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

ko nu haso kim anando niccaj pajjalite sati

andhakarena onaddha padipaj na gavesatha

(DhP 146)

Sentence Translation:

What laughter? Why joy? When everything is constantly burning?
Covered by darkness, you do not seek light?

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

ko           nu    haso        kim       anando niccaj pajjalite     sati
|                |        |             |              |            |           |            |
Pron.m.  part.  N.m.     Pron.n.     N.m.     Adv.   Adj.m.   Adj.m.
Nom.Sg.    |   Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg.     |      Loc.Sg.  Loc.Sg.
|_________|____|              |_______|             |           |_______|
         |____________________|                    |__________|

List of Abbreviations

andha+karena   onaddha  padipaj  na gavesatha
|               |             |              |         |          |
Adj.      N.m.     Adj.m.      N.m.   neg.
|           Ins.Sg.  Nom.Pl.   Acc.Sg.   |     3.Pl.pres.
|________|              |              |        |______|
       |____________|              |________|

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

ko: kim-, Inter.Pron.: who. Nom.Sg.m. = ko.

nu, part.: then, now.

haso: hasa-, N.m.: laughter, mirth. Nom.Sg. = haso.

kim: kim-, Inter.Pron.: who. Nom.Sg.n. = kim. Here rather means "why, "what for".

anando: ananda-, N.m.: joy, delight. Nom.Sg. = anando.

niccaj, Adv.: perpetually, constantly.

pajjalite: pajjalita-, Adj.: burning, in flames. It is a p.p. of the verb root jal- (to burn) with the strengthening prefix pa-. Loc.Sg. = pajjalite.

List of Abbreviations

sati: sant-, Adj.: existing, being. It is an of the verb root as- (to be). Loc.Sg. = sati.

andhakarena: andhakara-, N.m.: darkness, blindness. Lit. "blind-maker". It is a compound of:
    andha-, Adj.: blind.
    kara-, Adj.: doing. As an N.m.: one, who makes, maker. It is derived from the verb kar-, to do.
Ins.Sg. = andhakarena.

onaddha: onaddha-, Adj.: bound, tied, covered. Nom.Pl.m. = onaddha.

padipaj: padipa-, N.m.: light, lamp. Acc.Sg. = padipaj.

na, neg.: not.

gavesatha, V.: seek, look for. Originally it is a compound of the noun gava-, N.m. (the compound form of the word go-, N.m.: cow) and the verb root is- (to seek). = gavesatha.

List of Abbreviations

    Two lines of this verse form two sentences. They are:
    1) ko nu haso kim anando niccaj pajjalite sati (What laughter? Why joy? When everything is constantly burning?). This can be further analyzed into three parts:
    a) ko nu haso (What laughter?). The subject is the noun haso (laughter, nominative singular). It has an attribute, the interrogative pronoun ko (what, nominative singular). The particle nu (then) serves only for metrical purposes. The verb is omitted, implying the verb "to be".
    b) kim anando (Why joy?). The subject is the noun anando (joy, nominative singular) with its attribute, the interrogative pronoun kim (what, why, nominative singular). Note that we cannot translate the word kim simply as "what", because the noun anando is a masculine. The pronoun should therefore be ko (as in the first part). We have to take the pronoun kim more as an adverb - "why", "whence". As before, the verb is omitted; the verb "to be" is implied.
    c) niccaj pajjalite sati (When everything is constantly burning?). This sentence is in so called "absolute locative" It can be literally translated "in [what is] constantly burning". The subject is in locative: pajjalite (in burning, locative singular) and it has the adverb niccaj (constantly) as an attribute. The verb is in active present participle and that is in locative too: sati (in being, locative singular). We usually translate the absolute locative with the help of the word "when" or "while".
    2) andhakarena onaddha padipaj na gavesatha (Covered by darkness, you do not seek light?). The subject is the past participle onaddha (covered, nominative plural) with its attribute, the compound andhakarena (by darkness, instrumental singular). The verb gavesatha (seek, 2nd person, plural, active, indicative, present tense) is negated by the negative particle na (not). The object is the noun padipaj (light, accusative singular).


    Visakha was one of the most famous female lay disciples. She was very devoted and generous. Once, some men from Savatthi asked Visakha to be a companion to their wives, who were frivolous and liked to drink alcohol. Their husband hoped that Visakha could have positive influence on them.
    Once, the group of women went to the garden. The wives secretly brought some liquor and got drunk. When Visakha found out about it, she was angry and reprimanded them.
    At another occasion, the women wanted to go to the garden again. Visakha refused, remembering what happened the last time. So they requested to go to the Jetavana monastery to pay respect to the Buddha.
    After arriving at the monastery, the ladies again got drunk from the liquor they brought secretly along. Mara further influenced their minds and the women started to behave shamelessly: they were dancing, singing and jumping about.
    When the Buddha saw this, he used his supernormal powers. He let the room get dark and illuminated the sky with rays of strong light. The women were frightened and awed at the same time. They got sober quickly.
    The Buddha admonished them for their behavior and for getting drunk. He told them that drinking alcohol brings pain and unhappiness, it clouds our minds and then we are more likely to get under influence of evil passions.
    At the end of the discourse, all the ladies were firmly established in the path and returned home mindfully and peacefully.

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