Bhikkhuni Sujata’s Final Knowledge

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Introduction

This poem is from the Therigatha. The Therigatha preserves 73 poems of elder nuns and is the ninth section in the Khuddaka Nikāya. The Khuddaka Nikāya is a collection of short texts in (mostly) verse. The Khuddaka Nikāya is the last Nikaya (collection) of the Sutta Piṭaka, the second book of the Pāli Canon. [1]

Here, Sujata, enamored with the world and her position of wealth and privilege encounters the Buddha. She hears from him a simple, pure, and direct Dhamma and her mind clears. As with all of these poems in the Theragatha and Therigatha their encouragement towards the pure teachings of an awakened human being remain after 2, 600 years.

Bhikkhuni Sujata’s Final Knowledge

Therigatha 6:4

Adorned with jewels and fancy dress,
The finest perfume,
My servants waiting.

With food and drink,
Ordinary and fancy,
We set off
To my favorite gardens.

We indulged in food and sport,
For a pleasant time.
Wher spent, we turned for home.

On the way, a monastery,
The Awakened One beckoned.
I approached, bowed, and sat to one side.

With compassion and penetrating vision,
He taught me the Great Truths. [2]

His words enlightened,
My mind cleared,
I touched the Dhamma.

Dustless, deathless,
Knowing the true Dhamma,
I went forth,
From home to homeless.

Knowledge of the three themes I attained, [3]
The Buddha’s Dhamma is full, not empty.

End Of Poem

  1. Pail Canon
  2. Four Noble Truths – The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
  3. Three Marks Of Existence – Anicca, Anatta, Dukkha

My Dhamma articles and talks are based on the Buddha's teachings  (suttas) as preserved in the Sutta Pitaka, the second book of the Pali Canon. I have relied primarily on Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s excellent and insightful translation of the Pali generously made freely available at his website Dhammatalks.org, as well as the works of Nyanaponika Thera, John Ireland, Maurice Walsh, Hellmuth Hecker, and Sister Khema, among others, as preserved at Access To Insight.

Also, I have found Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations from Wisdom Publications Pali Canon Anthologies to be most informative and an excellent resource.

I have made contextual edits to the suttas from these sources for further clarity, to modernize language, to minimize repetition, and maintain relevance to Dependent Origination and Four Noble Truths.

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