Notes on the segmentation of Pali Vinaya with Brahmali's translation


In some cases the paragraphs don’t quite match with the segment breaks. They can easily be found searching for “</p><p>” within a segment.


Right, this would be part of item 2, move all html into segments where possible. In cases where html markup cannot be moved to a segment level, for example inline emphasis, we use markdown, as we do here on discourse. (Actually a specific SC version of markdown called nilakkhana.)


kd14 is entered! It was fun to read an accessible translation and dip into the Vinaya and Pali, thank you! Now I gotta find another task…


Yay!!! Well done @tracy! Your support has been very valuable. You have done a tremendous job.

I have now reviewed eight Khandhakas, including at least one from each one of you, and the quality is very high. There are occasional mistakes, of course, a lack of which would only be attributable to super-normal powers! Not that you haven’t got them, it’s just that I am sure you wouldn’t flaunt them here on the forum. :grinning:

I wish to thank all three of you once more for your generous and kind contribution to this project. I am hoping this Vinaya translation will be of use to monastics and others for a long time to come, at least several decades. What a wonderful thing it is to have this available on the web. And that’s thanks to the three of you!

I wish you all a long and joyful association with the Dhamma.

@sabbamitta @greenTara


Nice name! :orange_heart:


And I would like to thank you in return for patiently answering all our questions, silly or otherwise, and for accompanying our work, never short of encouraging words!

For me this has been a great opportunity to learn both about the Vinaya and Pali. Even if a systematic study of Pali is still waiting for me to come, my knowledge and understanding now is so much better than when I started working on this project. Hopefully that will be very useful in other respects, so thank you for the opportunity! :anjal:


Dear friends, may I echo the celebratory words of Ven Brahmali, and add to the list Brahmali himself! It all looks like it’s coming together fantabulously.

If I understand correctly, everything is done now, is that right? If the work from your part is complete, I’ll download it and get to work.


Yes, you know, sort of. I was hoping to review the input before you download it. I’ve done 9 out 22 Khandhakas so far. But perhaps it is not required? Or rather, perhaps I can do this at a later stage?

One of the problems is that segmentation of the Pali is often awkward. This will make the line-by-line display on SuttaCentral seem awkward too. I was hoping to go through all of this and streamline it. I am wondering, however, whether this can be done on Github, once everything has been uploaded there? Or is the Pali segmenting going to be fixed and unchangeable, as it was in Pootle?


Well, it’s up to you. Once I have finished my work, the whole text will be much cleaner and more consistent, which would make it easier for you. So it really just depends on how you want to work. If it’s something that can be readily done on Pootle, then by all means go ahead. Or if you are happy to work offline also, that is fine, but it may be better to wait until I have done my bit first.

The segmenting can be adjusted, it will not be as rigid as it is on Pootle (which is really just a problem with Pootle’s database.) However it is best to get it right first up and keep any later adjustments to a minimum.

I’m wondering whether you want to make similar adjustments to the Vibhangas?


When it comes to Pali segments that need merging, all I can do on Pootle is mark them with “needs work”. It’s not all that satisfactory, I feel.

Not sure. But it will take me a while to go through the entire Vinaya. If you have the time right now, I think it’s probably better for you to just go ahead. So I say, go for it!

Is this because the segment numbering gets out of whack?


And also, I am still making changes, so if you would please let me know the exact time you intend to download it, that would be very helpful.


Okay, keep going for now, I will tell you when I’m ready to start.


A suggestion for the modification of segment breaks:

In passages like Atha kho āyasmā kaccānagotto yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho āyasmā kaccānagotto bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: (here from the Kaccānagottasutta; but in the Vinaya there are plenty of such instances) the segment usually breaks after ekamantaṃ nisīdi, and then it leaves something like “and said” for the next segment. Wouldn’t it make more sense to merge this sort of segments?


I’ll check. But the basic logic of segment breaks is primarily based on the Pali. If a translation is only a word or two, or indeed nothing at all, it doesn’t really matter.


Okay @brahmali, hold it! I’m off to the wonderful land of Vinaya-standardizing!


Excellent! I shall forthwith stop all work. Please let me know when you emerge at the other end. :pray:


While we’re at it though, do you have a list of abbreviations that you have used in the notes?


I do. I’ll just post it here, unless you want it some other way.

List of abbreviations:

  • ACMC – “On the Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon: with a discussion of the Ceylon date of the Buddha’s death” by T.W. Rhys Davids, 1877, Trubner & Co, London; On the ancient coins and measures of Ceylon : with a discussion of the Ceylon date of the Buddha's death : Davids, T. W. Rhys (Thomas William Rhys), 1843-1922 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
  • AN – Aṅguttara Nikāya, references are to Nipāta number and sutta number.
  • BMC I – The Buddhist Monastic Code I,
  • BMC II – The Buddhist Monastic Code II,
  • BVS – Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies, Bhikkhu Sujato, 2009,
  • CST – Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana Tipiṭaka, The Sixth Council edition of the Pal Canon, VRI version.
  • CPD – Critical Pali Dictionary
  • DA – Dīgha Atthakatha, the commentary on the Dīgha Nikāya.
  • DP – Dictionary of Pali by Margaret Cone
  • HPHM – “Hoary Past and Hazy Memory”, by Oskar von Hinüber, in Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Volume 29, Number 2, 2006 (2008), pp.193-201.
  • Khuddas-pṭ – Khuddasikkhā-purāṇaṭīkā (paragraph number)
  • Khuddas-nṭ – Khuddasikkhā-abhinavaṭīkā (paragraph number)
  • Kkh – Kaṅkhāvitaraṇī (references are to page number and line number of the PTS edition)
  • Kkh-ṭ – Kaṅkhāvitaraṇī-ṭīkā (includes both the purāṇaṭīkā and the abhinavaṭīkā, the old and the new sub-commentary; references are to page numbers)
  • MA – Majjhima Atthakatha, the commentary on the Majjhima Nikāya.
  • MS – Mahāsaṅgīti (references are to volume and paragraph numbers of the Pali on Suttacentral)
  • N&E – Nature and the Environment in Early Buddhism, Bhante S. Dhammika, Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, Volume 6, 2015.
  • NDB – Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, a translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi.
  • PED – Pali English Dictionary, published by the PTS.
  • SAF – “South Asian Flora as reflected in the twelfth-century Pali lexicon Abhidhānapadīpikā”, J. Liyanaratne, 1994, JPTS XX, pp.43-161
  • SED – Sanskrit English Dictionary, by Monier-Williams
  • Sp – Samantapāsādikā (references to volume, page, and line numbers of the PTS edition; or volume number and paragraph number of the CS version.)
  • Sp-ṭ – Sāratthadīpanī-ṭīkā (references are to volume number, part number, and paragraph number; or to volume number and page number: VRI version)[references here are troublesome because volume number does not agree with the four parts of the Canon, when the counting starts from1. Find suitable system and change throughout.]
  • Sp-yoj – Pācityādiyojanā (references to part/volume number and paragraph numbers)
  • TAP – A Translation and Analysis of the Pātimokkha, by Bhikkhu Ñāṇatusita; URL ???
  • Ud-a – The commentary on the Udāna (references to sutta number).
  • Vin – Vinaya Piṭaka (references to volume, page, and line numbers of the PTS edition)
  • Vin-ālaṅ-ṭ – Vinayālaṅkāra-ṭīkā (references are to part/volume number and paragraph number of VRI version )
  • Vin-vn-ṭ – Vinayavinicchayaṭīkā (references are to paragraph numbers)
  • Vjb – Vajirabuddhiṭīkā (references are to volume number and paragraph number of online version, ref.???)
  • Vmv – Vimativinodanī-ṭīkā (references are to volume number and paragraph number of online version, ref.???)
  • VRI – Vipassana Research Institute, the publisher of the online version of the Sixth Council edition of the Pali Canon.
  • Vv-a – Vimānavatthu-atthakathā (references are to paragraph number of the VRI edition)



may i mention a few translation issues?

  • use of slash is bad!
  • I really wish you wouldn’t follow Thanissaro in the sugata measures. He completely ignores the nun’s bathing cloth (surprise!), which ends up as 1M x 0.5M, which is clearly impossible. More basically, Thanissaro seems to treat the sizes as a reasonable size for most people, whereas in fact it must be the maximum size that will work for anyone, even the largest and fattest people.
  • Also incidentally, you give page numbers 565-566 for BMC, but in the online edition it is 456. You also should distinguish between BMC I and BMC II.
  • May I suggest you use a stronger translation for otinno viparinatena cittena? Clearly it refers to a stronger state of mind than saraga, and the translations should reflect this. Perhaps something like “full of perverted lust”. This would also obviate the need to note that not all the terms are rendered in the gloss.
  • More generally, I question the wisdom of translating in such a way as to make the gloss meaningless. What exactly is gained by this? I can understand if there were very many repetitions eliminated, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Surely just adjusting the wording a little will make this unnecessary, and the translation clearer and more transparent?
  • As just a general thing to bear in mind, if you find yourself needing to explain the same term or idea in multiple places, it is better to simply repeat the whole note, rather than refer the reader to another place.
  • In the few instances where there were more than one note per segment, I have combined them. It just makes it easier to process.


It’s not that you “may” mention, you must mention. This is an order! I really value your feedback, so this is great. Keep it coming.

I’ll just file away your suggestions for now and then get back to them once the Vinaya becomes available on Github. There are a few things, however, that we might as well sort out straightaway:

  • I have used slashes because they work. They are meant to indicate alternatives. They do this in an economic and clear may. The alternative is to use “or”, but this leads to long and unwieldy sentences, which inhibits comprehension. Making the text comprehensible has been one of my objectives. So why are slashes bad? And what might be a good alternative?
  • You have a point about the sugata measures. I will probably change this throughout.
  • When it comes to the glosses, I shall review what I have done, with your critique in mind. As a general principle, however, words that need to be glossed in the Pali may not need a gloss for the English equivalent. The need for glosses is quite language specific and depends on the nature of the terms used. Obscure or multivalent terms need a gloss to avoid confusion. But what is obscure or multivalent in one language, may not be in another. So if the purpose of the translation is to render the meaning of the Pali text into English, then to include the gloss just for the sake of completion seems pointless at best.