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

anupubbena medhavi thokaj thokaj khane khane

kammaro rajatasseva niddhame malam attano

(DhP 239)

Sentence Translation:

A wise one should cleanse oneself of impurities, gradually,
little by little, moment by moment - just like a smith does with silver.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

anupubbena  medhavi thokaj thokaj khane   khane
|                         |            |            |         |            |
Adv.               N.m.     Adv.      Adv.   N.m.     N.m.
|                   Nom.Sg.     |_______|     Loc.Sg. Loc.Sg.
|                         |                  |                |_______|

List of Abbreviations

kammaro rajatassa iva  niddhame malam   attano
|                    |         |          |            |            |
N.m.          N.n.    part.   V.act.     N.n.     Pron.
Nom.Sg.  Gen.Sg.    |    3.Sg.opt. Acc.Sg. Gen.Sg.
|___________|         |          |            |_______|
           |__________|          |__________|

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

anupubbena, Adv.: gradually, by and by. It is derived from the word anupubba-, Adj.: successive, gradual. Ins.Sg. = anupubbena. Here as an Adv.

medhavi: medhavin-, N.m.: intelligent person, wise one. Voc.Pl. = medhavi.

thokaj, Adv.: a little. It is derived from the word thoka-, Adj.: little, small. Acc.Sg. = thokaj. Here as an Adv.

thokaj: see above. The repetition thokaj thokaj means "little by little".

khane: khana-, N.m.: moment, while. Loc.Sg. = khane.

khane: see above. The repetition khane khane means "moment by moment", "from time to time".

List of Abbreviations

kammaro: kammara-, N.m.: smith, metal worker. Nom.Sg. = kammaro.

rajatassa: rajata-, N.n.: silver. Gen.Sg. = rajatassa.

iva, part.: like, as (another, more often used form of this word is va).
Euphonic combination: rajatassa + iva = rajatasseva.

niddhame, V.: would remove, cleanse, blow off. The verb root is dham- (to blow) with the prefix ni- (away, off). 3.Sg.act.opt. = niddhame.

malam: mala-, N.n.: impurity, stain, dirt. Acc.Sg. = malam.

attano: attan-, N.m./Pron.: self, oneself. Gen.Sg. = attano.

List of Abbreviations

    The subject of this sentence is the noun medhavi (wise man, nominative singular). The verb is nidhamme ([he] should cleanse, 3rd person, singular, active, optative). It has three attributes, the adverbs anupubbena (gradually) and thokaj thokaj (little by little) and the two-noun phrase khane khane (moment by moment, both in locative singular). The object is the noun malam (impurity, accusative singular), with its attribute, the noun/pronoun attano (of oneself, genitive singular). There is a dependent clause, kammaro rajatasseva (just like a smith [does] with silver). The subject is the noun kammaro (smith, nominative singular). The object is the noun rajatassa (of silver, genitive singular). The particle iva (like, as) connects the clause to the main sentence.


    Once a brahmin saw a group of monks preparing to enter the city for almsfood. They were rearranging their robes in order to go to the city. The brahmin saw that the robes touched the ground and got wet because of dew. So he cleared that place of grass. The next day he saw that the ground is dirty and it soiled the robes. So he covered the place with sand. During the next few days he saw that when the sun is shining the monks sweat and when it rains, they get wet. Therefore he built a shelter at that place.
    When it was ready, the brahmin invited the Buddha and monks for an almsfood. He then explained how he performed this good deed gradually. The Buddha replied him with this verse, saying that one should use every little opportunity to perform good deeds and cleanse one's mind of impurities.

Sentence pronunciation:

Sentence pronunciation

Word pronunciation: