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Association for Insight Meditation Home Page


Dictionary of
Pāli Proper Names

G P Malalasekera (1899‑1973)

Editor’s Foreword

DPPN.exeDPPN.zipDownload the site as a self-extracting archive or zip archive.

Download the archive from this page, and extract it to the DPPN folder. If this is a subfolder of the AIM Website on your local drive, the links should all work as they do now on both aimwell.org and my mirror site.

This online edition includes the diacritical marks (accents) required for the correct spelling of Pāḷi (except on the index pages where some diacritics are omitted for easier searching of the page).

This third edition was recreated in Serif WebPlus to bring the code up to date and make it easier to edit. The font embedding in WebPlus X8 makes it well suited to a site with so many Pāḷi words.

There may still be many errors and omissions, which I will correct as time permits. The second stage is now complete, i.e. each page is formatted for ease of browsing, most Pāḷi spellings have been corrected, most names of suttas match the CST4 Tipiṭaka, and there are many more cross-references and indexes to the Jātaka, Dīghanikāya, Majjhimanikāya, and Suttanipāta. There is now an index for the Saṃyuttanikāya in Rich Text Format. Most of the suttas from this collection now have the correct names, and many, but not all, of those missing from the printed edition were added.

Footnotes have been added to the longer articles since most readers won’t need them while first reading an article. Footnote references are to the Roman script editions of the Pali Text Society.

Recent Updates

  1. Removed page for Bindumatī and moved content to page Bandhumatī (correct spelling in Miln.)
  2. Corrected a translation error on Kosambiya Jātaka (No.428)
  3. Made some more corrections suggested by Sāmaṇera Mahinda
  4. Fixed a few more broken links
  5. Added page for Cittahattha Thera (Current total = 3967)
  6. Added page for Mātikamātā
  7. Corrected spelling of Sākyan to Sakyan.
  8. Corrected spelling of Sīsapā to Siṃsapā.
  9. Corrected spelling of Setavyā to Setabyā.

Wherever there is more than one entry on a page, the first entry has no anchor, but subsequent entries have anchors, 2, 3, 4, etc. For example, the entry: 4. Gotama Thera.– will have an anchor #4.

For easier reading the page width has been limited to 600 pixels, and the pages are left aligned to maintain static navigation bars on both the left and right of the page. Zoom in to 150% or more to make better use of high resolution screens, or tile two pages to view the index page alongside the article. Because some pages are very long, scrolling text frames have been used to keep the page height consistent. Use your browser’s search function, or follow the links provided to headings and footnotes. Back-links are provided from footnotes on long pages.

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with Pāḷi, several Pāḷi terms used by Malalasekera in his original edition have been translated to English. However, it is assumed that most readers browsing this dictionary will already be familiar with common Pāḷi terms. A glossary can be found after the Abbreviations.

Proper Names are not found in the Pali Text Society’s Dictionary (that is the scope of the current work), but for other unfamiliar words readers should refer to that.

The English has been updated in some places to replace terms that are now considered dated, e.g. “teach” for “preach” (the Pāḷi term is “deseti,” which means to show or explain). Reincarnation has been replaced with rebirth to better suit the Theravāda doctrine of not-self (anatta), see the Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhaya Sutta (M.i.256 ff). Crore (koṭi) has been replaced with 10 million, lakh with 100,000, gāvuta with a quarter of a league, which is the translation used for yojana.

Where extensive changes have been made that substantially alter the meaning, the text is in a different colour, and likewise, where content has been added.

What you will find in this reference work is not translations of suttas, but merely a description or synopsis, which is often extremely brief. For full translations please consult other online sources such as Access to Insight and Sacred Texts of Buddhism, or printed translations, e.g. by Wisdom Publications.

The best online resource in Pāḷi is the CST4 Tipiṭaka, so the names of Suttas have been matched to that to make it easier to find references. For example, the Mahā Ummagga Jātaka (546) is the Umaṅga Jātaka (542), while the Vidhura Jātaka is Jātaka (546). For a complete list see the Jātaka Index, where both numerical and alphabetical lists are given.

In the CST4 Tipiṭaka there are variant readings for many names, and different spellings may be used in different books of the Tipiṭaka. I have used the favoured spelling for the article heading and given the variant readings as v.l. (varia lectio).

Where there are similar or almost identical suttas on the same topic, they are often named as Paṭhama, Dutiya, Tatiya, etc. For legibility I have renamed the Paṭhamaisidattasuttaṃ (for example) as the Paṭhama Isidatta Sutta and the Dutiya Isidatta Sutta. Both suttas can be found under the heading Isidatta Sutta.