Saṃyutta Nikāya 5

Connected Discourses with Bhikkhunis

5. Uppalavaṇṇa

At Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa dressed … she stood at the foot of a sal tree in full flower.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

“Having gone to a sal tree with flowering top,
You stand at its foot all alone, bhikkhuni.
There is none whose beauty rivals yours:
Foolish girl, aren’t you afraid of rogues?”

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa: “Now who is this…? This is Mara the Evil One … desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

“Though a hundred thousand rogues
Just like you might come here,
I stir not a hair, I feel no terror;
Even alone, Mara, I don’t fear you.

“I can make myself disappear
Or I can enter inside your belly.
I can stand between your eyebrows
Yet you won’t catch a glimpse of me.

“I am the master of my mind,
The bases of power are well developed;
I am freed from all bondage,
Therefore I don’t fear you, friend.”

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