Metta Sutta, finding it

Bhante, how does one know to select MINOR at this point?
How does one find out that the Karaṇīyamettasutta is included in the Khuddakapāṭha?
This is an example of the problem I often have when using the side bar. Is there anywhere a sutta map that contains such information that can help beginners?


I have exactly this problem too, knowing which collection things belong to… And all the variations of names… already getting a headache… :sweat_smile:


As a layman in my pre-computer and pre-internet days, the resource I would consult most often when searching for a sutta’s location were the two heavy volumes of G.P. Malalasekera’s Dictionary of Pali Proper Names.

Happily for the youngsters of today, the dictionary is now available on Ven. Pesala’s website:


So, if I didn’t already know where the Mettasutta was located, then it’s thither I would hie:


I notice that the whole dictionary can now be downloaded as a self-extracting archive.


This dictionary is a gem of a resource.

Except… it uses the old PTS citation system. Kind of out of the frying pan into the fire :fire::fried_egg:

Bhante, how does one know to select MINOR at this point?

This goes to the heart of why the left side bar is perfect for experienced people and perfectly useless for people who are not. I’m not saying that to complain, just so people who are feeling frustrated don’t think they are missing something obvious. If you already know the citation (and in the case of the KN that it is in the KN) then you can use the side bar to find it. Assuming it is the same citation system (see above comment). But if you already knew the citation, they you could just type it in the URL bar. But unfortunately no where on the site does it mention you can do this.

Again, I’m not complaining. This is a very, very tricky problem. Honestly, the best method for a new person to find something is to ask someone. It’s kind of the original search.

it can also be helpful to see what in the Sutta Central index under ‘metta’.

This is also excellent advice. Unfortunately the link to the index page is still, inexplicably, very very hard to find. I don’t understand why it can’t be put somewhere more obvious and accessible from every page.


Warning: what follows is pernicketty. I offer my detailed process in the hope that it may help others who are motivated to crack the system. :pray:

Thank you for the DPPN Bhante @Dhammanando. It is helpful. But, as @Snowbird says it felt like

First I used the SC search for KhpA.232 and DhA.i.313: no results for either. So I turned to the DPPN and implemented a multistep process:

Metta Sutta.– The eighth sutta of the Uraga Vagga of the Suttanipāta.

Clicking on Suttanipāta lead to

One of the books, generally the fifth, of the Khuddakanikāya.

Clicking on Khuddakanikāya lead to

The fifth and last division of the Sutta Piṭaka.

Now that I had used the DPPN to climb the steps of the ladder upwards, one at a time, it was easy to move to SC and used the sidebar to go down the same ladder using the green dots.

That brought me to the Metta Sutta, not the more often recited Karaṇīyametta Sutta, so I started again. I first searched SC for Sn143 and Sn143-52 and was offered 57 results for each. Then I searched SC for Khp.p.8 and found nothing. The DPPN entry for Karaṇīyametta Sutta simply refers back to the entry Bhante copied into post #23. However I had already found this version by using the SC search for the opening words in English in post #3. :rofl: :rofl:

Actually, I have learned a lot by doing this and will use the same method to understand the place and composition of the Atthakavagga. Many thanks. :anjal:


This is a question about the different numbering systems, continuing to use the same example. I have read some threads that refer differences between SC and PTS numbering and think the two links in this entry are the most useful?

Back to the example, the DPPN gives these references for the Metta Sutta (not Karanīyametta Sutta): (KhpA.232 ff; cp. DhA.i.313 ff)

(‘ff’ means ‘and following’; wht does ‘cp’ mean?)

In total there are four numbers now for one text. Which systems do each of these four numbers belong to please?

I thank you for your patiences. :pray:


:rofl: :joy:

Thanks for your patience to dig all this out!

I didn’t follow the entire thread and won’t attempt to answer everything. Just one point:

I would guess it means “compare”, so perhaps points to a similar topic, but not exactly what you are looking for. So maybe one number less?


Perhaps these questions would be better served in one of the categories dealing with the site structure, like Meta, rather than Q&A which is more for questions regarding textual content?


Thanks, It must. But that doesn’t reduce the number of numbers :rofl: There are still four.

The thing is they all follow directly on from the OP and subsequent discussion of searching for the Metta sutta. So I’d be rather reluctant to split the thread. :frowning:


The whole thing could go, I think.


As far as I know ‘cf’ is normally used for compare


So the A on the end of the abbreviation means it is the commentary. Isn’t that obvious? Not unless you know that the Pali word is Aṭṭhakathā.

For cp., see List of Latin abbreviations - Wikipedia

Used interchangeably with “cf.” in citations indicating the reader should compare a statement with that from the cited source.
Example: These results were similar to those obtained using different techniques ( cp. Wilson, 1999 and Ansmann, 1992).

The KhpA is the commentary to the Khuddaka Nipata. It only has one volume in PTS, therefore no volume number. I’m assuming this was a footnote for the story being explained.

The reason this is showing up is because the Karaniyametta sutta is also found in the Khp. And the commentary, at that time, was only translated from the Khp, not the Snp, I believe.

Both of these are the PTS system. Many background stories are also found in the Dhammapada Commentary (DhpA) and that’s why there is the cp.

So the DhpA is not a citation to the sutta you want.

The Snp 25 is the PTS citation. Again, there is only one volume so it is hard to recognize. In some ways it would be nice if it was written Snp.1.25 or some such thing so it looked more like the other PTS citations.

And even worse is that I believe the official PTS citation for Sutta Nipata is Sn, not Snp. But that doesn’t play well with case insensitive labeling.


Very many thanks to @Snowbird, Ven @Dhammanando and everyone who answered @patricia 's OP and who also worked with me to answer related questions about searching. The Metta Sutta made an excellent case study for me as I’d already found the slow way where it hangs out. As a direct result I was able to resolve other searching challenges. :slight_smile:

I have now downloaded the PTS Catalogue, which seems to be a nice ‘map’ which can complement the DPPN helpfully, and I’m sure that if I keep digging in the PTS website I’ll find out how their numbering system works.

:pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:


There is a nice PTS converter here…
Very valuable for reading papers…


I want to affirm Snowbird’s compassionate comment. For 20 years I’ve been able to track down suttas in the Pali Canon books with relative ease, but SC isn’t so easy. If I don’t already know exactly where to find a sutta, I usually have to pull out the physical books to locate it and only then - armed with precise knowledge of its location - can I manage to find it on SC!


I’m belatedly agreeing with you and shifting this thread as you suggest. The base question has long been dealt with, and the thread is being cited in a a new context.

Additionally it contains some very helpful detailed advice on searching (from post #23 on) that I keep returning to when I get stuck. Actually I’m wondering if we couldn’t use the procedures suggested as the core of a ‘How to Search’ wiki or similar? (@Snowbird, @Dhammanando)