Khuddaka Nikaya


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Theragatha
Chapter XI — The Elevens

240

Sankicca

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

 


 

What do you want in the woods, my boy,
like a bird[1] exposed to the rain?
Monsoons refresh you,
for seclusion is for those in jhana.

As the monsoon wind
drives the clouds in the rainy season,
so thoughts concerned with seclusion
      impel me.

 

§

 

      A black crow
making its home in a charnel ground
inspires within me
      mindfulness in —
   based on dispassion for —
      the body.[2]

 

§

 

One whom others don't guard,
who doesn't guard others:
   He is a monk
   who lies down in ease,
unconcerned with sensual passions.

 

§

 

With clear waters &
   massive boulders,
frequented by monkeys &
   deer,
covered with moss &
   water weeds:
      those rocky crags
      refresh me.

 

§

 

I've lived in wildernesses,
canyons, & caves,
isolated dwellings
frequented by predator & prey,
      but never have I known
      an ignoble, aversive resolve:
   "May these beings
      be destroyed,
      be slaughtered,
      fall into pain."

 

§

 

The Teacher has been served by me;
the Awakened One's bidding,
      done;
the heavy load,   laid down;
the guide to becoming,[3] uprooted.
And the goal for which I went forth
from home life into homelessness
I've reached:
      the end
      of all fetters.

I don't delight in death,
don't delight in living.
I await my time
      like a worker his wage.
I don't delight in death,
don't delight in living.
I await my time
      mindful, alert.

 


[1] Ujjuhaana. The Commentary offers two interpretations for this word. The first is that it is a hill covered with jungle and many streams that tended to overflow in the rainy season. The other is that it is the name of a bird that could stay comfortable even when exposed to cold, wind, and rain. I've chosen the second alternative. K.R. Norman speculates that the term could be written ujjahaana, in which case it would be the present participle for a verb meaning abandoned or cast off. However, none of the manuscripts support his speculation.

[2] In other words, the sight of the crow taking up residence in skulls and other body parts provided a chastening perspective on how the mind takes up residence in the body.

[3] The guide to becoming is craving.

 


 

References:

See also: Thag 205;
Thag 244;
Thag 261.

 


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