A year after the launch of the ADARSHA website, which lets you read and conduct searches of ancient Tibetan documents in a digital format, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has announced the launch of a second website: DHARMA EBOOKS. Both websites are part of the DHARMA TREASURE project, which operates under the editorial guidance of the Karmapa and actuates his vision to use modern technology to preserve and propagate ancient traditions.
Whereas ADARSHA focuses only on the Kangyur, Tengyur and other Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan, DHARMA EBOOKS will contain a greater range of Buddhist e-books, including important texts from the Buddhist canon, commentaries and practice texts. Though some are still only available in Tibetan, others have been translated into many different languages. Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s Four-Session Guru Yoga, for example, is available in nine languages.
The Gyalwang Karmapa was actively involved in designing the website. The letter ཨ in the logo on the Homepage is his calligraphy. He contributed the images of Milarepa and Gampopa which feature in the title. They were taken from a very old 14th-century text of Lord Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation. Similarly, the image of the Buddha heading the Introduction page is taken from another ancient pecha which was written by His Holiness the 1st Dalai Lama and is now in the Karmapa’s private collection.
The books are mostly in epub format which is compatible with Apple Mac computers, ipads and iphones. Epub also works on MS Windows, Android and Kindle, though some of the features may not work. The website contains a helpful user guide for epub on various devices. Although the majority of books are designed to be downloaded for reading, some books have an option to be read online.
The site is easily navigated by categories and tags. All the e-books are under creative commons copyright. You can use the contents of the e-book for free but under the following conditions: if you redistribute you must quote the source; you cannot use the e-book for commercial purposes; you cannot redistribute e-books which have been changed in any way.
And for those fortunate ones who have just received the Chakrasamvara empowerment here in Bodhgaya and who will be practising Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s Four-Session Guru Yoga, the practice text can be downloaded from the website, accompanied by a very special audio version read by His Holiness the 17 th Karmapa himself, with the intention of helping people learn the practice.
You will find the new website at http://dharmaebooks.org.