Home Events Archive - Shang Shung Institute UK The Dragon Awakes: Losar Celebration of Tibetan Literature – SATURDAY 24th

The Dragon Awakes: Losar Celebration of Tibetan Literature – SATURDAY 24th

SATURDAY 24th *Onsite at Lekdanling & Online

Morning Session – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Approaching Tibetan Literary Genres and the art of Translation



Dr SG FitzHerbert
Translating the Kangyur: Verses on Circumambulating Shrines
Research Editor, 84000: Translating the Wording Words of the Buddha.
In light of the foundational role of Kangyur translations for the history of Tibetan literature, in this talk I will give a broad introduction to the 84000  project and the editorial process involved in publishing the Kangyur in English translation online, along with the research tools and features available on the 84000 website. 
By way of example, I will then introduce a text that I recently worked on which is series of verses on circumambulating stupas.
Fascinating and rewarding in itself as a poetic work of obvious interest to practicing Buddhists,  I will use this text to illustrate the research  and editorial process that leads to the publication of such a work in English translation.
George taught Tibetan studies at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for several years after obtaining his doctorate there on the subject of the Tibetan Gesar epic . Since 2022 he has been working full time as  Research Editor for 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. He lives in Oxford.


Professor Fabian Sanders – Tibetan Literary genres: styles and purposes 
In this talk Professor Sanders will outline a few of the better known Tibetan literary genres. Looking at the peculiarities of biographical, historical, philosophical, experiential, liturgical and tantric practice texts, he will outline the specific characteristics, styles, vocabularies that define them, as well as the challenges and difficulties they pose for translators to western languages. We will also give some advice on the attitude that is more productive to adopt when approaching such texts and what one should not expect from them.
Dr Charles Manson – “Memoirs of a Reincarnate” 
Karma Pakshi (13th century) is credited with being an early instigator of the reincarnate lama tradition of Tibet, whereby the succession of Buddhist lineage and monastic property often occurred through identified reincarnate children. 400 years later the tradition was used to identify the head of government, as seen with the Dalai Lamas succession for 300 years.
Karma Pakshi wrote one of the earliest surviving memoirs in Tibetan, which exists as a collection of manuscripts (probably 14th century). This presentation will outline the extant memoirs, and delve into some of their content relating to discussion of reincarnation. Also under examination will be a recently (2010) available manuscript of Karma Pakshi’s statement of previous incarnations, with some potentially surprising results.
Charles Manson works as a librarian cataloguer at the Bodleian Library (Oxford University) and at The British Library (London). He recently (2022) published a book on Karma Pakshi’s life and writings: ‘The Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi: Tibetan Mahāsiddha.’



LUNCH BREAK 1:30-2:45


Afternoon Session  3:00 – 6:00 pm

Words of Awakening: Songs, Stories & Poetry

The afternoon will be filled with enlightening poems and inspiring stories as we immerse ourselves in the literature of awakening. This will includes heart advice from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and stories about his life; tales of the crazy wisdom yogi Drukpa Kunley and songs from Milarepa, all well as words from other great Masters, past and present.
The winning poems from the SSIUK Wood Dragon Literary competition will be also presented. Please bring your own poems, favourite stories or other anecdotes to share too.
If you would like to participate in this event by sharing a reading, please contact Julia Lawless by Losar (Tibetan New Year) 10th February.
Contact: julia.lawless@shangshunguk.org


In the evening, starting from 6:30 pm we will have Tibetan momo dumplings (both vegetarian and non-veg), accompanied by music and wine, for an enjoyable evening together. Please come and join in the fun to celebrate the new year of the wood dragon.


Hourly Schedule

Saturday 24

10:30 - 1:30
Approaching Tibetan Literary Genres and the art of Translation
Talks by Dr George FitzHerbert, Professor Fabian Sanders and Dr Charles Manson
1:30 - 2:45
Lunch Break
3:00 - 6:00
Words of Awakening: Songs, Stories & Poetry
Afternoon of enlightening poems and inspiring stories inspired by Tibet
6:00 - 8:00
End of Losar Celebration
Tibetan food and dance