Introduction to 1.4.1 Rohinītherīgāthā
(That is Why They are so Dear to Me)
Tasmā have appamādaṃ, kayirātha sumedhaso;
evaṃ mahānubhāvāya, saṅghānussatiyā sadāti.
Indeed, without negligence and ardently,
A man of truly great wisdom will
Always recollect the Saṅgha`s qualities
Blessed thus with great potency.
Once the presented teaching is applied and its beneficial results manifest themselves within those, who walk on it, naturally boundless gratitude arises towards those who endeavoured their own realisation through this path. They still present themselves to us as an inspiring example of earnestness, persistence and determination. This chapter is dedicated to all those, who persisted in their own realisation and thus shine forth till today.
The introductory verses here are uttered by Rohinī, whose father, a rich Brahmin of Vesālī, was repeatedly displeased with her benevolence towards the Bhikkhus. He often articulated his disagreement and pointed out the faults of these ascetics to her starting with: “Why are those Samaṇas so dear to you?” - ‘Kena te samaṇā piyā?’ - Rohinī herself replied with: “Truly, for a long time now you have been asking me in this way about the Samaṇas” - ‘Cirassaṃ vata maṃ tāta, samaṇānaṃ paripucchasi’ - and seeing a good opportunity to reveal and praise the good qualities of their noble conduct, she recited the stirring stanzas represented in this sutta. After she had extolled the qualities of the Bhikkhus to her father, he expressed his pride about such a daughter, a shining example for their family and finally himself took refuge with the following words: ‘Upehi saraṇaṃ buddhaṃ, dhammaṃ saṅghañca tādinaṃ; samādiyāhi sīlāni, taṃ me atthāya hehiti !’ – ‘To the Buddha I go for refuge, to the Dhamma and to the Saṅgha. I undertake the rules of moral conduct, this will be to my advantage!’
These verses are exemplary taken from the Therīgāthā and Theragāthā, a collection of jubilant exclamations uttered by the female and male monks and followers of the Buddha. Together with the Apadāna this compilation of texts gives some hint about the joy and delight expressed by those, who have reached the various states of liberation, but also about the arduous and vigorous work undertaken to reach their goal.