In the Division of Thirty Stanzas of the Book of the Stanzas of the Nuns, the stanzas beginning with the words To Jivaka's charming Mango Grove are the stanzas of the nun Subha, of Jivaka's Mango Grove.

She also, having made her Earnest Wish under previous Buddhas, developed Capacity for Sainthood and accumulated Merit in this state of existence and in that, and in due course having stimulated the Roots of Merit, having perfected the Conditions of Deliverance, with Knowledge fully ripe, was reborn in the dispensation of this present Buddha at Rajagaha in the household of a wealthy Brahman.

Subha, or Beauty, was her name. Endowed with beauty, they say, were the members of her body. Therefore, appropriately enough, she was given the name Subha, or Beauty.

When the Teacher entered Rajagaha, she received the gift of faith and became a lay disciple. Later on, terrified by the Round of Existences, seeing in the Pleasures of Sense danger, perceiving in Renunciation of the Pleasures of Sense security, she retired from the world and became a nun under Malm Pajapati Gotami, and performing the business of Insight, in but a few days became established in the Fruit of the Third Path.

Now one day a certain resident of Rajagaha, an unprincipled fellow, young, in the prime of youth, saw her going to Jivaka's Mango Grove for her noonday siesta. Seeing her, he fell in love with her, and barring the way, invited her to enjoy the pleasures of sense. She preached the Doctrine to him, in divers ways making known the folly of the pleasures of sense, and her own determination to renounce the same. But even after hearing her discourse on the Doctrine, he would not leave her, but continued to importune her.

The nun, seeing that he paid no attention to what she said, and observing that he was fascinated with her eye, said: "Here is your eye! take it!" So saying, she plucked out one of her own eyes and handed it to him. Thereat that man was affrighted and terrified; for that nun his passion abated. Begging her to pardon him, he went his way. The nun went to the Teacher. The moment she looked upon him, her eye was restored to its former state. Thereat, as she stood there, her whole body was suffused with Joy in the Buddha.

The Teacher, knowing the course of her thoughts, preached the Doctrine to her; and that she might attain the Highest Path, assigned to her a Subject of Meditation. Suppressing Joy, she immediately developed Insight and attained Sainthood together with the Analytical Powers. And having attained Sainthood, she dwelt in the Bliss of the Fruit thereof, in the Bliss of Nirvana. And surveying her own Attainment, by way of Solemn Utterance, she recited the following stanzas, previously uttered by her in conversation with that unprincipled fellow:

To Jivaka's charming Mango Grove went the nun Subha.

An unprincipled fellow barred the way. To him spoke Subha:


"What wrong have I done thee that thou standest barring me the
For, brother, it is not proper for a man to touch a religious.

"Following the revered religion of my Teacher,
Following the training proclaimed by the Happy One,
I am in the Way of Salvation,
I am free from lust.
Why dost thou stand barring me the way?

"Stained are thy thoughts;
I am free from stain.
Passionate art thou;
I am free from passion, free from lust.
My heart is wholly free!
Why dost thou stand barring me the way?"


"Thou art young; thou art not bad-looking.
What shalt thou gain by the religious life?
Put off the yellow robe!
Come! let us take our pleasure in the flowering wood.

"Altogether sweet breathe the trees,
Swelling with the pollen of flowers.
Early spring's the time for pleasure!
Come! let us take our pleasure in the flowering wood.

"Flowering to their very tips, the trees
Roar away, swayed by the winds.
What pleasure shalt thou gain
If by thyself alone thou shalt plunge into the wood?

"The great wood is a solitude, a place of horrors,
Haunted by troops of beasts of prey,
Heaving with the dust of rutting elephants.
Wilt thou go thither without a companion?

"A very golden image, dost thou go about;
A very celestial nymph, in the garden Cittaratha;
With soft, beautiful garments of Benares cloth
Art thou resplendent, O peerless one!

"With joy would I submit to thy will
If thou wilt reside in the heart of the forest,
For no living being is dearer to me than art thou,
O thou with the languid eyes of a sylph.

"If thou wilt do as I ask, thou shalt be happy.
Come, adopt the house-life.
Thou shalt dwell in mansions and places secure;
Women shall wait upon thee.

"Put on soft garments of Benares cloth,
Deck thyself with all manner of garlands.
Of gold and gems and pearls
Will I make for thee ornaments many and various.

"Thy couch is new, spread with cotton mattresses
And fleecy woollen blankets, resplendent
With coverlets washed clean of dirt,
Of great price, adorned with sandalwood,
Of fragrant perfume. Mount thereon!

"And, like a lotus flower uplifted from the water,
Possessed by a demon, [enjoyed by none other,]
So thou, abiding chaste, thy own members unenjoyed,
Shalt go to old age."


"What meaning for thee has this body,
Full of corruption, augmenting the burning-ground,
Whose very nature is dissolution,
That seeing it thou dost gaze distraught?"


"Like the eyes of a deer are thine eyes,
Like the eyes of a sylph in the heart of the mountains;
Through gazing at thine eyes
The more doth my passion increase.

"O thou that dost resemble the crown of a lotus!
O thou spotless one!
O thou whose face is like gold!
Through gazing at thine eyes
The more doth my passion increase.

"However far away thou be, I shall remember thee,
O thou of the long eyelashes! O thou of unblemished mien!
For no eyes are dearer to me than are thine eyes,
O thou with the languid eyes of a sylph!"


"Thou dost seek to walk where no path is,
Thou dost seek a toy moon,
Thou dost seek to leap over Meru,
When thou dost ask in marriage one that hath heard the Buddha.

"For neither in the world of men nor in the Worlds of Gods
Liveth any man for whom I lust, let be now who might be;
I do not even know what lust is like,
But by the Path lust with its roots hath been destroyed.

"For me lust is like a poison-bowl, once highly prized,
Consigned to the fire-pit for good and all;
I do not even understand what lust is like,
But by the Path lust with its roots hath been destroyed.

"If there be a woman that hath not well considered,
If there be a woman whose teacher is under instruction,
Such a woman do thou tempt.
In tempting her that knoweth, thou dost but vex thyself.

"For I am ever mindful, both in honor and in dishonor,
Both in pleasure and in pain;
I know that all existing things are foul;
Therefore cleaveth my heart to naught soever.

"I that stand here am a disciple of the Happy One;
In the Eightfold Vehicle of the Path do I make my way;
Drawn out are the arrows of the Depravities;
I delight to dwell in solitude.

"For what I see is a gaudily painted doll,
Newly made, fitted with little sticks and rods,
Fastened together with cords and little pins,
Dancing away to her heart's content.

"Remove the cords and pegs;
Unloosen, dismember, scatter the parts;
Reduce the members to fragments.
What! wilt thou set thy heart thereon?

"Precisely so do these wretched bodies of ours appear to me;
Without their constituent parts they exist not;
Without the constituent parts they exist not.
What! wilt thou set thy heart thereon?

"Not as I have looked upon a little picture
Plastered on a wall with yellow orpiment,
Not so hast thou looked upon this body;
Unprofitable is merely human judgment.

"Thou dost run after a phantom, as it were,
Wrought by a magician before thy very face,
Or after a tree of gold that appeareth in a dream,
O thou blind man!
Or after an image of silver, as it were,
A hollow piece of nothing!
Wrought by a magician in the crowd.

"Like a ball lodged in the hollow of a tree,
A mere bubble, floating in mucus, tears and all,
Is the eye. Therein breed maggots of all sorts and kinds,--
As many kinds as there are kinds of eyes,--
In solid masses."

Straightway that maiden so fair to see,
With never a bond, never a care,
Tore out her eye and gave it to that man:
"Here is thine eye! take it!"

Straightway his passion abated;
Then and there he begged her to pardon him:
"I wish thee well, O maiden chaste;
Never again shall happen such a thing as this!

"Thou hast shattered me,--and such a man am I!
I have clasped, as it were, a blazing fire!
I have grasped, as it were, a poisonous serpent!
But I wish thee well! do thou pardon me!"

Then, free, that nun went to the Buddha,
To the All-glorious One;
She looked upon him, and her eye,
The product of surpassing merit,
Was restored to its former state.