Saṃyutta Nikāya 4

Connected Discourses with Mara

17. Six Bases for Contact

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesali in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Now on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, exhorting, inspiring, and gladdening the bhikkhus with a Dhamma talk concerning the six bases for contact. And those bhikkhus were listening to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, applying their whole minds to it.

Then it occurred to Mara the Evil One: “This ascetic Gotama is instructing, exhorting, inspiring, and gladdening the bhikkhus … who are applying their whole minds to it. Let me approach the ascetic Gotama in order to confound them.”

Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and, not far from him, made a loud noise, frightful and terrifying, as though the earth were splitting open. Then one bhikkhu said to another: “Bhikkhu, bhikkhu! It seems as though the earth is splitting open.” When this was said, the Blessed One said to that bhikkhu: “The earth is not splitting open, bhikkhu. That is Mara the Evil One, who has come here in order to confound you.”

Then the Blessed One, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” addressed Mara the Evil One in verses:

“Forms, sounds, tastes, odours,
Tactiles, and all mental objects:
This is the terrible bait of the world
With which the world is infatuated.

“But when he has transcended this,
The mindful disciple of the Buddha
Shines radiantly like the sun,
Having surmounted Mara’s realm.”

Then Mara the Evil One … disappeared right there.