The Therīgāthā, often translated Verses of the Elder Nuns, is a Buddhist text, a collection of short poems in Pali attributed to members of the early Buddhist sangha.
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Intoxicated by my appearance,
my figure, my beauty, my fame,
and owing to my youth,
I despised other women.
I adorned this body,
so fancy, cooed over by fools,
and stood at the brothel door,
like a hunter laying a snare.
I stripped for them,
revealing my many hidden treasures.
Creating an intricate illusion,
I laughed, teasing those men.
Today, having wandered for alms,
my head shaven, wearing the outer robe,
I sat at the root of a tree to meditate;
I've gained freedom from thought.
All bonds are cut off,
both human and divine.
Having wiped out all defilements,
I have become cooled and quenched.
“You’re so young and beautiful!
I too am young, just a youth.
Come, Khemā, let us enjoy
the music of a five-piece band.”
“This body is rotting,
ailing and frail,
I’m horrified and repelled by it,
and I’ve eradicated sensual craving.
Sensual pleasures are like swords and stakes;
the aggregates are their chopping block.
What you call sensual delight
is now no delight for me.
Relishing is destroyed in every respect,
and the mass of darkness is shattered.
So know this, Wicked One:
you’re beaten, terminator!”
“Worshiping the stars,
serving the sacred flame in a grove;
failing to grasp the true nature of things,
foolish me, I thought this was purity.
But now I worship the Awakened One,
supreme among men.
Doing the teacher’s bidding,
I am released from all suffering.”