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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 Pāḷi 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, Pāḷi 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 Pāḷi, 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 inconsistent 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 Pāḷi 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 Pāḷi 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 Pāḷi and Buddhist terms
and of course, The Pāḷi Text Society's: Pāḷi/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 Pāḷi Text Society's Pāḷi-English Dictionary, Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede
Key to Grammatical Terms
Key to Abbreviations
Pāḷi Grammatical Terms
Pāḷi Roots
Pāḷi Suffixes
Greek Unicode Character Chart
Greek Unicode Character Chart-extended
Lingo: A section for discussion of/links to some of the more unusual terms/subjects that come up, both Pāḷi and otherwise.
Adams Apple: On Niruti and discovering 'Old Pāḷi'.
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 Pāḷi Terms.
Brahmi On the first Alphabet used to write down the Buddhist texts.
Childers Pāḷi English Dictionary PDF.
Comparative Translation Vocabulary: A Study of Some Translations of the Terms of the Core Dhammas with Recommendations and Their Explanations.
Selected Translation Terms from Dr. Rupert Gethin's Sayings of the Buddha.


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

Appamada (Appamāda, Appamaada) [get]

Abhassara (Ābhassara, AAbhassara) [get]

Abhibhu (Abhibhū, Abhibhuu) [ get]

Abhinna (Abhiññā, Chaḷabhiññā Abhi~n~naa, Higher Powers) [get]

Abhibhayatana (Abhibhāyatanā Abhibhaayatanaa) [get]

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

Agati (gati, āgati) [get]

Aggregates (khandha, Kkhandhā, Kkhandhaa) [get]

Ahara (Āhāra, AAhaara) [get]

Ajiva (Ājīva, Sammā Ājīva AAjiiva, Sammaa AAjiiva) [get]

Akalika (Akālika, Akaalika) [get]

Akasa, Akasanancayatana (Ākāsā, Ākāsānañcāyatana, AAkaasaa, AAkaasaana~ncaayatana) [get]

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

All, The (Salayatana, Saḷāyatana 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]

Añña (Aññā, A~n~naa) [get]

Apa, Apo (Āpa, Āpō, AApa, AApoo oh-oh!) [get]

Arahat (Arahant, Arahantship)[get]

Ariya [get]

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

Asavas (Āsavas, AAsavas) [get]

Avijja (Avijjā, Avijjaa) [get]


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

Bala, Balani [get]

Bhaggava [get]

Bhava [get]

Bhuta (Bhūtā, Bhuutaa) [get]

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

Brahma (Brahmā, Brahmaa) [get]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chanda [get]

Citta [get]

Conceit [get]

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

Consciousness (Vinnana, Viññāṇa,[get]

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

Craving (Tanha Taṇhā Ta.nhaa) [get]


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

Dana (Dāna, Daana) [get]

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

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

Deliverances, The Eight, (Vimokkha) [get]

Desideratum [get]

Desire (Tanha Taṇhā Ta.nhaa) [get]

Devas [get]

Devine Madness (Sammatta) [get]

Detachment (Upekkha, Upekkhā, Upekkhaa) [get]

Dhamma [get]

Dhamma_vicaya [get]

Dhatu (Dhātu, Dhaatu) [get]

Dittha (Diṭṭha, Di.t.tha) [get]

Ditthi (Diṭṭhi, Di.t.thi) [get]

Doubt (Vicikiccha Vicikicchā, Vicikicchaa) [get]

Dukkha [get]


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

Earth (Paṭhavī, Pa.thavii) [get]

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

Effort, The Four Commendable (Consummate, Right, Supreme, Great, Best), Cattāro Sammappadhānā, [get]

Effluents, The [get]

Ekatta [get]

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

Enablers (Balani) [get]

Endogamous/Exogamous [get]

Energy (Viriya) [get]

Entity/Identity (Nama/Rupa, Nāmañ ca Rūpañ ca, Naama/Rupa) [get]

Equanimity (Upekkha, Upekkhā, Upekkhaa) [get]

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


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

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

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

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

Faculties (Indriyani, Indriyāni, Indriyaani) [get]

Faith (Saddha) [get]

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

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

Fire (Tejo) [get]

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

Forces (Indriyani, Indriyāni, Indriyaani) [get]

Freedom (Vimutti) [get]


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

Gati (agati, āgati) [get]

Giving (Dana, Dāna, Daana) [get]

Grasping (Upadana Upādāna, Upaadaana) [get]

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

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


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

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

Hiri [get]

Hetu [get]

Hiri and Ottappa [get]

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


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

Iddhipada (Iddhipādā, Iddhipaadaa) [get]

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

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

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

Impermanence (Anicca, Change) [get]


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

Jaramarana (Jarāmaraṇa,[get]

Jati (Jāti, Jaati)[get]

Jhana (Jhāna, Jhaana) [get]


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

Kabalinkara Aharo (Kabaliºkāra Āhāro, Kabali.nkaara AAhaaro) [get]

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

Kamacchanda (Kāmacchanda, Kaamacchanda) [get]

Kammanta [get]

Karuna (Karuṇā, Karu.naa) [get]

Kaya (Kāya, Kaaya) [get]

Khandha (Kkhandhā, Kkhandhaa) [get]

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

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

Kumara Panha (Kumāra Pañhā, 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, Sambojjhangā, Sambojjhangaa)[get]

Liquid (Apa, Apo Āpa, Āpō, AApa, AApoo) [get]


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

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

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

Māna, Maana [get]

Manosancetana (Manosañcetanā, Manosa~ncetanaa) [get]

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

Metta [get]

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

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

Mudita (Muditā, Muditaa) [get]

Mulapariyaya (Mūlapariyaya, Muulapariyaya) [get]

Muta [get]

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

Nahuta [get]

Nama (Nāma, Naama) [get]

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

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

Nana (Ñāṇa,, Knowledge) [get]

Nanatta (Nānatta, Naanatta) [get]

Naya (Ñāya, ~Naaya) [get]

Nava Sattavasa [get]

Nekkhamma [get]

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

Nibbidā, Nibbiṇṇa, Nibbindati, [get]

Nibbana (Nibbāna, Nibbaana) [get]

Nidana (Nidāna, Nidaana) [get]

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

Nimitta [get]

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

Niraya: See: Subdivisions of Hell and Advantages and Disadvantages

Nirodha [get]

Nivarana (Nivāraṇa, [get]

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

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

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


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

Omniscience (Aññā, A~n~naa, Añña) [get]

Ottappa [get]


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

Pajapati (Pajāpati, Pajaapati) [get]

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

Panna (Paññā, Pa~n~naa) [get]

Passaddhi [get]

Pathavi (Paṭhavī, Pa.thavii) [get]

paṭicca samuppāda (paṭicca samuppāda, Pa.ticca Samuppada) [get]

Phassa [get]

Piti (Pīti, Piiti) [get]

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

Powers (Bala) [get]


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

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

Releases, The Eight, (Vimokkha) [get]

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

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

Rupa (rūpa, ruupa) [get]


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

Sabba [get]

Saccani [get]

Saddha [get]

Sakkayaditthi (Sakkāyaditthi, Sakkaayaditthi) [get]

Salayatana (Saḷāyatana, Sa.laayatana) [get]

Samadhi (Samādhi, Samaadhi) [get]

Sambojjhanga (Sambojjhangā, Sambojjhangaa) [get]

Samma (Sammā, Sammaa) [get]

Sammatta [get]

Samudaya [get]

Sankappa [get]

Sankhara (Saṅkhāra, Sa.nkhaara) [get]

Sanna (Saññā, Sa~n~naa [get]

Sanyojana (Saṅyojana, Sa.nyojana, Saññojana, Saṃyojanā, Samyojanā) [get]

Sassata [get]

Sati [get]

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

Satisfaction [get]

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

Satta Sambojjhanga (Sambojjhangā, Sambojjhangaa) [get]

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

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

Sign (Nimitta) [get]

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

Sila (Sīla, Siila) [get]

Skill (Kusala) [get]

Speech (Vaca, Vācā, Vaacaa) [get]

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

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

Subhakinna (Subhakiṇṇa, [get]

Sukha [get]

Sukka Lokapala (Hiri and Ottappa) [get]

Suta [get]

Sympathy (Karuṇā, Karu.naa) [get]

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


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

Talk (Vaca, Vācā, Vaacaa) [get]

Tanha (Taṇhā Ta.nhaa) [get]

Tejo [get]

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

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

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

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

Trust (Saddha) [get]


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

Uddhacca-kukkucca [get]

Uncertainty (Vicikiccha Vicikicchā, Vicikicchaa) [get]

Upadana (Upādāna, Upaadaana) [get]

Upekkha (Upekkhā, Upekkhaa) [get]


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

Vaca (Vācā, Vaacaa) [get]

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

Vayo (Vāyo, Vaayo) [get]

Vedana, Tisso vedana (Vedanā, Tisso vedanā, Vedanaa) [get]

Vehapphala [get]

Vibhava [get]

Vicara (Vicāra, Vicaara) [get]

Vicikiccha (Vicikicchā, Vicikicchaa) [get]

Vijja (Vijjā, Vijjaa) [get]

Vision (Vijja Vijjā, Vijjaa) [get]

Vimamsa (Vīmaṃsā, Vīmaṇsa Viima.msaa, Viima.nsaa) [get]

Vimokkha (or Vimokha) [get]

Vimutti [get]

Vinnana (Viññāṇa, [get]

Vinnanancayatana (Viññāṇañcāyatana, [get]

Vinnana Anidassana (Viññāṇa Anidassana, Anidassana) [get]

Vinnata (viññāta, vi~n~naata) [get]

Viriya [get]

Vitakka (Vitakkā, Vitakka) [get]

Vyapada (Vyāpāda, Vyaapaada) [get]


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

Wisdom [get]

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

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

Water (Apa, Apo Āpa, Āpō, AApa, AApoo) [get]

Wind (Vayo Vāyo, Vaayo) [get]


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

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

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

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