Mittakali – A Nuns Path Completed


Related Talks Coming Soon

New Talks Coming Soon


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]

In this poem, the nun Mittakali recounts her going forth still affected by continued clinging to wrong views ignorant of Four Noble Truths. [2] Finally, from a well-concentrated mind, free from influence of worldly associations, her mind cleared. [3]


Therigatha 5:6

Going forth with conviction
from home to homelessness.
I wandered here and there
always craving for recognition and material gain.

Chasing an ordinary goal
I missed the highest pursuit.
Driven by greed, aversion, and deluded thinking
I remained in ignorance, asleep.

Then, sitting in a quiet space
I suddenly came to my senses:
The path I am on is a miserable path.
My path is founded on craving, on desire.
Now, aging and illness are my constant companion.
Death is inevitable and I have no time left for mindlessness.

Seeing clearly impermanence
and the arising and passing away of the Five Clinging-Aggregates.
I arise as if from a deep slumber.
My mind released.
The Awakened One’s (Eightfold) Path complete. [4]

End of Poem


  1. Pail Canon
  2. Four Noble Truths
  3. Samadhi and Jhanas
  4. Eightfold Path – The Magga-Vibhanga Sutta
For All Who Reside In The Dhamma - Agantuka Sutta is free of advertising and ad-tracking. I rely on donations to support the continued restoration, preservation and clear and accessible presentation of the Buddha's authentic Dhamma. 

If you find benefit here please:


Thank You!


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, as well as the works of Acharya Buddharakkhita, 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 edits to the suttas from these sources for further clarity, to modernize language, to minimize repetition, and maintain contextual relevance to Dependent Origination and Four Noble Truths. and Dhamma articles and recordings by John Haspel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to my tri-weekly newsletter with Dhamma Class Talk topics, class and retreat schedule, and updates on new Dhamma articles and audio and video recordings.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This