FULFILLING A VISION
Keenly aware of Tibet’s irreparable loss and willing to do everything possible to sustain the precious heritage of the Land of Snows, Dharma Publishing has worked to realize three principle goals: preservation of Tibetan texts and art, publication of works in Western languages that communicate the meaning and value of the Dharma, and distribution of texts to monks and scholars of the Tibetan Community.
It is our hope that, even if the lineages do not survive in their traditional form, the texts and the knowledge they contain will be available for future generations. Although civilizations rise and fall, perhaps the day will come when this precious enlightened knowledge can once more be fully applied for the benefit of all sentient beings.
As a refugee in India in the early 1960’s, Tarthang Rinpoche, an eminent lama from the Nyingma school, perceived the urgent need for preserving the sacred texts of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Trained by outstanding teachers who were close desecndants of the most renowned masters of the nineteenth century, he was uniquely prepared to appreciate the full richness of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. In 1963, while teaching at Sanskrit University n Varanasi, he founded Dharma Mudranalaya. The name Dharma Mudranalaya, Sanskrit for Dharma Press, commemorated the printing house in Derge in east Tibet, famous for its production of the Kanjur and Tanjur.
In India the traditional Tibetan method of printing from carved woodblocks was impractical; here it was necessary to learn modern printing and business techniques. Through inquiries, observation, and persistent effort, Rinpoche had type-forms made and letters cast, then learned to set type and operate the small litho press. Soon afterwards Dharma Mudranalaya printed seven important texts and distributed copies to Nyingma centers in India. During its years of operation in India, Dharma Mudranalaya printed twenty texts by the Nyingma masters Patrul Rinpoche, Lama Mipham, and Longchenpa. This initial effort inspired other Tibetans to continue the work of preservation.
Arriving in Berkeley, California in 1969, Tarthang Tulku established the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center (TNMC) as a foundation for Dharma study and practice in America. At this time, when the Western fascination with the remote land of Tibet had given rise to many vague speculations about Tibetan Buddhism, there was a great need for texts and art to convey accurate information to the public and to support study and practice.
This need lent urgency to the transcribing of teachings given at TNMC and efforts to translate traditional guides to meditation. As classes and education projects expanded, it became necessary to print brochures, exhibition catalogs, and introductory works on Buddhism. Rinpoche showed several students how to operate an antique hand-press; others began to learn type-setting and develop editorial skills. These activities led to the rebirth of Dharma Mudranalaya in America as Dharma Publishing and Dharma Press.
Dharma Publishing and Dharma Press began operations in 1970 and in 1975 were formally incorporated as a non-profit organization under the name Dharma Mudranalaya (DBA Dharma Publishing and Dharma Press). Initially there was no skilled staff and virtually no equipment. No one could comprehend the magnitude of the work ahead or imagine how they might support such a vision. During these early years it gradually became clear to the staff that they could not afford to be idle observers. If the Dharma were to come to the West, those who wished to benefit from its teachings would have to prepare the foundation by contributing to its preservation and translation…
Update Coming Soon!