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

atta hi attano natho ko hi natho paro siya

attana'va sudantena nathaj labhati dullabhaj

(DhP 160)

Sentence Translation:

One is indeed one's own lord. What other lord would there be?
With oneself well restrained, one will obtain the lord that is so hard to get.

Sentence Structure:
List of Abbreviations

atta        hi     attano    natho       ko        hi     natho      paro          siya
|              |          |            |            |           |          |            |               |
N.m.     part.   N.m.     N.m.    Pron.m.  part.   N.m.     Adj.m.     V.act.
Nom.Sg.  |    Gen.Sg. Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg.   |     Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg. 3.Sg.opt.
|              |          |_______|            |          |          |_______|               |
|________|_________|                   |         |                 |____________|
         |___|                                    |_____|________________|

List of Abbreviations

attana  va sudantena nathaj   labhati  dullabhaj
|            |         |            |              |             |
N.m.   part.  Adj.m.    N.m.   Adj.m.
Ins.Sg.   |     Ins.Sg.   Acc.Sg. 3.Sg.pres. Acc.Sg.
|_______|_____|           |________|________|
         |__|                                    |       |

Vocabulary and Grammar:
List of Abbreviations

atta: attan-, N.m.: self. Nom.Sg. = atta.

hi, part.: indeed.

attano: attan-, N.m./Pron.: self, oneself. Gen.Sg. = attano.

natho: natha-, N.m.: lord, protector. Nom.Sg. = natho.

ko: kij-, Inter.Pron.: who. Nom.Sg.m. = ko.

hi: see above.

natho: see above.

paro: para-, Adj.m.: other. Nom.Sg.m. = paro.

List of Abbreviations

siya, V.: would be. The verb root is as-. 3.Sg.act.opt. = siya.

attana: attan-, N.m.: self. Ins.Sg. = attana.

va, part.: just, only.
Euphonic combination: attana + va = attana'va.

sudantena: sudanta-, Adj.: well restrained, tamed, controlled. It is a p.p. of the verb dam- (to restrain, to control, to tame) with the prefix su- (well). Ins.Sg.m. = sudantena.

nathaj: natha-, N.m.: lord, protector. Acc.Sg. = nathaj.

labhati, V.: obtains, gets. The verb root is labh-. = labhati.

dullabhaj: dullabha-, Adj.: hard to get, difficult to obtain. It is the word labha-, Adj.: receiving, with the prefix du(l)- (difficult, bad, hard). Acc.Sg.m. = dullabhaj.

List of Abbreviations

    This sentence consists of three syntactically separate sentences. They are:
    1) atta hi attano natho (one is indeed one's own lord). The subject is the noun atta (one, self; nominative singular). The verb is omitted, implying the verb "to be". The object is the noun natho (lord, nominative singular) with its attribute, the noun/pronoun attano (one's own, genitive singular). The particle hi (indeed) serves mainly for metrical purposes.
    2) ko hi natho paro siya (what other lord would there be?). The subject is the interrogative particle ko (who, nominative singular). The verb is siya (would be, 3rd person, singular, active, optative). The object is the noun natho (lord, nominative singular) with its attribute, the adjective paro (other). The particle hi (indeed) serves mainly for metrical purposes.
    3) attana'va sudantena nathaj labhati dullabhaj (with oneself well restrained, one will obtain the lord that is so hard to get). The subject is omitted; the verb implies the third person singular pronoun. The verb is labhati (obtains, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). It has an attribute, the noun attana (by oneself, instrumental singular). This in turn has the adjective sudantena (by well restrained, instrumental singular) as an attribute. The object is the noun nathaj (lord, accusative singular) with its attribute, the adjective dullabhaj (difficult to get, accusative singular). The particle va (just) serves mainly for metrical purposes.


    There was a young married woman who wanted to become a nun. She got permission from her husband and entered the Order. She became a pupil of Devadatta, the Buddha's cousin. Before she became a nun, she was already pregnant but did not know about it. When she found out, she asked Devadatta what to do. He sent her back to the lay life. But the woman was not happy and went to see the Buddha. The Buddha sent for Upali, who was the master of Vinaya, rules of conduct. He further asked the king Pasenadi and the famous lay devotes, Anathapindika and Visakha to come and settle the case.
    Visakha examined the young woman and told Upali that she was already pregnant when she joined the Order. Upali therefore declared that the woman was pure of any misconduct and could continue her life as a nun. Later the woman gave birth to a son. He was named Kumara Kassapa and king Pasenadi adopted him. At the age of seven, the boy became a novice and when he was eighteen, he received the full ordination. He went to the forest to practice meditation and soon attained Arahantship. He lived in the forest for twelve years and then went back to the monastery.
    His mother was very attached to him and whenever she saw him she would run after him calling his name. Kumara Kassapa decided that he should help his mother to get rid of this attachment. Therefore he spoke coolly to her, "How is it possible that you, as a nun, can not cut off even the affection for your son?" The woman reflected, "I have been weeping for twelve years, waiting for my son. Now he speaks so harshly to me! Why should I be attached to him?" Then she realized danger of all attachments and very soon reached Arahanthsip.
    The monks then remarked to the Buddha that if the woman had listened to Devadatta's words, neither she nor her son would have reached Arahantship. The Buddha replied with this verse, saying that in striving for the goal one must depend only on himself and not seek others to lean on.

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