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Samyutta Nikaya V.1

Alavika Sutta

Sister Alavika

Read an alternate translation


At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Alavika 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 solitude, approached her & addressed her in verse:

There's no
    escape
    in the world,
so what are you trying to do
    with solitude?
Enjoy sensual delights.
Don't be someone
    who later regrets.
Then the thought occurred to Alavika 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 solitude."

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

There is
    an escape in the world,
well touched by me
    with discernment --
something that you,
    you Evil One,
    kinsman of the heedless,
        don't know.
Sensual pleasures
    are like swords & spears;
the aggregates,
    their executioner's block.
What you call sensual delight
    is no delight for me.
Then Mara the Evil One -- sad & dejected at realizing, "Alavika the nun knows me" -- vanished right there.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

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The Search for Security by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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