Thig 5:8  Soṇā, Mother of Ten

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 media, & properties.

Hearing her Dhamma,

I cut off my hair & ordained.

Having purified the divine eye

while still a trainee,1

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 immediacy2

from lack of clinging, unbound.

The five aggregates, comprehended,

stand like a tree with its root cut through.

I spit on wretched     birth3

old age.

There is now no further becoming.


1. Sikkhamānā: A candidate for full ordination as a nun first had to undergo a two-year period as a trainee, in which she undertook the ten precepts of a novice and had to observe the first six without break. If she broke any of those six, she had to go back and start the two-year period again.

2. This is apparently equivalent to the concentration of unmediated knowing, mentioned in Sn 2:1, and the concentration that is the fruit of gnosis, mentioned in AN 9:37.

3. This line plays with the word jamme, which can mean either “wretched” or “birth.”

See also: SN 48:41; Thag 1:118