Saṃyutta Nikāya 4

Connected Discourses with Mara

9. Life Span (1)

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, this life span of human beings is short. One has to go on to the future life. One should do what is wholesome and lead the holy life; for one who has taken birth there is no avoiding death. One who lives long, bhikkhus, lives a hundred years or a little longer.”

Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Long is the life span of human beings,
The good man should not disdain it.
One should live like a milk-sucking baby:
Death has not made its arrival.”

The Blessed One:

“Short is the life span of human beings,
The good man should disdain it.
One should live like one with head aflame:
There is no avoiding Death’s arrival.”

Then Mara the Evil One … disappeared right there.