Thag 19
PTS: Thag 1137
Talaputa Thera: Rain of the Deva
translated from the Pali by
Andrew Olendzki
Alternate translation: Khantipalo
When the deva has rained and the grass is tall, And the forest's a shimmering cloud of blossoms, I'll sit on a stump in the heart of the hills; — And to me that will seem as soft as cotton.

Translator's note

This is a portion of a poem attributed to Talaputa, a famous performer before joining the Buddha's sangha and undertaking the training of his mind for liberation. Some people have said that the Theravada tradition shows little recognition of nature, but these and many other verses in the Theragatha reveal a poignant appreciation of nature's beauty. The forests and hills were favorite resorts of the Buddha and his followers, and the wilderness was considered the most suitable setting for silent meditation.

As the Buddha was so fond of saying:

Here, monks, are the roots of trees; here are empty places. Meditate! Don't be lazy! Don't be ones who are later remorseful. This is my instruction to you.