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

dīghā jāgarato ratti dīghaṃ santassa yojanaṃ

dīgho bālānaṃ saṃsāro saddhammaṃ avijānataṃ

(DhP 60)

Sentence Translation:

Long is the night for a wakeful; long is a yojana for a tired.
Long is the Samsara for the fools who do not know the true Dharma.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

dīghā    jāgarato      ratti     dīghaṃ  santassa yojanaṃ
|                 |              |             |            |             |

Adj.f.      Adj.m.     N.f.        N.n.     Adj.m.     N.n.

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

|__________|_______|             |_______|_______|

         |_____|                                 |___|

List of Abbreviations

dīgho    bālānaṃ saṃsāro saddhammaṃ a+vijānataṃ
|                  |           |                |             |         |

Adj.m.      N.m.    N.m.         N.m.       neg.  Adj.m.

Nom.Sg. Gen.Pl. Nom.Sg.    Acc.Sg.       |    Gen.Pl.

|                  |           |                |             |_____|

|                  |           |                |__________|

|                  |______|______________|

|________________|         |


Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

dīghā:dīgha-, Adj.: long. Nom.Sg.f. = dīghā.

jāgarato: jāgarant-, Adj.: wakeful, awake. It is an a.pr.p. of the verb jāgar- (to be awake).
Gen.Sg.m. = jāgarato.

ratti: ratti-, N.f.: night. Nom.Sg. = ratti.

dīghaṃ: dīgha-, Adj.: long. Nom.Sg.n. = dīghaṃ.

santassa: santa-, Adj.: tired. It is a p.p. of the verb sam- (to be weary, to be tired).
Gen.Sg.m. = santassa.

List of Abbreviations

yojanaṃ: yojana-, N.n.: a measure of length, as much as can be traveled with one yoke of oxen. A distance of about 10-11 km. Nom.Sg. = yojanaṃ.

dīgho: dīgha-, Adj.: long. Nom.Sg.m. = dīgho.

bālānaṃ: bāla-, Adj.: childish, young. As an N.m.: "like a child", fool, ignorant person.
Gen.Pl. = bālānaṃ.

saṃsāro: saṃsāra-, N.m.: Samsara, perpetual wandering, round of rebirth. It is derived from the verb root sar- (to flow, to move along) with the prefix saṃ- (together). Thus saṃsarati = to move about continuously.
Nom.Sg. = saṃsāro.

List of Abbreviations

saddhammaṃ: saddhamma-, N.m.: true Dharma. It is a compound of:
    sat-, Adj.: good, true. Original meaning: existing. The full form (sant-) is an a.pr.p.

    of the verb as- (to be). The compound form of sant- = sat-.

    dhamma-, N.m.: Dharma, Buddha's teaching.

Euphonic combination: sat- + dhamma- = saddhamma-.

Acc.Sg. = saddhammaṃ.

avijānataṃ: avijānant-, Adj.: not understanding. It is a negated (by the negative prefix a-) word vijānant-, Adj.: knowing, which is an a.pr.p. of the verb ñā- (to know) with the prefix vi- (intensifying sense). Gen.Pl.m. = avijānataṃ.

List of Abbreviations

    This verse consists of three syntactically separated sentences.
    The first sentence is dīghā jāgarato ratti (long is the night for a wakeful). Here, the subject is the word ratti (night, nominative singular). It has the adjective dīghā (long, nominative singular) as an attribute. The verb is omitted, implying the verb "to be". The object is the active present participle jāgarato (for the wakeful, genitive singular).

    The second sentence is dīghaṃ santassa yojanaṃ (long is a yojana for a tired). The subject is the word yojanaṃ (yojana, nominative singular) with the adjective dīghaṃ (long, nominative singular) as an attribute. The verb is again omitted, as before implying the verb "to be". The object is the past participle santassa (for a tired, genitive singular).

    The third sentence is dīgho bālānaṃ saṃsāro saddhammaṃ avijānataṃ (long is the samsara for the fools who do not know the true Dharma). The subject is the noun saṃsāro (samsara, nominative singular) with an attribute, the adjective dīgho (long, nominative singular). As before, the verb is "to be", therefore it is not really needed and is omitted. The object is the noun bālānaṃ (for the fools, genitive plural). It has an attribute, the active present participle avijānataṃ (for the not knowing, genitive plural). This word has itself an attribute, the noun saddhammaṃ (the true Dharma, accusative singular).


    King Pasenadi of Kosala once saw a beautiful woman in the city. He instantly fell in love with her. He found out that she was already married and so he gave her husband a job in the palace. Then the king sent the young man on an impossible mission. He told him to collect some lotus flowers and red earth from the underground world and to return to the city the same day. He thought of course that the man will never complete the task and so will never dare to come back. Thus the king could take the wife to himself.
    The young man set out on his mission. On the way he shared his food with some traveler. Then he threw the rest of the food to the river and called the guardian spirits, telling them that he shares with them his merit obtained from sharing the food with others. The guardian spirit of the river then brought him the flowers and earth from the underworld.

    The young man returned to the city only to find the gates closed. The king had the city gates closed early in fear that the man will complete the task in time. So he put the flowers and earth on the ground, declared loudly that his mission is complete and went for the night to the monastery of Jetavana.

    The king was obsessed with his desire for the young woman, so he could not sleep that night. He heard some strange sounds. In the morning he went to see the Buddha about them. The Buddha told him that the sounds he heard came from the men who desired others' wives and now suffer in hell.

    The king realized foolishness of his actions and reflected that now he knows how long is the night for the sleepless. Also the young man realized how long is the journey for one who is tired.

    The Buddha told them by this verse that longest is the Samsara for those who are foolish and do not know the Dharma.

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