Part 18 - Lesson #13

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Lesson 13


Nouns (including participles, adjectives, and pronouns) are very frequently combined in compounds (samāsa).

In a compound only the last noun is inflected, those prefixed to it being usually in their stern form.

The compound functions grammatically in a sentence as if it were a single word, but the meaning is often simply the combination of the meanings of the words forming it - just as if they were separate words in a sentence.

 "Madhouse" ... means any "house for the mad" (or any place resembling one).


Tappurisa Compounds

 In the class known as tappurisa (no English equivalents have been invented for the names of compounds, so we use the Pali names)


... the prior member is associated with the posterior by a direct relation. The whole compound functions grammatically as a noun.

The English example "madhouse" illustrates this: in Pali the relation "for the mad" might be expressed by the dative case (purpose), which would be the case in which the prior word would appear if there were no compounding.

In "grasshopper" the relation "in the grass" would be expressed by the locative case (Lesson 16). In Pali any case-relation may occur in a tappurisa, that of the genitive being the most frequent as it is the usual case to express a relation between two nouns. The "genitive" relation may be very general or vague; other cases may express very specific relations, including those to an action (when the second noun is more or less verbal).



"an assembly of priests ("priest-assembly")


"son of a king" ("kingson"), "prince" (stems in an lose the n in compounds)

 Participles likewise occur as the final members of tappurisas, and it is in these tappurisas that the other case relations are most often found, such as the accusative relation when the first member is the patient ("direct object") of the participle.

Compounds are very freely formed in Pali (much more freely than in English, except perhaps in some modern styles which many English speakers would regard as jargon). They are not restricted to two members, compounds of three or more members, variously related, being quite common. Thus:


"hall of the house with a gable (kūṭo)".


Causative Conjugation

A special conjugation of verbs has the meaning to cause someone or something else to do the action of the root, to have something done, and is called the "causative" (kārita).

There is, a distinctive causative suffix (ā)p which is sometimes added to roots. Roots conjugated in any conjugation for the ordinary present indicative may appear in causative meanings with the stem in e or a "fuller" form aya (or pe, āpe, paya, āpaya).

The meaning may be the straightforward causative one or a more specialised and idiomatic one.

Thus from vac, "to speak", we have the causative vāceti, ("he makes speak"), "he reads aloud", "he recites",

whilst from vad, "to say", we have the causative vādeti ("he makes say"), "he plays (a musical instrument)."

Sometimes it is not easy to decide whether to class a verb as an independent seventh conjugation root or as the causative form of some other verb of perhaps widely divergent meaning. There is a certain amount of disagreement among grammarians over the proper classification (e.g. of vādeti).

With (ā)p we have from chid chedāpayati ("he causes to cut"); from ()ṭhā ṭhapayati, in which the root vowel (first a) is usually shortened (as opposed to most causatives) and which often has the meaning "he leaves aside", "he excepts", instead of the more literal meaning "makes stand", "erects".

Besides the possibility of a "double" formation with (ā)p alongside a causative form in e (which may have double meaning as well as double form), "triple" forms are sometimes made by adding (a)p twice, thus from ruh "grow", we have a causative form (with elision of h) ropeti, "he plants" (causes to grow), and another causative form ropāpeti, meaning "he causes to cause to grow", "he has planted".

As with ordinary verbs, the agent of a causative verb (hetukattar) goes in the nominative case. The person or "instrument" through whom the action is performed goes usually in the accusative (the instrumental may be used instead, on account of the sense of "instrument"); thus a causative verb may take one patient more than the equivalent ordinary verb: the causative of an intransitive verb may take one patient (the verb may be said to "become transitive"), the causative of a transitive verb may take two patients, the causative of a verb which ordinarily takes two accusatives may take three patients.

For example:

"To be" is intransitive and takes no patient; "to cause to be" (i.e. to develop, etc., as "to develop 1 the mind") takes one.

"To enter" may take one patient (enter 1 a house); "to cause to enter" may take two (cause to enter 1 a man 2 a house).

"To take", "to lead", etc., may take two patients (take 1 to a village 2 a goat); in theory (in practice the extravagance seems to be avoided) "to cause to take" may take three (cause to take 1 (by) a man 2 to a village 3 a goat: puriso (agent) 1 purisaṃ 2 gāmaṃ 3 ajaṃ nāyeti, or puriso purisena gāmaṃ ajaṃ nāyeti with instrumental).

The causative conjugation includes the various tenses and participles, formed from causative stems as from seventh conjugation stems.

Present causative of bhū:

3rd person bhāvetibhāventi
2nd personbhāvesibhāvetha
1st personbhāvemibhāvema


kapp ((VII): kappeti, he arranges, he puts in order, he organises)
kappāpetihe causes to be got ready, he has put in order, he has organised
karkāretihe causes to work, to make, (of kings) he governs, he rules (causes the kingdom to function)
karkārāpetihe causes to make, he has built
chidchedāpetihe causes to cut
janjanetihe causes to be born, he produces
(j)jhejhāpetihe causes to burn, he sets fire to
()ṭhāṭhapeti or
he causes to stand, he erects, he makes stand up, he causes to remain, he excepts
ni-patnipātetihe causes to fall down, he drops, he puts down
pāyetihe causes to drink
bhūbhāvetihe causes to be, he develops
ā-mantāmantāpetihe causes to be addressed, he has invited
mucmuñcāpetihe causes to be free, he sets free
(p)paṭi-yat (to prepare)paṭiyadāpetihe causes to be prepared (irregular change of t > d)
yāpetihe causes to go, he keeps going
yuj ((VII): yojeti)yojāpetihe causes to be yoked (carriage)
ā-rucārocāpetihe causes to be announced
ruhropetihe causes to grow, he plants
ruhropāpetihe causes to cause to grow, he has planted
ā-ruh (climb, mount)āropetihe causes to mount, he puts on top of, he shows, he shows up, he disproves
(p)pa-vattpavattetihe causes to go, he sets going
ni(r)-vānibbāpetihe causes to be extinct, he extinguishes (e.g. fire)
(p)pa-vid (vid (I): "know", but the primary present system is not used)pavedetihe makes known
(p)pa-vispavesetihe causes to enter, he brings in
(p)pa-(v)vajpabbājetihe causes to go forth, he banishes (he has banished)
ni-sīdnisīdāpetihe causes to sit down
(s)susāvetihe causes to hear
pari-sudh (III) (to become pure/clean)parisodhetihe causes to become pure

Other tenses of the causative:

Imperative: kappāpehi

Aorist: kārāpesi - ṭhapesuṃ - ārocāpesi, ārocāpesuṃ - ropāpesi - āropesuṃ

Future: jhapessati - bhāvessati


Present: kārento, kārayato (genitive) - chedāpento, chedāpayato (genitive) - dāpento - pācento (pac = cook, torment), pācayato (genitive) - yojāpento

Past: kappita - kārita, kārāpita - bhāvita - pavattita - pavedita (usually in ita, as with the seventh conjugation)

Gerund: kārāpetvā - āmantāpetvā - paṭiyādāpeṭvā - yojāpetvā - āropetvā - pavesetvā

Despite the mechanical appearance of the causative in theory, as a kind of tense of the ordinary verb, in practice the meaning and usage of causative verbs is highly idiomatic and each one requires careful attention.



ā-kuṭ (VII)ākoṭetihe strikes
gaves (I) gavesatihe looks for, he searches
(p)pa-ikkh (I)pekkhatifor he looks on, he watches
bhaj (I)bhajatihe resorts to


(k)khandhogroup, collection, mass
pāsādopalace, mansion, house
bhedodivision, splitting up
mantoprayer, hymn
migobeast, deer
samudayoorigin, origination
khādaniyaṃfoods, dishes (collective singular)
mūlaṃroot, base, capital (money)
samma (voc.) (my) dear! (familiar address: only the vocative is used)


anuttaraunsurpassed, supreme
abbhokāsaopen, free, out of doors, open air
ariyaexcellent, exalted, noble
uttānastretched out, lying down
niṭṭhitacompleted, ready
paṇītaexcellent, delightful, delicious
puratthima east

Past participle

past participle
vivitta (vi-vic) separated, isolated


ayonisounmethodically, haphazardly, erratically, inconsequentially, unscientifically
uddhaṃabove, up
kacciperhaps?, did?, I doubt whether?, I hope?, aren't you? (with na)
kathaṃhow?, why?
dāninow (enclitic: cannot stand at beginning of sentence)
passenaon its side (instrumental of passo, side, used adverbially)
yāvaas far as, up to, as much, to what extent



The answers are given in Part 19

Passage for reading

te taṃ saṅkhaṃ uttānaṃ nipātesuṃ: vadehi bho saṅkha, vadehi bho saṅkhā ti. n'eva so saṅkho saddaṃ akāsi. te taṃ saṅkhaṃ passena nipātesuṃ … uddhaṃ ṭhapesuṃ … daṇdena ākoṭesuṃ … sandhuniṃsu1: vadehi bho saṅkha, vadehi bho saṅkhā ti. n'eva so saṅkho saddaṃ akāsi. atha kho tassa saṅkhadhamassa etad ahosi: yāva bālā. ime paccantajā manussā. kathaṃ hi nāma ayoniso saṅkhasaddaṃ gavesissantī ti. tesam pekkhamānānaṃ2 saṅkhaṃ gahetvā tikkhattuṃ saṅkhaṃ upaḷāsitvā saṅkhaṃ ādāya pakkāmi.

1 Aorist of saṃ-dhū (V: Lesson 15), "to shake."
2 Genitive absolute, cf. Lesson 10.


Translate into English

brāhmaṇo mante vācesi

so taṃ cittaṃ bhāveti

na taṃ (2nd. person) deva paccatthikānaṃ demi

ayaṃ dukkhasamudayo

rājā kumārassa (dative) pāsāde kārāpesi


so iminā ca ariyena sīlakkhandhena samannāgato iminā ariyena indriyasaṃvarena samannāgato … vivittaṃ senāsanaṃ bhajati: araññaṃ rukkhamūlaṃ, pabbataṃ, ... abbhokāsaṃ palālapuñjaṃ


idha tathāgatena anuttaraṃ dhammacakkaṃ pavattitaṃ

idaṃ paṇītaṃ

ye mālaṃ āropessanti, tesaṃ taṃ bhavissati sukhāya

tvaṃ pana samma Jīvaka kiṃ tuṇhī

kacci maṃ samma Jīvaka na paccatthikānaṃ desi

Translate into Pali, using compounds where indicated by hyphens:

This is the cessation-of-unhappiness.

(It is) now the time-for-extinction of the fortunate one.

Cunda the son-of-a-smith, having had delicious dishes prepared, had the time announced to the fortunate one: "(it is) time, sir,3 the meal (is) ready"4.

The lion, king-of-the-beasts, went out.

There are (atthi: the singular verb may be used for the plural also in this sense) other profound, delightful, doctrines which the "thus-gone" makes known.


He develops that thought.

The king, having had the priests invited, said this: "let the priests see the boy".

The king, having made the boy sit down, instructs (him).

The priest had a new house built to the east (instrumental or accusative) of the city.

Recite the prayers! (plural)

I set free the goats.

3 Use the form of address to a monk.
4 Invert the order of the last two words (= emphasis or exclamation).