Concluding Remarks

The present fascicle concludes the third volume and the Critical Pāli Dictionary. For the plan laid out in the “Notice” of 2001 (CPD III, p. VII) to carry on to the end of the letter “k” in another five fascicles and in another fifteen years proved impossible due to different adverse circumstances, first of all the steadily diminishing number of competent contributors and, to a lesser extent, the drying up of the financial resources. Yet, although the CPD remains a fragment, this fragment is rounded off in a way by the fact that it does not end with an arbitrary cut. For the end within the letter “” coincides with that of the derivatives of the verb karoti (with the exception of those words occurring later in the alphabet such as the family of “kiriyā”).

The end of this truly long-term project, perhaps the longest running Indological project ever so far, does not, of course, mark the end of Pāli lexicography or the end of the effort to create a comprehensive Pāli dictionary. In fact, it only corrects the planning by the founders of the Critical Pāli Dictionary, who, being from the very beginning overly optimistic and ambitious, still in the thirties of the last century, when only the middle of the letter “a” was reached after about two decades of work, cherished the opinion that they should reach the letter “h” by the middle of the century (!).

During its long history of almost a full century from 1916, when the planning began, until 2011, the date of the last fascicle, the CPD saw five or six generations of editors, if the father of the oldest collection, whose name rightly always appears first on the title page, Carl Vilhelm Trenckner (1824–1891), is included. The first volume was jointly edited by the second generation, Dines Andersen (1861–1940), and the third generation, Helmer Smith (1882–1956). In spite of the comparatively slim material basis, the first volume contains an unusual wealth of insights, particularly of H. Smith, which are made accessible to a large extent by the excellent indexes in the Epilegomena, which, in turn, contain a still very valuable survey of Pāli literature and of editions of Pāli texts.

Margaret Cone very aptly characterized the first volume in her Horner Lecture in the following way:1

“The first volume, written by two men in whom a wide knowledge of Pali was combined with expertise in philology, in grammar, in Sanskrit and other Indo-Aryan languages in a way rarely seen, is meticulous, scholarly, authoritative, instructive, awe-inspiring. Not all fascicles have reached their standard …”

The second volume saw the next two, the fourth and fifth, generations of editors. After the first four fascicles were edited anonymously by the “Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters,”2 Ludwig Alsdorf (1904–1978) took over as editor-in-chief from II 5 to II 10.3 The subsequent editor-in-chief was Kenneth Roy Norman (*1925), who edited the fascicles volume II 11 to 17 with Christian Lindtner (*1949) acting as additional editor only of fascicle II 13. This was the only period during which the dictionary could benefit from a native speaker of English either writing articles himself or preparing them for the press.4 In the first part of volume II the English was checked by Isaline Blew Horner (1896–1981), and, at the very end, volume III fascicle 8 profited greatly from a careful reading by Kenneth Zysk (*1950) improving upon the English. The lack of a native speaker is often felt in the English in other parts of the dictionary.

Lastly, volume III was edited, again jointly for the major part, by the sixth generation, Ole Holten Pind (*1945; fascicles 1 to 6) and Oskar v. Hinüber (*1939).

The preparation of the first seven fascicles of volume III was supported by different institutions. It was substantial financial support from the Bukkyõ Dendõ Kyõkai (Tokyo) which allowed the work for volume III to resume and, for the first time, to employ two scholars working full time for the dictionary as outlined in the introduction to volume III fascicle 7. Financial contributions were moreover received from the Kungliga Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien (Stockholm) and the Österreichische Akademie der Wissen­schaften (Vienna), which were particularly helpful for preparing fascicle 8 of volume III for the press and for covering the costs of printing.

Furthermore, the CPD volume III was supported in various ways by the Reiyūkai (Tokyo), Daikyõji Temple (Tokyo), Jõenji Temple (Tokyo), Kamoeji International Buddhist Association (Tokyo), Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (Paris), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris), the Pali Text Society (Oxford/Bristol), and the Council for the Humanities (Copenhagen).

As long as the dictionary was a project of the Royal Danish Academy (from the very beginning to volume III fascicle 6) there was a supervisory committee active during the time when volume III fascicle 1–6 were written.5 After the academy withdrew from the project, a steering committee accompanied by an advisory board was created.6

The members of both committees joined by other Pāli scholars and lexicographers met at a conference on the future of Pāli lexicography held at the premises of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz on 28th August 2007 to discuss the future of Pāli lexicography.7 Obviously, a realistic plan was called for keeping in mind what can be achieved with the somewhat reduced human and financial resources available after the grand plan of the CPD had proved to be too ambitious and, consequently, not feasible. Therefore, it was decided during the conference that all efforts of Pāli lexicography should be concentrated on one Pāli Dictionary in future, the Pāli–English Dictionary presently being compiled by Margaret Cone and published by the Pali Text Society.8 For this purpose, it was suggested to use the former offices of the CPD and their still existing libraries in Mainz and Copenhagen as “Centres of Pāli Lexicography” (CPL) which would accommodate various individual research projects on clearly defined topics of Pāli lexicography such as the preparing of material to be used in the new “Pāli-English Dictionary”.9 The “Coordinating Committee of the Centres for Pāli Lexicography (CCCPL)” comprises at present the following members: Nalini Balbir (Paris), Margaret Cone (Cambridge), Rupert Gethin (Bristol), Oskar von Hinüber (Freiburg, chairman), Ole Holten Pind (Copenhagen), Kenneth Zysk (Copenhagen). As the CPD these centres will continue to work under the umbrella of the Union Académique Internationale.

At the same time, it was resolved to transfer the publication and the distribution of the CPD from the Department of Crosscultural and Regional Studies (ex: Asia Institute) of the University of Copenhagen to the Pāli Text Society.

Thus a new era of Pāli lexicography may begin which ultimately achieves the concentra­tion of all efforts on one dictionary as originally planned about a century ago10.

At this point it may not be inappropriate to preserve some personal history concerning the CPD and to look back on the development of volumes II and III. The present editor’s connection to the CPD dates back to a meeting with Ludwig Alsdorf during the 27th International Congress of Orientalists held at Ann Arbor (Michigan) between 13th and 19th August 1967. This was the time, during which, at the initiative of L. L. Hammerich, there began the ultimately unsuccessful experiment to form a large international body of scholars working as lexicographers for the CPD.11 At this Ann Arbor meeting it was agreed that the articles from upāgata to uppalinī were to be shared between O. v. Hinüber and Georg Buddruss, then Professor of Indology at the University of Mainz. Eventually, however, all these articles were written by O. v. Hinüber, who finished them in the summer of 1969 and then handed them over to L. Alsdorf in Hamburg shortly before Christmas of the same year. Because they finally began to appear in print only twelve years later (volume II, fascicles 11 [1981] and 12 [1982]), there would have been ample opportunity to improve upon the articles over the years. However, hardly any new material had to be added, in spite of the fact that the material bases of the articles were the rather few slips from Copenhagen, which sometimes contained highly pertinent and important remarks by H. Smith, as well as indexes to various editions, the Pāli Tipiṭakaṃ Concordance and the fairly comprehensive Pāli–Burmese dictionary12.

This way of working was abandoned as soon as the Pāli canon and its commentaries became available in an electronic form. Obviously, the access to the complete material was an enormous step forward. Very soon, however, the initial optimism that working with the help of a computer to search and collect material and to compose articles would accelerate the writing of the dictionary proved to be an illusion. On the contrary, the work was rather slowed down somewhat than speeded up. For, not only was all the work of preparing the text for printing put on the shoulders of the lexicographer himself now, but, by far more seriously, the overwhelming amount of available material threatened almost to suffocate the work. All references, even the most trivial ones, must be checked since they are easily accessible now in different electronic versions of Pāli texts. For example, the item kāya (without compounds) comprises almost exactly 10,000 references in the canon and its commentaries, all to be checked and evaluated, if only quickly. If an average of only three minutes for an unimpor­tant, repeated and uncomplicated reference is used it takes 30,000 minutes, or 500 hours or about fifty working days, just to check and collect the one item before composing a single line of the article. Consequently, it seems that a dictionary such as the CPD, where the discussion of semantic problems and problems of the textual tradition (which abound in Pāli and each require more critical judgement of the lexicographer than a mechanical collection of material) overrules completeness, in reality requires only perhaps moderate electronic help. For even articles composed exclusively on the basis of indexes first and later checked by help of a computer hardly needed any change, because rarely did any important new reference come to light. Nevertheless, the rare item kaha kaha was discovered only by the help of an electronic check. Therefore, it was a most interesting and perhaps rather singular experience during a transitional period to write articles for the CPD in two rather different ways by using various tools. This teaches us in hindsight that perhaps the best and quickest way to work would have been to rely more on printed sources (indices, dictionaries) for the composition of articles, and only re-check the material, particularly problematic references electronically (provided there are people around who can also work without the aid of a computer!). It is self-evident that for a thesaurus, which the CPD never intended to be, the electronic help is indispensable.

At the end, it is my most pleasant obligation as the editor to thank all who contributed to the dictionary during the past century. May the (totally accidental) last words of the dictionary, i.e. “make merit,” apply to all who participated in and supported the project.13

Hachioji and Freiburg,
September 2010 O. v. Hinüber

1 M. Cone: Lexicography, Pali, and Pali Lexicography (6th I. B. Horner Lecture, 16 September 1995). JPTS 22. 1996, pp. 1–34, particularly p. 21.

2 It is only on the title page of volume II (however, not on the covers of the respective fascicles) that Frede Møller-Kristensen (1933–2003) is mentioned as one of the “editors-in-chief”.

3 The foreword to the second volume was written by Louis Leonor Hammerich (1892–1975), who, although neither a Pāli nor a Buddhist scholar, was instrumental in the revival of the project after an interruption following the completion of the first volume. L. L. Hammerich also acted as chairman of the Administrative Committee comprising besides himself Kai Barr (1896–1970) and Louis Hjelmslev (1899–1965). Members of the Supervisory Committee were Ludwig Alsdorf, Hans Hendriksen (1913–1989), Isaline Blew Horner, Helmut Humbach, and Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera (1899–1973).

4 It is rightly stressed by Margaret Cone: Pāli Lexicography, as note 1 above, p. 29: “I believe, dictionaries, like translations, should be written in their final form by those to whom the second language, the language translated into, is native.”

5 The committee comprised the following members: Jørgen Rischel (chairman, fasc. 4–6), Jes Peter Asmussen (1928–2002), Søren Egerod (1923–1995; fasc. 1–3), Finn Ove Hvidberg-Hansen (fasc. 4–6), Olof Lidin (chairman, fasc. 1–3), Rudi Thomsen (1918–2004).

6 Steering committee: Oskar v. Hinüber, Siegfried Lienhard, Akira Yuyama, Kenneth Zysk (chairman). Advisory board: Nalini Balbir, Margaret Cone, Siegfried Lienhard, Egaku Mayeda (1926–2010), Gadjin M. Nagao (1907–2005), Richard Salomon, Peter Skilling, Ernst Steinkellner, Akira Yuyama, Kenneth Zysk. Both committees were dissolved with the completion of the last volume of the CPD.

7 Cf. the report in Jahrbuch 2007 (58. Jahrgang) der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz. Stuttgart 2008 (The report is buried on a CD-ROM attached to the yearbook). The conference was attended by the following participants: Margaret Cone, Rupert Gethin, Oskar von Hinüber, Petra Kieffer-Pülz, Siegfried Lienhard, Ole Holten Pind, and Kenneth Zysk; Nalini Balbir, Charlotte Hersaa, Danièle Masset, Kenneth Roy Norman, and Akira Yuyama were unable to attend. The conference was formally opened by Prof. Dr. Claudius Geisler, Secretary General of the AWL.

8 So far, the first volume comprising the letters a to kha was published in 2001.

9 In the meantime, funds could be secured from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for a first project connected to the academy at Mainz on “Scholastic Pāli” by Petra Kieffer-Pülz.

10 For details see O. v. Hinüber: The Critical Pāli Dictionary. History and Prospects. Lexicography in the Indian and Buddhist Cultural Field. Proceedings of the Conference at the University of Straśburg 25 to 27 April 1996. Studia Tibetica. Quellen und Studien zur tibetischen Lexikographie, Band IV. München 1998, pp. 65–73 = Kleine Schriften. Wiesbaden 2009, p. 554–580 and A. Yuyama: A Critical Pāli Dictionary (A research into its background history) [in Japanese]. ARIRIAB 2. 1999, p. 67–89. — Only recently yet another early attempt to write a Pāli dictionary came to light again, when an old note of 1979 surfaced during a final check of the CPD files. This was a reference to Brill’s catalogue no. 506 (1979), p. 13, no. 82 “Manuscript. — Pāli–English Dictionary” listing a hand-written word list, which could be traced in the library of the Reiyūkai in Tokyo with the kind help of the librarian of the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies, Yasuhiro Sueki. This dictionary was composed on the basis of the Abhidhānappadīpikā by “Dr. Hoole ca. 1870 with supplementary notes by G. L. M. Clauson.” The copy of a letter by Robert Caesar Childers (1838–1876) to Dr. Hoole dtd. 25 November 1870 is attached to and thus dates the manuscript, which has Pāli in hand-written Sinhala script with English equivalents on 279 pages. There are, at the end, ca. 200 empty pages prepared for the “Supplement” by Gerard Leslie Makins Clauson (1891–1974) which, evidently, was never written. For Clauson turned away from Pāli at an early date and later contributed to Turkish studies (cf. the obituary in JRAS 1975, p. 215–217, and JPTS 1906–1907, pp. 1–7). — Other attempts to compose a comprehensive Pāli dictionary are: Pāli–Burmese Dictionary (for bibliographical data cf. Mittelindisch § 73 and add vol. XVIII [1999] la–vaavāratha); Pāli Dictionary (pāli śabdakoaya) incorporating meanings in Sinhala and English together with corresponding Sanskrit words. Compiled under the auspices of Śrī Vajirañāṇa Dharmāyatana (Bhikkhu Training Centre). Maharagama, Srī Laṅkā, Vol. I Fasc. 1 (a–akkhabhañjana) 1975, Vol. I Fasc. 2 1978 (all published?), and: Pāli–Hindī Dictionary ed. by Ravindra Panth, Nālandā, Vol. I Part 1 (a–ahosi) 2007; Vol. I Part 2 (ā–ihita) 2009. An attempt to create a specialized dictionary was the Aṭṭhakathāsūcī ed. by Kosgoda Sirisumedha. Colombo. Vol. I (a) 1960, Vol. II (ā–o) 1962; Vol. III (ka–ña) 1996, cf. also Consolidated List p. XXVI s.v. Vin koṣ.

11 The effort to win some Japanese scholars failed altogether, and the slips already distributed were ultimately returned unused. Articles written in India had to be entirely re-written by L. Alsdorf.

12 Cf. n. 10 above.

13 There are different lists of reviews of the CPD: Vol. I: C. Haebler, ZDMG 113. 1963, p. 353–355 (list p. 353 n. 1); Vol. II.1–3: A. Yuyama, IIJ 12. 1969–1970, p. 51 foll. (also listing progress reports); II.1–5: O. v. Hinüber, HS 84. 1970, pp. 177–186 (list: p. 178 note 1 = Selected Papeprs, p. 27 n. 1); II.1–9: O. v. Hinüber, HS 94. 1980, pp. 10–31 (list: p. 10 n. 1 = Selected Papers, p. 123 n. 1). — Reviews not included in the lists: II.2: P. S. Jaini, BSOAS 27. 1964, p. 228; II.2–6: C. Caillat: BSL 66. 1971, pp. 66 foll.; II.5: L. Schwarzschild, JAOS 90. 1970, pp. 408 foll.; II. 6–7: T. Rajapatirana, IIJ 19. 1977, p. 116; II.7: C. Caillat, BSL 68. 1973, pp. 113 foll.; II.7–8: K. R. Norman, OLZ 74. 1979, pp. 391–394 (= Collected Papers VI 1996, pp. 146–149); II.9: C. Caillat, BSL 72. 1977, pp. 116 foll.; K. R. Norman, OLZ 74. 1979, pp. 493–495 (= Collected Papers VI 1996, pp. 149–152); II.10: K. R. Norman, OLZ 77. 1982, pp. 402–404 (= Collected Papers VI 1996, pp. 153–155); II.10–11: C. Caillat, IF 88. 1983, pp. 312–318; C. Caillat, BSL 78. 1983, pp. 77 foll.; II.10–12: J. R. Joshi, ABORI 65. 1983, pp. 285–287; II.11: M. Cone, OLZ 80. 1985, pp. 194 foll.; II. 11–12: Ch. Lindtner, IIJ 28. 1985, pp. 299–302; II. 12: C. Caillat, BSL 80. 1985, pp. 117–119; M. Cone, OLZ 80. 1985, p. 600 foll.; II.13–16: J. R. Joshi, ABORI 71. 1990, pp. 340 foll.; — III.1: C. Caillat, Comptes Rendus. Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 1992, pp. 689–691; J. W. de Jong, IIJ 39. 1996, pp. 284–286. No review of II.17 or IV.2–7 came to my notice. — Reports on the CPD were published regularly in Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz. Jahrbuch, 1960–1977 by L. Alsdorf, 1978 by W. P. Schmid, 1979–1992 by Wilhelm Rau, 1993–2010 by O. v. Hinüber, and in Union Académique Internationale. Compte Rendu (des sessions annuelles) by various authors; cf. also: K. R. Norman: A Report on Pāli Dictionaries. Buddhist Studies. Bukkyõ Kenkyū 15. 1985, pp. 145–152.