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Ambapali

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Title: Ambapali

Summary: url=index.html#thig.13.01.than A former courtesan – now an arahant – reveals how aging has eroded every trace of her youthful beauty. An exquisite portrait of the effects of aging.

Thig 13.1

Ambapali

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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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: 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: 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: A house with its plaster all fallen off. The truth of the Truth-speaker's words doesn't change.

en/tipitaka/sut/kn/thig/thig.13.01.than.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/03 09:26 by Johann