[vol. 3, p. VII] Notice About the Development of the CPD

For almost a complete decade the Critical Pāli Dictionary was able to make steady progress along the lines described in the preface to the first fascicle of Volume III in 1992. However, the turn of the millennium saw some major and unforeseeable changes in the infrastructure of the dictionary1.

First of all, however, it is a sad duty to report that the Critical Pāli Dictionary lost two contributors, Klas Hagren and Else Pauly. The latter worked for the CPD probably longer than anybody else in its history and continued to take a keen interest in the dictionary even after her retirement until almost up to her death. The memory of both contributors will be kept alive; their obituaries are found in this fascicle.

In 1998 the generous funding from the Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai which began in 1991, came to an end, making it virtually impossible to employ any scholar working exclusively for the CPD. This resulted in the most unfortunate consequence of the termination of employment of both Charlotte Hersaa (31st July 1998) and Ole Holten Pind (30th April 2000), both of whom worked for the dictionary for many years: Ch. Hersaa since 1st May 1980 and O. H. Pind from 1st August 1986. The advisory board and present editor wish to extend their warm thanks to both of them for their invaluable and devoted work.

Moreover, in a letter dated 12th October 1999, the Royal Danish Academy communicated somewhat unexpectedly its decision to withdraw from the CPD, which it supported from its beginnings in 1925, to transfer the project to the Asian Institute of the University of Copenhagen, beginning from 1st January 2000, and to dissolve the Commission for a Critical Pāli Dictionary in the summer of 1999.

The necessary changes concerning the restructuring of the CPD have been discussed during two meetings in Copenhagen on 21st February and 4th to 5th October 2000, resulting in the formation of a new advisory board. Furthermore, on 4th November 2000, the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz, agreed to renew its support of the CPD2. Consequently, the patronage of the Union Académique Internationale will continue in future. The dictionary was brought under the umbrella of the Union Académique Internationale in 1958 as L. L. Hammerich reported in his preface to volume II.

At present, it is planned to complete volume III of the CPD within the coming fifteen years by reaching the end of the letter "k" in approximately another five fascicles by the year 2015. As the work has to be shouldered exclusively by contributors working in different academic institutions, a certain slowdown of publication seems inevitable, and consequently, a sequence of one fascicle every three years is envisaged.

Today, the general accessibility of electronic versions of the Pāli Tipiṭaka together with its commentaries and subcommentaries such as the Dhammagiri CD-Rom (version 3.0), an excellent research tool generously distributed for free and, thankfully, used by almost all Pāli scholars, relieves the dictionary of one of its major burdens. Future fascicles of the CPD, therefore, will give references to words attested as "ifc." only in exceptional cases. The listing, however, will continue for obvious practical reasons, although in a more selective manner leaving out all "sub-ifc.s". Also, articles will be slightly abbreviated and presented in a more compact form by taking the presentation of volume I as a model rather than that of volume II.

Consequently, it may be appropriate to recall the purpose and the aims of this dictionary as stated in the preface to Volume I on p. X: "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 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 [p. VIII] 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 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".

This is still valid today. One remark may be added, however, which obviously was felt unnecessary when the dictionary started. For today, large parts of the later Pāli literature are accessible in printed editions first of all from Burma and Thailand. Therefore, it is necessary to draw a limit to the vocabulary systematically included in the CPD. Here, the usage of earlier Pāli literature will be described starting from the canonical language and ending with texts such as the Mahāvaṁsaṭīkā (8th / 9th century?). Later subcommentaries, e.g., the work by Sāriputta, are quoted only exceptionally, where they may contribute to the understanding of the older texts. Generally, South-East Asian Pāli literature is not treated in this dictionary with occasional exceptions such as the Jinakālamālinī.

Freiburg, 5th August 2001
O. v. Hinüber, Editor

1 For the earlier history of the dictionary cf. the article by the editor: The Critical Pāli Dictionary. History and Prospects. Lexicography in the Indian and Buddhist Cultural Field. Proceedings of the Conference at the University of Strassburg 25 to 27 April 1996. Studia Tibetica. Quellen und Studien zur tibetischen Lexikographie, Band IV. Munich 1998, pp. 65-73. — CPD III 1,2 have been reviewed by J. W. de Jong, IIJ 39, 1996, pp. 284-286.

2 Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Jahrbuch 2000, p. 222.