The following is a bibliography of books related to the Therīgāthā.

[See also Library of Congress issues]

Translations of the Therīgāthā

Davids, Caroline Rhys, ed. Psalms of the Early Buddhists: I. Psalms of the Sisters. Repr. London: Pali Text Soc, 1980.

Includes translation of the origin stories. Available free online. You can also download an EPUB, Kindle or PDF version.

Davids, Caroline Rhys, Kenneth R. Norman, and Pāli Text Society, eds. Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns: Therīgāthā. Joint reprint (rev.). Oxford: Pali Text Soc, 1989.

This is a paperback version of Psalms of the Sisters (see above) without the notes, and Elders’ Verses II (see below), translation of the verses only.

Gnanananda, Ven. Kiribathgoda Thero. The Voice of Enlightened Nuns. Mahamegha Publications, 2016.

This book is available on Amazon as a print and Kindle book. You can also read for free online at The language is simple and a bit explanatory, so it is suitable for young readers especially.

Hallisey, Charles, ed. Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women. Murty Classical Library of India 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2015.

This translation is only available as a hard copy. It includes the Pali alongside the translation.

Mahendra, Anāgārikā. Theragāthāpāḷi: Book of Verses of Elder Bhikkhunis : a Contempory Translation. Roslindale, MA: Dhamma Publishers, 2017. (ISBN 9780999078105)

This is available offically from Pariyatti.or as a Free Download. You can also download the PDF, the EPUB, or the Kindle versions directly here.

Murcott, Susan, ed. The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentaries on the Therigatha. Berkeley, Calif: Parallax Press, 1991.

(This is an anthology. Please see this comment on its validity as a translation.)

Norman, Kenneth R., ed. The Elders’ Verses II, transl. with an introd. and notes by K. R. Norman; 2. Lancaster: Pali Text Soc, 2007.

Schelling, Andrew, and Anne Waldman, eds. Songs of the Sons & Daughters of Buddha. 1st ed. Boston: Shambhala, 1996. 2nd ed. Boulder: Shambhala, 2020.

(this is an anthology)

Sujato, Bhikkhu and Jessica Walton. Verses of the Senior Nuns. 2019

You can download an epub from Sutta Central of the English.

Thanissaro, Bhikkhu. Poems of the Elder Nuns.

This is an anthology.

Source Text

  • Theragāthā & Therīgāthā, ed. H. Oldenberg, R. Pischel, 1883, 2nd edn. 1966 with Appendixes by K.R. Norman and L. Alsdorf, Pali Text Soc, 1990.
  • Therīgāthā Commentary (Paramatthadīpanī VI), ed. William Pruitt, Pali Text Soc, 1997

Scriptures by Arahant Bhikkhunis in addition to Therigatha


  • Weingast, Matty, and Bhikkhuni Anandabodhi, eds. The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns. First edition. Boulder: Shambhala Publications, 2020.
  • Wijesuriya, Usula P. The songs of the sisters. Panadura, 1994.
    (This is cataloged as a paraphrase)

Articles About Therigatha

  • Therigatha: A Revaluation by Vijitha Rajapakse Free on BPS
  • Olivia, Nona (Sarana). “Learning from the Therīgāthā: What Liberated the Venerable Nun Uttamā.” The Sati Journal: The Journal of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies 1, no. 1 (2011): 13–24. Available from Sati Center.
  • Upadhayay, Shraddha. “Therigatha: The First Writings Of Our Ancestresses.” Feminism In India, October 14, 2020.


Books and articles about Bhikkhunis

The most comprehensive library of books and articles on Bhikkhunis can be found at

  • Analayo. “The Legality of Bhikkhunī Ordination.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 20 (2013): 310–33. (Download)

Writings by modern Bhikkhunis

  • Bhikkhuni Adhimutta, and Pamela C. Kirby, eds. Let the Light Shine: Reflections from Theravāda Bhikkhunīs. Awaken Publishing, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, 2019. (Download | on GoodReads)