Theragāthā

Verses of the Senior Monks

Chapter of the Tens

10.5. Kappa

Filled with different kinds of dirt,
A great producer of dung,
Like a stagnant cesspool,
A great boil, a great wound,

Full of pus and blood,
Sunk in a toilet-pit,
Trickling with fluids
This putrid body always oozes.

Bound by sixty tendons,
Coated with a fleshy coating,
Clothed in a jacket of skin,
This putrid body is worthless.

Held together by a skeleton of bones,
And bound by sinews;
It assumes postures
Due to a complex of many things.

We set out in the certainty of death,
In the presence of the king of death;
And having discarded the body right here,
A person goes where he likes.

Enveloped by ignorance,
Tied by the four ties,
This body is sinking in the flood,
Caught in the net of underlying tendencies.

Yoked with the five hindrances,
Afflicted by thought,
Accompanied by the root of craving,
Hidden by delusion.

So the body goes on,
Propelled by the mechanism of deeds.
But existence ends in perishing;
Separated, the body perishes.

Those blind, unawakened people
Who think of this body as theirs,
Swell the horrors of the charnel-ground,
And take up rebirth again in some state of existence.

Those who avoid this body,
Like a snake smeared with dung,
They expel the root of rebirth,
And realise nibbāna, without defilements.