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The Pali is transliterated as Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ) ]


Table of Contents

[ A ][ B ][ C ][ D ][ E ][ F ][ G ][ H ][ I ][ J ][ K ][ L ][ M ][ N ][ O ][ P ][ R ][ S ][ T ][ U ][ V ][ W ][ Y ]


Glossology is a rarely-used word that means the study of the meanings of the words of a language or the terms used in a science. It is an ideal word for describing what this section is doing.

This section is organized this way:

[ ] Tables of comparative vocabularies of the various translators organized by "Dhamma" (major category of practice or building-block of the system) with the individual Pali terms therein linked to

[ ] Individual pages discussing that term. Links from that page lead to:

[ ] the various "Dhammas" to which that term belongs,
[ ] discussions of that term on the main website,
[ ] Suttas in the Sutta Index that deal with that term, and to
[ ] whatever other helpful material can be found.

Approaching it from the other end, Pali terms and major concepts that come up in the course of discussions, within suttas, and so forth will eventually be linked to the term or Dhamma in the Glossology.

The contents listings below (containing both Dhammas and individual terms) should serve as a general all-round subject index. It deliberately contains numerous redundancies. Included will be the term (or terms) for the Dhamma in Pali, and the most commonly used English Language term (or terms).

I have decided to include all the well-known (and at least one of translators for each dhamma even when there is no translation by that individual for that dhamma. I will do this by "constructing" what their translation would have likely been based on the way they use the sub-terms elsewhere. This has at least one problem: Some, if not most, translators are inconsistant in their use of terms across their own translations, so there is no real assurance that the constructed translations would be as the translator would have rendered the Dhamma. What this will do, however, is give us at least a clue as to how the translator was thinkiing about the system as a whole. This is the real point of this section.

Please be aware that by the nature of the materials being presented in tabular form, horizontal scrolling will often be needed.

One thing that should be introduced at this point is the idea that there is no sense, when dealing with translations, in attempting to determine which one single word is the best translation. A better approach is to view the various translations of a term as a "spectrum" of meanings encompassed by the Pali term. This does not mean that some translation may not be incorrect; but only that many translations may be correct but limited in scope. The reader should, in his own thinking either be using the Pali term understanding this scope, or be picking what he feels is the best term, understanding that it should not be held on to ridgedly.

The intent here is only to discuss terms that qualify as dhammas and their sub-categories. For other terms used in the suttas, see the very good Access to Insight general glossary [local version]: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist terms
and of course, The Pali Text Society's: Pali/English Dictionary.

Suggestions for the Next Generation
This section should be expanded to include a much wider vocabulary (there is no real reason in the digital world that this could not be dictionary- or encyclopedia-length and scope); each entry should have a sutta reference or multiple sutta references; there should be etymologies for all entries and complete dictionary quotations; important words (primarily those on the current list) should have diagrams showing the position of the term in various 'Dhammas'. The page heading or title should indicate and justify the current 'best translation.' This 'best translation' should be justified by quotes in context, especially of similes and non-technical use. Also useful would be complete declention and alternative spellings, and phonetic spelling and audio files giving pronunciation, and lists of possible alternative translations.

See also:
The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary, Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede
Key to Grammatical Terms
Key to Abbreviations
Pali Grammatical Terms
Pali Roots
Pali Suffixes
Lingo: A section for discussion of/links to some of the more unusual terms/subjects that come up, both Pali and otherwise.
Adams Apple: On Niruti and discovering 'Old Pali'.
Buddhist India for some geographical information about the India of the Buddha's day;
Weights and Measures for some information about units of measurement used in the Buddha's time.
DhammaTalk: Give Ear A Section devoted to the study of the meanings of Pali Terms.
Brahmi On the first Alphabet used to write down the Buddhist texts.
Childers Pali English Dictionary PDF.


-----[ A ]-----

Appamada (Appamaada, Appamaada) [get]

Abhassara (Aabhassara, AAbhassara) [get]

Abhibhu (Abhibhuu, Abhibhuu) [ get]

Abhinna (Abhi~n~naa, Cha'abhi~n~naa Abhi~n~naa, Higher Powers) [get]

Abhibhayatana (Abhibhaayatanaa Abhibhaayatanaa) [get]

Activities (sankhara, Sa'nkhaara, Sa.nkhaara) [get]

Agati (gati, aagati) [get]

Aggregates (khandha, Kkhandhaa, Kkhandhaa) [get]

Ahara (Aahaara, AAhaara) [get]

Ajiva (Aajiiva, Sammaa Aajiiva AAjiiva, Sammaa AAjiiva) [get]

Akalika (Akaalika, Akaalika) [get]

Akasa, Akasanancayatana (Aakaasaa, Aakaasaana~ncaayatana, AAkaasaa, AAkaasaana~ncaayatana) [get]

Akincannayatana (Aaki~nca~n~naayatana, AAki~nca~n~naayatana) [get]

All, The (Salayatana, Sa.laayatana Sa.laayatana) [get]

Ally (bala) [get]

Anapana Sati [get]

Anatta (Not-Self, Non-Self) [get]

Anicca (Change, Impermanence) [get]

Anusaya (Latent Tendency, Bias, Obsession) [get]

A~n~na (A~n~naa, A~n~naa) [get]

Apa, Apo (Aapa, Aapoo, AApa, AApoo oh-oh!) [get]

Arahat (Arahant, Arahantship)[get]

Ariya [get]

Ariya Atthangika Magga, (Ariya A.t.thangika Magga, Ariya A.t.thangika Magga, The Way, The Eightfold Way) [get]

Asavas (Aasavas, AAsavas) [get]

Avijja (Avijjaa, Avijjaa) [get]


-----[ B ]-----

Bala, Balani [get]

Bhaggava [get]

Bhava [get]

Bhuta (Bhuutaa, Bhuutaa) [get]

Boy's Questions, The (Dasa Panha, Dasa Pa~nhaa Dasa Pa~nhaa) [get]

Brahma (Brahmaa, Brahmaa) [get]


-----[ C ]-----

Cankers, The (Asavas, Aasavas, AAsavas)[get]

Cattari Aharo (Cattari Aahaaro, Cattari AAhaaro) [get]

Cattari Ariya Saccani (Cattaari Ariya Saccaani, Cattaari Ariya Saccaani) [get]

Cattari Iddhipada (Cattaari Iddhipaadaa, Cattaari Iddhipaadaa) [get]

Cattaaro Sammappadhaanaa, The Four Commendable (Consummate, Right, Supreme, Great, Best) Efforts, Strivings [get]

Cattari Satipatthana (Cattaari Satipa.t.thaana, Cattaari Satipa.t.thaana) [get]

Cattaro Maha Bhutani (Cattaaro Mahaa Bhuutaani, Cattaaro Mahaa Bhuutaani) [get]

Chalabhinna (Abhi~n~naa, Cha'abhi~n~naa Abhi~n~naa, Higher Powers) [get]

Chanda [get]

Citta [get]

Controlling Powers (Indriyani, Indriyaani, Indriyaani) [get]

Consciousness (Vinnana,,[get]

Corruptions, The (Asavas, Aasavas, AAsavas) [get]

Craving (Tanha Ta.nhaa Ta.nhaa) [get]


-----[ D ]-----

Dana (Daana, Daana) [get]

Dasa Panha (Dasa Pa~nhaa, Dasa Pa~nhaa) [get]

Dependant Uprising (Dependant Origination) (Paticca Samuppada, Pa.ticca Samuppada, Pa.ticca Samuppada) [get]

Deliverances, The Eight, (Vimokkha) [get]

Desideratum [get]

Desire (Tanha Ta.nhaa Ta.nhaa) [get]

Devas [get]

Devine Madness (Sammatta) [get]

Detachment (Upekkha, Upekkhaa, Upekkhaa) [get]

Dhamma [get]

Dhamma_vicaya [get]

Dhatu (Dhaatu, Dhaatu) [get]

Dittha (Di.t.tha, Di.t.tha) [get]

Ditthi (Di.t.thi, Di.t.thi) [get]

Doubt (Vicikiccha Vicikicchaa, Vicikicchaa) [get]

Dukkha [get]


-----[ E ]-----

Earth (Pa.thavii, Pa.thavii) [get]

Effort, Right Effort (Vayama Vaayaama, Sammaa Vaayaama, Vaayaama, Sammaa Vaayaama) [get]

Effort, The Four Commendable (Consummate, Right, Supreme, Great, Best), Cattaaro Sammappadhaanaa, [get]

Effluents, The [get]

Ekatta [get]

Elements, The Four Great (The Six) (Dhatu, Dhaatu, Dhaatu) [get]

Enablers (Balani) [get]

Endogamous/Exogamous [get]

Energy (Viriya) [get]

Entity/Identity (Nama/Rupa, Naama~n ca Ruupa~n ca, Naama/Rupa) [get]

Equanimity (Upekkha, Upekkhaa, Upekkhaa) [get]

Ethical Culture, Ethics (Sila Siila, Siila) [get]


-----[ F ]-----

Fabrications (sankhara, Sa'nkhaara, Sa.nkhaara) [get]

Factors of Existance, The Five (khandha, Kkhandhaa, Kkhandhaa) [get]

Factors of Wisdom, The Seven (Satta Sambojjhanga (Sambojjhangaa, Sambojjhangaa) [get]

Faculties (Indriyani, Indriyaani, Indriyaani) [get]

Faith (Saddha) [get]

Feelings, The Three (Vedana, vedanaa, Vedanaa) [get]

Fetters, The Ten (Sanyojana, Sa'nyojaana, Sa.nyojaana) [get]

Fire (Tejo) [get]

Foods, The Four (Ahara, Aahaara, AAhaara) [get]

Forces (Indriyani, Indriyaani, Indriyaani) [get]

Freedom (Vimutti) [get]


-----[ G ]-----

Gati (agati, aagati) [get]

Giving (Dana, Daana, Daana) [get]

Grasping (Upadana Upaadaana, Upaadaana) [get]

Grasping Groups, The Five (khandha, Kkhandhaa, Kkhandhaa) [get]

Guardians of the World (Hiri and Ottappa) [get]


-----[ H ]-----

Hindrances, The (Nivarana, Niivara.naa, Niivara.naa) [get]

Hiri [get]

Hetu [get]

Hiri and Ottappa [get]

Hunger/Thirst (Tanha Ta.nhaa Ta.nhaa) [get]


-----[ I ]-----

Iddhipada (Iddhipaadaa, Iddhipaadaa) [get]

Indriya, Indriyani (Indriyaani, Indriyaani) (several classes) [get]

Intuitive knowledge (Vinnata vi~n~naata, vi~n~naata) [get]

Investigation (Vimamsa Viima.msaa, Viima.msaa) [get]

Impermanence (Anicca, Change) [get]


-----[ J ]-----

Jaramarana (,[get]

Jati (Jaati, Jaati)[get]

Jhana (Jhaana, Jhaana) [get]


-----[ K ]-----

Kabalinkara Aharo (Kabali'nkaara Aahaaro, Kabali.nkaara AAhaaro) [get]

Kama (Kaama, Kaamasava, Kaama, Kaamasava) [get]

Kamacchanda (Kaamacchanda, Kaamacchanda) [get]

Kammanta [get]

Karuna (Karu.naa, Karu.naa) [get]

Kaya (Kaaya, Kaaya) [get]

Khandha (Kkhandhaa, Kkhandhaa) [get]

Knowing (intuitive knowledge) (Vinnata vi~n~naata, vi~n~naata) [get]

Knowledge, (Nana,, [get] (Vijja Vijjaa, Vijjaa) [get]

Kumara Panha (Kumaara Pa~nhaa, Kumaara Pa~haa) [get]

Kusala (Skill) [get]


-----[ L ]-----

Latent Tendency (Anusaya, Bias, Obsession) [get]

Liberations, The Eight, (Vimokkha) [get]

Limbs of Wisdom, The Seven (Satta Sambojjhanga, Sambojjhangaa, Sambojjhangaa)[get]

Liquid (Apa, Apo Aapa, Aapoo, AApa, AApoo) [get]


-----[ M ]-----

Magga, Ariya Atthangika (Magga, Ariya A.t.thangika, Ariya A.t.thangika Magga) [get]

Maha Dhatu (Mahaa Dhaatuu, Mahaa Dhaatuu) [get]

Manosancetana (Manosa~ncetanaa, Manosa~ncetanaa) [get]

Mentality and Materiality (Naama Ruupa, Naama Ruupa) [get]

Metta [get]

Mind and Matter (Naama Ruupa, Naama Ruupa) [get]

Mindfulness, Setting up, The Four (Satipatthanas, Cattaari Satipa.t.thaana, Cattaari Satipa.t.thaana)[get]

Mudita (Muditaa, Muditaa) [get]

Mulapariyaya (Muulapariyaya, Muulapariyaya) [get]

Muta [get]

-----[ N ]-----

Nahuta [get]

Nama (Naama, Naama) [get]

Nama Rupa (Naama Ruupa, Naama Ruupa) [get]

Name and Form (Naama Ruupa, Naama Ruupa) [get]

Nana (,, Knowledge) [get]

Nanatta (Naanatta, Naanatta) [get]

Naya (~Naaya, ~Naaya) [get]

Nava Sattavasa [get]

Nekkhamma [get]

N'evasannanasannayatana (N'evasa~n~naanaasa~n~naayatana, N'evasa~n~naanaasa~n~naanaa) [get]

Nine Abodes (habits, habitats) of Beings (Nava Sattavasa) [get]

Nibbana (Nibbaana, Nibbaana) [get]

Nidana (Nidaana, Nidaana) [get]

Nidana Paccay'akara (Nidaana Paccay'aakaara, Nidaana Paccay'aakaara) [get]

Niraya: See: Subdivisions of Hell and Advantages and Disadvantages

Nirodha [get]

Nivarana (, [get]

Noble Eight-Fold Path, The (Ariya Atthangika Magga,Ariya A.t.thangika Magga, Ariya A.t.thangika Magga, The Way, The Eightfold Way) [get]

Noble Truths, The Four (Cattari Ariya Saccani, Cattaari Ariya Saccaani, Cattaari Ariya Saccaani) [get]

Not-Self, Non-Self (Anatta) [get]


-----[ O ]-----

Omniscience (A~n~naa, A~n~naa, A~n~na) [get]

Ottappa [get]


-----[ P ]-----

Pajapati (Pajaapati, Pajaapati) [get]

Panc'Upadana Kkhandha (Pa~nc' Upaadaana Kkhandhaa, Pa~nc'Upaadaana Kkhandhaa) [get]

Panna (Pa~n~naa, Pa~n~naa) [get]

Passaddhi [get]

Pathavi (Pa.thavii, Pa.thavii) [get]

Paticca Samuppada (Pa.ticca Samuppada, Pa.ticca Samuppada) [get]

Phassa [get]

Piti (Piiti, Piiti) [get]

Power-Paths, The Four (Iddhipaadaa, Iddhipaadaa) [get]

Powers (Bala) [get]


-----[ R ]-----

Realm of the Senses, The (Sa.laayatana, Sa.laayatana) [get]

Releases, The Eight, (Vimokkha) [get]

Reminiscence -- Remembering (Vimamsa (Viima.msaa, Viima.msaa) [get]

Root of All Evil, The (Mulapariyaya, Muulapariyaya, Muulapariyaya) [get]

Rupa (ruupa, ruupa) [get]


-----[ S ]-----

Sabba [get]

Saccani [get]

Saddha [get]

Sakkayaditthi (Sakkaayaditthi, Sakkaayaditthi) [get]

Salayatana (Sa.laayatana, Sa.laayatana) [get]

Samadhi (Samaadhi, Samaadhi) [get]

Sambojjhanga (Sambojjhangaa, Sambojjhangaa) [get]

Samma (Sammaa, Sammaa) [get]

Sammatta [get]

Samudaya [get]

Sankappa [get]

Sankhara (Sa'nkhaara, Sa.nkhaara) [get]

Sanna (Sa~n~naa, Sa~n~naa [get]

Sanyojana (Sa'nyojana, Sa.nyojana, Sa~n~nojana, Sa.myojanaa, Samyojanaa) [get]

Sassata [get]

Sati [get]

Satipatthanas, The Four (Cattaari Satipa.t.thaana, Cattaari Satipa.t.thaana)[get]

Satisfaction [get]

Sammappadhana, The Four (Cattaaro Sammappadhaanaa), The Four Commendable (Consummate, Right, Supreme, Great, Best) Efforts, Strivings [get]

Satta Sambojjhanga (Sambojjhangaa, Sambojjhangaa) [get]

Self-control (Vayama Vaayaama, Sammaa Vaayaama, Vaayaama, Sammaa Vaayaama) [get]

Sensations, Sense Experiences, The Three (Vedana, Tisso vedana Tisso vedanaa, Vedanaa)[get]

Six Senses, The (Salayatana Sa.laayatana, Sa.laayatana) [get]

Sila (Siila, Siila) [get]

Skill (Kusala) [get]

Speech (Vaca, Vaacaa, Vaacaa) [get]

Spheres of Mastery, (Abhibhayatana, Abhibhaayatanaa Abhibhaayatanaa) [get]

Stabilizers of the World (Hiri and Ottappa) [get]

Subhakinna (, [get]

Sukha [get]

Sukka Lokapala (Hiri and Ottappa) [get]

Suta [get]

Sympathy (Karu.naa, Karu.naa) [get]

Systematic Attention (Yoniso-manasikara Yoniso-manasikaaraa, Yoniso-manasikaaraa) [get]


-----[ T ]-----

Talk (Vaca, Vaacaa, Vaacaa) [get]

Tanha (Ta.nhaa Ta.nhaa) [get]

Tejo [get]

Ten Questions, The (Dasa Panha, Dasa Pa~nhaa, Dasa Pa~nhaa) [get]

Thina-middha (Thiina-Middha, Thiina-Middha) [get]

Thought ("Initial" Vitakka) [get] ("Sustained" Vicara -- Vicaara, Vicaara) -- [get]

Tracing to the root (origin, getting to the bottom of things) (Yoniso-manasikara Yoniso-manasikaaraa, Yoniso-manasikaaraa) [get]

Trust (Saddha) [get]


-----[ U ]-----

Uddhacca-kukkucca [get]

Uncertainty (Vicikiccha Vicikicchaa, Vicikicchaa) [get]

Upadana (Upaadaana, Upaadaana) [get]

Upekkha (Upekkhaa, Upekkhaa) [get]


-----[ V ]-----

Vaca (Vaacaa, Vaacaa) [get]

Vayama (Vaayaama, Sammaa Vaayaama, Vaayaama, Sammaa Vaayaama) [get]

Vayo (Vaayo, Vaayo) [get]

Vedana, Tisso vedana (Vedanaa, Tisso vedanaa, Vedanaa) [get]

Vehapphala [get]

Vibhava [get]

Vicara (Vicaara, Vicaara) [get]

Vicikiccha (Vicikicchaa, Vicikicchaa) [get]

Vijja (Vijjaa, Vijjaa) [get]

Vision (Vijja Vijjaa, Vijjaa) [get]

Vimamsa (Viima.msaa, Viima.nsa Viima.msaa, Viima.nsaa) [get]

Vimokkha (or Vimokha) [get]

Vimutti [get]

Vinnana (, [get]

Vinnanancayatana (, [get]

Vinnana Anidassana ( Anidassana, Anidassana) [get]

Vinnata (vi~n~naata, vi~n~naata) [get]

Viriya [get]

Vitakka (Vitakkaa, Vitakka) [get]

Vyapada (Vyaapaada, Vyaapaada) [get]


-----[ W ]-----

Wisdom [get]

Wisdom, Seven Factors (Limbs, Dimensions) of, (Satta Sambojjhanga Sambojjhangaa, Sambojjhangaa) [get]

Wise Attention (Yoniso-manasikara Yoniso-manasikaaraa, Yoniso-manasikaaraa) [get]

Water (Apa, Apo Aapa, Aapoo, AApa, AApoo) [get]

Wind (Vayo Vaayo, Vaayo) [get]


-----[ Y ]-----

Yoke to Rebirth (Sanyojana Sa'nyojana, Sa.nyojana) [get]

Yoniso-manasikara (Yoniso-manasikaaraa, Yoniso-manasikaaraa) [get]

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