Pāli Term: Uppilāvitattaṃ

Dear all,
I am not sure about the Pāli word uppilāvitattaṃ in the sentence: tatra tumhehi na ānando na somanassaṃ na cetaso uppilāvitattaṃ karaṇīyaṃ. I take it as sandhi of uppilavati (past participle) and atta. Atta perhaps with the meaning “rendered by” or “fully, completely” – I would thus venture to translate: “expression of hearts uplift.” No translation I consulted takes it in this way but translate instead uppilāvita simply as “lifted up” (in heart). This seems to my eye being an unwarranted omission. What is your take on that? Thank you very much!


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Actually it’s an abstract, lit. “upliftedness”. The ending is not atta = “self”. Generally speaking when translating abstract forms it is not always necessary to convey the grammatical form. In this case you could say, “experience upliftedness”, but “feel uplifted” would be better. Idiomatically, “don’t get too excited”.

Handy hint: for words that start with vowels or ka (including many negative forms) you can use the Critical Pali Dictionary online:


Our NCPED also has the correct meaning and derivation:



Thank you bhante for the repeated helping hand, much appreciated! :anjal:

Why does atta appear here, what’s its function? I found for atta the most compatible meaning, in want of a better personal understanding, perhaps: “4. attha, mfn. [sa. asta, pp. of √2as], thrown, cast, sent; rendered by”. Atta was given as a seemingly viable but wrong reading for attha. So I thought of “to express upliftedness” or something. Could it be so?

Thank you, yes, very well. I regularly use it.

Much Mettā

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Good evening Bhante, I am afraid -atta here can’t be derived from attha or atta as ‘self’. In fact, it is not even an ‘-atta’ but rather an ‘-tta’. ‘-tta’ is an abstract suffix comparable to German -heit and English -ness and -ty. It even has etymological connections to the German -tum as in Heidentum or Heiligtum. Its nearest relative is the Sanskrit and Vedic -tva. -tta does not ave any lexical meaning as such, it is rather used to modify existing words (nouns, participles, possibly adjectives) to give them an abstract meaning:

  • Puthujanna- + -tta- + -ṃ > puthujannattaṃ ‘the state of a worldling’
  • Deva- + -tta- + -ṃ > devattaṃ ‘divinity, the state of being a deva, Göttlichkeit’
  • An- + -añña- + -tta- + -ṃ > anaññattaṃ ‘sameness, the state of being the same, Gleichheit’

Generally, -tta- can also be frequently found in participles due to numerous assimilations of final stem consonants with the -ta suffix.

Besides, I would strongly recommend to avoid interpreting something as an ‘incorrect’ or ‘corrupted’ reading (e.g. ‘-attha- to -atta-’) unless you have reviewed all possible grammatical and phonological explanations, reviewed other words with the same or similar Auslaut, checked out all available textual recensions, looked into Sanskrit or Vedic for possible etymological relations and ruled out all other possibilities. Pali is too unfamiliar and weird for us for there to be any other way :pray:t2:


Thanks, yes, just to confirm this is the abstractive suffix -tta, not the word atta.


Thank you Vstakan! Very thoroughgoing and helpful your analysis. :ok_hand:

In taking it as a possible wrong reading I, of course, was just following the dictionary, far from being able to meet with the parameters you mentioned to determine it myself.

If I may ask further: What is and was your syllabus? With what aids did you approach the language? Thank you!

With Mettā

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Now it is also backed up, thank you!

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In that particular case I looked up how many words contain *atta in the Critical Dictionary of Pali that Bhante Sujato had so helpfully linked. After that I looked up a couple of these words in the PTS Pali Dictionary that also provides their Sanskrit counterparts. Having Sanskrit counterparts helps in establishing the initial phonological structure of the word. After that, deciphering a word is a piece of cake. Reading Geiger or Warder is also very helpful (especially Warder, I have recently started to read him on my way to work, and I am quite impressed by how nice this book is).

Generally, I am not very good at Pali. In fact, I am rather bad at it. However I have the advantage of being educated in the linguistics and having some experience with other languages that helps me out sometimes. In some ways, it is like riding a bycicle, it is hard to explain how you do it, but when you learn it you can’t unlearn it.


Sorry for my late reply, I was deterred by travelling.

I see, I got the impression that you are actually quite good at it, but thanks for sharing your background a bit – I thought initially that you study Indology in Berlin. Do you happen to know some Buddhist communities there? I lived in a Thai temple in Berlin for a short period …


I wish I would study Indology. As for the Buddhist commnities, yes I know a couple. I don’t have much time, but when I have I visit the Buddistische Haus in Frohnau as it is relatively nearby to my place. There are other predominantly German Theravadin groups in Berlin but the Buddhistische Haus is my favourite. Some German people showing up there can be quite weird as you surely know, less of a Buddhist type and more of a cocktail of exoteric traditions, but they are harmlessly weird. I don’t really know much about ethnic Theravadin communities except that there are quite a few of Thai ones, but I know where they are. Which one did you live in, bhante?

Interesting. Actually I thought of visiting das Buddhistische Haus ( I have never been there though), since I heard one could live there kind of secluded and unbothered, would you think so? The vinaya-standard I suspect to be rather low to non-existent, I suspect due to my previous experiences with Sri Lankan monasteries outside Sri Lanka itself, would you deem that to be the case? (For lay practitioners surely less affecting). Why is it your favorite by and large?

What keeps you from studying Indology? :slight_smile: I think there is Harry Falk as professor … quite good I suppose.

I lived at Wat Pah Bodhidhamm. Very neat, quiet and nicely surrounded by a lot of forest, though perhaps some weird people too … :slight_smile: Yes, predominantly ethnic centered … I also had some contact to Ajahn Piyadhammo and Phra Leif, which both happen to have small places and communities. I like Ajahn Piyadhammo’s sutta-based efforts and approaches in educating his students and furthering there practice, he himself and his community are very warm – I can recommend contact to both these monks.

I would humbly suggest answering you via PM so that we don’t go too far off-topic :anjal: