Bhante Sujato Pali Course 2023: Warder lesson 12

Several of my questions here are mainly about where and why I got it wrong.

Question: vatthāni pi 'ssa na yathā aññesaṃ

Ajahn Brahmali = Also (pi) his clothes are not as the clothes of others.

I really can’t make heads or tails of this sentence, so I just made an (un)educated guess: Even the clothes for him are not the same as the clothes for others. :grin:

Where did I get it wrong, please?

Question: imassa ko attho

Ajahn Brahmali = What is the meaning of this?

I’m still not sure which meaning to pick for datives, so I guess this sentence means: What does this mean for him?

Question: mayaṃ yaṃ icchissāma taṃ karissāma

Ajahn Brahmali = What (yaṃ) we will desire, that we will do.

Could this rendering be acceptable: We will do what we will desire? If so, does this mean that a relative clause in Pali can sometimes be interpreted as a noun clause?

Question: kissa nu kho me idaṃ kammassa phalaṃ, kissa kammassa vipāko

Ajahn Brahmali = Of what action of mine is this the fruit, of what action (is this) the result?

I understand (I think) Ajahn Brahmali’s explanation, but I don’t know why I came to this conclusion for the first clause: what is the consequence of this action of mine? / what is the result of this action for me?

Question: iminā me upasamena Udāyibhaddo kumāro samannāgato hotu

Ajahn Brahmali = May my Prince Udāyibhadda be possessed with this calm!

I have a problem interpreting ‘me’ here. I looked at the sentence, and to me, it meant: “By this/with this, may Young Prince Udāyibhadda be endowed with my ultimate peace”

Of course, I knew that ‘my ultimate peace’ is wrong, but how can we know that ‘me’ modifies ‘kumāro’ when ‘upasamena’, as the noun following the word me, could be the ‘modify-ee’?

Question: puccha mahārāja yad ākaṅkhasi

= Ask, Great King, what you wish.

Another sentence that makes me wonder whether a Pali relative clause can, in fact, be a noun clause!

Dear Bhante @sujato,

A bit off topic, but I just want to say that I really, really like what you do to this sutta (Pāyāsisutta), where you have both Pali and English side by side, with some annotations to give extra info for readers to fully understand the sutta.


Literally, the clothes / also / for him / not / as-like / of others.

Ime is more of a demonstrative than a personal pronoun, so ‘of this’ is correct.

I suppose so, but the Key is much closer to the Pali.

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When I looked into this many years ago, my finding was that madanīya, majjati, etc. share an origin with “mead”, while “mad” shares an origin with medhaga, “strife”, but they’re not related to each other.


It seems the context of the sentence is helpful here. The speaker is the boy’s father.
Rhys-Davids translates, “Would that my son, UdāyiBhadda, might have such calm…”

(Kumāra= ‘boy’ or ‘son’)

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Yes, this has been treated in a previous lesson. Notice that in your translation you miss the genitive sense, lit “of (or “for”) those foreigners there was …”. (tesaṃ paccantajanānaṃ manussānaṃ = genitive plural).

When this is constructed with ahosi it means “it was for them”, i.e. equivalent to the English, “it occurred to them” i.e. “they thought”.

In Pali the question words don’t require the “is” like they do in English. taṁ kiṁ maññatha, “what do you think?”, ko hetu, “what is the cause?”

The important point is to understand what the question is asking, which is not always easy!

Huh, I did not know that!

It’s not really wrong, you correctly identified the dative/genitive form, and it can technically be read “clothes of him” or “clothes for him”. Likewise with pi, these are contextual judgements.

Sure, that’s the idiomatic rendering.

I don’t really understand the question.

That’s also fine.

Again this just pivots on the ambiguity of the dative genitive, technically me could be either. Since according to Buddhism we alone experience the results of our kamma, the the results “of me” and the results “for me” are the same. :person_shrugging:

I think it’s just context, we know the prince is his son.

In such cases, apply the “principle of least meaning”. Since we know the prince is “his” son, then adding this creates no new meaning. But if he is felt to be the owner of peace, that creates a striking and unusual meaning! It’s not the kind of thing you just drop in casual conversation.

(Given that he was a proud king, one could imagine a situation where he had settled a war, and then wanted his son to enjoy the peace he had created. But again, that carries a large freight of meaning.)

Again, I’m missing something, because I’m getting what you’re trying to say here.

Is it that the relative clause yad ākaṅkhasi is acted on as a whole by the question verb? Like a noun clause would be? If so, then yes!

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So, it could mean ‘Also, the clothes for him are not like those of others’?

So, without a context, what interpretation could be possible?

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Well, ‘the clothes for him’ is not a way we would normally express this idea in English, we use the verb ‘to have’. “His clothes’.

It certainly hard to translate decontextualized sentence fragments. I looked up the context in the sutta to help me understand the meaning.
Fortunately, translating Pali is easier than Warder!

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Dear Bhante,

I think I’m trying to understand whether Pali has a blurry line between a relative clause that modifies indefinite pronouns and a true noun clause.

For instance:

Noun clause (object of the verb to buy): I don’t buy what I don’t like.
Relative clause (modifying the pronoun ‘those’): I don’t buy those that I don’t like.

Last night I spent a lot of time trying to find the explanation of noun clauses in Pali from different books, but couldn’t find any. I may have missed it, or a relative clause indeed ‘could be’ a noun clause in such an abovementioned context.

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As a non-native speaker of English, I make a point to see the difference. :grin: The clothes for him could be the clothes we prepare /buy/make for him (and perhaps make it suitable for him). :smiley:

I’m drowning in pronouns. :droplet: :sweat_drops:

Bhante @sujato: I’ve just noticed that Meiland gave his students two weeks to cover this chapter.


Question : He gave to me
Ajahn Brahmali: Adāsi me.

Can it be: M’ adāsi?

Question: What do you think, then, great king?
Ajahn Brahmali: Taṃ kiṃ maññasi mahārāja?

Can we just say without ‘taṃ’: kiṃ, mahārāja, saṅkappesi?

Question: Did you hear a noise, sir? I didn’t hear a noise, sir!
Ajahn Brahmali: Kiṃ bhante saddaṃ assosī ti? Na ahaṃ āvuso saddaṃ assosiṃ ti.

Is it ok not to use ‘ti’ here? Also, can we use āvuso in both sentences as we don’t know the context?

Question: We do not see his soul leaving
Ajahn Brahmali: N’ (ev’) assa mayaṃ jīvaṃ nikkhamantaṃ passāma

Can we say: mayaṃ n’ assa jīvaṃ nikkhamantaṃ passāma?

I’ve found the division of info in Warder is a bit funny.

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It’s in Lesson 10. Here’s Meiland’s examples


I would say that it’s not that ‘ahosi’ can mean ‘thought’ but rather that idiomatic phrase has that sense. (‘There was this for him’ e.g.)


In the profoundly confusing phrase vatthāni pi 'ssa na yathā aññesaṃ Ajahn Brahmali says assa is in the genitive. John likewise translates it literally as a genitive. So wouldn’t it be of him instead (to show possession)? Oops just read Bhante’s comment above where he said it could be either genitive/dative.
Ongoing multitude of thanks for your pdf notes. Warder drops using personal pronoun charts for all intents and purposes after pg. 28, although he attempts to include an instrumental chart on pg. 42. Your chart in the Lesson 10 pdf is the one I keep going back to! Granted, it would be nearly impossible to keep charts in the printed book that approximate yours.


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In Pali, except for the ‘true dative’ -āya, there is a lot of overlap. The sense is ‘his clothes.’

Yes, you are probably right, ‘of him’ rather than ‘for him’.


me is enclitic. so that would be possible only as part of a longer sentence.

That’s grammatical, but the idiom * Taṃ kiṃ* is very common.

Yes, the close -ti is not used invariably. Sometimes the quotation has to be inferred. But it is a good idea to include it.



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I had So me adāsi I assume that would work? :pray:

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sure, that’s fine.

Adding extra words to meet Discourse’s minimum!