"Not with a wholesome root of inferior measure
do beings arrive in the Buddhaland of Limitless
Life Thus Come One."

     Sakyamuni Buddha continues to answer the
question he himself raised of why beings should
make the vow to be born in the Buddhaland of
Amitibha Buddha, also called the Buddha Amitayu
"Limitless Life." The following words were already
explained in VBS #129, page 21: sariputra
amitayusas,  tathagatasya, buddhaksetre,  sattva.
In this lesson the final -a of kusalamulena
"wholesome root" combines with the initial a-
of amitayusas to make one long a although they
are two separate words--a regular feature of
external sandhi, for which previous lessons may
be consulted.  There is a similar combining of
the final -a of na "not" and the initial a- of
avaramatrakena "of inferior measure."

    The phrase "not with a wholesome root of
inferior measure" is expressed by two compound
words in Sanskrit which occur in the instrumental
case negated by the indeclinable word na.
The instrrumental case conveys the meaning "with,
by, because of, due to, by means of." The noun
in the phrase is kusalmulena, composed of the
adjective kusala "wholesome/good" and the noun
mula "root," which is neuter in gender. That
kind of compoundd is called a descriptive compound,
because the first word describes the
second.  It is modified by the compound adjective
avaramatrarka "of inferior measure." The
adjectival suffix -ka expresses English "of".
Avara is the adjective meaning "inferior/low/
mean." Again, this is a descriptive compound,
for avara describes the noun in the compound:-
matra "measure/quantity/size/number/degree."
It is feminine in isolation, but appears with
a final -a in the compound, and the adjective
as a whole agrees with the noun it modifies and
so is neuter singular.

   Upapadyante is the finite form of the verb
that occured in its participial form in VBS
#129: upapanna(s/h).  Its subject is sattva(s)
"being" and it means "do arrive." The form is
third person plural present indicative middle.
The meaning of the sentence is that if living
beings do not have a great many good roots--
if their root of goodness is not well-developed
--they simply will not be able to reach the
land of Amitabha Buddha.  Therefore, to be born
there means one has great good roots.