8 Worldly Winds (lokadhammā)

Hi Everyone,

Very excited to find this forum! I have just started reading the Pali Canon in English, and also have started to learn Pali on my own.

I have just started studying the text on the 8 Worldly Winds (AN 8.6) and I was wondering if someone knew the original Pali terms for the 8 winds, translated as:

  • Gain / Loss
  • Status / Disgrace
  • Censure / Praise
  • Pleasure / Pain

Alternatively, if someone can suggest a good English-Pali dictionary. I only have resources that go Pali to English.

Thank you!


Welcome @JimInBC :smiley:

Suttas from the four nikayas translated by Bhante Sujato have the Pali translations available as well (either line-by-line or pop-up). You just have to click the little :gear: symbol near the top of the sutta.

In any case:

  • Gain / loss = Lābho / alābho
  • Fame / disgrace = Yaso / ayaso
  • Praise / blame = Nindā / pasaṃsā,
  • Pleasure / pain = Sukha / dukkha



Thank you, @Sumano!

Both for the translation and the tip on using the translations!


Regarding the translation of lokadhammā (“worldly states”) as “worldly winds”, I wonder, does anyone know how this came about?

Since I’ve only ever encountered it in East Asian sources and haven’t been able to locate any Indian Buddhist term that means this, I’m guessing that ‘winds’ is probably a Chinese dynamic equivalent rendering, perhaps using some pre-Buddhist stock term that was of comparable meaning to lokadhammā.

Can anyone give me a better-informed view?


It would be related to the element air, which in the view of the Vism. is responsible for movement, since samsara is characterized by cycles.


Although I have no clue as to how winds originated? the sound of 8 worldly winds reminds me of a sutta in Vedanasamyutta SN 36.12, ''The Sky" therefore I think of winds as the varied feelings that blow through our lives. The sutta itself is a most beautiful poem.
"Just as many diverse winds
Blow back and forth across the sky, Easterly winds and westerly winds, Northerly winds and southerly winds, dusty winds and dustless winds, Sometimes cold and sometimes hot,
Those that are strong and others mild;
So in this very body here
Various kinds of feelings arise,
Pleasant feelings and painful ones,
and those neither painful nor pleasant"…it goes on…

undoubtedly Buddha was the greatest poet that set foot on this earth, appealing to the poet and the scientist. Is there a quantum physicist that can beat him? When we borrow earth, air, fire and water (rupa) to position relinking consciousness (Nama), to manifest in new becoming, it is only the quarks, leptons and bosons that assemble at birth, and disassemble at death.
Within that time, feelings like winds blow through our lives.
Thank you for the post on 8 winds.
With love :duck:


The ancients were sailors, so the unpredictability of wind would have been an obvious metaphor.
I used to sail a Laser.

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