Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
5. Cūḷa Yamaka Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers
G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1926
Public Domain

Sutta 50

Māra-Tajjniya Suttaɱ

The Rebuke to Māra

 


[239]

[1][pts][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the venerable Maha Moggallāna was staying in the Bhagga country
at Suɱsumāra-gira in Bhesakaḷā wood in the deer-park,
he was pacing to and fro in the open
when Māra, the Evil One, entered his belly
and got into his stomach.

Wondering to himself
why his belly should feel as heavy
as if he had had a meal of beans,
Moggallāna, his walk over,
went to his cell
and sat down to think it out by himself.

Detecting Māra's presence in his inside,
he exclaimed:

Begone, Evil Māra;
begone!

Do not annoy a truth-finder
or a truth-finder's disciple,
lest you lay up for yourself
enduring hurt and harm.

Thought Māra to himself:

This recluse says all this
without knowing or discerning that it is I.

Why, even his master would take time
to know it was I;
and how should this disciple know?

Hereon, Moggallāna said:

Yes, I know you, Evil One.

Imagine not that I do not.

You are Māra, Evil One;
and you are thinking
that it was without [240] knowing or discerning that it was you,
that I bade you begone
and not annoy a truth-finder
or a truth-finder's disciple,
lest you should lay up for yourself
enduring hurt and harm;
but you imagine that even my master
would take time to know it was you;
and how should a disciple know?

So this recluse really does know and discern
that it is I, thought Māra;
and he issued from Moggallāna's mouth
and perched on the crutch to hold the door-bar.

Seeing him perched there,
and informing him that there too
his presence was detected,
Moggallāna said:

In bygone days, Evil One,
I myself was a Māra,
Dūsī by name;
Kāḷi was my sister's name;
you were her son
and so my nephew.

Now in those days Kakusandha had appeared in the world
as the Arahat all-enlightened, -
with Vīdhūra and Sanjīva as his two chief disciples,
a noble pair.

Among all Kakusandha's disciples
there were none who could compare
with the reverend Vīdhūra as a preacher of the Doctrine;
and so he got his name of Vīdhūra (the peerless).

The reverend Sanjīva, on the other hand,
dwelling in the wilds
or beneath trees
or in the homes of solitude,
attained without difficulty
to cessation of feelings and perception,
and in this ecstatic state
was sitting under a tree.

Here, as he sat without feelings or perception,
he was seen by neatherds,
goatherds,
ploughmen,
and wayfarers,
who marvelled exceedingly at the sight of the recluse -
sitting there dead,
as they deemed -
and set about burning the body.

So they collected bracken
and sticks
and dry cowdung
which they heaped over Sanjīva's body,
lit the pile,
and went their way.

Rising from his trance
when night had passed away,
Sanjīva shook his raiment
and in the morning early,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
went into the village for alms.

At the sight of him on his rounds,
the neatherds,
goatherds,
ploughmen,
and wayfarers
marvelled exceedingly to see the recluse
whom they had deemed to be sitting there dead,
now alive again
and quick once more;
and thus he got the name of Sanjīva (Quick).

[241] Thought Dūsī the Māra:

I know neither the whence nor the whither
of these virtuous and good Almsmen.

Come, let me enter into the brahmin-householders
and incite them to denounce,
abuse,
revile,
and harry these virtuous and good Almsmen
so that, being thus despitefully treated,
they may haply change to another frame of mind
and thus give me my opening.

So Dūsī the Māra entered into those brahmin-householders
and incited them accordingly;
and they then proceeded to denounce,
abuse,
revile,
and harry those virtuous and good Brethren in these terms:

These shavelings of recluses -
who are only black riff-raff,
sprung from the feet of our kinsman Brahmā -
while professing to be plunged in ecstasies,
hunch up their shoulders
and cast down their gaze in their befuddlement
as they trance
and en-trance
and un-trance
and de-trance.

Yes! they trance away
like the owl in trance on a bough -
on the look-out for a mouse;
or like the jackal in trance on the river's bank -
on the look-out for fish;
or like the cat in trance by scrap-heap or midden -
on the look-out for a mouse;
or like the donkey, when at last his yoke is off,
in trance by the side of scrap-heap or midden.

That's the way these shavelings trance
and en-trance
and un-trance
and de-trance.

Evil One, the people who die in such a belief,
all of them,
at the body's dissolution after death,
pass to re-birth in a doom of suffering and woe
or purgatory.

Then Kakusandha the Lord,
Arahat
all enlightened,
addressed the Almsmen, saying:

It is Dūsī the Māra
who has entered into the brahmin-householders
to incite them to denounce,
abuse,
revile,
and harry
virtuous and good Almsmen so that,
being thus despitefully treated,
they may haply change to another frame of mind
and thus give him his opening.

Be it yours to dwell with radiant good-will
pervading first one quarter of the world -
then the second -
then the third -
and then the fourth quarter -
yea, pervading the whole length and breadth of the world,
above,
below,
around,
everywhere,
with radiant good-will
all- [242] embracing,
vast,
boundless,
wherein no hate or malice finds a place.

And, as with good-will,
so, in turn, be it yours
to pervade with radiant pity,
and sympathy,
and poised equanimity
the whole length and breadth of the world.

Thus exhorted and instructed by Kakusandha
the Lord,
Arahat
all-enlightened,
those Almsmen, Evil One,
retired to the wilds
or under trees
or to homes of solitude
there to dwell with radiant good-will
pervading ...
poised equanimity
the whole length and breadth of the world.

Thought Dūsī the Māra now:

I still know naught of the whence
or the whither
of these virtuous and good Almsmen.

Come, let me enter into the brahmin-householders
and incite them to pay these Almsmen honour
and reverence,
devotion
and worship,
so that, being thus exalted,
they may haply change to another frame of mind
and thus give me my opening.

And this he did.

When now he had entered into the brahmin-householders accordingly,
they paid those virtuous and good Brethren honour
and reverence,
devotion
and worship.

Evil One, the people who die in such a belief,
all of them,
at the body's dissolution after death,
pass to re-birth in states of bliss in heaven.

Then Kakusandha the Lord,
Arahat
all-enlightened,
addressed the Almsmen, saying:

It is Dūsī the Māra
who has entered into the brahmin-householders
to incite them to pay virtuous and good Almsmen
honour
and reverence,
devotion
and worship,
so that, being thus exalted,
they may haply change to another frame of mind
and thus give him his opening.

Yours be it to realize the foulness of the body,
and to perceive how disgusting a thing food is,
how empty of delight the world is,
and how fleeting and transitory all things are.

Early in the day,
Kakusandha the Lord,
Arahat
all-enlightened,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
went into the village for alms,
followed by the reverend Vīdhūra
as his Almsman in attendance.

Entering into a [243] brahmin lad,
Dūsī the Māra flung a potsherd
which hit Vīdhūra's head
and broke it.

Albeit with broken head
streaming with blood,
the reverend Vīdhūra still kept following steadily on in Kakusandha's wake.

Turning full round,
as an elephant turns to gaze,
Kakusandha the Lord,
Arahat
all-enlightened,
exclaimed -

This Māra Dūsī knows no bounds!

Even as he gazed,
Dūsī passed out of that existence
and was reborn in Great Purgatory.

Evil One, Great Purgatory bears three names, -
Sixfold Contact,
Meeting Spikes,
and Pang-upon-pang.

Said the wardens of Purgatory to me:

When barb meets barb
inside your heart,
then your Excellency will know
you have been in torment for a thousand years.

Tormented was I, Evil One, in Great Purgatory
for many a long year, -
for many hundreds of years
and thousands of years;
for ten thousand years
was I tormented in the heart of Great Purgatory,
suffering pangs that grew and grew.

My body was like a man's,
but my head was like the head of a fish.

[1] You ask what hell, what torment, Dūsī knew,
who durst assail disciple Vīdhūra and holy Kākūsāndha, brahmin true?

A hundred barbs of steel it had, and each wrought its own griding agony of pain;
- such hell, such torment, Dūsī came to know,
who durst assail disciple Vīdhūra and holy Kākūsāndha, brahmin true.

- For thine assault on me; who know so much,
who Buddha's leal disciple am, there waits,
foul fiend of darkness, vengeance dire and sure.
I know where, ageless, through the ages stand
gods jewel'd mansions, in mid-ocean set,
shining, resplendent, bright with dancing nymphs.

- For thine assault ... vengeance dire and sure.

[244] At His command, while Almsmen watched around, my toe Visaākā's palace rudely shook.[2]

- For thine assault , . . vengeance dire and sure.

By magic might, while godlings quaked with dread)
my toe the Vejayanta palace rocked.[3]

- For thine assault ... vengeance dire and sure.

In Vejayanta palace Sakka's self
I straitly question'd: Understandeth thou
how Cravings quelled Deliver heart of man?
And he, proud Sakka, answer humbly made.

- For thine assault ... vengeance dire and sure.

I know who, face to face in Brahmā's halls[4]
thus straitly question'd Brahmā: Holdest thou
today thy former views? Or see'st thou now
how all thy heavern's glories fade away?
And he, great Brahma, answer humbly made
that he such views no longer held, but saw
how all his heavens glories fade and pass,
and how he erred, erred grievously, of old,
to claim eternal, everlasting life.

- For thine assault ... vengeance dire arid sure.

I know who Meru's summit won in trance[5]
and saw the four great continents of earth[6]
with all the peoples that on earth do dwell.

- For thine assault ... vengeance dire and sure.

No malice yet drove fire to burn a fool;
'tis still the fool who first assails the fire
and feeds the flames his folly first provoked.
So, Māra, thou who durst assail a Saint[7]
shalt burn thyself, like fools who play with fire.
[245] Evil thou didst who durst assail a Saint,
imagining - how fondly! - evil's curse to flee.
Thine evil-doing garner'd stands; and woe,
0 Death, through ages shall thy portion be!
Leave then the Buddha; let his Almsmen be!

Thus in those woodlands did that Almsman rate fell Māra, till the cowed and abject fiend, quitting the contest, vanished out of sight.

 


[1] These lines occur also at Theragāthā, p. 106 (transd. at p. 391 of Psalms of the Early Buddhists).

[2] Cf. Therāgathā, p. 105 (trans. at p. 392 of Psalms of the Early Buddhists).

[3] See Sutta 37.

[4] Sutta 49.

[5] Bu. refers to the Nandōpananda-damana (see Jātaka V, 65).

[6] See Dīgha, Sutta No. 32, transd. at Dialogues III, 188 et seqq.

[7] Bu. is here silent on the meaning in the text of tathāgāta - "here clearly, and in the Commentary [of Dhammapāla on the Theragāthā] explicitly, applied to a Thera Arahant" (Psalms, p 393, n. 4).


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