Samyukta Āgama (2) 29

Māra Saṃyutta

Māra disturbs the Buddha’s rest

Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying near Rājagaha in the Maddakucchi Park. During the first watch of the night, the Buddha practiced while sitting in meditation and while walking. When the first watch ended, he washed his feet and entered his abode, lay down on his right side, one leg resting on the other and, focusing his mind on clarity, directed his thoughts towards rising again after the rest.

King Māra the Bad, understanding the Buddha’s mind, had this thought: “The renunciant Gotama is in Rājagaha in the Maddakucchi Park. During the first watch of the night, he practiced while sitting in meditation and walking. When the middle watch of the night began, he washed his feet, entered his abode, and lay down on his right side, one leg resting on the other and, focusing his mind on clarity, he directed his thoughts towards rising again after the rest. I should now go and disturb him.”

Thereupon, King Māra transformed himself into a young man, stood in front of the Tathāgata and spoke a verse:

“Do you have nothing else to do /
that you take a nap,
peacefully slumbering, not waking up? /
Passed out as if drunk,
a person without wealth and property /
how can he sleep untroubled?
Only those with great wealth and property /
pleased and happy fall asleep.”

Then the World-honored One knew that Māra had come to disturb him and spoke this verse:

“I sleep, not because I lack things to do /
neither am I drunk.
It is because I have no worldly wealth /
that I can sleep now.

It is because I have gained greatDhamma wealth /
that I can sleep peacefully.
In my sleep /
in every breathing in and breathing out
there is benefit /
nothing is lost.
Awake, there are no doubtful thoughts; /
there is nothing to fear in slumber.

There are those that have troubles as if a poisoned arrow /
has pierced their heart,
afflicted with many sufferings and pains. /
If even those can sleep,
Why should I who have pulled out the poisoned arrow /
not find sleep?”

On hearing this, Māra thought: “The renunciant Gotama knows my mind,” and sad and dejected he returned to his palace.