Vol 15 Page xi
A brief mention of the plan of this volume will be helpful. This Index covers only the 14 numbered volumes of the Blavatsky Collected Writings series. Material from Isis Unveiled, The Secret Doctrine. and From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan, etc., is not included, although the indexes may be integrated at a later time. It was deemed wise to wait until the Collected Letters of H.P Blavatsky, edited by John Cooper, and all future volumes of the unnumbered series are published, before a bibliographic volume is completed by a student in the future.
In the Index to follow, our main entries are arranged alphabetically: first, letter by letter, then word by word, with a few minor exceptions involving foreign surnames entered by established practice. Personal titles such as Comte, Count, Countess and Saint are ignored in alphabetizing. Individual books of the Bible are entered under their titles, but entries about the Old and New Testaments are included under the general heading Bible. Annals, diaries, poems, essays and articles, as well as book titles are cited under their authors, unless better known by title, as in the case of a few classics of antiquity. Anonymous works are found under their most commonly known titles, with See references from alternate titles. For example, Lotus Sutra is the main entry with a See reference under Saddharma Pundarika. Article titles are arranged after book titles under their respective authors.
The choice of main headings sometimes involved placing alternate spellings in parentheses, as well as See references to the less common forms of entry. For instance, in one volume the Gobi Desert is signified the “Shamo.” We have used See also references at the close of our subentries to indicate broadly related material.
Biographical data has been standardized according to Webster’s Biographical Dictionary, with See references from the less common forms of the names. With translated and transliterated titles we had a more difficult problem, since various editions were used, not only in H.P.B.’s text, but also in the compiler’s notes. At times the reader may find both an English translation, and titles in other languages as well. We have made See references from lesser-known titles to their authors, unless anonymous. Because of numerous translations, certain ancient scriptures are placed under their better-known titles, rather than that of their modern translators or compilers.
Subentries were alphabetized by ignoring articles, conjunctions, prepositions and a few auxiliary verbs. We have also ignored initial letters before surnames, as well as abbreviations like Dr., Rev., Mr. and Mrs. However, initials in place of full names or book titles, such as H.P.B. & S.D. , are to be treated as if spelled out; as well as the abbreviation "cp." (compared). The negatives “no” and “not” are alphabetized.
With the decision to compile the fourteen separate B.C.W. indexes with the aid of the computer, certain limitations were accepted by the editor. It was not possible to include Greek, Hebrew or Devanagari scripts. We have added abbreviations such as Gk. Heb., Sk. or Tib. to transliterated terms, so that the reader will know that the terms expressed may lead to such scripts within the text, and to help identify the language. Due to the fact that consistent terminology is not always to be found between the various volumes, we have tried to incorporate H.P.B.’s most commonly used term in the main entry. In subentries we try to stay with H.P.B.’s spelling, adding diacritical marks to her terms only where left off, and when that spelling meets current practice. After H.P.B.’s Sanskrit terms, the current word usage according to a modified International System for Transliteration is repeated in brackets. David Reigle and Robert Hütwohl consulted a number of Sanskrit and Tibetan dictionaries to help us meet current International standards. For needed Tibetan corrections, the Library of Congress Transliteration System was incorporated. There are a few instances when the same entry word appears twice, but with different accents, in order to distinguish H.P.B.’s particular usage of the term. For instance, Prãjña is a key term in Vedanta; whereas when accented as Prajñã, it becomes a key Buddhist term.
We hope that our Illustrations List in Appendix I will help students locate portraits, memorable places and important documents, when they wish to search directly for these. Diagrams, Facsimiles, Figures and Plates, are noted with page numbers in the Index proper. Due to our Serial List in Appendix II, we have cited only the place of publication for common titles such as Light, or Times, in our main text.
Much of our work has been done with a view to the future. We hope this Index will prove a fruitful tool for probing the abundant field of Theosophical literature, and a useful key to the ancient wisdom given to us by H.P.B.