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Buddhist Dictionary
Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines


Attempt at a chronological fixing of terms not found, or not found in this form or meaning, in the oldest parts of the Sutta Pitaka.

akusala-sádhárana-cetasika: This term is probably used for the first time in Abh. S., though already in Vis.M. XIV the 4 cetasika in question are mentioned amongst the mental factors associated with each of the 12 akusala-cittas (Tab. I, 22-33), while in the Abhidhamma Pitaka (Dhs. §§ 365-429) uddhacca is found only in the last of the 12 cittas, missing in all the remaining 11 cittas.

ánantarika-kamma: This term seems to be used for the first time in Kath. (190) of the Abh. Canon; the 5 crimes mentioned, however, are already enumerated and explained in the old Sutta texts (e.g. A.V, 129), as is to be seen from the main part of this work.

árammana: s. paccaya, 2.

avacara: kámávacara is already met with in the oldest sutta texts (e.g. D. 1). Rúpávacara and arúpávacara, however, occur probably for the first time in Pts.M. (I. 83ff.), while in the Abhidhamma Canon and the Com. all the 3 terms are frequently mentioned and explained.

ávajjana: s. citta-víthi.

avyákata: This term in the sense of 'amoral' or 'karmically neutral', does not occur in the old sutta texts, while it is found in Pts.M. (e.g. I, 79ff). It plays an important role in the Abh. Canon (e.g. Dhs.) and the philosophical commentaries.

áyúhana: probably met with for the first time in Pts.M. (I . 10f.).



bhava: The 2-fold division, kamma and upapatti, is probably found for the first time in Vibh. of the Abh. Canon, but it expresses throughout the genuine teaching of the suttas.

bháva: as an isolated word, signifying-the physical nature or faculties of sex, probably occurs only in the Com. The expression itthibháva and purisabháva, with the meaning of 'being a man', or 'being a woman', or after ñatvá, etc., as for instance tassá itthibhávam ñatvá: 'knowing her to be a woman': such expressions are often found in the oldest sutta texts.

bhavanga-sotá, -citta: These 2 compound terms belong exclusively to the exegetical literature, while the term bhavanga is several times, briefly and unexplained, mentioned in the Patth. of the Abh. Canon, as though already known at that time.



carita: rága-c., dosa-c., buddhi-c., etc., are only to be met with in the Com. and Vis.M.

cáritta- and váritta-sila: are only found in the Com., as Vis.M. 1, etc., but the teaching indicated by it is frequently mentioned in the old sutta texts as karaníya and akaraníya (e.g. A. II, 16).

cetasika: This term oceurs often in the old sutta texts, but only as adj. (e.g. cetasikam sukham, etc.) or, at times, used as a sing. neut. noun (e.g. D. 1; p. 213, PTS). As a designation for mental factors, or concomitants of consciousness (citta-sampayuttá dhammá), it is frequently met with in Dhs. (§ 1189, 1512) as cetasika-dhamma, while in Vis.M., Abh. S., etc., cetasika is used also as a neuter noun, in the sense of mental phenomenon.

citta-lahutá, -mudúta, -kammaññatá, -páguññatá, -ujukatá: s. lahutá.

citta-víthi, as well as all terms for the various functions within the processes of conseiousness, such as ávajjana-citta, sampaticchana, santírana, votthapana, javana, tadárammana, bhavanga, cuti: none of these terms is found in the Sutta Canon. except javana, in Pts.M. Even in the Ahh. Canon (e.g. Patth) only javana and bhavanga are twice or thrice briefly mentioned. The stages, however, must have been more or less known. Cf. e.g Patth: ''Cakkhu-viññánam tam sampayuttaká ca dhammá (= cetasiká) mano-dhátuyá (performing the sampaticchana-function), tam sampayuttakánañ ca dhammánam (cetasikánani) anantara-paccayena paccayo. Mano-dhátu ... manoviññána-dhátuya (performing the santírana and votthapana function).... Purimá purimá kusalá dhammá (javaná) pacchimánam pacchimánam kusalánam dhammánam (javanacittánam) anantara-paccayena paccayo... avyákatánam dhammánam (tadárammana- and bhavanga-cittánam....)."

cuti-citta: s. citta-víthi.



dhátu-vavatthána: This term is first used in Pts.M. while the subject in question is often treated in the old sutta texts (e.g. M. 28, 62, 140, etc.). Cf. sammasana.

dhutanga: This compound term is used only in the Com. The only place in the suttas where the first part, dhuta, is used in the above sense, is found in S. XIV. The names of the performers of these 13 ascetical exercises, however, are all mentioned in the suttas, but scattered here and there, for instance: pamsukúlika, áraññika, pindapátika, ekásanika, tecívarika, sapádánacárí, sosánika, abhhokásika, nesajjika, yathásanthatika, in M. 5, 113; A. V, 181-190, etc.; rukkhamúlika, khalupacchábhattika and pattapindika in A. V, 189f. etc.



gotrabhú: s. javana.



hasituppáda-citta: This term is used in Abh. S. for the citta, Tab. I, 72. This type of consciousness (the Buddha's smile) is often implied in the suttas.



iddhi: Most, or perhaps all, of the 10 terms listed at Vis.M. XII, as adhitthána, etc., are absent in the older sutta texts. In Pts.M. (II, 205-214), however, they are enumerated in due order and minutely explained. The magical powers indicated by these terms are, nevertheless, for the most part explicitly described already in the oldest sutta texts. Cf. D. 34; M. 3; A. III, 99, etc.

indriya-samatta: This term is probably found for the first time in the Com., esp. Vis.M. IV. The rudiments of this doctrine, however, are already found in the old sutta texts, e.g. A. III, 100.



javana: The only reference in the Sutta Pitaka is Pts.M. II, 73: kusalakammassa javana-khane, "in the impulsion-moment of a wholesome karma." In the Abhidhamma Pitaka it is briefly mentioned in the Patthána, but without explanation, as if already known. The teaching of the flashing forth of 4 javana immediately before entering the jhána or lokuttara-magga, i.e. parikamma, upacára, anuloma, gotrabhú is, as such, without doubt a later development in the commentarial literature.



kalápa: This doctrinal term, as well as the doctrine of the different corporeal units or groups, such as the suddhatthaka-k., jívitanavaka-k., cakkhudasaka-k., etc. (s. Vis.M. XVIII), belong only to the later developments of exegetical literature, as Vis.M. etc.

káma: Vatthu-k. and kilesa-k. are probably found for the first time in MNid. 1. They correspond to the pañca kámaguná (cakkhu-viññeyyá rúpá, etc.) and káma-rága in the older sutta texts (e.g A. VI, 68).

kamma: ahosi-, janaka-, garuka-, bahula-, upatthambhaka-, upaghátaka-, upapílaka-, maranásanna-, upacchedaka-k. None of these terms is found in the Sutta or Abh. Canon. They have been introduced by the commentators (e.g. in Abh. S. and Vis.M.) for the purpose of a systematical grouping of the various aspects and functions of karma. The term katattá, however, occurs repeatedly in the Abh. Canon in such expressions as: 'Yasmim samaye ... kusalassa kammassa katattá ... cakkhuviññánam hoti....' (Dhs. § 431); or: 'Yam atthi rúpam kammassa katattá ....' (Dhs. § 653); or 'katattá ca rúpánam' (Patth.), etc.

kammaññatá: s. lahutá.

kammattháná: This term, as a designation for the meditation exercises (bhávaná), is found only in the Com. In the suttas the word is only used in a concrete sense for 'field of activity or occupation', as agriculture, trade, etc.

katattá-kamma: s. kamma.

káya-lahutá: -mudutá, -kammaññatá, -páguññatá, -ujukatá, s. lahutá.

khana: The 3 phases in a moment of consciousness, i.e. uppáda, thiti, bhanga, are probably mentioned for the first time in the commentaries; but there is a close parallel in two sutta texts which may have been the source for that teaching of a three-phased moment of consciousness:

"There are 3 characteristics of what is conditioned (sankhatassa lakkhaná): an arising (uppádo) is apparent, a passing away (vayo) is apparent, a change in the existing (thitassa aññathattam: Com. = ageing) is apparent" (A. III, 47). The same 3 phases are mentioned in S. XXII, 37, where they are applied to each of the 5 khandha.

kilesa: the 10 kilesa are probably for the first time enumerated and explained in Dhs. (§§ 1229-1239). There they are, however, called kilesa-vatthu, which name (dasa kilesa-vatthu) is already mentioned in Pts I, 130, though there they are neither enumerated nor explained.

kiriya: (kiriyá, kriyá) citta is a term first used in the Abh. Canon (e.g. Dhs. §§ 566-582). It has an important place in post-canonical Abh. literature, e.g. Vis.M. XIV.



lahutá, mudutá, kammaññatá: as rúpassa-, káya-, or citta-, are for the first time found in the Abh. Canon, esp. Dhs. All, however, perhaps with the sole exception of paguññatá, are implied in the Sutta Canon, e.g. 'citte mudu-bhúte kammaníye' (M 4); 'lahu-saññañ ca káye okkamitvá' (S. LI. 22); 'cittam ujukam akamsu' (S. I. 26; PTS). Káya-passaddhi and citta-passaddhi, however, are well known in the old sutta texts in this connection.



manodvárávajjana: s. citta-víthi.

mudutá: s. lahutá.



ñána: Of the 9 kinds of insight-knowledge constituting the patipadá-ñánadassana-visuddhi (s. Vis.M. XXI), the following 6 are, as such, enumerated and explained for the first time in Pts.M., namely: udayabbayánupassaná-ñána (I. 54-57), bhangánupassaná-ñána, (ib. 57f.). bhayatupatthána-ñána (ib. 59f). muccitukamyatá-ñána, patisanká-ñána, sankhárupekkhá-ñána (ib. 60-65). The terms udayabbaya and bhanga, in connection with the 5 groups of existence, however, are often met with in the old sutta texts. Of the remaining 3 kinds of knowledge, ádínavánupassaná, nibbidánupassaná and anulomañána, the first 2 occur often in the old sutta texts, while anuloma-ñána, though only briefly mentioned in the Abh. Canon (Patth.), plays a prominent part in the exegetical literature.

natthi-paccaya: s. paccaya.

n'eva-sekha-n'ásekha: While the terms sekha and asekha occur frequently in the old sutta texts (e.g. A. II, 4: 'sekho ca asekho ca imasmim loke... áhuneyyá' etc.), the term n'eva-sekha-n'ásekha is perhaps mentioned for the first time in Pug. of the Abh. Canon.

nibbána: The 2 terms kilesa- and khandha-parinibbána (or nibbána) are found only in the Com.; their corresponding 2 aspects sa-upádisesa and anupádisesa-nibbána, however, are mentioned and explained in It. 44 of the Sutta Canon.

nimitta: As signifying the mental reflex-image occurring in meditation, this term, singly or in compounds (parikkamma-, uggaha-, patibhága-n.), is found only in the Com., Vis.M., etc. The same holds good for kamma-nimitta, gati-nimitta.

nissarana-pahána: s. pahána.

nissaya, nissita: These two terms, in combination with tanhá and ditthi, belong probably, as such, to the commentarial literature, e.g. Vis.M. I.

niyáma: The compound words utu-, bíja-, kamma-, citta-, and dhamma-niyáma, probably occur for the first time in the Com. Niyámatá, however, occurs often in the old sutta texts, e.g. 'thitá va sá dhátu dhammatthitatá dhammaniyámata...' (A. III. 134. etc.)

niyata-miccháditthi: is apparently mentioned for the first time in Dhs. (e.g. § 1028) of the Abh. As a name for the 10th and last of the akusala-kammapathas, it plays a prominent role in the Com.



paccaya: This term occurs often in the old sutta texts in such expressions as: 'ko hetu, ko paccayo', 'yam yad eva paccayam paticca uppajjati viññánam', etc., or as abl. adverb in 'avijjápaccayá sankhárá'. All the 24 paccaya are for the first time enumerated, explained and applied to the phenomena of existence in the Abh. Canon (Patth). Of these 24 paccaya, 5 are already mentioned in Pts.M. (II, 49-54, 59f., 72-77), namely, sahajáta-, aññamañña-, nissaya-, sampayutta-, vippayutta-paccaya.

1. Hetu is already used in the sutta texts as 'condition' in a general and indefinite way, as a synonym of paccaya. In the sense of kusala and akusala roots (múla; s. M. 9), however, it is only found in the Abh. Canon and Com.

2. Árammana has in the 'sutta texts only the meaning of 'foundation', or 'basis', or 'dependent on', e.g. M. 21: 'tadárammanañca sabbalokam mettásahagatena cetasá pharitvá....' or D.33; S.XXII.53: 'viññánam ... rúpárammanam ... vedanáram-manam....' As term for the 6 objects, rúpárammana, saddárammana, etc.,

it is first used in the Abh. Canon, though the teaching of dependency of the 6 kinds of viññána on the 6 sense-objects is an integral part of the suttas. Cf. e.g. M.38: 'cakkhuñca paticca rúpe ca uppajjati viññánam sotañca paticca sadde ca ...' etc.

3. Adhipati, as a philosophical term, occurs for the first time in the Abh. Canon (esp. Patth.). The 4 adhipati are in the suttas called iddhipáda (e.g. S. LI. 11). In the old sutta texts, 3 adhipateyya are however mentioned: atta-, loka-, dhamma- (A. III, 38).

4. & 5. Anantara- and samanantara-paccaya occur, as paccaya, for the first time in the Abh. Canon (esp. Patth.). In a veiled form, however, we find the first term in the old sutta texts (e.g. Ratana Sutta in Khp. and Sn.): 'samádhim ánantarikaññamáhu': the concentration (associated with the arahatta-magga), which is called the 'immediate' condition (for arahatta-phala).

6. & 7. Sahajáta and aññamañña-paccaya. Though these terms, as such, are not found in the older sutta texts, still the teaching of the conascent and mutual conditionedness of the 4 mental groups (vedaná, saññá, sankhára, viññána) is taught in the old texts, e.g. M. 28, 43; S. XXII, etc.

8. Nissaya-paccaya is mentioned in Pts; s. first paragraph of this article, above.

9. Upanissaya-paccaya. Though this name is not found in the suttas, the teaching expressed thereby is, however, frequently met with there, sometimes even in the form of upanisá (apparently a contraction of upanissaya), e.g. S. XII, 23: 'Yam pi'ssa tam bhikkhave khayasmim khaye ñánam, tam sa-upanisam vadámi, no anupanisam '. The terms pakati-, árammana- and anantara-upanissaya are later developments of the Abh. Com.

All the remaining terms are met with only in the Abh. literature though the substance is, perhaps in all cases, already dealt with in the old sutta texts.

pádaka-jjhána: This term is not found in the Sutta Canon, nor apparently in the Abh. Canon, but very often used in the exegetical literature. The idea, however, expressed thereby, is implied in many places of the old sutta texts, e.g., A. IX, 36, where it is shown how the jhánas, one after the other, may serve as basis, or foundation (as mental object), for vipassaná. In many of the old sutta texts it is also shown how the 4th jhána forms the foundation for the attainment of the 5 higher spiritual powers (abhiññá).

páguññatá: s. lahutá.

pahána: The 5 terms, as vikkhambhana, etc., are, as such, not found in the old sutta texts, but they are enumerated and explained already in Pts.M. (II. 179f.).

palibodha: This 10-fold group is perhaps for the first time mentioned in Khp. Com. and explained in Vis.M. III.

pañca-dvárávajjana: s. ávajjana.

paramattha s. vohára-desaná.

páramí, páramitá: Only the Com. deals with this subject, apart from the 3 apocryphal works, Buddhavamsa and Cariyapitaka, and the Játaka.

paricchinnákása: This term is used in the Com. for the term ákása-kasina used in the older sutta texts.

pariññá: ñáta-, tírana-, pahána-p., belong to the exegetical literature, but they are already implied in Pts.M. I. 87: 'Abhiññá-paññá ñátatthe ñánam, pariññá-paññá tíranatthe ñánam, pahána-paññá pariccágatthe ñánam ... ye ye dhammá abhiññátá honti, te te dhammá ñáta honti ... tíritá ... pahíná.'

pariyatti, patipatti, pativedha: The first of these 3 fundamental terms, especially in this 3-fold grouping, belongs to the commentarial literature, though the idea expressed thereby is often found in the suttas in such expressions as: 'dhammam pariyápunáti suttam geyyam veyyákaranam ....' The 2 other terms are found separately in the suttas.

patipannaka: occurs in Pug. 17.

patipatti: s. pariyatti.

patisandhi: is chiefly a commentarial term; but it occurs several times in one of the later books of the Sutta Pitaka, the Patisambhidá Magga (Pts.M. I, 11f, 52, 59f.; II, 72f.). The usual sutta term for 'rebirth' is punabbhava.

patisandhika: ahetu-, dvihetu-, and tihetu-p.: are purely commentarial terms. For patisandhi-citta, s. citta-víthi.

pativedha: s. pariyatti.

pattidána: This term is found only in the Com., but the belief expressed by it is several times mentioned in the older sutta texts. Cf. the main part of this work.



rúpa: the terms nipphanna-rúpa and rúpa-rúpa are used only in the Com., although sappatigha and pasáda are already found in the Abh. Canon (e.g. Dhs. §§ 585, 597f.), while upádinna occurs repeatedly in the old sutta texts, e.g. M. 28, apparently with the meaning given in the main part of this work. Cf. further upádá-rúpa.



samádhi: parikamma-, upacára-, and appaná-s.: are found only in the Com.

sama-sísí: This term seems to be met with for the first time in Pug. 19, while the person indicated is described in A., as is to be seen in the main part of this work.

samatha-yánika: s. sukkha-vipassaka.

sammasana: This term, as noun, occurs probably for the first time in Pts.M. I. 53, although as a verb it is found already in the old texts. The same holds good with its synonym vavatthána.

sammuti: s. sacca.

sampaticchana-citta: s. citta-víthi.

samutthána: kamma- (= kamma-ja), utu-, áhára-s.: these terms are found only in the Com. Citta-samutthána-rúpa, however, occurs already in Dhs. (§ 586) of the Abh. Canon; and is indicated very often in Patth., e.g. 'tam (cittam) samutthánánañ ca rúpánam'. The teaching of the origin of matter is, of course, already implied in the old sutta texts.

santána, santati: The terms citta-, rúpa-, khandha-, bhavanga-s.:, etc., are found, here and there, in the Abh. Canon (e.g. Dhs. § 634, Kath. 110; s. Guide V), but they are often met with in the Abh. Com. In the Sutta (Therag. 716) is found sankhárasantati.

santírana-citta: s. citta-víthi.

síla: paccayasannissita-, paccávekkhana-síla:, etc., are terms used in the Com. for the proper contemplation (patisankhá yoniso) of the 4 requisites of a monk, often dealt with in the old texts (e.g. M. 2). Also the 3 other párisuddhi-síla, as pátimokkhasamvara-, indriya-, and ájívapárisuddhi-síla, though under these names perhaps only known in the Com., are fully dealt with in the old texts, e.g. M.53, D.2, M.2, etc. The terms pannatti- and paññatti-síla are used only in the Com.

sukkha-vipassaka = suddha-vipassaná-yánika: these terms are used only in the Com., as also their counterpart samathayánika.



tadárammana-citta: s. citta-víthi.

tathatá: This term, with the meaning in question, occurs perhaps only once in the Canon, namely in Kath. (s. Guide 83). Whether it is found also somewhere in the Com. , I am unable to say.

tatramajjhattatá: occurs probably for the first time in the Abh. Canon (e.g. Patth.; cf. Guide 110).

theraváda: This term was already used by the Buddha himself in speaking of the doctrine of Álára-Káláma (s. M. 26). As a name for the Buddha's doctrine it belongs to the commentarial literature.



ujukatá: s. lahutá.

upacaya: is an Abh. term but already alluded to in the old sutta texts, e.g. M. 149: 'áyatim pañcúpádánakkhandhá upacayam gacchanti', or in D.2: 'Ayam káyo ... odana-kummás' upacayo'.

upádá-rúpa: is, as such, an Abh. term, but it is used with the same meaning in the sutta texts, c.g. in M. 9: 'catunnañ ca mahábhútánam upádáyn rúpam'. Upádá is an abbreviation of upádáya (gerund).



váritta-síla: s. cáritta.

vasí: The 5 kinds of vasí are probably found first in the Vis.M.

vatthu: as a general term for the 5 sense-organs (cakkhu-vatthu, etc ) is frequent in the Com., and often used together with árammana (object). This usage, however, is already indicated in the Abh. Canon: 'Cakkhum p'etam... vatthum p'etam' (Dhs. § 597; Vibh., p.71, PTS): 'cakkhuviññánassa vatthu' (Dhs. §§ 679ff.).

vimokkha: The 3, i.e. suññatá-, animitta-, appanihita-: are for the first time described and enumerated in Pts.M. II, 351. As suññatásamádhi, etc., however, they are already given at D. 33.

viññatti: káya- and vací-v., seem to occur for the first time in Dhs. (§§ 665,718) of the Abh. Canon.

vipassaná: is frequently found in the older sutta texts (e.g. A. II, 32; S. XLV, 159), also together with samatha. The 9 and 18 insight-knowledges (vipassaná-ñána and mahá-vipassaná), however, occur in the Sutta Pitaka only in the Pts.M., Ñánakathá, where they are enumerated and explained, though without any group name being attached to them.

vipassanúpakkilesa: The group of 10 is mentioned for the first time in Pts.M. II, 102, and it is said that the mind may become defiled thereby (kilissati), but the above term is not used for the 10. This is probably done for the first time in Vis.M. XX.

vivatta: as a name for Nibbána, seems to be found only in the Com.

vivattanánupassaná: is already mentioned in Pts.M., together with the remaining 17 kinds of vipassaná. In the old texts it is not found.

vohára-sacca: etc. The terms paramattha-, vohára-, sammuti-: etc., belong as such to the commentarial literature, but their significance is clearly shown in the old sutta texts, e.g. D. 9: 'loka-sámaññá, loka-vohára'; further(D 33): 'sammuti-ñána', etc.

vokára: pañca-, catu-, and eka-v. (bhava), occur as technical terms only in the Abh. (Vibh., Yam., Patth.) and Com., e.g. Vis.M., but their substance is an integral part of the suttas.

votthapana-citta: s. citta-víthi.

vutthána-gáminí-vipassaná: is probably implied in Pts.M. I, 60, under the name of vutthána-vivattane ñána.

yamaka-pátiháriya: is perhaps for the first time mentioned and described in Pts.M., as seen in the main part of this work.

yogávacara, yogi: These 2 terms belong to the commentarial literature, but the first term appears also in Mil.

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