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Therigatha XIII

 


XIII.1 -- Ambapali

Black was my hair
-- the color of bees --
& curled at the tips;
    with age, it looked like coarse hemp.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Fragrant, like a perfumed basket
filled with flowers: my coiffure.
    With age it smelled musty,
    like animal fur.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Thick & lush, like a well-tended grove,
made splendid, the tips elaborate
with comb & pin.
    With age, it grew thin
    & bare here & there.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Adorned with gold & delicate pins,
it was splendid, ornamented with braids.
    Now, with age,
    that head has gone bald.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Curved, as if well-drawn by an artist,
my brows were once splendid.
    With age, they droop down in folds.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Radiant, brilliant like jewels,
my eyes: elongated, black -- deep black.
    With age, they're no longer splendid.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Like a delicate peak, my nose
was splendid in the prime of my youth.
    With age, it's like a long pepper.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Like bracelets -- well-fashioned, well-finished --
my ears were once splendid.
    With age, they droop down in folds.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Like plaintain buds in their color,
my teeth were once splendid.
    With age, they're broken & yellowed.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Like that of a cuckoo in the dense jungle,
flitting through deep forest thickets:
sweet was the tone of my voice.
    With age, it cracks here & there.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Smooth -- like a conch shell well-polished --
my neck was once splendid.
    With age, it's broken down, bent.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Like rounded door-bars -- both of them --
my arms were once splendid.
    With age, they're like dried up patali trees.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Adorned with gold & delicate rings,
my hands were once splendid.
    With age, they're like onions & tubers.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Swelling, round, firm, & high,
both my breasts were once splendid.
    In the drought of old age, they dangle
    like empty old water bags.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Like a sheet of gold, well-burnished,
my body was splendid.
    Now it's covered with very fine wrinkles.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Smooth in their lines, like an elephant's trunk,
both my thighs were once splendid.
    With age, they're like knotted bamboo.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Adorned with gold & delicate anklets,
my calves were once splendid.
    With age, they're like sesame sticks.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

As if they were stuffed with soft cotton,
both my feet were once splendid.
    With age, they're shriveled & cracked.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Such was this physical heap,
now: decrepit, the home of pains, many pains.
    A house with its plaster all fallen off.
The truth of the Truth-speaker's words
        doesn't change.

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Non-Duality by Ayya Khema


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