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Table of Contents

A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

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If you like to include a new word in the spirit and style of this Dictionary feel given to do so. It would then be displayed on the word's detail page. Corrections can be made also only here and certain permissions for both are required. May one feel given to ask for them at sangham.net.

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Preface

This glossary edition is based on Upāsaka John Bullits ATI-glossary:

This glossary covers many of the Pali words and technical terms that you may come across in the books and articles available on this website. The “[ more ]” link that follows some entries will take you to a more detailed article (in the ATI-pages) on the selected topic. Source: glossary

Edits

Following edits have been made:

  • Rendering layout and stuction to fit as source-page for this dictionary here.
  • Splitting accounts on multiple words into singe headers.
  • Corrections of Pāḷi-spelling
  • Some little additions in the explainations.
  • Adding of many links and cross-links.

Johann 2018/09/05 09:49

Content

A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

A

Abhidhamma

Abhidhamma: (1) In the discourses of the Pali canon, this term simply means “higher Dhamma,” and a systematic attempt to define the Buddha's teachings and understand their interrelationships. (2) A later collection of analytical treatises based on lists of categories drawn from the teachings in the discourses, added to the Canon several centuries after the Buddha's life. [ more ]

abhiññā

abhiññā: Intuitive powers that come from the practice of concentration: the ability to display psychic powers, clairvoyance, clairaudience, the ability to know the thoughts of others, recollection of past lifetimes, and the knowledge that does away with mental effluents (see āsava).

ācariya

ācariya: Teacher; mentor. See kalyāṇamitta and also Ajahn (thai.)

adhiṭṭhāna

adhiṭṭhāna: Determination; resolution. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs).

Ajahn

ajahn ajaan, achaan, etc.: (Thai). Teacher; mentor. Equivalent to the Pali ācariya.

akāliko

akāliko: Timeless; unconditioned by time or season.

akusala

akusala: Unwholesome, unskillful, demeritorious. See its opposite, kusala.

anāgāmī

anāgāmī: Non-returner. A person who has abandoned the five lower fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṁyojana), and who after death will appear in one of the Brahma worlds called the Pure Abodes, there to attain nibbāna, never again to return to this world.

ānāpāna-sati

ānāpānasati: Mindfulness of breathing. A meditation practice in which one maintains one's attention and mindfulness on the sensations of breathing. [ more ]

anattā

anattā: Not-self; ownerless. [ more ]

anicca

anicca: Inconstant; unsteady; impermanent.

anupādisesa-nibbāna

anupādisesa-nibbāna: Nibbāna with no fuel remaining (the analogy is to an extinguished fire whose embers are cold) — the nibbāna of the arahant after his passing away. Cf. sa-upādisesa-nibbāna. [ more ]

ānupubbī-kathā

ānupubbī-kathā: Gradual instruction. The Buddha's method of teaching Dhamma that guides his listeners progressively through increasingly advanced topics: generosity (see dāna), virtue (see sīla), heavens, drawbacks, renunciation, and the four noble truths. [ more ]

anusaya

anusaya: Obsesssion; underlying tendency. (The etymology of this term means “lying down with”; in actual usage, the related verb (anuseti) means to be obsessed. Relation to the word nissāya.) There are seven major obsessions to which the mind returns over and over again: obsession with sensual passion (kāma-rāganusaya), with resistance (patighanusaya), with views (ditthanusaya), with uncertainty (vicikicchanusaya), with conceit (manusaya), with passion for becoming (bhava-rāgānusaya), and with ignorance (avijjānusaya). Compare saṁyojana.

apāya-bhūmi

apāya-bhūmi: State of deprivation; the four lower levels of existence into which one might be reborn as a result of past unskillful actions (see kamma): rebirth in hell, as a hungry ghost (see peta), as an angry demon (see Asura), or as a common animal. None of these states is permanent. Compare sugati. [ more ]

appamāda

appamāda: Heedfulness; diligence; zeal. The cornerstone of all skillful mental states, and one of such fundamental import that the Buddha's stressed it in his parting words to his disciples: “All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by being heedful!” (appamādena sampādetha). [ more ]

arahant

arahant, arahat: A “worthy one” or “pure one”; a person whose mind is free of defilement (see kilesa), who has abandoned all ten of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṁyojana), whose heart is free of mental effluents (see āsava), and who is thus not destined for further [srebirth]]. A title for the Buddha and the highest level of his noble disciples.

ārammaṇa

ārammaṇa: Preoccupation; mental object.

ariya

ariya: Noble, ideal. Also, a “Noble One” (see ariya-puggala).

ariya-dhana

ariya-dhana: Noble Wealth; qualities that serve as 'capital' in the quest for liberation: conviction (see saddhā), virtue (see sīla), conscience, fear of evil, erudition, generosity (see dāna), and discernment (see paññā).

ariya-puggala

ariya-puggala: Noble person; enlightened individual. An individual who has realized at least the lowest of the four noble paths (see magga) or their fruitions (see phala). Compare puthujjana (worldling).

ariya-sacca

ariya-sacca: Noble Truth (sacca). The word “ariya” (noble) can also mean ideal or standard, and in this context means “objective” or “universal” truth. There are four Noble Truth cattari ariya saccani): stress (dukkha ariya sacca), the origin of stress (dukkha samudayo ariya sacca), the disbanding of stress (dukkha nirodho ariya sacca), and the path of practice leading to the disbanding of stress (dukkha nirodha gamini patipada ariya sacca)). [ more ]

āsava

āsava: Mental effluent, pollutant, or fermentation. Four qualities — sensuality, views, becoming, and ignorance — that “flow out” of the mind and create the flood of the round of death and rebirth.

asubha

asubha: Unattractiveness, loathsomeness, foulness. The Buddha recommends contemplation of this aspect of the body as an antidote to lust and complacency. See also kāyagatā-sati. [ more ]

Asura

Asura: A race of beings who, like the Titans of Greek mythology, fought the devas for sovereignty over the heavens and lost. See apāya-bhūmi. [ more ]

avijjā

avijjā: Unawareness; ignorance; obscured awareness; delusion about the nature of the mind. See also moha. [ more ]

āyatana

āyatana: Sense medium. The inner sense media are the sense organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. The outer sense media are their respective objects.

B

bhante

bhante: Venerable sir; usually (in the West) and often used when addressing a Buddhist monk.

bhava

bhava: Becoming. States of being that develop first in the mind and can then be experienced as internal worlds and/or as worlds on an external level. There are three kinds/levels of becoming: on the sensual level, the level of form, and the level of formlessness.

bhāvanā

bhāvanā: Mental cultivation or development; meditation. The third of the three grounds for meritorious action. See also dāna and sīla. [ more ]

bhikkhu

bhikkhu: A Buddhist monk; a man who has given up the householder's life to live a life of heightened virtue (see sīla) in accordance with the Vinaya in general, and the Pātimokkha rules in particular. See saṅgha, parisā, upasampadā. [ more ]

bhikkhunī

bhikkhunī: A Buddhist nun; a man (woman) who has given up the householder's life to live a life of heightened virtue (see sīla) in accordance with the Vinaya in general, and the Pātimokkha rules in particular. See saṅgha, parisā, upasampadā. [ more ]

bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā

bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā: “Wings to Awakening” — seven sets of principles that are conducive to Awakening and that, according to the Buddha, form the heart of his teaching:

bodhisatta

bodhisatta: “A being (striving) for Awakening”; the term used to describe the Buddha before he actually become Buddha, from his first aspiration to Buddhahood until the time of his full Awakening. Sanskrit form: Bodhisattva.

brahmā

brahmā: “Great One” — an inhabitant of the non-sensual heavens of form or formlessness. [ more ]

brahma-vihāra

brahma-vihāra: The four “sublime” or “divine” abodes that are attained through the development of boundless mettā (goodwill), karuṇā (compassion), muditā (appreciative joy), and upekkhā (equanimity).

brahman

brahman (from Pali brāhmāṇa): The brahman (brahmin) caste of India has long maintained that its members, by their birth, are worthy of the highest respect. The Buddha borrowed the term brahman to apply to those who have attained the goal, to show that respect is earned not by birth, race, or caste, but by spiritual attainment. Used in the Buddhist sense, this term is synonymous with arahant.

buddho

buddho: Awake; enlightened. An epithet for the Buddha.

Buddha

Buddha: The name given to one who rediscovers for himself the liberating path of Dhamma, after a long period of its having been forgotten by the world. According to tradition, a long line of Buddhas stretches off into the distant past. The most recent Buddha was born Siddhattha Gotama in India in the sixth century BCE. A well-educated and wealthy young man, he relinquished his family and his princely inheritance in the prime of his life to search for true freedom and an end to suffering (dukkha). After seven years of austerities in the forest, he rediscovered the “middle way” and achieved his goal, becoming Buddha. [ more ]

C

cankama

caṅkama: Walking meditation, usually in the form of walking back and forth along a prescribed path.

cetasika

cetasika: Mental concomitant (see vedanā, saññā, and saṅkhāra).

ceto-vimutti

citta

citta: Mind; heart; state of consciousness.

D

dāna

dāna: Giving, liberality; offering, alms. Specifically, giving of any of the four requisites to the monastic order. More generally, the inclination to give, without expecting any form of repayment from the recipient. Dana is the first theme in the Buddha's system of gradual training (see ānupubbīkathā), the first of the ten pāramīs, one of the seven treasures (see dhana), and the first of the three grounds for meritorious action (see sīla and bhāvanā). [ more ]

deva

deva male, female devatā: Literally, “shining one” — an inhabitant of the heavenly realms (see sagga and sugati). [ more ]

devatā

devatā: female form of deva

Devadatta

Devadatta: A cousin of the Buddha who tried to effect a schism in the saṅgha and who has since become emblematic for all Buddhists who work knowingly or unknowingly to undermine the religion from within.

dhamma

dhamma [Skt. dharma]: (1) Event; a phenomenon in and of itself; (2) mental quality; (3) doctrine, teaching; (4) nibbāna. Also, principles of behavior that human beings ought to follow so as to fit in with the right natural order of things; qualities of mind they should develop so as to realize the inherent quality of the mind in and of itself. By extension, “Dhamma” (usu. capitalized) is used also to denote any doctrine that teaches such things. Thus the Dhamma of the Buddha denotes both his teachings and the direct experience of nibbāna, the quality at which those teachings are aimed. On the teachings of the Buddha see: [ more ]

Dhamma-vinaya

Dhamma-vinaya: “doctrine (dhamma) and discipline (vinaya).” The Buddha's own name for the religion he founded.

dhana

dhana: Treasure(s). The seven qualities of conviction, virtue (sīla), conscience & concern (hiri-ottappa), learning (suta), generosity (dāna), and wisdom.

dhātu

dhātu: Element; property, impersonal condition. The four physical elements or properties are earth (solidity), water (liquidity), wind (motion), and fire (heat). The six elements include the above four plus space and consciousness.

dhutaṅga

dhutaṅga: Voluntary ascetic practices that monks and other meditators may undertake from time to time or as a long-term commitment in order to cultivate renunciation and contentment, and to stir up energy. For the monks, there are thirteen such practices: (1) using only patched-up robes; (2) using only one set of three robes; (3) going for alms; (4) not by-passing any donors on one's alms path; (5) eating no more than one meal a day; (6) eating only from the alms-bowl; (7) refusing any food offered after the alms-round; (8) living in the forest; (9) living under a tree; (10) living under the open sky; (11) living in a cemetery; (12) being content with whatever dwelling one has; (13) not lying down. [ more ]

dosa

dosa: Aversion; hatred; anger. One of three unwholesome roots (mūla) in the mind.

dukkha

dukkha: Stress; suffering; pain; distress; discontent. [ more ]

E

effluents

ekagatta-ārammaṇa

ekagatta-ārammaṇa: Singleness of preoccupation; “one-pointedness.” In meditation, the mental quality that allows one's attention to remain collected and focused on the chosen meditation object. Ekagattārammaṇa reaches full maturity upon the development of the fourth level of jhāna.

ekāyana-magga

ekāyana-magga: A unified path; a direct path. An epithet for the practice of being mindful of the four frames of reference: body, feelings, mind, and mental qualities.

evaṁ

evaṁ: Thus; in this way. This term is used in Thailand as a formal closing to a sermon.

F

foundation of mindfulness

frame of reference

G

gotrabhū-ñāṇa

gotrabhū-ñāṇa: “Change of lineage knowledge”: The glimpse of nibbāna that changes one from an ordinary person (puthujjana) to a Noble One (ariya-puggala).

H

Hīnayāna

Hīnayāna: “Inferior Vehicle,” originally a pejorative term — coined by a group who called themselves followers of the Mahāyāna, the “Great Vehicle” — to denote the path of practice of those who adhered only to the earliest discourses as the word of the Buddha. Hinayanists refused to recognize the later discourses, composed by the Mahayanists, that claimed to contain teachings that the Buddha felt were too deep for his first generation of disciples, and which he thus secretly entrusted to underground serpents. The Theravāda school of today is a descendent of the Hīnayāna.

hiri-ottappa

hiri-ottappa: “Conscience and concern”; “moral shame and moral dread.” These twin emotions — the “guardians of the world” — are associated with all skillful actions. Hiri is an inner conscience that restrains us from doing deeds that would jeopardize our own self-respect; ottappa is a healthy fear of committing unskillful deeds that might bring about harm to ourselves or others. See kamma. [ more ]

I

idappaccayatā

idappaccayatā: This/that conditionality. This name for the causal principle the Buddha discovered on the night of his Awakening stresses the point that, for the purposes of ending suffering and stress, the processes of causality can be understood entirely in terms of forces and conditions that are experienced in the realm of direct experience, with no need to refer to forces operating outside of that realm. [ more ]

indriya

indriya: Faculties; mental factors. In the suttas the term can refer either to the six sense media (āyatana) or to the five mental factors of saddhā (conviction), viriya (persistence), sati (mindfulness), samādhi (concentration), and paññā (discernment); see bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma.

J

jhāna

jhāna [Skt. dhyāna]: Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration focused on a single physical sensation (resulting in rūpa jhāna) or mental notion (resulting in arūpa jhāna). Development of jhāna arises from the temporary suspension of the five hindrances (see nīvaraṇa) through the development of five mental factors: vitakka (directed thought), vicāra (evaluation), pīti (rapture), sukha (pleasure), and ekagattārammana (singleness of preoccupation). [ more ]

K

kalyāṇamitta

kalyāṇamitta: Admirable friend; a mentor or teacher of Dhamma. [ more ]

kāma-guṇa

kāma-guṇa: Strings of sensuality. The objects of the five physical senses: visible objects, sounds, aromas, flavors, and tactile sensations. Usually refers to sense experiences that, like the strings (guṇa) of a lute when plucked, give rise to pleasurable feelings (vedanā). [ more ]

kamma

kamma [Skt. karma]: Intentional acts that result in states of being and birth. [ more ]

kammaṭṭhāna

kammaṭṭhāna: Literally, “basis of work” or “place of work.” The word refers to the “occupation” of a meditating monk: namely, the contemplation of certain meditation themes by which the forces of defilement (kilesa), craving (taṇhā), and ignorance (avijjā) may be uprooted from the mind. In the ordination procedure, every new monk is taught five basic kammaṭṭhāna that form the basis for contemplation of the body: hair of the head (kesā), hair of the body (lomā), nails (nakhā), teeth (dantā), and skin (taco). By extension, the kammaṭṭhāna include all the forty classical meditation themes. Although every meditator may be said to engage in kammaṭṭhāna, the term is most often used to identify the particular Thai forest tradition lineage that was founded by Phra Ajaan Mun and Phra Ajaan Sao. [ more ]

karuṇā

karuṇā: Compassion; sympathy; the aspiration to find a way to be truly helpful to oneself and others. One of the four “sublime abodes” (brahma-vihāra).

kaṭhina

kaṭhina: A ceremony, held in the fourth month of the rainy season, in which a saṅgha of bhikkhus receives a gift of cloth from lay people, bestows it on one of their members, and then makes it into a robe before dawn of the following day. [ more ]

kāya

kāya: Body. Usually refers to the physical body (rūpa-kāya; see rūpa), but sometimes refers to the mental body (nāma-kāya; see nāma).

kāyagatā-sati

kāyagatā-sati: Mindfulness (sati) immersed in the body. This is a blanket term covering several meditation themes: keeping the breath in mind; being mindful of the body's posture; being mindful of one's activities; analyzing the body into its parts; analyzing the body into its physical properties (see dhatu); contemplating the fact that the body is inevitably subject to death and disintegration. [ more ]

khandha

khandha: Heap; group; aggregate. Physical and mental components of the personality and of sensory experience in general. The five bases of clinging (see upadāna). See: nāma (mental phenomenon), rūpa (physical phenomenon), vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), saṅkhāra (mental fashionings), and viññana (consciousness).

khanti

khanti: Patience; forbearance. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs).

kilesa

kilesa: Defilement — lobha (passion), dosa (aversion), and moha (delusion) in their various forms, which include such things as greed, malevolence, anger, rancor, hypocrisy, arrogance, envy, miserliness, dishonesty, boastfulness, obstinacy, violence, pride, conceit, intoxication, and complacency.

kusala

kusala: Wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. An action characterized by this moral quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. Actions characterized by its opposite (akusala-kamma) lead to sorrow. See kamma. [ more ]

L

lakkhaṇa

lobha

lobha: Greed; passion; unskillful desire. Also rāga. One of three unwholesome roots (mūla) in the mind.

loka-dhamma

loka-dhamma: Affairs or phenomena of the world. The standard list gives eight: wealth, loss of wealth, status, loss of status, praise, criticism, pleasure, and pain. [ more ]

lokavidū

lokavidū: Knower of the cosmos (loka). An epithet for the Buddha.

lokuttara

lokuttara: Transcendent; supramundane (see magga, phala, and nibbāna).

M

magga

magga: Path. Specifically, the path to the cessation of suffering and stress. The four transcendent paths — or rather, one path with four levels of refinement — are the path to stream-entry (entering the stream to nibbāna, which ensures that one will be reborn at most only seven more times), the path to once-returning, the path to non-returning, and the path to arahantship. See phala.

mahāthera

mahāthera: “Great elder.” An honorific title automatically conferred upon a bhikkhu of at least twenty years' standing. Compare thera.

majjhimā

majjhimā: Middle; appropriate; just right.

Māra

Māra: The personification of evil and temptation.

mettā

mettā: Loving-kindness; goodwill. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs) and one of the four “sublime abodes” (brahma-vihāra).

moha

moha: Delusion; ignorance (avijjā).. One of three unwholesome roots (mūla) in the mind.

muditā

muditā: Appreciative/sympathetic joy. Taking delight in one's own goodness and that of others. One of the four “sublime abodes” (brahma-vihāra).

mūla

mūla: Literally, “root.” The fundamental conditions in the mind that determine the moral quality — skillful (kusala) or unskillful (akusala) — of one's intentional actions (see kamma). The three unskillful roots are lobha (greed), dosa (aversion), and moha (delusion); the skillful roots are their opposites. See kilesa (defilements).

N

nāga

nāga: A term commonly used to refer to strong, stately, and heroic animals, such as elephants and magical serpents. In Buddhism, it is also used to refer to those who have attained the goal of the practice.

nāma

nāma: Mental phenomena. A collective term for vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), cetana (intention, volition), phassa (sensory contact) and manasikāra (attention, advertence). Compare rūpa. Some commentators also use nāma to refer to the mental components of the five khandhas. [ more ]

nāma-rūpa

nāma-rūpa: Name-and-form; mind-and-matter; mentality-physicality. The union of mental phenomena (nāma) and physical phenomena (rūpa), conditioned by consciousness (viññana) in the causal chain of dependent co-arising paṭicca-samuppāda. [ more ]

nekkhamma

nekkhamma: Renunciation; literally, “freedom from sensual lust.” One of the ten pāramīs. [ more ]

nibbāna

nibbāna [Skt. nirvāna]: Liberation; literally, the “unbinding” of the mind from the mental effluents (see āsava), defilements (see kilesa), and the round of rebirth (see vaṭṭa), and from all that can be described or defined. As this term also denotes the extinguishing of a fire, it carries the connotations of stilling, cooling, and peace. (According to the physics taught at the time of the Buddha, a burning fire seizes or adheres to its fuel; when extinguished, it is unbound.) “Total nibbāna” (parinibbāna) in some contexts denotes the experience of Awakening; in others, the final passing away of an arahant. [ more ]

nibbidā

nibbidā: Disenchantment; aversion; disgust; weariness. The skillful turning-away of the mind from the conditioned samsaric world towards the unconditioned, the transcendent — nibbāna

nimitta

nimitta: Mental sign, image, or vision that may arise in meditation. Uggaha nimitta refers to any image that arises spontaneously in the course of meditation. Paṭibhāga nimitta refers to an image that has been subjected to mental manipulation.

nirodha

nirodha: Cessation; disbanding; stopping.

nīvaraṇa

nīvaraṇa: Hindrances to concentration — sensual desire, ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty.

O

opanayiko

opanayiko: Referring inwardly; to be brought inward. An epithet for the Dhamma.

PQ

pabbajjā

pabbajjā: “Going forth (from home to the homeless life)”; ordination as a samaṇera (samaṇeri), or novice monk (nun). See upasampadā.

paccattaṁ

paccattaṁ: Personal; individual.

paccekabuddha

paccekabuddha: Private Buddha. One who, like a Buddha, has gained Awakening without the benefit of a teacher, but who lacks the requisite store of pāramīs to teach others the practice that leads to Awakening. On attaining the goal, a paccekabuddha lives a solitary life. [ more ]

Pāḷi

Pāḷi: The canon of texts (see Tipiṭaka) preserved by the Theravāda school and, by extension, the language in which those texts are composed. [ more ]

paññā

paññā: Discernment; insight; wisdom; intelligence; common sense; ingenuity. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs).

paññā-vimutti

papañca

papañca: Complication, proliferation, objectification. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of “self.” This term can also be translated as self-reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration. In the discourses, it is frequently used in analyses of the psychology of conflict. more ]

pāramī

pāramī, pāramitā: Perfection of the character. A group of ten qualities developed over many lifetimes by a bodhisatta, which appear as a group in the Pāḷi canon only in the Jataka (“Birth Stories”): generosity (dāna), virtue (sīla), renunciation (nekkhamma), discernment (paññā), energy/persistence (viriya), patience/forbearance (khanti), truthfulness (sacca), determination (adhiṭṭhāna), good will (mettā), and equanimity (upekkhā). [ more ]

pāramitā

parinibbāna

parinibbāna: Total Unbinding; the complete cessation of the khandhas that occurs upon the death of an arahant.

parisā

parisā: Following; assembly. The four groups of the Buddha's following that include monks (bhikkhu), nuns (bhikkhunī), laymen (upāsaka), and laywomen (upāsikā). Compare saṅgha. See bhikkhu, bhikkhunī, upasaka.

pariyatti

pariyatti: Theoretical understanding of Dhamma obtained through reading, study, and learning. See paṭipatti and paṭivedha. [ more ]

paṭicca-samuppāda

paṭicca-samuppāda: Dependent co-arising; dependent origination. A map showing the way the aggregates (khandha) and sense media (āyatana) interact with ignorance (avijjā) and craving (taṇhā) to bring about stress and suffering (dukkha). As the interactions are complex, there are several different versions of paticca samuppada given in the suttas. In the most common one, the map starts with ignorance. In another common one, the map starts with the interrelation between name (nāma) and form (rūpa) on the one hand, and sensory consciousness (viññana) on the other. [ more: SN 12.2, DN 15 ]

Pātimokkha

Pātimokkha: The basic code of monastic discipline, consisting of 227 rules for monks (bhikkhus) and 311 for nuns (bhikkhunīs). See Vinaya.

paṭipadā

paṭipadā: Road, path, way; the means of reaching a goal or destination. The “Middle way” (majjhima-patipada) taught by the Buddha; the path of practice described in the fourth noble truth (dukkhanirodhagamini-patipada). [ more ]

paṭipatti

paṭipatti: The practice of Dhamma as opposed to mere theoretical knowledge (pariyatti). See also pativedha. [ more ]

paṭivedha

paṭivedha: Direct, first-hand realization of the Dhamma See also pariyatti and paṭipatti. [ more ]

Peta

Peta [Skt. preta]: A “hungry shade” or “hungry ghost” — one of a class of beings in the lower realms, sometimes capable of appearing to human beings. The petas are often depicted in Buddhist art as starving beings with pinhole-sized mouths through which they can never pass enough food to ease their hunger. [ more ]

phala

phala: Fruition. Specifically, the fruition of any of the four transcendent paths (see magga).

phra

phra, [pi: bhra, km: bhrea]: (Thai). Venerable. Used as a prefix to the name of a monk (bhikkhu).

pīti

pīti: Rapture; bliss; delight. In meditation, a pleasurable quality in the mind that reaches full maturity upon the development of the second level of jhāna.

pūjā

pūjā: Honor; respect; devotional observance. Most commonly, the devotional observances that are conducted at monasteries daily (morning and evening), on uposatha days, or on other special occasions. [ more ]

puñña

puñña: Merit; worth; the inner sense of well-being that comes from having acted rightly or well and that enables one to continue acting well.

puthujjana

puthujjana: One of the many-folk; a “worlding” or run-of-the-mill person. An ordinary person who has not yet realized any of the four stages of Awakening (see magga). Compare ariya-puggala.

R

rāga

rāga: Lust; greed. See lobha.

run-of-the-mill person

rūpa

rūpa: Body; physical phenomenon; sense datum. The basic meaning of this word is “appearance” or “form.” It is used, however, in a number of different contexts, taking on different shades of meaning in each. In lists of the objects of the senses, it is given as the object of the sense of sight. As one of the khandha, it refers to physical phenomena or sensations (visible appearance or form being the defining characteristics of what is physical). This is also the meaning it carries when opposed to nāma, or mental phenomena. [ more ]

S

sabhāva-dhamma

sabhāva-dhamma: Condition of nature; any phenomenon, event, property, or quality as experienced in and of itself.

sacca

sacca: Truthfulness. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs).

saddhā

saddhā: Conviction, faith. A confidence in the Buddha that gives one the willingness to put his teachings into practice. Conviction becomes unshakeable upon the attainment of stream-entry (see sotāpanna).

sādhu

sādhu: (exclamation) “It is well”; an expression showing appreciation or agreement.

sagga

sagga: Heaven, heavenly realm. The dwelling place of the devas. Rebirth in the heavens is said to be one of the rewards for practicing generosity (see dāna) and virtue (see sīla). Like all waystations in saṁsāra, however, rebirth here (like all kinds of birth) is also temporary. See also sugati. [ more ]

sakadāgāmī

sakadāgāmī: Once-returner. A person who has abandoned the first three of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṁyojana), has weakened the fetters of sensual passion and resistance, and who after death is destined to be reborn in this world only once more.

sakkāya-diṭṭhi

sakkāya-diṭṭhi: Self-identification view. The view that mistakenly identifies any of the khandha as “self”; the first of the ten fetters (saṁyojana). Abandonment of sakkāya-diṭṭhi is one of the hallmarks of stream-entry (see sotāpanna). [ more ]

Sākyamuni

Sākyamuni: “Sage of the Sakyans”; an epithet for the Buddha.

sākya-putta

sākya-putta: Son of the Sakyan. An epithet for Buddhist monks, the Buddha having been a native of the Sakyan Republic.

sallekha-dhamma

sallekha-dhamma: Topics of effacement (effacing defilement) — having few wants, being content with what one has, seclusion, uninvolvement in companionship, persistence, virtue (see sīla), concentration (samādhi), discernment (pañña), release (vimutti), and the direct knowing and seeing of release.

samādhi

samādhi: Concentration; the practice of centering the mind in a single sensation or preoccupation, usually to the point of jhāna. [ more ]

samaṇa

samaṇa: Contemplative. Literally, a person who abandons the conventional obligations of social life in order to find a way of life more “in tune” (sama) with the ways of nature.

samaṇera

samaṇera, samaṇeri: Literally, a small samaṇa; a novice monk (nun) who observes ten precepts and who is a candidate for admission to the order of bhikkhus (bhikkhunīs). See pabbajjā.

samaṇeri

sambhavesin

sambhavesin: (A being) searching for a place to take birth.

sammati

sammati: Conventional reality; convention; relative truth; supposition; anything conjured into being by the mind.

sampajañña

sampajañña: Alertness; self-awareness; presence of mind; clear comprehension. See sati.

saṁsāra

saṁsāra: Transmigration; the round of death and rebirth. See vaṭṭa. [ more ]

saṁvega

saṁvega: The oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that comes with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of one's own complacency and foolishness in having let oneself live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. [ more ]

saṁyojana

saṁyojana: Fetter that binds the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see vaṭṭa) — self-identification views (sakkāya-diṭṭhi), uncertainty (vicikiccha), grasping at precepts and practices (sīlabbata-parāmāsa); sensual passion (kāma-rāga), resistance (vyāpāda); passion for form (rūpa-rāga), passion for formless phenomena (arūpa-rāga), conceit (māna), restlessness (uddhacca), and unawareness (avijjā). Compare anusaya.

sandiṭṭhiko

sandiṭṭhiko: Self-evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now. An epithet for the Dhamma.

saṅgha

saṅgha: On the conventional (sammati) level, this term denotes the communities of Buddhist monks and nuns; on the ideal (ariya) level, it denotes those followers of the Buddha, lay or ordained, who have attained at least stream-entry (see sotāpanna), the first of the transcendent paths (see magga) culminating in nibbāna. Recently, particularly in the West, the term “saṅgha” has been popularly adapted to mean the wider sense of “community of followers on the Buddhist path,” although this usage finds no basis in the Pāḷi canon. The term “parisā” may be more appropriate for this much broader meaning. [ more ]

saṅkhāra

saṅkhāra: Formation, compound, fashioning, fabrication — the forces and factors that fashion things (physical or mental), the process of fashioning, and the fashioned things that result. Saṅkhāra can refer to anything formed or fashioned by conditions, or, more specifically, (as one of the five khandhas) thought-formations within the mind.

saññā

saññā: Label; perception; allusion; act of memory or recognition; interpretation. See khandha.

sanyojana

sāsana

sāsana: Literally, “message.” The dispensation, doctrine, and legacy of the Buddha; the Buddhist religion (see Dhamma-vinaya).

sati

sati: Mindfulness, self-collectedness, powers of reference and retention. In some contexts, the word sati when used alone covers alertness (sampajañña) as well. [ more ]

satipaṭṭhāna

satipaṭṭhāna: Foundation of mindfulness; frame of reference — body, feelings, mind, and mental events, viewed in and of themselves as they occur.

sa-upādisesa-nibbāna

sa-upādisesa-nibbāna: Nibbāna with fuel remaining (the analogy is to an extinguished fire whose embers are still glowing) — liberation as experienced in this lifetime by an arahant. Cf. anupādisesa-nibbāna. [ more ]

sāvaka

sāvaka: Literally, “hearer.” A disciple of the Buddha, especially a noble disciple (see ariya-puggala.)

sayadaw

sayadaw: (Burmese). Venerable teacher; an honorific title and form of address for a senior or eminent bhikkhu.

sekha

sekha: A “learner” or “one in training”; a noble disciple (ariya-puggala) who has not yet attained arahantship. [ more ]

sīla

sīla: Virtue, morality. The quality of ethical and moral purity that prevents one from falling away from the eightfold path. Also, the training precepts that restrain one from performing unskillful actions. Sila is the second theme in the gradual training (see ānupubbī-kathā), one of the ten pāramīs, the second of the seven treasures (see dhana), and the first of the three grounds for meritorious action (see dāna and bhāvanā). [ more ]

sīma

sīma: Boundary or territory within which the monastic saṅgha's formal acts (upasampadā, pātimokkha recitation, settling of disputes, etc.) must be performed in order to be valid. [ more ]

sotāpanna

sotāpanna: Stream winner. A person who has abandoned the first three of the fetters that bind the mind to the cycle of rebirth (see saṁyojana) and has thus entered the “stream” flowing inexorably to nibbāna, ensuring that one will be reborn at most only seven more times, and only into human or higher realms. [ more ]

stream-entry

stream-entry, stream-winner: see sotāpanna.

stream-winner

stream-winner, stream-entry: see sotāpanna.

stress

stress: See dukkha.

stupa

stupa (pi thūpa): Originally, a tumulus or burial mound enshrining relics of a holy person — such as the Buddha — or objects associated with his life. Over the centuries this has developed into the tall, spired monuments familiar in temples in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Burma; and into the pagodas of China, Korea, and Japan.

such

such: See tadi.

sugati

sugati: Happy destinations; the two higher levels of existence into which one might be reborn as a result of past skillful actions (see kamma): rebirth in the human world or in the heavens (See sagga). None of these states is permanent. Compare apāya-bhūmi. [ more ]

sugato

sugato: Well-faring; going (or gone) to a good destination. An epithet for the Buddha.

sukha

sukha: Pleasure; ease; satisfaction. In meditation, a mental quality that reaches full maturity upon the development of the third level of jhāna.

sutta

sutta [sutta; Skt. sutra]: Literally, “thread”; a discourse or sermon by the Buddha or his contemporary disciples. After the Buddha's death the suttas were passed down in the Pali language according to a well-established oral tradition, and were finally committed to written form in Sri Lanka around 100 BCE. More than 10,000 suttas are collected in the Sutta Piṭaka, one of the principal bodies of scriptural literature in Theravāda Buddhism. The Pali Suttas are widely regarded as the earliest record of the Buddha's teachings. [ more ]

T

tādi

tādi: “Such,” an adjective to describe one who has attained the goal. It indicates that the person's state is indefinable but not subject to change or influences of any sort.

taṇhā

taṇhā: Craving — for sensuality, for becoming, or for not-becoming (see bhava). See also lobha (greed; passion) [ more ]

tāpas

tāpas: The purifying “heat” of meditative practice.

Tathāgata

Tathāgata: Literally, “one who has truly gone (tatha-gata)” or “one who has become authentic ”(tatha-agata),“ an epithet used in ancient India for a person who has attained the highest spiritual goal. In Buddhism, it usually denotes the Buddha, although occasionally it also denotes any of his arahant disciples. [ more ]

than

than, tan: (Thai). Reverend, venerable.

thera

thera: “Elder.” An honorific title automatically conferred upon a bhikkhu of at least ten years' standing. Compare mahāthera.

Theravāda

Theravāda: The “Doctrine of the Elders” — the only one of the early schools of Buddhism to have survived into the present; currently the dominant form of Buddhism in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Burma. See also Hīnayāna. [ more ]

ti-lakkhaṇa

ti-lakkhaṇa: Three characteristics inherent in all conditioned phenomena — being inconstant, stressful, and not-self.

tipiṭaka

tipiṭaka [Skt. tripiṭaka]: The Buddhist (Pāḷi) Canon. Literally, “three baskets,” in reference to the three principal divisions of the Canon: the Vinaya Piṭaka (disciplinary rules); Sutta Piṭaka (discourses); and Abhidhamma Piṭaka (abstract philosophical treatises). [ more ]

tiratana

tiratana: The “Triple Gem” consisting of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha — ideals to which all Buddhists turn for refuge. See tisaraṇa. [ more ]

tisaraṇa

tisaraṇa: The “Threefold Refuge” — the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha. See tiratana. [ more ]

U

ugghaṭitaññu

ugghaṭitaññu: Of swift understanding. After the Buddha attained Awakening and was considering whether or not to teach the Dhamma, he perceived that there were four categories of beings: those of swift understanding, who would gain Awakening after a short explanation of the Dhamma; those who would gain Awakening only after a lengthy explanation (vipacitaññu); those who would gain Awakening only after being led through the practice (neyya); and those who, instead of gaining Awakening, would at best gain only a verbal understanding of the Dhamma (padaparama).

Unbinding

upādāna

upādāna: Clinging; attachment; sustenance for becoming and birth — attachment to sensuality, to views, to precepts and practices, and to theories of the self.

upasampadā

upasampadā: Acceptance; full ordination as a bhikkhu or bhikkhunī. See pabbajjā.

upāsaka

upāsaka, upāsikā: A male/female lay follower of the Buddha. Compare parisā.

upāsikā

upāsikā, upāsaka: See upāsaka

upekkhā

upekkhā: Equanimity. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs) and one of the four “sublime abodes” (brahma-vihāra). [ more ]

uposatha

uposatha: Observance day, corresponding to the phases of the moon, on which Buddhist lay people gather to listen to the Dhamma and to observe special precepts. On the new-moon and full-moon uposatha days monks assemble to recite the Pātimokkha rules. [ more ]

V

vassā

vassā: Rains Retreat. A period from July to October, corresponding roughly to the rainy season, in which each monk is required to live settled in a single place and not wander freely about.

vaṭṭa

vaṭṭa: The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. This denotes both the death and rebirth of living beings and the death and rebirth of defilement (kilesa) within the mind. See saṁsāra.

vedanā

vedanā: Feeling — pleasure (ease), pain (stress), or neither pleasure nor pain. See khandha.

visākha

visākha, Vesak, Vesakha, Visakha, Wesak, etc.: The ancient name for the Indian lunar month in spring corresponding to our April-May. According to tradition, the Buddha's birth, Awakening, and Parinibbāna each took place on the full-moon night in the month of Visakha. These events are commemorated on that day in the Visakha festival, which is celebrated annually throughout the world of Theravāda Buddhism. [ more ]

vicāra

vicāra: Evaluation; sustained thought. In meditation, vicāra is the mental factor that allows one's attention to shift and move about in relation to the chosen meditation object. Vicāra and its companion factor vitakka reach full maturity upon the development of the first level of jhāna.

vijjā

vijjā: Clear knowledge; genuine awareness; science (specifically, the cognitive powers developed through the practice of concentration and discernment).

vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno

vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno: Consummate in knowledge and conduct; accomplished in the conduct leading to awareness or cognitive skill. An epithet for the Buddha.

vimutti

vimutti: Release; freedom from the fabrications and conventions of the mind. The suttas distinguish between two kinds of release. Discernment-release (paññā-vimutti) describes the mind of the arahant, which is free of the āsavas. Awareness-release (ceto-vimutti) is used to describe either the mundane suppression of the kilesas during the practice of jhāna and the four brahma-vihāras [see AN 6.13], or the supramundane state of concentration in the āsava-free mind of the arahant.

Vinaya

Vinaya: The monastic discipline, spanning six volumes in printed text, whose rules and traditions define every aspect of the bhikkhus' and bhikkhunīs' way of life. The essence of the rules for monastics is contained in the Pātimokkha. The conjunction of the Dhamma with the Vinaya forms the core of the Buddhist religion: ”Dhamma-vinaya“ — “the doctrine and discipline” — is the name the Buddha gave to the religion he founded. [ more ]

viññana

viññana: Consciousness; cognizance; the act of taking note of sense data and ideas as they occur. There is also a type of consciousness that lies outside of the khandhas — called consciousness without feature (viññanam anidassanam) — which is not related to the six senses at all. See khandha.

vipāka

vipāka: The consequence and result of a past volitional action (kamma).

vipassanā

vipassanā: Clear intuitive insight into physical and mental phenomena as they arise and disappear, seeing them for what they actually are — in and of themselves — in terms of the three characteristics (see ti-lakkhaṇa) and in terms of stress, its origin, its disbanding, and the way leading to its disbanding (see ariya-sacca).

vipassanūpakkilesa

vipassanūpakkilesa: Corruption of insight; intense experiences that can happen in the course of meditation and can lead one to believe that one has completed the path. The standard list includes ten: light, psychic knowledge, rapture, serenity, pleasure, extreme conviction, excessive effort, obsession, indifference, and contentment.

viriya

viriya: Persistence; energy. One of the ten perfections (pāramīs), the five faculties (bala; see bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma), and the five strengths/dominant factors (indriya; see bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma).

vitakka

vitakka: Directed thought. In meditation, vitakka is the mental factor by which one's attention is applied to the chosen meditation object. Vitakka and its companion factor vicāra reach full maturity upon the development of the first level of jhāna.

yakkha

yakkha: One of a special class of powerful “non-human” beings — sometimes kindly, sometimes murderous and cruel — corresponding roughly to the fairies and ogres of Western fairy tales. The female (yakkhinī) is generally considered more treacherous than the male. [ more ]

yakkhinī

yakkhinī: female yakkha

For indexing purposes, here are the diacritic-free (non-Unicode) equivalents of the romanized Pali words used in this document: ācariya=acariya, ānāpānasati=anapanasati, ānupubbī-kathā=anupubbi-katha, ārammaṇa=arammana, āsava=asava, āyatana=ayatana, Mahāyāna=Mahayana, Sākyamuni=Sakyamuni, Theravāda=Theravada, Tipiṭaka=Tipitaka, abhiññā=abhiñña, adhiṭṭhāna=adhitthana, akāliko=akaliko, anāgāmī=anagami, anattā=anatta, anupādisesa-nibbāna=anupadisesa-nibbana, apāya-bhūmi=apaya-bhumi, appamāda=appamada, avijjā=avijja, bhāvanā=bhavana, bhikkhunī=bhikkhuni, bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā=bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma, brāhmāṇa=brahmana, brahmā=brahma, brahma-vihāra=brahma-vihara, dāna=dana, dantā=danta, devatā=devata, dhātu=dhatu, dhutaṅga=dhutanga, ekāyana-magga=ekayana-magga, ekagattārammana=ekaggatarammana, evaṁ=evam, gotrabhū-ñāna=gotrabhu-ñana, hīnayāna=Hinayana, idappaccayatā=idappaccayata, iddhipāda=iddhipada, jhāna=jhana, kāmaguṇa=kamaguna, kāya=kaya, kāyagatā-sati=kayagata-sati, kaṭhina=kathina, kalyāṇamitta=kalyanamitta, kammaṭṭhāna=kammatthana, karuṇā=karuna, kesā=kesa, lakkhaṇa=lakkhana, lokavidū=lokavidu, lomā=loma, māna=mana, māra=Mara, mūla=mula, mahāthera=mahathera, majjhimā=majjhima, mettā=metta, muditā=mudita, nāga=naga, nāma=nama, nāma-rūpa=nama-rupa, nīvaraṇa=nivarana, nakhā=nakha, nibbāna=nibbana, nibbidā=nibbida, pāḷi=pali, pāli=pali, pāramī=parami, pāramitā=paramita, pātimokkha=patimokkha, pīti=piti, pūjā=puja, paṭicca-samuppāda=paticca-samuppada, paṭipadā=patipada, paṭipatti=patipatti, paṭivedha=pativedha, paññā=pañña, paññā-vimutti=pañña-vimutti, pabbajjā=pabbajja, paccattaṁ=paccattam, parinibbāna=parinibbana, parisā=parisa, rāga=raga, rūpa=rupa, sādhu=sadhu, sākya-putta=sakya-putta, sāsana=sasana, sāvaka=savaka, sīla=sila, sīlabbata-parāmāsa=silabbata-paramasa, sīma=sima, saṁsāra=samsara, saṁvega=samvega, saṁyojana=samyojana/sanyojana, saññā=sañña, sa-upādisesa-nibbāna=sa-upadisesa-nibbana, sabhāva-dhamma=sabhava-dhamma, saddhā=saddha, sakadāgāmī=sakadagami, sakkāya-diṭṭhi=sakkaya-ditthi, samādhi=samadhi, samaṇa=samana, sammappadhāna=sammappadhana, sandiṭṭhiko=sanditthiko, saṅkhāra=sankhara, satipaṭṭhāna=satipatthana, sotāpanna=sotapanna, tādi=tadi, tāpas=tapas, taṇhā=tanha, tathāgatha=Tathagata, thūpa=thupa, ti-lakkhaṇa=ti-lakkhana, tisaraṇa=tisarana, tripiṭaka=tripitaka, ugghaṭitaññu=ugghatitaññu, upādāna=upadana, upāsaka/upāsikā=upasaka/upasika, upasampadā=upasampada, upekkhā=upekkha, vaṭṭa=vatta, vassā=vassa, vedanā=vedana, viññāṇa=viññana, vicāra=vicara, vijjā=vijja, vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno=vijja-carana-sampanno, vipāka=vipaka, vipassanā=vipassana, vipassanūpakkilesa=vipassanupakkilesa, visākha=visakha, vyāpāda=vyapada.

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en/dictionary/ati_glossary.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/13 12:46 by Johann