Concise Pali-english Dictionary – Aggamahapandita A.p. Buddadatta Mahathera (eng)




A concise Pali-English Dictionary for use by students in schools and colleges has been a long-felt need. The only available Pali-English lexicon—the work of Childers being long out of print—is the famous publication of the Pali Text Society, but this too is fast becoming rare and difficult to procure. In any case the cost is too heavy for the average student. Hence it is gratifying to note that at long last a reputed scholar has come forward to satisfy this need and after several years of hard work has compiled what may prove to be the standard practical dictionary of the Pali language.

The author is not only an eminent Elder of the Buddhist Order but one of the leading Pali scholars recognized both in the East and in the West as an authority on the subject. His experiences as a teacher at Ananda College, Colombo, and the considerable experience he has gained as a writer of text-books for school use, such as the now famous New Pali Course, make him admirably suited for the undertaking. There are but a few Buddhist Elders in direct contact with western scholarship through the English medium and the Rev. Buddhadatta is the most senior among that class of monks.

It is to be observed that the author has kept more or less to the traditional sense of words while not altogether ignoring the meanings given by western scholars in their translations and lexicons. Many errors in the latter sources have also been rectified. But the basic sense adopted is in nearly every instance the traditionally accepted meaning in accord with the commentaries and the glossaries. This, perhaps, is of special value to beginners as thereby they get introduced to the indigenous tradition, thus providing a useful basis on which to build up a more scientific knowledge as the study advances.

I am certain that this dictionary will be found indispensable by all students of the Pali language in acquiring a practical and working knowledge of the subject even at the University level, and also serve as a reliable guide to the more abstruse language of the Tipitaka.

University of Ceylon.