Home Page

Buddhist Sound Recordings

Links

Website Design Tips

Privacy Policy

Email Us
email

Small Pali - English Glossary of Buddhist Terms

The glossary below was prepared by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi to accompany his series of audio lectures "The Buddha's Teaching As It Is" .
Access To Insight website also has A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist terms and A Guide to Learning the Pali Language.

Pronunciation of special characters
If the special characters aren't displayed, then your computer doesn't have the LeedsBit PaliTranslit font installed. Please click here to download it (25k) , then install it.
long Vowels : î Œ ç ´ ò è
cerebral consonant (like l in felt)  : â Â
cerebral consonant (like a nasalised t)   : é Ê
cerebral consonant (like a nasalised d)  : ß ¶
cerebral consonant (like a nasalised n) : ï ö
palatal nasal (like ny in canyon)     : „ –
gutteral nasal (like ng in ring)         : Ü º
niggahita consonant (pure nasal sound like ng in sang) : È µ

A

abhèta - unoriginated
aby
Œkata - undeclared, unexplained
aby
ŒpŒda - non-aversion
Œcariya - teacher (may be same or different from upajjaya)
Œci
ööakamma - habitual kamma
ad
´nŒva - danger, unsatisfactoriness, inadequacy
adosa -
non-aversion (=  loving-kindness)
agatigamana -
evil motives (four) :-
                      chanda - desire, partiality
                     
dosa - hatred
                     
moha - delusion
                     
bhaya - fear
ajŒta -
unborn
akata -
uncreated
akusala -
unwholesome
îlŒra KŒma - the Bodhisatta's first meditation teacher
alobha - non-greed (=  detachment)
amatadh
Œtu - the deathless element
amatapada -
the deathless state 
amoha -
non-delusion (=  wisdom, understanding)
an
ŒgŒmimagga - path of non-returner
anŒgŒmiphala - fruit of non-returner
anŒgŒriya - homelessness
înanda - the Buddha's personal attendant
ŒnŒpŒnasati - mindfulness of breathing
anattΠ-
not self
anattaniya - not belonging to a self, not related to a self
anupadisesa nibbŒnadhŒtu - the nibbana element without residues remaining
anusaya -
latent tendency
anuttar
Œ sammŒsambodhi - supreme perfect enlightenment
appan
ŒsamŒdhi - absorption concentration
ap
Œyabhèmi - planes of misery
arahat -
an accomplished one, one who has reached liberation while alive
arahattamagga - path of arahatship
arahattaphala - fruit of arahatship
ariya -
noble; a noble person
ariyasangha - community of noble ones
ariya a
ÊÊhaºgikamagga - the noble eightfold path
arèpadhŒtu - immaterial realm, formless realm
Œruppa - formless meditative absorption or attainment (four)
           
ŒkŒsŒnacŒyatana - sphere of infinite space
           
vi––ŒöacŒyatana - sphere of infinite consciousness
           
Œkica––Œyatana - sphere of nothingness
           
n'evasa––ŒnŒsa– –Œyatana - sphere of neither perception nor non-perception
ar
èparŒga - desire for immaterial existence
ass
Œda - satisfaction, enjoyment
asaºkhata - unconditioned
Œsannakamma -
death-proximate kamma
asura -
titan, "anti-god"
attΠ-
self
attahita - one's own welfare
attakilamathanuyoga -
devotion to self-mortification
avasavattitΠ-
not subject to the exercise of mastery
avihiµsŒ (ahiµsŒ) - non-injury
avijj
Π- ignorance
Œyatana - sphere, realm

B

BhagavΠ- the "Exalted One" (epithet of a Buddha)
Bhante - "venerable sir" (usual way of addressing the Buddha)
bhava - existence
          
khammabhava - kammically accumulative existence
          
upapattibhava - resultant existence
bh
ŒvanŒ - development (of the noble eightfold path)
bhavaºga - the life continuum
bhavata
öhŒ - craving for existence
bhikkhu -
a fully ordained monk
bhikkhun
´ - a fully ordained nun
bhikkhun
´sangha - the order of fully ordained nuns
bhikkhusangha -
the order of fully ordained monks
Bodhisatta -
one striving for complete Buddhahood
brahmacariya - the holy life, celibacy
Brahm
ΠSahampati - the high divinity who urged the Buddha to teach the Dhamma
brahmavihŒra - sublime states, divine abodes (four) :-
                       
mettΠ- loving-kindness
                       
karunΠ- compassion
                       
muditΠ- sympathetic joy
                       
upekkhΠ- equanimity

C

cŒga - generosity
cakkavattir
ŒjŒ - universal monarch
cakkhukara
öi - leading to vision
cattŒri ariyasaccŒni -
the four noble truths
cetanΠ- volition
chanda -
desire ( a neutral term, not necessarily bad)
citta - mind, thought moment, mental act
citt'ekaggatΠ- one-pointedness of mind
citt'upp
Œda - same as citta above
cittŒnupassanŒ - contemplation of states of mind
cittasant
Œna - the mental continuum 
c
´vara - the robes of a monk

D

dŒna - giving
dasar
Œjadhamma - ten royal virtues
                            
dŒna - generosity, giving
                            
s´la - moral discipline
                            
pariccŒga - self-sacrifice
                            
ajjava - justice
                            
maddava - gentleness
                            
tapa - austerity
                            
akkodha - non-enmity
                            
avihiµ - non-violence
                            
khanti - patience
                            
avirodha - non-opposition (to the will of the people)
dasas
´la - the ten precepts (of a samanera)
dasas
´lamŒtŒ - a ten precept-observing nun
dasasila up
ŒsikŒ - a woman observing the ten precepts
deva -
god, heavenly being
Dhamma
- the Buddha's teaching; the truth behind the teaching; the path
dhammacakka - the wheel of Dhamma
dhammacakkhu - eye of Dhamma, insight into truth
dhammŒnupassanŒ -
contemplation of mind-objects
dh
Œtu - element
d
´pa - island
D
´paºkara - an ancient Buddha, the twenty sixth before Gotama
diÊÊhadhamma attha - the benefit pertaining to the present life
dosa -
hatred, aversion
dukkha -
unsatisfactoriness, suffering (sometimes untranslated)
dukkhadukkhatΠ- dukkha as ordinary suffering
dukkhanirodha -
the cessation of suffering
dukkhanirodha ariyasacca -
the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha
dukkhanirodhag
Œmin´paÊipadŒ - the way leading to the cessation of dukkha
dukkhanirodhagŒmin´paÊipadŒ ariyasacca - the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha
dukkhasamudaya ariasacca - the noble truth of the origin of dukkha
dvŒra - door of action (= body, speech, mind)

G

gandhabba - the stream of consciousness ready to take rebirth
ganthadhura - the career of study
garukakamma -
heavy kamma

I

idappaccayatΠ- conditionality

J

jarΠ- aging
j
Œti - birth
jh
Œna - (untranslated) meditative absorption
jh
Œnaºga - factor of absorption (five)
               
vitakka - initial application
               
vicŒra - sustained application
               
p´ti - rapture
               
sukha - happiness
               
citt'ekaggatΠ- one-pointedness of mind
j
´vitindriya - the life-faculty

K

kŒmadhŒtu - sense sphere realm
k
ŒmataöhŒ - craving for sense pleasures
kapilavatthu -
the capital city of the Sakyans
kŒmasukhallikŒnuyoga - devotion to indulging in sense pleasures
kamma -
volitional action
kammabhava -
kammically accumulative existence
kammaniyŒma -
the order of kamma, law of kamma
kamma
ÊÊhŒna - meditation object
kammava
ÊÊa - phase of kamma
kappa -
an aeon, the lifespan of a world system
kasiöa - disc-like object of concentration
ka
Êattakama - miscellaneous kamma
ka
Êhina - the ceremony of robes-offering, following the end of the Vassa
kŒyakamma -
bodily action
kŒyŒnupassanŒ -
contemplation of the body
khandhaparinibb
Œna - the extinguishing of the aggregate-continuum
kha
öika - momentary
khaöikasamŒdhi - momentary concentration
kilesa -
defilement, a mental unwholesome state
kilesaparinibbŒna - the extinguishment of defilements
kilesava
ÊÊa phase of defilements
kiriya -
the action of an arahat, not kamma
Konda
––a - the seniormost of the five ascetics; first monk-disciple of the Buddha
kusala - wholesome
Kusin
Œra - the small town where the Buddha passed away

L

lobha - greed
lokadh
Œtu - world system
lokiya - mundane
lokiyamagga -
mundane path
lokuttara -
transcendental, supramundane
lokuttaramagga - supramundane path

M

magga - path
maggaºga - path factor
mah
Œbhèta - primary elements (four)
                     paÊhavidhŒtu - the earth-element
                    
ŒpodhŒtu - the water-element
                    
tejodhŒtu - the heat-element
                    
vayodhŒtu - the air-element
mah
ŒkaruöŒ - great compassion
MahŒmŒyŒ - Siddhattha's mother
MahŒpajŒpati Gotam
´ - the Buddha's foster-mother, the first bhikkhuni
mah
Œpa––Œ - great wisdom
mahŒthera - a senior bhikkhu (of twenty years or more seniority)
majjhim
ŒpaÊipadŒ - the middle way
m
Œna - conceit
manokamma -
mental action
M
Œra - the Tempter, Buddhist personification of desire
maraöa - death
moha - delusion
m
èla - root

N

nŒmarèpa - mentality-materiality
                
nŒma - mentality (feelings, perceptions, mental formations)
                
rèpa - materiality (same as aggregate of material form) 
–Œöakaraöi - leading to knowledge
nekkhamma -
renunciation
nibb
Œna - (untranslated, Sanskrit nirvana) the unconditioned reality
niraya - hell
nirodha -
cessation
nissaraöa - release, escape

P

pabbajΠ- the "going forth", ceremony of initial ordination into the order
paccaya -
condition
pada -
state
pah
Œna - abandonment (of craving)
pa
can´varaöŒ - the five hindrances
                        
kŒmacchanda - sensual desire
                        
byŒpŒda - ill will
                        
th´namiddha - dullness and drowsiness
                        
uddhaccakukkucca - restlessness and worry
                        
vicikicchΠ- doubt
pa
cas´la - the five precepts
pa–cupadŒnakkhandhŒ -
the five aggregates of clinging
pa––Œ
- wisdom, understanding
pa––Œkkhandha - group of wisdom
parahita -
the welfare of others
p
ŒrŒjika - four rules leading to expulsion from order if violated
parama sukha -
supreme happiness
paramattha -
the ultimate benefit
p
Œram´s - sublime virtues perfected by a bodhisatta
pŒrima t´ra - the further shore
parinibb
Œna - the final passing away (of a Buddha or an arahat)
pari––Œ - full understanding (of dukkha)
paritta -
protective discourses recited by monks
pariyatti
- the study of the Dhamma
pariyattidhamma - the study of scriptures
pariyuÊÊŒna - manifestation (of defilements)
pa
Êicca samuppŒda - dependent arising
pŒtimokkha - code of 227 rules binding on bhikkhus (core of the Vinaya)
pa
ÊipŒda - way
paÊipatti - the practice of the Dhamma
paÊipattidhamma - the practice of meditation
pa
Êisandhicitta - the relinking consciousness, rebirth consciousness
paÊivedha - penetration, realization of the Dhamma
pavŒraöa - the "invitation" to criticism, closing ceremony of the Vassa
peta -
afflicted spirit, "hungry ghost"
phala -
fruits of kamma
phassa -
contact
pi
ö¶apŒta - almsfood
punabbhava -
repeated becoming, renewed existence
puthujjana -
ordinary person; a worldling

R

rŒgakkhaya dosakkhaya mohakkhaya - the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion
Rahula -
Siddhatha's son
rèpa - materiality (same as aggregate of material form)
r
èpadhŒtu - fine material realm, realm of subtle materiality
r
èpakkhandha - the aggregate of material form
rèparŒga - desire for fine material existence

S

sa-upŒdisesa nibbŒnadhŒtu - the nibbana element with residue remaining
sacca -
truth
sacchikaraöa - realization (of nibbana)
sakadŒgŒmimagga - path of once-returner
sakadŒgŒmiphala - fruit of once-returner
sakkŒya - the person, the individual
sakkayadi
ÊÊhi - personality view, view of a self
Sakyamuni -
the sage of the Sakyans (name for the Buddha Gotama)
Sakyans - a people of northeast India, among whom the bodhisattha was born
sa
ÂŒyatana - the six sense faculties
sam
Œdhi - concentration
sam
Œdhikkhandha - group of concentration
s
Œmaöera - a novice monk
samatha -
serenity
samathayana -
the vehicle of serenity
sambodhi -
enlightenment
samm
Œ Œj´va - right livelihood
samm
ŒdiÊÊhi - right view
samm
Œkammanta - right action
samm
ŒsamŒdhi - right concentration
samm
Œsaºkappa - right intention
samm
ŒvŒcŒ - right speech
samm
Πsati - right mindfulness
samm
Œ vŒyŒma - right effort
sammutisangha -
the Sangha established by convention
sampar
Œyika attha - the benefit pertaining to future lives
sa
µsŒra - the round of rebirths, cyclic existence
samuccheda - eradication, cutting off
samudaya -
origin
saµyojana - fetters
sangahavatthu -
bases of popularity (four) :-
                        
dŒna - giving
                        
peyyavajja - pleasant speech
                        
atthacariyΠ- beneficial conduct
                        
samŒnattatŒ - impartiality
Sanghamitt
Π- daughter of King Asoka, established bhikkhuni sangha in Sri Lanka
sa
ºkhŒra - volitional formations
saºkhŒradukkhatŒ - dukkha of conditioned formations
saºkhŒrakkandha - the aggregate of mental formations
saºkhata - conditioned
sa
––Œkkhanda - the aggregate of perception
santi -
peace
sara
öagamana - going for refuge
s
Œsana - the dispensation of the Buddha
sassatav
Œda - eternalistic view
satipa
ÊÊhŒna - foundation of mindfulness, arousing of mindfulness
s
Œvakasangha - community of (noble) disciples
Siddhattha Gotama -
the actual name of the Buddha
s´labbataparŒmŒsa - clinging to rules and observances
s
´lakkhanda - group of moral discipline
sot
Œpanna - stream enterer
sot
Œpattimagga - path of stream entry
sot
Œpattiphala - fruit of stream entry
Sumedha -
name of the ascetic who eventually became the Buddha Gotama
Suddhodana - Siddhattha's father, king of the Sakyans

T

taöhŒ - craving
ta
öhŒkkaya - the destruction of craving
Tath
Œgata - the "Perfect One" (epithet of a Buddha)
thera -
a senior bhikkhu (of ten years or more seniority)
TheravŒda - "school of the elders", the oldest continuous school of Buddhism
Ther´gŒthŒ - "verses of the arahat nuns", a book of the Sutta-pitaka
Êhitassa a––atthatta - the transformation of that which endures
tilakkhaöa - the three characteristics of existence
                 
aniccatΠ- impermanence
                 
dukkhatΠ- unsatisfactoriness, suffering
                 
anattatΠ- selflessness, egolessness
TipiÊaka - the three "baskets" or collections of Buddhist scriptures
             
VinayapiÊaka - the collection of monastic disciplines
             
SuttapiÊaka - the collection of the Buddha's discourses and sermons
             
AbhidhammapiÊaka - the collection of psycho-philosophical treatises

U

ucchedavŒda - annihilationist view
Udaka R
Œmaputta - the Bodhisatta's second meditation teacher
upacŒrasamŒdhi - access concentration
upŒdŒna -
clinging
up
ŒdŒrèpa, upŒdŒya rèpa - derivative material form
upajjhŒya - preceptor
upp
Œda - arising
upapattibhava - resultant existence
upasama - peace
upasampadΠ- ceremony of full ordination as a bhikkhu
uposatha - observance day, held on full moon and new moon days

V

vac´kamma - verbal action
vasadhura -
the career of meditation practice
vassa -
the three month "rains residence" for bhikkhus, from July to October
vatthur
èpa - the material basis of mind
vaya -
passing away, destruction
vedanΠ- feeling
vedanŒkkhanda -
the aggregate of feeling
vedanŒnupassanŒ -
contemplation of feelings
vibhavata
ö - craving for non-existence
vikkhambana - suppression
vimutti -
liberation
Vinaya -
the monastic discipline
vi
––Œöa - consciousness
vi––Œöakkhanda - the aggregate of consciousness
vipŒka - results of kamma
vipŒkava
ÊÊa - phase of resultants
vipall
Œsa - perversions
                
sa––ŒvipallŒsa - perversion of perception
                
cittavipallŒsa - perversion of thought
                
diÊÊhivipallŒsa - perversion of views
vipari
öŒmadukkhatŒ - dukkha due to change
vipassanΠ-
insight
vipassanŒyŒna -
the vehicle of insight
virŒga -
dispassion
visuddhi -
purity
v´tikkama - transgression

Y

YasodharΠ- wife of Siddhatha
yathŒbhètaŒöadassana - knowing and seeing things as they really are
yoniso manasik
Œra - wise consideration

Page updated 27th October 2002