一切 & sarva


There is a difference. 一切法 means “all dharmas” and 諸法 means “(many) dharmas”. 諸 usually just makes plurality explicit.

In Chinese (like English) 一切 can be a pronoun as well as an adjective, but in that case it usually isn’t placed in front of a noun to avoid ambiguity. I’ve seen this usage in translations of Indic texts.

I’ve also seen sarvaloka in Chinese, but I usually read loka as a metaphor for the human race. “All the world” usually means “everyone in the world.” Unless the passage is talking about all the worlds in a chiliocosm, but that’s a different story.


I think the example above was sarvaloke, in the locative, as “all over the world”.


That would make sense for the way it reads in Chinese. It could be replicated with a locative preposition in translation, but the term for world commonly doubles as all inclusive of human society, so it was probably considered equivalent if the passage was talking about, for instance, all the people and gods of the world assembling for a teaching, etc. That’s an example I recall off the top of my head in Chinese texts I’ve worked with.


Agreed. Sarvaloke functionally means everything located in the world, but that world itself, grammatically speaking, is declined in the singular.


Yes, it’s a single collection of many things, so it’s literally singular but understood to mean something plural (people, places)–hence the applicability of “all.” In English and Chinese, there would probably be a tendency to read “all” as a pronoun: “All the nation was in agreement.” I’m not well-versed in Indic grammar–perhaps it’s a case of bending rules?



In the EBT doesn’t “sabba” just mean everything we experience via the senses? So it’s about a focus on phenomena, and away from speculation about ontology.


While researching pronouns for another project, I did notice that sarva is a pronominal adjective in Sanskrit. It’s non-standard to read all as a pronoun when it’s a modifier, but it makes sense in certain contexts.