How do you translate "Bhaddekaratta"?

This word always fascinated me for some reason.
An interesting book I am reading now on Bhaddekaratta Sutta.

“One Fine Night”

Thank you, Bhante.
What is the etymology?

Bhadda is “fine, excellent”. It’s less likely that the sense “auspicious” is meant, since this sense is rare for bhadda in the EBTs.

Ratta is “night”, an identification that is confirmed by a wide range of parallels in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese as noted by Vens Bodhi and Analayo.

The only element that there is any ambiguity about is eka. The Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese versions all point to the form bhadraka, which here is just a synonym for bhadda adjusted for verse. Thus they would be translated “a fine night” rather than “one fine night”. So either the northern forms have lost the e, perhaps because it was unfamiliar (as suggested by Ven Bodhi), or it was added by mistake in the Pali. In any case, the difference in meaning between “a fine night” and “one fine night” is minimal, and I like the sound of the latter better, so I keep the “one”.


In Sinhalese Eka means one and Ratti means night.
By the way, what is night got to do with this Sutta?
Why it is only one night?

It’s a poetic idiom.

1 Like

Just a matter of conversation, my understanding of Bhadde means the female of Bhante.
Am I right?

No, it’s a different word. Bhadda is an adjective meaning “fine”. It’s a common woman’s name, in which case it takes the feminine ending .


Bhante what is the difference between Bhaddekaratta sutta and the Satipathana?

By the way interesting analysis by Ven. Thanissaro.

If we look at idiomatic Pali usage, though, we find that there is good reason to stick with the traditional reading of “night.” There is a tendency in the Pali canon to speak of a 24-hour period of day and night as a “night.” This would be natural for a society that used a lunar calendar — marking the passage of time by the phases of the moon — just as it is natural for us, using a solar calendar, to call the same period of time a “day.” As the verse that forms the summary of this discourse explicitly mentions one practicing “relentlessly both day and night,” the “night” in the title of the discourse would seem to be a 24-hour, rather than a 12-hour, night — and so I have chosen to render the Pali idiom into its English equivalent: An Auspicious Day.


I see this as the single ‘positive’ desire.
The reason being that it talks entirely about craving for the future and dispelling this craving. This is a short discourse by the Buddha and in MN133 Ven. Mahakaccayana describes it in length: it turns out to be nearly entirely about craving arising at the six sense bases. It doesn’t make sense contextually to dispel craving only for a night or a night and day, as it is a constant practice to be performed habitually as and when craving arises. Ven Ananda in the Bhikkhuni sutta talks of craving to reduce craving as viable path. In terms of the Dhamma-vinaya, both translations are still suitable options.

With metta

What is the etymology?

bhadda: positive, wholesome
eka: single
ratta: see below:

"I.B. Horner drops the word “ratta” for her translation entirely; Ven Ñanamoli renders it as “attachment,” yielding “One Fortunate Attachment”;

Another translation:

In the Sinhalese language, Badda mean attaching. For example, we use this word for a heart transplant.

Here it’s closer to ‘Badra’ as in badra-kalpa, the (current) ‘lucky’ aeon with many Buddhas appearing.

With metta