If I'm getting this right it is/was customary to utter a poem shortly after realizing enlightenment. Are these verses and/or maybe stories and accounts surrounding these beings collected somewhere?

1 Answer 1


Yes. For the Theravada tradition's stories of the elder monks and nuns, please see the following books of the Khuddaka Nikaya (the minor collection):

For e.g. you can read the story of Sunita the Outcaste who became an arhat elder.

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    suttacentral.net/pitaka/sutta/minor/kn describes the latter two as "legends of" not "biographies of", I quote -- The “Legends of the Senior Monks” contains 563 stories in verse telling the past life deeds of various senior monks. It is a much later counterpart to the Theragāthā, referring to many of the same monks. But whereas the Theragāthā verses relate the monks’ practice of meditation and mindfulness in this life, the Legends typically relate how they became awakened in this life by making an offering a Buddha in the distant past...
    – ChrisW
    Oct 25, 2021 at 20:01
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    ... and making a dedication to be reborn so as to become awakened in the future. The “Legends of the Senior Monks” has as companion the “Legends of the Senior Nuns”. Both these are late texts, and lack counterparts in the northern canons.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 25, 2021 at 20:03
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    @ChrisW Updated to "Past Life Legends".
    – ruben2020
    Oct 26, 2021 at 3:15

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