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wispas

Saɱyutta Nikaya:
Sagathavagga:
IV: Marasamyutta[1]

IV
The Mara Suttas

Suttas 1-25

 

[Only Suttas 1-12 Completed to date]


Chapter I


 

Sutta 1

Penitence and Works

[1.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL[2]

Once Upon a Time, the Lucky Man, Uruvela land,
on the banks of the Neranjara
at the root of the Goatherd's Banyon[3] revisiting,
first thing after his all-round-self-awakening[4]

[1.2][pts][wp] There, alone in solitary reflection
this thought came to mind:

"Free at last
from that grinding-pain-racked-body!

"Thank Goodness!

Free at last
from that worthless good-for-nothing,
grinding-pain-racked-body!

"Thank Goodness!

Taking a stand,
conscious,
awake,
I've got'n the highest high get'n.[5]

[1.3][pts][wp] Then Mara, The Evil One,
knowing with his mind the Lucky Man's thoughts,
drew close
Drawing close to the Lucky man,
'e wispaas:[q1]:

"Penitential works he gives him up
What purifies the son of man.

Impure, 'I'm purified' he thinks
And thereby gives him up his Way to Purity!"

[1.4][pts][wp] But the Lucky man heard;
and responded in kind:

"Know I well that
good-for nothing penitence,
at death-defeating aimed,
all-for-naught is made to be,
as oar and rudder on dry land
and not the sea

Give me ethics, get'n high and wise
The Way to Waking up I'll place before your eyes

Purified the way to purity I've gained
Get thee gone thy thing of ends
I've had my fill of making thee amends."

[1.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.[6].

 

§

 

Sutta 2

The Elephant[7]

[2.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once Upon a Time, the Lucky Man, Uruvela land,
on the banks of the Neranjara
down by the Goatherd's Banyon revisiting,
first thing after his all-round-self-awakening.

At this point in time
he had come to be sitting down in the open air
in the deep darkness of the night
and the rain was coming down from the heavens
one drop after another.

[2.2][pts][wp] Then Mara, Death, The Evil One,
whooisshta scare the Lucky man stiff
make'es hair stan on en,[8] hèhèhè,
trickṭ he's self up in this shape
of a huge bull elephant and drew close —

[2.3][pts][wp] Head like a huge block of stone
Tusks a-gleam'n silver
Trunk like a plow pole

[2.4][pts][wp] But the Lucky Man saw:
'This is Mara, Death, The Evil One',
and he pronounced this canto:

Long the time of lengthy Rounds
now beautiful now vile the shape
Get thee gone thy thing of ends
That bag of tricks is no man's friend

[2.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spoṭ

 

§

 

Sutta 3

Now Beautiful

[3.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once Upon a Time, the Lucky Man, Uruvela land,
on the banks of the Neranjara
down by the Goatherd's Banyon revisiting,
first thing after his all-round-self-awakening.[9]

[3.2][pts][wp] At this point in time
he had come to be sitting down in the open air
in the deep darkness of the night
and the rain was coming down from the heavens
one drop after another.

[3.3][pts][wp] Then Mara, Death, The Evil One,
who wished to scare the Lucky man stiff
and cause his hair to stand on end,
drew close.

[3.4][pts][wp]Drawing close
he projected forth various luminous shapes,
now beautiful, now vile.

[3.5][pts][wp]But the Lucky Man saw:
'This is Mara, Death, The Evil One',
and he pronounced this canto:

Long the time of lengthy Rounds
now beautiful now vile the shape
Get thee gone thy thing of ends
That bag of tricks is no man's friend.

Who in body, speech and mind restrained
by shimmering lights will not be sway'd
nor Mara's spell-bound vassel made to be[10]

[3.6][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 4

The Snare (1)

[4.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, Bhagava, Baranasi revisiting, Isipatana, Deer Park.

There then The Lucky Man addressed the beggars:

Beggars!

Bhadante! The beggars responded.

[4.2][pts][wp] The Lucky Man said this to them:

Beggars! It is through studious examination of the womb,
tracking the womb through consummate exertion,[11]
that I have attained unsurpassed freedom,
that unsurpassed freedom has been seen with my own eyes.

And you, too, beggars,
by studiously examining the womb,
tracking down the womb through consummate exertion,
attain unsurpassed freedom,
see unsurpassed freedom with your own eyes!

[4.3][pts][wp] There then Mara, The Evil One, came near The Lucky Man
and having come near, uttered this canto:

Art bound by Mara's snare?
For gods and men
by Mara's bonds are bound —
not from me, shaman, are thee free.

There then, Mara, The Evil One,
having thus spoken to him,
The Lucky man responded to Mara, The Evil One
with this canto:[12]

[4.4][pts][wp] Freed am I from Mara's snares
For gods and men.
From great bonds I am free.
Get thee gone thy thing of ends!

[4.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 5

Snare (2)

[5.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, Bhagava, Baranasi revisiting, Isipatana, Deer Park.

There then The Lucky Man addressed the beggars:

Beggars!

Bhadante! The beggars responded.

[5.2][pts][wp] The Lucky Man said this to them:

Freed am I, beggars, from all snares whether heavenly or human.

You, too, beggars, are free from all snares whether heavenly or human.

Carry on, beggars,
journey on for the benefit of the many,
for the happiness of the many,
led by compassion for the world,
for the benefit and happiness of gods and men.

Nay b'one by-go'n, two![13]

Teach, beggars, Dhamma
helpful in the beginning,
helpful in the middle,
helpful at the conclusion,
with spirit and with letter wholy-synchronized —
let the utterly pure best of lives shine-forth.

There are beings born with little fog
thoroughly lost not hearing dhamma —
they will become dhamma knowers.

And I, beggars, will go to Uruvela,
Senāninigama-town, and there teach Dhamma.

[5.3][pts][wp] There then Mara, The Evil One,
came near The Lucky Man
and having come near,
uttered this canto:

Art by great snares bound?
For gods and men
are by great bonds bound —
not from me, shaman, are thee free.

[5.4][pts][wp] Freed am I from every snare
Set for gods and men.
From great bonds I am free.
Get thee gone thy thing of ends!

[5.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 6

Cobra

[6.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Rajagaha revisiting,
Bamboo Forest, squirrel's offering place.

[6.2][pts][wp] At this point in time
he had come to be sitting down in the open air
in the deep darkness of the night
and the rain was coming down from the heavens
one drop after another.

[6.3][pts][wp] Then Mara, Death, The Evil One,
who wished to scare the Lucky man stiff
make his hair stand on end,
tricked himself up in the shape
of a King Cobra and drew close.

[6.4][pts][wp] Like a great single-hulled[14] boat,
such was his body;
like a brewer's basket,
such was his hood;
like metal bowls,
such became his eyes;
like the forked-lightning shooting forth in a thunder storm,
such was his tongue as it shot forth from his mouth;
like the sound made by a smith's bellows,
such was the sound of his breathing in and out.

[6.5][pts][wp] But the Lucky Man saw:
'This is Mara, Death, The Evil One',
and he pronounced this canto:

Who to empty hut resorts for bed,
— a sage's skillful course —
letting go of goings-on and such,
such suchlike suchas he indeed befits.

Many the very fearful things that roam
many the creeping things, many too the flies,
but not for such as such as that stirs he a hair,
that great empty-hut-gone sage.

The thundercloud bursts, the earth quakes,
all that breath fear
the arrow aimed at breast
but not by such is thirst by Buddha's made.

[6.6][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 7

Supination

[7.1][pts][wp][mnl] Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Rajagaha revisiting,
Bamboo Forest, squirrel's offering place.

[7.2][pts][wp] There then, towards dawn, The Lucky Man,
having spent much of the night pacing back-and-forth in the open air,
washed his feet, entered his residence,
arranged himself lion-like on his right side,
foot-on-foot,
recollected, self-aware,
formed in mind the perception of getting up.

[7.3][pts][wp] There then Mara, the evil one,
drew near the Lucky man.

Having drawn near,
he addressed Bhagava with this canto:

What's this? You sleep?
What's this? You sleep now?
What's this here? Like a hypocrite, you sleep?
Thinking "The house is empty!" you sleep?
What's this here? Though sun is up you sleep?

[7.4][pts][wp] Whatever nets to which it clings,
thirst is no guide to anything.
All upholdings[15] done, The Wakened,
sleeps. What, Mara, is that to you?

[7.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 8

Delights

[8.1][pts][ati][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Savatthi-town revisiting,
Anathapindika's Jeta Forest Grove.

[8.2][pts][wp] There then Mara, The Evil One,
came near The Lucky Man
and having come near,
uttered this canto:

Delights the one with sons, in sons,
so too the cowherd in his cows delights.
Acquisitions[16] are the delight of men
no delight in non-acquiring do they take.

[8.3][pts][wp] Grieves the one with sons because of sons,
so too the cowherd because of his cows does grieve
Acquisitions are the grief of men
not from non-acquiring do they grief take.

[8.4][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 9

Years 1

[9.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Rajagaha revisiting,
Bamboo Forest, squirrel's offering.

[9.2][pts][wp] There The Lucky Man addressed the beggars:

Beggars!

Bhadante! the beggars responded.

[9.3][pts][wp] Bhagava said this to them:

Few here, beggars, the years of man,
a passing on to what's to come,
do the skilled, it's to be done!
Make the best of life!
Not for the born is there not dying.
Who has long life, beggars,
lives a hundred rains
or but a little longer.

[9.4][pts][wp] There then, Mara, the evil one,
drew near The Lucky Man.

Having drawn near,
he repeated this canto:

Long the years of man —
good men scorn not such,
but drink the milk of life!
There's no such thing as death's on-coming!

[9.5][pts][wp] Few the years of man —
such do good men scorn,
forging on as tho head ablaze!
There's no such thing as death's non-coming.

[9.6][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 10

Years 2

[10.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Rajagaha revisiting,
Bamboo Forest, squirrel's offering.

[10.2][pts][wp] There then The Lucky Man addressed the Bhikkhus:

Beggars!

Broke Tooth! the beggars there responded to Bhagava.

The Lucky Man said this to them:

Few here, beggars, the years of man,
a passing on to what's to come,
do the skilled, it's to be done!
Make the best of life!
Not for the born is there not dying.
Who has long life, beggars,
lives a hundred rains
or but a little longer.

[10.3][pts][wp] There then, Mara, the evil one, drew near The Lucky Man.

Having drawn near, he repeated this canto:

No end is there of nights and days,
no life comes to an end,
the years encircle mortal man,
as rim around a carriage wheel.

[10.4][pts][wp] An end is there of nights and days,
life comes to an end,
the years pass passed mortal man,
as water from a rivulet.

[10.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 


Rule

.

 

Sutta 11

Boulders

[11.1][pts][wp][mnl] I HEAR TELL

Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Rajagaha revisiting,
Mount Vulture Head.

Vulture Head Rock
Mount Vulture's Head. Copyright holder unknown. Permission to use requested hereby.

[11.2][pts][wp] At this point in time

he had come to be sitting down in the open air
in the deep darkness of the night
and the rain was coming down from the heavens
one drop after another.

[11.3][pts][wp] There then Mara, The Evil One,
who wished to scare the Lucky man stiff
and cause his hair to stand on end,
drew close.

Having drawn close to The Lucky Man
he cracked large, large bolders nearby.

[11.4][pts][wp] There then, The Lucky Man, thinking
'This is Mara, Death, The Evil One',
addressed Mara, The Evil One, with this canto:

Even if he, the whole entire
Vultures Head did shake
never the consummately freed
Buddha would he cause to quake.

[11.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 

§

 

Sutta 12

Lion

[12.1][pts][wp][mnl] Once upon a time, The Lucky Man, Savatthi-town revisiting,
Anathapindika's Jeta Forest Grove.

There then, at that time,
The Lucky Man was teaching Dhamma
to a great company gathered round.

[12.2][pts][wp] [110] There then this thought occurred to Mara, The Evil One:

'Now here is the Shaman Gotama
teaching Dhamma to a great company gathered round.

How about if I were to draw near
and make them distracted?'[17]

[12.3][pts][wp] Then Mara, The Evil One, drew near

Having drawn near The Lucky Man he pronounced this canto:

Why roar you like lion
master of his retinue?
Indeed a wrestler's match is this!
Think you victorious now?[18]

[12.4][pts][wp] Roars he as great hero
master of his retinue
The One-thats-got has power-got
to nothing in the world clings.

[12.5][pts][wp] And Mara, The Evil One thought:
"I am found out!
The Well-gone recognizes me."
And pained and depressed he vanished on the spot.

 


[q1] Deep raspy cloying Friday the 13th wispa.


[1]Saŋyutta: pp of saŋyuñjati = (Saŋ + yuñjati: to connect, join with unite)
yuñjati: Latin: jungo to unite, put together, pp: junctus; Sanskrit: yukta, English: junction, unite; join; Lith: jungin
To: yuj, yoge, yoga: to yoke
With "Saŋ" as "Con" we get: Conjoined and we see, back at Saŋyuñjati meaning #2: to couple, to wed someone to. Hitch? Hook?
The temptation in today's computer age is to use "Linked"
but 'related' is more descriptive of the organization of the whole book which deals with 'subjects'.

[2]We are told we are to understand that it was Ananda who was the repeater-of-record for these suttas; but who was it that told Ananda? In this case the sutta is not in the form of "Once, Ananda, I was..." but is in the form of "Once this happened to The Buddha". The explanation is that when first appointed attendant on the Buddha Ananda made it a condition that Gotama tell him the details of every sutta where he was not an eye-witness.

[3]Nigrodha, Sanskrit: nyagrodha: the banyan or Indian fig-tree Ficus Indica

[4]pathama-abhi-sam-buddho

[5]Horner and Bhk Bodhi use "enlightenment". The word used is: samajjhagan (> samadhigā; samadhigacchati). Important? I think so. I think the situation before the Buddha was "enlightened" was similar to what we have here today. Those who were working on their minds got high. They do it now, they did it then. The problem was the same then as it is now: drugs are not reliable (in this life) or portable (to other lives), so the intelligent let go of drugs and say 'It has got to be possible to do this (thinking 'and hopefully do it better!') with just the mind.' Afterward, when they do it, they refer to it in the terms from which they emerged: they got high, or they got higher than high. In any case it is important to break away from the sleepy trance of accepted terminology (certainly there is nothing in any of that that is anywhere near the word "enlightenment") as Mara will slip one in there someplace when you are not looking and that will be the one that throws you off track and into another round.

[6]You know the spot I'm talking about.
 
A: No, I'm not sure if I know the spot and I'm not sure what that pic. is.
 
A! You did not spot the spot?
As for the pic: that's Mara whispering into the ear of Buddha sitting at the root of the Ol'Fig Tree. Back to us.

[7]Nago: NAGA: PED: (Vedic: Naga; ? Anglo Saxon: snaca: snake; snaegl: snail) 1. A serpent or Naga demon, playing a prominent part in Buddhist fairy-tails, gifted with miraculous powers and great strength. They often act as fairies and are classed with other divinities with whom they are sometimes friendly, sometimes at enmity). 2. an elephant, especially a strong, stately animal. 3. The Naga-tree (now called "iron-wood tree," noted for its hard wood and great masses of red flowers

[8]bhayam chambhitattam lomahamsam: PED: fear, stupification and horripilation > horrify.

[9]The Pali abbreviates to: Uruvelāyaṃ viharati. I prefer to Spell it out.

[10]paccagu (paccca + guu) PED states the word is difficult and gives: "one who goes toward"; Horner has: "pupils"; Bhk. Bodhi has: "become...henchmen"

[11] Yoniso manasikārā. Lit.: Womb-so, mind-study. I wanted to translate this passage:
"Beggars! It is through studious examination of points of conception,
tracking points of conception through consummate exertion"
or my more usual: 'studious etiological examination',
but then what would it be that had caused Mara to ... um ... prick up his ears?

[12] Atha kho Bhagavā Māro ayam pāpimā iti viditvā Māram pāpimantam gāthāya ajjhabhāsi. Woodward and Bhk. Bodhi omit.

[13] Mā ekena dve agamettha 'Not by one a-going, two.' The meaning as per Rhys Davids: 'Let not two take the same course.' or Bhk. Bodhi: 'Let not two go the same way.' See also: Rhys Davids, n.21 The sense is 'do not duplicate your efforts.' Not strictly do not take the same path.

[14] Eka-rukkhikā nāvā. One-tree boat. Canoe.

[15] Upadhīsu. Rhys Davids: Base of rebirth. Bhks. Thanissaro/Bodhi: acquisitions. See next.

[16] Upadhīhi.Rhys Davids: Life Renewed. Bhks. Thanissaro/Bodhi: acquisitions. Sister Upali: Clinging. This is the term following 'tanha' in the Paticca Samuppada usually translated 'grasping' or 'clinging'. I have translated it 'upkeep' and 'going after getting' and above as 'gettings-up'. Here acquisitions works well and retains the notion of grasping after.

[17] Vicakkhu. Un-eyed. Blind. I usually use 'blind' for avijja, non-vision.

[18] This passage is not at all clear and has been given no clarity by the other translators. I believe the idea is that Mara is saying that the Buddha has found his match in his envolvement with his followers. Then the Buddha's rejoinder makes sense as a statement that though he teaches, he does not cling after results.


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