This Holy Life

“So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakeable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.” – MN 29

“Iti kho, bhikkhave, nayidaṁ brahmacariyaṁ lābhasakkā­ra­silo­kā­nisaṁ­saṁ, na sīla­sampa­dā­nisaṁ­saṁ, na samā­dhi­sampa­dā­nisaṁ­saṁ, na ­ñāṇadas­sanā­nisaṁ­saṁ. Yā ca kho ayaṁ, bhikkhave, akuppā cetovimutti—etadatthamidaṁ, bhikkhave, brahmacariyaṁ, etaṁ sāraṁ etaṁ pariyosānan”ti.

“ရဟန်းတို့ ဤသို့လျှင် ဤသာသနာတော်သည် လာဘ်သပ်ပကာ အကျော်အစောဟူသော အကျိုး ရှိမှုအတွက် မဟုတ်ပေ၊ အကျင့်သီလပြည့်စုံခြင်း ဟူသော အကျိုးရှိမှုအတွက် မဟုတ်ပေ၊ တည်ကြည်ခြင်းသမာဓိဟူသော အကျိုးရှိမှုအတွက် မဟုတ်ပေ၊ (ဒိဗ္ဗစက္ခု) ဉာဏ်အမြင်ဟူသော အကျိုးရှိမှုအတွက်မဟုတ်ပေ။ ရဟန်းတို့ အကြင်မပျက်စီးနိုင်သော စိတ်လွတ်မြောက်မှု (အရဟတ္တဖိုလ်) သည် ရှိ၏၊ ဤသာသနာတော်သည် ဤမပျက်စီးနိုင်သော စိတ်လွတ်မြောက်မှု (အရဟတ္တဖိုလ်) အတွက်သာ ဖြစ်၏။ ဤမပျက်စီးနိုင်သော စိတ်လွတ်မြောက်မှု (အရဟတ္တဖိုလ်) သည် အနှစ်အသားပေတည်း။ ဤမပျက်စီးနိုင်သောစိတ်လွတ်မြောက်မှု (အရဟတ္တဖိုလ်) သည် အဆုံး (ပန်းတိုင်) ပေတည်းဟု ဤတရားကို မြတ်စွာဘုရားသည်ဟောကြားတော်မူ၏။”

“Như vậy, này các Tỷ-kheo, phạm hạnh này không phải vì lợi ích, lợi dưỡng, danh vọng, không phải vì lợi ích thành tựu giới đức, không phải vì lợi ích thành tựu thiền định, không phải vì lợi ích tri kiến. Và này các Tỷ-kheo, tâm giải thoát bất động chính là mục đích của phạm hạnh này, là lõi cây, là mục tiêu cuối cùng của phạm hạnh.”

「像這樣,比丘們!這梵行不[以]利養、恭敬、名聲為效益;不[以]戒具足為效益;不[以]定具足為效益;不[以]智見為效益,比丘們!這不可動搖的心解脫,比丘們!這是這梵行的目標,這是核心,這是終結。」

Arahat Khemā Therī

This is a beautiful statue of Khemā Therī at Dhammikārama Burmese Buddhist Temple in Penang, Malaysia. From the Pāḷi Names Dictionary:

Arahat Khemā Therī,
Arahat Khemā Therī

“An arahant, chief of the Buddha’s women disciples. She was born in a ruling family at Sāgala in the Madda country, and her skin was of the colour of gold. She became the chief consort of King Bimbisāra. She would not visit the Buddha who was at Veluvana, lest he should speak disparagingly of her beauty with which she was infatuated. The king bade poets sing the glories of Veluvana and persuaded Khemā to go there. She was then brought face to face with the Buddha, and he conjured up, for her to see, a woman like a celestial nymph who stood facing him. Even as Khemā gazed on the nymph, whose extraordinary beauty far excelled her own, she saw her pass gradually from youth to extreme old age, and so fall down in the swoon of death. Seeing that Khemā was filled with dismay at the sight, the Buddha preached to her on the vanity of lust, and we are told that at that moment she attained arahantship. With the consent of Bimbisāra she entered the Order, and was ranked by the Buddha foremost among his women disciples for her great insight (mahāpaññānam aggā) (A.i.25; Dpv.xviii.9; see also MA.iv.168f.; Bu.xxvi.19; J.i.15,16).

In the time of Padumuttara she was a slave, and having seen the Buddha’s chief disciple, Sujāta, gave him three cakes, and that same day she sold her hair and gave him alms.

In Kassapa Buddha’s time she became the eldest daughter of Kikī, king of Benares, and was named Samanī. With her sisters she observed celibacy for twenty thousand years and built a monastery for the Buddha. She learnt the Mahānidāna Sutta, having heard the Buddha preach it. In the time of Vipassī she became a renowned preacher of the Dhamma, and during the time of both Kakusandhaand Konāgamana she had great monasteries built for the Buddha and his monks. AA.i.187f; Thig.139-44; ThigA.126ff; Ap.ii.543ff; DhA.iv.57ff; cf. the story of Rūpa Nandā (DhA.iii.113-9).

Once when Khemā was at Toranavatthu, between Sāvatthi and Sāketa, Pasenadi, who happened to spend one night there, heard of her presence and went to see her. He questioned her as to whether or not the Buddha existed after death. She explained the matter to him in various ways, and Pasenadi, delighted with her exposition, related it to the Buddha (S.iv.374ff). She is mentioned in several places (E.g., A.i.88; ii.164; iv.347; S.ii.236) as the highest ideal of womanhood worthy of imitation, and is described as the nun par excellence.

Khemā is identified with the mother in the Uraga Jātaka (J.iii.168), the queen in the Rohantamiga (J.iv.423) and in the Hamsa (J.iv.430), the queen, Khemā, in the Mahāhamsa (J.v.382), and the princess in the Mahājanaka (J.vi.68).”

Arahat Khema ©Ashin Sopāka 2016