Amitabha Sutra

Sanskrit Lesson
by Bhikshuni Heng Hsien

yatra hi nama tatharupaih satpurusaih saha samavadhanam bhavati

"(It is) inasmuch as it is a meeting together with good people of such a kind." or:
"It is inasmuch as one there meets together with good people of such a kind."

      In the previous lesson it was asked why living beings should make the vow to be reborn in the land of Amitabha Buddha. Now the reply is given in the idiomatic phrase yatra hi nama. ("it is", understood, not expressed in the Sanskrit) "inasmuch as" bhavati" it is/it constitutes"--third person singular present singular indicative verb from root bhu- "be/become." The subject of that predicate is then the neuter noun samavadhanam "(a) meeting/ (a) being brought together", nominative singular, from root dha- "put/place" plus prefixes sam- "together" and ava- and suffix -a.

      In the Sanskrit, the preposition saha "together with", is often, as here, placed after the words it governs, which are in the instrumental case. They are the compound masculine plural noun satpurusaih "good (sat} people (stem purusa 'person/man/human being')" and the compound adject that agrees with it tatharupaih "(of) such (tatha) (a) kind (rupa, literally 'form')." That is, the Land of Happiness of Limitless Life Buddha is a place where good people meet together; so one should wish to be born in that land.

--to be continued