On the name «Sri Chinmoy Canon»

The «Sri Chinmoy Canon» is a publishing series that strives to pursue a tight academic profile. Such a publishing series is meant to offer itself as a reference for future scholarly works.

Prof. Lambert, who offered vital support in many aspects of the project, offered the name Sri Chinmoy canon in the scholarly sense from literary criticism.

In his words,

By calling Sri Chinmoy’s first editions editio princeps we chose to follow classical scholarship criteria. Not because we consider Sri Chinmoy’s work antique, but because we believe it is among the few post «classical antiquity» works to rightly deserve to be considered a classicus, designating by that term superiority, authority and perfection.

The monumental work Sri Chinmoy is offering to mankind is awe-inspiring and supremely pre-eminent, in proportions and quality. It is manifest that Sri Chinmoy’s work – which we feel right to call the Sri Chinmoy Canon – will be of profound help and source of enlightenment to anyone seeking a higher wisdom, truth and reality supreme.

As used in academia, the word «canon» relates to the literary world (see OED entry below), meaning to confer and convey academic status and academic standard to Sri Chinmoy’s works.

In that context, the word canon has a neutral stand and a universal access.

Any writer has the right to call his work «Opus», or «Oeuvre», nobody will oppose that name. But only few have the authority and privilege to have their work designated as canon. That honour can really be accorded only by academia or scholars.

As somebody else put it, «Canon is an excellent word to summarize this series. It conveys dignity, lofty academic attainment, a sense of great achievement and legacy.

«It would be hard to find a better term for collections of Sri Chinmoy’s published writings.»

The Oxford English Dictionary entry says:

Canon:

a.a A body of literary works traditionally regarded as the most important, significant, and worthy of study; those works of esp. Western literature considered to be established as being of the highest quality and most enduring value; the classics (now freq. in the canon). Also, such a body of literature in a particular language, or from a particular culture, period, genre, etc.

b.b In extended use (esp. with reference to art or music): a body of works, etc., considered to be established as the most important or significant in a particular field.