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To my venerable teacher Pelene Siri Vajira~naana Mahaa Naayaka Thera
The word Paa.li means "the Text", though it has now come to be the name of a language.
Maagadhi was the original name for Paa.li. It was the language current in the land of Magadha during the time of the Buddha (6th century B.C.).
Suddha Maagadhii, the pure form of the provincial dialect, was what the Buddha used as His medium of instruction.
The elements of Paa.li can be mastered in a few months, Paa.li opens one's ears to the Dhamma and the music of the Buddha's speech. It is also a lingua franca in Buddhist countries, and therefore worth acquiring.
This slender volume is intended to serve as an elementary guide for beginners. With its aid one may be able to get an introduction to the Paa.li language within a short period.
I have to express my deep indebtedness to my Venerable Teacher, Pelene Siri Vajira~naana Mahaa Naayaka Therapaada, who introduced me to this sacred language. Words cannot indicate how much I owe to his unfailing care and sympathy.
My thanks are due to the Venerable Nyaanatiloka Thera, for his valued assistance.