kangyur and Tengyur claimed to have been translated from foreign languages but the number and contents of the collection are not yet fully known. Apparently, Bon began to take on a literary form about the time Buddhism began to enter Tibet.