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Went Forth

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

What a bunch of coarse suffering I missed,

drenched heavy from eternity

in fear of my own misdeeds.

What downing forces of ill I missed,

With their inutile companions:

Just because I said “No” to lay bindings;

And went forth a renunciant.

Yet the evil one may scorn his rage

For never will his defeat be contained.

Whatever the twisted arms he crafts

from lost dreams of my hapless past:

Will fall before me as a drizzle on the desert

To perish before they ever evolve,

Paving only the path to tread bare,

towards the lilac sky where the sphere turns

And heavens cloak their misty haze:

For I now resolve beyond,

I now breath-free.

Bhikkhu Samadhikusala


What a bunch of coarse suffering I missed

Drenched heavy from eternity

“From eternity” refers to the circle of suffering or samsara or continuation of birth and death and “drenched heavy” indicates tanha, bhava or desire for existence. As the perpetual cycle of birth and death exists for the one who is not liberated, it is referred to here as eternity.

In fear of my own misdeeds

Although there is redundancy of usage of mine after my, it refers to the notion of self which holds one’s misdeeds as well as it creates the additional emphasis for owning one’s misdeeds.

Misdeeds refers to past actions done and the danger and the fear of the outcome shows the karmic repercussions that binds one “with drenched heavy” in tanha or greed and upādana meaning clinging to the same existence.

The suffering is referred to as coarse as the nature of suffering is to give inevitable pain.

“What downing forces of ill I missed

With their inutile companions

Just because I said “No” to lay bindings

And went forth a renunciant?

The dragging down feeling is explained here as greed, hate and delusion, or the roots of ill, which is connected to useless companions, useless for wholesomeness or awakening. Saying “No” to these lay bindings is the poet’s main stand point where his life before and after emanate from, therefore the word “No” is the decision he made and it stands in the middle of two worlds suggesting to the reader that this is the path to follow.

The evil one here refers to “Mara” as in Buddhist text and does not refer to evil people in society but rather one’s own conscious energy that is internal as well as the external. This “evilness” will mock you with its deep anger and wrath. The poem refers to “he has been defeated but he will never be contained, he will be satisfied with that defeat” meaning he will continue to bring you down which indicates it’s not a total defeat.

The “twisted” meaning “crooked” or “lies” or “dishonest arms” or “weapons” or “tricks” or “tactics” that Mara the evil One would use is crafted by one’s past faults, lost dreams and failures. And as the monk has gone forth from home life to a life of a renunciant, these weapons created from “lost dreams, hapless past” will not danger him. Instead they will fall before as something supporting his path to freedom, “as a drizzle on the desert” and they will perish before they evolve, the reason being him holding the power of renunciation so nothing can effect or bring him to destruction.

Paving the path to tread bare is indicated by one who paves the path and walks barefoot, meaning that there are no other unnecessary bindings, for example no more relationships, no more attachments, so you are no longer fearful to keep your foot down, and can bravely tread towards the lilac sky where the sphere turns. Lilac being a rare colour which appears briefly before the sunset sky signifies something rare, uncommon and unique and as the poet speaks about the path leading towards the lilac sky indicates the total cessation of suffering.

The sphere indicates “the world and world’s bindings” and the sphere turns in the horizon where the sky begins indicates “the division between the worldly and liberated spheres”. The heavens are personified by the sphere with the clouds that cover or stand above the world which may indicate the divine realms of higher sensory, fine material and immaterial realms. His resolution is even beyond those two realms indicating that he is searching for liberation from even those realms and that search has brought him peace which is indicative through the breathing free.

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