The publisher’s blurb on the back cover begins, “Composed around the Buddha’s lifetime, the Therigatha (Poems of the Elder Buddhist Nuns) contains poems by the first Buddhist women. Here you’ll find princesses and courtesans, tired wives of arranged marriages and the desperately in love, those born with limitless wealth and those born with nothing at all. Their voices are all here.”
There’s just one problem. Despite the book’s marketing, the Theris cannot be met in these pages. There are no “female voices” for us to hear. That’s because this book is not a translation of the Therigatha. It’s not even a “free translation” of the Therigatha. It’s a collection of original poems written by a contemporary American man.
Post by Bodhipaksa of the blog Fake Buddhist Quotes. Includes links to further discussion of the issues with the translation by Bhikkhu Akaliko and by Ayya Sudhamma, founder and abbess of Charlotte Buddhist Vihara, who brought this issue to light in a discussion forum post on Sutta Central
posted by Lexica (20 comments total)