- Paperback: 404 pages
- Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr; New and Revised edition (Sept. 1 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0791430685
- ISBN-13: 978-0791430682
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 689 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,262,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English (New and Revised Edition) Paperback – Jul 7 2003
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From the Back Cover
Containing over 500 new listings of frequently used religious terms and numerous etymological derivations, this new and revised edition of A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy provides a comprehensive dictionary of Indian philosophical terms in both devanagari and roman transliteration along with an English translation. It offers special meanings of words used as technical terms within particular philosophical systems and contains the meaning of terms fundamental to epistemology, metaphysics, and practical teaching of heterdox and orthodox schools of Indian philosophy.
About the Author
John Grimes has taught at universities in India, Canada, and the United States and at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse and Gan\apati: Song of the Self, both published by SUNY Press.
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in which frequent use of Sanskrit philosophical terminology is adopted, to use a full dictionary
such as Monnier-Williams or Apte becomes unpractical. This is a particularly serious
problem when one attempts to read philosophical essays written in English
by Indian scholars, who often take for granted a lot of terms considered well-known
among educated Indians. Unfortunately in the West even some readers who consider themselves quite educated on Indian philosophy may be
surprised, when reading academic books written by Indian scholars,
by the amount of Sanskrit terms that they never met before.
Prof. Grimes has come with a wonderful and excellent tool to help western students of Indian Philosophy:
a very well-designed, well-conceived, well-researched, _concise_ Dictionary of Indian philosophy. This work defines a substantial amount of Sanskrit terms, ordered according to the Roman alphabet, in transliterated form, followed by the term written in
Devanagari and by a short but precise English translation and explanation. This generally varies in length from few lines to a little more than a page.
For the very small size of the Dictionary, I am quite amazed by the
amount of information that Prof. Grimes was able to put in, even emphasizing different uses of the same term
made by different philosophical schools. To retain precision in a very short definition
is a remarkable achievement, and only a scholar who has a profound knowledge of such
terms could keep the balance between compactness and accuracy.
A much larger Dictionary with long articles on each term would have a different purpose:
Grimes' Dictionary is really a fast and efficient tool to read a book of Indian philosophy without being lost in the analysis of each term, but attempting to retain the main flow of the text.
At the end of the book, a number of charts with names of authors, scriptures, schools, classifications,
and even Chakra-related terminology is provided.
Any student of Indian Philosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Yoga, will find this book an invaluable companion.
The only shortcoming of this book is the colossal amount of typos and inconsistencies present in the Devangari.
Errors or oddities appear from the very start.
In the transliteration scheme (page xii), the retroflex `.th' is inexplicably written as dental `t-ta' plus `ha'.
The virama sign, put below a consonant to suppress the intrinsic `a' sound, is
correctly made from upper left to lower right below the consonant in this scheme, and so it appears in few words, such as abaddham. But throughout the text, the virama direction is
reversed (in words like atman) making it too similar to the sign used to insert an `r' sound after a consonant.
But in the word aayus, the virama is again drawn like
in the transliteration table (and in standard devanagari). Later, all the words starting from dv are misspelled as db, in the Devanagari. Another error: the word s'akti is misspelled, since the k-t consonant cluster is represented as t-t.
In the following compound words of s'akti
(such as s'aktipata) the kt is written correctly, but the notation adopted
to represent the kt cluster is soon abandoned and, few pages later, in the word s'iva-s'akti
a different (albeit correct) representation of kt is used.
Clusters should really be represented with the same notation throughout a text for consistency.
The presence of inconsistent notations and, even worse,
misspelled words, is a serious problem in a Dictionary.
I obviously cannot even conceive the idea of Professor Grimes (who has taught in
Universities in India) being responsible of all this typos. I presume instead that
this sloppiness comes from the Publisher, which is however very surprising, being SunyPress!
I urge the Publisher to consider reprinting this otherwise excellent book and suppress
these errors and inconsistencies in the Devanagari,
so as to retain the very high standards to which SunyPress has
always adhered. If a reprint is not possible, at least a few pages of `errata corrige'
should be attached to the new books for sale, and put online for interested readers.
Despite this shortcoming, I want to reiterate that this is an excellent work, and that
I recommend it as an invaluable companion to anybody interested in Indian philosophy.