Note on Sanskrit words

Sanskrit words are given in approximate Anglicized forms, sometimes grammatically anomalous. For example, the established words yogi and Nirvana should be: either yogin and Nirvana, or else yogi and Nirvanam. (There should be a macron over the first ‘a’ and a dot under the second ‘n’ of Nirvāṇa – Nirvāṇa.) But these words are established in English; experience shows that diacritical marks do not long survive transplantation into a foreign language. The inconsistency and general looseness of the Anglicized forms may be distressing, though only to those who know how the words ought strictly to be rendered; but countless examples show that when a field of theory and practice is carried from one language to another, there has to be some accommodation. Technical terms have to be retained when there is no proper equivalent; it is also useless to spell names by some elaborate system. No one writes yogī or Jūdō, and not many would go to a Caykovskij concert. So in general I write Śhaṅkara and not Sankara or Caṃkara, and similarly with other words.

But as the translation of the Chapter of the Self commentary is new, one of the standard systems of transliteration is used in that section, and in the appendices.

Readers must be prepared to find Sankara and other unfamiliar spellings there.