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

vārijo va thale khitto okamokata ubbhato

pariphandatidaṃ cittaṃ māradheyyaṃ pahātave

(DhP 34)

Sentence Translation:

Like a fish, thrown from all abodes on a dry ground
this mind trembles in order to leave Mara's realm.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

vārijo       va      thale      khitto  okam+okato ubbhato
|                |           |            |          |         |         |

N.m.       part.    N.n.     Adj.m.   N.n.  Adv.   Adv.

Nom.Sg.    |     Loc.Sg.  Nom.Sg.   |_____|         |

|                |          |_______|               |________|

|_________|_________|                             |

                 |      |______________________|



List of Abbreviations

pariphandati idaṃ       cittaṃ   māra+dheyyaṃ pahātave
      |               |               |          |            |             |

V.act.in.     Pron.n.      N.n.     N.m.    N.m.      V.inf.

3.Sg.pres.  Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg.    |      Acc.Sg.        |

      |               |________|           |______|              |

      |____________|                         |___________|



Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

vārijo: vārija-, N.m.: fish. Etymology: it is a compound of:
    vāri-, N.n.: water.

    -ja-, suf.: born. Derived from the verb jan- (to be born).

Nom.Sg. = vārijo.

va, part.: as, like.

thale: thala-, N.n.: dry ground, land. Loc.Sg. = thale.

khitto: khitta-, Adj.: thrown, cast. It is a p.p. of the verb khip- (to throw, to cast). Nom.Sg.m. = khitto.

List of Abbreviations

okamokato, Adv.: from all abodes. The phrase okam+oka-, N.n.: abodes; oka-, N.n.: home, abode, shelter. The letter m in between two words is just the result of euphonic combination. The form okato (from the abode) is the old ablative from the Sanskrit form of the word. Because the following word (ubbhato) begins with u-, the final -o changes to -a.
Another explanation for this phrase takes the first oka+m- as the contraction of the word udaka-, N.n.: water. Then the phrase would translate: from the watery abode. This explanation is favored by most translators, even by the ancient commentator Buddhaghosa.

ubbhato, Adv.: both, twofold, in both ways.

pariphandati, V,: quiver, throb, tremble. The verb root phand- (to twitch, to move) with the prefix pari- (all around, completely). 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = pariphandati.

List of Abbreviations

idaṃ: idaṃ-, Pron.: this. Nom.Sg.n.: idaṃ.

cittaṃ: citta-, N.n.: mind. Nom.Sg. = cittaṃ.

māradheyyaṃ: māradheyya-, N.m.: the Realm of Mara. A compound of:
    māra-, N.m.: Mara, the Evil One, Death.

    dheyya-, N.m.: realm, kingdom. Originally a grd. of the verb root dhā- (to put,

    to place, to claim).

Acc.Sg. = māradheyyaṃ.

pahātave, V., inf.: in order to leave. The verb root hā- (to abandon) with strengthening prefix pa-. The infinitive in -tave is very old, actually from Vedic Sanskrit. It has the meaning of "in order to" or "so as to".

List of Abbreviations

    The subject of this sentence is the word cittaṃ (mind, nominative singular) with its attribute, demonstrative pronoun idaṃ (this, nominative singular). The verb is pariphandati (trembles, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense).
    The first part of the verse forms a subordinate clause to the main sentence: vārijo va thale khitto okamokata ubbhato (Like a fish, thrown from all abodes on a dry ground). Here, the subject is vārijo (fish, nominative singular). The past participle khitto (thrown, nominative singular) fulfills the role of the verb. The object is thale (on the ground, locative singular). Two adverbs (okamokata, from all abodes; ubbhato, both) are attributes to the past participle khitto. The particle va (as, like) connects this clause to the main sentence.

    The end of the verse forms another clause. It expresses the reason for the action in main sentence. There is a verb in its infinitive form. It is so called dative infinitive. Thus pahātave means "in order to leave". The object is māradheyyaṃ (Mara's realm, accusative singular).


    The story for this verse is the same as for the previous one (DhP 33). Our mind is indeed wavering, writhing and difficult to restrain, like a snake or a young branch. An arrow maker making an arrow has to straighten it first; otherwise it would be a worthless arrow. In the same way, we have to straighten the mind; otherwise we cannot hit the goal with it.
    When we want to leave Mara's realm, the world, the mind trembles and flickers just like a fish thrown on a dry ground, suddenly without its familiar surroundings, unable to relate to this new situation.

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