Research

3D Replica of Jonang Takten Monastery

This project is visually replicating the campus of Taranatha’s fortress citadel, Takten Phuntsok Ling Monastery in central Tibet. Utilizing digital architecture tools, images and sketches that we have collected, along with Taranatha’s written records and descriptions, we are creating an online three-dimensional interactive map of this monastic complex.

Founded in the year 1615, Takten Damcho Phuntsok Ling Monastery acted as headquarters for the Jonangpa until its acquisition by the Ganden Potrang government in 1650. It is one of Tibet’s great monuments and cultural treasure troves.

This is part of a larger project to document and map the historic and contemporary sites of the Jonangpa in Tibet. For more, see the Jonang Foundation sites database.

 

Tibet Printery Project 

Analyzing the production of printed texts up to the establishment of the great eighteenth century publishing houses, this project surveys the woodblock (par zhing) prints and their related printeries (par khang) in Tibet. Based on interpretive data models, this research project deciphers the distinguished provenance of each woodblock by its publication information, correlating each xylographic work at a printery. With correlates of the woodblocks to their place of production, each printery is identified descriptively or by a GIS code located on a map of the Tibetan plateau.

Dates for when a printery was established and when a work was printed enable us to chart a timeline of early Tibetan print culture. Such data sets are prime for visualizing the spatial and temporal production of this literature. The import of such a digital research project is that it gives a fuller understanding of patterns and trends in the cultural history and geography of book printing in Tibet.

 

Re-compiling Kung Drolchok’s Writings

For the past several years, in collaboration with friends and partners around the world, we have collected and digitized the writings of the extraordinary Tibetan author Kung Drolchok (1507-1566). We are printing these Tibetan language writings in book form as part of a collected works of the author.

Kunga Drolchok is considered a previous embodiment of Taranatha and Jamgon Kongtrul, and was a major figure in the Jonangpa, Sakyapa, and Shangpa transmission lineages. His work titled, The One Hundred and Eight Essential Guidance Instructions was one of the earliest compilations of the various oral instructions in Tibet, and is said to have been an inspiration to Jamgon Kongtrul in his formulation of Rime eclecticism.

We have had the good fortune to discover numerous rare and previously unpublished writings by Kunga Drolchok. The eventual publication of these will be unprecedented, as a full compilation of the writings of this author were never printed in Tibet, and many of these writings have not been available for centuries, displaced and scattered throughout monasteries and private libraries.