Is there a reference text for the theravada tradition that contains a lists of concepts for quick reference? Such as a text that allows for reference of ideas found in the pali canon when reading, like the 5 aggregates, various lists from the abhidamma, four foundations of mindfulness, fundamentals to advance stuff,etc.. I know this stuff should be committed to memory and not just referenced when coming across in a text but that takes time so until then I am looking for a good physical resource since I don't want to use tech because I find it a hinderence to mindfulness and I am a recovery tech addict.

  • The index page of Ven. Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words" book should have most of the fundamental concepts. For more advanced topics, use the index page of his "Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma" book.
    – santa100
    Mar 12, 2022 at 20:34
  • Thank you I'm reading that now but in order only skipping to the footnotes, didn't think to check out the index.
    – jwe
    Mar 13, 2022 at 2:23

3 Answers 3


Former Bhante Varado made great Dhamma-Dana, but also other generous gifts of Venerables incl. giving broad, light as well deepened view on the Buddhas Dhamma:

Pāḷi-Dictionary Currently implemented dictionaries:

  • Buddhist Dictionary, by late Ven. Nyanatiloka Thera. (classical Theravada approach)
  • ATI Glossary, by Upāsaka John Bullitt.
  • Suttas and Dhammadesanā, addopted Cross-references from the ATI general-index. (basic words in simple language)
  • PTS Dictionary, by the Pali Text Sociaty (in progress).
  • Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms, by Venerable Varado Mahathera.

Three specials, not found elsewhere:

  • all content is given toward Sangha and faithful followers (no copy-thieving)
  • as open to give into (wiki-like), also way to work for liberation and not stay bond by consume (insight as side-effect of giving by keeping Silas)
  • Content from various back-grounds and for various levels of insight as well as knowledge.

Search of words from every page best via search window (right upper corner), pre-listing sites ([dic]... marks dictionary pages).

Much insight by right pāmojja and muditā


AccessToInsight has A Path to Freedom: A Self-guided Tour of the Buddha's Teachings and the General Index by subject. Both of these are helpful.

The book "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi is an excellent anthology of the suttas. The PDF version can be found here.

I strongly recommend this anthology as an authoritative outline of the most important concepts of the teachings, and I quote it below.

However, the sutta translations below may not all be from Bhikkhu Bodhi. They all come from SuttaCentral, instead of the book. Also, some of the sutta numbers, especially those of Anguttara Nikaya, may not match the book, but they refer to the same suttas.

  • 1
    Thank you for this intensely word reply, I shall spend many hours digging in to it.
    – jwe
    Mar 14, 2022 at 5:06

There's a list of lists here -- Dhamma Lists.

There are also the Resources sections of https://www.buddha-vacana.org/

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  • Thank you that list of lists is great.
    – jwe
    Mar 14, 2022 at 5:07

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