The Theragatha, the eighth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya, contains 264 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.
Selected suttas from the Theragatha
- 5. Matangaputta. It's too hot, too cold -- what's your excuse?
- 8. Yasoja. Solitude in the forest: two's company, three's a hullabaloo!
- 12. Abhibhuta. Rouse yourself! Scatter the army of death!
- 14. Gotama. After wandering relentlessly through hell, heaven, the animal world, finally: peace!
- 15. Harita (2). Careful: the wise can tell when your actions don't align with your deeds.
- 8. Rahula. The Buddha's son celebrates his own victory in the Dhamma.
- 5. Kappa. Are you enchanted by your physical appearance? This reflection may be just the cure.
- 1. Revata's Farewell. By steadfastly maintaining his right resolve, this monk finally gains perfect release.
- 2. Godatta. Criticism from the wise is better than praise from fools; the pain of meditation is better than pleasure from the senses.
- Maha Kassapa. In this poem -- one of the first examples of "wilderness poetry" -- an arahant monk celebrates the joys of practicing jhana in the solitude of the
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- Talaputa [Bhikkhu Khantipalo, tr.]. A frank and inspiring eavesdropping into this monk's conversations with himself before becoming a monk and after.