Saññāvedayitanirodha: dvandva or tatpuruṣa compound?

The term saññāvedayitanirodha is usually translated as dvandva compound, so its meaning is “cessation of feelings and perceptions”, but Norman stated that it could be translated also as tatpuruṣa: in this case, its meaning would be “cessation of the feeling of perceptions”, with past particile vedayita used as action noun. Is it right?

That seems an interesting question, can you point to where Norman writes this?

PED translates this compound as “cessation of consciousness and sensation”, the first two terms are in a dvanda relationship, the third in a tappurisa with the others (of).

It brings up an interesting question about the relationship between sañña ‘feeling’ and vedayita ‘that which is felt/ perceived/experienced’. It makes sense then, perhaps, for PED to move sañña to ‘consciousness’.
Or I suppose all three terms could be in a tappurisa relationship (of), as Norman proposes

One thing this seems to show, to me, is the difficulty in rendering these Pali terms with English equivalents! (Feeling, perception, consciousness, etc. )

1 Like

Sure! This is the Norman’s page:, particularly the first three rows and note 49. If I understood correctly, if we take saññāvedayitanirodha as dvandva compound its meaning is “cessation of feelings and perceptions”, while if we take it as tatpuruṣa its meaning become “cessation of the feeling of perceptions”. But I’m not sure that I’ve rightly undestood what Norman says. Can you help me to clarify?

Thanks for the scan, although I can’t tell which paper this is from.

Norman seems to say that it’s possible to take the 3 terms in the two ways you have described. But in his 3rd paragraph he uses the traditional dvanda/tappurisa reading.


The book is “A Philological Approach to Buddhism” (1997), chapter “Buddhism and its origins”, page 27. Thanks for your time and answers, stephen, you’re always kind and very competent in pāli language.

1 Like