Xinhua News Agency, December 27, 2006
China has started editing its first punctuated version of The Tripitaka, a complete collection of Buddhist scriptures in Chinese, to assist readers and researchers.
The Tripitaka, which covers philosophy, history, nationalities, linguistics, literature, architecture, astronomy and medicine, is considered the encyclopedia of Buddhist culture.
The new 300-million-word edition of 5,600 Buddhist classic texts draws on a corpus of 25,000 volumes and will double the size of the most complete Japanese edition.
The five-year project will include all the Chinese sutras contained in previous editions, those that haven't appeared in previous editions of The Tripitaka and some newly found scriptures.
Over 100 experts and masters will comb through all the existing Buddhist classics.
They will endeavor to ensure that scriptures are edited from the original texts, said Dan Zeng, vice president of the Chinese Writers Association.
He said the Japanese edition, published in the 1930s, had been used by the academic world for a long time. But a new edition was needed. "The punctuated edition will be the most authoritative and most convenient text for scholars and readers," he added.
China has more than 30 editions of The Tripitaka, published in different dynasties and in Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchu language versions but none of them is punctuated.