Dhammapada: Wisdom of the Buddha Translated by Harischandra Kaviratna
Theosophical University Press Online Edition


Commonly used Pali terms and their Sanskrit equivalents.

Many words that are similar in Pali and Sanskrit have in the course of time acquired divergent connotations. This Glossary is intended merely to aid readers, who have some acquaintance with Sanskrit philosophical terms, to recognize their etymological parallels in the Pali text of the Dhammapada.

In the transliteration of both Pali and Sanskrit, the character c represents the sound ch as in the English word chair. The aspirate consonants (kh, th, ph, etc) are pronounced (as in blockhead or godhead).


accuta (acyuta) — permanent, imperishable (lit, unscattered, unfallen); 225

adicca-[patha] (aditya) (path of) the sun; 175

agg (agni) fire; 107, 136, 392

ahimsa (same) — harmlessness, non-violence; 261, 270, 300

akasa (akasa) — "shining": sky, space, ether; 92, 175, 254

akkhara (akshara) science of sounds, phonetics; also imperishable; 352

amata (amrita) immortality; 21

anatta (anatman) nonself; 279

appamada (apramada) vigilance, conscientiousness; Canto II

arahant (arhant, arhat) worthy; the worthy one; Canto VII

ariya (arya) noble; 22, 164, 208

atta(n) (atman) self; Canto XII

avijja (avidya) ignorance; 243

bala (same) — orig young, unable to speak; ignorant, foolish; Canto V

In Sanskrit bala means a boy or young one; in Pali, however, Buddha used the word to denote a childish person, by extension, a fool; for boy or child he used balaka

bhadra (same) — auspicious, lucky, fortunate;119-20, 143

bhikkhu (bhikshu) mendicant, monk; Canto XXV

brahmacarin (same) — leading a pure and holy life; a celibate student; 142

brahmana (same) — one who leads a pure, ascetic life; Canto XXVI

buddha (same) — enlightened; passim

Buddha (same) — Awakened One, Enlightened One; passim

cakka (cakra) wheel; 1

canda (candra) the moon; 172-3, 413

candima (candramas) luminous, shiny; the moon; 172, 208, 387

chaya (same) — shadow; 2

citta (citra) to be bright, resplendent; 151, 171

citta (same) — heart, mind, attentiveness; Canto III

dalha (dridha, [drilha]) resolute, strong [to hold fast, bind]; 23, 61, 112, 313

danda (same) — rod, stick; Canto X

dassana (darsana) sight, vision; 206, 210

adassana — blindness, not seeing; 210

deva (same) — god, divine being; 105, 420

dhamma (dharma) "foundation, support": law, justice, doctrine, nature, truth, morality, and good conduct; passim

dhammattha (dharmastha) standing in the dhamma, just, righteous; Canto XIX

dhuva (dhruva) permanent, constant (also name of the Pole Star); 147

dosa (dosa) anger, ill will; see raga and moha, cf nibbana; 20, 251

dukkha (duhkha) pain, suffering, diseases, discord; passim

gandhabba (gandharva) heavenly musician: angelic being, demigod; 105, 420

gutta (gupta) guarded, protected; passim

hamsa (same) — swan, goose; 175

himsa (same) — injury, hurting, killing; 132

iddh (iriddhi, siddhi) potency, accomplishment; psychic power(s);175

jana (same) — creature, entity, people; 99, 249, 320

jara (same) — old age, decrepitude; Canto XI

jhana (dhyana) meditation, thought, reflection; 181, 372

kama (same) — desire; 48, 186-7, 401, 415

kamma (karman) doing, action, result of action; passim

kasava, kasaya (kashaya) "brown": yellow robe of a Buddhist monk; 9-10

khandha (skandha) collection, mass, aggregates: "elements of sensory existence"; 374

khanti(i) (kshanti) patience, forbearance,forgiveness; 184, 399

khattiya (kshatriya) warrior or ruling caste; 294

khetta (kshetra) field; 356-9

kodha (krodha) anger; Canto XVII

loka (same) — space, world; 44, 45, Canto XIII

macca (martya) mortal; 53, 141, 182

maccu (mrityu) death; also god of death; cf mara, yama; passim

magga (marga) path; Canto XX

mala (same) — impurity, stain, dirt; 239, 243

mana(s) (manas) mind; 1, 2

mara (same) — death, the evil one, tempter; passim

metta (maitra) compassionate, friendly; 368

(mitra) benevolent

micchaditthi (mithyadrishti) wrong views, heresy; 167, 316

moha (same) — delusion, folly; see dosa, raga; cf nibbana; 20, 251

mokkha (moksha) release, freedom, emancipation; the final deliverance; 37

mutta (mukta) freed, set free from worldly existence; 20, 90, 348

naga (same) — serpent, elephant of great stature; Canto XXIII

nibbana (nirvana*) dousing (of a flame), dying out of raga, dosa and moha, the three basic character defects; passim

*This is not a negative state, but a condition beyond ordinary comprehension. It is the annihilation of craving, hatred, and ignorance.

nicca (nitya) constant, perpetual; 23, 109, 206, 293

niraya (same) — destruction, hell; Canto XXII; passim

pabbajita (pravrajita) a homeless monk; 74, 388

pada (pad, pad) foot, step, path, track; 179, 273

pakinnaka (pakirnaka) scattered, miscellaneous; Canto XXI

pana (prana) breath of life, vitality; 246-7

pandita (same) — wise, sage; pandit; Canto VI

panna (prajna) intelligence, wisdom, insight; 38, 111, 152, 372

pannasila (prajnasila) higher intelligence and virtue; 229

papa (same) — suffering, evil; Canto IX

parinibbana (parinirvana) complete extinction of khanda-life; final release of an Arhat after destruction of physical body; 89

Patimokkha (Pratimoksha) monastic precepts; discipline (Vinaya) for monks; 185, 375

phala (same) — ripe fruit, result, consequence; 66, 178

piya (priya) dear, friend, amiable; Canto XVI

puja (same) — honor, reverence, devotion; 73, 106-7

puppha (pushpa) flower; Canto IV

putta (putra) son, young of animal, offspring; 62, 84, 345

raga (same) — passion, lust; see dosa and moha; cf nibbana; 20, 251

raja (same) — king; 295

sabba (sarva) all, whole; 129-30, 183, 353-4

sacca (satya) real, true; truth; 393, 408

saddha-assaddha (sraddha) faith, trust, devotion not credulous or dependent on faith; 8,144, 97

sadhu (same) — virtuous, honorable, meritorious; 35, 67-8, 206

sagga (svarga) heaven; 174

sahassa (sahasra) a thousand; Canto VIII

samadhi (same) — concentration; exalted state of consciousness; 271

samana (sramana) religious recluse; 184, 265

samsara (same) — "moving about continuously": the chain of births and deaths; 95, 302, 414

sannojana-samyojana (samyojana) fetters that bind one to the wheel of rebirth; 221

sarira (sarira) physical body; 151

sota (srotas) stream; 339-40

Sugata (same) — "happily gone": after death; faring well; Buddha; 18, 419

sukha (same) — happy, pleasant, blessed; 118, 194, Canto XV, 331

sukka (sukla) — light, pure, bright, white; 87

sunnata (sunyata) emptiness (nibbana), the Void; 92

tanha (trishna) thirst, craving;154, 334, 349

thana (sthana) condition, state, stance; 137, 225

vaca (vak, vac) voice, word, speech; 232, 281

vagga (varga) chapter, section; all chapter headings

vana (vrana) wound, sore; 124
vana (same) — forest, jungle (of desires); 283-4, 324, 344

vijana (same) — understanding, knowing; 6, 64-5

vinnana (vijnana) cognition, consciousness, one of the five khandhas; 41

viriya (virya) vigor, energy, exertion; 112

yama (same) — god of death; passim

yamaka (same) — double, twin; Canto I

yoga (same) — "yoke": connection, bond, means; 282, 417



cattari ariyasaccani (catvari aryasatyani) four noble truths

1) dukkha (duhkha) ill, pain, sorrow

2) samudaya (same) — origin, cause of ill

3) nirodha (same) — destruction of ill, cessation of ill

4) magga (marga) road, way



ariya atthangika magga (aryashtaga marga) noble eightfold path

1) sammaditthi (samyagdrishti) right insight, right understanding, right vision

2) sammasamkappa (samyaksamkalpa) right aspiration, right thoughts [right thoughts in the Theravada terminology denote the thoughts free from ill will, hatred, and jealousy]

3) sammavaca (samyagvac) right speech

4) sammakammanta (samyakkarmanta) right action

5) sammajiva (samyagajiva) right livelihood, right living

6) sammavayama (samyagvyayama) right effort

7) sammasati (samyaksmriti) right memory, right mindfulness

8) sammasamadhi (samyaksamadhi) — right concentration


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