the possessor of a house, the head of the household pater familias (freq. + seṭṭhi).

  1. In formulas

    1. as regards social standing, wealth & clanship: a man of private (i.e. not official) life, classed w. khattiyā brāhmaṇā in kh˚-mahāsālā, wealthy Nobles, brahm˚mahāsālā do. Brahmins, gah˚-m˚ well-to-do gentry SN.i.71; Cnd.135; Dhp-a.i.388
      ■ kh˚-kula, br˚-kula g˚-kula the kh˚, etc. clans: Vin.ii.161; Ja.i.218. kh˚ amaccā, br˚, g.˚ DN.i.136
    2. as regards education mode of life ranking with kh˚, br˚, g.˚ and samaṇā Vin.i.227; AN.i.66; Cnd.235, see also cpd
      ■ paṇḍita.
  2. Other applications: freq. in combination brāhmaṇagahapatikā priests & yeomen: see gahapatika. In combn w. gahapatiputta (cp. kulaputta) it comprises the members of the g. rank, clansmen of the (middle) class, and implies a tinge of “respectable people” esp in addresses. So used by the Buddha in enumerating the people as gahapati vā gah˚-putto vā aññatarasmiṃ vā kule paccājāto DN.i.62; MN.i.344. gahapatī ca gahapatāniyo householders and their wives AN.ii.57. In sg the voc. gahapati may be rendered by “Sir” (Mil.17 e.g. and freq.), & in pl. gahapatayo by “Sirs” (e.g. Vin.i.227; MN.i.401; AN.ii.57)
    ■ As regards occupation all resp. businesses are within the sphere of the g., most frequently mentioned as such are seṭṭhino (see below & cp. seṭṭhi˚ Vin.i.16, but also kassaka, farmer AN.i.229 AN.i.239 sq.; and dārukammika, carpenter AN.iii.391. Var duties of a g. enum. at AN.i.229, AN.i.239
    ■ The wealth comfortably-living position of a g. is evident from an expression like kalyāṇa-bhattiko g. a man accustomed to good food Vin.ii.77 = Vin.iii.160
    ■ f. gahapatānī Vin.iii.211, Vin.iii.213 sq., Vin.iii.259 (always w. gahapati); Dhp-a.i.376 pl. gahapatāniyo see above
    Note. The gen. sg. of gahapati is ˚ino (Ja.i.92) as well as-issa (Vin.i.16; DN.iii.36).

  3. Single cases of gahapatis, where g almost assumes the function of a title are Anāthapiṇḍika g. Vin.ii.158 sq.; SN.i.56; SN.ii.68; AN.ii.65; Ja.i.92; Pv-a.16 Meṇḍaka g. Vin.i.240 sq.; Citta SN.iv.281 sq.; Nakulapitā SN.ii.1 sq.; Potaliya MN.i.359; Sandhāna DN.iii.36 sq. Hāliddikāni SN.ii.9

■ See next.

  • -aggi the sacred fire to be maintained by a householder interpreted by the Buddha as the care to be bestowed on one’s children & servants AN.iv.45; see enum. under aggī at AN.iv.41; DN.iii.217;
  • -cīvara the robe of a householder (i.e. a layman’s robe) Vin.i.280 sq.; ˚dhara wearing the householder’s (private man’s) robe (of a bhikkhu) MN.i.31; AN.iii.391 sq.;
  • -necayika (always with brāhmaṇa-mahāsālā) a business man of substance DN.i.136; DN.iii.16 sq.;
  • -paṇḍita a learned householder Cp. above 1b, together w. khattiya˚, etc MN.i.176, MN.i.396; w. samaṇa-brāhmaṇa˚ Mil.5;
  • -parisā a company of gahapatis (together w. khattiya˚, etc., see above) Vin.i.227; MN.i.72; DN.iii.260;
  • -putta a member of a g. clan DN.i.62, DN.i.211; MN.i.344; SN.iii.48, SN.iii.112; Pv-a.22
  • -mahāsāla a householder of private means (cp. above 1a) usually in combination with khattiya˚, etc. DN.iii.258; SN.i.71; SN.iv.292; AN.ii.86; AN.iv.239;
  • -ratana the “householder-gem” one of the seven fairy jewels of the mythical overlord. He is a wizard treasure-finder (see ratana) DN.ii.16, DN.ii.176; Snp.p.106. Cp. Rh.D. Dialogues etc. ii.206.

gaha + pati. Vedic gṛhapati, where pati is still felt in its original meaning of “lord,” “master, implying dignity, power & auspiciousness. Cp. Sk dampati = dominus = δεσπότης; and pati in P. senāpati commander-in-chief, Sk. jāspati householder, Lat hospes, Obulg. gospoda = potestas, Goth. brūp-faps bride-groom, hunda-faps = senāpati. See details under pati.