05.12 Candā Therī (122-126)


122. Formerly I fared ill, a widow, without children. Without friends and relations I did not obtain food or clothing.

123. Taking a bowl and stick, begging from family to family, and being burned by cold and heat, I wandered for seven years.

124. But then I saw a bhikkhunī who had obtained food and drink, and approaching her I said, “Send me forth into the houseless state.”

125. And Paṭācārā, in pity, sent me forth; then she exhorted me and urged me towards the highest goal.

126. I heard her utterance and took her advice. The noble lady’s exhortation was not in vain; I have the triple. knowledge; I am without āsavas.


Do you remember when disease came to your village?

Of your family, you were the only one to survive.

You were just a girl.

For years you begged for your food.

Then a nun took you in.

You told her your story,

and she held you while you wept.

Then she told you her story,

and you wept with her.

Her name was Patachara.

You went everywhere she went—

and soon left behind

all that she had left behind.

When you were young,

you learned what it was

to be truly alone.

Now you know for yourself.

This freedom is something

altogether different than that.


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