WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

349

 

 


 

 

Ī 72. Māra as Plowman

Translated from the Samyutta-Nikāya (iv.2.9)

Scene: Sāvatthi.

[19.1][pts][ati][wp][mnl] Now at that time The Blessed One enlightened, incited, quickened, and gladdened the priests by a sermon on Nirvana. And the priests, listening to the discourse with attentive ears, became convinced, stored it up in their thoughts, and seized upon it with their whole minds.

Then it occurred to Māra, the Wicked One, as follows:

"This monk Gotama enlightens, incites, quickens, and gladdens the priests by a sermon on Nirvana. And the priests, listening to the discourse with attentive ears, become convinced, store it up in their thoughts, and seize upon it with their whole minds. What if now I draw near to where the monk Gotama is in order to perplex him."

Then Māra, the Wicked One, assumed the appearance of [350] a plowman. He shouldered an immense plow, took a long goad in his hand, and with dishevelled hair, a tunic of coarse hempen cloth, and mud-stained feet, he drew near to where The Blessed One was. And having drawn near, he spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Monk, didst thou see any oxen?"

"What, O Wicked One, hast thou to do with oxen?"

"Mine, O monk, is the eye; mine are forms; mine is the sense of sight. Where, O monk, canst thou go to escape from me?

"Mine, O monk, is the ear; mine are sounds; mine is the sense of hearing. Where, O monk, canst thou go to escape from me?

"Mine, O monk, is the nose; mine are odors; mine is the sense of smell. Where, O monk, canst thou go to escape from me?

"Mine, O monk, is the tongue; mine are tastes; mine is the sense of taste. Where, O monk, canst thou go to escape from me?

"Mine, O monk, is the body; mine are things tangible; mine is the sense of touch. Where, O monk, canst thou go to escape from me?

"Mine, O monk, is the mind; mine are ideas; mine is the thinking faculty. Where, O monk, canst thou go to escape from me?"

"Thine, O Wicked One, is the eye; thine are forms; thine is the sense of sight. But where, O Wicked One, there is no eye, nor any forms, nor sense of sight, there, O Wicked One, thou canst not come.

"Thine, O Wicked One, is the ear; thine are sounds; thine is the sense of hearing. But where, O Wicked One, there is no ear, nor any Bounds, nor sense of hearing, there, O Wicked One, thou canst not come.

"Thine, O Wicked One, is the nose; thine are odors; thine is the sense of smell. But where, O Wicked One, there is no nose, nor any odors, nor sense of smell, there, O Wicked One, thou canst not come.

"Thine, O Wicked One, is the tongue; thine are tastes; [351] thine is the sense of taste. But where, O Wicked One, there is no tongue, nor any tastes, nor sense of taste, there, O Wicked One, thou canst not come.

"Thine, O Wicked One, is the body; thine are things tangible; thine is the sense of touch. But where, O Wicked One, there is no body, nor anything tangible, nor sense of touch, there, O Wicked One, thou canst not come.

"Thine, O Wicked One, is the mind; thine are ideas; thine is the thinking faculty. But where, O Wicked One, there is no mind, nor any ideas, nor thinking faculty, there, O Wicked One, thou canst not come."

"Of what 't is said, 'This is of me,'
Of what 't is said, 'These are the I,'
If thou inclin'st thy mind to them,
Then, monk, thou shalt not me escape."
 
"Not so with me; naught is of me;
Not so with me; they're not the I;
Thus, Wicked One, declare I thee,
The path I tread thou ne'er canst find."

Then said Māra, the Wicked One:

"The Blessed One has recognized me. The Happy One has recognized me," and sorrowful and dejected, he straightway disappeared.

The Plowman.

 


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