Pāli Glossary – (L-Z)

August 12, 2016

Revised May 27, 2017: I have revised the Pāli words to align with the convention used by most English texts. This convention was apparently adapted by the early European scholars (Rhys Davis and others) in order to keep the length of the word short. I will use this convention in new posts, and try to update old posts gradually.

This glossary is in two posts, because there are a total of over 400 Pāli words included now. This is the second part of the glossary; first part at “Pali Glossary – (A-K)“.

  • I have been able to get the audio files incorporated, and also have provided links to key posts whenever possible/needed.
  • We also have a “Popup Pali Glossary with Pronunciation“, thanks to Mr. Seng Kiat Ng. If that GoldenDict dictionary is installed on your computer, you will be able to access this glossary from each post directly. Furthermore, it could provide translations from other online dictionaries as well.

Possible Confusion in Pronunciation

In most cases, I use the spelling for Pāli words that were adapted hundred years ago (by Rhys Davis and others). For example, “anichcha” is written in English as “anicca”. It seems that this was done in order to make the text shorter. That is a valid point, since otherwise some words could be very long when written in English.

Pronunciation Key: 

1.”a” is pronounced like “u” in cut;   “ā” is pronounced like “a” in father

  • “i” is pronounced like “i” in sit;   “ī” is pronounced like “ee” in bee
  • “u” is pronounced like “u” in put;   “ū” is pronounced like “oo” in cool
  •  “ō” is pronounced like “oe” in Moe ;  “ē” is pronounced like “a” in pay
  •  “c” needs to be pronounced like “ch” as in “charm” or “chicago”
  • “ñ” needs to be pronounced like “gn” in signor

2. “t” needs to be pronounced “th” as in “thud” or “throw”.

  • For example, citta pronounced “chiththa”, cakkhu is pronounced “chakkhu”, aniccaas “anichcha”, anatta as “anaththa”, jati as “jathi”, tanha as “thanha”, tilakkhana as “thilakkhana”.

3. “d” needs to be pronounced “th” as in “this” or “that”. Note the difference in pronouncing “th” between 2 and 3.

  • For example, vedana or däna (as in giving) is pronounced this way.
Pali WordMeaningAudio
lōbhaexcess greed: Lōbha, Rāga and Kāmaccanda, Kāmarāga
lahutālightness (e.g., kāya lahutā is lightness in body)
lakkhaṇacharacteristc of
lōkarealm or world depending on the context
lōkiyabelonging to this world of 31 realms
lōkōttarabeyond this world of 31 realms, transcendental
macchariyahiding wealth due to extreme greed
maggapath; procedure
mahālarge or important
mānaarrogance, self-admiration
manasikāramemory. Details at: Citta and Cetasika – How Vinnana (Consciousness) Arises
manōmind

manō sañcetanāvedana, sanna that arise due to one's gathi
manōdhātumind element

manodvāramind door to namaloka; see, Our Two Worlds : Material and Mental
manōdvāravajjanaa citta coming to the mind door as in manodvaravajjana citta
manussahuman being
maranadeath (death of a physical body is not necessarily the end of human bhava; see, "Antarabhava and Gandhabbaya"
mettākindness. Has two meanings: "Ariya Metta Bhavana"
micchā diṭṭhiwrong views; see. "Wrong Views (Miccā Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis"
middhalethargic mind
mōhadelusion; mind totally covered; see, "Lobha, Dosa, Moha versus Raga, Patigha, Avijja"
mōhakkhayamöha + khaya, removing delusion
muditā joy in the success of others
mudutāmalleability; e.g., kaya miduta
mūlaroot (usually in root cause)
musāvādalies, trying to deceive: The Five Precepts – What the Buddha Meant by Them
mutacombined word for smelling, tasting, and touching
nāmaname, mental
nāmarūpaname and form OR mental image of a nama and rupa
namaskāraya (Sinhala)Namaskaraya – Homage to the Buddha
ñāṇaknowledge
nātha with refuge., opposite of anäta
nekkhammarelinquish sense pleasures: Difference Between Giving Up Valuables and Losing Interest in Worthless
nevasaññānāsaññāyatanafourth arupa brahma realm
Nibbānastopping the rebirth process: Nibbana
nibbatti lakkhaṇaNibbatti Lakkhana in Udayavaya Nana
niccahaving total control, that ability
niddēsashort description: Sutta – Introduction
nimittasign; something resembling
nirāmisaneutral thoughts without sense cravings
nirōdhanir + udä or stop from arising
nissaraṇawillingly give up asvada: Assāda, Ādīnava, Nissarana – Introduction
Nivana (Sinhala)
nīvaraṇahindrance; covered mind
nirayahell
niyama (or niyāma)law of nature
niyatapermanent, fixed
ōjānutritive essence
oḷārikarough, condensed
opapātikainstantaneous and fully-formed birth as in deva and brahma realms
pabhassaradevoid of greed, hate, and ignorance; e.g., pabhasvara citta
paccayācondition
paccuppannaconditional arising; present moment arising due to cinditions
pahānaabandon; remove
pahātabbaremoval
pakiṇṇakaparticulars or occasionals as in pakinnaka cetasika: Cetasika – Connection to Gathi
pāṇātipātākilling a living being: The Five Precepts – What the Buddha Meant by Them
pancafive
pancadvārafive sense doors
vajjana cittāCitta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
pañcakkhandhafive aggregates
pañcanīvaraṇafive hindrances that cover the mind
pañcupādānakkhandhagrasping/craving of the five aggregates: Pancupādānakkhandha – It is All Mental
paṇīta likable or good
paññāwisdom; comprehension of Tilakkhana
pāpa kammāimmoral actions
paraloka (paralowa in Sinhala)a human or animal gandhabbaya lives in paralowa until a womb becomes available: Hidden World of the Gandhabbaya: Netherworld (Paralowa)
pāramitāstrive through many rebirths: Paramita and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?
paribramanarotating around another body
peridēvalamentation, especially upon remembering a past mishap
parivajjanastaying clear of bad influences: The Sotapanna Stage
pītijoy
paññindriyawisdom faculty
parāmattaultimate reality
pharusāvācāharsh speech: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
pasāda rūpāsensitive matter (five internal senses; not physical senses): Brain – Interface between Mind and Body
passaddhitranquility
pathavi element of hardness
paṭiccaget bonded to something willingly
paṭighaaversion, dislike
patikūla manasikāra bhāvanā4. What do all these Different Meditation Techniques Mean?

paṭipadāa procedure; way of living, like in majjima patipada
paṭiniddesadetailed description: Sutta – Introduction
paṭisandhiGrasping a new existence (bhava)
paṭisevanagood associations as in patisevana pahathabba: The Sotapanna Stage
pattānumodanāTransfer of Merits (Pattidana) – How Does it Happen?
pattidānatransfer of merits: Transfer of Merits (Pattidana) – How Does it Happen?
pavutthiduring this life, current
pīḷana (peleema in Sinhala)incessant stress, agitation: The Incessant Distress (“Peleema”) – Key to Dukkha Sacca
pēta (pretha)hungry ghost; one of the four apayas
phala (pala in Sinhala)fruit, fruition
phassasense contact; most times it is defiled or samphassa: Difference between Phassa and Samphassa
pisuṇavācā slandering: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
phoṭṭhabba"poththa" + "abba", where
"poththa" is skin: sense of touch
pubbēprevious
pubbēnivāsānussati ñānasee #12 of Antarabhava and Gandhabbaya
puggalaindividual
puñña kriyādeed that makes one's heart joyful
purisamasculine
rāgaattachment to the 31 realms: Lobha, Raga and Kamachanda, Kamaraga
rāgakkhayaräga + khaya: removal of attachment to the 31 realms
rasataste
rūpamatter AND energy
rūpa kalāpaelementary material group unit: Rupa Kalapas (Grouping of Matter)
rūpāvacarabelonging to rupa loka
sabbaall
saccatruth, as in a Noble Truth
saddasound
saddhāfaith (through knowledge and understanding)
sahajātaborn together
sahētukawith good roots as in dvihetuka and tihetuka; if no good roots it is an ahetuka birth
SakadāgamiOnce-Returner (one more rebirth in kama loka)
salāyatanasix sense bases for a normal human
samādhiconcentration on a good or bad mindset: What is Samadhi? – Three Kinds of Mindfulness
samanantaramatching with annantara: Annantara and Samanantara Paccaya
samāpattidifferent from jhana, see: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sammāquench (defilements): What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
sammappadhānafour main efforts to stop "san" from arising: Two Versions of 37 Factors of Enlightenment
samathacalming the mind
sāmisacitta with kilesa or akusala cetasika
sampajānasorting defiled thoughts: Satipatthana Sutta – Structure
samphappalāpafrivolous talk: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
samphassa"san" + "phassa": Difference between Phassa and Samphassa
sampaṭicchanawhere "gathi" are incorporated into a citta vithi: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sampayuttatogether and inseparable, like a dye dissolved in water
samudayaarising due to "san": "san" + "udaya"
samuppādabirth of a similar kind: sama + uppada
saṃvega or sanvēga "san" + "vega": javana power in a citta due to "san": see #9 of Javana of a Citta – The Root of Mental Power
sanSan
sandiṭṭhikō"san" + "ditthi" or enable seeing "san": Supreme Qualities of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha
saṅkappathoughts, ideas
saṅkhāraactions leading to defilements , habits
sankataarisen by conditions
saññāperception, identification
saṃsāra beginningless rebirth process: What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
saṃsāricrelated to the rebirth process
santatione of the 28 types of rupa: Rupa (Material Form)
saṃvara"san" + "vara" or stop "san" by moral behavior: What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
saṃvarenavia sanvara as in sanvarena pahatabba: The Sotapanna Stage
saṃvega"san" + "vega": enhanced javana of a citta due to "san", i.e., highly emotional
sapta seven
sāsanaBuddha säsana is Ministry of the Buddha
sasankhārikaimmoral citta arising due to shrunken mind (thinamiddha)
sāsavawith craving
satara (in Sinhala)four
sakkāya diṭṭhi (or sathkāya diṭṭhi)perception that things in this world are worth striving for: How do we Decide which View is Wrong View (Ditthi)?
satiin the mindset of anicca, dukkha, anatta: Satipatthana – Introduction
satipaṭṭhānamaintain sati: Maha Satipatthana Sutta
santīraṇawhere a decision is made in a citta vithi: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
saṃyojanabind to defilements or "san"
sīlavirtue, moral conduct
sīlabbata parāmāsaperception that Nibbana can be attained via just obeying set precepts or procedures
sēkhatrainee (the three stages below the Arahant stage)
sōbhanagood, likable, moral
sōkasorrow due to personal loss
sōmanassawith joy
sōtaTwo possible meanings: ear and Noble Eightfold Path
SōtapannaStream Enterer (first stage of Nibbana)
Suddhaṭṭhakasmallest material element: The Origin of Matter – Suddhashtaka
suddhāvāsaBrahma realms reserved for the Anagamis
sugati"su" + "gathi" or moral habits/behavio; also good realms: Sansaric Habits, Character (Gathi), and Cravings (Asava)
sukhabodily pleasure, like with a massage; somannasa is mental
sukumafine; not coarse
suññataemptiness: What is Sunyata or Sunnata (Emptiness)?
sutasound
suttadiscourse in the Tipitaka
suvaas in Nivan suva:
taṇhāattachment (bondage) due to greed, hate, or delusion
tatramajjhattatāneutrality of mind; not upekkha: Cetasika – Connection to Gathi
tejoheat element
ThēroOne who has attained Nibbana; nowadays it is used for non-Arahants bhikkhus too
thīnashrinking of the mind, not alert
tucchalowly (behavior)
tiparivaṭṭaTiparivattaya and Twelve Types of Nana (Knowledge)
tihētukapatisandhi with three good roots
tilakkhanaThree characteristics of the 31 realms: Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta
Tipiṭakathree pitaka: sutta, vinaya, abhidhamma: Preservation of the Dhamma
tisaranarefuge in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha: Tisarana Vandana and Its Effects on One’s Gathi
tivijjāThree special knowledges of the Buddha: The Way to Nibbāna – Removal of Āsavas
uccheda diṭṭhiwrong view that death of the physical body is the end of a living being, i.e., disbelief in rebirth process
udayavayaarising and destruction of a sankata: Udayavaya Nana
udayavaya or udayabbaya ñānaUdayavaya Nana
uddhaccatendency to be high-minded (restlessness)
uddēsavery short description: Sutta – Introduction
upacāraclose to
upacāra samādhisamadhi close to jhanic state

upādānaclinging, like to hold onto
upēkkhaequanimity, neutrality
uppattibirth
utunatural change kammaja and cittaja energies to rupa
utuja rūparupa produced via the transformation of kammaja and cittaja rupa
vacispeech
vaṇṇa (varna in Sinhala)color
vayadestruction or deviating to immorality
vāyāmaeffort
vāyōelement of movement, motion
vēdanāfeeling or more precisely "sensing of an event": Vedana (Feelings)
vēdanānupassanāanupassana on feelings: Satipatthana – Introduction
veyyāvaccapaying homage to and taking care of Holy places: Punna Kamma – Dāna, Sīla, Bhāvanā [Ten Moral Actions (Dasa Kusala) and Ten Meritorious Actions (Punna Kriya)]
vibhavadisbelief in rebirth: Kāma Tanhā, Bhava Tanhā, Vibhava Tanhā
vicārasustained concentration on a thought object
vicikicchāacting without sati; uncertainty of what to do; doing inappropriate things
vipassanāinsight meditation with and for clear vision: 4. What do all these Different Meditation Techniques Mean?
vimānaresidence, normally of a deva
vimansācontemplation, investigation
vimuttirelease (from the rebirth process)
vinayarules of discipline for bhikkhus: Kamma, Debt, and Meditation
viññatacomprehension via vinnana
viññattiintimation. For example, kaya vinnati is express intention via body movement.
viññāṇadefiled consciousness
viññāṇañcāyatanasecond arupa brahma realm: 31 Realms of Existence
vinōdanā in vinodana pahathabba:The Sotapanna Stage
vipākaresult (of a kamma)
viparināmaunexpected change
vipassanāremoving defilements via insight of Tilakkhana
vippayuttaappear together, but separable; like a current in a wire
viratilose craving for indulgence
viriyaeffort
visuddhipurification
vitakkainitial application of the mind on an object
vīthistreet; but in a citta vithi means a "packet of thoughts" with a certain number of citta
votthapanadetermining (citta)
vyāpāda or byāpādaill will, stronger than patigha
yojanādistance of about 7 miles
yōnisō manasikāraability to see consequences of one's actions for future rebirths: Four Conditions for Attaining Sotapanna Magga/Phala
Print Friendly, PDF & Email