Therigatha translation

Pañcakkhandhā pariññātā | tiṭṭhanti chinnamūlakā,
Dhī tavatthu jare jamme | natthi dāni punabbhavoti.

When they are known, the five aggregates stand with root cut off. Shame be on you, miserable old age! There is now no renewed existence. [William Pruitt tr.]

I know the five impersonal things
That make up a person,
They may still stand, but their roots are cut.
The calamity now is for miserable old age itself:
I will not be reborn again.
[Charles Hallisey tr.]

The five aggregates, comprehended,
stand like a tree with its root cut through.
I spit on old age.
There is now no further becoming.
[Thanissaro, tr.]

Can anyone explain tavatthu in this verse, thig5.8 ?

Dhammadharini is working through the therigatha this vassa. We can’t publicize our shared google docs without violating copyrights, but if anyone wants to join our little study group, we can give access.


The operative word here is dhi, a curse word:

It commonly appears with atthu (3rd singular imperative of atthi) in the compound dhiratthu, “curse this …”:

In the verse above, tava = “you” has been inserted, “Curse you …”.

I could think of more colloquial renderings, but I will not share them here!

Ahh, yes please! :raising_hand_woman: I will soon be readying my Therigatha translation for SC. I’m about 2/3s of the way through revising the Theragatha.


Thank you Bhante, I will privately share the link for our therigatha study group… it is quite rough, not as polished as what we were doing with Dhammapada. We are just trying to pronounce one gatha per day with a few translations & the background story, look up the word meanings, and discuss. Not enough time to do a complete gloss or attempt original translation. In our style of glossing, I guess dhī tavatthu would be analyzed as dhī tava-atthu : shame! INDEC. for you DAT.2SG. be! IMPERAT.3SG.


Still worrying over thig 5.8 … I am curious how all the place names aṅgā, magadhā, vajjī kāsī kosalā get to be feminine. Are they agreeing with ciṇṇā which in in turn agrees with Bhaddākuṇḍalakesā.

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They’re not feminine, but masculine (or neuter) nominative plural. It’s common to express these countries in plural, as they refer to the “peoples”, lit. “the Magadhans, the Angans …” (eg AN 3.70: aṅgānaṃ, magadhānaṃ, kāsīnaṃ …). See comm here: ye ime aṅgā ca magadhā …

This is a passive sentence, for which see Warder ch. 7. The sense requires the addition of mayā “by me”, supplied by the commentary and by Norman in his translation. The past participle ciṇṇa is (like an adjective) declined to agree with the “peoples”. Literally:

Ciṇṇā aṅgā ca magadhā,
[By me] have been wandered the Angans and Magadhans,
vajjī kāsī ca kosalā;
the Vajjīs, Kāsīs, and Kosalans.



Ayya, I have already started working on Thig, and am finding your work invaluable!

From time to time I notice some mistakes in the file; would you like me to note these? And if so, how best should I do that?


Bhante, you are very welcome to comment on mistakes in Dhammadharini’s Therigata file. Please forgive our very rough first pass. It is such a boon to have an expert Pali consultant that I am willing to continue asking dumb questions.


Following up on Ayya Sobhana’s welcome - @sujato :

Bhante, use of the comment feature in Google docs works well. If you highlight a word or section then click on the comment icon in the upper right next to SHARE, there will be the word and icon for ‘Comment’ at the upper right in the popup box. This will bring up a place to type the comment. Ayya Sobhana and other participants who wish to see comments will then get an email notification that comments were entered. Just typing in the doc, does not create the email alert. If you wish to add larger blocks of text or images to the doc then adding a comment linked to the start of the addition is useful, as this will create the email alert.

Example: I just pasted your suggestion for Muttā’s verse in the doc for Ekakanipāto and added a comment with the link to the D&D thread on that topic.


Okay, excellent, thanks. I have just started, and there is only one major issue I’ve spotted so far.

In Thig 1.10, the first line:

Upasame tare oghaṃ,

Tare is third person optative singular, “you should cross”. It’s common in verse for the usual -eyya ending to be abbreviated in this way.

But generally, it’s a great project and very helpful. One thing that I’d appreciate seeing some more of is any notes or thoughts that you have on the verses. Why certain readings are preferred, or the sense that you’re trying to convey through your choices.

Also, just so you know, I am making notes on Pootle as i go. Most of these are fairly minor points, but they do indicate the choices that I make. Usually if there’s anything of general interest I’ll make a little post here on Discourse, and if it’s more of a technical note I’ll just leave it on Pootle for now.

I won’t re-record everything in the Google docs, but just things that specifically pertain to what you’ve done there.


Satimatī cakkhumatī bhikkhunī bhāvitindriyā …
Possessed of mindfulness, possessed of vision, a bhikkhunī with developed faculties …
Thig 7.3 v. 189.
There is no feminine declension of nouns ending in -ant, in our favorite pali noun declension table, the one by Bhikkhu Ñāṇatusita c 2005. But there is a good explanation of feminine gender adjectives in V. Perniola’s Pali Grammar. §38 p. 45ff. Learning feminine forms is one pleasant way the Therigatha makes us step up our Pali.


Thank you for your translations Ayya.
For fem -ant, if you have access to Gair & Karunatillake, you can see this listed on page 70 (sec. 2.3)
“The feminine is formed by adding -i- to either the -vant (-mant) or the -vat- (-mat-) stem… This then takes the same endings as a regular feminine noun in -i-.”

Best regards,


That’s so weird, how did I never notice that? Normally those tables are very complete.