1. Is there any reference scheme for paragraph in Sutta? How it can be presented in numerical notation?
  2. Is there any complete translation of all tipitaka into English language (not leaving any single Sutta without English translation)? And
  3. Any good Pali-English online dictionary available?

3 Answers 3


Is there any reference scheme for paragraph in Sutta? How it can be presented in numerical notation?

There are two (or maybe three) that I've seen, to reference a sutta:

  • Two are used in Access to Insight, for example a sutta like Sigalovada Sutta is numbered as (see the top of the page, above the title) "DN 31" and/or "PTS: D iii 180". The second one, "PTS", is the Pali Text Society's numbering.

  • Dharmafarer's numbering for that same sutta includes:

    • D 31
    • D 3:180-193
    • D 3.8 (Dīgha Nikāya 3, Pāthika Vagga 8)
  • Sutta Central uses the same pair of numbers, i.e. "DN 31" and "DN iii 180".

See also this answer to the question 'Tripitaka Section Numbering'. A deleted comment to that answer says that there are a few major numbering schemes: PTS, Buddha Jayanthi, Royal Thai, Burmese, SLTP, and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi et. al., Access to Insight.

When I answer questions I like to include a hyperlink to the sutta I'm citing (I think that's the clearest way to reference a sutta and the easiest for other people to read).

To reference a paragraph, I give the name, number, and hyperlink of the sutta, and then copy-and-paste (block-quote) the relevant paragraph -- for example, like this from the Sigalovada Sutta (DN 31):

One portion for his wants he uses,
two portions on his business spends,
the fourth for times of need he keeps.

Alternatively Sutta central lets you create a hyperlink to any fragment (including though not necessarily paragraphs): use the mouse to highlight the section you want to quote, click on the thing that pops up which says "Link to selected text", and it will say "URL Copied". Then you can paste the link into the answer; the link for example looks like this: https://suttacentral.net/en/dn31/45.355-

Is there any complete translation of all tipitaka into English language (not leaving any single Sutta without English translation)?

There are several online collections of translations, I think the most complete (not necessarily the best) is Sutta Central's. I try Sutta Central when the sutta I'm looking for isn't listed elsewhere.

Any good Pali-English online dictionary available?

There's a PTS dictionary here: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/

It needs you to use the right non-ASCII letter when you search, so to search for "Ditthi" for example I would:

  • Type di in the search box
  • Click on "Search entry words only (not definitions)"
  • Click on "Words starting with (Example: bud)"
  • Press the Search button

That finds words including Diṭṭha which is the correct spelling (note the non-standard with a dot underneath, which I wouldn't know I need to search for: that's why I search by prefix).

Another reference I like is http://www.buddha-vacana.org/ -- it has a glossary and side-by-side word-for-word translations of a few of the most famous suttas.

I've also seen people recommend, or say that they use, this Digital Pali Reader (also available here for Android).

  1. The standard reference scheme in the West seems to be the Pali edition of the Pali Canon published by the Pali Text Society. One often finds it referenced in the standard English translations at the top of each page. Unfortunately, it is only useful to Pali specialists who have this edition of the Pali Canon.

Each part of the Pali Canon has its own reference scheme. Unlike the King James Bible, for example, each text has its own internal structure, ranging from simple to complex. Here are some examples: V:III.4.2[72] (III.2) (Horner, Book of the Discipline, p. 125); DN 21:[263]1.6 (ii 268) (Walshe, Long Discourses of the Buddha, p. 323); AN VII:64(11)(7) (IV 96) (Bodhi, Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, p. 1067); etc.

The Burmese Pali Tipitaka is also online at http://www.tipitaka.org. It uses a system of sutta and paragraph references that do not necessarily correlate with the English editions.

A critical edition of the Pali Canon in English is in preparation, based on all Pali editions. Hopefully this will simplify the matter (when it is completed).

  1. The Pali Text Society has published English translations of nearly all of the Pali Canon. These are available in North America from Pariyatti (http://www.pariyatti.org).

  2. The best and standard Pali-English dictionary is still the Pali-English Dictionary of Rhys Davids and Stede, published by the Pali Text Society.


Is there any reference scheme for paragraph in Sutta? How it can be presented in numerical notation?

This is not universal but here is: Sutta lists and indexes by Piya Tan. These indices give the reference numbers to Sutta Discovery (SD) and PTS schemes. Also multiple indices at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-sutta.html, etc.) which included PTS and their own Scheme.

Also see: https://suttacentral.net/sutta_numbering which highlights the scheme used in the site which modified vertion of the PTS scheme which is used in the Indices on the site but Meta data is found for other numbering schemes within the Suttas. Also if you go to the side bar (you have to navigate to a sutta 1st and click on textual information you get couple of paragraph numbering schemes. This is not complete and varies depending on the Sutta. E.g. Mūla­pariyā­ya­sutta has paragraph numbering of Suttacentral {SC}, PTS and Wisdom Publication Paragraph Number {WP} at the time of writing. E.g. https://suttacentral.net/pi/mn1#1 {SC}, https://suttacentral.net/pi/mn1#pts1.1 {PTS}, https://suttacentral.net/pi/mn1#wp2 {WP}). Paragaph 3 in the WP scheme is: https://suttacentral.net/pi/mn1#wp3.

The Burmese edition numbering see http://www.tipitaka.org as menioned in this answer by @alexander-duncan.

Buddha Jayanti (BJT) has another schemes, e.g., see Mūlapariyāyasuttaṃ (from http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/ which is a mirror of now defunt http://metta.lk) which has meta data on the BJT scheme and PTS.

Each edition seems to have their own Scheme. Many online editions generally tend to cross reference the PTS edition. This with the Sutta name can perhaps help in navigating across editions. Also there are lesser know editions: A P de Soyza

Is there any complete translation of all tipitaka into English language (not leaving any single Sutta without English translation)? And

Even the PTS edition is missing the Yamaka, hence there is no complete translation. But the whole Tripitaka is translated but you have to collect from different sources and authors.

The Pali Canon & Related Works by Piya Tan does mention some of the translations available.

Any good Pali-English online dictionary available?

Searches multiple dictionaries / sources.

  • Is there a dictionary at suttacentral.net ?
    – ChrisW
    Nov 21, 2016 at 2:21
  • There are dictionaries. Click on dictionary after searching. Nov 21, 2016 at 2:28
  • I do not see why you ask the obvious when I have mentioned it in the text. Nov 21, 2016 at 2:39
  • I asked because I'd never seen a dictionary on that site, and didn't know it existed. After you mentioned, I looked for it but I didn't see it; and so I asked you, to double-check. I found it now, thank you.
    – ChrisW
    Nov 21, 2016 at 2:55

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