Bhante Sujato Pali Course 2023: Warder lesson 9

Thread for discussing chapter 9 of Warder for the class on September 26.

Meeting ID: 869 8997 6290
Passcode: 2023

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As Bhante @sujato hasn’t started the thread yet. :smiley: , I shall post my notes for Lesson 9 here.

Would @johnk or @stephen, or any fellow dukkhā classmate like to kindly read my notes and provide feedback?

Lesson 9 - Notes.pdf (917.9 KB)


I hear that he’s been sick.
I’ll start the thread for him, and copy your post across.
Congratulations for being so far ahead. I’m afraid I’ve not started yet.


I’ve just finished reading, but haven’t done the exercise yet. I felt totally overwhelmed; hence, the midnight poem. :smiley:

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I’m sorry @dheerayupa, but I don’t have time for that, what with my other commitments. However, if you have any particular questions on the lesson, post them here, as you usually do, and @stephen, @sujato, or myself will answer them eventually.


I am not at the level to spot and correct any wrong details but my impression is that your notes are well done and of great value for other fellow students.

Maybe you can share the folder where you keep your notes in the thread reserved for Resources of this course? It will save many hours of others in the research. I will be among the ones enjoy reading your notes.

Thank you a lot.


My notes are work in progress. But I’m happy to share. Give me a week (I’m swamped with unexpected paid work this weekend), and I’ll post the link to the files on my Drive. :slight_smile: But bear in mind that they are still incomplete. :smiley:

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So… is there a semantic difference between this passive conjugation and the past participle? Or is the difference merely grammatical?

Thanks for getting this going, I had a weird week last week, couldn’t sleep. Hey, now that I think about it, it all started after teaching this class. Hmm. But feeling better today!

I think the difference is that the passive verb voice is used specifically when you want it to be passive, whereas the past participle primarily has the sense of “present perfect” and can carry a passive sense.


Yes, I agree with this. And I think it is fair to say, please correct me if I have this wrong, bhante, that in the Pāli canon the past participle is used rather more frequently for constructing a passive sentence than the passive verb form we are learning in this chapter. Good question you raised, Ven @Khemarato.


Is there anything other than nuanced difference between devo and devatā (that is, that one might be a masculine deity whereas the latter might be a feminine deity)? Apologies in advance for any offense due to my lack of understanding around these terms.


Interestingly, although of course devo is masculine and devatā is feminine grammatically (using the abstract suffix -tā,) it has been explained to me that a ‘devatā’ is not necessarily a female, for instance at the beginning of the Mangala sutta.

I’m not sure why this is the case.

For ‘abstract nouns’ see Warder Lesson 25 pp 252-253:
“-tā (always feminine)…any divine being “whether god or goddess…”

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Yes, devatā can be either male or female, although I doubt gods really have a gender anyway. When I translate the Maṅgala sutta I use the ‘she’ pronoun for the devatā, simply because the ‘he’ pronoun gets overused, don’t you think?
One little nuance we could take from the word being an abstract noun, that it is something with the quality of a ‘deva’, as opposed to an actual ‘god’.
From the DPD I got that it is sometimes identical with deva, but more often associated with spirits living close to humans in trees, rivers, buildings, etc.

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I guess, so , I haven’t studied this.

It’s a curious thing, but I’m not aware of any major difference. It seems—without being definitive—that deva is more specific. Based on a quick search, there are no named devatā, whereas named devas are quite common. Devatās seem to appear and disappear mysteriously, with no background or context, whereas devas are involved in stories. Whether these are purely linguistic features or are supposed to be actual cosmological properties is hard to say.

I mean they do in terms of storytelling, see Pañcasikha and Suriyavacchasā, or the “male deva” (pumomhi devo) of DN 21, etc.

There’s also devaputta, which I don’t think means “son of a god”, rather “a descendant of the gods”, i.e simply “a god”.

See pli-tv-bu-vb-pc11:1.6, where there is an actual child of a deity, devatāya dārakassa. Which also contradicts what I said earlier about devatās not having stories!


As I understand it, “bhante” is a vocative singular. What would be it’s plural counterpart when we address several monks at once (vocative plural)?

The plural vocative of bhante/bhadante is bhadantā.

Is it in this chapter of Warder?

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Great, thanks a lot!

What happens if we talk about a monk who isn’t present (e.g., I saw Bhante Sujato)? Would we drop the bhante (Sujataṃ addasā) or would we maintain and decline it?

Yes, fair enough. I suppose if devas have biological gender it would be quite subtle. I don’t think they are said to come into existence by birth from a womb.

Perhaps devatā “quality of a god” is a more generic term, ‘a certain deva’ vs. a specific one with a name.

In the suttas this is typically done with the term ‘ āyasmā’ i.e. ‘venerable’.


Hi Dheerayupa

My apologies. I have deliberately avoided providing any feedback and I must admit I have not read your notes (because I have been sick for the past few weeks) but I will in the future.

Ever since I was chided by @johnk for possibly offending others with my posts, I have been very cautious about contributing to these threads. In any case, I have only read Warder, and not followed the videos or Wieland (?) so I will not be able to provide useful feedback.

I am sure you have done a great job, and others more competent than myself can give you the guidance you need. I wish you the best and please continue your efforts.