Tipitaka ╗ Sutta Pitaka ╗ Khuddaka Nikaya ╗
Context of the Theragatha
- Verses of the Elder Monks
The Theragatha, the eighth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya,
contains 264 stories in verse form in which the early monks (bhikkhus) recount
their struggles and accomplishments along the road to arahantship. These stories are told
with often heart-breaking honesty and beauty, revealing the human side of these
extraordinary men, and thus serve as inspiring reminders of our own potential to follow in
Selected suttas from the Theragatha
- 5. Matangaputta. It's too hot, too cold -- what's your
- 8. Yasoja. Solitude in the forest: two's company, three's a
- 12. Abhibhuta. Rouse yourself! Scatter the army of death!
- 14. Gotama. After wandering relentlessly through hell,
heaven, the animal world, finally: peace!
- 15. Harita (2). Careful: the wise can tell when your actions
don't align with your deeds.
- 8. Rahula. The Buddha's son celebrates his own victory in the
- 5. Kappa. Are you enchanted by your physical appearance?
This reflection may be just the cure.
- 1. Revata's Farewell. By steadfastly maintaining his right
resolve, this monk finally gains perfect release.
- 2. Godatta. Criticism from the wise is better than praise
from fools; the pain of meditation is better than pleasure from the senses.
- Maha Kassapa. In this poem -- one of the first examples of
"wilderness poetry" -- an arahant monk celebrates the joys of practicing jhana
in the solitude of the forest.
- Talaputa [Bhikkhu Khantipalo, tr.]. A frank and inspiring
eavesdropping into this monk's conversations with himself before becoming a monk and