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Therigatha

Therīgāthā 13.5
The Verses of Arahant Nun Subhā, the Smith’s Daughter (337-364)

See the danger in sensual pleasures and escape.

337. Back then, when I was very young, wearing a white dress, I went to listen to the Dhamma. While listening to the Dhamma vigilantly, I obtained the realization of the Noble Truths that day.

338. From then on, I developed non-delight in all sensual pleasures. I was afraid of craving for repeated existence. My only wish was to become a nun.

339. I left my relatives, slaves, and servants, fertile fields and lands. I left all delightful and pleasant possessions.

340. In this way, I abandoned great wealth and became a nun. This Dhamma path is truly well proclaimed. I became a nun with much faith in the Buddha. Therefore, it would not be fitting for me to desire gold and silver again. My only desire is ultimate freedom, Nibbāna.

341. If one takes gold and silver after laying them aside, it would be a huge mistake! Gold and silver are not conducive to enlightenment or peace. Furthermore it is not proper for recluses. Gold and silver are not the noble wealth.

342. Sensual pleasures only generate greed and intoxication. They cause delusion and only increase defilements. They cause one’s life to be filled with suspicions and many troubles. Truly, there is no permanent stability in sensual pleasures.

343. People become infatuated with sensual pleasures, engage in evil actions, and defile their minds. Then they envy each other and start quarrels.

344. Those people who have fallen into sensual pleasures are engaged in slaughtering and harming. They are struck by sadness, sorrow, grief, despair and misery.

345. Oh, dear relatives, why, like enemies, do you urge me towards sensual pleasures? Please understand that I became a nun because I saw fear in sensual pleasures.

346. Taints are not eradicated by means of gold and money. Sensual pleasures are enemies, murderers, and hostile beings. They bind minds to the arrow of sorrow.

347. Oh, dear relatives, why, like my enemies, do you urge me towards sensual pleasures? Please understand that with a shaven head and rag robes I have become a nun.

348. I survive on house-to-house alms food and wear rag robes. These requisites are indeed proper for me since I have renounced the world.

349. Great Seers reject all sensual pleasures, whether human or divine. They are well-established in the place of security. With liberated minds, they have arrived at an unshakable happiness.

350. I don’t want to have any relationship with sensual pleasures, in which no protection is found. Sensual pleasures are like enemies, murderers, and volcanoes. They are painful.

351. Sensual pleasures are a terror, and affliction. They are thorns. They are disgusting and disagreeable. They are a great cause of delusion.

352. Sensual pleasures are like a frightful attack, like a snake’s head. The ignorant, ordinary, foolish people delight in them.

353. The people who are attached to the mud of sensual pleasures are ignorant. They never understand the end of the cycle of birth and death.

354. Because of sensual pleasures, people have entered the ways that lead to the planes of misery. They have entered the way that bring them diseases.

355. In this way, sensual pleasures are enemy-producing, burning, and defiling. They lure and ensnare one towards defilements and death.

356. Sensual pleasures make people jabber. They are maddening, agitating the mind and defiling beings. They are traps set by Māra.

357. Sensual pleasures have endless miseries, they have immense pain, they are strong poisons, they give little enjoyment, they arouse lust, and they dry up the wholesome part of life.

358. Since I have understood the tragedy caused by sensual pleasures, I shall not return to them again; I shall always delight in ultimate freedom, Nibbāna.

359. I wish for the cool state, liberation. I have abandoned sensual desire. Having destroyed all fetters, I live diligently.

360. The Great Seers crossed over the journey of rebirths by following the Noble Eightfold Path. I also follow that sorrowless, stainless, secure, straight way.

361. Look at this Subhā, the smith’s daughter, establishing her mind in the Dhamma. She has attained the end of craving. She meditates at the foot of a tree.

362. Today is the eighth day since Subhā became a nun. She was instructed by the faithful nun Uppalavaṇṇā who became beautiful by means of Dhamma, and attained the Triple Knowledge leaving Māra behind.

363. This nun Subhā is flawless, without debt, with developed faculties, released from all ties. She has completed the path and is without taints.

364. Sakka, the leader of gods, approaching by psychic powers with a group of deities, worships that Subhā, the smith’s daughter.

These verses were said by Arahant Nun Subhā, the smith’s daughter.

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Therīgāthā 13.5: The Verses of Arahant Nun Subhā, the Smith’s Daughter (337-364)

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