Samyukta Āgama (2) 25

Māra Saṃyutta

Māra disturbs the Buddha in meditation

Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying in Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove of Kalanda. At that time the Buddha spent the latter part of the night practicing walking meditation in the forest. In the morning, having washed his feet, he sat upright and focused his attention in front of him. At that time King Māra had this thought: “The renunciant Gotama is in Rājagaha. During the latter part of the night he practiced walking meditation in the forest. In the morning, having washed his feet, he entered his silent abode; he is now sitting upright and focusing his attention in front of him. I should go and disturb him.” Having thought thus, he suddenly transformed himself into a young man, stood before the Buddha and spoke a verse:

“My mind can weave /
a net pervading every space;
Renunciant, where I am /
you never will be free.”

The Buddha thought: “Māra has come to disturb me,” and spoke a verse:

“The world holds five sensual pleasures /
and the foolish are bound by them;
if these desires can be cut /
all suffering ends forever.
I have cut off these desires /
my mind is undefiled.
The Bad One should know: /
I tore apart desire’s net long ago.”

Then, having heard this verse, King Māra, his wish unfulfilled, became depressed and dispirited. He made himself invisible, left and returned to his heavenly palace.