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