Syntax of the Cases in the Pali Nikayas

Chapter IV
The Dative Case


§89. [General Character]

As fundamental characteristic of the dative case, to be particularly seen in its adverbal use, one may conclude that it denotes the thing with reference to which an action proceeds. It is the case of participation and interest. Brugmann remarks, with regard to all Indo-European languages, that in general this case does not have such a close connection with the verb as the acc. or the gen. (KVG §552). In Pāli, however, it is doubtful whether the gen. is in reality more adverbal than the dat., though, as he rightly claims, the latter preponderates with the personal, due, no doubt, to its implication of participation and interest. Speyer, on the contrary, seems to have believed that it is the idea of destination which is the underlying conception in all the varied uses of the dat. It is implied by him that such applications of it as to denote participation and interest or purpose are merely due to the fact that “in the great majority of cases the destination purported by the dat. has an acceptation more or less figurative” (SS §80). But broadly speaking it may be safely affirmed with Macdonell that “the dat. expresses the notion with which an action is concerned. It is either connected with individual words or is used more generally as a complement to the whole statement” (VGS §200).

§90. [Local Grammarians]

The local grammarians on the other hand emphasize the fact of recipiency as the chief notion underlying the various semantical aspects of the dat., as its name sampadāna (Skr. sampradāna) implies. cp. ‘dative’ from dare = to give in Latin.55 Says Pāṇinī: “The person whom one wishes to connect with the object of giving is called the recipient’’. karmaṇā yam abhipraiti sa sampradānaṃ’ Pāṇ. I.4.32.56 It is left to the vārttika to extend its use so as to embrace the idea of purpose, etc. It is significant that Kaccāyana does not [118] lay down a parallel aphorism as he does in other places but introduces the dat. by specifically noting that “the person to whom something is given, is pleasing, or is borne (held) is called the recipient”. yassa dātukāmo rocate dhārayate vā taṃ sampadānaṃ’ Kac. 278.57 As is customary with them, both Pāṇinī and Kaccāyana (cp. Mog. II.26 &27) proceed to lay down supplementary rules to compass the other notions signified by the dative. But their aphorisms can hardly be found to exhaust even the fundamental adverbal uses of that case in either language. This is of course due to the fact that their definitions are established on observations more philological than psychological. Nevertheless it must be said to their credit that their observations are at least accurate if not exhaustive and that syntactical functions are universally known to comply with no well-defined or absolute categories.

§91. [Dative and Genitive]

Even in Skr. one cannot fail to observe a growing tendency for the uses of the dat. to fall in with those of the gen. (vide SS §§82, 84, 86). The origin of this interfusion can be traced back to Indo-European times. It appears primarily in the relation between the so-called ethical or sympathetic dative (implying interest) and the ‘possessive way of expression’ (i.e. the functional sphere of the gen.). Speaking of Vedic (Alt-Indisch), Havers makes the following observation: “We find observed with considerable exactness the rule that ‘with pronouns of the first and second persons the sympathetic dat. is employed. But the gen. with all other pronouns, nouns and participles’. This applies to the relation between the dat. and the possessive way of expression. This rule is also to be presupposed for Indo-Germanic” (HKS §11). According to him, this interfusion was at first confined to the enclitic forms me and te, and later on by logical development extended to the proper names and finally to the nouns. He also points out that the general tendency of Skr. is to replace every dat. by the gen. (ibid). To put it more plainly, Havers establishes a syntactical connection between the sympathetic dat., which later on gave rise to the dat. of possession frequently occurring with bhavati (cp. KVG §553.5 & SS [119] §86.d), and the regular gen. of possessor. In Pāli the confusion is increased by the morphological identity of the two cases due to the replacement of the dat. by the gen. in all declensions as in Prk. (cp. Pischel Prk. Gr. §361) except in the singular of the -a declension (cp. §4).

§92. [Main Uses]

As in other cases the categories and the sub-categories into which the dat. can fall may be multiplied indefinitely. But a prima facie division into main classes seems admissible. Firstly, there is the adverbal and the adnominal dat. proper which is in close connection with the verb and the noun (or adj.) respectively. This dat. occupies a purely syntactical position in the sentence-unit and, therefore, may be called the dependent dat. Secondly, there is the so-called loose dat. which, as Macdonell says, is the complement to the whole statement (§89). Such, for instance, are the constructions going under the designations: dativus commodi et incommodi, i.e., the dat. of advantage or disadvantage, the sympathetic and the ethical dat., and the dat. of orientation, i.e., the dat. of the person from whose stand-point the statement is made. Brugmann includes under this category of loose dat. also the dat. of agent, which he regards as a dat. of the person participating, and the quite common dat. of purpose (KVG §554.3 & 5). All these constructions have their legitimate counter-parts in Pāli as well as a few quasi-legitimate or sporadic idioms (§114), mostly adverbal, which, since they do not fall clearly under any of the established categories, we have thought it advisable to discuss separately or in connection with those other idioms that bear close logical affinities to them. As regards the order of treatment, we have as far as possible tried to maintain a logical sequence after the manner of Brugmann and accordingly preferred to discuss first the dative in special sense and in special connection with verbs.

§93. The Dative in Connection with Verbs.

With a large number of ‘transitive’ verbs the dative denotes the person in whose interest or on whose behalf i.e. for [120] whom, the action is performed. Since that person (or party) is he who is ultimately concerned or interested in the act of the agent, it has been called the dat. of concern (SS §81). In other words, it expresses the so-called remote object with such verbs. In the Nikāyas it is used in special connection with the following verbs:

a. give, offer (KVG §553; SS §81.1.a); dadāti “gives”: e.g.,

gāmavaraṃ pi mayaṃ āyasmato Ānandassa dadeyyāma M II.116
“we would present to the venerable Ānanda a grand village”;

atha kassa câhaṃ bho Gotama imaṃ pāyāsaṃ dammīti Sn p.15
“then to whom, venerable Gotama, shall I offer this milk-rice?”.

Psychologically connected to this is the dat. with dhāreti “owes” (cp. Kac. 279; Pāṇ. I.4.35). This is the so-called dative of the creditor. e.g.,

na kassa kiñci dhāreti A II.69
“he does not owe anything to anyone”.

b. say, announce (SS §81.1.c); akkhāti, bhāsati, and āha (old ‘perfect’): e.g.,

yadeva te Brahmā āha M I.327
“whatever Brahmā spoke to you”;

kante atthaṃ abhāsatha D II.244 (V.)
“what matter did he tell you?”.

The verb ujjhāpayati is similarly used in the sense of “complain to”. e.g.,

paṭi-vissakānaṃ ujjhāpesi M I.126
“complained to (called to) the neighbours”;

reply, assent; paṭi+suṇāti: Kaccāyana gives suṇa as a root taking dat. (279) probably a confusion between the dat. with paccassosi and the original gen. of the source of sound.58 e.g.,

Bhagavato paccassosi D II.90
“replied to the Blessed One”;

similarly paṭivacanaṃ-karoti: e.g.,

tesaṃ paṭivacanaṃ-karissāmi D I.122
“I shall make answer to them”;

preach; deseti (according to the Vutti on Kac. 279 the dat. with this verb and vyākaroti is used to show interest or regard (sādaratthe): e.g.,

bhikkhūnaṃ dhammaṃ deseyya M I.27
“would preach the Doctrine to the monks”;

explain; vyākaroti: e.g.,

evam-evaṃ ... Nigaṇṭhena samaṇassa Gotamassa byākataṃ M I.374
“in this very way was it explained by the naked ascetic ... to the recluse Gotama”.

c. show, demonstrate, reveal; dasseti: e.g.,

taṃ rañño dassesuṃ D III.65
“they showed him to the king”;

āvi-karoti “lay bare”: e.g.,

te āvikaromi Sn 84
“I (shall) reveal to you”;

the dat. with this verb is used for the loc. according to the vutti on Kac. 279 [121] (sattamyatthe); ācikkhati “point out”: e.g.,

mūḷhassa vā maggaṃ ācikkheyya D I.85
“were to point out the way to one gone astray”.

d. inform, communicate to; āroceti (ārocanatthe ... Kac. 219): e.g.,

Bhagavato āroceyyāma D II.207
“we shall inform (this to) the Blessed One”;

sahāyakassa ārocetu D II.155
“let him inform (it to) the friend”;

devatā pi me etaṃ atthaṃ ārocesuṃ D III.15
“even the gods communicated this matter to me”.

e. teach; vāceti: (takes also the acc. as a faded causative §58.d.iii): e.g.,

yo bhavantānaṃ mante vācessati D II.248
“who shall teach mantras to you”.

§94. [Special Connection with certain verbs]

The dat. is used similarly in special connection with verbs having the sense of:

a. have faith in, confide in; saddahati “has faith” (KVG §553.3 & SS §86.c; cp. Latin confido, fido, credo with dat.): e.g.,

Tathāgatassa assaddahamāno D III.8
“without (having) faith in the T.”;

tassa mayhaṃ bhikkhave ye ... saddhātabbaṃ maññissanti M I.227
“who think ... brethren, that they should rely on me”;

pasīdati “gains confidence” or “believe, trust in”: e.g.,

evaṃ pasanno The loc. is more frequent here. e.g., Buddhe pasanno S I.34. 59 ahaṃ bhoto Gotamassa M I.240
“so much do I believe in the venerable Gotama”.

The construction is more frequent in its adnominal use. e.g., ...

Bhagavato saddhāya gacchāmi A IV.81
“I ... go out of faith for the Blessed One”.

b. pay attention to, heed; sussūsati “wish to listen to”: e.g.,

tassa te sāvakā sussūsanti D I.230
“to you (as such) the disciples listen”;

ādiyanti “pay attention to, (lit. take one’s word)”: e.g., te (corā)

n’ eva rañño Māgadhassa ādiyanti, na rañño Māgadhassa purisakānaṃ ādiyanti D III.204
“they (the robbers) heed neither the King of Magadha nor his officers”;

suṇāti “listen to”: e.g.,

tassa mayhaṃ bhikkhave ye ... sotabbaṃ maññissanti M I.227
“who think ... brethren, that they should listen to me”.

c. pay homage to, respect; sakkaroti: e.g.,

aññe ca pañca dhammā, yehi mama sāvakā sakkaronti M II.9
“... owing to [122] which the disciples pay respect to me”,

where the acc. is found side by side.

§95. [Dative of Possession]

The so-called dat. of possession is found with the verb “to be” (KVG §553.5). According to Speyer it is also used with substantives in Skr. to denote the possessor (SS §86.d). e.g.,

tass’ imāni satta ratanāni ahesuṃ D III.59
“to him there were (lit. he had) these seven jewels”;

tesam pi Bhagavantānaṃ ... upaṭṭhakā ahesuṃ D II.144
“to those Blessed Ones ... also there were attendants”.

Sometimes the use is more figurative, the possession being not of any material thing but of a mental or emotional state. e.g.,

amhākam pi ... atthi satthari pasādo M I.64
“we also ... have faith in the Master”.

Or it may be employed to denote one’s age or the time that has elapsed since, a certain incident in one’s life. e.g.,

Tiṃsamattāni kho me gahapati vassāni pabbajitassāti S IV.300
“It is about thirty years, house-holder, since I was ordained (lit. to me ordained)”.

Owing to the presence of the participle in such constructions the dat. appears to have a semi-absolute character. When the enclitic personal pronoun (me, te, vo or no) is used it appears to be closer to the sympathetic dat. (§102). e.g.,

Taṃ vo hotu D II.180
“will you have this (lit. may it be for you i.e. yours)”.

§96. [Dat. of Destination]

a. With many verbs of motion the dat. of destination is employed (cp. SS. §79). It generally answers to the English to, for, at, or even into. This destination expressed by the dat. is more or less metaphorical; a real going to would be more preferably denoted by the acc. (§38) and a real moving into by the loc. (§165) or even the acc. (§40). But the justification for the dat. seems to be in the fact that the logical conception underlying the use is the idea of going for or aiming at (cp. KVG §553.6), though according to local grammarians the aim, reached, attained, is never put in the dat. (vide SS §79). cp. Patañjali I.448 vārtt.4 on Pāṇ. II.3.12.60 The dat. in this function is found with such verbs as: gacchati or āgacchati; e.g.,

tassa yā ratti vā divaso vā āgacchati A IV.17
“whatever night or day comes to him”;

tassa mayhaṃ brāhmaṇa nisinnassa taṃ [123] bhayabheravaṃ āgacchati M I.21
“to me thus seated, O brahmin, comes this terror!”;

appo saggāya gacchati Dh 174
“few go to heaven”;

“come upon, i.e., affect”;


nâssa aggi vā visaṃ vā satthaṃ vā kamati A IV.150
“neither fire, nor poison, nor sword comes upon (affects) him”

(cp. Gradual Sayings p.103 E.M. Hare);

okkamanāya nibbānassa A IV.111
“faring to Nibbāna”

(ibid .‘faring to the cool’) eti “comes”; e.g.,

etu me bho so puriso D I.60
“let the man come to me!”;

pahiṇoti According to vutti on Kac. 279 it denotes regard (sādaratthe).61

“sends”; e.g.,

Mallānaṃ dūtaṃ pāhesuṃ D II.164
“they sent a messenger to the Mallas”;

tassa te ... rathaṃ pahiṇissāmi M II.79
“to you (as such) ... I shall send a chariot”;

āneti “brings” (metaphorically in the sense of marriage); e.g.,

ahaṃ bhante Nakulapituno gahapatissa daharass’ eva daharā ānītā A IV.61
“I, Sir, yet young, was brought (i.e. married) to the householder N. in his youth”;

similarly with the compound verb otāraṃ labhati “gain access to”; e.g.,

labhati tassa Māro otāraṃ M III.94
“the Evil One will gain access to him”;

“come to being, evolve itself into”;


api nu kho nāma-rūpaṃ itthattāya abhinibbattissathāti D II.63
“would name and form come to birth in (lit. evolve themselves into) this state of being

(Comy. ‘itthattāyā ti itthambhāvāya’ Sum. II.502); itthattāya is the old dat. sg. of the abstract noun itthattaṃ (*itthattvaṃ); cp. itthattaṃ paññāpanāya D II.64. On the strength of this conclusion it is evident that we have the same dat. sg. in the stock phrase ‘nâparaṃ itthattāya’ D II.68,153, which Rhys Davids rendered as “after this present world there is no beyond”.

It should rather be translated “there is no further (coming back) to this state of being”.

b. This dat. is also used with some verbs implying direction. As in the previous case the more usual construction is the acc. (§41). e.g.,

appossukkatāya cittaṃ namati M I.168 (cp. D II.36)
“his mind bends (inclines, turns) to (-wards) inactivity”.

A similar dat. is found with the compound verb namo karoti in the sense of “bow down to”. e.g.,

namo karohi nāgassa M I.145
“bow down to the serpent ”.

A further development of the notion of “bowing down to” in homage is found with vandati [124] where the dat. (of the person worshipped) borders on the idea of propitiation (cp. dat. or gen. with vaj- in Skr. SS §119.R) and the idea of direction. But this is only found in the older gāthā literature. e.g.,

nīcamano vandi Tathāgatassa Sn 252
“humble in mind he bent down to the Tathāgata (in homage).

§97. [Dat. of Advantage]

A quite frequent dat. in Pāli is the one found with verbs, denoting “happening or occcurring to (someone)”.

Logically it belongs to the class called dativus commodi et incommodi i.e. the dat. of advantage and disadvantage. Such verbs are:

a. uppajjati “arises, is born to”; e.g.,

khattiyakumārena brāhmaṇakaññāya putto uppanno D I.97
“a son was born to the brahmin girl by a youth of the warrior caste”.

More often it is applied metaphorically. e.g.,

na Bodhisatta-mātu purisesu mānasaṃ uppajjati D II.13
“a love for (other) men does not arise in (lit. for) the mother of the Being of Enlightenment”;

brāhmaṇassa evarūpaṃ diṭṭhigataṃ uppannaṃ hoti D I.224
“to the brahmin such a view as this arose”;

mayhaṃ ... sati udapādi D I.180
“to me arose ... mindfulness”.

When the substantive denotes a group of people the idea is best rendered “among”; e.g.,

atha kho sambahulānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ dhammī kathā udapādi D II.1
“then among many monks arose ... a doctrinal talk”.

The same idiom is employed to denote something unfavourable happening to a person, e.g.,

sutavān’ assa bhayaṃ udapādi D III.17
“on hearing this fear arose for him”;

bhikkhuno uppanno hoti appamattako ābādho D III.257
“a slight illness cropped up for the monk”;

cp. D II.121. jāyati “be born” is similarly used with the dat. e.g.,

pamuditassa pīti jāyati D I.214
“joy is born to him who is gladdened”.

In these examples the sense of “arise in someone” would permit the use of the loc. though such is hardly found with these specific verbs (cp. SS §§82,84).

b. Of similar syntactical significance is the dat. (of concern) found with verbs signifying manifestation and meeting. According to Kaccāyana ‘... sattamyatthe ...’ Kac. 279.62 it is here used in the sense of the loc. e.g., pātu-bhavati “appears to, manifests itself to”; e.g., [125]

yadā ... Sanaṃkumāro ... devānaṃ Tāvatiṃsānaṃ pātu bhavati D II.210
“when ... Sanaṃkumāra ... appears to the gods of the T. heaven”;

kumārassa dibbaṃ cakkhuṃ pāturahosi D II.20
“the divine eye arose to the prince”;

“meet with (lit. be presented to)”;


sammukhū bhūto no Satthā ahosi D II.155 lit.
“the Master was presented to us, (i.e. we met the Master)”.

The same idea is contained in the following dat.:

bahunnañca dukkhadhammānaṃ purakkhato hoti D III.183
“he is exposed to many evil things”.

c. An idiomatic and popular usage is the dat. of the person with the verb hoti (usually the aorist ahosi) used impersonally to mean “it occurred to ...”. e.g.,

tassa purisassa etad ahosi D II.130
“to that man it occurred: ...”;

āyasmato Ānandassa etad ahosi D II.107
“to the venerable Ānanda it occurred: ...”;

tumhākaṃ evaṃ assa D II.154
“it would occur to you thus: ...”;

§98. [Dat. of Interest]

a. Verbs implying pleasure (cp. Latin placeo c. dat.) or satisfaction take a dat. of the person to whom something is pleasing etc. This too is a dat. of interest. Such verbs are: ruccati yassa... rocate... vā ...’ Kac. 278.63 “is pleasing to”; e.g.,

na kho me taṃ bhante ruccati M I.375
“this, Sir, is certainly not pleasing to me”;

tañca pana amhākaṃ ruccati M I.93
“that too is pleasing to us”.

khamati “seems good to or for”; .g.,

idaṃ me khamati idaṃ me na khamati D III.42
“this seems good to me, that does not”;

khamati khamati in the sense of pardon also takes the dat. (§99.f).64 te idanti D III.45
“does it seem good to you?”;

amhākaṃ ... khamati M I.93
“it appears fitting to us”.

b. The same idea of “fitting or suiting” is denoted by the impersonal sameti which takes the dat. of the person for whom someone else (put in the inst.) is agreeable or favourable. This is closely related to the sympathetic dat. e.g.,

tehi pi me saddhiṃ ekaccesu ṭhānesu sameti D I.162 (163,247)
“they agree with me on certain points (lit. to me in certain points it fits in with them)”;

sameti me akkhaduttehi M II.107 lit.
“to me there is agreement with the gamblers”.

Sometimes both parties are denoted by the dat. and the sense of the verb is “agreeable to”. [126] e.g.,

tayidaṃ bho Gotama sameti bhoto c’eva Gotamassa amhākañca, yadidaṃ sabbena sabbanti A IV.42
“this is agreeable to both you, venerable Gotama, and ourselves, that is to say, everything entirely”.

c. kappati (Skr. kalpate c. dat. SS §85) “be fit for, suitable to” similarly takes the dat., occurring usually in the negative phrase ‘na kappati’ “is not proper”. e.g.,

na Tathāgatassa pāṇâtipāto kappati A II.113
“the taking of life is not proper for the T.”;

sace bhoto Udenassa na kappati M II.163
“if it is not fit for the venerable Udena”;

na etaṃ āyasmato ... kappati M II.116
“this is not suitable for the venerable ...”;


na āmagandho mama kappatī ti Sn 241
“the (smell of) raw flesh is not suitable for me”.

§99. [Dat. of Animosity]

With verbs expressive of anger, jealousy, envy, and suspicion the person on, at or against whom the feeling is exercised or directed, in other words the object of animosity (cp. SS §83.4 &5), is denoted by the dat. case. Of this kind are:

a. dussati “to hate”; e.g.,

yo appaduṭṭhassa narassa dussati Dh 125
“who hates the harmless man”;

dubbhati (< *dubh- which seems to be a contamination of Skr. druh “bear malice or seek to injure”, and Skr. dabh “injure, hurt or deceive”) “hate, seek to injure”; e.g.,

yo pi me assa paccatthiko tassa pâhaṃ na dubbheyyaṃ S I.225
“I would not seek to injure (plot against) even him who is my foe”.

This verb is found with the loc. in later Pāli (cp. J. I.267; III.212, vide P.T.S. Dict. s.v.).

b. pihati (Vedic spṛhati) “envy”; e.g.,

akuppamāno kissa pihessati M III.264
“being unirritable whom shall he envy?”;

so tesaṃ na pihemi M I.504
“As such I do not envy them”;

hīnassa na pihemi M I.505
“I envy not the mean”;

tassa me bahukā pihayanti Th 1.62
“many envy me as such”

(cp. S I.202,236). maccharāyati (denominative from macchariya) “be envious of”; e.g.,

kim pana bhante Bhagavā arahattassa maccharāyatīti D III.7
“what, Sir, does the Blessed One envy sainthood (in others)?”.


c. sapati “to swear at, curse”; e.g.,

sapassu ca me Vepacitti ... S I.225
“curse me Vepacitti ... !”.

d. The compound verb vādaṃ āropeti “contend with or against” also takes the dat. of the person opposed; e.g.,

Samaṇassa Gotamassa vādaṃ āropehi S IV.323
“establish a contention against the venerable Gotama (i.e. draw the recluse Gotama into an argument)”.

e. aparajjhati “offend, do wrong to”; e.g.,

pass’ Ambaṭṭha yāva aparaddhañca te idaṃ ācariyassa ... D I.103
“See, Ambaṭṭha, how deeply your teacher ... has herein done you wrong”

(Dial. II.128);

kim pana te Ambaṭṭha Sakyā aparaddhunti D I.91
“but in what then, Ambaṭṭha, have the Sakyans given you offence?”

(Dial. I.113).

f. Expressive as it is of a feeling psychologically opposite to those denoted by the above verbs, khamati in the sense of “pardon” takes a similar construction. Here it may be noted that Pāli is more likely to preserve the older idiom of construing it with the dat. rather than follow the later Classical Skr. construction of kṣamati with the gen. (§82 Speyer SS). e.g.,

khamatu ca me āyasmā Ānando A V.198
“may the venerable Ānanda pardon me”;

khamataṃ (v.1. khamatu) bhavaṃ Gotamo Ambaṭṭhassa mānavassā ti D I.108
“may the ven. Gotama forgive the young man Ambaṭṭha”.

With most of the above verbs local grammarians enjoin the employment of the dat. (cp. Kaccāyana 279; Pāṇinī I.4.39; Moggallāna II.27).

§100. The Loose Dative.

As has been already pointed out (§92), one of the two main functions of the dat. is to appear as a complement to the whole statement (cp. VGS §200). This however does not mean that the so-called loose dat. (KVG §554, explained as ‘the less restricted dat.’) has no relation whatever with the actual import of the sentence or what is logically implied therein. In fact the verb, denoting as it does the most ‘dynamic’ concept in the whole sentence, exercises a considerable amount of influence [128] on the character of this dat.; and, according to the manifold turns of expression envisaged by the predicative connection so implied, the loose dat. assumes several distinct roles: principally, that of the dat. of advantage and disadvantage (dativus commodi et incommodi), the sympathetic dat. with its secondary aspect of ethical dat., the dat. of orientation, the dat. of purpose and aim (dativus finalis), and finally, the dat. of the agent.

§101. [Dat. of Interest]

Of these the most frequent, in Pāli as well as in the older languages, is the dat. of advantage and disadvantage. It denotes the person or party interested in the action (vide KVG §554.1), for whom some profit or loss is meant as a result of its accomplishment. Sometimes this is called the dat. of the person indirectly affected.

a. This is particularly true in Pāli of the dat. found with the verb karoti in both its meanings of “doing” and “making”. In fact here the acc. which is more usual to express the indirectly affected object is actually the parallel idiom (§58.c.iii). e.g.,

te Tathāgatassa sarīra-pūjaṃ karissanti D II.169
“they will do bodily homage to the T.”;

kiccaṃ nesaṃ karissāmi D III.189
“I shall do service to them”;

kiṃ hi paro parassa karissati D I.224,226
“what will (can) another do to one?”

When karoti has the sense of “make or perform” the acc. is logically less admissible and the dat. seems to be the proper, if not the only, construction. e.g.,

Etha tumhe bhikkhave gihīnaṃ odāta-vasanānaṃ uttari-manussa-dhammā pāṭihāriyaṃ karothā ti D I.211
“Come now, brethren, perform a miracle of superhuman nature for (i.e. before) these white-clad laymen”.

Compound verbs where the second member is a form of kar- follow the same construction. e.g.,

“gives permission, grants leave”;

karoti te Bhagavā okāsaṃ D II.150
“the Blessed One grants leave to you”;

“give treatment, pay medical attention”;

tassa so bhisakko sallakatto This is an irregular -o form of a - stem (vide PLS §94.4) probably due here to the influence of the preceding -o.65 bhesajjaṃ kareyya M I.511
“to him that medical-man, that surgeon, would give treatment”;

it is also found adnominally; e.g.,

tesaṃ antarāya-karo D I.227
“doing harm to them”.

This dat. is preserved even [129] when the verb is in the passive. e.g.,

Channassa ... brahma-daṇḍo kātabbo D II.154
“... the ‘highest punishment’ should be meted out to ... Channa”;

similarly with the causative:

āyasmato ca Ānandassa pañca-sataṃ vihāraṃ kārāpesi M I.353
“he built a residence for the ven. Ānanda for five hundred”.

b. Various other verbs of a similar character are construed likewise with dat. They are mostly transitive and have the directly affected object in the acc. A few intransitive verbs however, are also found to comply with a dat. of this sort. Most of these bear a very close relation to the sympathetic dat. But the sense of advantage or gain is the principal notion underlying the use. e.g.,

Kumārassa setacchattaṃ dhārayittha yassa dātukāmo rocate dhārayate vā taṃ sampadānaṃ’ Kac. 278.66 D II.19
“they held the white parasol (above) to the prince”;

attano sukhaṃ esāno Dh 131
“searching happiness for himself”;

mama hi pahūtaṃ sāpateyyaṃ ... abhisaṅkhataṃ D II.180
“much wealth ... was procured even for me”.

The sense of damage, harm or loss is found in the following:

siyā kho pana Ānanda Cundassa kammarāputtassa koci vippaṭisāraṃ upadaheyya D II.135
“would it be, Ānanda, that someone may stir up remorse for (i.e. in) Cunda”;

samaṇassa Gotamassa parājayam (karissāmi) D III.20
“shall bring defeat to the recluse Gotama”;

anatthaṃ me acari A V.150
“he did me injustice”;

aṭṭhahi bhikkhave aṅgehi samannāgatassa upāsakassa ākaṅkhamāno saṅgho pattaṃ nikujjeyya A IV.344
“if the Order wishes, brethren, it may turn down the bowl to (i.e. boycott) the lay-follower who is possessed of these eight qualities”;

imassa daṇḍaṃ paṇetu A I.138
“lay down a penalty for him”.

The idiom is more involved when the verb is intransitive. e.g.,

khattiyassa cepi ijjheyya dhanena vā dhaññena vā ... M II.84
“if it would prosper for the warrior-prince in wealth or corn ...”;

bhītassa saraṇam hoti D III.186
“he is a refuge to the frightened”.

Sometimes it is found in the sense of “on behalf of ...” or “for my sake”. e.g.,

abhivādehi me tvaṃ ... Bhagavantaṃ D II.269
“you salute the Blessed One for me (i.e. on my behalf or for my sake)”.


§102. The Sympathetic Dative.

Havers has established for the Vedic dialect a point of contact in meaning between the dat. and the gen. (HKS §11). He says: “We may state with considerable certainty that the forms me, te were originally pure datives”. As pointed out above (§91) these pronouns of the first and second persons were first employed to denote the person sympathetically participating in the action, apart from the use of the dat. to denote possession (cp. KVG §554.2; SS §14). In the Nikāyas, however, there is no strict line of demarcation between it and the dat. of advantage and disadvantage as both imply interest in the action on the part of some person (who is not the agent).

a. The enclitic forms te, me, vo and no are frequently found in such a role. e.g.,

na hi te tāta dibbaṃ cakka-ratanaṃ pettikaṃ dāyajjaṃ D III.60
“indeed, child, the divine Gem of the Wheel is for you no paternal inheritance”;

atha ca pana me uttānakuttānako viya khāyati D II.55
“even so to me it appears quite clear”;

so vo mam’ accayena satthā D II.154
“for you on my passing away that will be the Master”;

Satthā ca no loke udapādi Sammā-Sambuddho D III.122
“a Master arose for us in the world, a perfectly Enlightened One”;

mā vata no ahosi dīgharattaṃ ahitāya dukkhāyāti D III.10
“may it not be to us for (our) disadvantage and grief for a long time”.

b. This same sympathetic dat. may sometimes appear to be even more isolated in the syntactical scheme of the sentence. It is then very much like the so-called ethical dat. (in Greek), a mere particle hardly entering into the main sentence-unit either grammatically or logically. It is more or less emphatic and is employed in connection with preceding particles like kho or pronouns usually of the first and second persons. e.g.,

evaṃ santam pi kho te Poṭṭhapāda, aññā va saññā bhavissati añño va attā D I.186
“even if it were so, Poṭṭhapāda, will perception be one and the Soul another?”.

Here te is hardly necessary to translate; a slight implication, however, of orientation i.e., a point of view peculiar to the person, is noticeable.

Idan te [131] Mallike samaṇena Gotamena bhāsitam M II.106
“this, (mark you) Mallikā, has been said by the recluse Gotama”;

passanti no bhonto devā D II.213
“do you gods see?”;

abhijānāsi no tvaṃ? D II.205
“do you acquiesce?”;

tesaṃ no amhākaṃ kadāci karahaci dīghassa addhuno accayena rasa-paṭhavī udakasmiṃ samatāni D III.90
“for us sooner or later after a long while the savoury earth had arisen over the waters”

(Dial. Vol. IV. Pt.3. p.86). Here no is quite superficial beside amhākaṃ.

c. This assumes a different syntactical role when used with the verb bhavati, as we have seen before (§95). It is there considered as a dat. of possession. Sometimes the verb may be quite another but yet logically implying being or existence. e.g.,

āsā ca pana me santiṭṭhati sakadāgāmitāya D II.206
“there is a desire (in or for me) for the state of the Once-Returner”;

asītiko me vayo vattati D II.100
“I am 80 years old”.

§103. Dat. of Concern Bordering on An Absolute Use.

Very much similar to the gen. absolute is the construction often met with in the Nikāyas, where the dat. of the person ultimately concerned (in the action) is used with a participle denoting contemporaneous action. The continuous temporal sense imparted by the participle gives a semi-absolute appearance to the construction. e.g.,

ṭhānaṃ kho pan’ etaṃ vijjati yan te ariye cakkavattivatte vattamānassa ... dibbaṃ cakkaratanaṃ pātubhavissati D III.60
“there is a possibility however that to you conducting yourself in the noble way of the universal monarchs ... the divine Jewel of the Wheel will appear”;

it may as well be rendered “... when you conduct yourself ...” etc.;

mā me bhonto atthakaraṇe nisinnassa antarā-kathaṃ opātenti M II.122
“let not people cause interruption to me (as I am) seated at the administration of justice”;

maggaṃ kho me gacchantassa kāyo kilamissati D III.255
“to me walking the way (i.e. as I am going ...) the body will be fatigued”.

All these examples have the enclitic form te or me denoting the person concerned and are, therefore, apparently connected with the sympathetic dat. [132]

§104. The Dat. of Orientation.

This denotes the person from whose stand-point the statement is made (cp. KVG §554.4). It is because of this notion of stand-point that we have preferred to call it the dat. of orientation. This is closely related to the datives denoting the person interested in the statement described in the preceding paragraphs and, therefore, Brugmann includes it among the so-called loose datives (ibid). Local grammarians seem to have overlooked this use of the dat.; still one may see a connection between it and the function of this case called ‘sādaratthe’ by the vutti on Kac. 279. The employ, however, is not so rare as to be ignored. e.g.,

te nāma-gottaṃ anussarato ayyaputtā Sakyā bhavanti D I.92
“to one following up your lineage ... (it appears that once) your masters were the Sakyans”;

cetayamānassa me pāpiyyo acetaya-mānassa me seyyo D I.184
“to me (while) thinking (it appears that) it is inferior, and (while) not thinking better”

(cp. Dial. II. p.251); cp.

dīghā jāgarato rattī Dh 60
“to one awake the night is long”.

The dat. of the person found with adjectives implying priority or posteriority in time or space is only a variation of the same idiom. e.g.,

tesaṃ pacchimā janatā A I.71
“the people posterior to them”.

Here the dat. may be rendered by “in comparison with or compared to”, which indicates the close connection between the notion of comparison and that of orientation. Indeed it is doubtful whether tesaṃ is at all the dat., or the gen. of comparison (vide §§110 & 151.b). In many other such instances the two are indistinguishable. e.g.,

purakkhato Comy. ‘parivāretvā nisinnassa purato nisinno’. Sum I. p. 152.67 bhikkhusaṅghassa D I.50
“seated in front of the order of monks”.

Here the local adv. puras would prefer the gen. rather than the dat. (vide gen. with adverbs §153.b).

§105. Dat. of the Agent.

It has been found by observers of the earliest dialect, Speyer (SS §86.a) citing Delbruck (K.Z., X.V.III. p. 81 etc.)68 that of the Vedic mantras, that the dat. is used with gerundives (and also infinitives) as in ‘vi śrayantāṃ prayái devébhyaḥ’ “let (the doors) open wide for the gods to enter” (vide VGS §200.o.) to [133] express the agent (KVG §554.3). It is a dat. of the person participating but it is at the same time the executor of the action and consequently can be classed with the other loose datives. In later classical Skr. it was superseded by the gen. of the agent. Says Speyer: “It is likely that the gen. had not encroached so much on the dative’s sphere of employment in the dialect of the brāhmaṇas and of ancient epic poetry as afterwards. In some cases the dat. is no more used in the classical language after having been employed so in the archaic dialect” (SS §86). In Pāli owing to the replacement of the dat. forms (except -āya in the sg. of a- nouns) by the gen., we are at a loss to find out exactly whether the case with the gerundives is the dat. or the gen. But the fact that the Nikāya dialect on the whole may be said to preserve the older archaic idioms and in general is more allied to Vedic as we have seen in the preceding pages, lends support to the conclusion that here we have the dat. and not the gen. which in Pāli seems only to be employed to express the agent with passive participles in -ta as suta, vidita etc. (§154).

It is the gerundive in -anīya that is usually involved in this construction in the Nikāyas. e.g.,

sannipatitānaṃ bhikkhave dvayaṃ karaṇīyaṃ M I.161
“for the assembled monks, brethren, there are two (things) to be done”;

ye pi’ ssa pitā atthe anusāsi, te pi Jotipālass’ eva māṇavassa anusāsanīyā D II.231
“whatever matters were dispensed by his father, let Jotipāla the youth himself administer all such affairs (lit. those too are to be administered by -for- J. the young man)”.

It may be mentioned that the gerundive in -tabba usually has the inst. to express its agent (§88.c.). But in the impersonal use the enclitic forms me, te and no, vo, which were originally datives (vide §102), are found employed for the agent. e.g.,

evaṃ hi vo bhikkhave sikkhitabbaṃ M I.127
“brethren, you should train yourselves thus”;

tatrâpi te Phagguna evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ M I.123
“even in that matter, Phagguna, you should learn this”.


§106. The Dat. of Purpose.

Brugmann includes the dat. of purpose among the so-called loose datives. (KVG §554.5). But the fact cannot be overlooked that this dat. is as much logically connected with the action, denoted by the verb as the acc. of motion or of purpose. We have reason to believe with Speyer that the notion underlying the dat. of purpose is one of destination (SS §80), and that its sphere of application is that of the dativus finalis in Latin.

Local grammarians connect the idea of purpose with that of recipiency and Pāṇinī’s rule ‘karmaṇā yamabhipraiti sa sampradānaṃ’ (I.4.32) is supposed to provide for the former application also. It is said that the fourth case-ending not only denotes sampradāna but implies uddeśya i.e. purpose as well, this latter sense too being implicit in the expression ‘yamabhipraiti’ in the rule already cited. vide Philosophy of Sanskrit Grammar p. 201.69 Pāli grammarians include these ‘final’ uses under the designations tadattha and tumattha (vide vutti on Kac. 279), the latter term making it quite clear that even the older grammarians recognized the logically datival origin of the infinitive (-āya corresponding to -tuṃ). The dat. of purpose, says Brugmann in the place already cited, especially of verbal abstracts, was from primitive Indo-Germanic times the main foundation of the infinitive. Considering how much of the power of an infinitive the dat. of the nomen actionis has in Indian syntax (cf. Speyer SS §87.II), one can quite understand the implications of the statement. On the function of the dat. in -āya in Pāli, Geiger makes the following observation: “Er dient zum Ausdruck der Richtung und des Zweckes ... Er bekommt dann ganz infinitivische Verwendung”, i.e., “it serves to express direction and purpose ... then it assumes complete infinitival application” (PLS §77). That the form in -āya was restricted in Middle Indian to the above uses, viz., direction (or aim) and purpose, to the complete loss of such forms employed in other spheres of the dat., is supported by the fact that even Hemacandra, the Prk. grammarian, permits the employment of -āya (Prk. - ā a) only when it expresses an aim or purpose (cp. Pischel Prk.Gr. §361). [135]

It has to be noted that this idea of purpose can be variously expressed in Pāli as much as in Skr. In the latter the dat. of purpose, the infinitive in -tuṃ, and periphrases such as -arthaṃ and -nimittaṃ are concurrent idioms (SS §87.II). In Pāli we have also -atthāya and -kāraṇā. e.g.,

seve senâsanaṃ bhikkhu paṭisallānakāraṇā Th 1.577
“the monk resorts to the dwelling-place for the sake of (lit. through the reason of) solitude”;

dhanatthāya J I.254
“for the sake of wealth”.

Here the mere dat. paṭisallānāya and dhanāya would suffice. The form atthāya in the latter cannot be regarded as a dat. of purpose in ipso but only as an adverbial usage of that case (vide P.T.S. Dict. ‘atthaṃ’ and VGS §200.B.5) just as the abl. -kāraṇā in the former or the inst. atthena. Atthāya as a dat. of purpose should mean “for which good” or “for which purpose (business)”. e.g.,

yāy’ eva kho pana atthāya D I.90
“for which business you would come”.

§107. [Dat. of Aim]

a. It may express either the thing or state wished for or aimed at or the action intended to be accomplished. Of the former kind are usually the datives of nouns and abstract nouns. e.g.,

Vesāliṃ piṇḍāya pāvisi D II.122 (D I.178)
“he entered Vesāli for alms”;

vāṇijassa vāṇijjāya gacchato M II.232
“of the merchant going for trade”;

gocarāya pakkamati S III.84
“sets out for food”;

yassa atthāya pabbajanti D II.153
“for the purpose of which ... they leave (home)”;

upasampādenti bhikkhu-bhāvāya D I.176; II.152
“they ordain (him) for monkhood”.

Other dative forms beside those in -āya are only rarely expressive of purpose; such, for instance, is the feminine - of i- nouns. e.g.,

ekāyano ayaṃ bhikkhave maggo sattānaṃ visuddhiyā M I.55
“certain, O monks, is this path for the purity (i.e. purification) of beings”.

In the latter case, i.e., when an action is intended, the nomen actionis itself is put in the dat. and looks very much like an infinitive (cf. SS §87.II). e.g.,

samaṇaṃ Gotamaṃ dassanāya upasaṅkamituṃ D I.108
“to go (in order) to see the recluse Gotama”;

catuddisaṃ rakkhāya upagacchati D II.12
“goes to guard the four quarters”;

na câssa nāvā ... pāraṃ gamanāya [136] M I.134
“and there would be no boat ... to cross over (to the other shore)”.

The close relation to the infinitive is seen by the acc. (of object) preceding the dat. in these examples. The objective gen. may sometimes stand in place of this acc. e.g.,

upamā kho me ayaṃ bhikkhave katā atthassa viññāpanāya M I.117
“a simile has been given by me, brethren, for the vindication of the meaning”.

Other similar datives of purpose are found in the following:

upasaṅkami divāvihārāya M I.359
“came to spend the day”;

cīvaraṃ paṭisevati ... n’ eva davāya na madāya na maṇḍanāya na vibhūsanāya M I.10
“he wears the robe ... not for sport, nor for pride, nor for ornament, nor for decoration”.

b. Though the dat. in these examples play a part similar to that of the infinitive still in most of them the infinitive in -tuṃ cannot be substituted for the former without creating a marked difference in the idiom. But there are some instances, especially of the datives of nomina actionis or nomina verbalia used purely as infinitives. “Endlich werden nicht selten Dative der Nomina verbalia als Infinitive verwendet”. Geiger PLS §204.3; cf. §77.2. ibid.70 Here the dat. just as much as the corresponding infinitive grammatically and logically stands as a complement to the main verb of the sentence. Such verbs are labhati, pahoti, arahati, sakkā etc. e.g.,

na mayaṃ labhimhā pacchima-kāle Tathāgataṃ dassanāya D II.147 (M II.131)
“we do not ‘have the luck’ to see the T. in his last moments”;

... labheyyāma ... dhammikaṃ kathaṃ savanāya M I.160 (D III.80)
“... would we get a chance to hear a doctrinal talk ...”

(cp. Geiger ‘hat das Gluck’ for labhati; PLS §204.3);

na sakkā gaṇanāya D III.111
“not able to count”;

dassanāya ... pahoti M II.131
“is able to see”

(cp. Geiger ‘vermag zu sehen’ ibid); similarly with adj. dullabha:

n’ esā kathā Bhagavato dullabhā bhavissati pacchā pi savanāya M II.2
“it will not be difficult for the Blessed One to hear this talk even later”;


pubbe va natthi yadidaṃ yudhāya Sn 831
“as before there is nothing (namely) to fight”,

where yudhāya is an archaic dat. of yudh f. (vide P.T.S. Dict.). Such archaic dat. forms as infinitives are by no means rare in the gāthā literature (PLS §204 l.a.b.c).

c. There are some idioms, which though covered by the general description given above, are worth special notice [137] (cp. SS §88.1). Such are the datives, mostly of abstract nouns, expressing “to serve for, to conduce to, or tend to” usually making up the whole predicate, as for instance in:

idaṃ vo vo’ here, as the other dat.-gen. forms in the following examples, is most probably the dat. Speyer notes that in the Vedas two datives in this manner are usual SS §88.R.71 hitāya, idaṃ vo sukhāyā ti D I.230
“this (will serve) for your good, this for your happiness”.

Similarly we find the stock-phrase “atthāya hitāya sukhāya devamanussānaṃ” (e.g., D II.45,103) employed without a verb. But generally to this so-called predicative dat. is subjoined the verbum substantivum which is either the primary verb bhavati or others of correlated meaning such as saṃvattati (or saṃvaṭṭati) and paṭipajjati. e.g.,

tesaṃ taṃ bhavissati dīgharattaṃ hitāya sukhāya D II.142
“for them it will be for their good and happiness for a long time”;

sallekhāya subharatāya viriyârambhāya saṃvattissati M I.13
“it will conduce to higher life, peace and exertion”;

mahato anatthāya saṃvattati A I.5
“it will tend to great harm”;

āhārupacchedāya paṭipajji M I.245
“he tended (inclined) towards the stopping of food”.

d. Another use of the same dat. is to express the aim with verbs of wishing, striving, endeavouring etc. This is the true dat. of the aim (cp. SS §89; PLS §77). e.g.,

ghaṭati vāyamati lābhāya A IV.293
“exerts (himself) and strives for gain”;

na viriyaṃ ārabhissati tass’ aṅgaṇassa pahānāya M I.25
“does not make an effort for the destroying of that evil”.

This construction is more prominent in its adnominal use with such nouns as icchā and āsā. e.g.,

icchā lābhāya A IV.293
“desire for gain”;

āsā ca pana me santiṭṭhati sakadāgāmitāya D II.206
“there is a desire for me for the state of the Once-returner”;

ussukaṃ āpannāni honti āyasmato Mahā-Kassapassa piṇḍapāta-paṭilābhāya Ud 4.
“... eager for the obtaining of alms for the venerable Mahā-Kassapa”.

Still in these examples the aim denoted by the dat. is only metaphorical. But sometimes it is used with verbs of bending, turning and leading implying actual direction, parallel to the dat. of destination. (§96.a). Here the idea of purpose is only very slightly implied. e.g.,

tassa cittaṃ namati ātappāya M I.102
“his mind is inclined (lit. bends) to exertion”;

so niyyāti takkarassa sammā dukkhakkhayāyāti M I.68
“it leads to the perfect ending of ill of the doer thereof”;

no hīnāya āvattati D III.50
“he does not return to the low”.


e. Finally, there is an important adnominal use of this dat. It is frequently found with hetu and paccayo denoting cause or reason. Usually the two nouns are linked together in the idiom. The logical justification for the dat. with these seems to lie in the fact that the notion implied is one of aim, denoting as it does that to which the cause leads. The same nuance is expressed by the English idioms ‘the reason for’ and ‘the cause for’. The form in -āya seems to be generally employed in this connection. e.g.,

ayaṃ aṭṭhamo hetu aṭṭhamo paccayo mahato bhūmicālassa pātubhāvāya D III.109
“this is the eighth reason, the eighth cause, for the appearance of a great earthquake”;

(cp. D II.107 and Geiger PLS §77.2). The idiom however is not restricted to the older form. The ending -ssa, borrowed from the gen., is also found. e.g.,

es’ eva hetu esa paccayo jarāmaraṇassa D II.57
“this itself is the reason, this the cause, for decay and death”.

§108. The Dat. of Suitability.

The dat. is also found with verbs, nouns (including adjectives) and particles (originally adverbs or prepositions) having the sense of befitting, suiting and counterpoising (cp. SS §87). Such are the verbs kappati and pahoti (cp. Pāṇ. II.2.13 & 2.16), nouns like kālo, akālo, adjectives of the sense of paṭirūpa and prepositions like alaṃ.

a. Nouns: e.g.,

bhattassa kālo M II.186
“(it is) time for dinner”;

etassa Bhagavā kālo ... D II.2
“it is time for this O Blessed One ...”;

Sometimes there is a double dat. with this construction, one of the thing suitable and the other expressing the person for whom it is so. e.g.,

na dāni te tuṇhībhāvassa kālo D I.95
“it is not the time for you for silence”.

The negative akālo is as frequent:

akālo kho tāva Kassapa pañhassa S I.19
“it is not yet the time, Kassapa, for questions”;

akālo Bhagavantaṃ dassanāya D I.151
“it is not the time to see the Blessed One”.

A different turn of the same idiom, occurs with the stereotyped phrase ‘kālaṃ maññasī’ used in polite request. e.g.,

gaccha tvaṃ Ānanda yassa Comy. ‘... yassa idāni tvaṃ ... gamanassa kālaṃ maññasi, tassa kālaṃ tvaṃ eva jānāhī ti’, Sum.I.p.237.72 dāni kālaṃ maññasi D I.85; II.104
“go now, Ānanda, (and attend to that) for which you think it is time”.


b. Adjectives: The adj. paṭirūpa is similarly construed with the dat. of the person for whom something is fitting. e.g.,

amhākaṃ paṭirūpaṃ D II.180
“it is fitting for us”;

na kho etaṃ Phagguna paṭirūpaṃ kulaputtassa ... M I.123
“it is not fitting for you, a householder O Phagguna ...”;

c. Sometimes the idea of suitability is expressed by the noun in the dat. without the help of any adj. meaning such. e.g.,

yāva nāgassa bhūmi nāgena gantvā D I.50; M II.113
“having gone on the elephant as far as the ground was (suitable) for the elephant”.

d. With alaṃ the noun in the dat. may either denote a thing or state in which case the dat. is parallel to the infinitive vide P.T.S. Dict. s.v. alaṃ.73 or a person for whom something is fit or proper. Being originally an emphatic particle in affirmative sentences alaṃ in connection with a dat. does not really govern that case but the latter belongs to the syntax of the whole sentence (as dat. or infinitive absolute). It is mostly found with the dat. in -āya, which is closely related to that of purpose and aim dealt with in the preceding paragraphs. e.g.,

nâlaṃ sallāpāya D III.38
“not fit to talk”;

alaṃ vacanāya D II.64
“one must say ...”;

alañca te antarāyāya M I.131 (II.257)
“is certain to be for your harm”;

alaṃ vat’ idaṃ kulaputtassa padhānatthikassa padhānāya M I.167
“quite ample for the nobleman striving for concentration”;

alaṃ attano no paresaṃ A IV.330
“enough for himself but not for others”.

A curious use of alaṃ is found in ‘alaṃ me, rañño va hotū ti’ M II.54 “it is as good for me as for the king”. Chalmers, rendering “I have nothing to do with the king” is entirely at variance with Neumann’s “Genug schon, dass es vom Könige kommt”. Here me is the dat. of concern and rañño appears to be a use parallel to that of the inst. with alaṃ (§82). It may be noted that in Skr. alaṃ with the dat. of the person sometimes denotes competency: “one is fit for or a match for another”(VGS §200.4; Macdonell Skr. Gr. §200.2.a).

e. With some adjectives denoting competency or possibility a similar dat. is found in the Nikāyas, used very much like the dat. (or even the gen.) in Skr. with words like paryāpta and [140] śakta (SS §85). e.g., bhabbo “possible, fit”;

bhabbo abhinibbidāya, bhabbo sambodhāya M I.104
“has the capacity for breaking away (from the world) and for enlightenment”;

bhabbo dukkhakkhayāya S III.27
“has the capacity for destroying ill”;

abhabbo puna virūḷhiyā M II.256
“impossible to grow again”;

abhabbo parihānāya A II.40
“unlikely to decrease”.

With these the infinitive is also found showing that it is an infinitival dat. of the type discussed above (vide P.T.S. Dict, s.v.)

§109. Adnominal Uses of the Dative.

Corresponding to most of the adverbal uses described in the previous paragraphs, there are datives which bear close syntactical connection to substantives, adjectives and indeclinables etc. (KVG §555). The various constructions such as the datives of advantage and disadvantage, of concern and interest, of destination, aim and purpose etc. have their adnominal counterparts.

a. Such formations as agent nouns and verbal nouns derived from verbs originally complying with a dat. of the person to whom something is given, owed etc. retain that dat. e.g.,

na dātā hoti samaṇassa vā brāhmaṇassa vā annaṃ pānaṃ ... A II.203
“he is not a giver of food and drink ... to either recluse or brahmin”;

In gāthā literature an adnominal use of the dat. of the creditor (§93) is quite frequent. e.g.,

na hi te iṇaṃ atthi Sn 120
“there is no debt to you”;

anaṇā dāni te mayaṃ Th 1.138
“we are not indebted to you”.

§110. [Adnominal Dat. of Interest]

a. A dat. of advantage and disadvantage is adnominally found with nouns denoting loss, gain, victory, defeat and the like. e.g.,

lābhā rañño Pasenadissa Kosalassa M II.209
“a gain to king Pasenadi of Kosala!”

(cp. D II.152);

lābhā vata bho Aṅga-Magadhānaṃ suladdhaṃ vata bho Aṅga-Magadhānaṃ M II.2
“a gain for the people of Aṅga-Magadha, a lucky thing for the Aṅga-Magadhas”;

imassa jayo bhavissati, abbhantarānaṃ [141] raññaṃ parājayo bhavissati D I.10
“to this (one) there will be victory, for the internal kings defeat”;

tumhaṃ yev’ assa tena antarāyo D I.3
“by that there would be harm (danger) to you yourselves”.

b. A dat. of interest (in the wider sense) is found with nouns implying necessity, use or purpose. The person for whom there is need or use of something is denoted by the dat. and that thing is put in the inst. (§83.b). e.g., attho “need”:

attho sace to bhante piṇḍakena M I.380
“if, Sir, there is a need of alms for you (i.e. if you are in need of alms)”;

attho me gahapati hirañña-suvaṇṇena D II.176
“there is a need of gold and wealth, householder, for me”;

na ca me attho tādisena purisena S I.99
“to me there is no use of such a person”.

kiṃ “what (good, use)?”, in interrogative sentences; e.g.,

kiṃ te samaṇa-bhāvena Th 1.821
“what (good) to you by the state of a recluse? (i.e. what is the use of the recluse-state for you?)”;

kiccaṃ “business or use”; e.g.,

yaṃ vo kiccaṃ sarīrena Th 1.719
“whatever use there is for you in the body”.

§111. [Dat. of Comparison]

With adjectives implying superiority or inferiority the usual case in the older language is the gen. of comparison (§151.b). This function too seems originally to have belonged to the dat., for logically the thing from the point of view of which something else is considered to be superior or inferior can be denoted by the dat. In fact such adjectives as sādhāraṇa can be optionally construed in Skr. with either the gen. or the dat. (vide Monier William’s Dict. s.v.). The connection generally is one of relation; hence even the inst. and abl. are used in comparison (§§86 & 132). Consequently it is quite probable that the ending -ssa in the following may represent a dat. e.g.,

atthi imassa saññāgatassa uttariṃ nissaraṇaṃ M I.38
“there is (a place) of release superior to this conscious world”;

asādhāraṇaṃ aññesaṃ Kh 7
“unequal to others”.

This notion of orientation might have developed from the employment of the dat. with adjectives like garu as found in the following:

satthā no garu M I.265
“the Master is venerable to us”;

avisaṃvādako lokassa D I.4,63
“he [142] breaks not his word to the world, (lit.) of consistent speech to (from the point of view of) the world”;

vibhavadiṭṭhiyā te paṭiviruddhā M I.65
“they are opposed to the theory of non-becoming”.

§112. [Dat. of Advantage]

With nouns and particles invoking homage or adoration (namo), happiness and prosperity (bhaddaṃ), and blessing or welcome (sāgataṃ) the dat. is employed to denote the person who is the object of such. e.g.,

namo tassa Bhagavato D II.288
“homage to that Blessed One ... !”;

bhaddaṃ tavāti D II.180
“prosperity to you!”;

sāgataṃ bhante Bhagavato D I.171; M II.2
“welcome to the Blessed One!”;

sāgataṃ āyasmato Ānandassa M I.212
“welcome to the ven. Ānanda”.

It may be observed that with namo the dat. is logically due to the idea of direction implied in the act of bowing (cf. §96.b). But with the rest it seems to be due to the sense of advantage conveyed by the terms bhaddaṃ and sāgataṃ (which were originally exclamatory nouns or accusatives, vide §28).

§113. [Dat. of Passage]

We have already (§96.b) mentioned the adverbal constructions involving the dat. of destination (cp. KVG §553.6; SS §79). An adnominal employment of the same is found with nouns like magga “way” and gamana “going, journey”. e.g.,

Samaṇo Gotamo Brahmāṇaṃ sahavyatāya maggaṃ jānātī ti M II.206
“the recluse Gotama knows the way to the company of Brahmas”;

saggassa maggaṃ ācikkhati D III.187
“he points the way to heaven”;

Nāḷakāragāmassa maggaṃ M II.206
“the road to the village of the basket-makers”;

the noun gamana in this sense is however found only in the gāthā literature. e.g.,

saggassa gamanena Dh 178
“by (the) going to heaven”.

Here there is the possibility of it being the gen. corresponding to the original acc. of destination (cp. objective gen. §143.b.).

§114. Sporadic Uses of the Dat.

There are some uses of the dat, (at least of -ssa forms felt like datives) that seem to fall under none of the above established [143] categories. It is impossible to distinguish some of these from the gen. For instance, we find the dat. (-ssa) where we would have normally expected a loc. e.g.,

bhikkhusaṅghassa nisinnaṃ A IV.205
“seated among the order of monks”;

where the v.1. -saṅghe shows that even earlier editors were puzzled by its irregularity. It is doubtful whether this is elliptical for such expression as bhikkhusaṅghassa purato nisinnaṃ or -ssa purakkhato nisinnaṃ (cp. §104). A similar sporadic instance of the -ssa form, probably for the loc. of relation, occurs in the passage:

akaraṇīyā ca bho Gotama Vajjī rañña ... Vedehiputtena, yadidaṃ yuddhassa, aññatra upalāpanā ... A IV.20
“the Vajjīs, venerable Gotama, cannot be defeated (lit. done), that is to say in war, without diplomacy ...”.

We may compare with the use of yuddhassa the actual dat. (-āya) found in later Pāli denoting relation. e.g.,

muto’ si me ajja vadhāya J VI.312:
you are free today as regards death”.

Similarly yuddhassa might stand for “in the manner of or as regards war”.

In the following bhayassa seems to denote cause or reason just as an abl. or an inst. (bhāya or bhayena): bhayassa kiccaṃ karoti D III.186 “he does the work for fear or owing to fear”, where the Comy. has ‘bhaye uppanne’ implying, probably, that bhayassa stands for the gen. absolute (§158) ‘bhayassa uppannassa’ or ‘bhayassa sato’. We may compare however such English usages as “he did not do it for fear’ or ‘he did not dare to cross the dry river-bed for the dust’. Similar is the use of kissa as an adverb of reason. e.g.,

kissa pana me bhavaṃ Gotamo ādiken’ eva na byākāsīti M II.213
“why did not the ven. Gotama explain this to me at the very beginning”.

A dat. by attraction is a frequent phenomenon in the Nikāyas. e.g.,

yassa taṃ paribhuttaṃ sammāpariṇāmaṃ gaccheyya aññatra Tathāgatassāti D II.127 lit.
“for whom once eaten it would be digestable except (for) the T.”.

Here aññatra would normally require an inst. (§82) or an abl. (§130.d); but the dat. is due to the preceding yassa. Similarly:

lābhā bhante Ghaṭikārassa kumbhakārassa ... yassa Bhagavā evaṃ abhivissattho ti M II.54
“(it is) a gain to the potter G ... in whom the Blessed One has confided” (lit. that the Blessed One has confided in him). [144]

§115. [Derminative Dat.]

In Vedic (VGS §200.B.3) and classical Sanskrit (SS §92) the dat. is sometimes found denoting the time to come, when a limit is made in time for something to be done. It is parallel to the English ‘for’ in expressions like ‘we shall leave it for tomorrow’. So in Pāli the irregular old dat. form svātanāya is frequently found in the sense of “for the morrow”. This is what may be called the terminative dat. e.g.,

svātanāya bhattaṃ D II.95,125
“meal for tomorrow”

(on the form svātana vide PLS §6.54). On the analogy of this we may regard the form uttarassa in the following as a terminative dat.:

ajj’ eva me dhaññāni jāyantu sv’ eva gabbhiniyo hontu uttarass’ eva paccantûti A I.240
“may my corn grow today ... and ripen later”;

v.1 uttarasvevâti (day after tomorrow). It may be observed that both are adverbial usages.