As preached by Buddha there are four types of people in the world, they are ugghaṭitaññū, vipañcitaññū, neyya and padaparama. The last person is definition is here. Can anyone please guide me how how to identified the pada-parama type people.


Based on the comments, I was looking for the definitions of above four types of people and finally found that in Sutta Pitaka -> Kuddaka Nikaya -> Nettiprakaranaya -> Desanāhāravibhaṅga. And the english translation is not yet done, but you can find the pali here.

I've highlighted the important words in below quoted section from above sutta.

Tattha bhagavā ugghaṭitaññussa puggalassa nissaraṇaṃ desayati, vipañcitaññussa puggalassa ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca desayati, neyyassa puggalassa assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca desayati.

  • nissaraṇaṃ = deliverance
  • ādīnavañca = danger
  • assādañca = attractiveness
  • puggalassa = person
  • desayati = lecturing / teaching

So here are three main things in Buddhism which are assādañca, ādīnavañca and nissaraṇañca. And the details of how it relates to the path can be found in [Sotapanna Sutta][3] as below.

And when, monks, the Ariyan disciple understands as they really are the arising and the passing away, the attractiveness and the danger, and the deliverance from the five groups of clinging, he is called an Ariyan disciple who is a Stream-winner, not liable to states of woe,1 assured of final enlightenment.

So in summary, out of the the four persons three has defined the based on what to be taught.

  1. ugghaṭitaññussa -> Teaching deliverance is sufficient.
  2. vipañcitaññussa -> Teaching danger and deliverance is sufficient.
  3. neyyassa -> Has to teach all three which are attractiveness danger and deliverance.
  4. Pada parama -> Can not attain Nivana as he is the one for whom the words are the utmost attainment'.;Whoever, though having learned much, speaking much, knowing many things by heart, and discoursing much, has not penetrated the truth. (this is extracted from here)
  • 2
    I don't want to complain, but another user complained privately that they couldn't find the words you're referring to. Where do they come from? Can you use standard spelling for them? I guess you're writing something as you hear it pronounced, or perhaps Sinhala instead of copying Romanised Pali spelling that the English-speaking users of this site are used to? I think that the words you used correspond to Ugghaṭitaññū, vipañcitaññū, neyyo, padaparamo in AN 4.133 but I had to guess the standard spelling a bit to find it and not everyone will.
    – ChrisW
    Jun 17, 2019 at 0:38
  • Updated the definition of each person after searching for few days.
    – Isuru
    Jun 19, 2019 at 17:19
  • 1
    I don’t share anything, my question is still there, if you read it carefully. I just add some definition as everyone wants to know what those before answering (this is based on comments). Please read before type
    – Isuru
    Jun 19, 2019 at 17:50
  • 1
    @AndreiVolkov, I know, That's why I tried to explain, I'm saying I'm not arguing here, and just tried to explain what I did, that's all (Please know that, English is not my mother tongue). Anyway, If you want me to remove the updated section, I'll remove that. With Metta!
    – Isuru
    Jun 20, 2019 at 11:10
  • 1
    No, it's okay, you can keep it. Just be sure to stay within strictly Q&A format in the future, please.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Jun 20, 2019 at 11:19

4 Answers 4


The Buddha has 10 special powers out of which one is:

  1. The Tathagatha Buddha has realized in the exact way how a person’s abilities develop, how they deteriorate, and accordingly their potential to realize the Dhamma. This is His Sixth power.

Source: The Supreme Buddha with His Ten Powers

Only a fully enlightened Buddha has the above power.

Therefore, there is nobody, other than a future fully enlightened Buddha who can say which category you fall into.

Having said that you can practice the Dhamma and figure out if you fall into the 1st 3. Figuring you if you are in the 3rd or 4th will be tricky because you will not know what about of effort you have to put into the 3rd category and if you have not realised whether you are in the 3rd or 4th.


I wish i knew more about what sutras say about this. Also, some things on the top of my head:

  • You observe whether a persons teachings are congruent with how that person acts.
  • By direct experience. You try out the teachings for yourself to find out whether they work for you or not.
  • By asking for clarifications to see if initial claims can be substantiated further. (A wise person once said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence).
  • Are you sure that there's a sutta which contains these?
    – Isuru
    Jun 16, 2019 at 18:26
  • @follower suttacentral.net/an4.133/en/sujato
    – ChrisW
    Jun 16, 2019 at 20:45
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    @follower As far as i understand puggalapannati 184-5 deals with these things
    – user11699
    Jun 18, 2019 at 7:06
  • 1
    I found the relevant suttas on this.
    – Isuru
    Jun 19, 2019 at 17:22

As said in MN 22 (Alagaddupama Sutta):

Here, bhikshus, some misguided people learn the Dharma — the discourses, the stanzas, the expositions, the verses, the inspired utterances, the sayings, the birth stories, the marvels and the answers to questions — but having learnt the Dharma, they do not wisely examine the purpose of those teachings. Without examining the purpose of those teachings with wisdom, they fail to see its wisdom.

Instead, they learn the Dharma only for the benefit of finding faults with others and for defending themselves in a debate, and they do not enjoy the good for the sake of which one learns the Dharma. Those teachings, wrongly grasped by them, bring them harm and suffering for a long time to come.

Piya Tan comments:

Gombrich, in his interestingly exploratory How Buddhism Began (1996), has done a useful critical study of the two famous parables of the Alagaddûpama Sutta. He begins by pointing out the problem of “scholastic literalism” (his expression):

Texts have been interpreted with too much attention to the precise words used and not enough to the speaker’s intention, the spirit of the text. In particular I see in some doctrinal developments what I call scholastic literalism, which is a tendency to take the words and phrases of earlier texts (maybe the Buddha’s own words) in such a way as to read in distinctions which it was never intended to make.

Gombrich goes on to say that the Buddha is himself aware of the dangers (or disadvantages) of “putting words first” (pada,parama), that is, the last of the four types of unawakened learners. From the Ugghaṭitaññu Sutta, we know that “the word learner” is one, who THOUGH HE HEARS MUCH, RECITES MUCH, REMEMBERS MUCH AND SPEAKS MUCH, is still unable to see the nature of true reality.

From the above we can establish a nice rule of thumb for a practitioner to reflect upon him-or-herself and recognize whether he or she is a pada-rama:

If I know much Dharma but use it mostly as tool for finding the faults with others, instead of implementing its purpose -- the pure mind of Bodhi -- in my every action, every word, and every thought - then I am a pada-parama.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Jun 17, 2019 at 11:05
  • I could find the definitions and updated the question with them.
    – Isuru
    Jun 19, 2019 at 17:47

Upasaka, interested,

My person thinks that modern, western ways are generally a good way to identify Pada-parama. And it's hard to trace any community online being not actually a meeting of merely Pada-paramas. Althought people have amassed so much knowledge people in traditional countries never had, they are not capable to practice anything, since knowledge is not wisdom. Whether another is wise requires to be wise and attentive at first place, and not biased:

"It's through discussion that a person's discernment may be known, and then only after a long period, not a short period; by one who is attentive, not by one who is inattentive; by one who is discerning, not by one who is not discerning." (Ud 6.2)

Further a fool gets angry if it is about wisdom, even he knows much:

"Bhikkhus, a stupid one hearing a talk on wisdom becomes ill tempered, angry, retorts angrily and shows aversion. What is the reason? He does not see the attainment of wisdom in him and does not experience joy and delight on account of wisdom. Therefore to a stupid a talk on wisdom is unpleasant. (AN 5.157)

And only one who knows his own mind would be able to knows that of others and his state:

"Good, monks. It's impossible, there's no way, that a person of no integrity would know of a person of no integrity: 'This is a person of no integrity.'

"Could a person of no integrity know of a person of integrity: 'This is a person of integrity'?"

"No, lord."

"Good, monks. It's impossible, there's no way, that a person of no integrity would know of a person of integrity: 'This is a person of integrity.'"... (Association with People of Integrity)

Nothworthy: while a wise person could possible lack in knowledge, a fool, how much ever knowledge he gains, would never be wise and make use of it for his own and other long term happiness.

One recognices a community if Pada-parama by:

  • no Venerations by word and deed toward the Tipple Gems, elders, Brahmans and monks
  • no joy even on talks on Dana, generosity, not to speak about deeds.
  • no sharing of merits, no rejoicing with gains of others, no wish to talk on such
  • no joy in speaking about Sila, metta in action.
  • no joy in praising father and mother, teacher, and merely disregard them.
  • using commercial sold out Dhamma, or improper gained, seldom ever have received Dhamma
  • are not at all related to the Dhamma
  • do not praise renouncing and going forth, althought they would not have hindances, stay in their homes, defend home-stand as a bette one.
  • their teachers are householders, scholars or those who renounced the training, having gone back tu householder life, or householder-monk.
  • when they give into something then outside the Sangha.
  • they don't respect the traditional culture and origin countries costoms.
  • they are greedy, stingy and hateful, censure, are not welcoming, delete, have no Silas in all regards.
  • they defend rights and are quick in claims, hold wrong views.
  • althought not even basic trainings, they love topics of sunnata, not-self... yet are firm faithless householder at the same time.
  • they would not even invite monks and Brahmans, not even speaking of sacrifices to gain their assistants.
  • At large ingratitude foremost toward parents, teacher and the Tripple Gems. Denying that they have benefit form others yet assuming that having reached Paths and Fruits.
  • incapable to understand the meaning and essence and usually having problems when different words are used dune to strong preoccupation and lack of the ability of de-perception.
  • Endless busy and involved in definition debates which are not conductive for release but seek after reality in perceptions.

It's not so that it should be understood that someone talking less or much, praises less or much, blames less or much, might be a criteria, not at all, since there are four kinds of people found in this world, like clouds:

Valahaka Sutta: Thunderheads

For the community of monks and devoted fellows, they are recogniced as outcastes, not even recognize their state and reiceive and are been given for the most cases like faithful people make sacrifices toward Petas, their poor ancestors, but seldom, having never done merits, they are capable to receive.

As the Buddha told, one should not associate with equal or low if after fast grow, and when giving into the group of sick people, not easy to help, such should be done out of pure compassion only. It because those able to get healthy that those incaplable also receive Dhamma.

It should be easy, even for those not sure, to recognize this sort of people fast, simply look of what they actually sacrifices and whether their own or proper gained and their aspirations, whether household or going forth, and on what they praise and blame.

More on how to recognize people of integrity and there qualities here.

A joyful in merits and possible meeting the Sangha full-moon-Uposatha with much lasting gains everyone.

Addition: another kind (the kind that Nyom Andrei thought to trace, which was actually not talked about in the OP), although fund under the Pada-parama are those who actually have not abound their heritage of other sects. Holding on wrong views they try to interpret things into the Dhamma which aren't its purpose, revile deliberately the teachings. Often will one recognize people of sects like Mahayana or even Christians or the many kinds of materialists (cosmologists), secular people, learning the texts of the Elders without having even taken refuge to the Gems, simply to desturct and oppose them and gain the credits. They pull away the Dhamma from the traditional countries and put them into their museums, found "Sangha" without even monks, honor scholars and put the Dhamma on central places where it can be used even to sell. The first kind, those who are simply not smart enough are nourished by the "Robin hoods", whether in Robes or lay people, who make a livelihood out of sharing the Dhamma.

The usually google all they cite, although never having learned Pali, not used to Asian language, they reinterpret as householders or householder-monks the teachings of the elders, they categorical reject the commentaries of the Arahants and Elders and even Suttas if they think that they do not fit in their ideas. Reject often rebirth, fruits of kamma, benefits in merits... lead and hold strong wrong view and are to be seen as the gatherings around Devadatta, seeking after honor and gain. Just look around as they are easy to trace.

They might do many favors but as soon as they have gained some power, they would take all back or call for repayment. They give 'free' like people share software 'free' for later grater gain and are only after win and gain, tolerate what ever violation of basics, stealing, killing deleting, as long as it serves their low aims. They would even not say "You act again the Dhamma and Vinaya", but "You act against me, my teachings", which explains a lot already and since they would not find Dhamma that it defends their views, if no simply try to delete, censure of banner good and right teachings, they start to say "I know" and put themselves above the Juwels and 2600 years heritage of goodness while enjoying pleasures and live householder lives.

"I appear to be a ugghaṭitaññū person. Therefore, those people that oppose me, i.e., who act as enemies towards me, are probably padaparamo people."


"My father was an Orthodox Christian and I am an Orthodox Buddhist. My posts on Buddhism Stack Exchange are Orthodox Buddhism. Please study them well."

might be samples of what they say, not teaching the Dhamma of the Buddha but their own, after honor and gain, deceitful and calculating they give, doing favors and eat together with those in power, giving them some share and as soon as they find ways, like politic ans, they will try to take over the heritages, eat also those they had given to them.

One here has to be aware that one dwells here in the middle of such people far outside the Dhamma-Vinaya and if not just for doing support out of pure compassion, it is much better to seek out for communities where opposing the elders, ascetics and Brahmans are strict taboos, where sharing of merits, Dana and Devotional deeds are practiced.

See also:

and the many down-voted, deleted or censured questions and answers praising and discussing the basics found here.

May all this help for deep and hard improvement because the bad kamma accumulated here by many is no light and will fall back to them, whether they understand or not. Place yourself under the Gems is ones refuge, ones protections and follow the ways of the elders, even if hard to do as long as not firm in faith. May all by their good actions gain heavens, paths, fruits and beyond, finding right choices with ease or simply follow the wise and their Dhamma. May their faults do not hit them hard by seeing them and change their ways: Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta: The Shorter Analysis of Action

And: Why does it yappen that those incapable to get healed get Dhamma? Because of the other kind of sick people.

Metta and mudita

(Note: this is not given for exchange, stacks, trade or entertainment but as a means for liberation from this wheel.)

  • I could find the definitions of each person. Have a look in the updated question.
    – Isuru
    Jun 19, 2019 at 17:23
  • Sadhu for effort and care, Upasaka @follower. May Upasaka not hesitate to give an "own" answer if seeing clear.
    – user11235
    Jun 20, 2019 at 11:11

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