Gatha Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
Vocabulary&Grammar Commentary Pronunciation
                          List of Abbreviations

yatha dandena gopalo gavo pajeti gocaraj

evaj jara ca maccu ca ayuj pajenti paninaj

(DhP 135)

Sentence Translation:

Just like a cowherd drives cows to pasture with a stick,
so old age and death drive the life of living beings.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

yatha    dandena  gopalo   gavo       pajeti        go+caraj
|                 |            |            |              |            |        |
Rel.Adv.  N.m.     N.m.     N.m.   V.act.caus. N.m.  N.m.
|             Ins.Sg. Nom.Sg. Acc.Pl.  3.Sg.pres.     |    Acc.Sg.
|                 |            |            |              |            |_____|
|                 |            |            |              |_________|
|                 |_______|______|_____________|
|                              |           |_____|
|                              |_________|

List of Abbreviations

evaj   jara    ca     maccu     ca    ayuj     pajenti     paninaj
|             |        |          |           |         |               |               |
Adv.    N.f.   conj.   N.m.    conj.   N.n.    V.act.caus.    N.m.
|       Nom.Sg.  |     Nom.Sg.    |    Acc.Sg.   3.Pl.pres.   Gen.Pl.
|             |____|           |______|         |________|_________|
|                 |___________|                       |____|
|                           |_____________________|

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

yatha, Rel.Adv.: as, just like.

dandena: danda-, N.m.: stick, club, punishment. Ins.Sg. = dandena.

gopalo: gopala-, N.m.: cowherd. Nom.Sg. = gopalo.

gavo: go-, N.m.: cow. Acc.Pl. = gavo.

pajeti, V.: drives. It is a causative of the verb root aj- (to throw, to cast) with the prefix pa- (strengthening). 3.Sg.act.caus.pres. = pajeti.

gocaraj: gocara-, N.m.: pasture, sphere. This can be further analyzed as:
    go-, N.m.: cow
    cara-, N.m.: going, walking. Derived from the verb car- (to walk, to roam).
Acc.Sg. = gocaraj.

List of Abbreviations

evaj, Adv.: thus, in this way.

jara: jara-, N.f.: old age. Nom.Sg. = jara.

ca, conj.: and.

maccu: maccu-, N.m.: death. Nom.Sg. = maccu.

ca, conj.: and.

ayuj: ayu-, N.n.: life, life-span. Nom.Sg. = ayuj.

pajenti, V.: drive. See above under pajeti. 3.Pl.act.caus.pres. = pajenti.

paninaj: panin-, Adj.: having breath, having life. As an N.m.: living being. It is the word pana-, N.m.: breath, life, with the possessive suffix -in. Gen.Pl. = paninaj.

List of Abbreviations

    There are two dependent sentences in this verse. They are:
    1) yatha dandena gopalo gavo pajeti gocaraj (just like a cowherd drives cows to pasture with a stick). The subject is the noun gopalo (cowherd, nominative singular). The verb is pajeti (drives, 3rd person, singular, active, causative, present tense). It has two attributes, the nouns gocaraj (to pasture, accusative singular) and dandena (with a stick, instrumental singular). The object is the noun gavo (cows, accusative plural). The relative adverb yatha (just like) introduces the sentence and connects it to the following one.
    2) evaj jara ca maccu ca ayuj pajenti paninaj (so old age and death drive the life of living beings). There is a double subject in this sentence. It contains the two nouns jara (old age, nominative singular) and maccu (death, nominative singular). They are connected by two conjunctions ca (and) in a common Pali phrase X ca Y ca (X and Y). The verb is pajenti (drive, 3rd person, plural, active, causative, present tense). The object is the noun ayuj (life, life-force; accusative singular) with its attribute, the noun paninaj (of living beings, genitive plural). The adverb evaj (thus, in this way) introduces the sentence and connects it to the previous one.


    A large group of women came to the Pubbarama monastery to observe the precepts for one day. Visakha, the woman who built that monastery, asked them for what purpose did they come to observe the precepts. Different women gave her different answers.
    Old women did so in order to have a good rebirth, middle aged women wanted to have peaceful and prosperous lives with their families, young women came in order to give birth to a son and unmarried girls wanted to find a good husband.
    Visakha took them to see the Buddha. He told her this verse, saying that although we are all constantly driven by birth, old age and death, there are still so few people who realize this and strive for Awakenment and release from this never-ending cycle. Most people still pursue only earthly goals and do not care about overcoming them.

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