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Theragatha VI

(Selected suttas)

VI.6 -- Sappadasa

Twenty five years since my going forth,
and no peace of awareness
-- not a finger-snap's worth --
Having gained no oneness of mind,
I was wracked with lust.
Wailing, with my arms upheld,
I ran amok from my dwelling --
"Or...or shall I take the knife?
What's the use of life to me?
If I were to renounce the training,
what sort of death would I have?"
So, taking a razor,
I sat down on a bed.
And there was the razor,
placed ready to cut my own vein,
    when apt attention arose in me,
the drawbacks appeared,
    disenchantment stood
    at an even keel:

With that, my heart was released.
See the Dhamma's true rightness!
The three knowledges
have been attained;
the Awakened One's bidding,

VI.9 -- Jenta, the Royal Chaplain's Son

    I was
drunk with the intoxication
of my birth, wealth, & sovereignty.
Drunk with the intoxication
of my body's build, coloring, & form,
I wandered about,
regarding no one
as my equal or better,
    foolish, arrogant, haughty,
    my banner held high.
I -- disrespectful, arrogant, proud --
bowed down to no one,
not even     mother,
or those commonly held
in respect.

Then -- seeing the ultimate leader,
supreme, foremost of charioteers,
    like a blazing sun,
arrayed with a squadron of monks --
casting away pride & intoxication
through an awareness serene & clear,
    I bowed down
to him, supreme
among all living beings.

Haughtiness & contempt
    have been abandoned
    -- rooted out --
the conceit "I am" is extracted,
all forms of pride, destroyed.

VI.10 -- Sumana the Novice

When I was seven
& newly gone forth,
having conquered with my power
the great powerful serpent,
I was fetching water for my preceptor
from the great lake, Anotatta,[1]
when the Teacher saw me & said:

"Look, Sariputta, at that one,
the young boy coming there,
carrying a pot of water,
well-centered within,
his practices -- inspiring;
his bearing -- admirable.
He's Anuruddha's novice,
mature in his powers,
made thoroughbred by a thoroughbred,
good by one who is good,
tamed by Anuruddha,
trained by one whose task
    is done.

He,     having reached the highest peace
    & realized the unshakable,
Sumana the novice
    wants this:
'Don't let anyone know me.'"


1. Anotatta: A fabulous lake located in the Himalayas, famed for the purity of its cool waters. Sumana would have had to use his psychic powers to fetch water from there. [Go back]

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
The Search for Security by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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