Could vāti be an i-aorist?

Thig 2.3 is a really hard text, with an astonishing amount of variants, such that each translation reads as a completely different text.

One word that appears once (or twice or not at all, depending on how you read it) is vāti, which the commentary reads as vāyati, “it blows”. I’m wondering if it could be an i-aorist formed from the stem, and lacking the augment? It doesn’t seem to be attested anywhere (although I can’t say for sure, it’s a hard one to search for!)

The reason I ask, is that contextually it seems to refer back to a time when the nun was married. Maybe it could be read as historical present, but I’m not really comfortable with that, I’m not sure why.


I was browsing through the dictionary entry of Vindati today. And that apparently also had an old archaic aorist ‘vedi’ (i-aorist without the augment). I don’t know if this was something you were looking for Bhante, but I thought I share.


Thanks, interesting. I had a look for similar forms, but they’re a bit difficult to search for, or I’m looking in the wrong place.

I mean, it looks to me like it could be an aorist, but the fact that it isn’t read as such in the commentary, dictionaries, or translations is worrying me!

Geiger’s grammar has a few examples on page 161/162. The one coming closest is Vasati with vasi as aorist.

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Haven’t looked at this in any debt, but here is just a quick thought, dear Bhante. :anjal: You mean an aorist on stem vat? Wouldn’t that make the aorist similar to the present tense, then? I’d be surprised if the aorist were formed in such a way as to be identical to the present tense. It’s like for the present participles in -ant the only locative singular ending in -i is sati from sant, because its 3rd singular present tense is atthi, and therefore is different. As far as I know, all other verbs don’t take this ending for the present participle in ant (although adjectives like mahant do) because then they would become identical to the present tense 3rd singular. Or are you then suggesting the present tense would be vatati or something? Just brainstorming, perhaps this is all silly.

The reason it doesn’t feel like a historic present may be because historic present is generally if not always used in context where it is abundantly clear it talks about the past, like narratives and such. From my limited experience I feel it’s also not common in verse generally, but that is just a feeling.


Oh thanks.

Normally yes, although it could admit of exceptions, I suppose.

But the root is , and vāti is a contracted form of vāyati. Reviewing the usages in the canon, vāti seems to be only used in verse, and always in the indefinite present tense, “the scent of virtue wafts …”.

The aorist would, I suspect, be formed from the uncontracted form, hence vāyi. And we do indeed find this form:

sn41.4:4.2: Atha kho āyasmā mahako tathārūpaṁ iddhābhisaṅkhāraṁ abhisaṅkhari yathā sītako ca vāto vāyi …
mil5.1.1:9.1: Yathā, mahārāja, mahatimahāvāto vāyi;

So it seems you’re right, the form is unambiguous, and vāti is not aorist.



That’s why I was confused about the root.

Well, a difficult verse for sure. Way above my pay grade for sure. :rofl: I’m happy you found your solution, bhante.

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