A Tibetan English Dictionary

Item Code: IDD389
Author: Sarat Chandra Das.
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 8120808878.
Pages: 1385
Cover: HardCover
Other Details 9.8" X 6.75"
Weight 2.05 kg
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Book Description


About the Book:

Compiled from a large number of Tibetan and Sanskrit works, A Tibetan-English Dictionary represents the arduous labour of the author for 12 years. Here the Tibetan words are given in alphabetical order, with their accepted Sanskrit equivalents, followed by the English meaning. All the technical terms are illustrated from extracts from Sanskrit-Buddhist and Tibetan works. The author has included modern Tibetan words which were not given by koros and Jaschke. The great Tibetan scholars Rev. Graham Sandberg and Rev. A. William Heyde have thoroughly revised the original and given a scientific look to the work, giving an impression of a Tibetan Cyclopaedia



ALEX. CSOMA DE KOROS, the pioneer student of Tibetan, in the preface of his Tibetan-English-Dictionary, published in 1834, wrote as follows :-

“When there shall be more interest taken for Buddhism (which hrs much in common with the spirit of true Christianity) and for diffusing Christian and European knowledge throughout the most eastern parts of Asia, the Tibetan Dictionary may be much improved, enlarged, and illustrated by the addition of Sanskrit terms.” The result of his investigations, to speak in Csoma’s own words, was that the literature of Tibet is entirely of Indian origin. The immense volumes on different branches of science, etc., being exact or faithful translations from Sanskrit works, taken from Bengal, Magadha, Gangetic or Central India, Kashmir, and Nepal, commencing from the seventh century after Christ, And that many of these works have been translated (mostly from Tibetan) into the Mongol, Manchu, and the Chinese languages; so that by this means the Tibetan language became in Chinese Tartary the language of the learned as the Latin in Europe. In the year 1889 I brought these opinions of that original investigator to the notice of Sir Alfred Croft, K.C.I.E., the then Director of Public Instruction in Bengal, and explained to him the necessity of compiling a Tibetan-English Dictionary on the lines indicated by Csoma de Koros for the use of Tibetan students and particularly to assist European scholars in the thorough exploration of the vast literature of Tibet, which, besides indigenous works, comprises almost all the Buddhist religious works of India, including the great collections of the Kahgyur and the Tangyur. Shortly before this Sir Alfred Croft had received a communication from the late Right Hon’ble Professor F. Max Muller on the desirability of translating into English a Sanskrit-Tibetan work on Buddhist terminology, which was looked for with interest, because it was expected to throw light on many obscure points of Buddhist-Sanskrit literature, The philosophical terms of that literature, many of which were of extremely doubtful meaning, had been translated with literal accuracy into Tibetan in early times, and it was anticipated that an analysis of the meaning of these terms would elucidate that of the original Sanskrit words, of which they were the equivalent renderings. Being impressed with the importance of the proposed work, Sir Alfred Croft, in a memorandum addressed to Government, wrote as follows :-

“Babu Sarat Chandra Das has brought with him four dictionaries of the classical Tibetan; one of these being a well-known Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, compiled from a large number of named Tibetan as well as standard Sanskrit works, and dating from the 13th century A.D., and another being a Sanskrit-Tibetan Dictionary, which explains the Tantrik portion of the Buddhist Scriptures. The external arrangement of the dictionary will be as follows:-The Tibetan words will be placed first in alphabetical order; next their accepted Sanskrit equivalents; next the English rendering of the Tibetan terms; then will follow what is to be a special and valuable feature of the new dictionary. The meaning of each technical term is to be illustrated by extracts, with exact references from Sanskrit-Buddhist and Tibetan works. Further, it is proposed that Babu Sarat Chandra Das should include in the dictionary words of modern Tibetan which were not known to Csoma or Jaschke. The materials which he has amassed during his two journeys to and residence in Tibet give him exceptional facilities for making the work complete.”

These recommendations having received the sanction of Government in June 1889, I was placed on special duty in connection with the compilation of the proposed dictionary. In 1899, when the work of compilation was brought to a close, the Hon’ble Mr. C. W. Bolton, C.S.I., then Chief Secretary to the Government of Bengal, entrusted the revision of the work to the Revd. Graham Sandberg and Revd. William Heyde, and deputed Professor Satis Chandra Acharya, M.A, who had made Buddhist Sanskrit and Pali works his special study, to co-operate with me. My respectful thanks are, therefore, due to Sir Alfred Croft for the keen interest he took in my Tibetan studies and for his kind help at the inception of the work, and to Mr. Bolton for securing the services of the two Tibetan scholars-the Revd. Graham Sandberg and Revd. William Heyde-for its successful completion. I also record my obligations to Sir John Sir John Edgar, K.C.I.E., formerly Chief Secretary to the Government of Bengal, to Dr. Emil Schlagintweit of Bavaria, and to the Hon’ble W.W. Rockhill, Author of The Land of Lamas for encouragement, assistance, and advice during the prosecution of my researches. Great is the debt of gratitude which I own to the Revd. G. Sandherg for various acts of kindness. Without his scholarly and efficient aid this work would hardly have assumed its present shape, as he has given a scientific finish to the work which it was not in my power to do.


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