01.01 A certain unknown bhikkhuni (1)


1. Sleep happily, little theri, clad in the garment which you have made; for your desire is stilled, like dried-up vegetables in a pot.


Rest, my heart,

wrapped in these

simple robes

you sewed yourself.

Like a pot of herbs

left cooking overnight,

that which was boiling

has boiled away.

That which was on fire

has all turned to ash.


1 comment

  1. The first couple of verses of Weingast’s poem are close enough to the Therigatha verse to qualify as an adaptation if not a translation. But it what is left out that is most telling. Gone is the reference to the unknown nun as a nun (“therika”) in favor of a generic term of endearment. Gone too is the referent of the metaphor: desire. Better to let your audience imagine what it might mean rather than suggest that they may have to actually give something up. The final lines created by Weingast appear to be an oddly mangled allusion to the metaphor of Nibbana as a quenched flame. The idea behind the metaphor is that the flame has gone, leaving nothing behind, not even ashes, a detail that is explicitly emphasized on many occasions. Even in such a small thing Weingast cannot help but misrepresent the Dhamma. The Suttas use metaphors with precision and clarity, not as vague signifiers of profundity.

Leave a comment