This Dictionary differs from all its predecessors in more respects than one. It gives numerous quotations from and references to standard classical works. Grammatical irregularities and syntactic peculiarities have also been noted. Geographical and mythological names, Standard classical Authors, Nyayas or Maxims, Sanskrit Prosody and figures of speech are given in the last three Appendices.
The study of Sanskrit has but recently risen in the estimation of the educated natives of this Presidency and of our educational authorities. "The old Sanskrit college of Poona owed its existence and continuance rather to a spirit of conciliation and toleration . in our rulers than to their conviction of; t'he utility of sanskrit as a branch of general education. The modem critical and progressive .spirit was not brought to bear upon it. The old sastris were allowed to carry all things in th.ir own way. After about thirty years since its establishment, the authorities began to exercise active interference. until at length the"College aboUshed and a new system inaugurated, which, and effective, requires, in my humble opinion. a partial restoration of the old institution.
This newly-awakened and more enlightened zeal in favour of Sanskrit cannot last, or produce extensive results, unless books arc prepared to facilitate the general study of that language. I have heard students complain that they find Sanskrit more difficult the D Latin, and many have actually left the study of their own classical tongue for that of its foreign rival. I do not know if this complaint has foundation in the structure of the two languages: but this, at least, I am sure 0f. that Sanskrit would be considerably more easy than it is. if there were men educated in our English Colleges to teach it, and if books specially adapted for beginners were available. It was with the view of supplying, in aame measure, this latter desideratum that the book was prepared about a year and a half ago. Its plan was originally sketched out by Dr. Haug, though in a few places
I found it necessary to deviate from it. The book is intended principally for boys; but, for the benefit of youna men whose minds have already undergone some culture, I have added a great deal of matter, especially in foot- notes which perhaps ought not to be introduced into a book written merely for children. In preparing the book I found nothing so difficult a composing from about forty to fifty sentences. Sanskrit and English, for each lesson, since my choice of words and grammatical forms was considerably limited by the conditions of that lesson. I have, however, done what I could, and in several places, especially at the end, have put in such sentences. occurring in original Sanskrit works, as I remembered. It is attempted to teach nearly all the declensions, some irregularities only being omitted, for conjugations of verbs, two tenses and one mood, passive forms, and some of the more important verbal derivatives.
One of my aims in giving to this book its peculiar form was to enable the intelligent student to go through it without assistance. I am now happy to learn that this object it remarkably fulfils. To increase its efficacy in this respect, such explanation as seemed to be called for have been added in the shape of foot-notes, and a few other improvements and modifications been made.
It has come to my knowledge that, in some of the schools, in which this book is taught, the teachers
consider it to be their only duty to get their pupils to, translate mechanically from and into Sanskrit the sentences given in each lesson. They pay little or no attention to the grammatical portion. In others, such books as the common Rupavali are put into the hands of the pupils, and they are made to learn by heart the declensional forms given in these, This shows a misconception of the object of this book, which is evidently to teach grammar, and to teach it not for its own sake, but in its connection with thc language, not in a manner simply to overburden the pupil's memory, but in a manner to awaken and encourage thought. The sentences are intended to serve as exercises in the rules and forms and should be used as such. The teacher should see that the pupil thoroughly understands the rules and knows the forms. and, in going over the sentences, get him frequently to explain the grammar of the words occurring therein. and such other points. Repeated exercise is what the teacher should particularly attend to. To help him in this portion of his work, and to enable the pupil to digest what he has learnt into a connected whole, I have in certain places given examination questions. and brought together the results of the lessons that precede. Another improvement is a General Glossary of all the words contained in the book, which will be found at the end.
I am very glad to bear from my friend, the Curator - of the Government Book Depot, that this book is used in various parts of India, and that the demand for copies is daily Increasing and extending over wider area. The improvements made in this edition will, I earnestly hope, increase its usefulness and render it still more acceptable.
A new lesson on the Potential Mood has been added in the present edition. All the conjugational tenses and moods of the first group of conjugations have thus been brought together in the same book.
It has. been the intention of the author of this .to add to the sentences for exercise given in the various lessons. time and the opportunity offering themselves. this intention has been carried out in the present edition.
There seems 'to be a feeling among some teachers that the introduction of. rules regarding grammatical
forms makes the acquisition of a language very difficult to beginner and that it would be much easier to
acquire a language. if instead of rules. Ready-made grammatical forms of model words were set before
the.student to learn off by heart. But in a language like Sanskrit in which a great many words in· common use have peculiarities of their own, such model words would carry a student but a little way. And a scientific study of the grammar of a dead language, which is not learned
for use in practical life, is certainly to be referred to a mere empiric study; while, in the case of Sanskrit,
it has, as remarked by the' author in the Preface to the Third Edition of his Second Book, a very high educational value. The great mission of Sanskrit has been to communicate a powerful impetus to the philological thought of Europe and supply it with correct principles and sound basis and thus to bring Comparative Philosophy and the Science of Language into existence as branches of human knowledge. It is the knowledge of the scientific grammar of the language as elaborated by the great Indian Grammarians which has led to these results and not the transparency of Sanskrit, as thought by some scholars, since Sanskrit is no more transparent than, for instance, Greek and, but, for the labours of the Indian Grammarians, would I haw. been as opaque as that language "was up to the discovery of Sanskrit. And such a knowledge alone lill enable our students to understand those results and to carryon similar investigations, at feast as regards the Vernaculars of the Country. And, as observed by the author in the place above indicated, grammar learnt scientifically is more easily and longer remembered than when learnt empirically.For these reasons a scientific study of the grammar of Sanskrit cannot be begun too early; but. if anybody for any reason whatever prefers the empiric method,
he may follow it even in using this book. He has simply to confine his attention to the model words and
ready-made forms given there. Those too, who object to the introduction, in the first lessons. of the rules about and about the change of the final vowel of roots of the tirst conjugation, on the ground of difficulty to beginners, ought not to forget what the author tated thirty-two years ago in the Preface to the First Edition, that the matter given in foot-notes is specially intended for young men whose minds have already undergone some culture; and they will see that the student, who finds it difficult to master those two or three rules, can without any inconvenience whatsoever disregard them altogether until he is well advanced in his study of the book.
At the suggestion of some teachers the samdhi rulesand rules relating to Syntax occurring in the foot-notes are in this edition gathered together, for convenience of reference, in art Appendix placed before the Glossaries.
The diacritical marks used in the previous editions of this book were those that had been in vogue when the first edition was published in 1864. Oriental Societies in India and elsewhere have since adopted a practically uniform system for transliterating the Sanskrit and allied alphabets; and finding it desirable that students should be familiar with it from the commencement of their study of Sanskrit. I have introduced in this edition the diacritical marks adopted in that system.
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