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

na hi pāpaṃ kataṃ kammaṃ sajju khīraṃ va muccati

ḍahaṃ taṃ bālam anveti bhasmacchanno va pāvako

(DhP 71)

Sentence Translation:

An evil deed when done, doesn't instantly bear fruits; just like milk does not coagulate at once.
Burning, it follows the fool like fire covered with ashes.

Sentence Structure:

List of Abbreviations

na     hi    pāpaṃ    kataṃ   kammaṃ sajju khīraṃ   va     muccati
|         |         |              |             |         |          |         |            |

neg. part.  Adj.n.     Adj.n.      N.n.    Adv.    N.n.    part.  V.pas.in.

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

|_____|         |________|             |        |           |_____|            |

     |                      |___________|        |                |                |


                                      |                  |_________|____|

                                      |________________|      |


List of Abbreviations

ḍahaṃ       taṃ     bālam      anveti  bhasma+cchanno  va    pāvako
|                  |            |              |           |            |           |         |

Adj.n.     Pron.n.    N.m.    V.act.in.  N.n.     Adj.m.   part.   N.m.

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

|__________|            |              |           |_______|          |          |

         |____________|________|                 |_________|______|

                    |______|                                          |___|


Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

na, neg.: not.

hi, part.: indeed.

pāpaṃ: pāpa-, Adj.: evil, wrong. Nom.Sg.n. = pāpaṃ.

kataṃ: kata-, Adj.: done. P.p. of the verb kar- (to do). Nom.Sg.n. = kataṃ.

kammaṃ: kamma-, N.n.: deed, action. Derived from the verb kar- (to do).
Nom.Sg. = kammaṃ.

sajju, Adv.: instantly, quickly.

List of Abbreviations

khīraṃ: khīra-, N.n.: milk. Nom.Sg. = khīraṃ.

va, part.: as, like.

muccati, V.: to be released, to be freed. The verb is muc-. 3.Sg.pas.in.pres. = muccati. Here it is probably a misspelling for mucchati, V.: to coagulate, to curdle, fig. to bear results. The verb root is much-. 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = mucchati.

ḍahaṃ: ḍahant-, Adj.: burning. It is an a.pr.p. of the verb root ḍah- (to burn). Nom.Sg.n. = ḍahaṃ.

taṃ: tad-, Pron.: it. Nom.Sg.n. = taṃ.

bālam: bāla-, Adj.: childish, young. As an N.m.: "like a child", fool, ignorant person. Acc.Sg. = bālam.

List of Abbreviations

anveti, V.: follows. The verb root is i- (to go), preceded by prefix anu- (with, along, following). 3.Sg.act.in.pres. = anveti.

bhasmacchanno: bhasmachanna-, Adj.: covered with ashes. It is a compound of:
    bhasma-, N.n.: ash, dust.

    channa-, Adj.: covered. It is a p.p. of the verb chad- (to cover).

Euphonic combination: bhasma- + channa- = bhasmacchanna-.

Nom.Sg.m. = bhasmachanno.

va: see above.

pāvako: pāvaka-, N.m.: fire. Nom.Sg. = pāvako.
List of Abbreviations

    The two lines of this verse form two syntactically separate sentences.
    In the first sentence the subject is the noun kammaṃ (deed, nominative singular). It has two attributes, adjectives pāpaṃ (bad, nominative singular) and kataṃ (done, nominative singular). The verb is muccati (is freed, 3rd person, singular, passive, indicative, present tense; but the meaning here is "coagulates" for the milk and "bears results" for the evil deeds). This verb is negated by the negative prefix na (not). The verb has an attribute, the adverb sajju (instantly). There is a clause in this sentence, khīraṃ va (like milk). The subject is the noun khīraṃ (milk, nominative singular). The verb is omitted, implying the verb muccati from the main sentence. The particle va (like) connects the clause to the main sentence.

    In the second sentence, the subject is the personal pronoun taṃ (it, nominative singular; it points to the noun kammaṃ from the first sentence). It has an attribute, the active present participle ḍahaṃ (burning, nominative singular). The verb is anveti (follows, 3rd person, singular, active, indicative, present tense). The object is the noun bālaṃ (fool, accusative singular). There is a clause, bhasmachanno va pāvako (like a fire covered with ashes). Here the subject is the noun pāvako (fire, nominative singular). It has the compound bhasmachanno (covered with ashes, nominative singular) as an attribute. The particle va (like) connects the clause to the main sentence.


    Once the Venerable Moggallāna with Venerable Lakkhana were on alms round in the city of Rājagaha. Suddenly Venerable Moggallāna smiled but did not say anything. When they returned to the monastery, Lakkhana asked why he smiled. Moggallāna explained, that he saw a peta-ghost in the village. The Buddha then said that he himself saw that very peta on the day he attained awakenment. In one of his previous existences it was a rich landowner. There lived an Individual Buddha (Paccekabuddha) close to one of his fields. People who went to pay their respects to this Buddha had to pass through his field. He feared that this would damage the field and so he set fire to it. So the Buddha had to move to some other place. Because of this evil deed he was reborn as a peta-ghost.
    At the end the Buddha spoke this verse, saying that although at the time of the evil action it may seem there are no consequences, they will surely come in the future. Because we cannot see the fire through the ashes it is covered with, does not mean there is no fire at all.

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