Many westerners assume that the dharmic wisdom embodied in the Sanskrit language can be translated into other languages and imported into other religious and/or scientific paradigms without loss of meaning. "Aum" can be "Amen", "Shantih" can be "peace", "Brahma" can be "God", etc......, I argue that this is not the case.
Ancient as it is, Sanskrit remains important for its profound creative potential. The richness of the meaning of a word is often deeply embedded in its cultural context,....Many cultural artifacts have no equivalent in other cultures, and to force such artifacts into the moulds that the West finds acceptable or familiar-- to appropriate them-- is to distort them. This too is a form of colonization and cultural conquest.
He then devotes several more pages explaining his thesis before delving into thoroughly explaining the profound deeper meaning of terms such as "Brahman, Shiva, Atman", etc. The terms that he explained that are relevant for Buddhists aree "Dharma", "Karma", and "Dukkha".
You can see his explanation of "Dharma", which was pasted verbatim on Huffington Post.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajiv-mal ... 75314.html
His explanation of "Dukkha" which he says is not the same as "suffering", I am quoting next.
"Dukkha is a psychological condition in which the more forcefully the self asserts itself, the more it senses the lack of what it does not possess. By its very nature, it is not self-sufficient, and its craving for external things produces its sense of lack. Conversely, the greater the dukkha, the more powerful the self becomes as the agent in charge of dealing with the problem."
What do you guys think about this? Does Malhotra's argument hold water, and if so are there other Pali non-translatables we can come up with and thus explain better? "Nibbana" comes to my mind immediately as well as "Anatta". What is your opinion on this matter.