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Read about Therigatha, the earliest collection of poems in India.

Earliest Anthology of India

Therigatha, the ninth book of the Khuddaka Nikaya, is the earliest anthology of India. It is a Buddhist scripture, a collection of short poems supposedly recited by early members of the Buddhist sangha. Therigatha consists of 73 poems, organized into 16 chapters, and has 522 stanzas in all. In these poems, the bhikshus (monks) and bhikshunis (nuns) describe how their lives were transformed by the teachings of the Buddha. The verses by the bhikshus in the Therigatha are often spiritual and meditative, with may beautiful passages on nature while the bhikshunis strike a more personal note and sing to the joys, sorrows and complexities of life. Therigatha is a very significant document in the study of early Buddhism. It contains a number of passages that re-affirm the view that women equal to men in terms of religious attainment.

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