Working Glossary For The Use Of Students Of Theosophical Literature

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Working Glossary For The Use Of Students Of Theosophical Literature


Prefatory Words

A glossary is said to be "a vocabulary explaining words which are obscure, antiquated, local, or peculiar to some cult or special study". This little book is not a dictionary, because to be such it should contain all the words of some language, which it does not.

This is an attempt to furnish students of Theosophical literature who are not Sanskritists with a glossary-nothing else-of the many Sanskrit and other strange words found so often in books and writings published and written by members of our Society. Readers will therefore understand that we are not offering them a Sanskrit grammar, nor a book that will make clear all that they wish to know about the proper pronunciation of Sanskrit words. The latter would be, in our opinion, a hopeless work, and is not attempted.

Rarely is even a dictionary complete; and we do not claim that this Glossary contains every foreign word which may be met in Theosophical books, but it has all the important ones.

In order to give some notion of the proper pronunciation of Sanskrit, but only by way of a guide and not as an authority, a short table is put at the end of these paragraphs, which if carefully studied will help readers to come somewhat near to the right sound.

Yet even the table will be blind to those who cannot comprehend that if we postulate for e the sound of a in gay, we must spell Kate as Ket. Those who speak Spanish will very readily acquire the right pronunciation when they know that as in Spanish so in Sanskrit, in nearly all cases, a is ah, e is like a in gay, i is ee, o is oh, u is oo, ai is i, and au is ow, none of these sounds being altered by juxtaposition or combination of letters.

It is well to remember, too, that a little common sense and memory will enable us to see at once that if one author writes Arjoon he means what another does by Arjuna. The old edition of Wilkins' translation of the Bhagavad-Gita comes as near as any later work to giving the right sound in English form. He spells Gita as Geeta, Arjuna as Arjoon, Pandu as Pandoo, Amrita as Amreetti, Krishna as Kreeshna.

An appendix has been added giving new words and also some additions and corrections to words in the main text.

This Glossary being for ordinary readers and enquirers, accent marks are omitted, because in the multitude of systems there is no uniformity. Pedantry in this respect would add nothing to the value of the book.

a as a in father.
a as a in hate.
i as i in pique.
o as o in go.
u as oo in root.
ai as i in mine.
au as ow, in now.

EXAMPLES. -- Avidya, ah-veed-yah; Buddha, Booh-dhah; hatha-yoga, hat-ha-yogah; Isvara, Eesh-wah-ra; Siva, Shee-vah, Surya, Soor--yah; yuga, yoo-gah.

New York, July, 1892.



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