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Samyutta Nikaya V.7

Upacala Sutta

Sister Upacala

Read an alternate translation


At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Upacala 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 from solitude, approached her & said, "Where do you want to reappear [be reborn], nun?"

"I don't want to reappear anywhere, my friend."

[Mara:]

The devas of the Thirty-three,
the Hours, the Contented,
those who delight in creation,
& those in control:
    direct your mind there
    and it will enjoy
        delight.

[Sister Upacala:]

The devas of the Thirty-three,
the Hours, the Contented,
those who delight in creation,
& those in control:
    they are bound
    with the bonds of sensuality;
    they come again
    under Mara's sway.
The whole world is burning.
The whole world is aflame.
The whole world is blazing.
The whole world is provoked.
The Unprovoked, Unblazing
-- that people run-of-the-mill
    don't partake,
        where Mara's
        never been --
    that's where my heart
    truly delights.
Then Mara the Evil One -- sad & dejected at realizing, "Upacala the nun knows me" -- vanished right there.
See also: SN VI.15; SN IX.6.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Pathways to Power by Ayya Khema


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