John Kelly's Pāli Class 2024 (G&K) Class 1

Thread for discussing Pāli Class (G&K) Lesson 1 for the class on March 10th/11th 2024.


Meeting ID: 829 5896 1475
Passcode: anicca

Homework to be done before this class:

  1. Read Gair and Karunatillake Introduction, pages xi through xvi.
  2. Review 1st eight chapters of de Silva’s Pāli Primer (if you haven’t already) - just the grammar sections (not so much the vocab or exercises).

Review 1st eight chapters of de Silva’s Pāli Primer (if you haven’t already) - just the grammar sections (not so much the vocab or exercises).

Students can download it from this page, for example:



I hope you, @johnk and @stephen, wouldn’t mind me asking questions about the Pali Primer here.

I’m watching @stephen’s video no. 2. Stephen cited as an example of the use of the ablative case this sentence:

vedanā paccayā taṇhā

The meaning is: Because of feeling, there is craving.

Question about parsing (my way of understanding a foreign language): both vedanā and taṇhā are nouns. If paccayā is also a noun in the ablative case, then what is the grammar of this sentence?

Thank you.


Not entirely sure what you mean, but something like:
From the condition of/ vedana / [there is] / tanha.


For new G&K students, my following comment is totally in the weeds and you can ignore!

Hi Dheerayupa :heart_eyes: Also, adding to Stephen’s comment, see pg. 89 in Warder where he gives this very example (when he talks about use of the ablative in philosophical statements).

Obviously I’m not the pāli expert here, but I recalled it from our previous lessons. I hope you are doing well!

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Gosh… you’ve got an excellent memory!

Actually, Dheerayupa, since this thread is for Lesson 1 of a beginning Pāli class, and the majority of people signed up for it, I would assume, know almost NOTHING about Pāli at this point, I would prefer questions like this be posted in the Miscellaneous Pāli Class Topics thread. Your question, it seems, is for more advanced Pāli students like yourself and Beth and others.

But, coincidentally, as it happens, in my introductory class in about 10 days time, I will be talking about some features of the Pāli language and an excerpt from this formula for Dependent Origination was one of my examples. :smile:

I will answer your question now over in the other thread.

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So, the syntax is something like…

The word paccayā qualifying the noun vedanā,
the two words become an adjectival phrase “vedanāpaccayā” to qualify the word taṇhā

The verb ‘to be’ is omitted.





Yes, John explained it more clearly in the other thread.
It’s a classic ablative !

Big thanks to you too. Your Pali Primer course is just great. I also love it that you have added outside but useful/ interesting info. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

greetings! round 2 of my post/response to join this beginner’s Pali class. i originally responded with my interest on another thread due to my unfamiliarity with this platform - apologies for these basic questions. will we receive confirmation of registration and where should i be looking for this if so?

with gratitude


Hello Manal. There is no formal registration for the course. It’s just a matter of responding on either of these threads expressing your interest, as you have done. See you on Zoom in 8 days time.

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Greetings everyone.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all on Zoom in about 8 days time.

Note: I have renamed this thread as “… Class 1”, as opposed to “… Lesson 1”, as I had it originally. This is to avoid any confusion with the fact that the Gair and Karunatillake book is divided into 12 Lessons or chapters, and my Pāli classes won’t match those lesson numbers.

Next week will be a very introductory session where:

  1. we will all get to know each other a little,
  2. I will point out many of the main features of the Pāli language and it’s differences with English,
  3. we will go through, in some detail, the Pāli alphabet and pronunciation (which is actually very simple compared to learning English as a 2nd language),
  4. I’ll introduce some of the online resources available to us.

Over the following weeks, in general we will spend approximately two classes on each of the twelve G&K lessons, thus this course should run for about 25 weeks, in total.

While some of you who have signed up for this class have learned some Pāli in either the recent or distant past (including a few who were in the class with Bhante Sujato and me that finished last month), I know that most of you have no experience studying Pāli at all. And that is the level at which I will be pitching this class.

I assume everybody has by now the text book we will be using - A New Course in Reading Pāli by Gair and Karunatillake - or at least has it on order. Even though it is available as a pdf online, I recommend having the printed copy so you can write on it, mark it up, etc.


I use a Foxit program (free version) to take notes on the PDF file. An alternative to writing on our paper copy. :slight_smile:

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Hi @johnk
Will the live zoom session be recorded and shared afterwards? Timezone clash.
Please let me know.

I would like to enroll in the Pali class. Thank you.


Will the live zoom session be recorded and shared afterwards? Timezone clash.

Yes, it will be.


Welcome, Jim! Confirmed.

@johnk I would like to enroll for this course and receive recordings. Thank you

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  Yes, confirmed, Bindu
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