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Sona: Mother of Ten

May 10th, 2015 by admin

Translated from Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu 


Ten children I bore

from this physical heap.

Then weak from that, aged,

I went to a nun.

She taught me the Dhamma:

aggregates, sense spheres, & elements.

Hearing her Dhamma,

I cut off my hair & ordained.

Having purified the divine eye

while still a probationer,

I know my previous lives,

where I lived in the past.

I develop the theme-less meditation,

well-focused oneness.

I gain the liberation of immediacy —

from lack of clinging, unbound.

The five aggregates, comprehended,

stand like a tree with its root cut through.

I spit on old age.

There is now no further becoming.


Sona: Mother of Ten (Thig 5.8), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhiku. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November, 2013, 

Source: The Therigatha, Verses of the Elder Nuns. The Therigatha, the ninth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya, consists of 73 poems — 522 stanzas in all — in which the early nuns (bhikkunis) 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 women, and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our own potential to follow in their footsteps.



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