|Gatha||Sentence Translation||Sentence Structure|
Who is of extremely bad morality, like a creeper spread
over a Sala tree,
he will do unto himself, what an enemy wishes to do unto him.
salam iva otthataj
| | | | | | |
Rel.Pron. Adj. N.n. N.f. N.m. part. Adj.n.
Gen.Sg. | Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg. Acc.Sg. | Nom.Sg.
| |________| | |_____|______|
|_____________| |_________| |
List of Abbreviations
so tatha attanaj
| | | | | | | |
V.act.in. Pron.m. Adv. N.m. Rel.Adv. Pron.m. V.act.in. N.m.
3.Sg.pres. Nom.Sg. | Acc.Sg. | Acc.Sg. 3.Sg.pres. Nom.Sg.
|___________|______|_____| | |_______| |
|____| | | |___________|
yassa: yat-, Rel.Pron.: that, which. Gen.Sg.m. = yassa (whose).
accantadussilya-, N.n.: extremely bad
morality. It is a compound of:
accanta-, Adj.: extreme, complete, thorough, absolute.
dussilya-, N.n.: bad conduct, behavior, character. It is the word silya-, N.n.: conduct, behavior, character, with a prefix du- (bad). Euphonic combination: du- + silya- = dussilya-.
Nom.Sg. = accantadussilyaj.
maluva: maluva-, N.f.: creper. Nom.Sg. = maluva.
salam: sala-, N.m.: a Sala tree, a kind of tree. Acc.Sg. = salam.
iva, part.: like, as (another, more often used form of this word is va).
Adj.: spread over, strewn over. It is a p.p. of the verb root thar-
(or thar-; to spread) with the prefix
ava- (over). We would expect the Nom.Sg.f. (otthata)
here, but the Nom.Sg.n. (otthataj)
is used instead, because of metrical reasons.
Euphonic combination: iva + otthataj = iv'otthataj.
List of Abbreviations
karoti, V,: do. The verb root kar-. 3.Sg.in.act.pres. = karoti.
so: tad-, Pron.n.: it. Nom.Sg.m. = so.
tatha, Adv. thus, in such way.
attan-, N.m.: self, oneself. Acc.Sg. = attanaj.
Euphonic combination: tatha + attanaj = tath'attanaj.
yatha, Rel.Adv.: as, just like.
naj: ena-, Pron. In Pali used only in Acc.Sg.m.: naj (him).
icchati, V.: wants. The verb root is is-. 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = icchati.
diso: disa-, N.m.: enemy. Nom.Sg. = diso.
List of Abbreviations
The main sentence is in the second
line. It runs:
karoti so tath'attanaj yatha naj icchati diso (he will do to himself, what an enemy wishes [to do unto] him). This can be further analysed into two segments:
1) karoti so tath'attanaj (he will do to himself). The subject is the pronoun so (he, nominative singular). The verb is karoti (does, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). The object is the noun attanaj (to himself, accusative singular). The adverb tatha (thus, in such way) introduces the sentence and connects it to the following segment.
2) yatha naj icchati diso (what an enemy wishes [to do unto] him). The subject is the noun diso (enemy, nominative singular). The verb is icchati (wants, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). The object is the pronoun naj (him, accusative singular). The relative adverb yatha (as, in what way) introduces the sentence and connects it to the preceding segment.
In the first line, there are two clauses. They are:
a) yassa accantadussilyaj (who is of extremely bad morality). The subject is the compound noun accantadussilyaj (extreme bad morality, nominative singular). The relative pronoun yassa (whose, genitive singular) connects the clause to the main sentence.
b) maluva salam iv'otthataj (like a creeper spread over a Sala tree). The subject is the noun maluva (creeper, nominative singular). It has an attribute, the past participle otthataj (spread over, nominative singular; as we said, the feminine form otthata would be expected here). This past participle also fulfills the role of a verb. The object is the noun salam (on a Sala tree, accusative singular). The particle iva (like, as) connects the clause to the main sentence.
Some monks were discussing the subject
of Devadatta, the Buddha's cousin, amongst themselves. They summed up all
his bad actions: he got the confidence of prince Ajatasattu
by unfair means, thus trying to gain fame. He instigated the prince to
kill his own father, king Bimbisara and to
become the king himself. Devadatta even tried to kill the Buddha for three
The monks reported the matter to the Buddha and added that Devadatta was a man without shame and morality. The Buddha then said that Devadatta was trying to kill him in many if the past lives. The Buddha spoke this verse, saying that immoral people will destroy themselves - just like a creeper strangles the tree on which it is spread.