Establishing Translation Institutes
Although the work of translating Sutras under the guidance of the Venerable Master started in 1968, a translation institute was not formally formed until 1973. The founding of this Institute was an important step in the growth of Buddhism in the West. During his visit to Vietnam in 1974, the Venerable Master said,
- Now there are genuine members of the Sangha among Westerners, and their translations are most likely to be accurate. Previously, Buddhist Sutras were translated either by Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, scholars, or professors. With their viewpoints being that of outsiders, it has been difficult for them to make translations. Even if they have understood a bit of Buddhadharma or known a few Buddhist technical terms, or doctrines, they still have made mistakes in translation. For example, in translating the Dharma Flower Sutra, a certain professor translated the term "doubly complete" as "two footed". The Chinese term liang tsu refers to the completeness of blessings and wisdom, a double completeness. Taking the second part of the compound tsu, literally he translated it as "two-footed." So it's "Take refuge with the Buddha's two feet." Well then, why not, "Take refuge with the Buddha's two hands"? Or his head? Why just take refuge with is feet? An obvious mistake.
In 1977, the Institute was merged into Dharma Realm Buddhist University as the Institute for the Translation of Buddhist Texts. In 1991, the Venerable Master purchased a large building in Burlingame (south of San Francisco) and established the International Translation Institute there for the purpose of translating and publishing Buddhist texts.