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

na pupphagandho paṭivātam eti na candanaṃ tagaramallikā vā

sataṃ ca gandho paṭivātam eti sabbā disā sappuriso pavāyati

(DhP 54)

Sentence Translation:

The scent of flowers, sandal, tagara or jasmine does not go against the wind.
The scent of true ones goes against the wind. The true person pervades all directions.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

na  puppha+gandho  paṭi+vātam      eti       na candanaṃ tagara+mallikā   vā
|          |           |           |       |            |          |         |            |           |         |

neg.  N.n.     N.m.     ind. Adv.   V.act.in.  neg.   N.n.      N.n.     N.f.    conj.

|          |      Nom.Sg.    |____|     3.Sg.pres.   |    Nom.Sg.     |     Nom.Sg.   |

|          |______|               |                |          |         |            |______|          |

|                |                    |_________|          |         |__________|_________|

|                |________________|                  |___________|

|_________________|                                          |


List of Abbreviations

sataṃ     ca     gandho paṭi+vātam   eti          sabbā     disā  sap+puriso        pavāyati
|              |           |         |       |          |               |            |       |       |                  |

Adj.m.  conj.    N.m.   ind. Adv.  V.act.in.     Adj.f.     N.f.   Adj.  N.m.       V.act.in.

Gen.Pl.    |     Nom.Sg.  |____|     3.Sg.pres.  Acc.Pl.  Acc.Pl.  |    Nom.Sg.  3.Sg.pres.

|________|______|            |________|               |_______|       |____|                 |

          |____________________|                              |                  |___________|

                           |                                                  |_______________|


Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

na, neg.: not.

pupphagandho: pupphagandha-, N.m.: the scent of a flower. It is a compound of:
    puppha-, N.n.: flower.

    gandha-, N.m.: scent.

Nom.Sg. = pupphagandho.

paṭivātam, Adv.: against the wind. It is a compound of:
    paṭi-, pref.ind.: against.

    vāta-, N.m.: wind.

As an Adv.: paṭivātam.

List of Abbreviations

eti: goes. The verb root is i- (to go). 3.Sg.act.in.pres = eti.

na: see above.

candanaṃ: candana-, N.n.: sandal. Nom.Sg. = candanaṃ.

tagaramallikā: tagaramallikā-, N.f.:
    tagara-, N.n: the incense obtained from a kind of shrub

    (in Latin: Tabernaemontana coronaria).

    mallikā-, N.f.: jasmine.

Nom.Sg. = tagaramallikā.

List of Abbreviations

, conj.: or.

sataṃ: sant-, Adj.: real, good, true. It is an a.pr.p. of the verb root as- (to be). Thus sant- means literally means "existing", "being". Gen.Pl. = sataṃ.

ca, conj.: and.

gandho: gandha-, N.m.: scent. Nom.Sg. = gandho.

paṭivātam: see above.

eti: see above.

List of Abbreviations

sabbā: sabba-, Adj.: all, every. Acc.Pl.f. = sabbā.

disā: disā-, N.f: direction. Acc.Pl. = disā.

sappuriso: sappurisa-, N.m.: a true person. It is a compound of:
    sat-, Adj.: true, good, real. This is a compound form of the word sant- (see above).

    purisa-, N.m.: person.

Euphonic combination: sat + purisa = sappurisa.

Nom.Sg. = sappuriso.

pavāyati, V.: to pervade, to blow forth, to emit (scent). The verb root is vā- (to blow) with the prefix pa- (strengthening, "forth"). 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = pavāyati.

List of Abbreviations

    This verse forms four syntactically separated sentences. They are:
    1) na pupphagandho paṭivātam eti (the scent of flowers does not go against the wind). The subject of this sentence is the noun pupphagandho (scent of flowers, nominative singular). The verb is eti (goes, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense), which is negated by the negative particle na (not). The verb has an attribute, the adverb paṭivātam (against the wind).

    2) na candanaṃ tagaramallikā vā (nor [does] tagara or jasmine). There are two subjects in this sentence, candanaṃ (sandal, nominative singular) and tagaramallikā (tagara and jasmine, nominative singular). They are connected by the conjunction (or). There is a negative particle na (not) in this sentence, which negates the verb eti (goes) from the previous sentence. In this sentence the verb is omitted.

    3) sataṃ ca gandho paṭivātam eti (the scent of true ones goes against the wind). The subject here is the noun gandho (smell, nominative singular) with an attribute, the adjective sataṃ (of the true ones, genitive plural). The verb is eti (goes, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense) with an attribute, the adverb paṭivātam (against the wind). The conjunction ca (and) connects this sentence to the two previous ones.

    4) sabbā disā sappuriso pavāyati (the true person pervades all directions). The subject is the noun sappuriso (true person, nominative singular). The verb is pavāyati (pervades, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). The object is the noun disā (directions, accusative plural) with the adjective sabbā (all, accusative plural) as an attribute.


    Venerable Ānanda was once sitting in meditation and he was pondering the problem of scent. All the known scents - perfumes, flowers, roots etc. go only with the wind. No scent can go against the wind. Is there any scent at all that can go against the wind?
    He asked the Buddha about it. The Buddha said that there exists such thing. A person, who takes refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, observes the moral precepts and is generous, is really worthy of praise. The "scent", or the reputation, of such a person spreads far and wide, with the wind and against it. Such a person is famous everywhere and people praise him.

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Sentence pronunciation

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