|Gatha||Sentence Translation||Sentence Structure|
Rather then a thousand verses without meaningful words,
is better one word of a verse, after hearing which, one can attain calm.
sahassam api ce
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Num.n. part. part. N.f. neg. N.n. N.n. Adj.f.
Nom.Sg. |____| Nom.Pl. | |____| Nom.Pl.
| | | | |________|
| | | |__________|
| | |__________|
List of Abbreviations
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Num.n. N.f. N.n. Adj.n. Rel.Pron.n. V.ger. V.act.in.
Nom.Sg. | Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg. Acc.Sg. | 3.Sg.pres.
| |_____| | |_______| |
|___________| | |__________|
sahassam: sahassa-, Num.n.: thousand. Nom.Sg. = sahassam.
api, part.: also, as well, even (often spelled pi).
ce, part.: if.
gatha: gatha-, N.f.: verse. Nom.Pl. = gatha.
anatthapadasajhita-, Adj.: without
meaningful sayings. It is the word atthapadasajhita-,
Adj.: with meaningful sayings, negated by the negative prefix an-.
This word is a compound of:
atthapada-, N.n.: profitable saying, word of good sense. This can be further analyzed into:
attha-, N.n.: meaning, worth, sense.
pada-, N.n.: saying, word, verse.
sajhita-, Adj.: connected, equipped with, possessed of. It is a p.p. of the verb dha- (put)
with the prefix saj- (together).
Nom.Pl.f. = anatthapadasajhita.
List of Abbreviations
ekaj: eka-, Num.: one. Nom.Sg.n. = ekaj.
gathapada-, N.n.: verse-word. It is
a compound of:
gatha-, N.f.: verse.
pada-, N.n.: word, saying.
Nom.Sg. = gathapadaj.
seyyo: seyya-, Adj.: better. Nom.Sg.n. = seyyo.
yaj: yat-, Rel.Pron.: that, which. Acc.Sg.n.: yaj.
sutva, V.ger.: having heard. The verb root is su- (to hear).
upasammati, V.: calms down, is appeased. The verb root is sam- (to be appeased) with the prefix upa- (towards). 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = upasammati.
List of Abbreviations
This verse contains two connected sentences.
They form the first and the second line of the verse respectively.
In the first sentence, the subject is the noun gatha (verses, nominative plural). It has two attributes, the numeral sahassam (thousand, nominative singular - note that the numeral sahassa- is always in neuter) and the compound anatthapadasajhita (without meaningful words, nominative plural). There are two particles, api (also, even) and ce (if) which form a phrase api ce (even if).
In the second sentence, the subject is the compound gathapadaj (word of a verse, nominative singular). It has the numeral ekaj (one, nominative singular) as an attribute. There is a clause, which forms an attribute to the subject: yaj sutva upasammati (after hearing which, one can attain calm). The subject here is the relative pronoun yaj (which, accusative singular). There are two verbs, one is the gerundive sutva (having heard) and one is upasammati (calms down, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). These two form the verbal phrase sutva - upasammati (having heard, calms). The object of the sentence is the adjective seyyo (better, nominative singular).
Some merchants sailed in a boat. Their
boat was wrecked and only one of them, named Bahiya,
survived. He got hold of a piece of wood and came to land in the city of
Supparaka. He tied a piece of bark to his
body and sat in a public place. People gave him food; some thought that
he was a holy man so they paid their respects to him. Some people offered
him clothes but he refused. Everybody started to tell him that he was an
Arahant so he began to consider himself one.
Now the god Brahma was a friend of Bahiya's in one of previous lives. He came to see him one night and told him that he certainly was not an Arahant. Bahiya asked if there are Arahants at all and where to find them. Brahma sent him to the city of Savatthi to see the Buddha.
Bahiya immediately set on a journey to Savatthi. He did not rest much because he was anxious to meet the Buddha. Therefore when he arrived at Savatthi he was extremely tired. He met the Buddha going on an almsround with some other monks. He asked the Buddha to teach him the Dharma, but the Buddha refused saying that it was not a proper time for a discourse. But Bahiya pleaded again and the Buddha realized that Bahiya is ready to become an Arahant. So he told him: "Bahiya, when you see a thing, be conscious only of the object. When you hear a sound, be conscious only of the sound. When you smell, taste, or touch anything, be conscious only of the smell, taste, or touch. When you think of anything, be conscious only of the mental object."
Bahiya did this and immediately he attained Arahantship. He asked permission to be admitted into the Order as a monk. The Buddha agreed, but first he sent him to find some robes, the bowl and other requisites. Bahiya went to find these things, but on the way he was attacked by a wild animal and died. When the Buddha and monks went back from the almsround, they found him laying dead on the road. The Buddha instructed the monks to cremate Bahiya's body and erect a stupa around the ashes.
The Buddha then told the monks that Bahiya has attained Arahantship. He proclaimed that Bahiya was the quickest of all his disciples to do so. Some monks wondered how it was possible to attain Awakenment just after listening to a few words on the road. The Buddha then explained by this verse that the number of words or the length of the speech does not really matter if one's mind is really ready.