Here the title of this volume has been modified by the ampler designation : Verses attributed, in the tradition of the Pali Canon, to certain eminent sisters (Theri-Bhikkhunis) of the Buddhist Order, and forming the second and smaller portion of the work entitled Thera-theri-gathaói.e.,
verses of the Elders, Brethren and Sisters.
The poems or verses so preserved to us are included in the Fifth Group of the second of the Three
Pitakas (the Sutta-Pitaka) in the Pali Canon-the Group entitled Short: Khuddaka-Nikayaóand ranged after the Four Nikayas often quoted in the following pages : Digha, Majjhima, Sayyutta, Anguttíara. The poems were edited with scholarly excellence in 1883 for the Pali Text society, then in the third year of its existence. Professor H. Oldenberg, now of Gottingen, was responsible for the verses of the Theras, or Elder Brethren. The late Professor R. Pischel, of
Berlin, edited those of the Theris, or Elder Women. The Brethrenís Gathas number 264, those of the Sisters, 73. Those of the Brethren come first. Bhikkhus formed the great majority in the order, and, in standing and position, ranked senior to the Bhikkhunis. The prior appearance of a translation of the latter part of the book is due, not to a wish to improve upon the ancient order, but to an accidental circumstance in the supply of materials.