It was over 20 years ago now that I first heard Ayya Sudhammā preach on the verses in the Therīgāthā while living at the Bhāvanā Society. Like her novice preceptor, Bhante Guṇaratana, she can make the people in the suttas come to life. And most importantly, she does this without any need to alter the words of the Therīs themselves.
So when a non-translation of the Therīgāthā came to light recently, I thought the world could benefit from the experience Ayya Sudhammā has gathered over the years, both as someone living the life of a bhikkhunī, but also as someone who teaches this text with great compassion and wisdom.
So far there are nine therīs. Check it out:
The website has some nifty features
Audio recordings of the verses in Pali and English (not all yet)
Links to other existing translations
Links to the suttas given by or to the Therīs
Links to the legends about the Therīs
Links to the digitalpalireader.online so you can do a deeper investigation on your own.
Complete bibliography of other translations of the Therīgāthā.
And there’s a podcast too! For now the podcast is simply an easy way to get copies of new recordings of translations as soon as they come out. Here’s the feed for your favorite podcast app.
If you are on social media you can follow the new translations as they come out. Sharing them with your friends is a great way to make sure that the real voices of the Enlightened Nuns are preserved. The pages for each therī are optimized for sharing.
I have to confess, The site is just built on the TwentyTwenty theme that wordpress.org publishes. It is designed to be good for mobile. So the trick is making sure that you don’t bust the aspects that are good for mobile. I did do a lot of mods to it so I hope it is still good on mobile. Thanks for the feedback!
One of the things I love about the website is the multimedia aspects (voice and text! )
I’ve been thinking about people with disabilities a lot in regard to that. One suggestion I’d make for the Facebook and Instagram then is to include alt text or captions that describe what’s in the images. A small addition that can go a long way to helping visually-impaired people access the Dhamma.