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The Buddhist Catechism, by Henry S. Olcott [1908], at

p. xiii


to the

Fortieth Edition.

The popularity of this little work is proved by the constant demand for new editions, in English and other languages. In looking over the matter for the present edition, I have found very little to change or to add, for the work seems to present a very fair idea of the contents of Southern Buddhism; and, as my object is never to write an extended essay on the subject, I resist the temptation to wander off into amplifications of details which, however interesting to the student of comparative religion, are useless in a rational scheme of elementary instruction.

The new Sinhalese version (38th edition) which is being prepared by my respected friend, D. B. Jayatilake, Principal of Ânanda (Buddhist) College, Colombo, is partly printed, but cannot be completed until he is relieved of some of the pressure upon his time. The Tamil version (41st edition) has been undertaken by the leaders of the Pañchama community of Madras, and will shortly issue from the press. The Spanish

p. xiv

version (39th edition) is in the hands of my friend Senor Xifre´, and the French one (37th edition) in those of Commandant Courmes.

So the work goes on, and by this unpretending agency the teachings of the Buddha Dharma are being carried throughout the world.

H. S. O.

Adyar, 7th January, 1905.

Next: Preface to the Forty-Second Edition