Thanissaro Bhikkhu Glossary?

I have been enjoying the Access to Insight website but would appreciate reference to the specific dictionary that Thanissaro Bhikkhu is using so I can backtrack and understand his choices in translating the Pali. I respect that Thanissaro has likely developed his own preferences and original language.

My familiarity with Pali is limited and I am unsure when I am reading the translation if I am assuming the correct Pali terms. For instance, in SN 22.83 is “possessiveness” one of the uppadaana’s? Which one? Something else?

The Access to Insight Glossary is very good but I can’t figure out a way to use it in order to answer the question of which Pali term is being translated as possessiveness.

Thank you for your consideration.



Welcome to the forums, @Perplexed1ne :slight_smile: I changed your post to the Q&A category since it seems to fit better here. Hopefully someone can help you with your question.

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The contextual method of identifying meanings is recommended, which is used by Thanissaro himself:

"to see how different passages in the canon throw light on one another."

For example in SN 22.83, Thanissaro’s description says it relates to stream entry (because the themes of impermanence and personality belief both apply to it), so since personality view is one of the fetters abandoned there, the upadana form would be ‘theories about the self’.

Trying to discern meanings through translations of individual words should be abandoned.

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That is enormously helpful. Thank you :pray:

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Hi. Bhikkhu Sujato’s translations include the Pali. (Press the ‘grey wheel cog’ to find and activate the Pali text). The Pali term in SN 22.83 is ‘upādāya’, which Bhikkhu Sujato has translated as ‘grasping’ & Bhikkhu Bodhi as ‘clinging’.

‘Reverend Ānanda, the notion “I am” occurs because of grasping, not by not grasping.

upādāya, āvuso ānanda, asmīti hoti, no anupādāya.

gerund. of upādiyati (which I assume is a verb).

upādāna might be a noun

Therefore, to answer your question, the relevant term in the Thanissaro Bhikkhu Glossary is ‘upādāna’, as you suggested.

Regards :slightly_smiling_face:

P.S. Also, having just learned what a ‘gerund’ is, I think Thanissaro Bhikkhu should have translated ‘upādāya’ as ‘taking possession’ rather than ‘possessiveness’.

Gerunds are words that are formed with verbs but act as nouns. They’re very easy to spot, since every gerund is a verb with ‘ing’ tacked to its tail. There are no exceptions to this rule.

In the sentence "Everyone enjoyed Tyler’s singing , the word “singing” is a gerund.