Gāthā Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
Vocabulary&Grammar Commentary Pronunciation
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anekajātisaṃsāraṃ sandhāvissaṃ anibbisaṃ

gahakārakaṃ gavesanto dukkhā jāti punappunaṃ

(DhP 153)

Sentence Translation:

Through many rounds of rebirth have I ran, looking for the house-builder,
but not finding him. Painful is repeated rebirth.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

aneka+jāti+saṃsāraṃ sandhāvissaṃ anibbisaṃ
|            |          |                 |                  |
Adj.    N.f.    N.m.         V.act.          Adj.m.
|            |     Acc.Sg.     1.Sg.aor.      Nom.Sg.
|            |______|                |                  |_____________________
|__________|                     |

List of Abbreviations

gaha+kārakaṃ gavesanto  dukkhā     jāti punappunaṃ
|             |              |               |            |           |
N.m.   N.m.      Adj.m.      Adj.f.      N.f.     Adv.
|        Acc.Sg.   Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg.    |
|_______|              |               |             |______|
       |___________|               |___________|

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

anekajātisaṃsāraṃ: anekajātisaṃsāra-, N.m.: many rounds of rebirths. It is a compound of:
    aneka-, Adj.: not one, many. It is the word eka-, Num.: one negated by the negative prefix an- (not).
    jātisaṃsāra-, N.m.: cycle of rebirths, round of births. This can be further analysed into:
        jāti-, N.f.: birth, rebirth.
        saṃsāra-, N.m.: 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.
Acc.Sg. = anekajātisaṃsāraṃ.

sandhāvissaṃ, V.: I ran through. The verb root is dhāv- (to run) with the prefix sam- (together). 1.Sg.act.aor. = sandhāvissaṃ.

anibbisaṃ: anibbisant-, Adj.: not finding. It is the word nibbisant-, Adj.: finding (this word is an a.pr.p. of the verb vis-, to enter, with the prefix ni-, into), negated by the negative prefix a-.
Nom.Sg.m. = anibbisaṃ.

List of Abbreviations

gahakārakaṃ: gahakāraka-, N.m.: house-builder, house-maker. It is a metaphor for thirst or craving that is the maker of the "house", or in other words of the living being. It is a compound of:
    gaha-, N.m.: house.
    kāraka-, N.m.: doer, maker. It is derived from the verb kar-, to do.
Acc.Sg. = gahakārakaṃ.

gavesanto: gavesant-, Adj.: seeking, looking for. It is an a.pr.p.of the verb gavesati. Originally it is a compound of the noun gava-, N.m. (the compound form of the word go-, N.m.: cow) and the verb root is- (to seek).
Nom.Sg.m. = gavesanto.

dukkhā: dukkha-, Adj.: unpleasant, painful, difficult. Nom.Sg.f. = dukkhā.

jāti: jāti-, N.f.: birth, rebirth. Nom.Sg. = jāti.

punappunaṃ, Adv.: again and again. It is the word puna, Ind.: again, doubled in intensifying sense. The double -p- is a result of the euphonic combination.

List of Abbreviations

    This verse consists of three syntactically separate sentences. They are:
    1) anekajātisaṃsāraṃ sandhāvissaṃ (through many rounds of rebirth have I ran). The subject is omitted; the first person pronoun is implied. The verb is sandhāvissaṃ (I ran, 1st person, singular, active, aorist). The object is the compound anekajātisaṃsāraṃ (many rounds of rebirth, accusative singular).
    2) anibbisaṃ gahakārakaṃ gavesanto (looking for the house-builder, but not finding him). Again, the subject is the omitted first person pronoun. It has two attributes, the active present participles anibbisaṃ (not finding, nominative singular) and gavesanto ( looking for, nominative singular). The object is the compound gahakārakaṃ (house builder, accusative singular).
    3) dukkhā jāti punappunaṃ (painful is repeated rebirth). The subject is the noun jāti (rebirth, nominative singular). It has the adverb punappunaṃ (again and again) as an attribute. The verb is omitted, implying the verb "to be". The object is the adjective dukkhā (painful, nominative singular).


    This verse and the following one (DhP 154) are the first utterances of Prince Siddhattha Gotama, after he reached the supreme Awakenment, seating under the Tree of Awakenment. From that time on he was known as the Buddha. He finally comprehended what was the reason for suffering in the round of repeated rebirths - the craving that causes us to run in it over and over again. He formulated his teaching, summarized in the Four Noble Truths and became the founder of what is today known as Buddhism.

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