How to parse "Labheyyāhaṃ" in the ordination request?


Hello Pali readers.

This occurs as the first word in the formula: e.g., “Labheyyāhaṃ, bhante, bhagavato santike pabbajjaṃ, labheyyaṃ upasampadan’ti.” It looks like it should expand to “Labheyya + ahaṃ”. But unless I misunderstand, and that’s very possible, that would be the third person singular optative reflective of “labhati”. But, if that is the case, wouldn’t the first person be expected instead to agree with “ahaṃ”? But that would be “labheyyaṃ” (which appears later in the formula) or, in the active “labhayyāmi” which doesn’t work unless an “ṃ” is lost. So there is something going on grammatically that’s lost on me.

Thank you so much,


I’m going to attempt an answer to my own question. It looks like it’s a case of the elision of ṃ as mentioned briefly in Warder’s Introduction to Pali, Lesson 23, page 217 in my edition. It so, it’s labheyyaṃ + ahaṃ > labheyyāhaṃ, which matches the later occurence of labheyyaṃ in the formula.



That sounds right!


Thank you very much, bhante!