Thig 7:3  Upacālā

In SN 5:6, verses similar to these are attributed to the nun Cālā.


Having mindfulness, having an eye that sees,

a nun with developed faculties, I

penetrated the peaceful state

of which worthless people

don’t partake.1


Why don’t you approve of birth?

One who is born

enjoys sensual pleasures.

Enjoy sensual delight!

Don’t later burn with regret.


For one who is born

there’s death,2

the cutting-off of hands & feet,

binding, flogging, torment.

One who’s born incurs pain.

But there is

the Rightly Awakened One,

the undefeated one,

born in the Sakyan clan.

He taught me the Dhamma

for the transcending of birth:


the co-arising of stress,

the overcoming of stress,

& the noble eightfold path

leading to the stilling of stress.

Having heard his words,

I dwell, delighting

in his bidding.

The three knowledges

are attained;

the Buddha’s bidding,


Everywhere enjoyment

is defeated;

the mass of darkness,


So know,     Evil One,

that you have been,


struck down.


1. This stanza does not occur in SN 5:6.

2. This is the last line that this poem has in common with SN 5:6. The remainder of SN 5:6 reads:

One who is born

sees pain.

It’s a binding, a flogging, a torment.

That’s why one shouldn’t approve

of birth.

The Awakened One taught me the Dhamma

—the overcoming of birth—

for the abandoning of all pain,

he established me in

the truth.

But beings who have come to form

& those with a share in the formless,

if they don’t discern cessation,

return to becoming-again.