Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.
Imagine the United States of America was in a war and was losing. Also imagine that the winning forces of this war decided to systematically destroy all literature that they felt contributed to the ideas they believed caused the war in the first place. These enemy forces determined that the works of great writers like Shakespeare, Dante, and Plato should be targeted. Even the great spiritual works like the Christian Bible, Jewish Torah and Talmud, and the Islamic Quran were even under the threat of possible destruction. It now became an imperative that these valuable texts were saved, stored, and protected. A similar theme is used in the classic science fiction novel “Fahrenheit 451”. It is also a theme in the film “The Book of Eli” starring Denzel Washington.
This seems to be an unimaginable set of circumstances and a work of fiction; however, occurrences like these are very possible and human history, unfortunately, is punctuate with many such atrocities. The burning of great ancient Library of Alexandria being one example of the incalculable lose one of these acts has produced ‘” another being the mass book burnings during the reign of the Third Reich in the 20th century. What is even more disheartening is that acts like these are still happening around the world. And in one place in particular, where the ancient teachings being destroyed may just contain the wisdom needed to help man stop such destructive behavior, a group of enlighten individuals are trying to prevent this kind of destruction from currently happening in the 21st century. This place is the country of Tibet, and the individuals are the contributors, and participates of the Diamond Mountain Buddhist Retreat Center in Southern Arizona.
The founder of the Diamond Mountain Buddhist Retreat Center Geshe Michael Roach (the only westerner ever granted the title Geshe which means “virtuous friend” and is a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monks) is also a successful American businessman and established the ACIP (Asian Classics Input Project). Millions of ancient Buddhist and yoga scriptures are disappearing from the world. Millions of texts were destroyed during and after the 1959 invasion of Tibet and many of these (some unread) masterpieces are still endangered of being destroyed and lost forever. As the works of Shakespeare, Dante, and Plato these texts have a cultural importance to the world and contain wisdom, if lost, will never be recovered.
The mission of the ACIP is as follows:
– to make a positive effect on the world we live in
– to save and make the great books of Asia available to all
– to enable the great ideas found in these books to enrich the lives of ordinary people around the world
– to aid in the preservation of Asian cultural heritages and traditions
– to assist in improving the quality of lives of refugees working for ACIP
The ACIP is using the latest in technology and is creating a searchable digital database to give access to thousands of sacred and classical texts. These texts, some written over 2,000 years ago, are now being made available to scholars, students, and institutions.
Major organizations and corporations have contributed resources, time, and funding to this much needed and very noble endeavor. UNESCO, Xerox, and IBM are just a few of the larger contributors to this cause. Michelle Furyaka and her partner Mr. Nagash Davuluri of NPD Global Inc located in New York City (a Technology Solutions and Staffing company offering services to companies across the continental US and India) are also supporters of the ACIP project, and Ms. Furyaka has participanted in the activities offered at the Diamond Mountain Buddhist Retreat Center. She relayed to me why she believes this is such an important undertaking. She believes this is a great project and that it is one that bridges technology and spirituality. Ms. Furyaka (the Executive Vice President of NPD Global) believes that companies and individuals can offer “acts of kindness” (wisdom she obtained from studying the ancient texts) and applies the wisdom she is learning to her life and her business operations. She tells me she has truly felt the power of this ancient wisdom and she has pledge to continue to contribute to the cause of the ACIP and to also use the resources of her firm NPD Global Inc to help in whatever way possible to assure the valuable Buddhist wisdom is persevered for prosperity.
Ms. Furyaka, a successful executive in her field, also told me that she was especially touched on how the ACIP project has empowered hundreds of Tibetan refugees, who have fled to India, by giving them jobs imputing the valuable data into the digital database. This aspect of the project is particularly moving to her because she is in the business of finding people work and providing individuals with a livelihood. This is a very harmonious project in her opinion and tells me it is very dear to her heart. Michelle, Nagash, and NPD Global Inc. are not the only people or companies learning about the work of Geshe Michael Roach and the ACIP and are being moved to take action. Many are understanding the importance of this project and more and more are contributing what they can in resources, time, and funding . Please take the time to review the links provided and contribute what you can to this noble cause. Your help is very much appreciated and will save a resource of wisdom that is uniquely irreplaceable.