Verses from the Theragatha

These verses give an all too human side to monks that learn at the foot of the Buddha. One cautions against laziness, another deals with the biggest hindrance to anyone meditating outside in the jungle (mosquitoes!), still another are the words of a monk speaking to a disappointed mother.

One who is a lazy glutton,
Lethargic, lolling around in bed,
Like a stuffed pig,
Is a dunce who will be reborn again and again.

1.17 Dāsaka, Theragatha

In Karamvi,
The call of the blue-necked peacock,
And the play of the cool breeze,
Arouses you to meditation.

1.22 Citta­ka, Theragatha

Tormented by the flies and mosquitoes,
Of the vast jungle,
Like a noble war elephant,
Mindfully endure.

1.31 Gahvaratī­riya, Theragatha

Like one hit by a sword,
Like one with hair ablaze,
Letting go of all sensual desire,
Mindfully, a monk goes forth.

1.39 Tissa, Theragatha

Mother, weep for the dead,
Or for one gone missing.
But I am here. I am alive.
Mother, why would you cry for me?

1.44 Sānu, Theragatha


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