Since 1948 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), upon the recommendation of the General Assembly of the United Nations, has been concerned with facilitating the translation of the works most representative of the culture of certain of its Member States, and, in particular, those of Asia.
One of the major difficulties confronting this programme is the lack of translators having both the qualifications and the time of undertake translations of the many outstanding books meriting publication. To help overcome this difficulty in part, UNESCO’s advisers in this field (a panel of experts convened every other year by the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies), have recommended that many worthwhile translations published during the 19the century, and now impossible to find except in a limited number of libraries, should be brought back into print in low-priced editions, for the use of students and of the general public. The experts also pointed out that in certain cases, even though there might be in existence more recent and more accurate translations endowed with a more modern apparatus of scholarship, a number of pioneer works of the greatest value and interest to students of Eastern religion also merited republication.
This point of view was warmly endorsed by the Indian National Academy of Letters (Sahitya Akademi), and the Indian National Commission for UNESCO.
It is in the spirit of these recommendations that this work from the famous series “Sacred Books of the East” is now once again being made available to the general public as part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.
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