Syntax of the Cases in the Pali Nikayas

Chapter V
The Ablative Case


§116. [General Character]

The fundamental character of the abl. is to denote the point starting from which an action proceeds. Generally speaking it serves to denote the whence, and, according to Speyer, is therefore the very opposite of the dat. (SS §93). On the whole the difference between the abl. and the dat. seems to be similar to that implied between the English ‘from’ and ‘for’. Speaking of the function of the former in Sanskrit, E.W. Hopkins J.A.O.S., Vol.38, “The Origin of the Ablative Case”. says that it “indicates primarily a ‘then’ and ‘thence’ idea, leading to a causal notion and almost to the designation of an agent. ‘Thence’ becomes ‘because of’ (e.g., énasaḥ because of sin), but it rarely assumes instrumental sense ...”. This may be taken as true of the syntactical role of the abl. in Pāli as well but for the fact that in Pāli the morphological identity of the inst. and the abl., in the -ā ending of the singular and completely in the plural, has brought the two cases into closer connection and consequently established further points of contact between them.

§117. [Local Grammarians]

The abl. or the fifth Case (pañcamī-vibhatti) has been called the apādāna-kāraka by local grammarians. Pāṇinī lays down the rule that “the fifth case-affix is to be employed to denote apādāna". apādāne pañcamī’ Pāṇ. II.3.28. This term literally means “a taking away from” (apa + ādāna), i.e. generally a withdrawal, thus bringing about clearly the contrast between it and the dat. which is called sampradāna-kāraka (Pāli sampadāna) wherein the underlying notion is that of giving to. “If there is a withdrawal, that which stays is apādāna” says Pāṇinī, cp. Speyer SS §97, citing Pāṇ. Sūtra ‘dhruvamapāya apādānaṃ’. implying thereby that what is meant is the terminus a quo. Kaccāyana gives a categorical definition of the scope of this kāraka. According to him, “that, from which there is a withdrawal (moving away), fear or a taking away, is denoted by the designation [147] apādāna”. yasmādapeti bhayamādatte vā tadapādānaṃ’ Kac. 273. In all these the fundamental notion is the same, viz., that of whence. Thus it is clear that ancient Indian grammarians were aware of the logical unity underlying the various uses of the abl. as much as modern writers on syntax.

§118. [Forms of the Ablative]

As regards form the abl. in Pāli presents more problems than any other case. We have already referred (§116) to the coinciding of the older inst. sg. of a- nouns, viz., the form in -ā which survives in such instances as sahatthā etc. (vide §6), with the ending -ā of the abl. sg. of a- nouns which corresponds to Skr. -āt. Beside this form, in all other declensions Sanskrit has -as for both abl. and gen. sg. which however is absent in Pāli. Here the forms -smā and its phonetic development -mhā borrowed from the pronominal declension appear beside the -ā form. But its employment is restricted to a few uses denoting separation in the general sense (vide §5.a) especially in connection with the verb pabbajati. The syntactical interfusion of the abl. and inst. in the older language (§116) has resulted in the loss of the original abl. ending which in Pāli is superseded by that of the inst. in the rest of the vowel declension (masc. and neut.). In the plural everywhere the two cases are formally identical, whereas in Skr. it is the dat. (plural and dual) which coincides with the inst. in spite of the contradictory syntactical conceptions (cp. SS §93).

The suffix -to which even in Sanskrit (-taḥ) is not considered as a proper abl. ending (cp. SS §105) is frequently used in the Nikāyas with all types of nominal stems (cp. PLS §77) mostly in an adverbial sense. The still older (non-case) suffix -so (Skr. -śaḥ) which is regarded in later Skr. as a distributive suffix is found here in purely adverbial formations and stands in most instances in the sense of ‘vasena’.

§119. [Different Kinds of Ablative]

The abl. in Pāli is on the whole an adverbal case, there being hardly any adnominal uses. Even the few to be met with in the Nikāyas presuppose some verb which has come to be omitted, probably for reasons of idiom, but still can be understood. As regards syntactical categories, Speyer (SS §93) gives four heads: I. Abl. of Separation, II. Abl. of Distance, III. Abl. of Origin and Cause, and IV. Abl. expressing ‘on what side’. we have placed the abl. [148] of starting point first and treated those of origin and cause as developments of the former. The second is the abl. of separation, third the abl. of distance, i.e. the abl. denoting the point from which distance is reckoned, and finally as fourth the abl. of viewpoint, under which heading have been discussed the abl. of comparison and the abl. implying ‘on what side’. Those ablatives which appear as pure adverbs and are, therefore, classed by local grammarians as ‘indeclinables’ have been dealt with separately though they could still be placed under one (or more) of the above headings according to their specific meanings. In all these categories, however, the unity of the fundamental conception is evident, and sometimes we may account for the same abl. in more than one way.

§120. The Ablative of Starting Point (origin).

We have said that the fundamental function of this case is to denote the point, whether it be a place, person or thing, starting from which an action proceeds (§116), This includes, therefore, such notions as origination, production, rising, issuing, birth etc. Accordingly the abl. of origin appears to be only one phase of the abl. of starting point. Again, that from which something originates can sometimes be regarded as the cause for the latter’s origin, for the idea of ‘from which’ can psychologically correspond to that of ‘through which’. Hence the abl. of cause is best included in the abl. of origin. In fact, as Speyer observes (SS §102), the abl. denoting origin is at the same time an abl. of cause. In Pāli as in Skr., however, the abl. expressing the starting point, in its literal or narrower meaning, is quite a common idiom. The adverbial form in -to seems to be rather frequent in this connection, though the -ā forms are by no means infrequent.

a. The abl. expresses from what origin there is a rising or issuing (cp. SS §100; KVG §533.3). It is found with such verbs as jāyati, uppajjati and abhinibbattati. e.g.,

bhayāni ... bālato uppajjanti A I.101
“fears arise from folly”;

mukhato jātā D III.81
“born from the mouth”;


kaṭṭhā have jāyati jātavedo Sn 462
“fire (Agni) is born from wood”;

siyā nu kho tesaṃ aggīnaṃ nānādāruto [149] abhinibbattānaṃ kiñci nānākaraṇaṃ ... M II.130
“would there be any difference ... between those fires kindled from various kinds of wood”.

In the last two examples it is the idea of ‘kindling from’ that is implied though the verbs in both cases mean only “to be born” or “arise” . The abl. is therefore used to denote the material from which fire is kindled (cp. KVG §533.4).

b. The same abl. is also used to denote the former state or shape or thing out of which some other state etc. proceeds or is produced (cp. SS §100). It occurs with such verbs as abhinimmināti “create” and karoti “make”. Though psychologically this function of the abl. comes very close to the instrumental sense, Pāli, just like the older language (cp. §116) does not permit the construction with the inst. e.g.,

so imamhā kāyā aññaṃ kāyaṃ abhinimmināti D I.77; M II.18
“from this body he creates another body”;


yathā pi puppharāsimhā kayirā mālāguṇe bahū Dh 53
“as one would make many garlands from a heap of flowers”;

it may even occur with the verb merely understood. e.g., ...

khīramhā dadhi, dadhimhā navanītaṃ, navanītamhā sappi, sappimhā sappimaṇḍo D I.201
“ from milk (sci. is obtained) curds, from curds butter, from butter ghee and from ghee cream”.

§121. [Origin and Cause]

As we have remarked in the preceding paragraph the abl. of origin is at the same time an abl. of cause. For the sake of illustration we may adduce the following example where the abl. -samodhānā can be rendered either as “from the contact and friction” implying point of origin or as “through the contact and friction” which points directly to a cause:

dvinnaṃ kaṭṭhānaṃ samphassa-samodhānā usmā jāyati tejo abhinibbattati M II.242
“from the contact and friction of two sticks warmth arises and fire is kindled”.

Even in most of the instances given in the previous paragraph the abl. implicitly contained the cause-idea. This connection between the causal abl. and that of origin was known to the ancient grammarians according to whom the fifth case-ending denotes not only avadhi or ‘limit of separation’ but also janayatva or ‘state of being that which produces’, as in ‘dharmādutpadyate sukhaṃ’ i.e. “from Dharma arises happiness’. “Here”, says a [150] modern Indian critic, Chakravarti, Philosophy of Sanskrit Grammar p. 201. “virtue (Dharma) is the cause that produces happiness as its effect. Sometimes it implies substratum and place of origination as in, ‘vālmikāgrāt prabhavati’ and ‘Himavato Gaṅgā prabhavati’ ”. What is significant here is the distinction; made between ‘to be born owing to’ and ‘to arise or spring from’.

§122. The Ablative of Cause.

This use of the abl. brings it into contact with the inst. which as we have seen elsewhere (§67) is also employed to denote reason or cause. Pāṇinī has two parallel rules to that effect hetau (tṛtiyā)’ Pāṇ. II.3.23 & ‘akartaryṛṇe pañcamī’ II.3.24; cp. also following “vibhāṣā guṇe ‘striyāṃ’ ” II.3.25. and Kaccāyana lays down the same rule in both cases, viz. ‘hetvatthe’ (291 & 277 -hetu-). But according to Pāṇinī the abl. is forbidden and the inst. is of necessity, if, firstly, the cause or motive be at the same time the agent; secondly, if it be an abstract noun of the feminine gender expressing a quality (cp. SS §102). This distinction seems on the whole to be preserved in the Nikāya prose. Those forms in -ā of feminine nouns such as assavanatā D II.38; M I.168, and saddhā M I.16,123, are instrumentals of cause and not ablatives (vide §6 here, and Franke Z.D.M.G. 1892). They represent either the Vedic ending -ā of feminine nouns, as Franke has shown in the place cited, or a shortening of the usual feminine singular in -āya, as Geiger thinks, though there is no valid reason to object to the former view (vide PLS §80.1). And the abl. with the adverbial suffix -to found in such instances as rājato vā duruttassa corato pīḷitassa vā Kh 7 does not denote agent, though the commentator glosses it by ‘... corehi pīḷitassa’ (Pj. I. p.218), but as an abl. expressing ‘from what side’ as Sanskrit ‘tvattaḥ’ i.e. “from your side” (§131.d., cp. SS §101). Generally speaking the abl. of causality and the inst. of reason are interchangeable and not seldom are found side by side. But, as Speyer points out, if the efficient cause be some obligation or other binding motive by virtue of which (i.e. from which) some effect is produced, the abl. alone is to be employed (SS §102). This is so because it is the logical function of the abl. and not of the inst. to denote that from which something results as consequence. For instance, in an example like the following, the abl. is almost obligatory:

yā tā [151] honti āpadā aggito vā udakato vā rājato vā corato vā A II.68
“whatever calamities there be from (i.e. due to, owing to) fire, water, kings or robbers ...”,

the implication being that these arise from the mentioned sources. In general this abl. may express many different shades of the notion of causality.

a. It may denote the cause proper, in which case it can be rendered by such expressions as “from”, “through”, “as a result of” or “in consequence of”. e.g.,

āsavānaṃ khayā anāsavaṃ cetovimuttiṃ upasampajja A I.107; D III.102
“through the (or on the) extinction of the banes entering that emancipation of mind which is free from such”;

atha aññataro satto āyukkhayā vā puññakkhayā vā ābhassara-kāyā cavitvā Suññaṃ Brahma-vimānaṃ uppajjati D III.29
“then a certain being in consequence of the expiry of his span of life or his merits leaving the Abode of Radiance enters the Brahma-abode of Emptiness”;

sabbaso rūpasaññānaṃ samatikkamā, paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā, nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā ... ākāsânañcâyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati D II.112
“On the complete passing away of form-perceptions, on the expiry of all hateful thoughts, and through not dwelling on various (perceived) things ... he enters the sphere of infinite space and abides therein”.

In all these examples the abl. conveys implicitly an idea of time (after which). The construction is consequently parallel to the locative absolute (§183.d); hence the possibility of rendering the abl. in some of the above instances by a temporal phrase beginning with ‘on’. Here we may observe the temporal conception implied in the idea of causality. In the stock-phrase ‘kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā.’ it is the temporal sense that is pronounced, there being practically no causal implication. e.g.,

sabbe te kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā sugatiṃ sagga-lokaṃ uppajjanti D II.141; III.169
“all of them on the disruption of the body after death are born in a happy state in heaven.”

The abl. bhedā here actually means “after the disruption.” (and not “as a result or in consequence of the breaking up ...”) and is very much like the inst. of time after which (vide §77.b). [152]

b. When the abl. is of an abstract noun in -tta (Skr. -tva), the idea of ‘cause as a consequence of which something else follows’ is less manifest and the abl. seems to be one of pure reason. e.g.,

So tassa kammassa katattā upacitattā ussannattā vipulattā ... sugatiṃ saggaṃ lokaṃ uppajjati D III.169
“by reason of doing, collecting, accumulating and increasing of that action ... he is born into a happy state, into heaven”;

rāga-dosa-mohānaṃ tanuttā sakadāgāmi hoti D I.156
“through the attenuation of passion, ill-will and delusion he becomes a Once-returner”.

However, the difference between ‘cause’ and ‘reason’ is not an absolute one. Sometimes the same abl. may contain both nuances, as for instance in,

Catunnaṃ bhikkhave ariya-saccānaṃ ananuvedhā appaṭivedhā evaṃ idaṃ dīgham addhānaṃ sandhāvitaṃ ... D II.90
“Brethren, through the non-realization, through the non-comprehension, of the four Noble Truths this long period has been coursed ...”

c. Again, this abl. may express the motive through which an action is done. Only the ending -ā is employed in this function and is hardly distinguishable from the instrumental in -ā. e.g.,

kodhā ca pana’ ssa esā vācā bhāsitā M I.68
“these words were spoken by him through anger”;

pasādā kho tvaṃ Ānanda vadesi D II.155
“you speak out of faith, Ānanda”;

so upādāna-bhayā upādāna-parijigucchā n’ eva idaṃ kusalanti vyākaroti D I.26
“out of fear for clinging (to existence), out of aversion for it, he does not proclaim that this is good”;

bhayā dānaṃ deti
“he gives alms from fear”;

cp. inst.

saddhā (feminine) agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajitā M I.32 “left home for homelessness through faith”.

d. In the foregoing examples it is the abl. of noun itself that is employed to denote cause. But frequently we find the abl. sg. of words meaning cause or reason as periphrases replacing the direct construction. As regards Sanskrit, Speyer says “Nothing impedes concrete nouns to be put in the abl. of cause, but often they are expressed by periphrase, especially by means of hetoḥ” (SS §102). In the Nikāyas are found such forms as hetu, kāraṇā and paccayā used in this connection. Geiger considers the first as a postposition corresponding to the old gen.-abl. in -os (PLS §83.2). [153] Local grammarians regard these also as genuine ablatives of cause Vutti on Kac. 277 gives hetu side by side with hetunā as abl. of cause. and not as indeclinables (nipāta) as we would have expected. As periphrases they either appear in the role of postpositions or are construed as the second member of dependent determinative compounds where the gen. is implied as the first member. e.g.,

avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā, saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ (etc.) ... D I.45
“through (or from) ignorance (arise) the constituents, from these consciousness ...”;

jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ M I.261
“decay and death (occur) owing to birth”;

kusalānaṃ bhikkhave dhammānaṃ samādāna-hetu evaṃ idaṃ puññaṃ pavaḍḍhati D III.59
“owing to the acquiring of good things, brethren, merit increases in this way”;


attahetu Comy. ‘attahetūti attano jīvitakāraṇā’ Pj. II.179. parahetu dhanahetu Sn 122
“because of himself, others or money”.

But more frequently these abl. forms appear as separate words and the actual noun denoting cause is put in the gen. case. e.g.,

issariyassa kāraṇā jīvitā voropesiṃ D I.84, 85
“I deprived him of life through the motive of (obtaining) wealth” (lit. through the fact of glory);

in this example, as well as in the gāthā-passage given above (with - hetu), the postposition conveys the meaning “through the motive of” and not “as a result of” as in the others, hence it approaches the dat. of purpose in sense “for the sake of” or “for the purpose of”. In the following however no such idea is contained:

yesaṃ kho ahaṃ saṃyojanānaṃ hetu pāṇâtipātī assaṃ M I.361
“owing to which fetters would I become one destroying life?”;

Taṃ kissa hetu? D II.14
“what is this due to? (lit. this through the cause of what)”.

There is no doubt, therefore, that the form hetu is the abl. sg. corresponding to Skr. hetoḥ which is used after the gen. of the actual noun denoting cause, as mentioned by Pāṇinī (II.3.26). ṣaṣṭī hetuprayoge’, illustrated by ‘annasya hetor vasati’. He also allows the use of the inst. if the noun is a pronoun (ibid 27) sarvanāmanastṛtiyā ca’. which the vārttika illustrates by ‘kasya (and kena) hetunā vasati’ (cp. Pāli kissa). Moreover the abl. -bhayā in the following proves beyond doubt that hetu to which it refers is also abl.:

taṃ kissa hetu? nindābyārosana-upārambhabhayāti A II.31
“what is that due to? It is due to the fear of ...”;

(on the phonetic change of -oḥ > -u see §13.). [154]

e. The abl. is also used to express the source of fear with the noun bhayaṃ. The more usual construction is the gen. expressive of the source of fear (§150.c); the acc. is also found with verbs of fearing, especially when the object of fear is a person (§36.a). The abl. is found in the Nikāyas only adnominally. e.g.,

na kutoci bhayaṃ samanupassati D I.70,172
“he does not encounter fear from anything’’; cp. papatanā bhayaṃ ... maraṇato bhayaṃ Sn. 576 “fear from falling ... fear from death (i.e. fear of falling ...)”.

The abl. kuto, originally “from which” gains the adverbial import of “whence” and is frequently found with bhayaṃ either separately as in kuto bhayaṃ Dh 212,271,862, or compounded with the latter as in akutobhaya “with nothing to fear from anything” S I.192; Th 1.510, 2.333; Sn 561.

§123. The Ablative of Separation.

As fundamental characteristic of the abl. we have mentioned in the previous chapter its function of denoting the point from which an action proceeds. Now, the psychological fact behind the conception of proceeding from is the notion of separation. It is implied not only in the idea of going away from but also in that of origination. According to local grammarians it is the fundamental notion underlying all the primary uses of this case; hence the name avadhi (limit of separation). Chakravarti Philosophy of Sanskrit Grammar p. 201. regards the notion of origination (janayatva) itself as being contained in the conception of avadhi. In fact there is equal justification for either division to be regarded as the first because of the fundamental unity of conception. Speyer, probably following the older grammarians, places the abl. of separation at the beginning of his treatment of that case. (SS §93).

§124. [Starting Point]

The abl. accordingly is needed when wanting to express from or out of what place there is a starting or moving (cp. SS §94). In its proper sense it is employed with all verbs implying going, coming, receding, approaching etc. All the available abl. sg. endings are employed in this connection. [155]

a. i. With gacchati and āgacchati: e.g.,

ahaṃ kho sakamhā gāmā amuṃ gāmaṃ āgañchiṃ M II.20
“I came from my village to that one”;

dūrā vat’ amhā āgatā D II.139
“we are come from afar”,

where dūrā is adverbial; cp.

Kosalānaṃ purā rammā agamā dakkhiṇāpathaṃ Sn 976
“he went to the land of the South from the delightful city of the Kosalas”.

With nikkhamati: e.g.,

vihārā nikkhamma D I.152
“going out of the monastery”;

gharā nikkhamati S I.176; cp. Ud 22
“goes out of the house”;

Ātumāya (v.l. Ātumayā)

mahājanakāyo nikkhamitvā D II.131
“a great multitude of men leaving Ātumā”;

nagaramhā nikkhamantassa S I.211
“of one going out of the city”;

With yāti (with prefixes - and pa-): e.g.,

Bārāṇasiyā niyyāsi M II.49
“he went out of B.”;


niyyanti dhīrā lokamhā Dh 175
“the wise go out of the world”;

Naṅgaramhā pāyāsi M II.119
“he set out from Naṅgara”.

ii. The adverbial ending -to is also frequently used with such verbs. e.g.,

gāmato ... paṭikkamati M I.207, III.157
“he returns ... from the village”;

yato kuto ci naṃ puriso āgaccheyya M I.284
“from whatever place (lit. whence-ever) a man may come to this (locality)”;

dūrato vā āgacchantaṃ D II.162
“Coming from afar”.

iii. The pronominal form -smā is found particularly used with the verb pabbajati (vide §5.a); but the form in -ā too occurs with the same verb. e.g.,

yasmā kasmā ce pi kulā agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajito hoti M I.284
“from whatever family one sets forth from-home-to-homelessness”

(cp. M I.210);

Sakya-kulā pabbajito D I.111
“entered (the Order) from a Sakyan family”.

b. Apart from the simple construction with verbs of motion the abl. of separation is found in its “manifold application to kindred conceptions” (SS §95). Of the kind are verbs implying:

i. falling from, descending and ascending from: e.g.,

antalikkhā papatanti D II.137
“fall from the intermediate space i.e. the sky”;

yānā paccārohitvā D II.95
“alighting from the chariot”;

pabbatā orohitvā D III.38
“descending from the mountain”.

This abl. according to local grammarians, is an elliptical construction instead of the acc. with the gerund in -tvā. tvā lope kammādhikaraṇesuvutti on Kac. 277. [156]

ii. It is also found with verbs meaning to shift, deviate, fall off, quit and such like. e.g.,

Tusitā kāyā cavitvā D II.12
“passing from the Tusita-abode”;

tamhā kāyā cutā D I.20 (cp. D III.146)
“passing away from that body or quitting that body”;

maggā okkamma D II.128
“deviating from the road”;

vokkamma Satthu sāsanā D I.231
“falling off (leaving) the religion of the Master”;

apakkamm’ eva imasmā dhamma-vinayā D III.6
“he went away for good from this Doctrine and Training”.

iii. The causatives of verbs originally implying motion are construed similarly. e.g.,

raṭṭhā vā nagarā vā pabbājeyyuṃ D I.99
“they would exile (them) from country or town”.

This is however comparatively rare as a construction in the Nikāyas. It is interesting to note that the -smā form occurs with the causative as with the original pabbajati. e.g.,

raṭṭhasmā pabbājeti D I.92
“he exiles (him) from the country”.

c. Verbs meaning to appear, manifest (oneself), assemble, gather, break forth, arise, wake up etc. take an abl. of the place or state from which the appearance etc. occurs. e.g.,

antalikkhā pātubhavanti D II.15
“appear from the sky”;

dasahi lokadhātūhi devatā ... sannipatitā D II.253
“gods from ten world-systems being assembled”;

tamhā udakarahadā sītavāridhārā ubbhijitvā D I.74
“fountains of cold water breaking forth (issuing) from that pond”;

āsanā vuṭṭhahitvā D I.124
“rising from his seat”;

uṭṭhāy’ āsanā D II.95
“rising from his seat”;

samādhimhā vuṭṭhahitvā D II.27
“waking up from the trance”.

§125. [With Verbs implying Withdrawal]

a. The abl. of separation is also found with verbs denoting taking, receiving, collecting, carrying, lifting up, pulling out or extracting. Here the abl. is due not so much to any sense of motion implied in the verb as to the notion of withdrawal generally underlying such. e.g.,

kāyamhā vāto cīvaraṃ apavahati M II.139
“the wind carries away the robe from the body”;


hatthato pattaṃ gahetvā Ud 29
“having taken the bowl from his hand”;

ito ca bhiyyo haratha D II.180
“take away more from here also”;

te susānā vā saṅkārakūṭā vā pāpaṇikā vā nantakāni uccinitvā ... M II.7
“having collected rags from the cemetery, dust-heap or shop.”;


ghaṭiyā odanaṃ uddharitvā Ud 29
“taking out rice from the vessel”;

karaṇḍā uddhareyya D I.71
“would draw out from the casket”;

puriso muñjamhā isīkaṃ pabbāheyya M II.17
“as if a man would draw out a reed from the muñja-grass”.

b. Since the idea of ‘taking’ (cp. ‘conception’ from Latin capio = I take) is contained in such verbs as learn and hear from, the abl. is found with these denoting the person from whom one learns etc. e.g.,

ito pana vā sutvā S V. 110
“having heard from here (i.e. him)”;

Bhagavato sammukhā dhammikaṃ kathaṃ savanāya M I.160
“to hear a doctrinal talk from the lips (from the presence) of the Blessed One”.

In such instances the gen. can be used alternately (cp. SS §95).

§126. [With Verbs of Dissociation]

The abl. is also used with verbs of separating and disjoining to denote that from which there is a dissociation, i.e. generally a withdrawal (cp. SS §96). As we have seen elsewhere (§73.c) the inst. is here the parallel idiom and perhaps even more widely used than the abl. The following examples illustrate the many shades of meaning expressed.

a. It is primarily found with verbs literally implying disjoining, separating and dissociating. e.g.,

yo kho maṃ pisuṇāya vācāya mittehi bhedeyya S V.355
“if one were to separate me from my friends with slanderous talk”;


vīṇā kacchā abhassatha Sn 449
“the lute slipped from (his) arm”.

b. It is also found with verbs meaning to make loose, free, cleanse, release, save etc. (cp. KVG §533.5; SS §96.b). e.g.,

abhijjāya cittaṃ parisodheti D I.71
“cleanses his mind of avarice”;

thīna-middhā cittaṃ parisodheti D I.71
“cleanses his mind of sloth and torpor”;

na parimuccati dukkhasmā M I.8,65
“he is not freed from sorrow”;

āsavehi cittaṃ vimucci D II.35
“the mind was purged of the banes”;

tamhā ābādhā mucceyya D I.72; M I.275
“he would recover from that disease”;

bandhanā mucceyya D I.72
“he would be released from bondage”;

tamhā dāsabyā mucceyya M I.275
“he would be freed from that serfdom”.


c. With verbs meaning to be free of or from, be empty or vacant of, be aloof, desist, abstain from, removed or absent from etc. e.g.,

vivicca akusalehi D II.186 (D I.37)
“aloof (free) from evil (things)”;

dasahi saddehi avivittā D II.170
“not free from (lit. separated from) the ten noises”;

cp. its causative:

brāhmaṇaṃ etasmā pāpakā diṭṭhigatā vivecetū ti D I.226
“may you free (lit. sever) the brahmin from this evil view”;

virato methunā gāmadhammā D I.4
“abstaining from the vulgar matter of sex-intercourse”;

viratā adinnâdānā D II.12
“abstaining from taking what is not given”;

gaṇasmā vūpakaṭṭho A IV.435; M III.110; Ud 41
“aloof from the crowd”;

sakamhā gāmā vā nigamā cira-vippavuttho M II.253
“long absent from his village or township”.

d. It is employed also with verbs having the sense of deprive of or be bereft of (cp. SS §96.d; KVG §533.7). e.g.,

yasā nikkiṇṇo D III.11
“bereft of glory”

(Comy. ‘... tato parihīno hutvā’); (pitaraṃ)

jīvitā voropesiṃ D I.84,85
“he deprived (his father) of life”;

atha naṃ ... jīvitā voropeyya S III.113
“then ... he deprived him of his life”;

na koci kañci jīvitā voropeti M I.517
“no one deprived another of life”.

e. The idea of separation is contained also in words meaning disgust, revulsion, aversion or loathsomeness. Consequently the abl. is found with such verbs as nibbindati “to get disgusted with or at”. Here the loc. is the parallel idiom (cp. c. loc. S I.124; II.94; IV.86,140; A V.3) or even the inst. (vide sub nibbiṇṇa P.T.S. Dict.). According to Speyer (SS §97 N.B.), in Sanskrit the verb jigupsate (Pāli jigucchati) “to shrink from” is found with the abl. (Pāṇinī vārtt. on I.4.24) in the archaic literature but with the acc. in classical Sanskrit. He says that nirvidyate (Pāli nibbindati) is construed with the abl. or the inst., sometimes even with acc. and gen. Accordingly the Pāli loc. seems to be a later development (probably from the close relation it bears to the nimitta-sattamī, §177.b), whereas the abl. seems to be the normal and earlier usage. e.g.,

tasmā brahmacariyā nibbijja pakkamati M I.519
“he gets disgusted with that higher life and goes away”;


Māra nibbinda Buddhamhā Th 1.1207
“Evil One, cease from molesting (lit. get tired of) the Enlightened One!”


§127. The Ablative of Distance.

The point from which (i.e. whence) distance in space or time is counted or reckoned is expressed by the abl. case (cp. Speyer SS §98 II.). It denotes in other words the terminus a quo. One cannot fail to see here a logical connection between this one and the abl. of separation. For the point from which distance is reckoned may be looked upon as that starting from which the reckoning takes place. In fact the fundamental unity of conception underlying these, as well as the abl. of origin etc., can hardly be overlooked. Local grammarians consider the notion of avadhi as comprising all these uses; hence the logical importance attached to it as the designation of the fifth case. Kaccāyana provides for the various uses of the abl. of distance by the rule dūrantikaddhakālanimmāṇa ... thokâkattusu ca (277), which means that the abl. is to be used to denote the ideas of distance, nearness, reckoning in space and time and so on. The vutti explains it by ‘dūratthe, antikatthe, addhanimmāṇe, kālanimmāṇe ... taṃ kārakaṃ apādāna-saññaṃ hoti’.

§128. [Distance]

This abl. is frequently employed to express the place or limit from which a distance is reckoned (in a literal sense), the terminus ad quem being put in the acc. case (cp. §39. a&b). The following examples imply conception in space:

a. e.g.,

ito ce pi yojanasate viharati D I.117
“even if he lived (within) a hundred leagues from here”;

Kīvadūro pana samma Kārāyana Naṅgarakamhā Medaḷumpaṃ nāma Sakyānaṃ nigamo hotī ti M II.119
“How far, good Kārāyana, is the township of the Sakyans, named Medaḷumpa, from Naṅgaraka?”.

This is also found adnominally with nouns like magga etc. e.g.,

Kusinārāya Pāvaṃ addhānamagga-paṭipanno hoti D II.130
“he has entered upon the journey from (lit. road) Kusinārā to Pāvā”.

b. The same construction is applied to the allied notion in time. The distinction is maintained by Kaccāyana according to whom, as seen from the rule cited above, the point from which or whence distance in space is reckoned is the addhanimmāṇa and [160] in time is kālanimmāṇa. e.g.,

ito ekunavute kappe D II.2
“in the ninety first aeon from this”;

ito tiṇṇaṃ māsānaṃ accayena D II.106
“on the lapse of three months from now”.

§129. [With Prepositions]

While in the previous examples the distance is definitely expressed by some ‘measurement’ in time or space, more often this abl. appears with adverbs and prepositions denoting space or time indefinitely. Hence it joins such prepositions as ā, yāva and pabhuti. The indeclinable ā which originally was a Vedic postposition following the acc., loc., or abl., meaning “to, towards or from”, is preserved in Sanskrit (vide Macdonell Skr. Gr. §176.2.) but does not occur in the Nikāya prose. It is however found as preposition c. abl in the Jātakas in the sense of “upto, until, about, near” (vide P.T.S. Dict. s.v.). The preposition yāva, on the other hand, is quite common in the Nikāyas either with the absolute form of noun or adj. (base), or with nom., acc. or abl. (ibid, sub yāva). The acc. is frequently found with it as in yāva tatiyakaṃ D I.95 “till the third (time)” or in the stock-phrase yāva jīvaṃ It 78 “till life (ends)” or “for life”, but the abl. is by no means rare. e.g.,

yāva Brahma-lokā pariyesamāno D I.223
“searching up to the world of Brahma”;

yāva Brahma-lokā pi kāyena vasaṃvaṭṭeti D I.78
“covers with the body (everything) up to the Brahma-world”;

cp. A III.17;

yāva sattamā pitā-mahā-yugā D I.113
“as far as the seventh line of ancestors”;

yāvad eva (v.l. yāvadeva) manussehi suppakāsitaṃ D II.113,114,219; III.122, where the case is however doubtful (vide §9). What is significant in the case of both ā and yāva with the abl. is that, at least in the instances found in the Nikāya prose, the construction does not signify the terminus ab quo but the notion which is the very opposite of it, viz. the terminus ad quem. Thus we have here the same logical phenomenon as confronted us in the case of the inst. implying mutuality (i.e. both separation and union, vide §73.c.). Though the preposition pabhuti is derived from the Vedic prabhṛti (originally a fem. noun), it is hardly found in the Nikāyas as such. It occurs once in a compound, viz.

kuto-pabhutikā D I.94
“dating from, coming from whence”.

The original use is however restored in the Comys. (e.g.,

tato pabhuti Vv.A.158.
“from that time”)


§130. [With Adverbs]

With Adverbs. Many adverbs denoting space or time are joined to the abl. to express the point from which distance or extent is implied. The most frequent are those meaning “far" or “near". But with derived adverbs of the type of dakkhiṇato, uttarato the gen. seems to be of necessity (cp. Pāṇ. II.3.30; vide §153.b.) and with those ending in -ena such as antarena mostly the gen. but sometimes also the acc. (§53). Pāṇinī (II.3.34) allows optional construing with all words meaning “far” or “near” (cp. SS §98.II.R.2).

a. This abl. has a wide application in the Nikāyas. e.g.,

na yito dūre Manasākaṭanti D I.248
“M. is not at a distance (i.e. far) from here”;

āsanne ito Manasākaṭaṃ D I.248
“M. is in the proximity of (lit. from) this (place)”.

Similar is the abl. with ārā in sense more or less metaphorical:

ārā cittaṃ samādhimhā M I.116
“remote is the mind from concentration”;


ārā pamādamhā Sn 27,156,157
“far from indolence!”.

The derived form ārakā is also found with the abl. e.g.,

ārakā va sāmaññā ārakā va brahmaññā D I.167
“far indeed from recluseship as well as from Brahminship”;

ārakā’ haṃ ... vohārasamucchedā M I.367
“I am far from ... violation of convention”;

ārakā te anuttarāya vijjācaraṇasampadāya D I.99
“they are far from the blessing of knowledge and conduct”.

b. i. The abl. of distance with pure adverbs is no less frequent. In the following examples it is the notion of distance in space that is signified and the adverb is local. e.g.,

uddhaṃ pādatalā adho kesa-matthakā D III.104; M I.57; S IV.111
“upwards from the sole of the feet and downwards from the top of the (knot of) hair”;

bahi dvārakoṭṭhakā Ud 52
“outside of (lit. from) the gateway”;

ito bahiddhā D I.21; II.151
“outside of this (hence)”;

bahiddhā parisāya D II.211
“out of the crowd”;

tiro raṭṭhā tiro janapadā D I.1161 cp. Comy. ‘tiro raṭṭhāti para raṭṭhato, tiro janapadā ti para janapadato’ Sum. I.286.
“from beyond the kingdom, from beyond the country”.

ii. Similarly we find the abl. of distance with temporal adverbs and prepositions meaning “before” or “after”. e.g.,

pubbe va sambodhā S II.5; M I.17; II.211
“previous to enlightenment”;

ito pubbe D I.184
“before this”;

tato pacchā D II.269
“after that”.


The noun in the abl. may even be a person as marking off a period in time. e.g.,

Ahesuṃ kho bhikkhu tayā pubbe samaṇabrāhmaṇā M I.327
“there were, monks, recluses and brahmins ... even before you”;

mayaṃ pana amhā (v.l. asmā) pacchā uppannā D III.29
“we were born after him”;

anantarā kho ... sadda-pātubhāvā D II.206
“after the appearance of the sound ...”

(cp. Skr. anantaraṃ c. abl. Macdonell Skr. Gr. §177.c.2); paraṃ is the only proper preposition used with the abl., but its function here seems to be that of a temporal adverb. e.g.,

paraṃ maraṇā D II.68,141
“after death (lit. beyond from death)”;

tato paraṃ nânussarati D I.19; III.30
“he does not remember beyond that”.

The same applies to oraṃ which however is only found in the Sutta-Nipāta. e.g.,

oraṃ vassasatā pi miyyati Sn 804
“he dies on this side of (lit. from) a hundred years”.

c. Finally, we may consider the abl. usually found with the adverbial preposition aññatra or aññattha (< Skr. anyatra = elsewhere, beside, except) as one denoting the limit of exclusion, which conception is psychologically akin to that of underlying the abl. of distance. Originally in the Vedas the word anyá-tra was purely an adverb with a local sense like atrá, viśvátra etc. (cp. VGS §179.3). But in later Sanskrit it came to be employed as a prepositional adverb or pure preposition, through the development of the idea of ‘elsewhere’ into the notion of ‘apart from’ (cp. Macdonell Skr. Gr. §178.c.). In the Nikāyas we find the prepositional sense prominent with the abl. e.g.,

na aññattha tava sāsanā D II.206 lit.
“not elsewhere from your Order” (i.e. nowhere except in your Order);

nâññatra Tathāgatassa pātubhāvā S V.14
“not apart from the appearance of the T.”;

aññatra adassanā S I.29
“except from blindness”.

Sometimes it occurs in the developed idiom “kiṃ aññatra”. e.g.,

kiṃ aññatra avusitattā D I.90
“what else beside non-practice?”.

In Pāli, but not in the earlier language (i.e. Vedic or later Skr.), the inst. can be used concurrently. (§82.a.). This is probably due to the logical contact brought about by the comparative sense implied in añña- (Skr. anya = other) which is capable of taking the inst. (§86) or the abl. (§132.a.ii). [163]

§131. The Ablative of Side and View-Point.

Speyer has shown (SS §103.IV.) how Sanskrit, just as Latin, uses the abl. not only for the sake of signifying from what side (usually cause) but also on what side. Here, he says, the ending -taḥ (Pāli -to) is employed, it seems, by preference, at least in the case of indicating space and directing, sometimes it is concurrent with the loc. of point at which. In Pāli we find many instances of this abl. appearing in various functions some of which are, logically speaking, highly involved. Such, for instance, are the following:


rukkhaṃ mūlato chetvā M I.366
“having cut the tree from ( or at) the root”;


mūle chindeyya, mūlena chetvā S II.88 (§172.a.); (citakaṃ) ... pādato vivaritvā D. II.163
“having opened ... (the funeral pile) from (or on) the side of the feet”;

mukhato ca nāsato ca kaṇṇato ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṃ M I.243
“I stopped inhalation and exhalation from (or at) the mouth, nose and ears”.

In its metaphorical application this so-called ablativus partis not rarely touches upon the abl. of cause. e.g.,

rājato vā duruttassa corato pīḷitassa vā Kh 7 (VIII.2.)
“harassed on the part of the king and molested on the part of thieves”,

where the Comy. has ‘corehi ... pīḷitassa ...’ (Pj. I. p.218), the ending -ehi probably representing the inst. of agency (§122).

b. In the preceding examples the adverbial force of the suffix -to is quite apparent. In fact most of these ablatives denoting ‘on what side’ have the character of adverbs. Such are the following ablatives (mostly in -to and a few in -ā), which according to the vutti on Kac. 277 are used in the sense of ‘direction in which’ (disā-yoge). These uses are mostly borrowed from Sanskrit (vide SS §103.IV.). e.g.,

puratthimato nagarassa D II.161
“on the east of the city”;

pācīnato Rājagahassa ... tassa uttarato D II.263
“on the east of R. ... to the north of it”;

dakkhiṇato nagarassa sīsaṃ chindeyyuṃ A II.241
“on the south of the city they would behead (him)”;

samantato dvādasa yojanāni D II.39,139
“on all sides twelve leagues”;

parito parito janapadesu D II.200
“round about on every side”

(Comy. ‘samantā samantā’ Sum. II.637). The [164] ending -ā is also found, though not so frequently as the above suffix -to. e.g.,

pāsādassa heṭṭhā D I.198
“on the ground-floor of the mansion”;

samantā ca gocaragāmaṃ M I.167
“all around the alms-village”.

c. Nearly all of the above adverbial ablatives signify space, the region in which, and are therefore, syntactically parallel to the loc. In the following examples the notion of direction rather than locality is emphasized. e.g.,

mā me purato aṭṭhāsi D II.139
“do not stand in front of me”;

Bhagavato purato nisīdi D II.135
“he sat in front of the Blessed One”;

Bhagavato purato ṭhito D II.138
“Stood in front of the Blessed One”.

The -ā form is also found. e.g.,

tesaṃ sammukhā na vyākāsiṃ D I.222
“I did not declare it before them”;

Bhagavato sammukhā ... bhāsati A I.163
“he speaks ... before the Blessed One”.

Sometimes it can only be rendered by a pure adverb of manner as “personally” or “directly”. e.g.,

sammukhā me taṃ bhante sutaṃ D II.115
“I have it, Sir, personally”;

na kho me mārisa so Bhagavā sammukhā diṭṭho D II.268.
“I certainly, friend, have not seen that Blessed One personally”.

The repetitive phrase ‘piṭṭhito piṭṭhito’ is adverbially used to denote “continually at the back” or “wherever behind”. e.g.,

Bhagavato piṭṭhito piṭṭhito (aṭṭhāsi) D III.73
“he stood at the back of (just behind) the Blessed One”.

Sometimes it is more or less an adverb of manner. e.g.,

Bhagavantaṃ piṭṭhito piṭṭhito anubaddhā honti D I.1
“they followed the Blessed One closely from behind”.

A similar abl. is dūrato which means not “from afar”, at least not in the following example, but “in the distance”, being an adv. as the above and not an abl. of separation. e.g.,

disvā ... Bhagavantaṃ dūrato va āgacchantam D I.179
“having seen ... the Blessed One coming in the distance (even when he was still far off)”.

d. Sometimes this abl. of ‘on which side’ when applied metaphorically comes to mean “with respect to” and thus approximates to an abl. of relation. In fact the notion of viewpoint which is the fundamental conception behind the abl. of relation can hardly be separated from that of the ‘side on which’. Such are:

ubhato sujāto putto mātito ca pitito ca D I.1,113,137; A III.151
“well-born on both sides, both with respect to the [165] mother and the father”;

though it is primarily an adv. it sometimes appears as the first member of a compound in the role of an adj. e.g.,

ubhato-bhāga-vimaṭṭhaṃ D II.111
“polished on both sides”.

§132. Ablative of Comparison.

With comparatives the abl. appears not seldom, beside the inst., as a case denoting comparison (cp. KVG §535). According to Speyer (SS §105), it is the same abl. as the one expressive of the notion ‘on what side, with respect to’, described in the preceding paragraphs, that is frequently applied in comparisons to signify the thing compared with, provided there be superiority, inferiority or discrepancy. For, as we have seen earlier, in the case of identity, likeness, similarity or equivalence the inst. (§85 & §86) or the gen. (§151.b.) is of necessity, and the dat. also in the case of counterpoise (§108; cp. §110.). This is due to the fact that the abl. has as its fundamental character the notion of separation which logically cannot be associated with the idea of identity etc., whereas the conception of superiority etc. implies difference and hence psychologically separation. It may be mentioned that in comparison it is only the legitimate ablatival ending (-ā < Skr. -āt) that is employed and the -to form is only found with pronouns. According to local grammarians this is called the abl. of distinction (‘vibhatte’ Kac. 277).

a. It is primarily found with comparatives of adjectives. e.g.,

nirayā ... tiracchānayoni seyyo M II.193
“animal-birth is better than the purgatory”;

koc’ añño attanā piyataro S I.75
“whoever else (is) more beloved than oneself?”;

amhehi abhikkantatarā ... D I.216
“more beautiful than we”.

Sometimes it occurs with the comparatives of adjectival compounds. e.g.,

aññehi piṇḍapātehi mahapphalataro D II.136
“having greater benefits than other alms”;

attanā vimuttiñāṇadassanasampannataraṃ S I.139
“possessing greater insight and knowledge of emancipation than himself’;

alamattadassanataro c’ eva pitarā D II.231
“having more insight into profitable things than the father”.

The suffix-to, as remarked above, is found only with pronouns. e.g., [166]

tato ca uttaritaraṃ D I.16
“and nobler than that”;

(cp. Dh 42);

ato mahantatarena avijjākhandhena M II.131
“with a mass of ignorance greater than that”;

tato santataraṃ M I.91
“more peaceful than that”.

b. Secondly it is found with words, other than pure comparatives of adjectives, expressing superiority or inferiority such as varaṃ “better”, ativiya “in excess of, more than,” and uttariṃ (or uttari-) “superior (lit. upper)”. e.g.,

attadanto tato varaṃ Dh 322
“the self-tamed (i.e. one who controls himself) is better than they”;

paramāya vaṇṇapokkharatāya samannāgato ativiya aññehi manussehi M III.176
“endowed with the highest bloom of complexion much more than other people”;

uttari-manussadhammā It is quite clear that -dhammā is abl. sg. and the Comy, has ‘pañcasīla- dasasīla-saṅkhātā manussadhammā uttari’ Sum. III.812. iddhipāṭihāriyaṃ D III.12
“miracles excelling (those of) human nature (i.e. mundane)”;

uttari-manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanaviseso S IV.300
“truly genuine knowledge and insight much above human things”.

c. Thirdly it occurs with all words meaning “other, different, changed” etc. such as añña (itara, apara), nānābhāva, vinābhāva and aññathābhāva. e.g.,

tamhā nimittā aññaṃ nimittaṃ M I.119
“a sign other than that (sign)”;

añño koci mayā upaṭṭhākataro M II.51
“any attendant other than myself’;

sabbehi eva piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinā-bhāvo aññathābhāvo D II.118
“(there is) a change, an alteration, a differentiation from all things lovable and pleasant”.

§133. Ablative of View-Point.

From the foregoing it is seen that the abl. generally expresses the point of view. It is the underlying unity of conception behind the various uses discussed above such as the ablatives denoting on which side, relation, comparison etc. The notion of viewpoint is also signified by a class of ablatives in -to (but never with the regular endings), the syntactical function of which seems to be closely related to that of the abl. of comparison. They have the sense of “in terms of” or “as”, and can be expressed by the periphrasis vasena as well. [167]

a. This is mostly found with verbs of judging, considering, seeing etc. e.g.,

na mayaṃ taṃ sārato pacchāgacchāma M II.114
“we do not hark back to that as final”

(lit. as essential); cp.

sārañca sārato ñatvā Dh 12
“having known the essential as essential”;

byākatañca me byākatato dhāretha M I.431
“that which I have explained take as explained”;

na viññāṇaṃ attato samanupassati M I.300
“does not consider consciousness as the Soul”;

accayaṃ accayato disvā D I.85; III.55
“seeing decay as decay”;

gottato pi anussarati ... sāvaka-yugato pi anussarati D II.8
“remembers in relation to (or by way of) clan and the pairs of disciples”;

paṭhavito na maññati M I.4
“does not regard (it) as earth”;


pamādaṃ bhayato disvā Th 1.980
“seeing indolence as fear”.

In the above examples the abl. in some cases borders on the adverbial use. In the following example it is more like an adverb of manner than anything else:

evaṃ visesato ñatvā Dh 22
“thus having known especially”.

b. In the above examples, as pointed out before, it is the suffix -to that is generally employed to denote viewpoint or relation. However, though the -to forms assume the role of the regular case-forms of the abl. in these and some other instances, still a full and complete identity between them can only be found in the pronominal declension, just as in Sanskrit (cp. SS §108). Pāṇinī gives a considerable number of rules about the use of this suffix, which show that its sphere of employment, though mostly coinciding with that of the abl. proper, is more often a different one.

c. A similar syntactical part is played by the suffix -so which is itself no case-ending at all, but belongs to the adverbs with non-case suffixes (vide KVG §580-585). It is however regarded as an ablatival form by Pāli grammarians. For instance, under the use designated ‘pamāṇatthe’, vutti on Kac. 277 gives such examples as ‘dīghaso’ etc. There is no doubt, therefore, that this ending -so, though not recognized by Pāṇinī as a regular case-form of the abl., came to be regarded in popular speech as an ablatival ending. In fact its similarity to the -to suffix in sense – for we can paraphrase -so with -vasena as well – brought about an almost complete identity with the latter. This too generally expresses the [168] idea of relation; thus e.g.,

imam-eva kāyaṃ dhātuso paccavekkhati M I.57
“he considers this very body in terms of the elements”;

dhātuso bhikkhave sattā saṃsandanti samenti S II.154; III.65
“according to their natures, monks, beings unite and agree”.

In these examples, especially in the second, the adverbial connotation can hardly be overlooked. But the original distributive sense of this suffix, viz. the meaning “into” or “in”, is not seldom found in the Nikāyas. e.g.,

bilaso paṭivibhajitvā M I.59
“dividing into (so many) parts”;

Kosinārake Malle kula-parivattaso kula-parivattaso ṭhapetvā D II.148
“keeping the Mallas of Kusinārā each family-circle separately in a group”.

§134. The Adverbial Ablative.

In the preceding paragraphs we have already referred to a considerable number of ablatives employed as pure adverbs and some even as prepositions (such as ārā). Beside these there are many other ablatives in -ā and -to (-smā occurring only with pronominal stems), and a considerable number of -so forms with ablatival sense, used as adverbs. These may be dealt with according to the syntactical categories established in the previous chapters.

a. The abl. singular of demonstrative, interrogative and relative pronouns is frequently found as adverb of reason and manner. Logically they are ablatives of cause. e.g.,

tasmā vedanā ti vuccati M I.293
“therefore it is called ‘sensation’ ”;

tasmā etaṃ kallaṃ vacanāya D I.168
“therefore it is fit to say ...”;

cp. D II.283; tato “therefore, thence” D I.72,212; Pv. 1; ettato “therefore, by reason of this” S I.185. We may compare with these the adv. inst. tena. The Comys. treat them as adverbs of reason, cp. ‘tasmā ti kāraṇa-vacanaṃ’ Pj. I.167. The interrogative and the relative are not so frequent. e.g.,

kuto pana kāyena D II.176
“how ... with the body ... ?”;

yato kho Kassapa bhikkhu diṭṭhe va dhamme ... upasampajja viharati, ayaṃ vuccati ... D I.168
“wherefore, Kassapa, a monk in this very life attains to ... and abides therein, that is called ...”.

But it is more often found in its original function of denoting “whence”. e.g.,

yato ahaṃ pabbajito [169] D II.151
“Since (or whence) I was ordained”,

implying the limit of reckoning.

b. There are some other old forms mostly in -ā forming temporal and local adverbs. e.g.,

catutthajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā samanantarā Bhagavā parinibbāyi D II.156
“having arisen from the fourth ecstasy the Blessed One passed away immediately”;

saññā paṭhamaṃ uppajjati pacchā ñāṇaṃ D I.185
“firstly perception is born, afterwards knowledge”;

mā pacchā vippaṭisārino ahuvattha D II.147
“do not be repenting later on”;

pacchā uppannā D I.18
“produced afterwards”.

All these imply time. The local sense is expressed only by a few and most of them have gained prepositional force in Pāli. e.g.,

samantā Vesāliṃ D II.98
“around Vesāli”;

antarā magge D II.207
“midway on the journey”.

c. Similarly the ablatives ettāvatā and kittāvatā are used as adverbs of quantity and degree. e.g.,

ettāvatā niruttipatho D II.63
“thus far (is) the scope of language”;

ettāvatā sammā samucchinno D I.34
“so far well uprooted”;

ettāvatā tapo-jigucchā aggappattā D III.48
“by so much (is) disgust for asceticism brought to the highest pitch”;

kittāvatā ca Ānanda attānaṃ paññāpento paññāpenti D II.65
“how far do those who postulate a Soul do so?”

d. A large number of adverbs belonging to various logical categories are formed with the suffix -so and have the sense of ablatival adverbs. This is the original function of -so. e.g.,

sabbaso jātiyā asati D II.57
“there being no birth in every way (i.e. completely)”;

ādiso va aparaddhaṃ D I.180
“at fault from the very start (initially)”;

antam-aso kumbhadāsiyâpi D I.168,169; M I.286; III.127; A V.195
“even at least a water-maid”;

yoniso Comys. equate it to inst. adv. of manner, e.g., ‘ ayoniso ti anupāyena’ i.e. “tactlessly” Sum. III.810. pañhaṃ pucchituṃ D I.118
“to ask a question wisely (lit. according to origin)”;

yoniso manasikaroti D II.214
“reflects over wisely”;

sabba-lahuso A IV.247
“as quickly as possible”.

Similar is the abl. -so in the frequently occurring phrase bhiyyosomattāya (D II.11 etc.) “mostly”; bhiyyo < Vedic bhūyas adverbial acc. (cp. VGS §178.2). With the ablatival adverb abhiṇhaso “frequently, always” S I.194 we may compare its acc. used adverbially, viz. [170] abhiṇhaṃ. This shows how two cases even so apart syntactically as the acc. and abl. can meet in the adverbial use.

§135. Quasi-Legitimate Uses of the Ablative.

a. We have seen earlier how the suffix -to forms adverbs with a simple local sense without any implication of separation but merely denoting the side on which. This suffix was originally (in I.E.) applied to pronominal stems to form adverbs of a general character. E.W. Hopkins (J.A.O.S. Vol.38) has pointed out the fact that Skr. ‘ita ehi’ does not mean “come hence” but “come hither". We find this observation supported also by Pāli idiom. Here ito is found in an adv. sense of “here” or “hither” and not “from here”. e.g.,

ito hi kho ahaṃ bhante āgacchāmi samaṇassa Gotamassa santikā M I.373
“I come here, Sir, from the presence of the recluse Gotama”.

Normally the case ought to be the acc. of place gone to. But since such a use of the acc. sg. of pronouns is inadmissible the same exists in English, for we cannot say ‘come to this’ but ‘come here’ - the adverbial form ito is employed instead. But once such a usage came to exist it did not stop with the pronouns, its legitimate sphere, but came to be regarded as a general construction and was applied to nouns as well. So we have the curious use of paralokato “to the other world” for the acc. paralokaṃ, in the Sutta-Nipāta (579):

tesaṃ maccuparetānaṃ gacchataṃ paralokato
“of those subdued by Māra going to the other world (lit. other-world-wards)”.

Probably the influence of this confusion of the abl. and the acc. seems to exist in the stock-phrase ‘anāvattidhammo tasmā lokā’; “not liable to return from that world”, for the BSk. version has the acc. implying the place gone to as in “tatra parinirvāyiṇyo (striyo) ‘nāgāmiṇyo’ nāvṛttikadharmiṇyah punar imaṃ lokaṃ" Divyâvadāna p.533 “... not liable to come back, to this world".

b. The abl. and the inst. show striking similarities in usage and development. We have seen how the inst. forms with the acc. an idiom with various shades of meaning (vide §84). Parallel to this inst. -acc. construction, which we have regarded more or less as adverbial, we have in the Nikāyas an abl.-acc. construction also. e.g.,

hadayā hadayaṃ maññe aññāya tacchati M I.32
“knowing [171] heart to heart, methinks, he shapes the felloe”

(cp. Further Dial. I.22 “his heart, methinks, knows my heart, as he shapes that felloe”) cp.

anubandhiṃ padā padaṃ Sn 446
“he followed step to step” lit. (“from step to step”;

if we are correct in taking padā as an abl. sg. and not as the old inst. sg. in -ā). In the gāthā literature again we find the abl. of separation with the acc. of destination used in this manner like the inst.-acc. found in vanena vanaṃ etc. (§84). e.g.,

gabbhā gabbham tamā tamaṃ Sn 278
“from womb to womb and gloom to gloom”;

te mayaṃ vicarissāma gāmā gāmaṃ nagā nagaṃ Sn 180
“we (as such) shall wander from village to village and from hill to hill”.

The two cases here are to be taken as one whole idiom having the character of an adverbial phrase.