Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One, Two, Three and Four (Week of May 2, 2021)

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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by JohnK »

Sam Vara wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:54 pm ...
Looking at the translation with word look-up is quite interesting.

https://suttacentral.net/thig2.3/en/sujato

There seems to be quite a lot of guesswork and filling in. It shows what fragile little fragments these sayings are, where there is no sustained argument to provide context.
Thank you, Sam -- I did not know of this word look-up function. And with the guesswork, grasping at translations seems like grasping for a raft that resembles a lump of foam.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

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mikenz66 wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 4:10 am Of those, 1.1 and 2.5 particularly resonate with me. They give the feel of real people speaking to me from 2500 years ago.
I must confess, it is only in the last year or so that I began giving these verses serious consideration (having been somewhat unaware of their purpose) and it was for the exact same reason. Years of reading mostly the first four nikayas and then to encounter these deeply personal expressions of freedom and appreciation - it’s very moving.

And also...
pegembara wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 5:26 am A straightforward read tells you what the teachings actually meant.
...which, for anyone truly interested in what should be emphasized, really needs to give these verses some attention. Especially as they increase in length, you’ll find these very direct references about the nature of the body, elements, sense bases, aggregates, etc.; nothing fancy, just acknowledgment that diligence, patience and commitment to training upon these things is what is most important.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by mikenz66 »

Note that these translations are a joint project. From the Info for each of the translations:
Translation description
This translation aims to make a clear, readable, and accurate rendering of the Therīgāthā. The initial draft was by Jessica Walton, and it was completed by Bhikkhu Sujato in 2019. The terminology has been brought in line with Bhikkhu Sujato’s translation of the four Nikāyas.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by mikenz66 »

Sam Vara wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:02 pm Yes, I wondered about that, and in particular whether the mortar and pestle might be some kind of sexual imagery. ...
Here is Bhikkhu Sujato's comment: On crooked things. Oh, and sex
And on another mention of pestles: What happens in Thig 2.3?

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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

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DooDoot wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 5:28 am
SDC wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:34 am
Muttātherīgāthā (Muttā (2nd)) Thig 1.11
  • I’m well freed, so very well freed,
    freed from the three things that bent me over:
    the mortar, the pestle,
    and my humpbacked husband.
    I’m freed from birth and death;
    the attachment to rebirth is eradicated.
Jentātherīgāthā (Jentā) Thig 2.2
  • Of the seven awakening factors,
    the path for attaining extinguishment,
    I have developed them all,
    just as the Buddha taught.

    For I have seen the Blessed One,
    and this bag of bones is my last.
    Transmigration through births is finished,
    now there’ll be no more future lives.
Sujato forgot to translate "jati" above as "rebirth". Possibly notify the Venerable.
:D Will do
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

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asahi wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 7:10 am time
And i like "I’m cooled and quenched" .
Yes, such a great line!
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

Sam Vara wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 2:48 pm. They don't follow on in a coherent thread, but reading one seems to open you up and make you strangely vulnerable. And in that state, the others then have a different sort of effect.
...
That's all she could remember, or thought was useful, or could be bothered to say. And she remembered that the Blessed One called her by name.

Thanks, SDC! :heart: :anjali:
Glad you enjoyed them!

Yes, in imagining the freedom of the arahant it is such a blessing that they said anything at all - certainly they didn’t owe anyone anything, except maybe their teacher (who knows, that may have been who they uttered these saying to). Some later verses recount visits to the Buddha to offer thanks and praise; those are also very special.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

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JohnK wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:22 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:02 pm
JohnK wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 2:55 pm ...
Yes, I wondered about that, and in particular whether the mortar and pestle might be some kind of sexual imagery. But here is Thanissaro's alternative translation:
So freed! So freed!

So thoroughly freed am I—

from my pestle,

my shameless husband

& his sun-shade making,

my moldy old pot

with its water-snake smell.

Aversion & passion

I cut with a chop.

Having come to the foot of a tree,

I do jhāna, from the bliss thinking:

“What bliss!”
His translation seems even more like it is sexual imagery -- unless it's just my dirty mind!
Edit: I've always thought my mind was dirtier than my body, but these verses remind me that the teachings tell me to contemplate the body as dirty, too.
Edit again: Contemplating the body as dirty is really to cleanse the mind of attachment.
See the link Mike posted, I agree that it certainly could be in reference to sex.
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

mikenz66 wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:03 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:02 pm Yes, I wondered about that, and in particular whether the mortar and pestle might be some kind of sexual imagery. ...
Here is Bhikkhu Sujato's comment: On crooked things. Oh, and sex
And on another mention of pestles: What happens in Thig 2.3?

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Thanks, Mike! Was going to search for that discussion; recalled it from D&D.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by DooDoot »

SDC wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:34 am Muttātherīgāthā (Muttā (2nd)) Thig 1.11
  • I’m well freed, so very well freed,
    freed from the three things that bent me over:
    the mortar, the pestle,
    and my humpbacked husband.
    I’m freed from birth and death;
    the attachment to rebirth is eradicated.
If found the above rather offensive because I have loved my mortar & pestle ever since acquiring it. It is so much better to use than an electronic mixer plus obviously produces far less carbon emissions from electricity generation. Possibly the translator could be more climate change conscious. The end is nigh. Mortar & pestle is an awesome timeless (akaliko) invention with zero carbon emissions. It appears the above mortar & pestle derision has possibly been a leading contributor towards man-made climate change.

:geek:
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun May 02, 2021 8:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

DooDoot wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:15 pm
SDC wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:34 am Muttātherīgāthā (Muttā (2nd)) Thig 1.11
  • I’m well freed, so very well freed,
    freed from the three things that bent me over:
    the mortar, the pestle,
    and my humpbacked husband.
    I’m freed from birth and death;
    the attachment to rebirth is eradicated.
If found the above rather offensive because I have loved my mortar & pestle ever since acquiring it. It is so much better to use than an electronic mixer plus obviously produces far less carbon emissions from electricity generation. Possibly the translator could be more climate change conscious. The end is nigh. Mortar & pestle is an awesome timeless (akaliko) invention.
Unbeatable when it comes to making guacamole!
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by mikenz66 »

SDC wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:12 pm See the link Mike posted, I agree that it certainly could be in reference to sex.
Yes, these are tough women, who tell it like it is, not delicate "shrinking violets". I think that's a key takeaway message from these verses. They tell it like it is/was:
[quote="Thig5.2]
I adorned this body,
so fancy, cooed over by fools,
and stood at the brothel door,
like a hunter laying a snare.
https://suttacentral.net/thig5.2/en/sujato
[/quote]


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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by DooDoot »

mikenz66 wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Thig5.2 wrote: I adorned this body,
so fancy, cooed over by fools,
and stood at the brothel door,
like a hunter laying a snare.
https://suttacentral.net/thig5.2/en/sujato
The above sounds rather politically incorrect, in it appears to say women are provocateurs (rather than men are aggressors & impregnators for patriarchal intentions). :shock:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by SDC »

DooDoot wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:41 pm
mikenz66 wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:34 pm
Thig5.2 wrote: I adorned this body,
so fancy, cooed over by fools,
and stood at the brothel door,
like a hunter laying a snare.
https://suttacentral.net/thig5.2/en/sujato
The above sounds rather politically incorrect, in it appears to say women are provocateurs (rather than men are aggressors & impregnators for patriarchal intentions). :shock:
She was a “lady of the night” if memory serves.
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Re: Therīgāthā, The Verses of the Elder Bhikkhunīs, Book One and Two (Week of May 2, 2021)

Post by Sam Vara »

mikenz66 wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:34 pm
SDC wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:12 pm See the link Mike posted, I agree that it certainly could be in reference to sex.
Yes, these are tough women, who tell it like it is, not delicate "shrinking violets". I think that's a key takeaway message from these verses. They tell it like it is/was:
[quote="Thig5.2]
I adorned this body,
so fancy, cooed over by fools,
and stood at the brothel door,
like a hunter laying a snare.
https://suttacentral.net/thig5.2/en/sujato





2.4 quoted above also seems to refer to an erstwhile prostitute:
The price for my services
amounted to the nation of Kāsi.
By setting that price,
the townsfolk made me priceless.

Then, growing disillusioned with my form,
I became dispassionate.
I'm not sure that "tough" is the right term here. I think they are simply beyond caring or being embarrassed by such things. Tough people tell it like it is because they understand it is a big deal, but they have the strength not to flinch. These seem to tell it like it is because they realise it is not actually very much.

I like the way in which some of these nuns seem to recall the Buddha's instructions to them; others depersonalise it and give what appears to be direct advice to whoever is questioning them. Others give an account of what happened to them. This makes it all seem very authentic, in that there has been no tidying up here, putting different themes into different sections or providing superfluous explanations. There is no "Section on former prostitutes", etc.
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