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Theragatha

Theragāthā 16.3
The Verses of Arahant Telakāni (747-768)

747. I was truly very energetic. For a long time I went about searching for the Dhamma. I inquired from many recluses and brāhmins. But I didn’t get to hear a true Dhamma which calms the mind.

748. Who indeed crossed over the world? Who is the person who has attained Nibbāna? Whose Dhamma should I accept for realizing the truth of this life?

749. Those days, I was inwardly cunning. Like a fish that has swallowed bait, like the asura Vepacitta bound by the snare of God Sakka, I was bound by defilements.

750. Then I was removing those defilements but still I was unable to get rid of grief and lamentation. Who in this world could teach me a Dhamma giving realization to release me from these bonds?

751. Who is that recluse or brāhmin who could teach me a Dhamma that destroys defilements? From whom should I accept a Dhamma that washes away old age and death?

752. I led a life which was tied together with uncertainty and doubt, powered by arrogance, boiled by anger, stiffened by pride and sunken in desires.

753. There is a bow made of craving. There are about thirty arrows called views that came from that bow. See how they have penetrated to the depth of the heart!

754. There are these false theories which are used to win arguments. Since I clung to them and did not abandon them, I was destroyed by those very same wrong views. I trembled like a leaf shaken by the wind.

755. This life with its sense bases was completely entangled in the view of self. That is why I trembled so much.

756. I did not meet anyone who could cure me by removing the dart of defilements from me with a knife, or other cutting tools.

757. Without using a knife, and without injuring, who could remove these darts of defilements which have pierced my mind all over?

758. I had fallen into a great danger. Removing the poison of defilements with the Dhamma, if someone could give me his hand, truly he becomes the best for me.

759. I was drowned in a lake filled with deceit, conceit, arrogance and sleepiness. My body was permanently covered with the mud of defilement.

760. My life was filled with the thunder of conceit and clouds of fetters. I was carried here and there by the winds of wrong views and intentions of desires.

761. The stream of craving flows throughout all the sense bases. Craving is tangled in life like a vine wrapped around a tree. Who could block this stream of craving? Who could cut this creeper of craving?

762. Good man, make a dam to block the stream of craving. May you not fall into hell from this stream of mind-born defilements, like a tree falls from the rapid current.

763. Indeed I was very scared. I was seeking the way to go to the far shore from the near shore. Finally I met the great protection, the great teacher who has the weapons of wisdom, surrounded by Great Seers.

764. My great teacher held out a pure, beautiful staircase for me. It is made out of the hardwood called true Dhamma. Since I was carried away by the stream of defilements, my great teacher asked me to climb the staircase saying, “Cross over! Don’t be afraid.”

765–66. Then I climbed the Dhamma tower called mindfulness. Having climbed there, I wisely investigated the true nature of life. Whatever I previously delighted in, clinging to self centered view, all of that, I abandoned. I saw the way to get on the ship heading to Nibbāna. Having abandoned the view of self, I saw the supreme shore, Nibbāna.

767. The Supreme Buddha taught a supreme way that leads to the complete cessation of the darts of defilements produced by links of existences.

768. The Buddha is the greatest remover of the poison of defilements. For a long time there were those knots of defilements that surrounded the depth of my heart. My great teacher cast off all those knots for me.

These verses were said by Arahant Telakāni.

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Theragāthā 16.3: The Verses of Arahant Telakāni (747-768)

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