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

Iti pi so bhagavā arahaṃ sammāsaṃbuddho

vijjācaraṇasaṃpanno sugato lokavidū


satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho bhagavā ti.


Such is also the Blessed One: Arahant, truly and completely Awakened One,
endowed with knowledge and conduct, Well Gone, knowing the world,

the highest charioteer of people who can be led,

teacher of gods and humans, Awakened One, Blessed One.

Sentence structure:

List of Abbreviations

Iti         pi         so         bhagavā arahaṃ sammā+saṃ+buddho
|            |            |              |             |           |          |         |

Adv.   Adv.   Pron.m.     N.m.      N.m.    Adv.    Pref.   N.m.

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

      |                  |________|             |           |          |_____|

      |______________|                     |           |________|

                  |                                   |__________|______________________


List of Abbreviations

vijjā+caraṇa+saṃpanno     su+gato         loka+vidū
|            |            |              |        |             |        |

N.f.    N.n.    Adj.m.     Pref. Adj.m.    N.m. Adj.m.

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

     |___________|              |____|              |____|


List of Abbreviations

|         |          |          |           |

neg. Adj.   N.m.    Adj.     N.m.

|_____|          |______|    Nom.Sg.

     |                    |_________|



List of Abbreviations

satthā deva+manussānaṃ buddho     bhagavā     ti
|             |            |               |                 |            |

N.m.   N.m.     N.m.         N.m.          N.m.     part.

Nom.Sg. |       Gen.Pl.    Nom.Sg.      Nom.Sg.    |

|             |_______|              |                 |            |

|___________|                    |                 |             |

_____|__________________|_________|             |


Vocabulary and Grammar:

List of Abbreviations

iti: Adv.: (sometimes written as ti) usually a particle, symbolizing the end of direct speech (in English that is expressed by quotation marks). Here rather as an adverb: such, thus.

pi: Adv.: (sometimes written as api) also, as well.

so: tad-, Pron.: that, masculine form: so-. Nom.Sg. = so.

bhagavā: bhagavant-, N.m.: Blessed One (epithet of the Buddha, possessive form of the word bhaga-, N.m.: good fortune, happiness, prosperity. Bhaga- is derived from the verb root bhaj-, to share. Thus bhagavant means literally "having good fortune").
Nom.Sg. = bhagavā.

List of Abbreviations

arahaṃ: arahant-, Adj.: literally: deserving, worthy. Derived (pr.p.) from the verb root arah-, to deserve. Means one, who has attained Nirvana. Usually not translated or explained as Perfected One. Nom.Sg. = arahaṃ.

sammāsaṃbuddho: sammāsaṃbuddha-, N.m.: truly and completely Awakened One. Denotes the Buddha Shakyamuni. A compound of two words:
    sammā: Adv.: properly, rightly, as it should be, truly.

    saṃbuddha-, Adj.: completely awakened. It is a p.p. of the verb sam+budh-, to awaken
completely. Prefix sam- denotes the completeness of the action, "together", "wholy". The verb budh- means to wake up.
Nom.Sg.m. of the compound = sammāsaṃbuddho.

List of Abbreviations

vijjācaraṇasaṃpanno: vijjācaraṇasaṃpanna-, Adj.: compound of:
    vijjācaraṇa-, N.n.: knowledge and conduct. This is itself a compound of:

        vijjā-, N.f.: knowledge, higher knowledge. Derived from the verb root vid- (to know, to
find out).
        caraṇa-, N.n.: conduct, behaviour, acting. Derived from the verb root car- (to move, to
go, to behave).
    saṃpanna-, Adj.: endowed with, possessed of; p.p. of the verb pad- (to go to, to fall to)
preceded by the prefix sam- (denoting "together" or "completely").
Nom.Sg.m. of the whole compound = vijjācaraṇasaṃpanno.

sugato: sugata-, Adj.: Well-gone. An epithet of the Buddha. A p.p. of the verb gam- (to go) preceded by the prefix su- (well).
Nom.Sg.m. = sugato.

List of Abbreviations

lokavidū: lokavidū-, Adj.: knowing the world. A compound of two words:
    loka-, N.m.: world

    vidū-, Adj.: clever, wise, knowing, skilled in.

Nom.Sg.m. of the compound = lokavidū.

anuttarapurisadammasārathī: anuttarapurisadammasārathi-, N.m.: the highest charioteer of people who can be led. Let us first dissect this compound into its constituents:
    anuttara-, Adj.: highest. Literally: "to which there is no higher". It is composed of the word
uttara- (uttara-, Adj.: higher) which is preceded by the negative prefix an-.
    purisadamma-, Adj.: person who can be led. Consists of:

        purisa-, N.m.: person, man

        damma-, Adj.: tamable, can or should be led. Ger. of the verb dam- (to tame, to


    sārathi-, N.m.: charioteer (probably from sa+ratha-; ratha-, N.m.: chariot with the prefix
sa-, with).
Purisa-damma-sārathi is therefore a "charioteer" or a leader of such people, who allow themselves to be led. The first part of the compound (anuttara-) is in some versions of this gāthā separated from this compound and forms one more characteristic of the Buddha just by itself (The highest, unsurpassed).

Nom.Sg. of the compound = anuttarapurisadammasārathī.

List of Abbreviations

satthā: satthar-, N.m.: teacher. Nom.Sg. = satthā.

devamanussānaṃ: devamanussa-, N.m.: gods and people. The compound of:
    deva-, N.m.: god

    manussa-, N.m.: human being, person.

Gen.Pl. of the compound = devamanussānaṃ.

buddho: buddha-, Adj.: awakened. Here as a title: Awakened One. P.p. of the verb budh- (to awaken). Nom.Sg.m. = buddho.

bhagavā: bhagavant-, Adj.: see above.

ti: see above (iti).

List of Abbreviations

    We begin with the word "iti", which is usually used for marking the end of the direct speech. But here it means "thus" or "such".

    Next word is "pi" (also) which is also indeclinable.

    "So" (he) and "bhagavā" (Blessed One) form the subject of this sentence. They are both in nominative case. The verb of this sentence is the verb "to be" and it is again omitted.

    All the other words (except for the final "ti" which is just another form of "iti" and which here has its more usual role of marking the end of a list) are epithets of the Buddha and are all attributes of the subject. They are therefore also in nominative case.

    We can dissolve some of the compounds:

    Sammāsaṃbuddho could actually be written separated as sammā(truly) saṃbuddho (completely awakened). As sammā is an adverb, it is indcelinable.

    Vijjācaraṇasaṃpanno we can see as vijāya (with the knowledge, instrumental) caraṇena (with the conduct, instrumental) saṃpanno (endowed).

    Lokavidū is lokassa (of the world, genitive singular) vidū (knower).

    Anuttarapurisadammasārathī is anuttaro (highest, nominative singular) purisadamānaṃ (of the people who can be led, genitive plural) sārathī (charioteer).

    Devamanussānaṃ can be sepatarated as devānaṃ (of the gods) manussānaṃ (of the people).


    This gāthā is used as a part of the daily ceremony, right after the vandanā and the tisaraṇa. By this verse we enumerate the qualities of the Buddha, we remember what he means for our lives.

    He is an arahant, for he has reached the nirvana. He is also Truly and Completely Awakened One, he has reached the goal without the external help and taught the Dharma to all beings. (For further discussion of the differences between arahant and sammāsambuddha see verse 1).

    He possesses the "knowledge and conduct". By the knowledge is meant not only the knowledge of the goal (ie. Nirvana), but also other knowledge, namely so called Higher Spiritual Powers (abhiññā), Magical Powers (iddhi) and Insight (vipassanā). The conduct refers to his behavior, modesty, moral restraint, mindfulness etc.

    The epithet Sugata is used very often for the Buddha. It points to his happy and content life, to the fact, that he already happily reached the nirvana.

    He also knows the world, knows how it works, knows the personalities of the beings therein. He knows how to deal with the world and how exactly to teach the multitudes of living beings.

    He is the highest "charioteer" of those people, who can "be tamed". In other words, he is the leader of those, who allow themselves to be led, to be taught. The majority of the people easily understood this simile in the ancient times, when the horse and chariot were so common.

    He is the teacher of gods and people, which reminds us of the fact, that gods in Buddhism are just living beings, like people. Their life span is of course longer and they might have high powers, that we people don't have, but they are as mortal as we are. So they have to strive for reaching nirvana as well - and only a Buddha can teach them.

    He is a Buddha, Awakened One, who realized the nirvana here and now and teaches the way to it to multitudes.

    And he is blessed or happy (for more about this term see verse 1).

    Therefore by enumerating and remembering these qualities of the Buddha every day at the beginning of a ceremony, we keep in mind, what the Buddha means for us and for this world and can respect him as our highest teacher.

Sentence pronunciation:

Sentence pronunciation

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