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It Does not Express

Date: 12 Apr 2012 22:59:31 -0000
From: "Shivadayal  Singhal" futures...
Subject: It Does not Express




Baba says, "The word 'mantra' in Samskrta is very meaningful, and it has no synonymous term in any other language...the word 'mantra' cannot be properly represented by the word 'incantation'. But for want of a proper word in English, we find no alternative but to use the word 'incantation'." (Ananda Vacanamrtam - 5 p. 96, 100)

By reading the above quote it is clear that the English language is very weak in that it has little capacity to express spiritual ideas.

So in order to know more deeply about spirituality etc, then one has to become familiar with the meaning of various Sanskrit words and phrases. Otherwise one will have no option but to depend upon the translator-- but that will not work since the real essence of those Sanskrit words cannot be translated into other languages like English.

For example: dharma, mantra,  karma, upavasa etc. These words cannot be translated into English. And here is another example where the English version fails to carry the spirit of the Sanskrit meaning. The term 'half-bath' does not at all reflect the meaning of the original Sanskrit term: 'Vyapak Shaoca'. But in the English books in place of vyapak shaoca the English term half-bath has been used. When really Vyapak means 'detailed' and to explain shaoca Baba has given a 5 page discourse about this in 'A Guide to Human Conduct'.

But when they put 16 points into English they translated 'vyapak shaoca' as 'half-bath'. When in fact the term half-bath utterly fails to carry the real essence and special import of vyapak shaoca. Because the etymological meaning of vyapak shaoca is 'in-depth' and 'all-round' cleaning.

Unfortunately this type of mistranslation is not an isolated case because there are innumerable Sanskrit words which have got wrongly translated or could not be expressed in a proper way in languages like English. Because of this each and every good margii is trying to learn more and more Sanskrit.

Shivadayal Deva

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