Sona – A Mother Of Ten Awakens

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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]

In this poem, Sona comes to the Dhamma late in life and quickly develops profound understanding of key elements of the Dhamma including Five Clinging Aggregates, Three Marks Of Existence, restraint at the Six-Sense-Base, meditative absorption, and a penetrative understanding of Four Noble Truths. [2,3,4,5,6]

Sona – A Mother Of Ten Awakens

Therigatha 5:8

From this heap of aggregates
I bore ten children.
Now, weak and aged,
I went to a nun.

She taught the awakened one’s Dhamma.
She spoke of the Five Clinging-Aggregates,
the six-sense-base, and the four elements.
I understood.

I cut my hair and took refuge.
While still a novice,
my mind cleared. (of wrong views)

I saw all past becomings
rooted in ignorance.
I developed the four levels of Jhana,

Non-distracted, focused solely on my breath.
I gained the liberation of unity with my body,
mindful of life as life occurs,
due to the cessation of clinging, now unbound. (From wrong views)

I understand ongoing stress and suffering.
From knowing the Five Clinging-Aggregates,
they now stand like a tree cut through at the root.

My mind rests in equanimity,
the three marks of existence put aside.
Now, no further becoming of ignorance (of Four Noble Truths)
can arise

End of Poem

 

  1. Pail Canon
  2. Five Clinging-Aggregates
  3. Three Marks Of Existence – Anicca, Anatta, Dukkha
  4. Wisdom Of Restraint
  5. Samadhi and Jhanas
  6. Four Noble Truths – The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

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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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