Samyutta Nikaya Masthead

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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagatha Vagga
5. Bhikkhunisaɱyutta

Sutta 1

Alavika Sutta

Sister Alavika

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons



[1.1][pts][bps] At Sāvatthi. Then, early in the morning, Alavika the nun put on her robes and, taking her bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthi for alms. When she had gone for alms in Sāvatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Māra the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, and terror in her, wanting to make her fall away from seclusion, approached her and addressed her in verse:

There's no
    in the world,
so what are you trying to do
    with solitude?
Enjoy sensual delights.
Don't be someone
    who later regrets.

Then the thought occurred to Alavika the nun: "Now who has recited this verse — a human being or a non-human one?" Then it occurred to her: "This is Māra the Evil One, who has recited this verse wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, and terror in me, wanting to make me fall away from seclusion."

Then, having understood that "This is Māra the Evil One," she replied to him in verses:

There is
    an escape in the world,
well touched by me
    with discernment —
something that you,
    you Evil One,
    kinsman of the heedless,
        don't know.
Sensual pleasures
    are like swords and spears;
the aggregates,
    their executioner's block.
What you call sensual delight
    is no delight for me.

Then Māra the Evil One — sad and dejected at realizing, "Alavika the nun knows me" — vanished right there.


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