Dhammapada

Pakinnakavagga

304

Dūre santo pakāsenti, himavantova pabbato; Asantettha na dissanti, rattiṃ khittā yathā sarā.
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The good shine from afar, like the Himalaya mountains. But the wicked are unseen, like arrows shot in the night.
Благие сияют издалека, как Гималайские горы. Злых же вблизи не видно, как не видно стрел, пущенных ночью.

Grammar

This verse consists of two syntactically separate sentences. They are: 1) dure santo pakasenti himavanto va pabbato (the good ones shine from afar, like a snowy mountain). This can be analysed into the main sentence a) and the dependent clause b): a) dure santo pakasenti (the good ones shine from afar). The subject is the active present participle santo (good ones, nominative plural). The verb is pakasenti (3rd person, plural, active, causative, present tense). It has an attribute, the adjective dure (far, locative singular). b) himavanto va pabbato (like a snowy mountain). The subject is the noun pabbato (mountain, nominative singular). It has an attribute, the adjective himavanto (snowy, nominative singular). The particle va (like) connects the clause to the main sentence. 2) asantettha na dissanti rattij khitta yatha sara (the bad ones are unseen, like arrows shot at night). This can be further divided into the main sentence a) and the dependent clause b): a) asantettha na dissanti (the bad ones are unseen). The subject is the active present participle asanto (bad ones, nominative plural). The verb is dissanti (are seen, 3rs person, plural, passive, indicative, present tense). It is negated by the negative particle na (not). The verb has an attribute, the adverb ettha (here). b) rattij khitta yatha sara (like arrows shot at night). The subject is the noun sara (arrows, nominative plural). It has an attribute, the past participle khitta (released, shot, nominative plural) with its attribute, the adverb rattij (at night). The relative adverb yatha (like) connects the clause to the main sentence.

Commentary

Anatha Pindika and Ugga both studied under the same teacher while they were young. Later Anatha Pindika had a daughter and Ugga had a son. When the children grew up, their parents arranged their marriage. The daughter of Anatha Pindika, named Cula Subhadda went to live with her husband and parents-in-law. Ugga and his family were not followers of the Buddha, but they were disciples of different ascetic school (called "naked ascetics", because the monks did not wear any clothes). Cula Subhadda told her mother-in-law about the Buddha and she was anxious to see him. She agreed to invite the Buddha for the almsfood the next day. Because the Jetavana monastery was far away, Cula Subhadda made the invitation only with her heart. But the Buddha knew and accepted the invitation. At that day, Anatha Pindika went to the monastery and invited the Buddha to have almsfood in his house the next day. But the Buddha replied that he had already accepted Cula Subhadda's invitation. Anatha Pindika asked how was it possible if his daughter lived so far away. The Buddha replied with this verse, saying that the good ones can be seen and heard from far away. The next day, the Buddha with many monks went to the house of Ugga. After the meal, he delivered a discourse. The whole Ugga's family became followers of the Buddha.