Is there a Pali word for a "range" or "cluster" of suttas?

In some cases we find a group or cluster of suttas (or Vinaya rules, etc.) that is, in the original manuscripts, grouped together. Such texts are identified with a range in SC, eg. sn12.72-81.

These are distinct from peyyālas or vaggasuttas (i.e. a whole chapter treated as a sutta).

Reason: I’m assigning a “type” to every entity in SC, so that we can match up vagga for vagga, for example, or recognize that a “samyutta” and a “nipata” are at the same “level” of the hierarchy. By convention I’m using Pali terms for all “types” that occur in the texts, and English for purely artificial constructs (like the division of suttas by 100s in SA).

Is there a word in Pali that is used for this? Alternatively might we invent one, say, gaṇasutta?

Related, is there a Pali word for a “class” of Vinaya rules?

@Dhammanando @Brahmali


Actually, don’t worry, I’ve decided to just call them peyyala. I had wanted to avoid that, to distinguish between things that are “called” peyyala and those that are abbreviated without being called such. But this is such a minor distinction, best not worry.

I’m still interested in the Pali word for class of Vinaya rules!

1 Like

Perhaps the five or seven āpattikkhandhā?


As for the other question, I took a quick look at all the compounds containing sutta in the Saṃyutta Atthakathā and Ṭīkā, but I’m afraid I didn’t find anything that looked like it would fit the bill. I thought at first that suttavaṭṭi might prove to be a promising candidate, but it turned out to mean “a ball of string”.


Good idea. And it’s actually found in the Vinaya. (Note that I’m creating URL-friendly IDs, so I can’t rely on diacriticals or plurals.)

In several cases we have a similar problem where a kind of individual “thing” is often simply referred to as “the things” and I’m trying to figure out a name for the set.

  • khandhaka = “the Khandhakas” but I can’t use that. Could I use khandhakakkhandha?!
  • pakinnaka = pakinnakakkhandha?
  • kammavaca = kammavacakkhandha?

I am not sure how much it matters to get the right word, or whether it’s meant as a largely meaningless group classification. If the meaning matters, I am not sure if khandha is ideal in all the situations you mention here. My impression - without doing any research - is that khandha often refers to a “class” of related phenomena. This is certainly what we see in the five khandhas or the āpattikhandhas. Even in sīlakhandha is seems close to meaning a class.

But I get the feeling you are after something more amorphous that may refer to a collection in a very loose sense. I think a suitable word for this would be saṅgaha or saṅgahita (or sangaha/sangahita if you wish to avoid diacritics). This literally means “taking together”, and as such presumably could refer to any collection of items. Saṅgahita is actually used in a similar way in the Parivāra.

Actually, rāji may be even better. According to PED it means “a streak, line, row”. It gives the example of pabbatarāji, “a range of mountains”. Might this be close to the mark?


It’s just I’d like to use the traditional term if there is one. But I got āpattikkhandha out of it, so that’s good!

If there’s no traditional term I’ll probably use an English word to convey that fact.

1 Like