|Dedicated to the good Western nun Ven. Aloka who inspired this translation.|
|I'm young, so I want to make out and elope!|
|I'm marrying for love. Take that, parents!|
The husband went searching for material for a shelter and set about to chop down some saplings.
|No one need die from a venomous bite. Metta prevents it. Khandha Paritta is the antidote.|
|Dead, rigid from lack of cultivating metta|
|What sort of tasty flesh is on the shore?|
|Central Asian beauty, a Scythian, NE India|
But little water do the oceans four contain
compared with all the tears that humans have shed
by sorrow smitten and by suffering distraught.
Woman, why heedless do you yet remain?
When the Enlightened One had finished his teaching, she had attained the certainty of future liberation by becoming a stream-winner (the first stage of enlightenment). She practiced diligently and soon realized final deliverance through full enlightenment. She said:
With plows the fields are plowed;
With seed the earth is sown;
Thus wives and children feed;
So young men win their wealth.
Then why do I, of virtue pure,
doing the Master's Teaching,
neither lazy nor proud,
nirvana not attain?
Having washed my feet
I watched that water,
noticing the foot-water
flowing from high to low.
With that the heard/mind was calmed
just as a noble, thoroughbred horse.
Having taken my lamp,
I went into my hut,
inspected the sleeping place
then sat upon the couch.
Having taken a pin
I pushed the wick right down, and
just as the lamp went out,
so all delusion of the heart went, too.
— Therigatha 112-116
Patacara was thereby the female counterpart of the Buddhist monk Upali, formerly Prince Siddhartha's lowly royal barber.
That she had chosen the "Rules of Monastic Conduct" as her central discipline is easy to understand, because the results of her former indulgences had become bitterly obvious to her.
Another nun, Uttara II, reported how Patacara spoke to the group of nuns about conduct and discipline:
Having established mind
As other, not as self.
— Thig 177
When I heard these words —
After washing my feet —
I sat down alone.
— Thig 178
Having taken flails
Young men thresh the corn.
Thus wives and children feed.
So young men win their wealth.
So likewise as to the Buddha's Teachings,
From doing which there is no remorse.
Quickly cleanse your feet
And sit you down withdrawn.
Devote yourselves to calm of mind/heart
And thus practice the Buddha's Teachings.
When they heard these words —
Having washed their feet,
They sat down, each one secluded,
Devoted themselves to calm of heart/mind
And thus followed the Buddha's Teachings.
In the night's first watch*
Past births were remembered;
In the middle watch of the night,
The divine eye was purified.
In the night's last watch,
They tore asunder the mass of gloom.
Having risen, they bowed at her feet,
Her instructions having done.
We shall live revering you
Like the thirty-three devas do Indra,
Undefeated in [celestial] war.
We are with triple knowledge true
And gone are all the taints.
— Therigatha 117-121
- [*Night in the Buddha's time was divided into three "watches," the first from 6:00-10:00 pm, middle from 10:00 pm-2:00 am, last watch from 2:00-6:00 am.]
Sources: A1,24; Thig 112-121,125,175,178; Ap. 11 No.20; J 547