Human intelligence has come to express itself through a variety of modes in the course of its development of its inner reality through mutual interaction. With the advent of the digital age, we are presented with a dazzling array of new ways to assimilate, analyze, and transmit this knowledge. This web service is being administered as one reflection of these new possibilities of expression, with the intent of broadly opening up to the world the fruits of Buddhist wisdom as expressed in the Taishō shinshū daizōkyō, a corpus of Buddhist text that has played a central role in the conveyance of 2500 years of Asian religious and philosophical culture down to the present.
While we are making available the Buddhist canonical texts which are originally the objects of religious veneration and belief, it is not our purpose to advocate the position of a certain sectarian doctrine or religious system. Rather, we hope to provide a means of access to the Buddhist scriptures and related academic materials of the highest quality, based on the most accurate historical research available. It is our intention to not merely provide new access to this body of knowledge in a passive manner--rather, we hope to provide a ground for the creation of new wisdom.
This web service, at the most basic level, makes available in digital format the text database of the Daizōkyō. This corpus, over time, will be linked with and embedded in a wide range of lexicons, notes, other language versions, and academic research articles, based on the best philological, historical, and text-critical research available. We offer this developing package of information starting from the basic assumption that the texts in the database, as well as all appended secondary research materials will adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and criticality, and will be developed from a wide range of perspectives. All available information will be treated objectively as possible, while at the same time being presented within a readily understandable and unified structure.
It is our hope that as a result of our efforts, the fragments of Buddhist wisdom which have come to be seen in diversified and narrowly specialized ways as the result of the process of history and the advancement of academic method, can in this great age of globalization be once again consolidated, and be reproduced in a format that will be beneficial to a wide range of potential users.
This great compilation of the corpus of Buddhist scriptures, which has been carried on the backs of countless persons over the passage through the vicissitudes of history, now continues in its life in a new form, turning into the future with unlimited new possibilities. If this site can serve its purpose in this effort, it will be to the greatest delight of all of us who have been involved in its development.
Masahiro Shimoda, Chairman
The SAT Daizōkyō Text Database Committee
March 21, 2008