These nouns have either ‘vantu’ or ‘mantu’ at their end and express a meaning of possessing something / being endowed with something. As these words express qualities or attributes, they can also be classified as ‘adjectives’. In the suttas,we come across vantu-mantu ending words in either of these capacities – as nouns or as adjectives describing other nouns.

E.g. - guṇavantu
guṇa = good quality, virtue
Hence guṇavantu = a person with good qualities / a virtuous person.

Let us study declension of this noun, guṇavantu.

Masculine noun guṇavantu

guṇavantu = virtuous

Case Singular Plural
Paṭhamā guṇavā, guṇavanto guṇavantā, guṇavanto
Dutiyā guṇavantaṃ guṇavante, guṇavanto
Tatiyā guṇavatā, guṇavantena guṇavantehi, guṇavantebhi
Catutthī guṇavato, guṇavantassa guṇavataṃ, guṇavantānaṃ
Pañcamī guṇavatā, guṇavantasmā, guṇavantamhā guṇavantehi, guṇavantebhi
Chaṭṭhī guṇavato, guṇavantassa guṇavataṃ, guṇavantānaṃ
Sattamī guṇavati, guṇavante, guṇavantasmiṃ, guṇavantamhi guṇavantesu
Ālapana guṇavā, guṇava guṇavantā, guṇavanto

Please note that the above declension is for the masculine form of the noun / adjective guṇavantu.

Let us study the declension of neutral form of vantu-mantu ending words, with the help of another example.

oja = nutritive essence, strength;
ojavantu = nutritious, giving strength


Neuter noun ojavantu

ojavantu = nutritious

Case Singular Plural
Paṭhamā ojavaṃ, ojavantaṃ ojavantā, ojavantāni
Dutiyā ojavaṃ, ojavantaṃ ojavantā, ojavantāni
Ālapana ojavaṃ, ojavantaṃ ojavantā, ojavantāni

The declension of vantu-mantu ending neuter nouns is similar to that of masculine nouns from Instrumental to Locative case (Tatiyā to Sattamī).

Please note :
• In some grammar books and dictionaries, the vantu-mantu ending nouns are also considered as consonant ending nouns, and we come across these nouns as guṇavant (=guṇavantu), buddhimant (=buddhimantu) etc.
• In case of feminine gender, the word guṇavantu becomes guṇavatī or guṇavantī. Similarly iddhimantu becomes iddhimatī or iddhimantī, silavantu becomes sīlavatī or sīlavantī and so on. All these forms are ī-ending and hence decline like like ī-ending feminine noun itthī.

Some examples of nouns / adjectives which decline like guṇavantu :

dhanavantu = rich, cakkhumantu = having eyes,
yasavantu = famous, bhānumantu = radiant,
kulavantu = of a good family, buddhimantu = intelligent,
sīlavantu = virtuous, iddhimantu = proficient, having psychic powers
sotavantu = having ears, attentive; bandhumantu = having relatives,
balavantu = powerful, satimantu = mindful
paññavantu = wise, (from paññā) pāpimantu = the Evil one, Māra
bhagavantu = fortunate, exalted, the Blessed one, the Buddha


Please note :

From the list of words given above, we can see that the words (qualities) ending in a and ā take up the ending ‘vantu’, whereas those ending in i and u take up the ending mantu.

E.g. one endowed with virtue or sīla is called as sīlavantu, whereas
One endowed with mindfulness or sati is called as satimantu.


We often come across various vantu-mantu ending nouns / adjectives in the Suttas. In fact, the most common noun used for the Buddha in the suttas is bhagavantu (bhagavā = nom. s).

Let us now translate some Pali sentences adopted from the Suttas, into English, paying special attention to declined forms of irregular nouns and vantu-mantu ending nouns / adjectives.

Last modified: Friday, 13 October 2023, 9:32 AM