The Book of the Sixes

6.2 Vāseṭṭhī Therī

Hope dawns even amid the most horrific suffering of homelessness and madness triggered by grief – meeting the Buddha began this mother’s journey from the worst state to the highest blessings of all.

“Puttasokenahaṁ aṭṭā,
khittacittā visaññinī;
Naggā pakiṇṇakesī ca,
tena tena vicārihaṁ.

Tormented by the loss of my child
deranged demented
Nude, hair matted
I wandered aimlessly.

Vīthi saṅkārakūṭesu,
susāne rathiyāsu ca;
Acariṁ tīṇi vassāni,

Resting in trash piles,
cemeteries and roadways;
Like this for three long years.
Hungry. Thirsty.

Athaddasāsiṁ sugataṁ,
nagaraṁ mithilaṁ pati;
Adantānaṁ dametāraṁ,

Then I saw him, the Blessed One,
near the city of Mithilā,
The Awakened One, tamer of the feral heart;

Sacittaṁ paṭiladdhāna,
vanditvāna upāvisiṁ;
So me dhammamadesesi,
anukampāya gotamo.

Regaining my senses
I paid homage and sat near.
In compassion, Gotama himself
taught me the Dhamma.

Tassa dhammaṁ suṇitvāna,
pabbajiṁ anagāriyaṁ;
Yuñjantī satthuvacane,
sacchākāsiṁ padaṁ sivaṁ.

On hearing his teaching
I went forth as a nun.
Striving with his teaching
I realized the blessed state.

Sabbe sokā samucchinnā,
pahīnā etadantikā;
Pariññātā hi me vatthū,
yato sokāna sambhavo”ti.

All grief is cut off – eliminated.
Because I fully comprehended
where it came from.

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