Make a rainbow fall at our feet 🌈 tell us about our mistakes, typos, and other oversights

Besides the semicolon, it’s poetry, and it’s normal for poetry to not always follow the expected syntax. But we don’t have verse formatting on Voice, and even if we had, you couldn’t hear that either (which is the reason why we don’t have it …).

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In MN60:38.1, the Buddha is discussing the types of people who mortify (torment).

The third type of person, the one who “mortifies themselves and others” is rendered as:

It’s when a person is an anointed aristocratic king or a well-to-do brahmin. … His bondservants, servants, and workers do their jobs under threat of punishment and danger, weeping, with tearful faces.

The abridgment (…) here makes the text confusing, since this passage is describing someone who mortifies themselves as well as others. The part explaining how they mortify themselves has been left out.

In his translation, Bhikkhu Bodhi gives a reference to the same text at MN51:10.2 which explains that this person engages in various ascetic practices, thus tormenting themselves as well as their servants.

Without that additional context, it’s hard to understand how this person “mortifies themselves and others”.

@sujato Could this be a candidate for a note?


I’d say this is a better candidate for just filling in the elision. It’s not such a common passage that people should be expected to know it by heart.

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That’s a good option as well. Thanissaro renders it filled in, but I wonder if that could cause issues when trying to read the English and Pali 1:1, since the Pali itself is abridged.

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Thanks @karl_lew ! This is mega helpful! Also that the links to segments will be fixed!


The park pācīnavaṁsadāya is usually translated “Eastern Bamboo Park”, but in Thag 2.18 it is “Pācīnavaṁsa grove”.

With regards to the “scope” regarding language, we find different terminologies in the English translation:

SN22.62:1.2: “Tayome, bhikkhave, niruttipathā adhivacanapathā paññattipathā asaṅkiṇṇā asaṅkiṇṇapubbā, na saṅkīyanti, na saṅkīyissanti, appaṭikuṭṭhā samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhi.
“Mendicants, there are these three scopes of language, terminology, and descriptions. They’re uncorrupted, as they have been since the beginning. They’re not being corrupted now, nor will they be. Sensible ascetics and brahmins don’t look down on them.

  • nirutti = language
  • adhivacana = terminology
  • paññatti = descriptons

DN15:22.6: Ettāvatā adhivacanapatho, ettāvatā niruttipatho, ettāvatā paññattipatho, ettāvatā paññāvacaraṁ, ettāvatā vaṭṭaṁ vattati itthattaṁ paññāpanāya yadidaṁ nāmarūpaṁ saha viññāṇena aññamaññapaccayatā pavattati.
This is how far the scope of labeling, terminology, and description extends; how far the sphere of wisdom extends; how far the cycle of rebirths proceeds so that this state of existence may be be found; namely, name and form together with consciousness.

  • adhivacana = labeling
  • nirutti = terminology
  • paññatti = description

I don’t think they occur elsewhere in this combination, while nirutti elsewhere is still

  • phrasing

    AN5.169:3.1: “Idhāvuso sāriputta, bhikkhu atthakusalo ca hoti, dhammakusalo ca, byañjanakusalo ca, niruttikusalo ca, pubbāparakusalo ca.
    “It’s when a mendicant is skilled in the meaning, skilled in the teaching, skilled in terminology, skilled in phrasing, and skilled in sequence.

  • terminology

    AN5.95:1.3: Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu atthapaṭisambhidāpatto hoti, dhammapaṭisambhidāpatto hoti, niruttipaṭisambhidāpatto hoti, paṭibhānapaṭisambhidāpatto hoti, yathāvimuttaṁ cittaṁ paccavekkhati.
    It’s when a mendicant has attained the textual analysis of meaning, text, terminology, and eloquence, and they review the extent of their mind’s freedom.

    (also an5.86:1.3 and an4.172:4.1)

  • terms

    dhp352:2: Niruttipadakovido;
    expert in the interpretation of terms,

    (the same in thag17.3:15.2)

  • and again terminology

    MN139:3.9: Janapadaniruttiṁ nābhiniveseyya, samaññaṁ nātidhāveyyāti
    Don’t insist on local terminology and don’t override common usage.

MN48:4.3: ‘satthā vo āyasmante āmantetī’”ti.
the teacher summons them.

Closing quote is lacking.

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You are so good at finding these! What a wonderful job and contribution :slight_smile: :pray:


Thank you! I benefit so much from everything this SuttaCentral team does, and it’s a great pleasure to make a contribution if I can.


The “kinds of” people

Especially in the AN, but to a lesser degree also elsewhere, we find a type of suttas that speak of a certain number of “kinds of” people. I am here using THREE as example, but the same applies to any number which is used in this way.

If I search for example for tayome, bhikkhave, puggalā, I find 13 results, of which 4 are translated “mendicants, these three kinds of people …”, while the rest just has “mendicants, these three people …”, without “kinds of”. The latter corresponds more literally with the Pali.

I have been searching for a distinguishing feature between these two versions of translation for a number of years with no success, and am slowly coming to the conclusion that it may perhaps simply be an unnoticed inconsistency …?

In any case, I have decided to make it consistent in my own translation—except for the cases, of course, I haven’t noticed yet.

dhp227:1: Porāṇametaṁ atula,
It’s always been like this,
dhp227:2: netaṁ ajjatanāmiva;
it’s not just today.
dhp227:3: Nindanti tuṇhimāsīnaṁ,
They blame you when you’re silent,
dhp227:4: nindanti bahubhāṇinaṁ;
they blame you when you speak a lot,
dhp227:5: Mitabhāṇimpi nindanti,
and even when you speak just right:
dhp227:6: natthi loke anindito.
no-one in the world escapes blame.

I just notice that all other translators, English and German, that I can find are addressing a person named Atula with this verse. And the Pali has it indeed. So the first line would become:

It’s always been like this, Atula, …

The phrase apāyaṁ duggatiṁ vinipātaṁ nirayaṁ is usually translated “in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell”. But in Iti70:2.2 it is “in a lower realm, a bad destination, a world of misery, hell”.

In MN 49:5.5 (and probably elsewhere in that sutta) abhinandati is translated “approve”. By contrast in MN1 in a similar context it is “take pleasure in”.

MN49:5.3: Ahesuṁ kho ye, bhikkhu, tayā pubbe samaṇabrāhmaṇā lokasmiṁ pathavīgarahakā pathavījigucchakā, āpagarahakā āpajigucchakā, tejagarahakā tejajigucchakā, vāyagarahakā vāyajigucchakā, bhūtagarahakā bhūtajigucchakā, devagarahakā devajigucchakā, pajāpatigarahakā pajāpatijigucchakā, brahmagarahakā brahmajigucchakā—
There have been ascetics and brahmins before you, mendicant, who criticized and loathed earth, water, air, fire, creatures, gods, the Progenitor, and Brahmā.

Add “in the world”; and the same in segments 5.5, 29.5, and 29.8.

MN49:24.1: ‘Sace kho, mārisa, sabbassa sabbattena ananubhūtaṁ, tadabhiññāya mā heva te rittakameva ahosi, tucchakameva ahosīti.
‘Well, good sir, if you have directly known that which does not fall within the scope of experience characterized by all, may your words not turn out to be void and hollow!

If I am not mistaken, the Pali doesn’t explicitly mention “words” to be void and hollow. Could it also be that we have to understand the sentence in a way like this:

Well, good sir, may your directly knowing of that which does not fall within the scope of experience characterized by all not turn out to be void and hollow!


Comment on MN49:29.2:

The verb upanesi here is used by Māra above at mn49:5.12 in the opposite case, where he “presents” Brahmā’s assembly to the Buddha.

It’s in fact used by the Buddha, about Māra:

And so Māra the Wicked presented the assembly of Brahmā to me.

MN49:5.3: Ahesuṁ kho ye, bhikkhu, tayā pubbe samaṇabrāhmaṇā lokasmiṁ pathavīgarahakā pathavījigucchakā, āpagarahakā āpajigucchakā, tejagarahakā tejajigucchakā, vāyagarahakā vāyajigucchakā, bhūtagarahakā bhūtajigucchakā, devagarahakā devajigucchakā, pajāpatigarahakā pajāpatijigucchakā, brahmagarahakā brahmajigucchakā—
There have been ascetics and brahmins before you, mendicant, who criticized and loathed earth, water, air, fire, creatures, gods, the Progenitor, and Brahmā.

Should be “earth, water, fire, air” instead of “earth, water, air, fire”. Again in segment 5.5; in 25.1 it is correct.

dn16:5.27.5 Subaddha → Subhadda

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MN 20:
"Now, suppose that mendicant is examining the drawbacks of those thoughts, but bad, unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate, and delusion keep coming up. They should try to forget and ignore about them. "
change to: … ignore them.

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The term pattakkhandha is usually translated “shoulders drooping”, but in MN50 it is “slouching”.

MN50:29.3: Ajjāpi tyāvuso diṭṭhi,
‘Friend, do you still have the same view


Thag20.1:59.3: Ajjāpi tyāvuso sā diṭṭhi,
‘Sir, do you still have the same view

Āvuso is usually not translated as “friend”, but in MN50 it is. In the parallel passage in That20.1 it is “sir”.

MN50:31.17: Iti māraṁ atajjesi,
That is how, in the Bhesekaḷā grove,
MN50:31.18: bhikkhu bhesakaḷāvane;
the mendicant rebuked Māra.
MN50:31.19: Tato so dummano yakkho,
That spirit, downcast,
MN50:31.20: tatthevantaradhāyathā”ti.
disappeared right there!

In the parallel in Thag20.1 this stanza is set in quotes in the English translation; and that’s what the closing ti of the Pali indicates here too. It seems to be spoken by an anonymous narrator.


Purification of view is only for the sake of purification through overcoming doubt (kaṅkhāvitaraṇavisuddhatthā). Purification through overcoming doubt is only for the sake of purification of knowledge and vision of what is the path and what is not the path.

Suttacentral Dictionary: kaṅkhā

doubt; uncertainty
wish, desire, longing

I would like to question the translation of this word: Is there evidence for translating this word as doubt? The concepts of “doubt” and “wish” are quite different, the translation entry implies this word carries both meanings.

Wisdomlib dictionary: Sanskirt Kaṅkha (कङ्ख)

Enjoyment, fruition.

Wisdomlib dictionary: Prakrit Kaṃkha (कंख)

related to the Sanskrit word: Kāṅkṣ

Wisdomlib dictionary: Sanskirt Kāṅkṣ (काङ्क्ष्)

To wish, desire, long for
Inclination, appetite

Apart from questioning whether pali word kankha has one meaning or two, there is the question of translation of kankha in MN24 : Is purification of view for purification of overcoming doubt. Or is purification of view for purification of wishes/desires?

With the latter choice the text would read as:

Purification of view is for the sake of purification of wishes/desires (kaṅkhāvitaraṇavisuddhatthā). Purification of wishes/desires is for the sake of purification of knowledge and vision of what is the path and what is not the path.

Ahirika is usually translated “lack of conscience”; but there are two sutta titles Ahirikasutta (AN4.219 and AN4.229) where it is translated “imprudence”.

Otappa is usually translated “prudence”, but I found two segments in Iti42 where it is “shame”: Iti42:3.1 and Iti42:4.1.

AN1.624:1.1: “Amataṁ tesaṁ, bhikkhave, abahulīkataṁ yesaṁ kāyagatāsati abahulīkatā.
“Mendicants, those who haven’t practiced mindfulness of the body haven’t practiced freedom from death.
AN1.624:1.2: Amataṁ tesaṁ, bhikkhave, bahulīkataṁ yesaṁ kāyagatāsati bahulīkatā”ti.
Those who have practiced mindfulness of the body have practiced freedom from death.”

(A)bahulīkata is usually rendered with “(not) cultivated”. I think “practiced” is wrong.

AN6.57:9.3: Seyyathāpi, ānanda, puriso daliddo assako anāḷhiko, tassa akāmakassa bilaṁ olaggeyyuṁ: ‘idaṁ te, ambho purisa, maṁsañca khāditabbaṁ, mūlañca anuppadātabban’ti.
“It’s as if they were to force a chop on a poor, penniless person, telling them, “Eat this meat and pay for it!”.

’Eat this meat and pay for it!‘ should be in single quotes.

AN8.13 “They’re sweet-natured and pleasant to live with, and they doesn’t upset the other mendicants.”

I think should be “and they don’t upset”


Comment to MN 53:2.1:

The completion of a town was celebrated by a talk for the Sakyans at sn35.243:1.2 and the Mallas at dn33:1.2.1. Such halls were community meeting places that played a central role in civic society and communal decision-making in democratic republics such as the Mallas and the Sakyans. The Buddha’s participation is a sign of his support for their civic and democratic process.

Did you mean to say “the completion of a town hall”?

MN54:2.2: Āpaṇe piṇḍāya caritvā pacchābhattaṁ piṇḍapātapaṭikkanto yenaññataro vanasaṇḍo tenupasaṅkami divāvihārāya.
He wandered for alms in Āpaṇa. After the meal, on his return from almsround, he went to a certain forest grove for the day’s meditation.
MN54:2.3: Taṁ vanasaṇḍaṁ ajjhogāhetvā aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle divāvihāraṁ nisīdi.
Having plunged deep into it, he sat at the root of a certain tree for the day’s meditation.

Elsewhere, the duplication of “for the day’s meditation” is left out in translation.

MN54:20.1: Seyyathāpi, gahapati, puriso yācitakaṁ bhogaṁ yācitvā yānaṁ vā poriseyyaṁ pavaramaṇikuṇḍalaṁ.

Suppose a man had borrowed some goods—a gentleman’s carriage and fine jewelled earrings—

Elsewhere I find “jeweled earrings”, with only one “l”. It would be good to make the spelling consistent so it is easier for search.

From the PDF of the Therigatha:

page XXX
“…early Buddhism texts…”
I think should read, “…early Buddhist texts…”

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I’m not sure if it’s a mistake or a a peculiarity of certain editions - at the end of Dhammapada sections, it says “YAMAKAVAGGO PAṪHAMO” instead of “YAMAKAVAGGO PAṪHAMO NIṪṪHITO”.

Is this an intentional thing of the edition you’re using or an oversight Bhante?


DN17:2.11.3: atha ca pana maṁ tvaṁ pacchime kāle aniṭṭhehi akantehi appiyehi amanāpehi samudācarasī’ti.
And yet in my final hour, your words are undesirable, unpleasant, and disagreeable!’

appiyehi seems to be lacking in translation; or one of the four adjectives anyway.

I know we generally don’t update legacy texts, but here is a case of an entire sentence/simile dropped"

MN48 translated by Ven. Suddhaso:

“Monks, these are six things that are polite, create affection and respect, and lead to inclusiveness, non-contention, harmony, and unity. Monks, of these six polite things, this is the best one, the all-inclusive one, the unifying one: the perspective which is noble, salvific, and correctly leads its maintainer to the elimination of suffering.

It’s missing:

It’s like a bungalow. The roof-peak is the chief point, which holds and binds everything together.

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