Pāli Meaning: "[...] tayo tayova [...]"

From the commentary to the Brahmajālasutta one finds the following sentence in Pāli: “Suttantapariyāyena pana tayo tayova tato paṭṭhāya sambahulā. Idha suttantapariyāyena ‘‘sambahulā’’ti veditabbā.”

What does tayo tayova signify? Literally it means seemingly three or three but this sounds not making much sense. I also vaguely remember a rule concerning doubling of words but can’t find it. For assistance and references regarding rules or explanations I would be very grateful. Thank you!

In metaa!
A. Bhikkhu

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It’s not “or”; the a in va is short. This gives the sense “only, just”. I can’t recall encountering this idiom before, but it seems to mean “precisely three”:

But according to the sutta method, from just three on is “several”.

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Thank you Bhante, that’s helpful. Is the repetition used for emphasis? If I may ask further. Do you happen to know of any reference to any rule regarding doubling? Your translation:

If it means “from three on (or onwards)” this would theoretically imply any number above three, so perhaps even many? It seems to me then, provided above question is answered positively, that “several” would as a translation only be applicable to texts regarding the vinaya-method, since sambahulā is thereby defined as exactly three, other than that being a saṅgha: “Tattha vinayapariyāyena tayo janā ‘‘sambahulā’’ti vuccanti. Tato paraṃ saṅgho.

In mettā
A. Bhikkhu

tayo tayova means “just three”, tato paṭṭhāya means “from that onwards”, so the phrase as a whole means “three or more”.

I’m not sure of the force of the repetition; it may just be emphasis.

Yes, I see, thank you. “Onwards”, however, I feel implies the meaning of an indefinite number, maybe even 30, for example. So maybe “a number of” would cover the range of meaning well …

In mettā
A. Bhikkhu

Yes, “a number” works well in many cases. In fact I think ven Brahmali uses this in most cases.

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Thank you bhante!