It is classified as part of the Khuddaka Nikaya , the collection of minor books in the Sutta Pitaka. A similar text, the Therigatha , contains verses attributed to early Buddhist nuns. The Theragatha consists of poems, organized into 21 chapters. Chapters are based on the number of verses in the poem, but beyond chapter 16 the chapter headings are only a rough guide.
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The Theragatha, the eighth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya , consists of poems — 1, stanzas in all — in which the early monks bhikkhus recount their struggles and accomplishments along the road to arahantship. Their stories are told with often heart-breaking honesty and beauty, revealing the deeply human side of these extraordinary men, and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our own potential to follow in their footsteps.
It is also available to read online and in various ebook formats at dhammatalks. For a complete translation, see Elders' Verses I translated by K. Norman Oxford: Pali Text Society , The translator appears in the square brackets . Go ahead and rain! Thag 1. Evil mind-states vanish with the breeze. Discernment, like a fire in the night. The rewards of allowing yourself to be tamed. Steadfast in oneself. Unsmeared with regard to all dhammas. Refreshment in the wilderness.
There's no tying down one who knows. A happiness not of the flesh. Contemplation of the body. Be careful, Mara! Splitting a horse's hair with an arrow. Shatter ignorance to bits! Acquiescing to discomfort like an elephant in battle. A fair trade. Be good to all creatures.
Practice mindfully, as if your head were on fire. Lightning can't shake one in jhana. Free at last from three crooked things! The delight of a well-focused mind. Where neither rain nor wind can reach. Are you wasting your hut? Why hope for a new hut i. How far can you see? Free of sorrows.
Three sights prompted this monk to leave home. Who can make a fool wise? When will the fool awaken? A pleasure not of the flesh. All paths do not lead to the same goal. Raising myself from the flood. Sensual pleasures are stressful. Shun the evil companion! Blanketed with the flowers of release.
How light my body! Ponder inconstancy, constantly. Aging drops on us like a curse. Leave chitter-chatter. Cutting through the roots of suffering. Monkey mind. Listening well leads to the goal. You, mind, I call a mind-traitor! It's too hot, it's too cold — what's your excuse? After wandering relentlessly through hell, heaven, and the animal world, finally: peace! Careful: the wise can tell when your actions don't align with your deeds. The Buddha's son celebrates his own victory in the Dhamma.
Lusting after a corpse? That's the last straw for this monk. How a monk with no food in his bowl can still find comfort and joy. While grappling with lust, this monk finally comes to his senses. Sound advice for meditating householders and monks. A mind well-trained is a mind content under all circumstances. A messenger from the Buddha's father urges the Buddha to return home. King Asoka's younger brother recalls his journey to arahantship in the wilderness.
Are you enchanted by your physical appearance? This reflection may be just the cure. A young arahant reflects on his life in the wilderness. The rewards of virtue. By steadfastly maintaining his right resolve, this monk finally gains perfect release.
Criticism from the wise is better than praise from fools; the pain of meditation is better than any pleasure from the senses. Wisdom settles the mind, as rain the dust. Udayin uses the timeless image of the lotus blossom to illustrate non-clinging. A monk uses Dhamma to disarm a band of thugs. Ratthapala explains why he's not in the least bit tempted to return to the lay life.
These verses contain the Canon's only reference to the full set of thirteen ascetic practices. For Bhaddiya's story, see Ud 2. This collection of verses associated with Angulimala, the reformed bandit who became an arahant, contains all of the verses contained in MN 86 the sutta that tells Angulimala's story plus five concluding verses. The arahant Sariputta keeps the wheel of Dhamma rolling as he meditates alone in the wilderness.
Tender words from Ananda, as he looks back on his past grief over the Buddha's death. An arahant monk celebrates the joys of practicing jhana in the solitude of the forest. One of the first examples of "wilderness poetry. A monk admonishes himself. Fifteen poems by Ven. Vangisa, the bhikkhu whom the Buddha designated as his foremost disciple in the composition of spontaneous verse. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions.
Last revised for Access to Insight on 30 November
The Theragatha, the eighth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya , contains stories in verse form in which the early monks bhikkhus recount their struggles and accomplishments along the road to arahantship. These stories are told with often heart-breaking honesty and beauty, revealing the human side of these extraordinary men, and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our own potential to follow in their footsteps. Chapter I 1. Go ahead and rain! Evil mind-states vanish with the breeze. Discernment, like a fire in the night.
In the works monks speak of their inner experiences and of nature, and some nuns tell of their daily lives. The songs of the monks are said to have been composed when their authors experienced the bliss of enlightenment. Within the collection about 30 different meters can be distinguished, attesting to the prosodic variety of Buddhist lyrics. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
Join us weekly for live Dhamma Story Time sessions. Vipassana , which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. More information about Vipassana as taught by S. Goenka is available at www.