Than A Million Texts
Tarthang Tulku, a Tibetan Buddhist master from the Nyingma School
of Tibetan Buddhism, has founded some of the most successful
Buddhist organizations in the world. Highly-appraised and regarded,
the organizations have resisted the strangling vines of often-heard
scandals, too loud in the more prosperous and pompous sector
of the spiritual market. It has maintained, too, a disciplined
personality-centred-free approach in its work, with its
founder taking the back seat, thrusting to the fore, instead,
its good works for the holy Dharma. It is almost unthinkable
for many to witness the great yet clean successes of Tarthang
a direct consequence of the political turmoil in Tibet, unbelievable
collections and libraries of Buddhist manuscripts, painstakingly
transplanted over a period of close to a thousand years, since
the 13th century, from ancient India¡¯s prestigious
and monumental Buddhist monastic centres of learning such as
the great Nalanda, are cruelly pillaged, in the name and pursuit
of a Marxist fallacious utopia through disastrous schemes of
fanatical ideologues. Precious sculptures, paintings and works
of art of inestimable value were suddenly cast bourgeois and
condemned into the coin mints, pig pens and tromping feet of
Tulku, with the wish to re-kindle and torch aflame anew, the
light of the Buddha¡¯s holy teachings, which, in his words, are
¡°timeless truths¡± for the world, has pursued with single-pointed
resolution, uncompromising integrity and example, what is now
evident to all, as some of the most impressive array of projects
and activities for the Dharma in the world:
2) Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center
3) Tibetan Aid Project
4) Nyingma Institute
5) Yeshe De - Tibetan Sacred Text Preservation and Distribution
6) Nyingma Centers Resident Volunteer Program
7) Ratna Ling Retreat Center
of these seven works is stretched rich and full, each very well
conceived, established and developed, hardly mere smatterings
in any sense, even seen against the sometimes over-hyped tendencies
in the tottering mosaic of Buddhism as so newly incarnated in
Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center spans more than one thousand
acres in California and is home to long-term students, residential
volunteers and community members. Grandiose, palatial structures
including the Enlightenment Stupa, Vajra Temple, Cintamani Temple
trigger almost-always shock with unbelievable wonderment to
the raw visitor. Symbols sacred in pre-communist occupied Tibet
such as thousands of the most-exquisitely crafted Prayer Wheels,
Prayer Flags, Images, were re-created and reborn in myriad ways,
made possible with western-tainted technological prowess, efficiency
and ambition. It contains, too, arguably one of the world¡¯s
truly most splendorous gardens, served in some of the world¡¯s
rarest and most resplendent floral stocks. All these, are, as
claimed, but offerings to the Buddha, His Teachings and His
noble Community of Disciples, with the purest love, as spiritual
merit for our world.
Vajra Temple in the United States
Buddhist centers, not study groups sometimes disguised to perk
up numbers, size and hence image, have also been firmly rooted
in Europe as well as both North and South America.
Tarthang Tulku, ¡°Working for the
higher purpose of preserving the wisdom of the East, we enjoy
the challenge of perfecting the technology of the West. And
we have the satisfaction of knowing that every book we print
has the power to bring clarity, peace, joy, and love into the
world. We hope these scriptures endure for a long time to come.¡±
the objective to preserve and ¡°salvage¡± the Tibetan Buddhist
tradition, a precious, irreplaceable and common heritage of
humanity, from complete decimation, the Yeshe De Project was
conceived and initiated. The project has achieved what is apparently
a historically unprecedented avalanche of super-human efforts
and truly admirable success.
its home-base in the United States, through selfless and honourable
commitments of mainly western volunteers, state-of-the-art
digitalized-printing-technology, to shipment across
the great oceans, bridging more than mere geographical continents,
via the tempest of roaring swarms of 20-foot-size containers,
rolling into the very heartland and cradle of the Buddhist world,
the Diamond-Throne ¨C the Bodhigaya, the holiest of spots for
Buddhists world-wide, the place of Enlightenment of Lord Buddha
the Awakened One. [ See 130 Steps of Production ]
to serve as a focal distribution point for these precious texts,
Tarthang Tulku has sponsored ¡°World Peace Ceremonies¡± for all
the four main Tibetan Buddhist Schools at Bodhigaya, attended
by collectively more than 220,000 holy Sangha and lay Buddhists
from 1989 to 2004.
De has distributed, completely free of charge, more than one
million Dharma books to individuals, libraries, monastic colleges,
monasteries, nunneries, retreat centers, and settlements to
more than 3,300 centers in India, Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh,
and Tibet, to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, a welcome beacon,
very much above petty sectarianism so toxic but common.
distributed Tibetan Buddhist scriptures are preserved through
nothing less than all the modern day marvels available, of acid-free,
environmentally-sustainable paper and ink, everything geared
to guarantee survival of the texts for at least the next three
magnitude, reach and depth of the project, looks impossible
and is inconceivable in the light of the incredible stretch
to breaking point, at many times throughout the sometimes long
decades of fluid cohesion and trying devotion, of the organization¡¯s
resources, financial, labour, intellect-skills and all.
millions of texts, prayer-wheels and sacred paintings can be
seen in the light of the maturity and transcendence of spiritual
brotherhood, from the east to the west and vice-versa, against
the backdrop of the truth and holiness of the Dharma.
beyond the Tibetan Buddhist ring, Tarthang Tulku sponsored one
of the largest congregations of Theravada Sangha from all the
major Theravada countries including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar,
Laos, Thailand, in Bodhigaya in 2007.
¡°sister¡± organization of Yeshe De, Dharma Publishing, has also
embarked upon large scale publishing of books which are relevant
and accessible to a Western audience, so as to ¡°open doorways
to enlightenment for those who might in the future awaken faith
in the Dharma.¡±
twin directions of Dharma publication under Tarthang Tulku,
hence, are to, in addition to preserving the sacred texts in
Tibetan, also dedicated to ¡°introducing the West to the Dharma
through translations and introductory works in English.¡±
from the sales of Dharma books and art are completely re-channeled
back to the production of yet more books and art.
well-trodden principles and reputation of ¡°sacred investment¡±
( as in the above ), whereby personal profits from proceeds
are delegated out of the balance sheet totally, has earned the
organization wide-spread trust and respect.
Dharma Publishing has nearly a hundred titles in print, spanning
from philosophical theories, biographies, classical literature,
glossy magazines, modern-day therapeutic remedies and exercises
to some of the world¡¯s most beautiful Buddhist books for children.
Approximately eight hundred thousand books in English have been
distributed since 1971 and almost two million volumes in Tibetan
Publishing¡¯s books have been adopted as readings in about a
thousand university courses, and twenty-two of these titles
have been translated into as many as fourteen languages.
and Dharma Publishing have both been neither overtly scholarly-academic
versus traditional-religious, nor fiscal-oriented versus
careless-indulgence, skidding high above, along thin and
complicated criss-crossed lines, hanging from hazardous, slanted
peaks which leads into dark abysses of unspeakables. For this
and so many more, we rejoice with folded-palms, raised in prayers
and so much gratitude.
learn more about Yeshe De and Dharma Publishing, see http://www.yeshede.org/index.html
article is written by Kunga Nyima of the Charitable Assistance
Society of Thousand-Arm Chenrezig ( www.casotac.com
), based, in-part, on an interview with Rima Tamar, the Sales
Director of Dharma Publishing in February 2007, Singapore, for
For You Magazine.
STEPS OF PRODUCTION
1. Support for Shedras
Head Lama of TNMC Tarthang Rinpoche develops plans to support
studies in the Tibetan shedras in exile and in Tibet.
2. Review of Resources
As plans develop, texts in the Yeshe De libraries are reviewed
to determine which titles are available.
3. Editorial Selection
Based on the over-all plan, Rinpoche selects specific titles
for each year's text production schedule.
Required texts that are not in Yeshe De libraries are located
in other libraries and monasteries around the world.
5. New Texts Received
New texts from libraries and monasteries arrive as xerox, film,
fiche, or computerized scans, and texts are catalogued. Stages
6. Review of New Texts
New texts are printed out for review by Rinpoche to determine
what will be included in production.
7. Text Organization
Rinpoche organizes text titles to create groups of preliminary
volumes to consider for production.
8. Production Projections
Short-range and longrange projections are made in terms of the
required time, money, equipment, and staffing.
Information on texts, authors, folios, and subject matter is
compiled in computer format.
10. Review of Materials
Inventories of existing materials are prepared and materials
required for new volumes are calculated.
11. Purchasing Plans
Plans for large materials purchases are prepared, verifying
prices, price breaks, manufacture, and delivery times.
12. Preparing Budgets
Budgets for materials and monthly cash flow requirements are
determined and reworked monthly.
13. Planning Funding
Funding in specific amounts from our sister organizations is
requested and monthly pledges agreed upon.
14. Regular Financial
Verifying and paying of invoices on regular monthly basis; categorizing
all income and expenses.
15. Organizing Inputting
Lists of texts to be input are organized. Inputting stays one
year or more ahead of production if possible.
16. Inputting Sources
Source volumes from Yeshe De libraries or new acquisitions are
located and marked for xeroxing.
17. Xeroxing Texts
Selected texts are reproduced by laser xerography, using filters
and enlargements to enhance readability.
18. Program Installing
Custom-designed programs for inputting and typesetting in Tibetan
require 5 years to develop and ongoing maintenance.
19. Setting Up Inputting
Xeroxes of each text are organized into a job made up of 50-folio
files. Recordkeeping is established for each job.
20. Daily Inputting
A small team of inputters plans the work, usually at the rate
of 50 folios or more per day per person.
21. File Checking
Each 50-folio file is run through a series of checking programs
to locate and correct common typing errors.
22. File Compare
After each file is input twice the two inputs are compared to
locate differences that show typing or reading errors.
23. Corrected Proofs
Differences are checked to the original and corrections entered.
Proofs are printed and corrections are rechecked.
24. Organizing Proofs
Proofs for each text are boxed, labeled and shelved. Reports
from checking programs are included.
Each text is assigned to a proofreader who corrects thirty different
types of mistakes. Queries are marked for further checking.
26. Correction Input 1
Corrections marked by the proofreader are input into the file.
Uncertain corrections are marked for rechecking.
27. Proof Printing
Corrected proofs are printed out again, with revised notations
for date and stage of production.
28. Correction Check
Each correction is located on both sets of proofs and checked.
Recorrections are made and pages reprinted.
29. Proofreading 2
A second round of proofreading makes additional corrections.
Shads are checked and corrected.
30. Correction Input 2
Corrections are input into the file again, and a series of checking
programs for grammar and spelling are run.
31. Proof Printing
Another corrected proof is printed out and newest corrections
are checked. Correction cycles may repeat as needed.
32. Queries Checked
Queries from inputting, file compare, and proofreading are checked
by Rinpoche, who may consult various editions.
33. Final Review
Rinpoche reviews the final proofs and composes verses for the
publisher colophon for each large text.
34. Assembling Volumes
Rinpoche assembles and orders a series of completed texts into
a volume for production.
35. Volume Design
Rinpoche decides design of the volume: large pothi for Sutra,
smaller pothi for Shastra, or western.
36. Tibetan Style Step 1
Pothi-style books are created with a customdesigned computer
program that fits lines of type into borders.
37. Tibetan Style Step 2
The title page designed by Rinpoche is created with Tibetan
script and scanned images of lantsa script to fit the opening
38. Tibetan Style Step 3
Art boxes are added to page two and three following traditional
pothi style. Captions are composed and added to the program.
39. Tibetan Style Step 4
Running heads are composed and folio numbers are added to each
40. Tibetan Style Step 5
The remaining text pages are designed with a five-line format
using smaller type and less line space.
41. Tibetan Style Step 6
After text files are put into the program, each page is checked
to find and move short syllables left at beginnings and ends
42. Tibetan Style Step 7
Extra spacing is added around chapters, sections, final prayers,
and colophons. sBrul shads might be added as well.
43. Tibetan Style Step 8
A stupa is added to the final page and the end of text is adjusted
to fit around the stupa image.
44. Tibetan Style Step 9
Final pages are printed out and checked by eye for good spacing
between shads and short syllables.
45. Tibetan Style Step 10
Final pages are reviewed by Rinpoche before sending to the press
for printing. New corrections may be added at this stage. ?
46. Western Style Step 1
To create western pages, additional page-making programs are
required, which staff learns to use.
47. Western Style Step 2
Tibetan files are formatted with extra spacing to mark out main
topics and with centered lines to mark out verses and quotations.
48. Western Style Step 3
Special formatting is needed for sa-bcad, outlines, and indices
to show topics and each one's page number.
49. Western Style Step 4
Formatting is checked for accuracy, to align type nicely on
each page. Small words are moved from beginning and ends of
50. Western Style Step 5
A dKar-chag Table of Contents is added to list chapters of a
text or a series of texts in the volume.
51. Western Style Step 6
Front matter pages are created including volume title page that
indicates the category to which the texts belong.
52. Western Style Step 7
Final prayers, colophon, and stupa with a caption are added
at the end of the text in the final pages of the volume.
53. Western Style Step 8
Opening pages for each text in a volume are created with 2-color
ornamental borders ready to add line drawings.
54. Western Style Step 9
Final pages are printed out and checked for a variety of errors.
Rinpoche reviews the completed volumes
55. Line Art Selection
Rinpoche selects art depicting authors or lineage holders and
composes a caption for each drawing.
56. Line Drawings
Line drawings of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Arhats, Deities, and
masters are prepared under Rinpoche's direction.
57. Art Organization
Line drawings are organized according to type of image and chronology
of masters and archived for ease of access.
58. Thanka Selection
Rinpoche chooses a thanka for each volume suitable to the content,
and composes a Tibetan caption.
59. Kanjur Thankas
Kanjur volumes may include additional thankas to introduce individual
60. Thanka Organization
Selected thankas are organized by volume for large Kanjur collections
such as Ratnakuta or Prajnaparamita Sutras.
61. Scanning Art
Selected line drawings are scanned, enhanced, and cropped to
fit in the text art boxes depending on volume style.
62. Thanka Scanning
Thankas are scanned, optimizing and adjusting the color, and
then cropped to fit in text art boxes depending on volume style.
Scanned images are printand checking the printing Buddhas, Bodhisattvas,
and lineage holders to open each Sutra and Shastra volume. requirements.
64. Stupa Art
Stupas for the final page of each large text are chosen from
a large collection of drawings created under the supervision
65. Ornamental Folio
Rinpoche designs a special folio with images of
63. Thanka Proofs
ed out in color for verification of organization
66. Inside Cover Design
Rinpoche creates ornamental art and lantsa script for the inside
front pothi cover, and a stupa and dedication verse for the
67. Pothi Cover Design
To ornament the pothi volume cover, Rinpoche creates a design
which is gold-stamped onto red boards.
68. Western Cover Design
Rinpoche creates new Western style volume cover designs with
book spine type announcing titles and authors.
69. Cover Typesetting
Composing the type and art to fit the cover exactly requires
many hours of computer time.
70. Cover Dies
Cover type and art is sent to die manufacturer to create magnesium
dies used to stamp covers for pothi and western volumes.
71. Lantsa Preparation
A large collection of Sanskrit letters in lantsa script has
been created by Yeshe De Project over many years.
72. Lantsa Scanning
Selected text titles are composed in lantsa script and scanned.
Images are added to title pages.
73. Printing Proofs
After all art and lantsa are added to the volume, final proofs
are printed out and checked before sending to press.
For pothi-style volumes, Rinpoche creates a table of contents
card that is attached to the finished volume. Text titles are
typeset to fit the card.
75. Plating Techniques
Until 2003, we used pyrofax plating for black and white text,
and camera and conventional film to prepare color images.
76. Pyrofax Imposition
Using pyrofax method, folios of the final proof are pasted up
on boards and art and lantsa are added to the hard copy.
77. Pyrofax Plating
Final copy is registered to copy board and photographed with
pyro film. Image is transferred from film to transmat to plate.
Since 2003, we have been using CTP technology to make plates
directly from computer files without film.
79. Equipment Purchase
Detailed research was required to obtain suitable CTP equipment.
Machine set-up required many months to accommodate our complex
80. Compatible Systems
Typesetting computers and new plating computers are set up to
guarantee compatibility between systems
81. Files for Press
Computer files of text ready to print are sent by disk or electronically
to the plating department.
82. Final Files Check
Plating department checks the text files to be sure all pages
are in order and all scans in place.
83. Imposition Guide
A guide is created to show where to placefolios on the large
sheet of paper that will be printed and folded into signatures.
84. Imposition Check
Computer program assists in placing folios in order for each
plate. Operator checks the sequence.
85. CTP Plating
The image of folios laid out on each sheet is sent electronically
to the platemaking machine that burns the image into metal plate.
86. Washing Plate
After the plate is burned, it is washed, dried, and checked
carefully. Final proofs are on hand to go with the plate to
87. Planning Print Runs
Rinpoche decides how many copies of each volume to print. Sutras
and most shastras are 8,000 to distribute widely to all schools.
88. Printing Department
For 2006, we purchased another press so that three presses are
now working 24 hours per day and a fourth runs part-time.
89. Printing Shastras
A two-color Heidelberg press prints the shastra commentaries
on lightweight 40-pound text paper using black ink.
90. Printing Sutras
A Heidelberg perfecting press prints the larger format Kanjur
Sutra texts on 40-pound paper using custom copper ink.
91. Western Volumes
Western volumes are printed on the perfector presses and also
on the two-color presses.
92. Printing Color
Four-color work, including the thanka folios for the Kanjur
and the dongtar table of contents cards, are usually printed
on the two-color press.
93. Printing Step 1
The plate is set into the press and attached to the plate cylinder
via the plate clamp carefully by hand
94. Printing Step 2
Stacks of paper are set up to feed into the press at the rate
of 8,000 per hour.
95. Printing Step 3
Ink is adjusted for color and density and smoothness of paper
feeding is tested by running makeready sheets.
96. Printing Step 4
When set-up is complete, 8,000 copies of the sheet are printed
from the plate in succession.
97. Printing Step 5
The printed plate is removed by hand and the next plate is attached
to the plate cylinder.
98. Printing Step 6
For color printing, adjustments are made to the flow of four
fountains of ink to obtain the desired colors.
99. Printing Step 7
Perfector press prints both sides of the sheet in a single pass
and so doubles the output of a given length of printing time.
00. Printing Step 8
Printed sheets are stacked onto skids to dry. Unperfected sheets
run through the press a second time to print the other side.
101. Printing Step 9
Skids of stacked paper printed on both sides are now ready to
102. Folder Purchase
An additional folder was purchased for 2006 so that Tibetan
style and western style books could be folded at the same time
Printed sheets are run through two-stage folders to create 16-page,
24-page, or 32-page signatures.
104. Small Folder
Western volume thankas printed in small signatures of 4 pages
are folded on a much smaller folder.
Several times each week 10-11 skids of printed text are trucked
100 miles from printing facility to bindery facility. 106. Loading
& Unloading Forklifting the skids into and out of the truck
before and after its run takes several hours for each load.
The 20 or more skids of paper printed weekly need constant rearrangement
to keep the press and bindery clear for work.
108. Collating Text
Signatures are set by hand into the pockets of an automated
collator that gathers them together into large batches.
Batches of signatures that make up each volume are then married
together to complete the book.
110. Check Books
Married books are checked to be sure all the signatures are
in the proper order.
111. Cutting Books
Married texts are then fed through the automated cutter that
trims the signatures on all four sides.
112. Edge-dyeing Books
Batches of books are inserted into a rack with cut edges exposed
so red dye can be applied with sponges.
113. Shastra Covers
Covers for Shastras are printed on cardstock in red, peach,
and gold ink and the sheets cut into individual covers.
114. Covers for Sutras
Kanjur Sutra covers are produced by laminating two matte boards
of different colors together with hot glue.
The front cover design is foil stamped using a custom made die
and a ten-ton stamper.
121. Boxing Sets
Sets of collated books are inserted into sturdy cardboard boxes
with labels specially prepared for Indian customs.
122. Loading Container
Boxes of books are strapped to skids that are loaded into 20-foot
or 40- foot long shipping containers to truck to the port.
Months in advance we negotiate with shipping companies to get
the best possible price for our shipment to India.
Following up on the final stages of production in the bindery
to loading containers in time to get on the ship takes hours
When containers are loaded, paperwork is carefully prepared
and verified so that books are allowed through Indian customs.
126. Distribution Plan
Rinpoche creates an overall plan for book distribution to monasteries
and individuals depending on the types of texts prepared
127. Customs Plan
Research in customs regulations over fifteen years has made
it possible to bring large amounts of books into India.
128. Travel arrangements
Tickets and travel plans are made for Yeshe De staff who attend
the Monlam to distribute the books.
Once at Bodh Gaya, our team makes announcements and signs up
monasteries and centers to receive books.
130. Distributing Books
Hundreds of skids are organized in rows to facilitate actual
distribution of boxes of books to more than 3300 centers