by Ven. Nyanatiloka
Fourth Revised Edition edited by Nyanaponika
Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy / Sri Lanka
From The Preface To The First Edition
As a first attempt of an authentic dictionary of Buddhist doctrinal terms, used in the Pàli Canon and its Commentaries, this present manual will fill a real gap felt by many students of Buddhism. It provides the reader not with a mere superficial enumeration of important Pàli terms and their English equivalents, but offers him precise and authentic definitions and explan- ations of canonical and post-canonical terms and doc- trines, based on Sutta, Abhidhamma and Commen- taries, and illustrated by numerous quotations taken from these sources, so that, if anyone wishes, he could, by intelligently joining together the different articles, produce without difficulty a complete exposition of the entire teachings of Buddhism.
As already pointed out by the author in the preface to his Guide through the Abhidhamma-Piñaka (Colombo 1938), there are found in the Abhidhamma Canon numerous technical terms not met with in the Sutta Canon; and again other terms are found only in the Commentaries and not in Sutta and Abhidhamma. The author therefore has made a first attempt – with- out, however, laying any claim to absolute reliability or completeness in this by no means easy undertaking – to indicate in the Appendix all the terms that in the oldest Sutta texts are either not found at all, or at least not in the same form or meaning, and to set forth how far these are deviations from the older texts, or further developments.
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