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

appamatto ayaṃ gandho yāyaṃ tagaracandanī

yo ca sīlavataṃ gandho vāti devesu uttamo

(DhP 56)

Sentence Translation:

Very faint is this scent of tagara and sandal.
Highest is the scent of a virtuous one; it blows even amongst the gods.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

appa+matto      ayaṃ    gandho          yā         ayaṃ  tagara+candanī
|            |             |              |               |               |          |          |

Adj.  Adj.m.    Pron.m.    N.m.    Rel.Pron.f.  Pron.f.  N.n.     N.f.

|      Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg.  Nom.Sg.   Nom.Sg.   |     Nom.Sg.

|______|              |________|               |               |          |_____|

     |_______________|                       |               |________|

                  |                                      |____________|



List of Abbreviations

yo                ca   sīlavataṃ  gandho       vāti     devesu     uttamo
|                     |          |             |               |             |             |

Rel.Pron.m. conj.  Adj.m.     N.m.      V.act.in.    N.m.     Adj.m.

Nom.Sg.         |     Gen.Pl.  Nom.Sg.  3.Sg.pres.  Loc.Pl.  Nom.Sg.

|____________|         |_______|                |_______|             |

           |_______________|                             |                    |




Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

appamatto: appamatta-, Adj.: little, slight, insignificant. It is a compound of:
    appa-, Adj.: small, little.

    matta-, Adj.: measured, measuring.

Nom.Sg.m. = appamatto.

ayaṃ: idaṃ-, Pron.: this. Nom.Sg.m. = ayaṃ.

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

: yad-, Rel.Pron.: that which, such as. Nom.Sg.f. = .

List of Abbreviations

ayaṃ: idaṃ-, Pron.: this. Nom.Sg.f. = ayaṃ.

tagaracandanī: tagaracandanī-, N.f.: tagara and sandal. It is a compound of:
    tagara-, N.n.: the incense obtained from a kind of shrub

    (in Latin: Tabernaemontana coronaria).

    candanī-, N.f.: sandal.

Nom.Sg. = tagaracandanī.

yo: yad-, Rel.Pron.: that which. Nom.Sg.m. = yo.

ca, conj.: and.

List of Abbreviations

sīlavataṃ: sīlavant-, Adj.: virtuous. As a N.m.: virtuous person. It is the word sīla-, N.n.: virtue, with a possessive suffix -vant. Gen.Pl. = sīlavataṃ.

gandho: see above.

vāti, V.: blows. The verb root is vā- (to blow). 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = vāti.

devesu: deva-, N.m.: god, deity. Loc.Pl. = devesu.

uttamo: uttama-, Adj.: highest, utmost, best. Nom.Sg.m. = uttamo.

List of Abbreviations

    Two lines of this verse form two syntactically separated sentences.
    In the first sentence, subject is the noun gandho (smell, nominative singular). It has an attribute, the pronoun ayaṃ (this, nominative singular). The verb is omitted, implying the verb "to be". It has the adjective appamatto (faint, nominative singular) as a predicate. There is a clause, yā ayaṃ tagaracandanī (namely, this tagara and sandal). Here, the subject is the compound tagaracandanī (tagara and sandal, nominative singular). It has the pronoun ayaṃ (this, nominative singular) as an attribute. The relative pronoun (that, which; nominative singular) connects the clause to the main sentence.

    In the second line, the subject is the noun gandho (smell, nominative singular) with two attributes, the adjective uttamo (highest, nominative singular) and the adjective sīlavataṃ (of the virtuous ones, genitive plural). The verb is vāti (blows, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense) with an attribute, the noun devesu (amongst the gods, locative plural). The relative pronoun yo (that, which; nominative singular) introduces the sentence and also connects it to the previous one. The conjunction ca (and) serves a similar purpose.


One of the Buddha's chief disciples, Venerable Kassapa, went to the city of Rājagaha for alms food. He wanted to give some poor man opportunity to give him food and thus obtain merit.
    Sakka, the king of the gods saw this, he assumed the form of an old poor weaver and together with his wife Sujātā came to Rājagaha. Venerable Kassapa stood at their door and Sakka filled his bowl with delicious rice and curry. Kassapa thought, that this cannot be a poor man - how could such a person afford so delicious food? Kassapa then realized that this man and his wife are actually Sakka and Sujātā.

    They admitted this fact and told Kassapa that they were too very poor - they did not have enough opportunity to give alms and thus did not accumulate any merit.

    Monks asked the Buddha how Sakka knew Kassapa was such a virtuous person that any alms given to him reap great meritorious reward. The Buddha answered by this verse, telling them that the fame of Kassapa's virtue reached even amongst the gods.

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Sentence pronunciation

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