Jump to content


Pali 101

  • Please log in to reply
No replies to this topic

#1 Yuttadhammo


    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Wat Chom Tong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Posted 01 May 2006 - 02:06 PM

Here's my first contribution to this website - copied over from the e-sangha:

Vacīvibhāga, bhāga 1


Words that are nāma are of three kinds: nāmanāma, guṇanāma, sabbanāma.


A word that is the name of a person, animal, place, or thing/object is called nāmanāma.

nāmanāma is of two kinds:

1) sādhāraṇanāma - a name that can be used in common regarding other people, animals, places, etc. For example, manusso (human), tiracchāno (animal), nagaraṃ (city), etc.

2) asādhāraṇanāma - a name that cannot be used in common by anything else. For example, Dighāvu (a boy named Dighāvu), Erāvaṇo (the elephant Erāvaṇa), Savatthī (the city Savatthī).


A word that describes the characteristics of a nāmanāma, in order to help one know whether it is good or bad, etc., is called a guṇanāma. For example, paņņavā = "having wisdom", and puriso = "man". According to our langage, the meaning [of these two words together] is "a man who has wisdom". puriso is a nāmanāma. paņņavā is a guṇanāma.

guṇanāma are of three levels:

1) pakati - describes simply whether the nāmanāma is good or bad (etc.). e.g. paṇḍito = is a wise one; pāpo = is evil.

2) visesa - describes the nāmanāma to be better or worse (etc.). e.g. paṇḍitaro = is more of a wise one; pāpataro = is more evil.

3) ativisesa - describes the nāmanāma to be the best or worst (etc.). e.g. paṇdittamo = is the wisest one; pāpatamo = is the most evil.

visesaguṇanāma may be formed by putting the suffix tara or iya on the end of a pakatiguṇanāma, or using the prefix ati (=very) at the beginning.

ativisesaguṇanāma may be formed by putting the suffix tama or iṭṭha on the end of a pakatiguṇanāma, or using the prefix ati and the participle viya (ativiya = beyond compare) at the beginning.