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 WordPronunciationMeaningAudio
lōbhalōbhaexcess greed: Lōbha, Rāga and Kāmaccanda, Kāmarāga
lahutalahuthālightness (e.g., kaya lahuta is lightness in body)
lakkhanalakhkhanacharacteristc of
lōkalōkarealm or world depending on the context
lōkiyalōkiyabelonging to this world of 31 realms
lōkōttaralōkōththarabeyond this world of 31 realms, transcendental
maccariyamachchariyahiding wealth due to extreme greed
maggamaggapath; procedure
mahāmahālarge or important
mānamānaarrogance, self-admiration
manasikāramanasikāramemory. Details at: Citta and Cetasika – How Vinnana (Consciousness) Arises

manō sancētanā manō sanchētanāvedana, sanna that arise due to one's gathi
manōdhātumanōdhāthumind element

manōdvāramanōdvāramind door to namaloka; see, Our Two Worlds : Material and Mental
manōdvāravajjanamanōdvāravajjanaa 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"
mettāmeththākindness. Has two meanings: "Ariya Metta Bhavana"
miccā ditthimichchā diththiwrong views; see. "Wrong Views (Miccā Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis"
middhamidhdhalethargic mind
mōhamōhadelusion; mind totally covered; see, "Lobha, Dosa, Moha versus Raga, Patigha, Avijja"
mōhakkhayamōhakkhayamöha + khaya, removing delusion
muditā mudhithā joy in the success of others
mudutāmudhuthāmalleability; e.g., kaya miduta
mula mula or mūlaroot (usually in root cause)
musāvādamusāvādalies, trying to deceive: The Five Precepts – What the Buddha Meant by Them
mutamuthacombined word for smelling, tasting, and touching
nāmanāmaname, mental
nāmarūpanāmarūpaname and form OR mental image of a nama and rupa
namaskārayanamaskārayaNamaskaraya – Homage to the Buddha
nātha or nātanāthahelp is there, opposite of anätahttps://puredhamma.net/wp-content/uploads/natha.mp3
nekkhammanekkhammarelinquish sense pleasures: Difference Between Giving Up Valuables and Losing Interest in Worthless
nēva sannā nā saññāyatananēva sannā nā saññāyathanafourth arupa brahma realm
NibbānaNibbānastopping the rebirth process: Nibbana
nibbatti lakkhananibbaththi lakkhanaNibbatti Lakkhana in Udayavaya Nana
niccanichcha or nichchāhaving total control, that ability
niddēsaniddēsashort description: Sutta – Introduction
nimittanimiththasign; something resembling
nirāmisanirāmisaneutral thoughts without sense cravings
nirōdhanirōdhanir + udä or stop from arising
nissarananissaranawillingly give up asvada: Assāda, Ādīnava, Nissarana – Introduction
Nivanasame as Nibbana
nīvarananeevaranahindrance; covered mind
niyamaniyama (sometimes called niyāma)law of nature
niyataniyathapermanent, fixed
ōjāōjānutritive essence
ōlārikaōlārikarough, condensed
ōpapātikaōpapāthikainstantaneous and fully-formed birth as in deva and brahma realms
pabhassara, pabhasvara, or prabhasvara (Sanskrit)pabhassaradevoid of greed, hate, and ignorance; e.g., pabhasvara citta
paccuppannapachchuppannaconditional arising; present moment arising due to cinditions
pahānapahānaabandon; remove
pakinnakapakinnakaparticulars or occasionals as in pakinnaka cetasika: Cetasika – Connection to Gathi
pānātipatāpānāthipatākilling a living being: The Five Precepts – What the Buddha Meant by Them
pancadvārapanchadvārafive sense doors
pancadvāravajjana cittāpancadvāravajjana chiththāCitta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
pancakkhandhapancakkhanadha or pancakkhandhāfive aggregates
pancanīvaranapanchaneevaranafive hindrances that cover the mind
pancaupādānakkhandhāpancaupādānakkhandhāgrasping/craving of the five aggregates: Pancupādānakkhandha – It is All Mental
panīta (paneeta or praneeta)paneetha (praneetha)likable or good
paññāpaññāwisdom; comprehension of Tilakkhana
pāpa kammāpāpa kammāimmoral actions
paralowaparalowaa human or animal gandhabbaya lives in paralowa until a womb becomes available: Hidden World of the Gandhabbaya: Netherworld (Paralowa)
pāramitāpāramithāstrive through many rebirths: Paramita and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?
paribramanaparibramanarotating around another body
peridēvaperidēvalamentation, especially upon remembering a past mishap
parivajjanaparivajjanästaying clear of bad influences: The Sotapanna Stage
pītipeethi (preethi)joy
pannindriyapannindriyawisdom faculty
parāmattaparāmaththaultimate reality
parusāvācāparusāvāchāharsh speech: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
pasāda rūpāpasāda rūpāsensitive matter (five internal senses; not physical senses): Brain – Interface between Mind and Body
patavipatavi element of hardness
paticcapatichchaget bonded to something willingly
patighapatighaaversion, dislike
patikūla manasikāra bhāvanāpatikoola manasikāra bhāvanā4. What do all these Different Meditation Techniques Mean?

patipadāpatipadāa procedure; way of living, like in majjima patipada
patiniddēsapatiniddēsadetailed description: Sutta – Introduction
patisandhipatisandhiGrasping a new existence (bhava)
patisēvanapatisēvanagood associations as in patisevana pahathabba: The Sotapanna Stage
pattāanumōdanāpaththanumōdanaTransfer of Merits (Pattidana) – How Does it Happen?
pattidānapaththidānatransfer 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
pēta (pretha)pētä (prētha)hungry ghost; one of the four apayas
pala or phalapalafruit, fruition
phassaphassasense contact; most times it is defiled or samphassa: Difference between Phassa and Samphassa
pisunāvācāpisunāvācāslandering: Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)
pottabbapoththabba"poththa" + "abba", where
"poththa" is skin: sense of touch
pubbēnivāsānussati ñānapubbēnivāsānussathi ñānasee #12 of Antarabhava and Gandhabbaya
punna kriyāpunna kriyādeed that makes one's heart joyful
rāgarāgaattachment to the 31 realms: Lobha, Raga and Kamachanda, Kamaraga
rāgakkhayarāgakkhayaräga + khaya: removal of attachment to the 31 realms
rūparoopamatter AND energy
rūpa kalaparoopa kaläpaelementary material group unit: Rupa Kalapas (Grouping of Matter)
rūpāvacararoopāvacharabelonging to rupa loka
saccasachchatruth, as in a Noble Truth
saddhāsadhdhāfaith (through knowledge and understanding)
sahajātasahajāthaborn together
sahētukasahēthukawith good roots as in dvihetuka and tihetuka; if no good roots it is an ahetuka birth
SakadāgamiSakadāgämiOnce-Returner (one more rebirth in kama loka)
salāyatanasalāyathanasix sense bases for a normal human
samādhisamādhiconcentration on a good or bad mindset: What is Samadhi? – Three Kinds of Mindfulness
samanantarasamanantharamatching with annantara: Annantara and Samanantara Paccaya
samāpattisamāpaththidifferent from jhana, see: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sammāsammāquench (defilements): What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
sammappadhānasammappadhānafour main efforts to stop "san" from arising: Two Versions of 37 Factors of Enlightenment
samathasamathacalming the mind
sāmisasāmisacitta with kilesa or akusala cetasika
sampajānasampajānasorting defiled thoughts: Satipatthana Sutta – Structure
sampappalāpasampappalāpafrivolous 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"
samuppādasamuppādabirth of a similar kind: sama + uppada
sanvēga or samvēgasanvēga or samvēga"san" + "vega": javana power in a citta due to "san": see #9 of Javana of a Citta – The Root of Mental Power
sandittikōsandittikō"san" + "ditthi" or enable seeing "san": Supreme Qualities of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha
sankappasankappathoughts, ideas
sankhārasankhāraactions leading to defilements , habits
sankatasankhathaarisen by conditions
saññāsaññāperception, identification
sansāra or samsārasansāra or samsārabeginningless rebirth process: What is “San”? Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)
sansāricsansāricrelated 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
sanvēga or samvēgasanvēga or samvēga"san" + "vega": enhanced javana of a citta due to "san", i.e., highly emotional
sapta or sapthasapthaseven
sāsanasāsanaBuddha säsana is Ministry of the Buddha
sasankhārikasasankhārikaimmoral citta arising due to shrunken mind (thinamiddha)
sāsavasāsavawith craving
sathkāya ditthi or sakkāya ditthisathkāya ditthi or sakkāya 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
satipattānasathipattānamaintain sati: Maha Satipatthana Sutta
santīranasantheeranawhere a decision is made in a citta vithi: Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs
sanyōjana or samyōjanasanyōjana or samyōjanabind to defilements or "san"
sīlaseelavirtue, moral conduct
sīlabbata parāmāsaseelabbatha parāmāsaperception that Nibbana can be attained via just obeying set precepts or procedures
sēkasēkatrainee (the three stages below the Arahant stage)
sōbhanasōbhanagood, likable, moral
sōkasōkasorrow due to personal loss
sōmanassasōmanassawith joy
sōtasōthaTwo possible meanings: ear and Noble Eightfold Path
SōtapannaSōthapannaStream Enterer (first stage of Nibbana)
SuddhāshtakaSudhdhāshtakasmallest material element: The Origin of Matter – Suddhashtaka
suddhāvāsasudhdhāvāsaBrahma 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
Sunyatā or sunnatāSunyathā or sunnathāemptiness: What is Sunyata or Sunnata (Emptiness)?
suttasuththadiscourse in the Tipitaka
suvasuvaas in Nivan suva:
tanhāthanhāattachment (bondage) due to greed, hate, or delusion
tatramajjhattatāthathramajjhaththathāneutrality of mind; not upekkha: Cetasika – Connection to Gathi
tējōthējōheat element
ThēroThēroOne who has attained Nibbana; nowadays it is used for non-Arahants bhikkhus too
tīnatheenashrinking of the mind, not alert
thuccathuchchalowly (behavior)
tiparivattayathiparivattayaTiparivattaya and Twelve Types of Nana (Knowledge)
tihētukatihēthukapatisandhi 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
tivijjāthivijjāThree special knowledges of the Buddha: The Way to Nibbāna – Removal of Āsavas
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 ñānaudayavaya ñānaUdayavaya Nana
uddaccaudhdhachchatendency to be high-minded (restlessness)
uddēsauddēsavery short description: Sutta – Introduction
upacāraupachāraclose to
upacāra samādhiupachāra samādhisamadhi close to jhanic state

upādānaupādānaclinging, like to hold onto
upēkkhaupēkkhaequanimity, neutrality
utuuthunatural change kammaja and cittaja energies to rupa
utuja rūpauthuja rūparupa produced via the transformation of kammaja and cittaja rupa
vanna (varna)vanna (varna)color
vayavayadestruction or deviating to immorality
vāyōvāyōelement of movement, motion
vēdanāvēdanāfeeling or more precisely "sensing of an event": Vedana (Feelings)
vēdanānupassanāvēdanānupassanāanupassana on feelings: Satipatthana – Introduction
veyyavaccaveyyavachchapaying homage to and taking care of Holy places: Punna Kamma – Dāna, Sīla, Bhāvanā [Ten Moral Actions (Dasa Kusala) and Ten Meritorious Actions (Punna Kriya)]
vibhavavibhavadisbelief in rebirth: Kāma Tanhā, Bhava Tanhā, Vibhava Tanhā
vicāravichārasustained concentration on a thought object
vicikiccāvichikichchāacting without sati; uncertainty of what to do; doing inappropriate things
vidassanāvidassanāinsight meditation with and for clear vision: 4. What do all these Different Meditation Techniques Mean?
vimānavimānaresidence, normally of a deva
vimansāvimansācontemplation, investigation
vimuktivimukthirelease (from the rebirth process)
vinayavinayarules of discipline for bhikkhus: Kamma, Debt, and Meditation
viññānancāyatanaviññānanchāyathanasecond arupi brahma realm: 31 Realms of Existence
viññataviññathacomprehension via vinnana
viññativiññäthiintimation. For example, kaya vinnati is express intention via body movement.
viññānaviññānadefiled consciousness
viññānañcāyatanaviññānañchāyatanasecond arupa brahma realm: 31 Realms of Existence
vinōdanā vinōdanāin vinodana pahathabba:The Sotapanna Stage
vipākavipākaresult (of a kamma)
viparināmaviparināmaunexpected change
vipassanāvipassanāremoving 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)
vyāpādavyāpādaill will, stronger than patigha
yojanāyöjanādistance of about 7 miles
yōnisō manasikārayōnisō manasikāraability to see consequences of one's actions for future rebirths: Four Conditions for Attaining Sotapanna Magga/Phala
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