Gatha Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
Vocabulary&Grammar Commentary Pronunciation
                          List of Abbreviations

yo ca vassasataj jive apassaj dhammam uttamaj

ekahaj jivitaj seyyo passato dhammam uttamaj

(DhP 115)

Sentence Translation:

Who would live for hundred years, not seeing the highest Law,
better is the life for one day of somebody who is seeing the highest Law.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

yo             ca   vassa+sataj      jive   apassaj dhammam uttamaj
|                  |       |         |             |            |             |              |
Rel.Pron.  conj. N.n. Num.n.   V.act.    Adj.m.    N.m.      Adj.m.
Nom.Sg.      |       |    Acc.Sg. 3.Sg.opt. Nom.Sg. Acc.Sg.   Acc.Sg.
|                  |       |         |             |            |             |________|
|__________|       |_____|             |            |___________|
                   |           |__________|

List of Abbreviations

eka+ahaj      jivitaj     seyyo    passato dhammam uttamaj
|           |             |              |             |             |              |
Num. N.n.       N.n.       Adj.n.    Adj.m.     N.m.      Adj.m.
|      Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg. Gen.Sg.   Acc.Sg.   Acc.Sg.
|______|             |              |             |             |________|
      |                  |              |             |____________|
      |__________|              |                       |

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

yo: yad-, Rel.Pron.: that which. Nom.Sg.m. = yo.

ca, conj.: and.

vassasataj: vassasata-, N.n.: hundred years, century. It is a compound of:
    vassa-, N.n.: year.
    sata-, Num.n.: hundred.
Acc.Sg. = vassasataj.

jive, V.: should live. The verb root is jiv-. 3.Sg.act.opt. = jive.

apassaj: apassant-, Adj.: not seeing. It is the word passant-, Adj.: seeing (it is an of the verb root pas-, to see) negated by the negative prefix a-. Nom.Sg.m. = apassaj.

dhammam: dhamma-, N.m.: Dharma, Law, Buddha's teaching. Acc.Sg. = dhammaj.

uttamaj: uttama-, Adj.: highest, supreme. Acc.Sg.m. = uttamaj.

List of Abbreviations

ekahaj: ekaha-, N.n.: one day. It is a compound of:
    eka-, Num.: one.
    aha-, N.n.: day.
Euphonic combination: eka- + aha- = ekaha-.
Nom.Sg. = ekahaj.

jivitaj: jivita-, N.n.: life. Originally it is a p.p. of the verb jiv- (to live). Nom.Sg. = jivitaj.

seyyo: seyya-, Adj.: better. Nom.Sg.n. = seyyo.

passato: passant-, Adj.: seeing. It is an of the verb root pas-, to see. Gen.Sg.m. = passato.

dhammam: see above.

uttamaj: see above.

List of Abbreviations

    This verse consists of two related sentences. They both form the first and the second lines of this verse respectively.
    In the first sentence, the subject is the relative pronoun yo (who, nominative singular). It has an attribute, the active present participle apassaj (not seeing, nominative singular). This word has itself an attribute, the noun dhammaj (law, accusative singular) with its attribute, the adjective uttamaj (highest, accusative singular). The verb is jive (should live, 3rd person, singular, active, optative). It has an attribute, the compound vassasataj (hundred years, accusative singular). The conjunction ca (and) serves only for metrical purposes.
    In the second line, the subject is the adjective/noun jivitaj (life, nominative singular). It has two attributes. First of them is the compound ekahaj (one day, nominative singular). The second is the active present participle passato (of the one who is seeing, genitive singular). This word has an attribute, the noun dhammaj (law, accusative singular) with its attribute, the adjective uttamaj (highest, accusative singular). The object is the adjective seyyo (nominative singular). The verb is omitted, implying the verb "to be".


    In Savatthi there lived a husband and wife. They had many children and when they grew up, they got married and lived a nice life. The husband then died and the wife, Bahu Puttika, kept all the property to herself. The children asked her many timed to give them their inheritance and promised to look after her well. So at the end she agreed and divided up everything to her children and left nothing for herself.
    She went to stay with her eldest son. But after few days his wife started complaining that she did not give them two shares so how she dares to come to stay with them. Bahu Puttika went to the second son, where the same happened. So she went from one child to another but she was not welcome anywhere.
    She realized that nobody would give her proper care, so she decided to become a nun. Now because she left the home very old, she knew she did not have much time. Therefore she was extremely diligent and practiced meditation with a strong energy. The Buddha saw her effort and praised her with this verse, saying that it was better to live just for a short time but be able to realize the Dharma. A life, which lasts for many years, but is without understanding the Law, is useless. After hearing the verse, Bahu Puttika attained Awakenment.

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