07.1 Uttarā Therī (175-181)


175. “Young men take pestles and grind corn; nourishing wives and children, young men find wealth.

176. “Strive after the Buddha’s teaching; having done it one does not repent. Wash your feet quickly and sit down on one side.

177. “Summoning up the mind, intent and well-concentrated, consider the constituent elements as other, and not as self.”

178. Having heard her utterance, the advice of Paṭācārā, having washed my feet, I sat down on one side.

179. In the first watch of the night I recollected that I had been born before; in the middle watch of the night I purified the divine eye;

180. in the last watch of the night I tore asunder the mass of darkness

[of ignorance]. Then I stood up with the triple knowledge. Your advice has been taken.

181. I shall dwell honouring you like the thirty deities honouring Inda, who is unconquered in battle. I have the triple knowledge; I am without āsavas.


I asked Patachara,

What is the Path?

Patachara said,

Just see all thoughts, words, and actions

arising all by themselves—

not from some imaginary point within.

I only partly understood.

But I took a seat.

As the sun was setting,

I saw the endless line

of one thing leading to another

that had brought me

to the cushion

that night.

As the moon was coming up,

I saw the arising

and passing away

of all things

in every direction.

As dawn was breaking,

wisdom rose in the east—

and set fire to the long dark night.

But don’t take my word for it.

Set fire to the darkness within.

I promise.

It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.


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