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xliv
PREFACE TO THE

of twenty-four volumes, the publication of which will probably extend over eight years. In this Series I hope to comprehend the following books, though I do not pledge myself to adhere strictly to this outline:—

1. From among the Sacred Books of the Brahmans I hope to give a translation of the Hymns of the Rig-veda. While I shall continue my translation of selected hymns of that Veda, a traduction raisonnée which is intended for Sanskrit scholars only, on the same principles which I have followed in the first volume[1], explaining every word and sentence that seems to require elucidation, and carefully examining the opinions of previous commentators, both native and European, I intend to contribute a freer translation of the hymns to this Series, with a few explanatory notes only, such as are absolutely necessary to enable readers who are unacquainted with Sanskrit to understand the thoughts of the Vedic poets. The translation of perhaps another Samhitâ, one or two of the Brâhmanas, or portions of them, will have to be included in our Series, as well as the principal Upanishads, theosophic treatises of great interest and beauty. There is every prospect of an early appearance of a translation of the Bhagavad-gîtâ, of the most important among the sacred Law-books, and of one at least of the Purânas. I should have wished to include a translation of some of the Gain books, of the Granth of the Sikhs, and of similar works illustrative of the later developments of religion in India, but there is hardly room for them at present.

2. The Sacred Books of the Buddhists will be translated chiefly from the two original collections, the Southern in Pali, the Northern in Sanskrit. Here the selection will, no doubt, be most difficult. Among the first books to be published will be, I hope, Sûtras from the Dîgha Nikâya, a part of the Vinaya-pitaka, the Dhammapada, the Divyâvadâna, the Lalita-vistara, or legendary life of Buddha.

2. The Sacred Books of the Zoroastrians lie within a smaller compass, but they will require fuller notes and commentaries in order to make a translation intelligible and useful.

4. The books which enjoy the highest authority with the followers of Khung-fû-𝔷ze are the King and the Shû. Of the former the Shû King or Book of History; the Odes of the Temple and

  1. Rig-veda-sanhitâ, The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, translated and explained by F. Max Müller. Vol. i. Hymns to the Maruts or the Storm-Gods. London, 1869.