About The Book :
Adviata Vedanta is the pinnacle of Indian thought. According to many scholars it is the most logical system of Indian Philosophy, and the Sanskrit texts dealing with Advaita Vedanta are the crest jewel of Sanskrit literature.
What had once been a philosophy known only to the elite in India, was made available to all throughout the world when Swami Vivekananda's illuminating lectures in the West on Advaita Vedanta were published. Many non-Indian scholars have in recent times been fascinated by the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and have set about studying it in earnest, though the Sanskrit language stands as a barrier to many of them. A Dictionary of Advaita Vedanta is a humble endeavour to help such help such scholars have easy access to the basic ideas of advaita Vedanta.
This book, however, is not the first in this genre. But while the most of the existing books are either every short or very elaborate, the present dictionary is free both over coverage and under coverage. By no account this book may be called an encyclopaedia but it is surely handy and should serve as a ready reckoner to those students of Advaita Vedanta who do not know Sanskrit but understand English.
The book is the fruit of combined labour of a few competent scholars, headed by Prof. Nirod Baran Chakraborty, formerly Head of the Department of Philosophy, Presidency College, Kolkata, over seven years.
Advaita Vedanta, according to many scholars, is the most logical system of Indian Philosophy. It has a long history beginning with Gaudapada karika (7th-8th century) and ending with Madhusudana Sarasvati's Advaitasiddhi. The Advaita literature is vast. Some books are expository, some are polemic and some others are answers to the opponents' criticisms.
We have compiled a dictionary of Advaita Vedanta dealing with technical terms, authors and their publications. This will be of immense help to those English-knowing people who do not know Sanskrit but are very much interested in Advaita Vedanta. All the keywords of the system, the important authors and their books are discussed in this dictionary in alphabetical order. This dictionary covers the Advaita period from 7th-8th century A.D. to 16th century A.D. In our humble endeavour Smt. Dalia Chattopadhyay, M.A., has assisted us most. Smt. Bishakha Bose, M.A., also helped us at the initial stage. We thank them for their sincere and laborious assistance.
In English we have some other dictionaries of Advaita Vedanta which are either very short or very elaborate including translations of some Advaita texts. We have followed the middle path which makes our dictionary very appropriate for students of Advaita philosophy as our volume covers the important technical terms, authors and their publications. Our dictionary is free from the defects of over coverage and under coverage. It is lucid, to the point, handy and of constant help to the serious students of Advaita Vedanta if they understand English but do not know Sanskrit. This goes without saying that our dictionary is not an encyclopaedia which is very elaborate and not handy.
Revered Swami Lokeswarananda, the late previous Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, encouraged us to complete our project. But we are sorry to say that we could not complete our job in his lifetime. Revered Swami Prabhananda, the present Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, has also helped us in every possible way for completing our project. We are also indebted to him for the publication of the dictionary from the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. We express our sincere gratitude to him.