Pali Level 3

Would you like to read and understand the Pāli canon for yourself? Do you want to be able to check translations instead of blindly relying on them? Did you ever ask yourself: “Is that really what the Buddha and his disciples teach in the Pāli canon?”

This course is the third and last step to your mastery of Pāli! It contains 24 lessons, each with one lecture, several exercises and further materials such as factsheets covering the essential points from the lesson and vocabulary lists. All this enables you to learn whenever and wherever you want, fitting the learning into your individual schedule.

The course is cumulative, meaning that the lessons build upon each other but you are free to navigate through the course as you like. You can skip all exercises and just do the lessons if you want. You can view Lecture 1, then jump to Lesson 17, then do the exercise of Lesson 3 – whichever way you want to do it. However, a completion rate of 80% for all exercises of the entire course is necessary if you want to receive a certificate. Don’t worry: you have an unlimited number of attempts for all the exercises.

Access to a Pāli dictionary is helpful throughout the course – luckily, one of the best complete dictionaries is available for free online, as a searchable database: The Pāli Text Society’s Pāli English Dictionary


A few facts about this Pāli course:

Content: 24 Lectures, amounting to 3.5 hours + 24 Factsheets + 24 Vocabulary Lists + more than 200 Exercises
Duration: 4-5 weeks based on 3-4 hours of self-study per week
Difficulty: Advanced (previous knowledge, equal to the content of Pāli Level 1 and Pāli Level 2, is required)

Note that once bought, your access to the course does not expire. When we update the course – for example by adding material or exercises – you will automatically have access to the new version.

This course is the third Level of our 3-Level Pāli instruction. Level 1 and Level 2 are already available.


Learning Objectives for Pāli Level 3:

  • Understanding further applications of the pronominal system:
    – indefinite, interrogative and relative pronouns
    – the relative pronoun yad, and the deictic pronoun idaṃ
  • Understanding the verbal system in greater detail, including:
    – the causative formation, the future tense and the infinitive
  • Understanding more complicated types of compounds:
    – adverbial & bahubbīhi compounds
  • Understanding noun stems in –ar and –an
  • Understanding more complicated Pāli idioms:
    – seyyathāpi, yatra hi nāma, na cirassa, uttari manussadhammā
  • The grammar of some important Pāli chants:
    – the pañca- and aṭṭha-sīla
    – the iti pi so gāthā
  • Readings from three important discourses of the Buddha:
    – The Great Discourse on the Destruction of Craving (Mahā-taṇhā-saṅkhaya Sutta, MN 38)
    – The Discourse on the Advice given to Puṇṇa (Puṇṇovāda Sutta, MN 145)
    – The Discourse on the Characteristics of Not-self (Anatta-lakkhaṇa Sutta, SN 22.59)
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