Theragāthā | Poems of the Elder Monks

  • Introduction
  • Thag 1:1  Subhūti  —  My hut is well-thatched, so go ahead and rain.
  • Thag 1:2  Mahā Koṭṭhita  —  Shaking off evil qualities, as a breeze a leaf from a tree.
  • Thag 1:3  Kaṅkhā (Doubting) Revata  —  The discernment of the Tathāgatas gives light, gives eyes.
  • Thag 1:6  Dabba (“Capable”)  —  The rewards of allowing yourself to be tamed.
  • Thag 1:7  Bhalliya  —  Scattering the troops a death, as a flood, a bridge made of reeds.
  • Thag 1:10  Puṇṇamāsa  —  Unsmeared with regard to all dhammas.
  • Thag 1:13  Vanavaccha  —  Refreshed by the rocky crags of the wilderness.
  • Thag 1:14  Vanavaccha’s pupil  —  My body stays in the village; my mind has gone to the wilds.
  • Thag 1:16  Belaṭṭhasīsa  —  Gaining a pleasure not of the flesh.
  • Thag 1:18  Siṅgālapitar  —  Suffusing the whole earth with the perception of “bones.”
  • Thag 1:21  Nigrodha  —  Where danger and fear don’t remain.
  • Thag 1:22  Cittaka  —  Thrilled by the cold wind, peacocks awaken the sleeper to meditate.
  • Thag 1:23  Gosāla  —  Gaining insight while eating.
  • Thag 1:25  Nandiya (to Māra)  —  A warning to Māra.
  • Thag 1:26  Abhaya  —  Piercing what is subtle.
  • Thag 1:29  Hārita  —  Get up and straighten your mind.
  • Thag 1:31  Gahuratīriya  —  Acquiescing to discomfort like an elephant in battle.
  • Thag 1:32  Suppiya  —  I’ll make a trade: burning for the unbound.
  • Thag 1:33  Sopāka  —  Be good to all creatures.
  • Thag 1:39  Tissa  —  Be mindful as if struck with a sword.
  • Thag 1:41  Sirivaḍḍha  —  A mind firm even when lightning strikes the mountains.
  • Thag 1:43  Sumaṅgala  —  Freed from three crooked things.
  • Thag 1:49  Rāmaṇeyyaka  —  Undisturbed by the whistling of birds.
  • Thag 1:50  Vimala  —  Undisturbed even though lightning wanders the sky.
  • Thag 1:56  Kuṭivihārin (1)  —  Who’s in the hut? A monk’s in the hut.
  • Thag 1:57  Kuṭivihārin (2)  —  Discard your hope for a new hut—i.e., a new birth.
  • Thag 1:61  Vappa  —  One who sees.
  • Thag 1:73  Māṇava  —  Going forth after seeing an old person, a sick person, and a dead person.
  • Thag 1:75  Susārada  —  The company of the true is good.
  • Thag 1:84  Nīta  —  The fool: asleep the whole night, delighting in company by day.
  • Thag 1:85  Sunāga  —  Attaining a pleasure not of the flesh.
  • Thag 1:86  Nāgita  —  The Buddha teaches openly the only path to unbinding.
  • Thag 1:88  Ajjuna  —  Raising myself from the flood.
  • Thag 1:93  Eraka  —  Whoever loves sensual pleasures loves stress.
  • Thag 1:95  Cakkhupāla  —  Even if I must crawl, I’ll go on, but not with an evil companion.
  • Thag 1:100  Devasabha  —  Blanketed with the flowers of release.
  • Thag 1:101  Belaṭṭhkāni  —  A lazy monk is like a hog fattened on fodder.
  • Thag 1:104  Khitaka  —  How light my body when touched by rapture!
  • Thag 1:109  Saṅgharakkhita  —  With your faculties exposed, you’re prey to danger.
  • Thag 1:110  Usabha  —  The perception of “wilderness.”
  • Thag 1:111  Jenta  —  Going forth is hard, so is living at home. What’s the way out?
  • Thag 1:113  Vanavaccha  —  Those rocky crags refresh me.
  • Thag 1:114  Adhimutta  —  If you’re greedy for carcass pleasures, where will you gain excellence?
  • Thag 1:118  Kimbila  —  As if sent by a curse, it drops on us—aging.
  • Thag 1:119  Vajjiputta  —  Leave chitter-chatter. Do jhāna.
  • Thag 1:120  Isidatta  —  Like a tree, the aggregates stand with their root cut through.
  • Thag 1:168  Ekudāniya  —  The sage has no sorrows.
  • Thag 2:3  Valliya  —  Monkey mind.
  • Thag 2:9  Gotama  —  Sensuality has been executed.
  • Thag 2:11  Mahā Cunda  —  Listening well leads to the goal.
  • Thag 2:13  Heraññakāni  —  The span of mortals runs out, like a small stream.
  • Thag 2:16  Mahākāla  —  Watching a woman prepare a corpse for cremation.
  • Thag 2:24  Valliya  —  What needs to be done, I will do.
  • Thag 2:26  Puṇṇamāsa  —  Taking the Dhamma as a mirror, I reflected on the body.
  • Thag 2:27  Nandaka  —  Like a steed that, after stumbling, regains its stance.
  • Thag 2:30  Kaṇhadinna  —  Killing passion for becoming.
  • Thag 2:32  Sivaka  —  Inconstant little houses.
  • Thag 2:36  Khitaka  —  My mind, standing like rock, doesn’t shake.
  • Thag 2:37  Soṇa Poṭiriyaputta  —  The night is for staying awake.
  • Thag 2:47  Anūpama  —  You, mind, I call a mind-traitor!
  • Thag 3:5  Mātaṅgaputta  —  Whoever regards cold and heat as no more than grass won’t fall away.
  • Thag 3:8  Yasoja  —  The man of undaunted heart.
  • Thag 3:13  Abhibhūta  —  A message to kinsmen.
  • Thag 3:14  Gotama  —  Ways of taking birth are born from my self.
  • Thag 3:15  Hārita  —  Speak as you would act.
  • Thag 4:8  Rāhula  —  The son of the Buddha, unbound.
  • Thag 4:10  Dhammika  —  The Dhamma protects those who live by the Dhamma.
  • Thag 5:1  Rājadatta  —  Coming to one’s senses after feeling lust for a corpse.
  • Thag 5:8  Vakkali  —  Ill when living in the wilderness: What will you do?
  • Thag 5:10  Yasadatta  —  Intent on quibbling, you’re far from the Dhamma.
  • Thag 6:2  Tekicchakāni  —  Not getting alms, how will I get by?
  • Thag 6:6  Sappadāsa  —  Coming to one’s sense after contemplating suicide.
  • Thag 6:9  Jenta, the Royal Chaplain’s Son  —  A young man, intoxicated with his good looks, comes to his senses.
  • Thag 6:10  Sumana the Novice  —  A novice with great psychic powers wants no one to know.
  • Thag 6:12  Brahmadatta  —  How to deal wisely with angry fools—and with your own defilements.
  • Thag 6:13  Sirimaṇḍa  —  They encroach like masses of flame, these three: death, aging, and illness.
  • Thag 7:1  Sundara Samudda & the Courtesan  —  A courtesan invites a monk to disrobe.
  • Thag 10:1  Kāludāyin  —  The Buddha’s former barber invites him to return home to teach his relatives after his awakening.
  • Thag 10:2  Ekavihāriya—“Dwelling Alone”  —  King Asoka’s younger brother leaves the palace for the forest.
  • Thag 10:5  Kappa  —  Contemplation of the body.
  • Thag 11  Saṅkicca  —  A monk who gained awakening as a novice reflects on his life in the wilderness.
  • Thag 12:1  Sīlavat  —  The rewards of virtue.
  • Thag 12:2  Sunīta the Outcaste  —  An outcaste becomes an arahant and is worshiped by devas.
  • Thag 14:1  Revata’s Farewell  —  An arahant, about to die, reflects on his practice and advises his listeners to be in constant quest of what’s pure.
  • Thag 14:2  Godatta  —  Reflections on true nobility.
  • Thag 15:2  Udāyin  —  Celebrating the arahant as the true nāga.
  • Thag 16:1  Adhimutta & the Bandits  —  Captured by bandits intent on killing him, Ven. Adhimutta shows no fear.
  • Thag 16:4  Raṭṭhapāla  —  The verses of the monk whom the Buddha praised as foremost among his monk disciples in going forth through conviction.
  • Thag 16:7  Bhaddiya Kāligodhāyaputta  —  After abandoning his wealth and royal position, Ven. Bhaddiya follows the ascetic practices.
  • Thag 16:8  Aṅgulimāla  —  The Buddha converts a great bandit.
  • Thag 18  Mahā Kassapa  —  Celebrating the joys of practicing jhāna in the wilderness and what it means to be a “man of the four directions.”