Find the differences…

Temple monks - Dana 1960

Temple monks – Dana 1960

Dana 2008

Temple monks – Dana 2008

Found all the differences? Maybe now you know why there is no English translation of the Phusso Theragatha? v. 949 – 980. Hmmm….

The online versions of the Theragatha seem to ignore this interesting gatha. Seems like every monastic translator is working his way around these verses 🙂 But they are not unimportant, especially today, quite the contrary:

Theragatha – Phusso Thero {pali}

Having seen many monks,
Of noble stature, developed and restrained,
The wise one of the Pandaraso clan,
Asked Phusso, his beloved friend:

How do you think will be the monks
In future times behave?
What will they ponder, what desire?
Pray tell me, this i ask of you!

Well hear my word, Pandaraso,
You sage and dear old friend:
Mark clear my word, remember it
I will explain the future times:

Full hatred and full enmity
Concealing and insensible,
Jealous of each, each teaching of his own
So will they be in future times.

Believing that they realized
The truth so deep. These monks just take it light –
They walk just on this worldly shore – respectless crowd,
And blame each other for this and that.

Many a disadvantage will then appear
In future times.
The teachings oh so well explained,
These foolish monks will spoil.

Within the Sangha void of virtue
They show themselves so bold as standard;
They will become much even stronger,
Loud with their mouth, untrained at all.

Those in the Sangha, full of virtue
Will show up less, behaving right,
They will become much even weaker,
Not looking for their benefit, humble and shy.

Gold, silver – money – they accept
As well as house and cattle, land!
And servant, maid – these unwise monks:
This will the future bring, my friend.

These fools will walk without restraint,
And unrestrained in virtues’ path,
And haughty will their walk like be
They find their joy in heated arguments.

Puffed up they walk and dress in dark
These fellows want to look like saints?
Deceitful, stubborn is their heart
And boastful babblers that they are!

They will apply gel to their hair
Use make-up for their fancy looks.
Such will they walk on city streets,
Adorned with gold and ivory.

The brown robe of the purified,
The dress of all the Arahants,
They hate that robe and wear instead:
A (white) clean dress – find here delight.

They long for riches, long for pleasure,
Are lazy without energy,
They flee the hermitage, the wood,
And closer move to city walls.

‘And those who gain the most,
Enjoy frivolous their wrong life,
They will be honored, will be leaders,
And people take refuge in unrestrained monks.

‘Those without gains
Will not be honored,
And even if they are best trained,
And wise: nobody joins their fellowship.

The various patches
Which we color and sew into a robe:
They hate those ugly robes and look instead
To wear clean (white) robes like other pilgrims do.

‘Without respect for pale brown robes,
Against their very mind goes this:
The reason for the begger’s robe
These “bhikkhus” will not tolerate.

Hit by a spear – long time ago,
In bitter pain, an elephant,
once fell into a trap
Unthinkable, unheard before:

‘There saw the elephant a man
A hunter clad in arhants cloth,
And deep his pain, deep his complaint,
He spoke this word, his final one:

‘«One who wears the stainless robe

who’s yet not free from stain,

without restraint and truthfulness
Does not deserve the stainless robe.

‘«But one who is self-cleansed of stain,
in moral conduct firmly set,
having restraint and truthfulness
He does deserve the stainless robe.»

‘Who, void of virtue, foolish,
Is servant of his sensual pleasures,
Whose mind is scattered, dull unclear:
Does not deserve the stainless robe.

‘Yet who endowed with virtue is,
Empty of lust, whose mind well stilled,
With purified and cleared up mind:
Yes, he deserves the stainless robe.

‘The haughty cocky fool indeed,
In whom no virtue can be found –
Yes, white householders cloths dress fine:
What should he care for brownish robes?

‘The monks and nuns in future times
With upset minds, without respect
Enjoy to put down anyone,
Who mastered silence, kindliness.

‘And even if the elder monks
Teach how to wear the robes,
They listen not, impatient fools,
Are known to follow sensual joys.

‘And thus these untrained foolish men
Will just enjoy to blame each other,
Not listening to teachers, elders,
Like bad a breed of untrained horse.

‘This is the future’s face my friend,
This will indeed their “progress” be:
Which monks and nuns in later times,
Will have to face, that’s what they get.

‘Befor however such a time,
This great a danger comes to us,
Be mild in mind, and listen good,
Respect each other full of joy.

‘Develop kindness and compassion,
Restrain in virtue quite yourself;
And seek out striving, dedication
Give never up, the goal is close!

‘View carelessness as precipice
And carefulness as certitude:
Thus on the path eightfold it’s known:
You will touch soon the deathlessness.’

PS: This translations is far from perfect, but at least it gives the gist of Thera Phussa’s reflections. It is especially helpful for monks/nuns in the Sangha to help keeping the Sangha on track. Here some very positive examples from today: here and here and many more!!

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