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Therigatha III

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III.2 -- Uttama [go to top]

Four times, five, I ran amok from my dwelling,
    having gained no peace of awareness,
    my thoughts out of control.
So I went to a trustworthy nun.
She taught me the Dhamma:
    aggregates, sense spheres, & elements.
Hearing the Dhamma,
    I did as she said.
For seven days I sat in one spot,
absorbed in rapture & bliss.
On the eighth, I stretched out my legs,
    having burst the mass
    of darkness.

III.3 -- Dantika & the Elephant [go to top]

Coming out from my day's abiding
on Vulture Peak Mountain,
I saw on the bank of a river
    an elephant
emerged from its plunge.

A man holding a hook requested:
        "Give me your foot."
The elephant
    extended its foot.
The man
    got up on the elephant.

Seeing what was untrained now tamed
brought under human control,
with that I centered my mind --
    why I'd gone to the woods
        in the first place.

III.5 -- Ubbiri [go to top]

"'Jiva, my daughter,'
you cry in the woods.
Come to your senses, Ubbiri.
    all named Jiva
have been burned in that charnel ground.
For which of them do you grieve?"

Pulling out
    -- completely out --
the arrow so hard to see,
embedded in my heart,
he expelled from me
    -- overcome with grief --
the grief
over my daughter.

Today -- with arrow removed,
    without hunger, entirely
        Unbound --
to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha I go,
    for refuge to
    the Sage.

Revised: 10 November 1999