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Samyutta Nikaya V.5

Uppalavanna Sutta

Sister Uppalavanna

Read an alternate translation

At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Uppalavanna the nun put on her robes and, taking her bowl & outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. When she had gone for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in her, wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her & addressed her in verse:

You've come, nun,
to this sal-tree
with its fine flowering crest,
and stand alone
at its root,
with no one
to match you in beauty.
In your foolishness,
aren't you afraid
of rape?
Then the thought occurred to Uppalavanna the nun: "Now who has recited this verse -- a human being or a non-human one?" Then it occurred to her: "This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited this verse wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in me, wanting to make me fall away from concentration."

Then, having understood that "This is Mara the Evil One," she replied to him in verses:

If even a hundred-thousand rapists
came across me like this,
I wouldn't stir a hair.
I'd feel no terror,
    and I'm not afraid of you, Mara,
    even alone like this.

Here -- I disappear.
I slip into your belly
or stand between your eyebrows,
    and you
    don't see me.
I have mastery
    over the mind,
have well-developed
    the bases of power.
I'm released from all bonds,
    and not afraid of you,
    my friend.

Then Mara the Evil One -- sad & dejected at realizing, "Uppalavanna the nun knows me" -- vanished right there.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
The Balanced Way by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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