Pali Glossary – (L-Z)

August 12, 2016

I have re-done the glossary in two posts, because there are a total of over 400 Pali 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 Pali 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.

In many cases:

1. “c” needs to be pronounced “ch” as in “charm” or “chicago”.

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.

Pronunciation Key

á rhymes like  pat        â → care        ã → pay        ä → father    ê  → pet     ë → bee                 th → thin            dh  → this
 ö →  toe       ü →  moon        ch → chin           ng  → thing
Pali WordPronunciationMeaningAudio
lobhalöbhaexcess greed: Lobha, Raga and Kamachanda, Kamaraga
lahutalahüthalightness (e.g., kaya lahuta is lightness in body)
lakkhanalakhkhanacharacteristc of
lokalökarealm or world depending on the context
lokiyalökiyabelonging to this world of 31 realms
lokottaralökoththarabeyond this world of 31 realms, transcendental
maccariyamachchariyahiding wealth due to extreme greed
maggamaggapath; procedure
mahamahälarge or important
manamänaarrogance, self-admiration
manasikaramanasikäramemory. Details at: Citta and Cetasika – How Vinnana (Consciousness) Arises

mano sancetana manö sanchetanavedana, sanna that arise due to one's gathi
manodhatumanödhäthumind element

manodvaramanödväramind door to namaloka; see, Our Two Worlds : Material and Mental
manodvaravajjanamanödväravajjanaa citta coming to the mind door as in manodvaravajjana citta
manussamanussahuman being
maranamaranadeath (death of a physical body is not necessarily the end of human bhava; see, "Antarabhava and Gandhabbaya"
mettameththäkindness. Has two meanings: "Ariya Metta Bhavana"
micca ditthimichcha diththiwrong views; see. "Wrong Views (Micca Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis"
middhamidhdhalethargic mind
mohamöhadelusion; mind totally covered; see, "Lobha,Dosa, Moha versus Raga, Patigha, Avijja"
mohakkhayamöhakkhayamöha + khaya, removing delusion
mudita mudhithä joy in the success of others
mudutamudhuthämalleability; e.g., kaya miduta
mula mula or mülaroot (usually in root cause)
musavadamusävädalies, trying to deceive: The Five Precepts – What the Buddha Meant by Them
mutamuthacombined word for smelling, tasting, and touching
namanämaname, mental
namarupanämarüpaname and form OR mental image of a nama and rupa
namaskarayanamaskärayaNamaskaraya – Homage to the Buddha
natha or natanäthahelp is there, opposite of anäta
nekkhammanekkhammarelinquish sense pleasures: Difference Between Giving Up Valuables and Losing Interest in Worthless
neva sanna na sannayatananeva sanna na sangnayatanafourth arupa brahma realm
NibbanaNibbänastopping the rebirth process: Nibbana
nibbatti lakkhananibbaththi lakkhanaNibbatti Lakkhana in Udayavaya Nana
niccanichchähaving total control, that ability
niddesaniddãsashort description: Sutta – Introduction
nimittanimiththasign; something resembling
niramisanirämisaneutral thoughts without sense cravings
nirodhanirödhanir + udä or stop from arising
nissarananissaranawillingly give up asvada: Äsvada, Ädeenava, Nissarana – Introduction
Nivanasame as Nibbana
nivarananeevaranahindrance; covered mind
niyamaniyama (sometimes called niyäma)law of nature
niyataniyathapermanent, fixed
ojaöjänutritive essence
olarikaölärikarough, condensed
opapatikaöpapätikainstantaneous and fully-formed birth as in deva and brahma realms
pabhasvara, pabhassara, or prabhasvara (Sanskrit)pabhasvaradevoid of greed, hate, and ignorance; e.g., pabhasvara citta
paccuppannapachchuppannaconditional arising; present moment arising due to cinditions
pahanapahänaabandon; remove
pakinnakapakinnakaparticulars or occasionals as in pakinnaka cetasika: Cetasika – Connection to Gathi
panatipatapänäthipatäkilling a living being: The Five Precepts – What the Buddha Meant by Them
pancadvarapanchadvärafive sense doors
pancadvaravajjana cittapancadväravajjana chiththäCitta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
pancakkhandhapancakkhandhäfive aggregates
pancanivaranapanchaneevaranafive hindrances that cover the mind
pancaupadanakkhandhapancaupädänakkhandhägrasping/craving of the five aggregates: Pancaupadanakkhandha – It is All Mental
paneeta (praneeta)paneetha (praneetha)likable or good
pannapangngäwisdom; comprehension of Tilakkhana
papa kammapäpa kammäimmoral actions
paralowaparalowaa human or animal gandhabbaya lives in paralowa until a womb becomes available: Hidden World of the Gandhabbaya: Netherworld (Paralowa)
paramitapäramithästrive through many rebirths: Paramita and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?
paribramanaparibramanarotating around another body
peridevaperidevalamentation, especially upon remembering a past mishap
parivajjanaparivajjanästaying clear of bad influences: The Sotapanna Stage
pitipeethi (preethi)joy
pannindriyapannindriyawisdom faculty
paramattaparamaththaultimate reality
parusavacaparusävacäharsh speech: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
pasada rupapasäda rüpasensitive matter (five internal senses; not physical senses): Brain – Interface between Mind and Body
patavipatavi element of hardness
paticcapatichchaget bonded to something willingly
patighapatighaaversion, dislike
patikula manasikara bhavanapatikula manasikära bhävanä4. What do all these Different Meditation Techniques Mean?

patipadapatipadäa procedure; way of living, like in majjima patipada
patiniddesapatiniddesadetailed description: Sutta – Introduction
patisandhipatisandhiGrasping a new existence (bhava)
patisevanapatisevanagood associations as in patisevana pahathabba: The Sotapanna Stage
pattanumodanapaththanumödanaTransfer of Merits (Pattidana) – How Does it Happen?
pattidanapaththidänatransfer of merits: Transfer of Merits (Pattidana) – How Does it Happen?
pavutthipavuththiduring this life, current
peleemapeleemaincessant stress, agitation: The Incessant Distress (“Peleema”) – Key to Dukkha Sacca
peta (pretha)petä (prétha)hungry ghost; one of the four apayas
phalaphalafruit, fruition
phassaphassasense contact; most times it is defiled or samphassa: Difference between Phassa and Samphassa
pisunavacapisunäväcäslandering: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
pottabbapoththabba"poththa" + "abba", where
"poththa" is skin: sense of touch
pubbenivasanussati nanapubbeniväsänussati ngänasee #12 of Antarabhava and Gandhabbaya
punna kriyapunna kriyädeed that makes one's heart joyful
ragarägaattachment to the 31 realms: Lobha, Raga and Kamachanda, Kamaraga
ragakkhayarägakkhayaräga + khaya: removal of attachment to the 31 realms
ruparüpamatter AND energy
rupa kalaparüpa kaläpaelementary material group unit: Rupa Kalapas (Grouping of Matter)
rupavacararüpavächarabelonging to rupa loka
saccasachchatruth, as in a Noble Truth
saddhasadhdhäfaith (through knowledge and understanding)
sahajatasahajäthaborn together
sahetukasahëthukawith good roots as in dvihetuka and tihetuka; if no good roots it is an ahetuka birth
SakadagamiSakadägämiOnce-Returner (one more rebirth in kama loka)
salayatanasaläyathanasix sense bases for a normal human
samadhisamädhiconcentration on a good or bad mindset: What is Samadhi? – Three Kinds of Mindfulness
samanantarasamanantharamatching with annantara: Annantara and Samanantara Paccaya
samapattisamäpaththidifferent from jhana, see: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sammasammaquench (defilements): What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
sammappadhanasammappadhänafour main efforts to stop "san" from arising: Two Versions of 37 Factors of Enlightenment
samathasamathacalming the mind
samisasämisacitta with kilesa or akusala cetasika
sampajanasampajänasorting defiled thoughts: Satipatthana Sutta – Structure
sampappalapasampappalapafrivolous talk: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
samphassasamphassa"san" + "phassa": Difference between Phassa and Samphassa
sampaticcanasampatichchanawhere "gathi" are incorporated into a citta vithi: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sampayuttasampayuththatogether and inseparable, like a dye dissolved in water
samudayasamudayaarising due to "san": "san" + "udaya"
samuppadasamuppädabirth of a similar kind: sama + uppada
sanvega or samvegasanvega or samvega"san" + "vega": javana power in a citta due to "san": see #9 of Javana of a Citta – The Root of Mental Power
sandittikosandittikö"san" + "ditthi" or enable seeing "san": Supreme Qualities of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha
sankappasankappathoughts, ideas
sankharasankhäraactions leading to defilements , habits
sankatasankhathaarisen by conditions
sannasangngäperception, identification
sansara or samsarasansära or samsärabeginningless rebirth process: What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
sansaricsansäricrelated to the rebirth process
santatisanthathione of the 28 types of rupa: Rupa (Material Form)
sanvarasanvara"san" + "vara" or stop "san" by moral behavior: What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
sanvarenasanvarenavia sanvara as in sanvarena pahatabba: The Sotapanna Stage
sanvega or samvegasanvega"san" + "vega": enhanced javana of a citta due to "san", i.e., highly emotional
sasanasäsanaBuddha säsana is Ministry of the Buddha
sasankharikasasankhärikaimmoral citta arising due to shrunken mind (thinamiddha)
sasavasäsavawith craving
sathkaya ditthi or sakkaya ditthisathkäya ditthiperception that things in this world are worth striving for: How do we Decide which View is Wrong View (Ditthi)?
satisathiin the mindset of anicca, dukkha, anatta: Satipatthana – Introduction
satipattanasathipattänamaintain sati: Maha Satipatthana Sutta
santiranasantheeranawhere a decision is made in a citta vithi: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sanyojana or samyojanasanyöjanabind to defilements or "san"
silaseelavirtue, moral conduct
silabbata paramasasilabbatha parämäsaperception that Nibbana can be attained via just obeying set precepts or procedures
sekasëkatrainee (the three stages below the Arahant stage)
sobhanasöbhanagood, likable, moral
sokasokasorrow due to personal loss
somanassasömanassawith joy
sotasöthaTwo possible meanings: ear and Noble Eightfold Path
SotapannaSöthapannaStream Enterer (first stage of Nibbana)
SuddhashtakaSudhdhäshtakasmallest material element: The Origin of Matter – Suddhashtaka
suddhavasasudhdhäväsaBrahma realms reserved for the Anagamis
sugathisugathi"su" + "gathi" or moral habits/behavio; also good realms: Sansaric Habits, Character (Gathi), and Cravings (Asava)
sukhasukhabodily pleasure, like with a massage; somannasa is mental
sukumasukumafine; not coarse
Sunyata or sunnataSunyata or sunnataemptiness: What is Sunyata or Sunnata (Emptiness)?
suttasuththadiscourse in the Tipitaka
suvasuvaas in Nivan suva:
tanhathanhäattachment (bondage) due to greed, hate, or delusion
tatramajjhattatathathramajjhaththathaneutrality of mind; not upekkha: Cetasika – Connection to Gathi
tejothãjöheat element
TheroTheroOne who has attained Nibbana; nowadays it is used for non-Arahants bhikkhus too
thinatheenashrinking of the mind, not alert
thuccathuchchalowly (behavior)
tiparivattayathiparivattayaTiparivattaya and Twelve Types of Nana (Knowledge)
tihetukatihethukapatisandhi with three good roots
tilakkhanathilakkhanaThree characteristics of the 31 realms: Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta
TipitakaThipitakathree pitaka: sutta, vinaya, abhidhamma: Preservation of the Dhamma
tisaranathisaranarefuge in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha: Tisarana Vandana and Its Effects on One’s Gathi
tivijjathivijjaThree special knowledges of the Buddha: The Way to Nibbana – Removal of Asavas
ucceda ditthiuchcheda ditthiwrong view that death of the physical body is the end of a living being, i.e., disbelief in rebirth process
udayavayaudayavayaarising and destruction of a sankata: Udayavaya Nana
udayavaya or udayabbaya nanaudayavaya nganaUdayavaya Nana
uddaccaudhdhachchätendency to be high-minded (restlessness)
uddesauddesavery short description: Sutta – Introduction
upacaraupachäraclose to
upacara samadhiupachära samädhisamadhi close to jhanic state

upadanaupädänaclinging, like to hold onto
upekkhaupekkhaequanimity, neutrality
utuuthunatural change kammaja and cittaja energies to rupa
utuja rupauthuja ruparupa produced via the transformation of kammaja and cittaja rupa
vanna (varna)vanna (varna)color
vayavayadestruction or deviating to immorality
vayovayöelement of movement, motion
vedanavãdanafeeling or more precisely "sensing of an event": Vedana (Feelings)
vedananupassanavedananupassanäanupassana on feelings: Satipatthana – Introduction
veyyavaccaveyyavachchapaying homage to and taking care of Holy places: Ten Moral Actions (Dasa Kusala) and Ten Meritorious Actions (Punna Kriya)
vibhavavibhavadisbelief in rebirth: Kama Tanha, Bhava Tanha, Vibhava Tanha
vicaravichärasustained concentration on a thought object
vicikiccavichikichchäacting without sati; uncertainty of what to do; doing inappropriate things
vidassanavidassanäinsight meditation with and for clear vision: 4. What do all these Different Meditation Techniques Mean?
vimanavimänaresidence, normally of a deva
vimansavimansäcontemplation, investigation
vimuktivimukthirelease (from the rebirth process)
vinayavinayarules of discipline for bhikkhus: Kamma, Debt, and Meditation
vinnanancayatanavingngänanchäyathanasecond arupi brahma realm: 31 Realms of Existence
vinnatavingngathacomprehension via vinnana
vinnativingngäthiintimation. For example, kaya vinnati is express intention via body movement.
vinnanavingngänadefiled consciousness
vinnanancayatanavignnänagnchäyatanasecond arupa brahma realm: 31 Realms of Existence
vinodana vinödanäin vinodana pahathabba:The Sotapanna Stage
vipakavipäkaresult (of a kamma)
viparinamaviparinämaunexpected change
vipassanavipassanäremoving defilements via insight of Tilakkhana
vippayuttavippayuttaappear together, but separable; like a current in a wire
virathivirathilose craving for indulgence
vitakkavithakkainitial application of the mind on an object
vithiveethistreet; but in a citta vithi means a "packet of thoughts" with a certain number of citta
vottapanavoththapanadetermining (citta)
vyapadavyäpädaill will, stronger than patigha
yojanayöjanädistance of about 7 miles
yoniso manasikarayönisö manasikäraability to see consequences of one's actions for future rebirths: Four Conditions for Attaining Sotapanna Magga/Phala
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