Part 17 - Exercise 12 Answers

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Exercise 12 - Answers

Passage for reading

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As a passage ...

bhūtapubbaṃ aññataro saṅkhadhamo saṅkhaṃ ādāya paccantimaṃ janapadaṃ agamāsi. so yen' aññataro gāmo ten' upasaṃkami. upasaṃkamitvā saṅkhaṃ upaḷāsitvā saṅkhaṃ nikkhipitvā nisīdi. atha kho tesaṃ paccantajānaṃ manussānaṃ etad ahosi: kissa nu kho eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti. sannipatitvā taṃ saṅkhadhamaṃ etad avocuṃ: ambho kissa nu kho eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti. eso kho bho saṅkho nāma yass' eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti.

Once upon a time, a certain conch-blower, having taken a conch, went to a bordering country. He, towards a certain village, that way approached. Having approached, having sounded the conch, having put down the conch, he sat down. Then (atha kho) those bordering people thought this: "Of what is this sound, which is so exciting, so lovely, so intoxicating?" Having assembled, they said this to that conch-blower: "Sir, of what is this sound, which is so exciting, so lovely, so intoxicating?" "This, Sirs, is called (nāma) a conch, of which there is this sound, which is so exciting, so lovely, so intoxicating."

... or as separate parts ...

bhūtapubbaṃ aññataro saṅkhadhamo saṅkhaṃ ādāya paccantimaṃ janapadaṃ agamāsi.

Once upon a time, a certain conch-blower, having taken a conch, went to a bordering country.

This is a compound word: saṅkhadhamo = saṅkha ('conch') + dhamo ('blower'). For most compounds the meaning is immediately obvious. However sometimes it is not and it is then necessary to analyse the compound, see Warder pp.77-78.

Note how saṅkhadhamo is the agent of a series of verbs: first ādāya then agamāsi, see Warder p.48.

so yen' aññataro gāmo ten' upasaṃkami.

He, towards a certain village, that way approached.

i.e., he approached a certain village. Yena ... tena upasaṅkami, 'towards ... that way (he) approached', is the normal idiom in Pali for approaching someone or something. Note that, because of the indeclinable yena, what would normally be an object in the accusative instead becomes nominative, see Warder p.14.

upasaṃkamitvā saṅkhaṃ upaḷāsitvā saṅkhaṃ nikkhipitvā nisīdi.

Having approached, having sounded the conch, having put down the conch, he sat down.

The last verb nisīdi (aorist third person singular) tells us that the agent is third person singular. The context makes it clear that it is 'he' (i.e., the conchblower).

atha kho tesaṃ paccantajānaṃ manussānaṃ etad ahosi:

Then (atha kho) those bordering people thought this:

According to Warder paccantajo is a noun, but I take it to be an adjective.

Lit. 'of those bordering people there was this'. This is the usual idiom in Pali to indicate thinking, see Warder p.56.

kissa nu kho eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti.

"Of what is this sound, which is so exciting, so lovely, so intoxicating?"

Or 'what has', kissa, genitive.

A series of three adjectives following the noun (saddo, 'sound') to which they relate. When an adjective follows the noun it relates to one should translate 'which is/which has ...', see Warder p.61.

sannipatitvā taṃ saṅkhadhamaṃ etad avocuṃ:

Having assembled, they said this to that conch-blower:

ambho kissa nu kho eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti.

"Sir, of what is this sound, which is so exciting, so lovely, so intoxicating?"

Ambho, not very respectful.

eso kho bho saṅkho nāma yass' eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti.

"This, Sirs, is called (nāma) a conch, of which there is this sound, which is so exciting, so lovely, so intoxicating."

Bho, used for both the singular and the plural.

(of which) or 'which has'. The genitive alone, or the genitive + the verb 'to be', can often best be translated with the verb 'have'.

(there is) There is no verb in the Pali, so the verb 'to be' must be added.

Note that this sentence is structured with a relative clause (beginning with yassa, 'of which') and a demonstrative clause which is placed first (beginning with eso, 'this'). Eso is the correlative of yassa and thus they agree in number and gender but not in case, see Warder pp.70-72. A slight paraphrasing might bring out the structure better: 'That which has this sound which is so exciting, lovely, and intoxicating (=relative clause, now placed first), that is called a conch (=demonstrative clause)'.

Translate into English

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yen' ajja samaṇo Gotamo dvārena nikkhamissati taṃ Gotama-dvaraṃ nāma bhavissati

Through which gate the ascetic Gotama will leave today, that will be called 'the Gotama Gate'.

(Through which) Yen'ajja = yena + ajja. Yena agrees with dvārena (both being neuter singular instrumental) and thus yena qualifies dvārena, 'through which gate'.

vatthāni pi 'ssa na yathā aññesaṃ

Also (pi) his clothes are not as the clothes of others.

(clothes are) Note again that the verb 'to be' is missing in the Pali.

Here the genitive word (assa, from pi‘ssa = pi + assa) comes after the word to which it relates. The reason for this may be that there are two independent genitive words here (i.e., assa and aññesaṃ), both relating to the same noun, vatthāni, 'clothes'. When translating into English 'clothes' needs to be repeated.

imassa ko attho

What is the meaning of this?

(What is the meaning) Ko is the interrogative pronoun, here agreeing with attho. The verb 'to be' must be supplied.

mayaṃ yaṃ icchissāma taṃ karissāma

What (yaṃ) we will desire, that we will do.

i.e., we will do as we like. Yaṃ, lit. 'which', is often better translated with 'what'. When yaṃ is used in this type of general statement it can mean 'whatever'/'whichever'. Note the future tense in both the subordinate and the main clause, see Warder p.88.

kissa nu kho me idaṃ kammassa phalaṃ, kissa kammassa vipāko

Of what action of mine is this the fruit, of what action (is this) the result?

(Of what action) In the Pali, a noun and a pronoun that agrees with it (i.e., they refer to the same thing), can often be separated by other words. What matters is agreement (in gender, case, and number). In this case both kissa and kammassa are genitive neuter singular and one can therefore assume that the pronoun qualifies the noun, i.e. '(of) what action'. The same is true for idaṃ and phalaṃ. It is therefore important to scan sentences (or individual clauses within longer sentences) for such agreement.

(of mine) The case of me here could also be instrumental, '(what action) by me', or even dative, '(this the fruit) for me'.

(is this) Idaṃ refers back to something just mentioned.

i.e. 'what did I do to get this?' This is yet another sentence with no verb, and the verb 'to be' must be added on translation.


taṃ kiṃ maññanti bhonto devā

Now (taṃ), what do the honourable deities think?

I read taṃ as an indeclinable, 'now' or 'then'. It could also be regarded as an accusative of specification of state (see Warder p.17), 'about that', referring to what has been said or what is to follow, i.e. 'what do the honourable deities think about that: ...' (see Warder p.29). Bhonto devā is nominative rather than vocative because the verb maññanti is in the third person (plural).

n' atthi paro loko

There is no other world.

i.e., after death. Atthi at the beginning of a sentence makes for an emphatic assertion, see Warder p.31.

ko 'si tvaṃ āvuso

Who are you, friend?

Ko'si = ko + asi. Note the agreement between ko and tvaṃ, both being nominative singular.

kiṃ kusalaṃ kiṃ akusalaṃ

What is good (and) what is bad?

Equational sentence with all the elements being nominative (neuter). The verb 'to be' must be added.

ke tumhe

Who are you?

Another equational sentence, nominative plural.


rājā samāno kiṃ labhati

Being a King, what does he get?

(what) Kiṃ, accusative patient of labhati, 'he gets what?'

For further comments see sentence 12, exercise 8 (opens in new tab).

iminā me upasamena Udāyibhaddo kumāro samannāgato hotu

May my Prince Udāyibhadda be possessed with this calm!

(my) Me can be instrumental, genitive, or dative, but the context - this is being spoken by Prince Udāyibhadda's father - indicates the genitive, 'of me'.

(be) Hotu, 'may ... (he) be', third person imperative, expressing a wish, see Warder p.35.

Samannāgato ('possessed with') is a past participle agreeing with Udāyibhaddo kumāro. A form of the verb 'to be' with a participle immediately preceding it, is a common feature of Pali. The combination forms what in effect is a single verb and should be translated together. In this example we therefore have: 'may ... be possessed with', cf. Warder pp.233-238.

Samannāgata takes the instrumental, see Warder p.44.

puccha mahārāja yad ākaṅkhasi

Ask, Great King, what you wish.

(Ask) Puccha, imperative.

(Great King) Mahārāja, vocative.

(what) Yad, lit. 'which', but the meaning is often best conveyed with 'what' or 'whatever'.

karoti te bhagavā okāsaṃ

The Blessed One makes an opportunity for you.

i.e., he agrees to see you. Te is dative of advantage, see Warder p.67.

yaṃ kho 'ssa na kkhamati taṃ pajahati

What is not pleasing to him, that he gives up.

(pleasing) (k)khamati, present tense. Again, note that when translating the present tense into English one may use the ordinary present tense (i.e. 'pleases') or the 'continuous' present (i.e. 'is pleasing'). Context and natural idiom must decide which is preferable.

(to him) Assa, 'to him', dative. Khamati requires the dative, see Warder pp.67 and 74.

This is another case of a sentence structured with a relative clause preceding a demonstrative clause.

Translate into Pali

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He gave to me

Adāsi me.

Prince Udāyibhadda (is) dear to me

Piyo me Udāyibhaddo kumāro.

(me) The use of the shortened form of pronouns, the 'enclitics' (here me instead of mayhaṃ), is very common. As these shortened forms are never the first word of the sentence (they are normally the second word), the usual word order may be altered.

The fortunate one, taking a bowl, entered the village for alms

Bhagavā pattaṃ ādāya gāmaṃ piṇḍāya pāvisi.

He teaches the doctrine for 'extinction'

So nibbānāya (or parinibbānāya) dhammaṃ deseti.

He eats what he likes

Yaṃ (assa) khamati taṃ khādati (or paribhuñjati).

(khamati) i.e., 'what pleases him ...'.


Then (atha) the gate by which the fortunate one left was named Gotama Gate

Atha kho Bhagavā yena dvārena nikkhami, taṃ Gotama-dvāraṃ nāma ahosi.

What do you think, then, great king?

Taṃ kiṃ maññasi mahārāja?

The usual word order, which would have the vocative mahārāja as the second word, may be changed in a question.

We have come here to see the honourable Gotama

Mayaṃ bhavantaṃ Gotamaṃ dassanāya idha upasaṅkantā.

Upasaṅkantā is a past participle, see Warder p.40. Note the long ā ending to agree with the plural nominative mayaṃ.

Did you hear a noise, sir? I didn't hear a noise, sir!

Kiṃ bhante saddaṃ assosī ti? Na ahaṃ āvuso saddaṃ assosin-ti.

Or 'Assosi bhante saddaṃ?'.

See Warder p.74.

We do not see his soul leaving

N' (ev') assa mayaṃ jīvaṃ nikkhamantaṃ passāma

Nevassa = n'ev'assa = na eva assa, is a junction form, see Warder pp.213-218. Nikkhamanto, present participle, see Warder p.46.