05.08 Soṇā Therī (102-106)


102. I bore ten sons in this material body, and then being weak and aged I approached a bhikkhuni.

103. She taught me the doctrine, the elements of existence, the sense-bases, and the elements. When I heard the doctrine from her, I cut off my hair and went forth.

104. As I underwent training the divine eye was purified. I know my former habitation, where I lived before.

105. And, intent and well concentrated, I develop the signless. I have had immediate complete release; I have become quenched without clinging.

106. When they are known, the five elements of existence stand with root cut off. Born from an enduring foundation, I am immovable. There is now no renewed existence.


I brought ten sons into the world.

I thought that would have been enough.

But when my body could no longer conceive,

I lost heart.

Giving birth and raising children was all I knew.

Then a nun told me

how beings come into the world

based on countless causes and conditions.

I stayed with her—

and learned to raise a mind

that didn’t conceive.

Yes, my sisters.

The years do go by.

Soon all the little pieces

that make up

this body

will go on to make up

other bodies.

See this for yourself.

Then ask me why I shaved my head.


Leave a comment