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Samyutta Nikaya V.2

Soma Sutta

Sister Soma

Read an alternate translation


At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Soma 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:

        That
        which is
    to be attained by seers
-- the place so very hard to reach --
        women
        can't
-- with their two-inch discernment --
        attain.
Then the thought occurred to Soma 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:

    What    
    difference
does being a woman make
when the mind's well-centered,
when knowledge is progressing,
seeing clearly, rightly,
    into the Dhamma.

Anyone who thinks
    'I'm a woman'
    or 'a man'
or 'Am I anything at all?' --
    that's who Mara's
    fit to address.

Then Mara the Evil One -- sad & dejected at realizing, "Soma 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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