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Therigatha

Therīgāthā 13.3
The Verses of Arahant Nun Cāpā (291-311)

This Arahant nun gave up all attachments she had to her family.

291. [Upaka:] Formerly, I was an ascetic wandering around with a pot and stick. But now I am a deer hunter. Because of craving, I haven’t been able to cross the swamp of sensual pleasures to reach the far shore.

292. Cāpā thinks that I am still attracted to her. She is cradling our son. But having cut the bond I had between Cāpā and myself, I will become a monk again.

293. [Cāpā:] My great hero, don’t be angry with me. My great sage, don’t be angry with me. For there is no purity for one overcome by anger, let alone the virtues of an ascetic.

294. [Upaka:] I shall indeed leave this village of Nālā. Who will live here in Nālā? It was this female figure that kept ascetics from living righteously.

295. [Cāpā:] Come Kāla Upaka, turn back! Enjoy sensual pleasures as you did before! My relatives and I are astounded by you.

296. [Upaka:] Cāpā, even if one quarter of your admiration is expressed to a man who is attached to you, your appreciation will seem huge to him.

297. [Cāpā:] Kāla, there is a blooming takkārī tree on the peak of a mountain. There is a blooming pomegranate tree. There is a blooming pāṭalī tree in the middle of an island.

298. My body is smeared with red sandal-wood cream. I am wearing the best clothes from Kāsi. As I am very beautiful, how can you leave me, ignoring this beauty?

299. [Upaka:] A bird hunter wants to trap and capture birds. You are trying to do the same, but you will not capture me by your beauty.

300. [Cāpā:] Kāla, look at our son I obtained from you. Leaving me with our son, how can you abandon us?

301. [Upaka:] Wise men leave their sons, relatives, and wealth. Breaking all fetters, those great heroes become monks, like an elephant that has broken its chains.

302. [Cāpā:] Ah, I see. Then, I will now murder our son with a stick or a knife on the spot, or I will knock him down to the ground. Because of grief for your son, you will not go.

303. [Upaka:] Hey wretched lady, even if you throw our son into a pit of hungry wolves and dogs, you will not turn me back again for the sake of our son.

304. [Cāpā:] Kāla, my darling husband, then tell me where you are going. To which village, town, city, or kingdom are you going?

305. [Upaka:] Formerly, we were leaders of ascetic groups. Not being true recluses, we only pretended to be so. We wandered from village to village, city to city, and from kingdom to kingdom.

306. But this time it is different. Alongside the river Nerañjarā the Blessed One, the Buddha Gotama, teaches the Dhamma to beings for the eradication of all suffering. This time, I shall go to the Buddha’s presence. The Buddha will be my Great Teacher.

307. [Cāpā:] Ah! Please tell the unsurpassed protector of the world that I worship him. Yes, worship respectfully and dedicate the merit to me.

308. [Upaka:] Yes, as you say Cāpā, you can receive that merit. I will tell the unsurpassed protector of the world that you worshipped him. Having worshiped him, I will surely dedicate the merit to you.

309. Then Kāḷa went out alongside the river Nerañjarā. He saw the Supremely Enlightened Buddha teaching about the deathless state, Nibbāna.

310. That Dhamma is about suffering, the arising of suffering, the overcoming of suffering and the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to the cessation of suffering.

311. He worshipped the sacred feet of the Great Teacher. Having worshipped him respectfully, he dedicated the merit to Cāpā. He became a monk. He achieved the Triple Knowledge. The Buddha’s path has been fully followed by him.

These verses were said by Arahant Nun Cāpā.

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Therīgāthā 13.3: The Verses of Arahant Nun Cāpā (291-311)

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