QUESTION:  Why have all these Sanskrit words such as dharma and guru? Why not translate them into English, easy to follow? The constant Sanskrit words could put an inquirer off, perhaps for ever.


ANSWER:  Some of these words – for instance dharma and guru – are already in the English dictionaries. One soon masters the small technical vocabulary, as we do in music, where technical terms are in Italian, but understood all over the world. Wagner who was, or thought he was, a fanatical representative of German culture, refused to use the Italian words. So to read a Wagner score, you have to know some German: for instance that Wagner’s Lebhaft means the internationally recognized Vivace, or in English ‘lively’.

Similarly, if you take up gardening, you expect to meet some specialized words such as mulch; it is not thought to be off-putting.

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