[p. IX] Preface to Volume I

From the preceding biographical sketch it will be seen that before 1875, the year in which Childers' Dictionary appeared, Trenckner had read and made excerpts from Abhidhāna-ppadīpikā, the Dhātupāṭhas, Payogasiddhi, and part of Kaccāyana, part of Vinaya, the four Nikāyas (DN, MN, SN, AN), and the whole of Papañcasūdanī, Dhammapada and its Aṭṭhakathā, Sutta-nipāta and Paramatthajotikā, Udāna, Iti-vuttaka, Buddha-vaṁsa, Cariya-piṭaka, Thera- and Therī-gāthā, besides Jātaka and the whole of its Aṭṭhakathā, and further Atthasālinī, Sārasaṅgaha, and Mahāvaṁsa, for the most part from the manuscripts. When he commenced his work as an editor of texts, he had thus a fairly rich vocabulary at his disposal, containing all the most important word material from the chief canonical works in verse and prose, and a sufficiency of examples from commentaries and the works of grammarians.

As long as Trenckner lived he kept adding to his collections, drawing constantly upon new editions as they appeared, thus above all on Vinaya (1879—83), as well as on the texts published by the Pāli Text Society up to 1890. It has been the object of the present editors to add to his material from the texts subsequently published, in the first place the Pali Text Society's now almost completed edition of the Canon. For Trenckner's references to the manuscripts we have naturally substituted references to these editions, and we think this the occasion to formulate as a desideratum for all future new editions of the canonical works, that they should be furnished with the pagination of the European Editio princeps (as done e. g. in the second edition of the Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā, vol. I, Part I, 1925, and in the Pali Text Society's Translation Series); the same would be desirable for new editions of the Aṭṭhakathās, in which the pagination of the Bangkok editions of Samanta-pāsādikā, Sumaṅgala-vilāsinī, Papañca-sūdanī, Sārattha-ppakāsinī, and Manoratha-pūraṅī should be given.

The late Professor Rhys Davids, to whom belongs the great merit of having organized the editorial work, pointed out, as early as twenty years ago, the growing need of a lexical aid for the right understanding of the texts, and he always insisted that the text editions should be furnished with full indexes. At the international Congresses of Orientalists he repeatedly tried to find co-operators for such a dictionary (see inter alia his report in the Journal of the Pāli Text Society 1909, which appeared as a result of negotiations during the Congress of Orientalists at [p. X] Copenhagen in 1908). The first essay on these lines was Professor Sten Konow's „Pāli Words beginning with S", which was published in the Journal 1909, after having been considerably augmented by means of Trenckner's material. A small example (the beginning of the letter Y by D. Andersen) of what could be achieved by the full use of Trenckner's material was shown to a circle of Sanskrit scholars at the Congress at Athens in 1912. On that occasion the promise of co-operation in the production of the dictionary was repeated, and there was a marked tendency in favour of the redaction of the dictionary taking place at Copenhagen where the work as it progressed could constantly be checked by means of Trenckner's material and with the Mss. of the Rask Collection.

Two years later the great war broke out and upset all further hope of international co-operation even in this domain. At Copenhagen, however, the work proceeded on the lines indicated, and in 1916, the present editors conceived a plan of editing the dictionary without the aid of foreign co-workers, a task which must of course be calculated to cover at least fifteen years.

In the meanwhile Rhys Davids, whose great object it was to supply a provisional dictionary within as short a time as possible, had engaged a younger scholar as his assistant, and by the exertion of incredible energy contrived to publish the »Pāli Text Society's Dictionary« (1921—25), of which, however, he only saw the first two thirds through the press before his death.

The demand for a Pāli Dictionary being thus temporarily supplied, we have all the more reason to thank the Royal Danish Academy for still offering its aid in the production of the present dictionary by defraying the cost of the printing which we are now able to begin after eight years' preparation.

We have called this work a »Critical Pāli Dictionary«, both because Trenckner's material was from the first arranged on a critical basis, and because the nature of many of the modern editions of the texts imposes on us the obligation of re-testing the readings. The dictionary thus professes to be critical, but its criticism comes under the head of the »lower criticism« only, inasmuch as we are working exclusively on the Pāli Canon and the younger books appertaining to it. Our plan has simply been to supply verified material for that higher criticism which checks the Canon of Theravāda with the documents left by other Buddhist schools as well as with the deeper strata of Jain lore. Thus we have attempted to show what may be achieved by means of Pāli alone, but must leave it to others to draw the conclusions of further comparative study. We also believe that the fact of our having — according to Trenckner's plan — included Nomina propria and the Titles of books and their separate sections, as well as the most necessary items from the traditional Pāli grammar — from Kaccāyana to Saddanīti, — will contribute to render the material we are here supplying more generally useful. [p. XI] We cannot send out this publication without expressing our sincere thanks for all the kind encouragement we have met with, above all for the very liberal subvention granted for several years from the first beginning of our work by the Director of the East Asiatic Company, His Excellency H. N. Andersen; without this we should hardly have ventured to undertake the work in its present extent. We are also greatly indebted to the Danish Government, the Carlsberg Fund, the Rask-Ørsted Fund, to Mr. C. Aller, the owner of Bianco Luno's printing office, and the University Library of Copenhagen for support received in various ways for Indian studies in connection with our work.

Copenhagen and Lund, September 1925.
Dines Andersen. Helmer Smith.