The Treasury of Lives is a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan region founded in 2007
The Treasury of Lives is a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan region. In development since 2007, it provides accessible and well-researched biographies of notable individuals who are deceased and who were native to the region. Most essays are peer reviewed. Content is enhanced by a dynamic map.
The team at the Treasury wishes to acknowledge everyone who has collaborated to help create the site, which was originally known as The Tibetan Lineages Project. Chief among them are Donald Rubin, out of whose mind the idea initially sprung, and Moke Mokotoff, Matthieu Ricard and Vivian Kurz, who originally created the site and engaged the scholars who wrote the earliest essays. We remember the late Gene Smith for his encouragement and suggestions. Many additional people have helped make the Treasury what it is today. We want to recognize Jeff Watt, Jeff Wallman, Asha Kaufman, Tenzin Dickie, Karma Sonam Gelek, Harry Einhorn, Asa Hardcastle, Weston Happ, and Nathaniel Eames.
This resource is in continuous development thanks to foundations, individual donors and NEH grants. If your circumstances allow, please consider a tax-deductible donation to keep The Treasury of Lives online.
The Treasury of Lives is committed to publishing well-researched, factual biographies, not hagiographies. We believe there is both historical and inspirational value in the narratives of the lives of women and men who studied, practiced, and taught Buddhism. The Treasury of Lives follows commonly accepted standards of objective, factual reporting. We do not serve to promote any single tradition or individual reputation. Should there be allegations of abuse and misconduct against an individual teacher that are part of the public record, we will include those allegations in the biography.
The editors at The Treasury of Lives recognize that sexual abuse and misconduct are difficult and painful topics. It is never easy to be confronted with a betrayal of trust and a misuse of authority. This is particularly true when the accused perpetrator of the abuse is considered to be an embodiment of teachings of peace and compassion. We understand that confronting such situations can cause a crisis of faith.
In all cases it is important to take allegations of harm seriously. Concealing misconduct and abuse enables the continuation of harm and implies that the harm is permitted. It is also important to acknowledge the effect of abuse and misconduct on the communities in which it occurs. Discussing both allegations and verified misconduct is a means for healing and prevention.
The Treasury of Lives rejects any attempt to use Buddhist doctrine to justify harm; secrecy around particular scriptures or practices, and taking the passions as the path, do not excuse exploitation and injustice, and biographies will not include such language.
Alexander Gardner is Director and Chief Editor of the Treasury of Lives. Alex completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan in 2007. He is the author of The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (Shambhala, 2019). He can be reached at Alex at treasuryoflives.org.
Catherine Tsuji is an Editor at the Treasury of Lives. She received an MA in Religious Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara. She can be reached at Catherine at treasuryoflives.org.
The TBRC RID number refers to the unique ID assigned by the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC.org) to each historical figure in their database of Tibetan literature.