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Uttara: Fire

I asked Patachara,

What is the Path?

Patachara said,

Just see all thoughts, words, and deeds

arising all by themselves—

not from some imaginary point within.

I only partly understood.

But I took a seat.

As the sun was setting,

I saw the endless line

of one thing leading to another

that had brought me

to the cushion

that night.

As the moon was coming up,

I saw the arising

and passing away

of all things in every direction.

As dawn was breaking,

wisdom rose in the east—

and set fire to the long dark night.

But don’t take my word for it.

Set fire to the darkness within.

I promise.

It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.


This verse is from the Therigatha, a Buddhist text consisting of a collection of 73 short poems of women who were senior nuns. The poems date from a three hundred year period, starting in the late 6th century BCE. It is the companion text to the Theragatha, verses attributed to senior monks. It is the earliest known collection of women’s literature composed in India.

Source: Great Middle Way

2 comments on “Uttara: Fire

  1. José A. Alcántara
    December 2, 2022

    Love this.

    Just see all thoughts, words, and deeds
    arising all by themselves—
    not from some imaginary point within.

    as when poets say the poem merely passes through them.

    As dawn was breaking
    wisdom rose in the east—

    Good reason to get up every morning.

    I had never heard of the Therigatha. I will look for it.

    Thanks for posting

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2022 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , .

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