The International Tipiṭaka Hall
Assistant Prof. Dr. M.R. Kalaya Tingsabadh
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
The Installation Ceremony of the International Tipiṭaka Collection
Presented as a donation to the Faculty of Arts
The M.L. Maniratana Bunnag Dhamma Society Fund
Under the Patronage of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand
At the newly established International Tipiṭaka Hall
The Arts Building One, the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
September 20, B.E. 2543 (A.D.2000)
It is a great honour for the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University to welcome His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch for His first official visit to the university today (September 20, 2000). This marks the occasion His Holiness graciously presides over the installation of the International Tipiṭaka Collection of the Buddhist Theravada Scriptures presented by the M.L. Maniratana Bunnag Dhamma Society Fund under the Patronage of the His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand as a Gift of Dhamma to the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. The Faculty of Arts would also like to express an appreciation to you all for attending religious ceremony held this morning in the Arts Building One. May I take this opportunity to report on the background of these Buddhist sacred texts.
To commemorate the 72nd Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the M.L. Maniratana Bunnag Dhamma Society Fund under the Patronage of His Holiness is carrying out a publication project of a Romanized script of the Pāḷi-language Tipiṭaka, based on the Chaṭṭhasaṅgῑti Edition B.E. 2500 (1957). A total number of 1,000 sets of the complete Pãḷi Canon, 40 volumes, will be presented to major academic institutions worldwide.
The Chaṭṭhasaṅgῑti Edition is the outcome of the Sixth Great International Buddhist Council held in Burma between B.E.2498-99 (1954-56) and is being published in Roman alphabet under meticulous care and supervision for the first time in the world. In preparing the Roman-scripted text for publication, the Dhamma Society Fund has made comparison with other available texts and acquired many different Pali Canon publications in various national scripts and translations in various languages.
Furthermore, during the preparation of the publication project, the Dhamma Society Fund has been voluntarily assisted by faculty members and students of Chulalongkorn University: the Faculty of Engineering in preparing the electronic manuscript; the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts in designing computer fonts and the book format; the Faculty of Science in printing technology and photography; the Faculty of Architecture in creating art work; and the Faculty of Arts in editing the autograph copy and other documentary texts.
During the publication process, the Dhamma Society Fund has been proud to observe that Chulalongkorn University's facuty and students have held these sacred texts in high esteem. For this reason, the Dhamma Society Fund wishes to have this International Tipiṭaka Collection permanently enshrined at Chulalongkorn University for the benefit of the entire university community. The Faculty of Arts offers instruction and conducts research in a number of disciplines that can directly and indirectly benefit from the International Tipiṭaka Collection, namely the Section of Pali-Sanskrit, Buddhist Studies, Philosophy, Thai language, Translation and Interpretation, Linguistics, History and Library Science. It is thus fitting for the Dhamma Society Fund to present this international corpus of Buddhist Holy Scriptures to the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University.
This is also a fitting gesture of gratitude to the beloved Alma Mater of the late Thanpuying M.L. Maniratana Bunnag, the Founder and First President of the Dhamma Society Fund, who was unanimously elected the student representative of the Faculty of Arts graduates of the class of 1947. That the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University is presented with one of the most complete international corpus of Theravada Buddhist Holy Scriptures in the country is a cause to be greeted with utmost rejoicing. The Tipiṭaka represents the Supreme Buddha Himself so it is deemed the most auspicious symbol not only for the Faculty of Arts but also for Chulalongkorn University as a whole.
It is also appropriate to establish the International Tipiṭaka Hall in the Arts Building One because it was the first university building to have been erected, the foundation stone of which was graciously laid by King Vajiravudh Rama VI, the Royal Founder of this institution. It will thus serve as the place to house the most highly esteemed symbol both in Buddhasasana and a research centre for the invaluable knowledge for all humankind.
To officially celebrate the installation of the International Tipiṭaka Collection, on the date September 20th 2000 today, must be regarded as a specially auspicious occasion, since this very day marks the anniversary of the birth of two beloved sovereign monarchs of Thailand -- King Chulalongkorn, Rama V and King Ananda Mahidol, Rama VIII of the Royal House of Chakri.
I would like to express our deepest appreciation to the M.L. Maniratana Bunnag Dhamma Society Fund under the Patronage of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand for this unique sacred gift, which is held in highest spiritual reverence by all Buddhists and which is of inestimable value for the academic world. The Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University will act according to the wishes of the donor. We shall cherish this treasure and see to it that it serve international scholars and the general public both at Chulalongkorn University and elsewhere.