[reload all]
[simple read]

SN 5.5
PTS: S i 131
CDB i 225
Uppalavanna Sutta: Sister Uppalavanna
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Bodhi

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.

[previous page][next page]