A Very Serious Dilemma

There are occasions when the coincidences of history and language point to an overwhelming conclusion. It is as if thousands of years and millions of people are all conspiring to one end. And the problem is not that that conclusion is problematic. No: the problem is that it’s just so good that no-one will believe you.

Case in point. There’s an occasional term found in Pali, durāsada. It’s usually found in verses, such as AN 4.42, or poetic passages such as Snp 3.2 = MN 92 Sela Sutta. The general meaning of the term is that it describes someone who is powerful, hard to get close to, perhaps “intimidating”. In the Sela Sutta, it’s used to describe the Buddha:

Then Sela with his three hundred students approached the Buddha. Sela addressed his students, saying, “Come quietly, sirs! Place each step one after the other! For the Buddhas are hard to approach, like lions living alone. And when I am conversing with the ascetic Gotama, don’t interrupt our discussion, but wait until we have finished.”

The PTS dict. says:

hard to sit on, i. e. hard to get at, unapproachable, difficult to attack or manage or conquer

Thus deriving it from āsana. But here’s the thing.

Āsana is from root ās, ultimately from the Primitive Indo-European root ors, meaning “buttocks or backside”. It is thus a direct cousin of the English “arse”.

The prefix dur has a variety of meanings, but the basic sense is “bad”.

You see where I’m going with this.

Now, what word in English could possibly be used to describe someone who is just overwhelmingly, intimidatingly awesome?

So, next time someone complains when you describe the Buddha as “badass”, tell them you’re just quoting the Pali.




Ba Ha! If there is an opening for a stand up Buddhist comic you should apply! Great delivery!



:heart_eyes::sunglasses::joy: How awesome is this? I can call the Buddha a “badass”?! Wow! I’m so proud (in a wholesome way)!! Inspiring!

in mettā,



Bhante, then your translation would then be:
For the Buddhas are BAD-ASS…
rather than “hard to approach”?
does “badass” fit the other occurrences of durāsada in the suttas?
That’s just too poetic. bad-ass if even almost an anagram of buddhas.

searching origin for english usage of badass,
The same dictionary cites a 1971 article in Playboy magazine
quoting the liner notes of Bo Diddley’s most recent LP, which describe
him as “the most outrageous bad-assed guitar man alive.”

1955 in J. Blake, Joint 110. Wanted to be a hard-nosed badass type. 1958 Stack a Lee 2: There was this bad ass Indian they call Geronimo…Over in the corner sit old bad ass Stack. 1959 Abrahams, Deep Down
138: Before I throw open my bad-ass cashmere and pull my bad-ass
gun…I had that old bad0-ass Benny Long in my thirty-eight sights.


Since great Arahants also have some suttas where they issue their “lions roar”,
would durāsada apply to them as well, or is the context only reserved for ultra-badass samma sam-buddhas?

for example, if we were composing new paracanonical literature collecting verses uttered by new arahants, like an updated registry of theragatha and therigatha, would we see some thing like this:

"Then, that unbound bundle of bad-ass roared like a lion:
Birth is destroyed! Eat my dust Mara! You’re my subservient lap dog now."
And John Doe became another one of the Arahants.


indeed, that does sound like a plausible scenario.


Straight outta forest, enlightened arahant named Bodhi Dude
From the nikaya called Monks With Attitudes
When I’m called off, I show my luv
Spread the metta, and kilesas are hauled off
You too, Mara, if ya mess with me
The kamma’s gonna hafta ripen and get thee
So, yo Mara, that’s how I’m goin out
For the taints of the mind that’s showin out
Kilesas start to mumble, they wanna rumble
Mix em and cook em in a pot like gumbo
Goin off on an upakilesa like that
With a mind investigating asavas en masse
So let it go smooth
Ain’t no tellin when I’m down for a liberating move
Here’s a Dhamma rap to share paññā
With a Dhamma record like Aññā-Kondañña
Jhana is the tool
To help even the dumbest fool
Me you can go toe to toe, yes maybe
I’m knockin kilesas out tha box, daily
Yo weekly, monthly and yearly
Until even Mara’s retinue see clearly
That I’m down with the constant sati
Boy you can learn from me
So when I’m in your neighborhood, you better read Suttas
Cause Bodhi Dude is wise as Sariputta
As I leave, believe my practice will be honest
But when I come back, boy, I’m comin straight outta forest


you got some serious skillz

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If all the suttas were thus written, imagine the increased membership to the Dhamma Club! I think that admirably covers it!


So when I’m in your neighborhood, you better read Suttas
Cause Bodhi Dude is wise as Sariputta
As I leave, believe my practice will be honest
But when I come back, boy, I’m comin straight outta forest

are there a couple of lines still missing from the end? for inclusion in the new theragatha, it needs some kind of conclusive lion’s roar with a confirmed “kill” of maara. if i am comprehending the verses correctly, the last line implies that Bodhi Dude is in the latter phase of training getting ready for the final showdown with mara. another thing i wonder if i understand correctly: is “straight outta forest” referring to the lethal set of forest dhamma skills B.D. intends to unleash on mara, or is it a promise that upon vanquishing mara, B.D. is going straight from the forest to nibbana?

i can’t wait to hear what B.D. says to mara when the job is complete! surely it will be humiliating and leave mara with shoulders drooped and a look of despair. may B.D. succeed in this lifetime so we can all bear witness!

keep it coming guys, if we get enough entries we can put together an ebook “songs of durasada”. it can be real or fiction, or your personal future as you envision it.


Song of Citta

eat, drink, and be merry.
how much of life spent
frolicking in mountains of feces
sowing fields that yield only sorrow

turn away before too late
surveyed world religions
they promised cities of gold
wish it was that easy

but one thing you learn
even in the ordinary
no free lunch
you get what you earn

head to the forest
many beautiful trees
seems more promising
gravitate toward bodhis

but which are genuine
not counterfeit?
most are G.M.O.
maybe they work,

but why take a chance?
could wind up in hell
the only sure way
is the E.B.T.

but how early is early?
will I get lost
in the valley
of dry bones?

the 4 and the 8
8 points back to 4
the wheel of 8
crush Māra’s hordes

who needs orthodoxy
and their views
I roll with the 37
the Lord’s own commentary

memorize essential
handful of leaves
the direct path
to ancient city

shedding all
needless possessions
like a bird in the sky
with wings only burden

the 4 and the 8
the 8 and the 4
all day all night
luminous mind ready to roar

as above, so below
as below, so above
stages of decomposure
seen 'til no doubt

day and night
heedful, assiduous
sit my ass down 'til I can do it
that’s ass-sit-do-it-y, whether walk stand lie

let only my skin and bones…
carry on as if head on fire
drawing each breath like it’s the last
ending all desire

victory is certain
not a song of aspiration
result guaranteed
file under Theragātha

this breach of humility
irrational confidence
Māra protests:
has no precedence

did you forget?
the web never does
forever archived,
arrogant boasts

flamed eternally
ascetic toast
you’re no disciple
just a sad joke

hello Māra,
this is no brag,
just saddha, vīriya,
and Citta Samādhi

of the 4 iddhi-pāda
I swear by the third
chanda can waver
Vīmaṃsā pedantic

but vīriya relentless
heart unbreakable
this is the power
of Citta Samādhi

envision the future
becomes reality
this is the power
of Citta Samādhi

I’m a son of the Buddha
you’re no match
one day soon,
I’ll call on you

tap you on the shoulder,
all Metta Karuṇā
why hello Māra,
good to see you again.

"care for a cup of tea?"
I say with kind smiles.
but what he hears, is:
“kiss my durāsada”

I’m a son of the Buddha
going where Māra can’t see
as if I poked him in
his beady little eyes

but I’ll let you know
when I’m around
pull my finger, Māra
smell that durāsada

how dare you mock me
jokes of flatulence
outrageous audacious
beyond belief

no regard,
for Dhamma and Discipline
Buddha rolling in his grave
from pari-Nibbāna

I’m a son of the Buddha
and sons never lie
master of 4 elements
fingers everwhere

then with a puff of air
Māra got a taste
of harsh reality
blind and gagging in despair

I’m a son of the Buddha
of all blessed disciples
my humor most wry
can make Arahants cry

I’m a son of the Buddha
by day and by night
with open mind unenveloped
luminous mind I developed

I’m a son of the Buddha
we never lose
they call me Citta
Citta pabha

true son of the Buddha
with his end always wins
transcending all notions of class
unbound bundle of pure bad ass


I think this would be interesting for you and and others in this discussion thread: a CD with nice d’n’b beats and rapping monks from Muttodaya, a Thai forest monastery in Germany. Sorry, German only!

A snippet from the album can be heard here The ordering information can be found here (sorry, German only again). The CD is totally free of course, but if one really really loves it, one can always donate what one can (donation info here).

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It’s at this link https://suttacentral.net/mn135 and you can choose from Bhikkhu Bodhi’s or Bhante Sujato’s translations.


I’m sorry that you have had a bad experience, but I am puzzled at what exactly you find difficult. The suttas are all accessible from the menu at the left. Using a hierarchical menu in a left sidebar is probably the most common computer interface pattern, one that everyone should be familiar with.

It says “Sutta”. Open that, it says “Middle”. Open that, it says “Majjhima Nikaya”. Click that, and you can scroll down to find the sutta that you want.

We chose this kind of user interface precisely because it is the most common and widely used approach, one that has stood the test of time. Hopefully once you have got used to it you will not think so poorly of us.


Whoa. Just awesome. Hahahahahahahahahah

Really cool :slight_smile:

Hi. Me again.
This thread is really cool! I imagine what would a Buddha be like today? How would he talk. Whoa! I take that back. The Buddha today would for sure be a woman. The renunciation would be to grow all of the hair on your body. No hair-dyes! No makeup. All the hair. Obviously she would have lots of tattoos and be a vegan. She would turn the world upside down because the vinaya is 2500 years ago is different than what it would be today. Anicca. (Have you noticed the dhamma is about letting go, and the vinaya is about holding on?). We would learn the aggregates by using the simile of the “cell-phone”. Attachment to Facebook, (deleted). She would talk to us about the internet and planes and cars.
“ Thus I have heard, she was staying outside of Pioneertown, on the part of Garth’s land next to the wash”. “She told us how out of compassion we could save the earth and thus save ourselves, and by saving ourselves we could save the earth”. Now wouldn’t that be cool. It’s like the other night I was reading the Satipattana Sutta, (again). The part on repulsiveness and the body contemplation it’s written about looking at a sack of grains with two holes and opening that up and seeing every type of grain in the bag. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around that so I substituted a cheeseburger instead. I think it worked too well because I actually threw-up into my mouth a little bit, so I used a burrito instead. This was better. I opened the burrito and could see all the parts: the rice, the beans, the guacamole and the cheese. Much better. So yes. I love the suttas and EBT. But what would the buddha say today? Probably I am a little crazy, is what she would say. But that’s ok, I try and follow the precepts the best I can and I’m good with that. Once again, as the ignorant householder I will proclaim, “I love you all!”
Peace :v:t3:


You are hereby shared on my piece of no face book!


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Thanks Ajahn,
You made my day! :slight_smile: