I am amazed at how quickly folks on this SE find detailed quotes from the canon. Are folks using a concordance? (That's what Christians call it for the Bible--it's a dictionary of topics cross-referenced to the source text so that it's easier to look up passages by subject.)

If there is a concordance for the Pali Canon, where can it be found?

  • 2
    I had to look up "concordance" in the dictionary. Do you mean a list of words? If so, there is one here: accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html
    – Anthony
    Jun 26, 2014 at 16:26
  • Make that an answer and I'll vote it up. :-)
    – user50
    Jun 26, 2014 at 16:43
  • Google search also helps.
    – catpnosis
    Jun 27, 2014 at 8:56
  • 1
    Google searches aren't curated. Lots of quantity, little quality. :-)
    – user50
    Jun 27, 2014 at 16:48

2 Answers 2


Here's a list of terms in the Pali Canon that can be used to quickly find particular suttas:


  • 1
    The number of suttas available here is quite limited. And the translations are idiosyncratic. So this is not the best resource available. Better to use one of the electronic versions.
    – Jayarava
    Aug 16, 2015 at 18:47

There is the: Pali Tipitakam Concordance: Being a Concordance in Pali to the Three Baskets of Buddhist Sciptures in the Indian order of letters, listed by F.L. Woodward. 3 Volumes Available from the Pali Text Society: http://palitext.com/ Not much use if you are not familiar with and have the Pali.

A concordance is a work giving the page locations of a list of words or words in passages of a given work or set of works.

A good way to quickly find passages you are looking to research is to use the Pali English Dictionary. (also available from the PTS, and on line at: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/index.html )

The problem with both of these is the need to look things up using the Pali ordering of the letters.

Another way people are using is to look up key words in the CSCD which will give the Sutta Citation which can then be looked up in the various translations available. Obtain the CSCD from the Vipassana Research Institute http://www.vridhamma.org/Chattha-Sangayana-CD-ROM-Update

  • I also use the VRI Burmese Ed. It is far better to have electronic search than a concordance.
    – Jayarava
    Aug 16, 2015 at 18:45

You must log in to answer this question.