Bhikkhuni Sundarinanda – Verses and Mural Painting

[To teach Sundarī, who was infatuated with her beauty,
the Buddha created the image of a beautiful woman
and had her grow old and decay, and said:]

“Āturaṁ asuciṁ pūtiṁ, passa Nande samussayaṁ,
“Deceased and impure and putrid, Nandā please look at the body,

Asubhāya cittaṁ bhāvehi, ekaggaṁ susamāhitaṁ. [82]
Develop your mind on the repulsive, one-pointed, well-composed.

Yathā idaṁ tathā etaṁ, yathā etaṁ tathā idaṁ.
As with (this body) so with (yours), as with (yours) so with this (body).

Duggandhaṁ pūtikaṁ vāti, bālānaṁ abhinanditaṁ. [83]
Foul-smelling, putrid and smelly, (only) for fools to rejoice in.

Evam-etaṁ avekkhantī rattin-divam-atanditā,
Looking like this at this (body) actively by night and by day,

Tato sakāya paññāya abhinibbijjha dakkhisaṁ.” [84]
Through your own knowledge and wisdom you will come to see dispassion.”

[Sundarī spoke these words as her declaration of Awakening:]

“Tassā me appamattāya, vicinantiyā yoniso
“For me, just me, being heedful, and considering with wisdom

Yathābhūtaṁ ayaṁ kāyo, diṭṭho santarabāhiro, [85]
This body according to truth, seeing it both inside and out,

Atha nibbindahaṁ kāye, ajjhattañ-ca virajjahaṁ,
I lost interest in the body, I am detached internally,

Appamattā visaṁyuttā, upasantāmhi nibbutā” ti. [86]
Being heedful and unengaged, I have gained peace and become cool.”

The mural is from Wat Pho in Bangkok.

Sundarinanda Mural at Wat Pho Bangkok

Sundarinanda Mural at Wat Pho Bangkok

In the mural the Bhikkhunis are bringing Sundarī to meet the Buddha where he will give the above teaching.


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