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Thag 19.1 Tālapuṭattheragāthā: Tālapuṭa

[NOTE: Today will be the last very long selection for the month. Unlike the deep confidence that was shown by yesterday’s elder, Arahant Sumedhā, here we see the tremendous struggle that many disciples have faced when trying to practice the Dhamma to the end goal.]

Oh, when will I stay in a mountain cave,
alone, with no companion,
discerning all states of existence as impermanent?
This hope of mine, when will it be?

Oh, when will I stay happily in the forest,
a sage wearing a torn robe, dressed in ocher,
unselfish, with no need for hope,
with greed, hate, and delusion destroyed?

Oh, when will I stay alone in the wood,
fearless, discerning this body as impermanent,
a nest of death and disease,
oppressed by death and old age; when will it be?

Oh, when will I live, having grasped the sharp sword of wisdom
and cut the creeper of craving that tangles around everything,
the mother of fear, the bringer of suffering?
When will it be?

Oh, when will I, seated on the lion’s throne,
swiftly grasp the sword of the sages,
forged by wisdom, of fiery might,
and swiftly break Māra and his army? When will it be?

Oh, when will I be seen striving in the assemblies
with those who are virtuous, poised, respecting the Dhamma,
seeing things as they are, with faculties subdued?
When will it be?

Oh, when will I focus on my own goal at the Mountainfold,
free of oppression by laziness, hunger, thirst,
wind, heat, insects, and reptiles?
When will it be?

Oh, when will I, serene and mindful,
understand the four truths,
that were realized by the great hermit,
and are so very hard to see? When will it be?

Oh, when will I, devoted to serenity,
see with understanding the infinite sights,
sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts
as burning? When will it be?

Oh, when will I not be distraught
because of criticism,
nor elated because of praise?
When will it be?

Oh when will I discern the aggregates
and the infinite varieties of phenomena,
both internal and external, as no more than
wood, grass, and creepers? When will it be?

Oh, when will the rain clouds in season
freshly wet me in my robe in the forest,
walking the path trodden by the sages?
When will it be?

Oh, when will I rise up, intent on attaining the deathless,
hearing, in the mountain cave,
the cry of the crested peacock in the forest?
When will it be?

Oh, when will I cross the Ganges, Yamunā,
and Sarasvatī rivers, the Pātāla country,
and the dangerous Baḷavāmukha sea,
by psychic power unimpeded? When will it be?

Oh, when will I be devoted to absorption,
rejecting entirely the signs of beauty,
splitting apart desire for sensual stimulation,
like an elephant that wanders free of ties? When will it be?

Oh, when will I realize the teaching of the great hermit
and be content, like a poor person in debt,
harassed by creditors, who finds a hidden treasure?
When will it be?

For many years you begged me,
“Enough of living in a house for you!”
Why do you not urge me on, mind,
now that I’ve gone forth as an ascetic?

Didn’t you entice me, mind:
“On the Mountainfold, the birds with colorful wings,
greeting the thunder, Mahinda’s voice,
will delight you as you meditate in the forest?”

In my family circle, friends, loved ones, and relatives;
and in the world, sports and play, and sensual pleasures;
all these I gave up when I entered this life:
and even then you’re not content with me, mind!

This is mine alone, it doesn’t belong to others;
when it is time to don your armor, why lament?
Observing that all this is unstable,
I went forth, seeking the deathless state.

The methodical teacher, supreme among people,
great physician, guide for those who wish to train, said:
“The mind fidgets like a monkey,
so it’s very hard to control if you are not free of lust.”

Sensual pleasures are diverse, sweet, delightful;
an ignorant ordinary person is bound to them.
Seeking to be reborn again, they wish for suffering;
led on by their mind, they’re relegated to hell.

“Staying in the grove resounding with cries
of peacocks and herons, and adorned by leopards and tigers,
abandon concern for the body, without fail!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Develop the absorptions and spiritual faculties,
the powers, awakening factors, and immersion;
realize the three knowledges in the teaching of the Buddha!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Develop the eightfold path for realizing the deathless,
emancipating, plunging into the end of all suffering,
and cleansing all defilements!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Reflect properly on the aggregates as suffering,
and abandon that from which suffering arises;
make an end of suffering in this very life!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Properly discern that impermanence is suffering,
that emptiness is non-self, and that misery is death.
Uproot the wandering mind!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Bald, unsightly, accursed,
seek alms amongst families, bowl in hand.
Devote yourself to the word of the teacher, the great hermit!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Wander the streets well-restrained,
unattached to families and sensual pleasures,
like the full moon on a bright night!”
So you used to urge me, mind.

“Be a wilderness-dweller and an alms-eater,
one who lives in charnel grounds, a rag-robe wearer,
one who never lies down, always delighting in ascetic practices.”
So you used to urge me, mind.

Mind, when you urge me to the impermanent and unstable,
you’re acting like someone who plants trees,
then, when they’re about to fruit,
wishes to cut down the very same trees.

Incorporeal mind, far-traveler, lone-wanderer:
I won’t do your bidding any more.
Sensual pleasures are suffering, painful, and very dangerous;
I’ll wander with my mind focused only on quenching.

I didn’t go forth due to bad luck or shamelessness,
or due to a whim or banishment,
nor for the sake of a livelihood;
it was because I agreed to the promise you made, mind.

“Having few wishes, abandoning disparagement,
the stilling of suffering: these are praised by good people.”
So you used to urge me, mind,
but now you keep on with your old habits!

Craving, ignorance, the loved and unloved,
pretty sights, pleasant feelings,
and the delightful kinds of sensual stimulation:
I’ve vomited them all, and I won’t swallow them back.

I’ve done your bidding everywhere, mind!
For many births, I’ve done nothing to upset you,
yet this self-made chain is your show of gratitude!
For a long time I’ve transmigrated in the suffering you’ve created.

Only you, mind, make a brahmin;
you make an aristocrat or a royal hermit.
Sometimes we become traders or workers;
and life as a god is also on account of you.

You alone make us demons;
because of you we’re born in hell.
Then sometimes we become animals,
and life as a ghost is also on account of you.

Come what may, you won’t betray me again,
dazzling me with your ever-changing display!
You play with me like I’m mad—
but how have I ever failed you, mind?

In the past my mind wandered
how it wished, where it liked, as it pleased.
Now I’ll carefully guide it,
as a trainer with a hook guides a rutting elephant.

The teacher willed that this world appear to me
as impermanent, unstable, insubstantial.
Mind, let me leap into the victor’s teaching,
carry me over the great flood, so hard to pass.

Things have changed, mind!
Nothing could make me return to your control!
I’ve gone forth in the teaching of the great hermit,
those like me don’t come to ruin.

Mountains, oceans, rivers, the earth;
the four quarters, the intermediate directions, below and in the sky;
the three realms of existence are all impermanent and troubled—
where can you go to find happiness, mind?

Mind, what will you do to someone who has made the ultimate commitment?
Nothing could make me a follower under your control, mind;
there’s no way I’d touch a bellows with a mouth open at each end;
curse this mortal frame flowing with nine streams!

You’ve ascended the mountain peak, full of nature’s beauty,
frequented by boars and antelopes,
a grove sprinkled with fresh water in the rains;
and there you’ll be happy in your cave-home.

Peacocks with beautiful necks and crests,
colorful tail-feathers and wings,
crying out at the resounding thunder:
they’ll delight you as you meditate in the forest.

When the sky has rained down, and the grass is four inches high,
and the grove is full of flowers like a cloud,
in the mountain cleft, like the fork of a tree, I’ll lie;
it will be as soft as cotton-buds.

I’ll act as a master does:
let whatever I get be enough for me.
And that’s why I’ll make you as supple
as a tireless worker makes a cat-skin bag.

I’ll act as a master does:
let whatever I get be enough for me.
I’ll control you with my energy,
as a skilled trainer controls an elephant with a hook.

Now that you’re well-tamed and reliable,
I can use you, like a trainer uses a straight-running horse,
to practice the path so full of grace,
cultivated by those who take care of their minds.

I shall strongly fasten you to a meditation subject,
as an elephant is tied to a post with firm rope.
You’ll be well-guarded by me, well-developed by mindfulness,
and unattached to rebirth in all states of existence.

You’ll use understanding to cut the follower of the wrong path,
curb them by practice, and settle them on the right path.
And when you have seen the cause of suffering arise and pass away,
you’ll be an heir to the greatest teacher.

Under the sway of the four distortions, mind,
you dragged me around like a bull in a pit;
but now you won’t associate with the great sage of compassion,
the cutter of fetters and bonds?

Like a deer roaming free in the colorful forest,
I’ll ascend the lovely mountain wreathed in cloud,
and rejoice to be on that hill, free of folk—
there is no doubt you’ll perish, mind.

The men and women who live under your will and command,
whatever pleasure they experience,
they are ignorant and fall under Māra’s control;
loving life, they’re your disciples, mind.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 19.1 Tālapuṭattheragāthā by Bhikkhu Sujato on Or read a different translation on Or listen on Or explore the Pali on

Thag 10.2 Ekavihāriyattheragāthā: Ekavihāriya

If no-one else is found
in front or behind,
it’s extremely pleasant
to be dwelling alone in a forest grove.

Come now, I’ll go alone
to the wilderness praised by the Buddha.
It’s pleasant for a mendicant
to be dwelling alone and resolute.

Alone and self-disciplined,
I’ll quickly enter the delightful forest,
which gives joy to meditators,
and is frequented by rutting elephants.

In Sītavana, so full of flowers,
in a cool mountain cave,
I’ll bathe my limbs
and walk mindfully alone.

When will I dwell alone,
without a companion,
in the great wood, so delightful,
my task complete, free of defilements?

This is what I want to do:
may my wish succeed!
I’ll make it happen myself,
for no-one can do another’s duty.

Fastening my armor,
I’ll enter the forest.
I won’t leave
without attaining the end of defilements.

As the cool breeze blows
with fragrant scent,
I’ll split ignorance apart,
sitting on the mountain-peak.

In a forest grove covered with blossoms,
in a cave so very cool,
I take pleasure in the Mountainfold,
happy with the happiness of freedom.

I’ve got all I wished for
like the moon on the fifteenth day.
With the utter ending of all defilements,
now there’ll be no more future lives.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 10.2 Ekavihāriyattheragāthā: Ekavihāriya by Bhikkhu Sujato on Or read a different translation on or Or listen on

Thag 7.4 Sopākattheragāthā: Sopāka (2nd)

I saw the supreme person
walking mindfully in the shade of the terrace,
so I approached,
and bowed to the supreme among men.

Arranging my robe over one shoulder
and clasping my hands together,
I walked alongside that stainless one,
supreme among all beings.

The wise one, expert in questions,
questioned me.
Brave and fearless,
I answered the teacher.

When all his questions were answered,
the Realized One congratulated me.
Looking around the mendicant Saṅgha,
he said the following:

“It is a blessing for the people of Aṅga and Magadha
that this person enjoys their
robe and almsfood,
requisites and lodgings,
their respect and service—
it’s a blessing for them,” he declared.

“Sopāka, from this day on
you are invited to come and see me.
And Sopāka, let this
be your ordination.”

At seven years old
I received ordination.
I bear my final body—
oh, the excellence of the teaching!

“Supreme person,” “the supreme among men,” “stainless one,” etc are all names of the Buddha.

There is a great story involving Ven. Sopāka and three other seven year old arahants in the background story to Dhammapada verse 406.

For thoughts on young people with wisdom, read SN 3.1, Dahara Sutta.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 7.4 Sopākattheragāthā: Sopāka (2nd) by Bhikkhu Sujato on Or read a different translation on Or listen on

Thag 17.1 Phussattheragāthā: Phussa

(Note: the weekend selections may be longer this month)

Seeing many who inspire confidence,
evolved and well-restrained,
the hermit Paṇḍarasagotta
asked the one known as Phussa:

“In future times,
what desire and motivation
and behavior will people have?
Please answer my question.”

“Listen to my words,
Paṇḍarasa the hermit,
and remember them carefully,
I will describe the future.

In the future many will be
angry and hostile,
offensive, stubborn, and devious,
jealous, holding divergent views.

Imagining they understand the depths of the teaching,
they remain on the near shore.
Superficial and disrespectful towards the teaching,
they lack respect for one another.

In the future
many dangers will arise in the world.
Idiots will defile
the Dhamma that was taught so well.

Though bereft of good qualities,
unlearned prattlers, too sure of themselves,
will become powerful
in running Saṅgha proceedings.

Though possessing good qualities,
the conscientious and unbiased, acting in the proper spirit,
will become weak
in running Saṅgha proceedings.

In the future, fools will accept
money, gold, and silver,
fields and land, goats and sheep,
and bonded servants, male and female.

Fools looking for fault in others,
but unsteady in their own ethics,
will wander about, insolent,
like cantankerous beasts.

They’ll be arrogant,
wrapped in robes of blue;
deceivers and flatterers, pompous and fake,
they’ll wander as if they were noble ones.

With hair sleeked back with oil,
fickle, their eyes painted with eye-liner,
they’ll travel on the high-road,
wrapped in robes of ivory color.

The deep-dyed ocher robe,
worn without disgust by the free,
they will come to loathe,
besotted by white clothes.

They’ll want lots of possessions,
and be lazy, lacking energy.
Weary of the forest,
they’ll stay within villages.

Being unrestrained, they’ll keep company with
those who get lots of stuff,
and who always enjoy wrong livelihood,
following their example.

They won’t respect those
who don’t get lots of stuff,
and they won’t associate with the wise,
even though they’re very amiable.

Disparaging their own banner,
which is dyed the color of copper,
some will wear the white banner
of those who follow other paths.

Then they’ll have no respect
for the ocher robe.
The mendicants will not reflect
on the nature of the ocher robe.

This awful lack of reflection
was unthinkable to the elephant,
who was overcome by suffering,
injured by an arrow strike.

Then the six-tusked elephant,
seeing the deep-dyed banner of the perfected ones,
straight away spoke these verses
connected with the goal.

One who, not free of stains themselves,
would wear the robe stained in ocher,
bereft of self-control and truth:
they are not worthy of the ocher robe.

One who’s purged all their stains,
steady in ethics,
possessing truth and self-control:
they are truly worthy of the ocher robe.

Devoid of virtue, unintelligent,
wild, doing what they like,
their minds astray, indolent:
they are not worthy of the ocher robe.

One accomplished in ethics,
free of greed, serene,
their heart’s intention pure:
they are truly worthy of the ocher robe.

The conceited, arrogant fool,
who has no ethics at all,
is worthy of a white robe—
what use is an ocher robe for them?

In the future, monks and nuns
with corrupt hearts, lacking regard for others,
will disparage those
with hearts of loving-kindness.

Though trained in wearing the robe
by senior monks,
the unintelligent will not listen,
wild, doing what they like.

With that kind of attitude to training,
those fools won’t respect each other,
or take any notice of their mentors,
like a wild colt with its charioteer.

Even so, in the future,
this will be the practice
of monks and nuns
when the latter days have come.

Before this frightening future arrives,
be easy to admonish,
kind in speech,
and respect one another.

Have hearts of love and compassion,
and please do keep your precepts.
Be energetic, resolute,
and always staunchly vigorous.

Seeing negligence as fearful,
and diligence as a sanctuary,
develop the eightfold path,
realizing the deathless state.”

The Buddha also makes an important reference to the time when the Sangha will be corrupted in this passage in MN 142: Dakkhiṇāvibhaṅgasutta, where he says that even a gift given to the Sangha at that time will be fruitful.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 17.1 Phussattheragāthā: Phussa by Bhikkhu Sujato on Or read a different translation on Or listen on

There are two stories where an elephant recites the two verses mentioned above. They are verses 9 & 10 in the Dhammapada. The first, and shorter of the two, can be found in the commentary to those verses. The second is found in the commentary to Ja 514, The Story about (Lake) Chaddanta,

Thag 6.5 Mālukyaputtattheragāthā: Māluṅkyaputta (1st)

When a person lives heedlessly,
craving grows in them like a parasitic creeper.
They jump from life to life, like a monkey
greedy for fruit in a forest grove.

Whoever is beaten by this wretched craving,
this attachment to the world,
their sorrow grows,
like grass in the rain.

But whoever prevails over this wretched craving,
so hard to get over in the world,
their sorrows fall from them,
like a drop from a lotus-leaf.

I say this to you, good people,
all those who have gathered here:
dig up the root of craving,
as you’d dig up the grass in search of roots.
Don’t let Māra break you again and again,
like a stream breaking a reed.

Act on the Buddha’s words,
don’t let the moment pass you by.
For if you miss your moment
you’ll grieve when sent to hell.

Negligence is always dust;
dust follows right behind negligence.
Through diligence and knowledge,
pluck out the dart from yourself.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 6.5 Mālukyaputtattheragāthā: Māluṅkyaputta (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on Or read a different translation on, or Or listen on

Thag 6.9 Purohita Putta Jentattheragāthā: Jenta, the High Priest’s Son

I was drunk with the pride of birth
and wealth and authority.
I wandered about intoxicated
with my own gorgeous body.

No-one was my equal or my better—
or so I thought.
I was such an arrogant fool,
stuck up, waving my own flag.

I never paid homage to anyone:
not even my mother or father,
nor others esteemed as respectable.
I was stiff with pride, lacking regard for others.

When I saw the foremost leader,
the most excellent of charioteers,
shining like the sun,
at the fore of the mendicant Saṅgha,

I discarded conceit and vanity,
and, with a clear and confident heart,
I bowed down with my head
to the most excellent of all beings.

The conceit of superiority and the conceit of inferiority
have been given up and eradicated.
The conceit “I am” is cut off,
and every kind of conceit is destroyed.

To learn about a prince who didn’t overcome his pride, read Pv 4.7 Rājaputta Sutta: The Son of a King from the Petavatthu.

Read this translation of Theragāthā 6.9 Purohitaputtajentattheragāthā: Jenta, the High Priest’s Son by Bhikkhu Sujato on Or read a different translation on or Or listen on

Thig 12.1: The Verses of Arahant Nun Puṇṇā

[Maid Puṇṇā:] I am a maid who carries water. Fearing punishment and the insults of my house owner, I have always gone down to the river to get water, even in the coldest of weather. I didn’t want to get blamed for any error.

But, Brāhmin, who do you fear that makes you go down to the river every morning and evening? It’s so cold that your body shivers.

[Brāhmin:] Puṇṇā, why do you ask me this when you already know the answer? When I’m at the river, I am washing away evil and performing wholesome deeds.

Whoever young or old has committed any evil action is able to be freed from evil by bathing in water.

[Maid Puṇṇā:] Brāhmin, you have no idea about the results of kamma. Who is the ignorant person who taught that you can be freed from evil by bathing in water? He doesn’t know and doesn’t see the results of kamma.

Now listen. If your opinion is true, then all frogs, turtles, alligators, crocodiles and all water creatures will absolutely go to heaven.

If your opinion is true, then all sheep butchers, pig butchers, fishermen, animal abusers, thieves, executioners, and other evil doers are all able to be freed from their evil actions by bathing in water.

If these rivers wash away the evil you previously did, then won’t it wash away your merit too? In that case you would be without merit too!

Brāhmin, every day you go down to the river fearing evil, don’t you? In that case, just don’t do bad things. Don’t let the cold strike your skin!

[Brāhmin:] Oh wise girl! I had entered upon the wrong path, but you have guided me onto the noble path by rescuing me from this pointless bathing. I will give you this piece of cloth as a gift.

[Puṇṇā:] Keep the piece of cloth for yourself. I don’t want it. If you are afraid of suffering, if suffering is unpleasant to you, do not commit evil actions either openly or in secret. But if you commit or will commit evil actions, then there is no escape from suffering, even if you try to run away and hide from the result. If you are afraid of suffering, if suffering is unpleasant for you, then go for refuge to the Buddha who has an unshaken mind, the Dhamma and the Saṅgha. Observe the precepts. These will definitely lead to your well-being.

[Brāhmin:] I will go for refuge to the Buddha who has an unshaken mind, the Dhamma and the Saṅgha. I will observe the precepts. These will definitely lead to my well-being.

Previously, I was called Brahmabandhu because I was born into the clan of Brāhmins. But now I am truly a Brāhmin. I attained the Triple Knowledge. I achieved Nibbāna. I entered wholesomeness and I am washed clean.

These verses were said by Arahant nun Puṇṇā.

Read this translation of Therīgāthā 12.1: The Verses of Arahant Nun Puṇṇā (236-251) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on Or read a different translation on by Bhikkhu Sujato or Bhikkhuni Soma. Or listen on

You can find the entire translation of the Therīgāthā: Verses of Arahant Nuns available on

Thag 18.1 From… Mahākassapattheragāthā: Mahākassapa

“You shouldn’t live for the adulation of a following;
it turns your mind, making it hard to get immersion.
Seeing that popularity is suffering,
you shouldn’t consent to a following.

A sage should not visit respectable families;
it turns your mind, making it hard to get immersion.
If you’re eager and greedy for flavors,
you’ll miss the goal that brings such happiness.

They know it really is a bog,
this homage and veneration in respectable families.
Honor is a subtle dart, hard to extract,
and hard for a sinner to give up.”

“I came down from my lodging
and entered the city for alms.
I courteously stood by
while a leper ate.

With his putrid hand
he offered me a morsel.
Putting the morsel in my bowl,
his finger dropped off right there.

Sitting by a wall,
I ate that lump of rice.
I did not feel any disgust
while eating or afterwards.

Anyone who makes use of
leftovers for food,
fermented urine as medicine,
the root of a tree as lodging,
and cast-off rags as robes,
is at ease in any quarter.”

“Where some have fallen to ruin
while climbing the mountain,
there Kassapa ascends;
an heir of the Buddha,
aware and mindful,
owing to his psychic powers.

Returning from almsround,
Kassapa ascends the mountain,
and practices absorption without grasping,
with fear and dread given up.

Returning from almsround,
Kassapa ascends the mountain,
and practices absorption without grasping,
quenched amongst those who burn.

Returning from almsround,
Kassapa ascends the mountain,
and practices absorption without grasping,
his task completed, free of defilements.”

“Strewn with garlands of the musk-rose tree,
these regions are so delightful, so lovely,
echoing with the trumpeting of elephants:
these rocky crags delight me!

Glistening, they look like blue storm clouds,
with waters cool and streams so clear,
and covered all in ladybugs:
these rocky crags delight me!

Like the peak of a blue storm cloud,
or like a fine bungalow, lovely,
echoing with the trumpeting of elephants:
these rocky crags delight me!

The rain comes down on the lovely flats,
in the mountains frequented by hermits.
Echoing with the cries of peacocks,
these rocky crags delight me!

It’s enough for me,
who loves absorption and is resolute, to be mindful.
It’s enough for me,
a resolute monk who loves the goal.

It’s enough for me,
a resolute monk who loves comfort.
It’s enough for me,
resolute and poised, loving meditation.

Covered with flowers of flax,
like the sky covered with clouds,
full of flocks of many different birds,
these rocky crags delight me!

Empty of householders,
frequented by herds of deer,
full of flocks of many different birds,
these rocky crags delight me!

The water’s clear and the rocks are broad,
monkeys and deer are all around;
festooned with dewy moss,
these rocky crags delight me!”

“Even the music of a five-piece band
can never give such pleasure
as when, with unified mind,
you rightly discern the Dhamma.”

“Don’t get involved in lots of work,
avoid people, and don’t try to acquire things.
If you’re eager and greedy for flavors,
you’ll miss the goal that brings such happiness.

Don’t get involved in lots of work,
avoid what doesn’t lead to the goal.
The body gets worn out and fatigued,
and when you ache, you won’t find serenity.”

“You won’t see yourself
by merely reciting words,
wandering stiff-necked
and thinking, ‘I’m better than them.’

The fool is no better,
but they think they are.
The wise don’t praise
pompous people.

Whoever is not affected
by the modes of conceit—
‘I am better’, ‘I’m not better’,
‘I am worse’, or ‘I am the same’—

with such understanding, poised,
steady in ethics,
and devoted to serenity of mind:
that is who the wise praise.”

“Whoever has no respect
for their spiritual companions
is as far from the true teaching
as the earth is from the sky.

Those whose conscience and shame
are always rightly established,
thrive in the spiritual life;
for them, there are no future lives.

When a mendicant who is haughty and fickle
wears rags from the rubbish-heap,
that doesn’t make them shine:
they’re like a monkey in a lion skin.

But if they are steady and stable,
alert, with senses restrained,
then, wearing rags from the rubbish-heap, they shine
like a lion in a mountain cave.” …

To learn more about the dangers of honour and praise, the suttas in the Lābhasakkārasaṁyutta are useful, especially SN 17.3: Kummasutta and SN 17.5: Mīḷhakasutta.

Legend says that Arahant Mahākassapa loved to live on Gurpa Hill, about 16km from Bodhgaya. That might be the place he is talking about in these verses. If you ever go on pilgrimage in India, it is a less popular, but very inspiring, place to visit.

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