Gāthā Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
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subhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ indriyesu asaṃvutaṃ

bhojanamhi cāmattaññuṃ kusītaṃ hīnavīriyaṃ

taṃ ve pasahati māro vāto rukkhaṃ va dubbalaṃ

(DhP 7)


The person, who lives contemplating pleasant things, who is not restrained in senses,
Who does not know moderation in food, who is indolent and of poor effort,

Mara will overcome him, as wind a weak tree.

Sentence structure:

List of Abbreviations

subha+anupassiṃ viharantaṃ indriyesu a+saṃvutaṃ
|                |                 |              |        |           |

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

|            Acc.Sg.      Acc.Sg.   Loc.Pl.   |       Acc.Sg.

|________|                   |              |        |______|

       |_______________|              |________|


List of Abbreviations

bhojanamhi ca         a+matta+ññuṃ         kusītaṃ hīna+vīriyaṃ
|                  |           |       |          |                |          |          |

N.n.         conj.     Neg. N.n.  Adj.m.        N.m.    Adj.   Adj.m.

Loc.Sg.       |           |       |     Acc.Sg.      Acc.Sg.    |      Acc.Sg.

|                  |           |       |_____|                 |          |______|

|                  |           |_______|                     |                |

|__________|__________|                           |                |

           |____|                                              |                |


List of Abbreviations

taṃ             ve     pasahati     māro         vāto         rukkhaṃ     va         du+bbalaṃ
|                   |           |              |                |                 |              |            |          |

Pron.m.     part. V.act.pres.   N.m.         N.m.          N.m.         enc.      Pref.   N.m.

Acc.Sg.        |      3.Sg.in.    Nom.Sg.   Nom.Sg.      Acc.Sg.        |            |      Acc.Sg.

|                  |            |_______|                 |                  |             |             |_____|

|__________|___________|                      |                   |_______|__________|

            |___|                                           |                        |____|

________|                                               |_______________|


Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

subhānupassiṃ: subhānupassin-, N.m.: contemplating the pleasant [things]. A compound consisting of:
    subha-, Adj.: pleasant

    anupassin-, N.m.: contemplating, viewing, observing. Derived from the verb pass-, to see

    with the prefix anu-, on, at, down on. Anupassanā- N.f.: observation, contemplation. The

    suffix -in is so called possessive suffix (thus literally "having contemplation).

Acc.Sg. of the compound = subhānupassiṃ.

viharantaṃ: viharant-, pr.p.: staying, dwelling, living. Derived from the verb har- (to carry) with the prefix vi- (denoting separation). Viharati: V.: to live, to stay, to dwell.
AccSg.m. of the pr.p. = viharantaṃ.

List of Abbreviations

indriyesu: indriya-, N.n.: sense faculty. Loc.Pl. = indriyesu.

asaṃvutaṃ: asaṃvuta-, Adj.; unrestrained, ungoverned, unguarded. It is p.p. of the verb var- (to obstruct) with the prefix saṃ- (together, completely), negated by the negative prefix a-. Acc.Sg.m. = asaṃvutaṃ.

bhojanamhi: bhojana-, N.n.: food. Loc.Sg.= bhojanamhi.

ca, conj.: and.

List of Abbreviations

amattaññuṃ: amattaññū-, N.m.: not knowing the measure. mattaññū-, N.m.: knowing the measure. A compound of:
    matta-, N.n.: measure.

Adj. suffix: knowing (derived from the verb ñā-, to know).
The compound is negated by the prefix a-.

Acc.Sg.m. of the compound = amattaññuṃ.

kusītaṃ: kusīta-, Adj.: indolent, inactive. Acc.Sg.m. = kusītaṃ.

hīnavīriyaṃ: hīnaviriya-, Adj.: having poor strength. A compound of
    hīna-, Adj.: poor, inferior. It is p.p. of the verb hā- (to reject).

    viriya-, N.n.: energy, vigor, effort.

Acc.Sg.m. of the compound = hīnaviriyaṃ.

List of Abbreviations

taṃ: tad-, Pron.: it. Masculine form so-, he. Acc.Sg. = taṃ (him).

ve: affirmative particle, indeed, truly.

pasahati: to use force, to subdue, to overcome. The verb sah- (to conquer) with the emphasizing prefix pa-. 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = pasahati.

List of Abbreviations

māro: māra-, N.m.: Mara, personified death, the Evil One, devil. Nom.Sg. = māro.

vāto: vāta-, N.m.: wind. Nom.Sg. = vāto.

rukkhaṃ: rukkha-, N.m.: tree. Acc.Sg. = rukkhaṃ.

va: enc.: as if, like.

dubbalaṃ: dubbala-, Adj.: weak, of bad strength. The word bala- (N.n.: strength) with the prefix du- (bad, insufficient). Acc.Sg.m. = dubbalaṃ.

List of Abbreviations

    The subject of this sentence is māro (Mara) in the last line. It is in nominative singular. The verb is pasahati (overcome) in 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense. The main object is the word taṃ (him, accusative singular). The first three lines form attributes to the object, namely:
    1) subhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ,

    2) indriyesu asaṃvutaṃ,

    3) bhojanamhi cāmattaññuṃ,

    4) kusītaṃ,

    5) hīnavīriyaṃ.

    In the first attribute, both parts (subhānupassiṃ -- contemplating the pleasant and viharantaṃ -- living) are in accusative singular, as they must agree with the main object.

    The second attribute is asaṃvutaṃ (unrestrained) and therefore it is in accusative singular. The word indriyesu (in senses) forms an attribute to this word. It is in locative plural. Locative is the case, that expresses location. It is an answer to the question "Where?".

    The third attribute is amattaññuṃ (not knowing measure) which is in accusative singular. An attribute to this word is bhojanamhi (in food), which is in locative singular. There is also a conjunction ca (and) connecting this attribute to the other ones.

    The fourth attribute kusītaṃ (indolent) is in accusative singular.

    The last attribute hīnavīriyaṃ (of poor effort) is also in accusative singular.

    The particle ve (indeed) in the last line serves just as an affirmative particle.

    The second sentence (subordinate to the main sentence) is vāto rukkhaṃ va dubbalaṃ (as wind [overcomes] a weak tree). The subject of this sentence is vāto (wind) which is in nominative singular. The verb is omitted (implying here the verb pasahati from the main sentence). The object is rukkhaṃ (tree) and it is in accusative singular. The word dubbalaṃ (weak) forms an attribute to the object and it agrees with it in case and number. The enclitic va (as, like) connects this subordinate sentence to the main one.


    What we have described here, is a recipe, how to become a prey of our own mind. For Mara, The Evil One, is not some outside force, some "devil" or deity of death and destruction, it is only our mind, our bad habits, laziness, evil intentions and especially ignorance, the true root of all evil. If we dwell with our minds only on the pleasant things, if we indulge in enjoying pleasurable things (subhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ), then it is easy for these tendencies in our brain ("Mara") to gain strength. The same thing happens, when we are unrestrained in six senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind), taking in without restraint and reflection everything that comes and if we never have enough of sense pleasures (indriyesu asaṃvutaṃ). And of course, if we do not know moderation in food, we can expect the same result, because indulgence in food is actually a part of lack of restraint in senses (bhojanamhi cāmattaññuṃ). Laziness (kusītaṃ) and lack of effort to change our ways (hīnavīriyaṃ) will not help us to get rid of these bad habits and the roots of meditative life will slowly wither and die away. And without strong, often cultivated roots, the tree of our practice will not grow higher and higher, will never bring fruits in reaching the Nirvana, but our bad tendencies will subdue us, our hope for reaching the goal, just as easily, as wind uproots a weak tree.

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