For the first time in the history of the Sanskrit Sahitya Parishat we have undertaken a difficult task to prepare a Dictionary of Sanskrit English Technical Terms in 5 Volumes. Perhaps such difficult task has ever been attempted by any institution in India. If we were not encouraged by our respected Prof. Radha vallabh Tripathi, Vice-Chanceloor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (a deemed University under ministry of HRD) New Delhi with full financial support, I dared not to move an inch. However as per our programme the work for the dictionary was started in the month of April 2009 under supervision of Prof. Pradip Kumar Majumdar. The first Volume of Mathematics is released now. The 2nd volume on Astronomy will be released shortly. The work of volume 3 on Architecture is going on is full swing.
Literarily a dictionary is a book containing the words of a language with their meaning and usage or equivalents in another language or the terms proper to a subject with explanations, or a number of biographies or other homogenous articles. But our Dictionary is completely different typical and unique. It contains not only the technical terms like mathematical terms, astronomical terms, architectural terms etc. collected from original text books on mathematics/Astronomy/architecture in Sanskrit but also various explanations and words from Vedas and other Vedic literatures, Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Brahmanas etc., their meaning in English, Synonyms, History, Etymology, Philosophical concepts and other important information.
Our Sanskrit Sahitya Parishat is grateful to the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan for their grant for the project of preparing a Dictionary of Sanskrit English Technical terms and for publication also. As I have expressed our gratitude to Prof. Radha Vallabh Tripathi for his generosity at the same time I must mention the name of Prof. K.B. Subbarayudu. Registrar of the Sansthan. Without his help our project could not run smoothly.
This project was initiated by our Former president late Prof. Ramaranjan Mukherji. We are unfortunate that we have lost him in the middle of our project. However our present President Prof. Satya Ranjan Banerji has encouraged us immensely for running the project.
Prof. Pradip Kumar Majumdar deserves our sincere thanks for his labor planning and supervision of the work done. The book has been prepared with the Assistance of the following research scholars Dr. Bulbul Chakraborty, Dr. Rina Dutta, Sri Rajib Chakraborty, Sri Subrata Mondal. The scholars so appointed have correctly discharged what was assigned to them.
Such a informative dictionary is published probably for the first time in our country. Every care has been taken to avoid factual error or mission. Even though any such event is noticed please intimate us without any hesitation.
The literal Sanskrit meaning of the word Dictioanry is Abhidhana. In fact there is no controversy about this kind of meaning. If we have a thorough search in the Sanskrit language we find that the word Abhidhana or Abhidhana Sastra is of late origin. In the Sanskrit language the word which is used in this case is Kosa or Kosa which means a treasury of words a large collection. The word kosa indicates collectiveness. Therefore it denotes a collection of words and of course valuable subjects or matters e.g. Ratnakosa Sabdakosa etc. It Seems that at first this term was used as a collection of words in Dandi’s Kavyadarsa.
It is well known that a continuous effort was made to compose this type of abhidhana from the very remote past in India. As for example let us mention the name of Vedic dictionary Nighantu. This is a collection of words which is used in the Vedic literature which again are mainly indistinct abstruse, unexplained, obsolete or difficult to understand. The word Nighantu is known as Nighantava in plural. An eminent ancient Indian scholar Yaska (or Yaskacarya) compiled the book nirukta where he explains a few words of Nighantu. The word Nighantu is also known in many forms like Nighantuka Nighanti, Nighanta Nirghantu and Nirghantaka.
The most popular and ancient dictionary in Sanskrit is Amarakosa. But the original name is Namalingasasana.
There has been a considerable number of publications both general and scholarly on ancient and medieval Indian sciences. Some of the important Sanskrit texts on sciences have been critically edited and translated into English. But a large number of text books on ancient and medieval sciences written in Sanskrit are still to be edited and translated. Unfortunately most of the Sanskrit scholars are not well accustomed with the sciences and at the same time most of the scientists are not well versed in the Sanskrit language. However for quite sometime a need for a dictionary of Sanskrit English technical terms has been felt not only by those who are interested in the traditional Indian sciences but also more importantly by a number of modern scientists in order to have a look into the scientific insight of ancient and medieval Indian sciences.
In view of the above I must say that An Arabic Dictionary of technical terms compiled by Ashraf Ali Thanwi, which I have found in the personal library of M.S. Khan was my inspiration to compile a Dictionary of Sanskrit English technical terms.
The plan of the project is like this. The dictionary is divided into five volumes. First volume is on Mathematics the second one is on Astronomy third is on Architecture and the fourth on Ayurveda and the fifth is on chemistry Botany Zoology and other Sciences.
It is better to say that the first Volume is independently on mathematics. At the beginning of the project we first collected some Sanskrit books on mathematics written by the Ancient and medieval Indian scholars. The secretary of Sanskrit Sahitya Parishat, Prof. Manabendu Banerjee requested me to take the charge of supervision of this project and I readily agreed. Anyway I have started the work with the help of the scholars and at first we collected mathematical terms from various original text books written in the Sanskrit language like Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata I , Mahabhaskariya, Laghu Bhaskariya of Bhaskara I, Brahmasputa Siddhanta of Brahmagupta Khandakhadyaka of Brahmagupta, Sisyadhivrddhi of Lalla, ganitasarasamgraha of Mahavria, Patiganita of Sridhara, Mahasiddhanta of Aryabhata II, gantitatilka and Siddhanta sekhara of Sripati, Lilavati, Bijanganita and siddhantasiromani Karanakutuhala of Bhaskara II, Ganita Kaumudi and Bijaganitavatamsa of Narayana Pandita, Veuaroha of Madhava Drgganita of Paramesvara, Tantrasamgraha of Nilakantha Smoasuttvan, Yukti bhasa of Jyesthadeva, Karana paddhati of unknown Kerala astronomer Siddhanta Sarvabhauma of Munisvara, Siddhanta Tattvaviveka of Kamalakara Siddhanta samrat and Rekhaganita of Pandita Jagannatha etc. Besides these books we have also collected the mathematical terms from Vedas Brahmanas and other ancient Sanskrit Literature.
After that more explanations and more words are collected also from Vedic literature, Purana, Ramayana Mahabharata and valuable literary works firstly the technical terms are noted in the Sanskrit language and written in Nagari Scripts. English meanings are given and as far as practicable synonyms are also presented and after explanation the source books are mentioned as reference. Wherever necessary the history, etymology, mathematical deductions, philosophical concepts are also given with references for instance let us cite an example.
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