SaNskrit Lesson

tatra ye sattva upapannas
The beings who are born there...

(continued from Issue #102)

by Bhikshuni Heng Hsien

      Sakyamuni Buddha now begins to describe the activities of sattvas "(the) beings"
ye, "who" upapannas "are born" tatra "there," in Sukhavati, the Land of Happiness. Root as
- "be," whose present active participle sat "being" reverses the a and s of the root, adds suffix -tva to form the noun sattva- "being." sattvas "beings" (which loses its final -s before the voiced sound u-) is nominative plural masculine, and subject of the main verb which has not yet been stated, ye is the relative pronoun "who," nominative plural masculine as was its antecedent sattvas. Notice how pronouns form their plural differently from nouns, and how Sanskrit word-order differs from English. upapannas "are born" is the perfect participle upapanna- "born" in the nominative plural masculine (females are reborn as males in the Land of Happiness) agreeing with sattvas and ye, forming its plural as does sattvas. It comes from root pad- "go" plus prefix upa- "towards" and means "be (re-)born" only in Buddhist texts. Rebirth in Sukhavati is also very special, as will soon be described in the Sutra text.