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

pamādaṃ anuyuñjanti bālā dummedhino janā

appamādaṃ ca medhāvī dhanaṃ seṭṭhaṃ va rakkhati

(DhP 26)


The fools, the ignorant people give themselves up to negligence.
And the wise one protects conscientiousness as the greatest treasure.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

pamādaṃ anuyuñjanti  bālā  dummedhino   janā
|                      |              |             |               |

N.m.          V.act.in.    N.m.      Adj.m.      N.m.

Acc.Sg.     3.Sg.pres. Nom.Sg. Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg.

|____________|              |             |_________|

          |                          |____________|


List of Abbreviations

a+ppamādaṃ ca    medhāvī   dhanaṃ  seṭṭhaṃ   va    rakkhati
|          |           |           |               |             |         |           |

neg.  N.m.    conj.    N.m.         N.n.     Adj.n.   part.   V.act.in.

|      Acc.Sg.    |      Nom.Sg.   Acc.Sg.  Acc.Sg.    |      3.Sg.pres.

|_____|            |            |               |_______|         |           |

     |                |_______|                       |________|           |

     |                       |____________________|___________|

     |_________________________________|        |



Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

pamādaṃ: pamāda-, N.m.: negligence. Acc.Sg. = pamādaṃ.

anuyuñjanti, V.: to practice, to give oneself up to, to pursue. The verb yuñj- (to join, to unite) with the prefix anu- (along, at, to). 3.Pl.act.in.pres. = anuyuñjanti.

bālā: bāla-, N.m.: fool. Nom.Pl. = bālā.

dummedhino: dummedhin-, Adj.m.: foolish, ignorant. Derived from the word medhā-, N.f.: wisdom, intelligence, by adding the possessive suffix -in and then the prefix du- (lacking something, away from). The double m is due to the euphonic combination (du + medhin = dummedhin). Nom.Pl. = dummedhino.

janā: jana-, N.m.: person, man. Nom.Pl. = janā.

List of Abbreviations

appamādaṃ: appamāda-, N.m.: conscientiousness, non-negligence. A negated (by the negative prefix a-) word pamāda-, N.m.: negligence. Doubled p is due to the euphonic combination (a + pamāda = appamāda). Acc.Sg. = appamādaṃ.

ca, conj.: and.

medhāvī: medhāvin-, N.m.: intelligent person, wise one. Nom.Sg. = medhāvī.

dhanaṃ: dhana-, N.n.: wealth, riches. Acc.Sg. = dhanaṃ.

seṭṭhaṃ: seṭṭha-, Adj.: best. Acc.Sg.n. = seṭṭhaṃ.

va, part.: as, like.

rakkhati, V.: protects. The verb root rakkh-. 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = rakkhati.

List of Abbreviations

    The subject of the first sentence is bālā (fools, nominative plural). It has an attribute, the word janā (people, nominative plural) which has its own attribute dummedhino (ignorant, nominative singular). The verb is anuyuñjanti (pursue, 3rd person, plural, active, indicative, present tense). The object is pamādaṃ (negligence, accusative singular).
    In the second sentence, the subject is medhāvī (wise one, nominative singular). The verb is rakkhati (protects, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). The object is appamādaṃ (conscientiousness, accusative singular). There is a subordinate clause to the object, introduced by the particle va (like, as): dhanaṃ seṭṭhaṃ. The main object here is dhanaṃ (treasure, accusative singular) and the adjective seṭṭhaṃ (best, accusative singular) is its attribute.


    The story associated with this verse and the following one (DhP 27) speaks about a festival that was celebrated in the city of Sāvatthī while the Buddha was residing there.
    Many young men were practicing some sort of religious rituals, roaming about the city, shouting and begging for money at every door in the city.

    Buddha's lay disciples in that city warned him not to enter the city and they themselves did not leave their houses. After one week of the festival ended, the Buddha again entered Sāvatthī and then spoke these two verses (DhP 26 and 27).

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Sentence pronunciation

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