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a Contemplative's Pali to English Dictionary

(a work in progress)

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(updated 11-02-05 with 47 Pali terms & 64 English terms defined)

Tadá: ind. Then.

tadanga-pahána: 'overcoming by the opposite', is one of the 5 kinds of overcoming (pahána, q.v.).

tadárammana-citta: 'registering consciousness' (s. Tab. I, 40-49, 56), is the last stage in the complete process of cognition (citta-víthi) immediately before sinking into the subconscious. It does not occur with the consciousness of the absorptions nor with supermundane consciousness, but only with large or distinct objects of the sensuous sphere. Cf. viññána-kicca.

taints: ásava (q.v.).

Taken: gahita. p.p.

Takes: ga.nháti.

Taëàka: n. pond pool.

talk, low: tiracchána-kathá (q.v.).

Talker: vácaka. m.

Tama: n. darkness.

tanhá: (lit. 'thirst'): 'craving', is the chief root of suffering, and of the ever-continuing cycle of rebirths. "What, o monastics, is the origin of suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to ever-fresh rebirth and, bound up with pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever fresh delight. It is the sensual craving (káma-tanhá), the craving for existence (bhava-tanhá), the craving for non-existence (vibhava-tanhá)'' (D. 22). T. is the 8th link in the formula of the dependent origination (paticcasamuppáda, q.v.). Cf. sacca.

Corresponding to the 6 sense-objects, there are 6 kinds of craving. Craving for visible objects, for sounds, odors, tastes, tactile, mental impressions (rúpa-, sadda-, gandha-, rasa-, photthabba-, dhamma-tanhá). (M. 9; D. 15)

Corresponding to the 3-fold existence, there are 3 kinds: craving for sensual existence (káma-tanhá), for material existence (rúpa-tanhá), for immaterial existence (arúpa-tanhá). (D. 33)

There are 18 'thought-channels of craving' (tanhá-vicarita) induced internally, and 18 induced externally; and as occurring in past, present and future, they total 108; see A. IV, 199; Vibh., Ch. 17 (Khuddakavatthu-Vibhanga).

According to the dependent origination, craving is conditioned by sensing; on this see D. 22 (section on the 2nd Truth).

Of craving for existence (bhava-tanhá ) it is said (A. X, 62): "No first beginning of the craving for existence can be perceived, o monastics, before which it was not and after which it came to be. But it can he perceived that craving for existence has its specific condition. I say, o monastics, that also craving for existence has its condition that feeds it (sáharam) and is not without it. And what is it? 'Ignorance', one has to reply." - Craving for existence and ignorance are called "the outstanding causes that lead to happy and unhappy destinies (courses of existence)" (s. Vis.M. XVII, 36-42).

The most frequent synonyms of tanhá are rága (q.v.) and lobha (s. múla).

tanhá-kkhaya: 'extinction of craving', is identical with 'extinction of cankers' (ásavakkhaya) and the attainment of perfect Holiness or Arahatship. Cf. ariya-puggala.

tanhá-nissita-síla: 'morality based on craving' (s. nissaya).

Tapa: n. discipline, asceticism, control.

Tarati: (tara) crosses.

Taruõa: adj . young.

Tàsaü: f. Their.

Tassa: m., n., pro. his.

Tassá: f. pro. her.

Tasteless: níirasa.

tathágata: the 'Perfect One', lit. the one who has 'thus gone', or 'thus come', is an epithet of the Buddha used by him when speaking of himself.

To the often asked questions, whether the Tathágata still exists after death, or not, it is said (e.g. S. XXII, 85, 86) that, in the highest sense (paramattha, q.v.) the Tathágata cannot, even at lifetime, be discovered, how much less after death, and that neither the 5 groups of existence (khandha, q.v.) are to be regarded as the Tathágata, nor can the Tathágata be found outside these psycho-physiological (nama-rupa) phenomena. The meaning intended here is that there exist only these ever-changing psycho-physiological phenomena, arising and vanishing from moment to moment, but no separate entity, no personality.

When the commentaries in this connection explain Tathágata by 'living being' (satta), they mean to say that here the questioners are using the merely conventional expression, Tathágata, in the sense of a really existing entity.

Cf. anattá, paramattha, puggala, jíva, satta.

A commentarial treatise on "The Meaning of the Word 'Tathágata' " is included in The All-Embracing Net of Views (Brahmajála Sutta D 1), tr. Bhikkhu Bodhi (BPS).

tathágata-bala: the 'ten powers of the Perfect One'; s. dasa-bala.

tathatá: 'Suchness', designates the firmly fixed nature (bháva) of all things whatever. The only passage in the Canon where the word occurs in this sense, is found in Kath. 186 (s. Guide, p. 83). On the Maháyana term tathatá, s. Suzuki, Awakening of Faith, p. 53f. (App.).

Tatiya: third.

tatra-majjhattatá: 'equanimity, equipoise, mental balance' (lit., 'remaining here and there in the middle'), is the name for a high ethical quality belonging to the sankhára-kkhandha (s. khandha) and is mostly known by the name upekkhá. In its widest sense it is associated with all pure cognitive states (s. Tab. II). "Tatra-majjhattatá is called the 'keeping in the middle of all things'. It has as characteristic that it effects the balance of cognition and mental factors; as nature (function; rasa), that it prevents excessiveness and deficiency, or that it puts an end to partiality; as manifestation, that it keeps the proper middle" (Vis.M. XIV). (App.).

Tava: m., f., n., pro. your.

Tása.m. f. pro.

távatimsa: 'the Thirty-three (Gods)', a class of heavenly beings in the sensuous sphere; s. deva (I).

Teacher: ácariya. satthu. m.

te-cívarik'anga: 'practice of the one with three-robes', is one of the ascetical means for purification (dhutanga, q.v.).

Teja: n. majesty.

tejo-dhátu: 'fire-element, heat-element'; s. dhátu.

tejo-kasina: 'fire-kasina', is one of the 10 kasina exercises; s. kasina.

Tells: ároceti.

temperature: utu (q.v.). - For birth, or life, produced by temperature, such as fungal growth, s. samutthána.

Temple: áráma. m.

Ten: dasa.

tendencies: anusaya (q.v.).

Terasa: thirteen.

terror, awareness of: one of the insights; s. visuddhi VI. 3.

Tesaü: m., n., pro. Their.

te-vijja: 'one endowed with the threefold (higher) knowledge'. In Brahmanism means 'knower of the 3 Vedas' (tri-vidyá), in Buddhism means one who has realized 3 kinds of knowledge, as in: remembrance of former rebirths, the divine eye, extinction of all cankers. For details, s. abhiññá, 4-6. Cf. Tevijjá Sutta, D. 13 (WHEEL 57/58).

That: amu. pro.

Their: tesa.m. m., n.

Then: tadá. ind.

theraváda: 'Doctrine of the Elders', is a name of the oldest form of the Buddha's teachings, handed down to us in the Páli language. According to tradition, its name is derived from the fact of having been fixed by 500 holy Elders of the Order, soon after the death of the Master.

Theraváda is the only one of the old schools of Buddhism that has survived among those, which Maháyánists have called 'Hinayána'. It is sometimes called Southern Buddhism or Páli Buddhism. It is found today in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Chittagong (East Bengal) - Cf. Guide, p. 60. - (App.).

They: te. pro.

Thief: cora. m.

thína-middha: 'sloth and unconsciousness', 'sloth and torpor', constitute the 3rd of the 5 hindrances (nívarana, q.v.). They may or may not, be associated with greedy cognitive states (s. Tab. 23. 25, 27, 29 and II).

thinking, wisdom based on: cintámayapaññá: s. paññá.

Third: tatiya.

Thirteen: terasa, te.lasa.

Thirty: ti.msati, ti.msá.

This: ima, amu, pro.

thiti-bhágiya-síla, -samádhi, -paññá: 'static morality, static absorption, static wisdom'; s. hána-bhágiya-síla.

Thoroughly: sammá.

thought, thought-conception: s. vitakka.

thought, Right: sammá-sankappa; .s. sacca, magga.

Thousand: sahassa.m.

Thousand millions: ko.ti sata.m

Three: ti.

Throws: khipati.

Ti: three.

ties, the 4: gantha (q.v.).

ti-hetu-patisandhika: s. patisandhi.

ti-lakkhana: the '3 characteristics of existence', or signata, are impermanency (anicca, q.v.), suffering or misery (dukkha, q.v.; s. sacca, dukkhatá), not-self (anattá, q.v.).

"Whether Perfect Ones appear in the world, or whether Perfect Ones do not appear in the world, it still remains a firm condition, an immutable fact and fixed law: that all objects are impermanent, that craving for objects can lead to suffering, that all perceivable objects are not self'' (A. III, 134).

"What do you think, o monastics: Is the physiology (rúpa) permanent or impermanent? - Impermanent, o Venerable One. - Are sensation (vedaná), perception (saññá), mental structures (sankhára) and cognition (viññána), permanent or impermanent? - Impermanent, o Venerable One.

"But (craving) that which is impermanent, does it lead to something pleasant or painful? - It is painful, o Venerable One.

"But, of what is impermanent, painful and subject to change, could it be rightly said, 'This belongs to me, this am I, this is my identity? - No, Venerable One.

"'Therefore, whatever there is of physiology, sensing, perception, mental structures and cognition, whether past, present or future, one's own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near, of all these things one should understand, according to reality and true wisdom: 'This does not belong to me, this am I not, this is not my identity'" (S. XXII, 59).

"In one who understands eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and all the remaining formations as impermanent, leading to suffering and not-self, in him the fetters (samyojana, q.v.) are dissolved" (S. XXXV, 53).

It is the full comprehension of the 3 characteristics by direct meditative experience, which constitutes liberating insight. About their relation to the three gateways to liberation', s. vimokkha I .

For further details, s. anicca, dukkha, anattá, vipassaná.

Literature: The Three Signata, by Prof. O. H. de A. Wijesekera (WHEEL 20). - The Three Basic Facts of Existence: I-III (WHEEL BPS), Vis.M. XX, 13ff. 18ff; XXI, 47f, 67f.

Till: yáva. ind.

Tiõa: n. grass.

Tiüsati: thirty.

ti-pitaka: ' The Three Baskets', is the name for the 3 main divisions of the Páli Canon: the Basket of Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), the Basket of Discourses (Sutta Pitaka) and the Basket to Philosophy (Abhidhamma Pitaka).

tiracchána-kathá: 'low talk', lit. 'beastly talk', is the name in the sutta-texts for the following: "Talk about kings and robbers, ministers and armies, danger and war, eating and drinking, clothes and dwellings, garlands and scents, relations, chariots, villages and markets, towns and districts, women and heroes, street talks, talks by the well, talk about those departed in days gone by, tittle-tattle, talks about world and sea, about gain and loss" (A.X, 69 etc.).

In the commentaries 4 further kinds are enumerated, thus bringing the number to 32, as mostly counted, namely: talk about sensuous enjoyment, self-mortification, eternity and self-annihilation.

tiracchána-yoni: 'animal womb'; birth as animal. The animal kingdom belongs to the sensuous world (s. loka), is one of the 4 lower worlds (s. apáya) and one of the 3 woeful courses of existence (s. gati).

tírana-pariññá: 'full understanding by investigating'; s. pariññá.

ti-ratana: 'Three Jewels' or Three Gems, which by all Buddhists are revered as the most venerable things, are the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Holy Sangha.' i.e.: the Enlightened One; the law of deliverance discovered, realized and proclaimed by him; and the Community of Holy Disciples and those who live in accordance with the Law. - The contemplations of the 3 Jewels belong to the 10 contemplations (anussati q.v.).

ti-sarana: 'Threefold Refuge', in which every faithful adherent of the Buddha puts his whole trust, consists in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha (s. prec.).

The Buddha, or Enlightened One, is the teacher who by himself has discovered, realized and proclaimed to the world the law of deliverance. The Dhamma is the law of deliverance. The Sangha is the community of the disciples, who have realized or are striving to realize the law of deliverance.

The 3-fold Refuge in Páli, by the uttering of which one may also outwardly profess one's faith, is still the same as in the Buddha's time, namely:

Buddham saranam gacchámi
Dhammam saranam gacchámi
Sangham saranam gacchámi
I take my refuge in the Buddha!
I take my refuge in the Dhamma!
I take my refuge in the Sangha!

Literature: The Threefold Refuge by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL 76). - Devotion in Buddhism (WHEEL 18). Going for Refuge, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (WHEEL 282/284) - Khp. Tr. pp. 4ff.

tittháyatana: the 3 'articles of (heretical) belief'. which in A. III, 61 are declared as leading to inactivity, are: (1) the belief that all happiness and woe are produced through former karma (prenatal actions; s. karma); (2) that everything is uncaused; (3) that everything is created by God.

(1) is the teaching of Niggantha-Náthaputta, the leader of the Nigganthas, the modern Jains. The fault with this doctrine is that it does not account for that happiness and woe which either are the result of the present life's good or bad action, or are associated with the corresponding action. (2) is the doctrine of Makkhali Gosála; s. ditthi.

According to the above 3 doctrines, man is not responsible for his actions, so that all moral exertions become useless.

To-day: ajja. ind.

Tomorrow: suve. ind.

Too: api. ind.

torpor: unconsciousness, middha, s. thína-middha (q.v.).

Trader: vá.nija. m.

training, the 3-fold: sikkhá (q.v.). - The steps of: sikkhápada, (q.v.).

trance: jhána (q.v.).

tranquility (of mind): s. samatha, bhávaná, bojjhanga. - 'One who has taken t. as his vehicle': samathayánika (q.v.).

tranquilization, Overcoming (of defilements) by way of: s. pahána.

transference of merit: patti-dána (q.v.).

transformation, power of: s. iddhi.

Transgresses: atikkamati.

transitoriness: anicca (q.v.).

Travels: vicarati.

Traveller: maggika. m.

Traverses: avacarati.

Treasurer: bha.nágárika.

treasures, the 7: s. dhana (q.v.).

Treats: sa~nga.nháti.

Tree: rukkha. m.

tree, living under: Living under a tree is one of the ascetical practices (dhutanga, q.v.).

Tries: váyamati.

Truth: dhamma. m., sacca. n.

Truthful: saccavádí.

truths, the 4 Noble: sacca (q.v.). - 2-fold knowledge of the t.; s. saccañána.

turning away, contemplation of the: vivattanupassaná; s. vipassaná.

tusita: a class of heavenly beings in the sensuous plane; s. deva (1).

Tumhàkaü: m., f., n., pro. Plu. your.

Tuyhaü: m., f., n. pro. Sing. your. 

Twelve: dvádasa, bárasa.

Twenty: vísati, vísa.m.

Twice: dvikkhattu.m.

twin miracle: yamaka-pátiháriya (q.v.).

Two: dvi

Two hundred: dvi sata.m. 

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