Dhammapada 6 – Grammatical Analysis

Sunday April 23, 2023

Dhammapada 6

Source: buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/

Gāthā Sentence Translation Sentence Structure
Vocabulary&Grammar Commentary Pronunciation

List of Abbreviations



pare ca na vijānanti mayaṃ ettha yamāmase

ye ca tattha vijānanti tato sammanti medhagā

(DhP 6)


The others do not understand that we should restrain ourselves here.
Those who understand that, therefore appease their quarrels.

Sentence structure

List of Abbreviations

pare         ca         na         vijānanti     mayaṃ     ettha     yamāmase
|                |            |                |               |             |                |
Adj.       conj.     neg.        V.act.in.      Pron.      Adv.     V.med.opt.
Nom.Pl.    |            |          3.Pl.pres.    Nom.Pl.      |          3.Pl.pres.
|_________|           |_________|               |________|________|
        |_______________|                                 |___|

List of Abbreviations

ye                 ca    tattha         vijānanti         tato         sammanti         medhagā
|                     |        |                  |                 |                   |                     |
rel.Pron.     conj.  Adv.          V.act.in.        Adv.            V.act.in.          N.m.
Nom.Pl.         |        |             3.Pl.pres.         |               3.Pl.pres.       Nom.Pl.
|___________|         |__________|                 |                   |____________|
         |________________|                           |_________________|

Vocabulary and Grammar

List of Abbreviations

parepara-, Adj.: other. Nom.Pl.m. = pare.

ca, conj.: and.

na, neg.: not.

vijānanti: the verb ñā- or jā- (to know) with the prefix vi- (intensifying prefix). To understand, to realize. 3.Pl.act.in.pres. = vijānanti.

mayaṃ: Pron. ahaṃ, I. Nom.Pl. = mayaṃ (we).

List of Abbreviations

ettha: Adv.: here, in this place.

yamāmase: the verb yam- (to restrain, to control). This form is used only in this place and there is no consensus about its etymology. Probably it is 3.Pl.opt.med.pres. (We should restrain ourselves). But some translate it "We must die" (deriving it from the word yama-, N.m.: death, the god of death).

ye: rel.Pron. yad-, that which. Nom.Pl.m. = ye (those [people] who).

ca: see above.

List of Abbreviations

tattha: Adv.: there, in this, about that.

vijānanti: see above.

tato, Adv.: originally Abl.Sg. of tat- (it), literally "from that". Because of that, thence, thereupon, afterwards.

sammanti: the verb sam- (to be appeased). 3.Pl.act.in.pres. = sammanti.

medhagāmedhaga-, N.m.: quarrel, strife. Nom.Pl. = medhagā. Note the passive structure of this verse (literally: those who understand this, therefore [their] quarrels are appeased).  

List of Abbreviations

    The first line consists of two sentences ("pare ca na vijānanti" and "mayaṃ ettha yamāmase"). In the first sentence the subject is pare (others, nominative plural) and the verb is vijānanti (understand; 3rd person, plural, active voice, indicative, present tense). The verb is negated by the negative particle na (not). The conjunction ca (and) connects this verse to the previous one (this chapter contains pairs of verses connected in meaning to each other).

    The second verse has as its subject the word mayaṃ (we, nominative plural). The verb is yamāmase (we should restrain [ourselves]), it is probably 3rd person, plural, optative (used for hypothetical action, for suggesting something. It can be translated by "should", "would" and "may"), medium voice (this voice was originally -- in Sanskrit -- used to express the action done for the oneself -- ie. in case one wants to say "I do for myself" one would use medium voice, in case of "I do for somebody else" the active voice would be used). The adverb ettha (here) is an attribute to the verb.

    The second line again brings two sentences ("ye ca tattha vijānanti" and "tato sammanti medhagā"). In the first one, the subject is ye (those, who, nominative plural) and the verb is vijānanti (understand, same as above). The conjunction ca (and) connects it to the previous line.

    In the second sentence, the subject is medhagā (quarrels, nominative plural) and the verb sammanti (are appeased, 3rd person, plural, active voice, indicative, present tense). The adverb tato (therefore) connects this sentence to the previous one.


    This verse is related to the previous one (DhP 5), even if this relation is not apparent immediately. In DhP 5 we are told that hatred can not be appeased by hatred but only by abstention from hatred. Here it says that some people do not understand this, do not know that we should restrain ourselves, that we should not give in to hatred. Those who realize that, of course, stop their enmity and quarreling, thus stopping hatred completely.

    By the word "others" the authors probably meant the people, who do not realize this eternal law (that hatred can be appeased by non-hatred only). The use of the word "here" ("that we should restrain ourselves here") suggests this world, our present situation. It can also point to the previous verse -- then we should understand "here" as "this" (meaning this eternal law of appeasing hatred by non-hatred).

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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