Ksana – Pali Canon Search Engine & Reader

Even if you may be familiar with Tipitaka.Org’s online Tipitaka search engine you might not know that this search engine is, indeed, open source software and free to download:


So with a 60MB download you get a web based complete edition of the Chatta Sangayana Pali Tipitaka with a VERY fast search engine.

Here is a picture:

It should look familiar to those of you who have used the search engine hosted at tipitaka.org.

However their server seems to be a bit slow rendering the results – using this engine offline returns results in an instant. On the right column you can enter parts of words (suffix/prefix) and the program will list you all possible words found in the canon which spell similar.

If you click on one of those the middle lower window will show all passages in the pali canon where the word occurs. If you click on “Goto text” in one of those result paragraphs, the middle upper window will show you the entire text this passage was found in.

If you prefer to look up individual books or know the correct spelling of a word but just want to look it up, you would use the left menu.

Now, the only thing missing, would be a hack to integrate the PED. But as this whole thing is open source (yes, you can get the sources as well) this should not be that much of a big deal.

Cons: However, there seems to be a difference between the version accessible at tipitaka.org and the one you can download for free: If you search for a word like “sallakkheti” it does not return any results whereas the tipitaka.org version shows 59 hits. Unfortunately only the top 50 words will be displayed on the word-lookup menu in the right frame and not all links will load the respective text passage (there seems to be a bug if the word occurs just once).

Summary: overall, this simple tool is surprisingly efficient, fast and comprehensive. A big sadhu! and “pin siddha wewa” in the direction of the developers. The only other complete pali canon reading/searching tool right now coming close is Frank Snow’s CST4, IMHO.

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