Both texts are landmarks in the history of world literature. The poems in both compilations are arranged by ascending size, starting with chapters in which every poem consists of only one stanza, and working up numerically, chapter by chapter, to poems of many stanzas. Because the poems are attributed to a wide variety of authors, it should come as no surprise that they differ widely in style, content, and artistic interest: Thus my choice to present an anthology of selected poems rather than a complete translation of either text. Some of the poems are autobiographical; some didactic.
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These verses celebrate the joy of freedom and the life of meditation in the forest. Together these collections constitute one of the oldest and largest collections of contemplative literature, preserving the unique voices of hundreds of early practitioners.
Based on style and content, these collections belong to the early discourses. They are referred to on occasion in the northern canons, but no parallel collections have survived. Division title. Text settings. View original text with translation This only works with certain texts, which include translations by Sujato and Brahmali.
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It is classified as part of the Khuddaka Nikaya , the collection of minor books in the Sutta Pitaka. A similar text, the Therigatha , contains verses attributed to early Buddhist nuns. The Theragatha consists of poems, organized into 21 chapters. Chapters are based on the number of verses in the poem, but beyond chapter 16 the chapter headings are only a rough guide. While most of the verses are spoken by the monk to whom they are attributed, some seem to have become associated with them in other ways- some verses are addressed to the monk the poem is named for, and a collection of verses associated with Ananda contains a mix of verses recited by or to Ananda on various occasions.
The Theragatha, the eighth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya , contains stories in verse form in which the early monks bhikkhus recount their struggles and accomplishments along the road to arahantship. These stories are told with often heart-breaking honesty and beauty, revealing the human side of these extraordinary men, and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our own potential to follow in their footsteps. Chapter I 1. Go ahead and rain!
In the works monks speak of their inner experiences and of nature, and some nuns tell of their daily lives. The songs of the monks are said to have been composed when their authors experienced the bliss of enlightenment. Within the collection about 30 different meters can be distinguished, attesting to the prosodic variety of Buddhist lyrics. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History.
The Theragatha, the eighth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya , consists of poems — 1, stanzas in all — in which the early monks bhikkhus recount their struggles and accomplishments along the road to arahantship. Their stories are told with often heart-breaking honesty and beauty, revealing the deeply human side of these extraordinary men, and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our own potential to follow in their footsteps. It is also available to read online and in various ebook formats at dhammatalks. For a complete translation, see Elders' Verses I translated by K. Norman Oxford: Pali Text Society , The translator appears in the square brackets . Go ahead and rain!