Saṃyutta Nikāya 4

Connected Discourses with Mara

20. Rulership

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Kosalans in a small forest hut in the Himalayan region. Then, when the Blessed One was alone in seclusion, a reflection arose in his mind thus: “Is it possible to exercise rulership righteously: without killing and without instigating others to kill, without confiscating and without instigating others to confiscate, without sorrowing and without causing sorrow?”

Then Mara the Evil One, having known with his own mind the reflection in the Blessed One’s mind, approached the Blessed One and said to him: “Venerable sir, let the Blessed One exercise rulership righteously: without killing and without instigating others to kill, without confiscating and without instigating others to confiscate, without sorrowing and without instigating others to cause sorrow.”

“But what do you see, Evil One, that you speak thus to me?”

“Venerable sir, the Blessed One has developed and cultivated the four bases for spiritual power, made them a vehicle, made them a basis, stabilized them, exercised himself in them, and fully perfected them. And, venerable sir, if the Blessed One wishes, he need only resolve that the Himalayas, the king of mountains, should become gold, and it would turn to gold.”

The Blessed One:

“If there were a mountain made of gold,
Made entirely of solid gold,
Not double this would suffice for one:
Having known this, fare evenly.

“How could a person incline to sensual pleasures
Who has seen the source whence suffering springs?
Having known acquisition as a tie in the world,
A person should train for its removal.”

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The Blessed One knows me, the Fortunate One knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.