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

bahuj ve saranaj yanti pabbatani vanani ca

aramarukkhacetyani manussa bhayatajjita

(DhP 188)

Sentence Translation:

People, driven by fear, go for the refuge to many places:
mountains, forests, gardens, trees and shrines.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

bahuj ve saranaj    yanti   pabbatani vanani    ca
|            |        |             |             |            |          |
Adv.   part.  N.n.    N.n.       N.n.    conj.
|            |   Acc.Sg. 3.Pl.pres. Acc.Sg.  Acc.Sg.    |
|_______|       |             |              |______|______|________________I.
       |             |_______|___________|
       |_______________|        |

List of Abbreviations

arama+rukkha+cetyani  manussa bhaya+tajjita
|                |           |             |           |          |
N.m.      N.m.     N.n.      N.m.     N.n.   Adj.m.
|                |       Acc.Pl. Nom.Pl.     |     Nom.Pl.
|_________|______|             |           |______|
I.___|                                  |_________|

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

bahuj: bahu-, Adj.: many, much, a lot. Here as an Adv.: much, a lot.

ve, part.: indeed.

saranaj: sarana-, N.n.: refuge. Acc.Sg.: saranaj.

yanti, V.: go. The verb root is ya-. = yanti.

pabbatani: pabbata-, N.n.: mountain. Usually a N.m., but here as a neuter. Acc.Pl. = pabbatani.

vanani: vana-, N.n.: forest. Acc.Pl. = vanani.

List of Abbreviations

ca, conj.: and.

aramarukkhacetyani: aramarukkhacetya-, N.n.: parks, trees and shrines. It is a compound of:
    arama-, N.m.: park, garden.
     rukkha-, N.m.: tree.
     cetya-, N.n.: shrine.
Acc.Pl. = aramarukkhacetyani.

manussa: manussa-, N.m.: human being, person, man. Nom.Pl. = manussa.

bhayatajjita: bhayatajjita-, Adj.: driven by fear. It is a compound of:
    bhaya-, N.n.: fear, fright.
    tajjita-, Adj.: moved, spurred, driven. It is a p.p. of the verb root taj- (to frighten, to drive).
Nom.Pl.m. = bhayatajjita.

List of Abbreviations

    The subject of this sentence is the noun manussa (people, nominative plural). It has an attribute, the adjective compound bhayatajjita (driven by fear, nominative plural). The verb is yanti (go, 3rd person, plural, active, indicative, present tense). It has an attribute, the adverb bahuj (a lot). The particle ve (indeed) serves mainly for metrical purposes. The object is the noun saranaj (for the refuge, accusative singular). It has three attributes: the noun pabbatani (to mountains, accusative plural), the noun vanani (to forests, accusative plural) and the compound aramarukkhacetyani (to gardens, trees and shrines, accusative plural). The word vanani is connected to the previous attribute by the conjunction ca (and).


    When the father of the king Pasenadi of Kosala, Maha Kosala, was reigning, he had a head priest, named Aggidatta. When Maha Kosala died, Aggidatta gave up his position and wealth and became an ascetic. He had many followers and lived on the border of Anga, Magadha and Kuru countries. His teaching to the people was: pay homage to forests, mountains, trees and shrines. By doing so, you will be freed from all evils.
    Once the Buddha sent Venerable Moggallana to teach the Dharma to Aggidatta. When Moggallana arrived, he asked for a place to spend the night. They refused to let him stay with them. Close to that place was a cave where lived a very powerful Naga and Aggidatta sent Moggallana there, thinking Naga would kill him. Moggallana and the Naga had a duel, but at the end the Naga was subdued and spread his hood over Moggallana's head, showing him respect.
    In the morning, Aggidatta and his pupils went to the cave to find out what happened. When they saw the Naga holding his head over Moggallana, they were surprised and paid respects to Moggallana.
    When the Buddha arrived there, Moggallana got up from his seat and paid homage to the Buddha, saying that he was only a disciple, the Buddha was his teacher. When Aggidatta heard that, his respect for the Buddha was only greater. The Buddha admonished them with this verse (and following ones, DhP 189, DhP 190, DhP 191, DhP 192), saying that trees and mountains are not a real refuge; only the Three Gems (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) are the highest refuge.
    Aggidatta and his pupils attained Arahantship immediately. They all became monks. Later, lay disciples of Aggidatta came to that place and were confused. Who was more powerful? Aggidatta or the Buddha? Aggidatta got up from his seat and paid homage to the Buddha, saying that he was only a humble disciple, the Buddha was the highest teacher.

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