Dhammapada 11 – Grammatical Analysis

Monday April 24, 2023

Dhammapada 11

Source: buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/


Gāthā Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
Vocabulary&Grammar Commentary Pronunciation

List of Abbreviations



asāre sāramatino sāre cāsāradassino

te sāraṃ nādhigacchanti micchāsaṅkappagocarā

(DhP 11)


Thinking to be essential, what is not, seeing no essence in what is essential,
they, feeding on wrong thoughts, do not discover the essence.

Sentence Structure

List of Abbreviations

a+     sāre     sāra+matino     sāre     ca       a+sāra+dassino
|          |           |         |            |          |        |      |         |
neg.  N.n.     N.n    N.m.      N.n.   conj.  neg. N.n.   N.m.
|     Loc.Sg.     |    Nom.Pl. Loc.Sg.    |        |      |    Nom.Pl.
|_____|            |_____|            |          |        |___|         |
    |____________|                  |          |          |_______|
               |                             |______|_________|
               |                                        |_____|

List of Abbreviations

te            sāraṃ    na adhigacchanti micchā+saṅkappa+gocarā
|                  |         |             |              |              |             |
Pron.        N.n.   neg.     V.act.in.     Adv.       N.m.      N.m.
Nom.Pl.  Acc.Sg.   |       3.Pl.pres.       |________|       Nom.Pl.
|                  |         |_______|                      |___________|
|                  |_________|                                       |
_____|                  |

Vocabulary and Grammar

 List of Abbreviations

asāreasāra-, N.n.: non-essence. Negated (by the negative prefix a-) word sāra-, N.n.: essence, substance. Loc.Sg. = asāre.

sāramatinosāramatin-, thinking [to be] the essence. A compound of:
    sāra-, N.n.: see above
    matin-, N.m.: having imagined. Derived from the word mata- (p.p. of man-, to think, to imagine) by the way of adding the possessive suffix -in.
Nom.Pl. of the compound = sāramatino.

sāresāra-, N.n.: essence (see also above). Loc.Sg. = sāre.

ca, conj.: and.

 List of Abbreviations

asāradassinoasāradassin-, Seeing the non-essence. A compound of:
    asāra-, N.n.: see above.
    dassin-, N.m.: having seen. Derived from the verb das- (to see) by adding the denominative suffix -in.
Nom.Pl. of the compound = asāradassino.

te, pron.: tad-, Pron.n.: it. Masculine form sa-. Nom.Pl. = te (they).

sāraṃsāra-, : see above. Acc.Sg. = sāraṃ.

na, neg.: not.

 List of Abbreviations

adhigacchanti, V.: discover, obtain. The verb gam- (to go) with the prefix adhi- (above, towards). 3.Pl.act.pres.in. = adhigacchanti.

micchāsaṅkappagocarāmicchāsaṅkappagocara-, N.m.: having pasture for wrong thoughts. A compound of:
    micchāsaṅkappa-, N.m.: wrong thought, wrong intention. This can be further analyzed as:
        micchā, Adv,: wrongly.
        saṅkappa-, N.m.: thought, intention.
    gocara-, N.m.: pasture, sphere. This can be further analyzed as:
        go-, N.m.: cow
        cara-, N.m.: going, walking. Derived from the verb car- (to walk, to roam).
Nom.Pl. of the whole compound = micchāsaṅkappagocarā.

List of Abbreviations

    The subject of this sentence is te (they). It is in nominative plural. Its corresponding verb is adhigacchanti (realize, discover), in 3rd person, plural, active, indicative and present tense. It is negated by the particle na (not). The object is sāraṃ (the essence), which is in accusative singular. The subject has three attributes: asāre sāramatino (thinking to be essential, what is not), sāre asāradassino (seeing no essence in what is essential) and micchāsaṅkappagocarā (feeding on wrong thoughts).

    The first of them is asāre sāramatino (thinking to be essential, what is not). The actual attribute here is sāramatino (thinking to be essential), which is in nominative plural to agree with the subject. The word asāre  (in the non-essence) forms an attribute to the word sāramatino. It is in locative singular.

    Next one is sāre asāradassino (seeing no essence in what is essential). Again, the actual attribute is the word asāradassino (seeing no essence), which is in nominative plural. This word has itself an attribute, sāre (in the essence), which is in locative singular. The conjunction ca (and) connects this attribute to the previous one.

    Last of the attributes is micchāsaṅkappagocarā (feeding on wrong thoughts). It is a compound and it is in nominative plural, because it has to agree with the subject.


    One can of course never expect to understand, or get close to, the "essence", the heart of the problem, if one keeps looking in the wrong direction. This is true in every field of our endeavor. Therefore this rule necessarily applies also to spiritual efforts. This verse says that if we mistake the essential things for nonsense and think that there is some essence in things that are actually empty of it, we can not ever get even close to the reality. All kinds of superstition fall into this category, various activities that (although they look nice and can be even pleasant) do not bring us closer to the goal, which is the purification of mind. As the verse notes, this is the "pasture for wrong thoughts". As the cows on the pasture, the thoughts, wandering in this direction, will grow stronger and will multiply. The only problem is -- it will not help us on our way at all.

Sentence pronunciation

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List of Abbreviations

Dhammapada 1 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 2 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 3 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 4 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 5 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 6 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 7 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 8 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 9 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 10 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 11 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 12 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 13 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 14 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 15 – Grammatical Analysis

Dhammapada 16 – Grammatical Analysis

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