05.04 Nandā Therī [Sundarīnandā] (82.86)


82. “See the body, Nanda, diseased, impure, rotten. Devote the mind, intent and well concentrated, to contemplation of the unpleasant.

83. “As this is, so is that; as that is, so is this. It gives out a rotten evil smell, it is what fools delight in.”

84. Looking at it in this way, not relaxing day or night, then analysing it by my own wisdom, I saw.

85. Vigilant, reflecting in a reasoned manner, I saw this body as it really was, inside and out.

86. Then I became disgusted with the body, and I was disinterested internally. Vigilant, unfettered, I have become stilled, quenched.


One morning,

after another long night,

I was squatting on the toilet

watching it all come out.

For the first time I saw my body—

not just how it looks,

but what it does—

turning what is dear

into what is waste.

I got up and started walking.

As the sun was setting,

I passed a graveyard.

You, my sisters beneath the leaves.

As I am, so you once were.

As you are, so will I become.

There I slept.

And there I stayed—

examining this mass of flesh and bones,

contemplating the many masses of flesh and bones

gently rotting just beneath the ground.

Then one morning I saw—

what goes in must come out.

Not just the body.

But the mind.

What will you bring into the world,

other than what gets washed

down the toilet?


Leave a comment