Gāthā Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
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dunniggahassa lahuno yatthakāmanipātino

cittassa damatho sādhu cittaṃ dantaṃ sukhāvahaṃ

(DhP 35)

Sentence Translation:

Good is the taming of the mind, which is difficult to restrain, quick,
jumping at whatever it desires. Restrained mind brings happiness.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

dunniggahassa  lahuno  yattha+kāma+nipātino
         |                  |           |           |          |

    Adj.n.          Adj.n.  Rel.Adv. N.m.  Adj.n.

   Gen.Sg.       Gen.Sg.      |______|     Gen.Sg.

         |                  |                 |_________|



List of Abbreviations

cittassa   damatho sādhu   cittaṃ     dantaṃ sukha+āvahaṃ
      |             |          |            |              |           |           |

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

Gen.Sg.  Nom.Sg.    |      Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg.    |      Nom.Sg.

___|              |          |            |_______|            |______|

   |_________|          |                   |______________|


Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

dunniggahassa: dunniggaha-, Adj.: difficult to restrain. The word niggaha-, N.m.: restraining is derived from the verb root gah- (to hold) with the prefix ni- (down). The word is transformed to and adjective by the prefix du- (difficult, bad). The double n is due to the euphonic combination (du + niggaha = dunniggaha). Gen.Sg.n. = dunniggahassa.

lahuno: lahu-, Adj.: light, quick. Gen.Sg.n. = lahuno.

yatthakāmanipātino: yatthakāmanipātin-, Adj: jumping at whatever it desires. It is a complex compound of:
    yatthakāmaṃ, Adv.: according to one's desire. The disappearance of the final -ṃ is only

    an omission, perhaps due to the metrical requirements. It can be further analyzed as:

        yattha, Rel.Adv.: where.

        kāma-, N.m.: desire, pleasure.

    nipātin-, Adj.: falling down, chancing upon. It is derived (by the way of adding

    the possessive suffix -in) from the verb root pat- (fall) with the prefix ni- (down).

Gen.Sg.n. = yatthakāmanipātino.

List of Abbreviations

cittassa: citta-, N.n.: mind. Gen.Sg. = cittassa.

damatho: damatha-, N.m.: taming, subduing, restraint, control. Derived from the verb dam- (to restrain, to control, to tame). Nom.Sg. = damatho.

sādhu, Adv.: good, well.

cittaṃ: citta-, N.n.: mind (see also above). Nom.Sg. = cittaṃ.

List of Abbreviations

dantaṃ: danta-, Adj.: restrained, tamed, controlled. It is a p.p. of the verb dam- (to restrain, to control, to tame). Nom.Sg.n. = dantaṃ.

sukhāvahaṃ: sukhāvaha-, Adj.: bringing happiness. A compound of:
    sukha-, N.n.: happiness.

    āvaha-, Adj.: bringing, causing. Derived from the verb root vah- (to carry) with

    the prefix ā- (towards, to).

Nom.Sg.n. = sukhāvahaṃ.

List of Abbreviations

    This verse consists of two grammatically separated sentences. One is: dunniggahassa lahuno yatthakāmanipātino cittassa damatho sādhu (good is the taming of the mind, which is difficult to restrain, quick, jumping at whatever it desires). Here the subject is damatho (taming, nominative singular). The verb is omitted, therefore we have to supply the verb "to be". An attribute to this verb is the adverb sādhu (well). The object is the word cittassa (of the mind, genitive singular). It has three attributes; 1) dunniggahassa (of the difficult to restrain one), 2) lahuno (of the quick one), 3) yatthakāmanipātino (of the jumping-at-whatever-it-desires one). They all have to agree with the object and are therefore in genitive singular.
    The second sentence is cittaṃ dantaṃ sukhāvahaṃ (restrained mind brings happiness). Here the subject is the word cittaṃ (mind, nominative singular). It has an attribute, the past participle dantaṃ (restrained, nominative singular). The verb is again omitted, the verb "to be" again being implied. The word sukhāvahaṃ (happiness-bringing, nominative singular) forms an attribute to this verb.


    Sixty monks received their meditation subjects from the Buddha and they went to the village of Mātika. There the mother of the village headman, called Mātikamātā, built a monastery for them and gave them alms food regularly. So they decided to spend the Rain Retreat there. She asked them to teach her some Dharma and they taught her the 32 body parts and awareness of the body's decay. She practiced diligently and attained the third (last but one) stage of awakenment. She also attained some supernormal powers; she was able to read other people's minds. She used this power and saw that the sixty monks have not so far attained anything. She saw, that they all had potential for arahantship, but they needed proper food. So she gave them alms food and soon they all became arahants.
    At the end of the retreat they went back to the Buddha and reported what happened. A certain monk decided to go to the same village. Mātikamātā personally came to the monastery and gave him alms food. He asked her about her supernormal powers, but she evaded this subject. He got scared that she will see his impure mind and left the village.

    He told the Buddha about his fears, but the Buddha sent him back, telling him to control his mind under all circumstances. So the monk went back, thinking only about his meditation subject. Mātikamātā made sure that he had enough alms food and the monk too attained arahantship soon.

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