How to trace a Pali word to the source?

While trying to look up the meaning of the Pali word sankhara, I got the following.

“Definition for the pāli word Saṅkhāra
SN.ii.82, where puññaṃ opuññaṃ, āṇeñjaṃ s. abhisankharoti, is, in DN.iii.217 & Vb.135, catalogued as”

I understand SN.ii.82 and DN.iii.217 as the ref : number of the Suttas wherein the word sankhara occurs and Sutta Central (SN) has a different way of referencing Suttas to that of Pali Tipitaka. But the above ref: number appears alongside SN referencing. For example SN.ii.82 must be Nidana Samyutha, hence it should be found next to Sutta Central 12.51. Unfortunately it is not so.
Am I doing anything wrong here?. Can someone clear it up for me please.
Thanks in advance.
With Metta

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These are alternative numbering systems.

Unfortunately I don’t​think at current SC has these mapped in a way you can click and go to these suttas.

You have to find them yourself by going through each chapter and checking the alternative numbering provided there.

This is exactly what I did. I found SN ii 80 & SN ii 84 and SN ii 82 should be in between. But it is not there. I don’t know where else I can look.
Thank you for your quick response anyway.
With Metta

Yes, you’re right, sorry for not fully grasping your point!

I came across some cases like this before, is it the case of a cluster of repeated Suttas with different introductory paragraphs?

I remember this was the case in some parts of the SN…

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when a number in a PTS format isn’t listed on SC it means it falls within either the preceding or the following suttas (maybe rather the preceding but i didn’t take time to figure out the pattern)

and it seems it does

Avijjāgato yaṃ, bhikkhave, purisapuggalo puññañce saṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti, puññūpagaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ. Apuññañce saṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti, apuññūpagaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ. Āneñjañce saṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti āneñjūpagaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ. (SN ii 82 -> SN ii 80)

as far as i understand the PTS format numbers refer to portions of a samyutta text as a whole whose division often doesn’t correspond to the division between complete suttas

i guess it’s not practical to list all the numbers when several of them refer to the text of the same sutta


Roman number refers to volume while arabic to page of PTS edition of Pali Canon. You can trace those for example in Yuttadhammo’s Digital Pali Reader for Firefox by search bar or if you have English translation of Samyutta by Bhikkhu Bodhi you can find PTS page numbers in square brackets in text and (I believe) at the top of every page.


@Nimal i’ve changed the topic category to the one i believe to be more appropriate, hope you don’t mind

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