Gatha Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
Vocabulary&Grammar Commentary Pronunciation
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attanam eva pathamaj patirupe nivesaye

athabbam anusaseyya na kilisseyya pandito

(DhP 158)

Sentence Translation:

Let one first establish oneself in what is proper,
and then instruct others. A wise one should not be impure.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

attanam  eva pathamaj patirupe nivesaye
|               |         |               |             |
N.m.     part.   Adv.       Adj.m.    V.act.
Acc.Sg.    |         |          Loc.Sg.  3.Sg.caus.
|________|         |               |             |
        |_________|               |             |
                |                        |_______|

List of Abbreviations

atha  abbam anusaseyya na  kilisseyya pandito
|            |             |           |          |            |
Adv.  Adj.m.   V.act.     neg.   V.act.     N.m.
|       Acc.Sg. 3.Sg.opt.     |    3.Sg.opt. Nom.Sg.
|            |_______|           |______|            |
|__________|                        |__________|

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

attanam: attan-, N.m.: self, oneself. Acc.Sg. = attanam.

eva, part.: just, only.

pathamaj: pathama-, Num.: first. As an Adv.: pathamaj: first of all.

patirupe: patirupa-, Adj.: proper, suitable. Loc.Sg.m. = patirupe.

nivesaye, V.: should settle down, should establish oneself. The verb root is vis- (to enter) with the prefix ni- (into, onto). 3.Sg.act.caus. = nivesaye.

atha, Adv.: then.

List of Abbreviations

abbam: abba-, Adj.: other, different. Acc.Sg.m. = abbam.
Euphonic combination: atha + abbam = athabbam.

anusaseyya, V.: to teach, to advice, to instruct. The verb root is sas- (to teach) with the prefix anu- (according to). 3.Sg.act.opt. = anusaseyya.

na, neg.: not.

kilisseyya, V.: should get impure. The verb root is kilis- (to go bad, to get stained, to be impure). 3.Sg.act.opt. = kilisseyya.

pandito: pandita-, N.m.: wise man, learned man. Nom.Sg. = pandito.

List of Abbreviations

    This verse consists of two syntactically separate sentences. They are:
    1) attanam eva pathamaj patirupe nivesaye athabbam anusaseyya (let one first establish oneself in what is proper and then instruct others). This can be further analysed into two segments:
    a) attanam eva pathamaj patirupe nivesaye (let one first establish oneself in what is proper). The subject is omitted; the verb implies the third person singular pronoun. The verb is nivesaye (should establish oneself, 3rd person, singular, active, causative). It has an attribute, the adjective patirupe (in [what is] proper, locative singular). The object is the noun attanaj (oneself, accusative singular) with its attribute, the adverb pathamaj (first) which is further stressed by the particle eva (just).
    b) athabbam anusaseyya (and then instruct others). Again, the subject is omitted and the verb implies the third person singular pronoun. The verb is anusaseyya (should instruct, 3rd person, singular, active, optative). The object is the adjective abbam (other [person], accusative singular). The adverb atha (then) introduces this segment and connects it to the previous one.
    2) na kilisseyya pandito (a wise one should not be impure). The subject is the noun pandito (a wise one, nominative singular). The verb kilisseyya (should be impure, 3rd person, singular, active, optative) is negated by the negative particle na (not).


    There was a monk named Upananda. He was a very good orator. He would preach eloquently about being satisfied with little, about contentment and about austerity, but actually he was very greedy and always took all he could get.
    Once he wanted to spend the Rain Retreat in one monastery. When he found out that at the end of the retreat the monks there received only one robe each, he decided to go away. But he left his slippers there. It was similar at the second monastery, where the monks usually got two robes - he did not stay but left his staff. At the third monastery he left his water bottle, but himself left, because three robes that monks received there, did not satisfy him. Finally, he spent the Rain Retreat in the fourth monastery, where he received four robes at the end of the retreat. Because he left his things in three previous temples, he also claimed his share of the robes from them!
    So, he set on the way back to his own monastery with ten robes. On the way he met two monks, who could not agree how to divide two robes and a blanket between themselves. Upananda agreed to act as an arbiter. He gave each of them one robe and he himself kept the blanket as a payment for his arbitration.
    The monks went to see the Buddha and reported to him what happened. The Buddha reprimanded Upananda with this verse, saying that before one can teach others, he has to act properly - especially in the subject he wants to teach.

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