50- Mara Thajjaniya Sutta

BodhiThero

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the venerable Maha 
Moggallana was living in the Bhagga country at Sumsumaragira in the Bhesakala Grove, the Deer Park.

§2. Now on that occasion the venerable Maha Moggallana was walking up and down in the open. And on that occasion Mara the Evil One went into the venerable Maha Moggallana’s belly and entered his bowels. Then the venerable Maha Moggallana considered thus:
“Why is my belly so heavy? One would think it 
full of beans.” Thus he left the walk and went into his dwelling, where he sat down on a seat made ready.

§3. When he had sat down, he gave thorough attention to himself, and he saw that Mara the Evil One had gone into his belly and had entered his bowels. When he saw this, he said:
“Come 
out, Evil One! Come out, Evil One! Do not harass the Tathagata, do not harass the Tathagata’s disciple, or it will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.”

§ 4. Then Mara the Evil One thought:
“This recluse does not 
know me, he does not see me when he says that. Even his teacher would not know me so soon, so how can this disciple know me?”

§ 5. Then the venerable Maha Moggallana said:
“Even thus I 
know you, Evil One. Do not think: ‘He does not know me.’ You are Mara, Evil One. You were thinking thus, Evil One:
‘This 
recluse does not know me, he does not see me when he says that. Even his teacher would not know me so soon, so how can this disciple know me?'”

§ 6. Then Mara the Evil One thought:
“The recluse knew me, he 
saw me when he said that,” whereupon he [3.33] came up from the venerable Maha Moggallana’s mouth and stood against the door bar.

§ 7. The venerable Maha Moggallana saw him standing there and said: “I see you there too, Evil One. Do not think: ‘He does not see me.’ You are standing against the door bar, Evil One.

§ 8. “It happened once, Evil One, that I was a Mara named Dusi,517
[The name means “the Corrupter” or “the Corrupted One.” In the Buddhist conception of the universe the position of Mara, like that of Maha Brahma, is a fixed one that is assumed by different individuals in accordance with their kamma.] 
and I had a sister named Kali. You were her son, so you were my nephew.

§9. “Now on that occasion the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, had appeared in the world.518 [Kakusandha was the first Buddha to arise in this present cosmological cycle called the “Auspicious Age.” He was followed by the Buddhas Konagamal)a and Kassapa, after whom the present Buddha Gotama arose.]
The Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully 
enlightened, had an auspicious pair of chief disciples named Vidhura and Sanjlva. Among all the disciples of the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, there was none equal to the venerable Vidhura in teaching the Dhamma. That was how the venerable Vidhura came to have the designation ‘Vidhura.’519 [The name means “the Unrivalled.”] But the venerable Sanjiva, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, entered without difficulty upon the cessation of perception and feeling.

§ 10. “It happened once, Evil One, that the venerable Sanjiva had seated himself at the root of a certain tree and entered upon the cessation of perception and feeling. Some cowherds, shepherds, and ploughmen passing by saw the venerable Sanjlva sitting at the root of the tree having entered upon the cessation of perception and feeling, and they thought: ‘It is wonderful, sirs, it is marvellous! There is this recluse sitting here dead. Let us cremate him.’ Then the cowherds, shepherds, and ploughmen collected grass, wood, and cowdung, and having piled it up against the venerable Safijlva’s body, they set fire to it and went on their way.

§11. “Now, Evil One, when the night had ended, the venerable Sanjlva emerged from the attainment.520[One who has attained to cessation, it seems, is not subject to injury or death within the attainment itself. At Vsm XXIII, 37 it is said that the attainment protects even his belongings such as his robes and seat from destruction]
He shook his robe, and then, it being morning, he dressed, and taking his bowl and 
outer robe, he went into the village for alms. The cowherds, shepherds, and ploughmen passing by saw the venerable Sanjlva wandering for alms, and they thought: ‘It is wonderful, sirs, it is marvellous! This recluse who was sitting there dead
has come back to life!’ [334] That was how the venerable Sanjiva came to have the designation ‘Sanjlva.’521 [The name means “the Survivor]

§12. “Then, Evil One, the Mara Dusi considered thus: ‘There are these virtuous bhikkhus of good character, but I do not know their coming or their going. Let me now take possession of the brahmin householders, telling them: “Come now, abuse, revile, scold, and harass the virtuous bhikkhus of good character; then perhaps, when they are abused, reviled, scolded, and harassed by you, some change will come about in their minds whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity.'”522 [That is, by causing defilements to arise in their minds, he will prevent them from escaping from samsara.]

§ 13. “Then, Evil One, the Mara Dusi took possession of those brahmin householders, telling them: ‘Come now, abuse, revile, scold, and harass the virtuous bhikkhus of good character; then perhaps, when they are abused, reviled, scolded, and harassed by you, some change will come about in their minds whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity.’ Then, when the Mara Dusi had taken possession of the brahmin householders, they abused, reviled, scolded, and harassed the virtuous bhikkhus of good character thus:523 [MA takes pains to point out that Mara did not exercise control over their actions, in which case he alone would have been responsible and the brahmins could not have generated bad kamma by their deeds . Rather, Mara
caused the brahmins to imagine scenes of the bhikkhus engaged in improper conduct, and this aroused their antagonism and induced them to harass the bhikkhus. Mara’s intent in doing so was to make the bhikkhus give rise to anger and dejection.]

‘These bald-pated recluses, these swarthy menial offspring of the Kinsman’s feet,524 [“The Kinsman” (bandhu} is Brahma, who was called thus by the brahmins because they regarded him as their primal ancestor. MA explains that it was a belief among the brahmins that they themselves were the offspring of Brahma’s mouth, the khattiyas o f his breast, the vessas of his belly, the suddas of his legs, and samanas of the soles of his feet.]  claim: “We are meditators, we are meditators!” and with shoulders drooping, heads down and all limp, they meditate, premeditate, outmeditate, and mismeditate.525 []hayanti pajjhayanti nijjhayanti apajjhayanti. Though the verbs individually do not have an established pejorative sense, the string is obviously intended as a denigration. At MN 108.26 the four verbs are used to describe the  meditation of one whose mind is obsessed by the five hindrances.] Just as an owl on a branch waiting for a mouse meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates, or just as a jackal on a river-bank waiting for fish meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates, or just as a cat by a door-post or a dust-bin or a drain, waiting for a mouse, meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates, or just as a donkey unladen, standing by a door-post or a dust-bin or a drain, meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates, so too, these bald-pated recluses, these swarthy menial offspring of the Kinsman’s feet, claim: “We are meditators, we are meditators!” and with shoulders drooping, heads down and all limp, they meditate, premeditate, out-meditate, and mismeditate.’ Now, Evil One, on that occasion most of those human beings, when they died, reappeared on the dissolution of the body, after death, in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell. 

§14. “Then the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, addressed the bhikkhus thus: ‘Bhikkhus, the Mara Dusi has taken possession of the brahmin householders, telling them: “Come now, abuse, revile, scold and harass the virtuous bhikkhus of good character; then perhaps, when they are abused, reviled, scolded, and harassed by you, some change will come about in their mind whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity.” Come, bhikkhus, abide pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to yourselves, abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will. Abide pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion…with a mind imbued with appreciative joy.. .with a mind imbued with equanimity… abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will.’526 [The four brahmaviharas are the appropriate antidote for the hostility of others, as well as for the tendencies to anger and dejection in one’s own mind.]

 §15. “So, Evil One, when those bhikkhus had been thus advised and instructed by the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, then, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, they abided pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness…with a mind imbued with compassion…with a mind imbued with appreciative joy…with a mind imbued with equanimity…without hostility and without ill will.

§  16. “Then, Evil One, the Mara Dusi considered thus: “Though I do as I am doing, still I do not know the coming or the going of these virtuous bhikkhus of good character. Let me now take possession of the brahmin householders, telling them: “Come now, honour, respect, revere, and venerate the virtuous bhikkhus of good character; [336] then perhaps, when they are honoured, respected, revered, and venerated by you, some change will come about in their minds whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity.'”527[This time Mara’s intent was to cause the bhikkhus to fall victim to pride, complacency, and negligence.]

§ 17. “Then, Evil One, the Mara Dusi took possession of those brahmin householders, telling them: ‘Come now, honour, respect, revere, and venerate the virtuous bhikkhus of good character; then perhaps, when they are honoured, respected, revered, and venerated by you, some change will come about in their minds whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity.’ 
Then, when the Mara Dusi had taken possession of the brahmin householders, they honoured, respected, revered, and venerated the virtuous bhikkhus of good character.  Now, Evil One, on that occasion most of those human beings, when they died, reappeared on the dissolution of the body, after death, in a happy destination, even the heavenly world.

§ 18. “Then, Evil One, the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, addressed the bhikkhus thus:
‘Bhikkhus, the Mara DusI has taken possession of those brahmin householders, telling them: “Come now, honour, respect, revere, and venerate the virtuous bhikkhus of good character; then perhaps, when they are honoured, respected, revered, and venerated by you, some change will come about in their minds whereby the Mara DusI may find an opportunity.” Come, bhikkhus, abide contemplating foulness in the body, perceiving repulsiveness in nutriment, perceiving disenchantment with all the world, contemplating impermanence in all formations.’528 [MA quotes a sutta (AN 7:46/iv.46-53) stating that these four meditations are the antidotes, respectively, for sexual desire, craving for tastes, attraction to the world, and infatuation with gain, honour, and praise]

§ 19. “So, Evil One, when those bhikkhus had been thus addressed and instructed by the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, then, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, they abided contemplating foulness in the body, perceiving repulsiveness in nutriment, perceiving disenchantment with all the world, contemplating impermanence in all formations.

§ 20. “Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, he went into the village for alms with the venerable Vidhura as his attendant.

§ 21. “Then the Mara Dusi took possession of a certain boy, and picking up a stone, he struck the venerable Vidhura on the head with it and cut his head. With blood running from his cut head, [337] the venerable Vidhura followed close behind the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened. Then the Blessed One Kakusandha, accomplished and fully enlightened, turned around and looked at him with the elephant look: ‘This Mara DusI knows no bounds.’ And with that look, Evil One, the Mara Dosi fell from that place and reappeared in the Great Hell.529 [MA: The elephant look (nagapalokita) means that without twisting his neck, he turns his whoJe body in order to look. The Mara Dosi did not die because of the Buddha’s elephant look, but because the evil kamma he generated in wronging a great disciple cut off his life right on the spot.]

§ 22. “Now, Evil One, there are three names for the Great Hell: the hell of the six bases for contact, the hell of, the impalement with stakes, and the hell to be felt for oneself.530 [The Great Hell, also called Avid, is described in greater detail in MN 130.16-19. ]  Then, Evil One, the wardens of hell came up to me and said: ‘Good sir, when stake meets stake in your heart, then you will know: “I have been roasting in hell for a thousand years.'”

§ 23. “For many a year, Evil One, for many a century, for many a millennium, I roasted in that Great Hell. For ten millennia I roasted in the auxiliary of that Great Hell, experiencing the feeling called that of emergence from ripening.531 [MA: This feeling, experienced in the auxiliary (ussada) of the Great Hell, is said to be more painful than the feelings experienced in the Great Hell itself.] My body had the same form as a human body, Evil One, but my head had the form of a fish’s head.

§ 24. “What can hell be well compared to
Wherein Dusi roasted, assailant Of
Vidhura the disciple 
And the brahmin Kakusandha?532
[The Buddha Kakusandha is called a brahmin in the sense ofMN39.24]
Stakes of steel, even a hundred,
Each one suffered separately;
These can hell be well compared to
Wherein Dusi roasted, assailant
Of Vidhura the disciple
And the brahmin Kakusandha. 

Dark One, you have much to suffer
By assaulting such a bhikkhu,
An Enlightened One’s disciple
Who directly knows this fact.

§ 25. “In the middle of the ocean
There are mansions aeon-lasting,
Sapphire-shining, fiery-gleaming
With a clear translucent lustre,
Where iridescent sea-nymphs dance
In complex, intricate rhythms. 

(Dark One, you have much to suffer…
Who directly knows this fact.

§26. “I am one who, when exhorted
By the Enlightened One in person,
Shook Migara’s Mother’s Palace
With his toe, the Order watching.533
[The reference is to SN 51:14 /v.269-70.]
Dark One, you have much to suffer…
Who directly knows this fact.

§ 27. “I am one who, wielding firmly
Strength of supernormal powers,
Shook all Vejayanta Palace
With his toe to incite the gods:534 [See MN 37.11] 338]

Dark One, you have much to suffer…
Who directly knows this fact.

§ 28. “I am one who, in that palace,
Posed to Sakka this question:
‘Do you know then, friend, deliverance
Due to craving’s full destruction?’
Whereupon Sakka then answered
Truly to the question asked him:535 [See MN 37.12]

Dark One, you have much to suffer…
Who directly knows this fact.

§ 29. “I am one who thought of posing
Brahma this question
In Sudhamma Hall in heaven:
‘Is there still found in you, friend,
The wrong view you once accepted?
Is the radiance of heaven
Clearly seen by you as passing?’
Brahma then answered my question
Truthfully and in due sequence:
‘There is found in me no longer,
Sir, the wrong view that once I held;
All the radiance of heaven
I now clearly see as passing;
I disclaim my prior claim That it is permanent, eternal’
:536 [The reference is to SN 6:5/i. 145]

Dark One, you have much to suffer…
Who directly knows this fact.

§ 30. “I am one who, by liberation,
Has touched the peak of Mount Sineru,
Visited India and Pubbavideha
And all the regions of the earth.537
[This verse . refers to Ven. Moggallana’ s mastery over the supernormal power of travelling in space like a bird]

Dark One, you have much to suffer
By assaulting such a bhikkhu,
An Enlightened One’s disciple
Who directly knows this fact.

§ 31. “There has never been found a fire
Which intends, ‘Let me burn the fool,’
But a fool who assaults a fire
Burns himself by his own doing.
So it is with you, O Mara:
By assaulting the Tathagata,
Like a fool who plays with fire
You only burn yourself alone.
By assaulting the Tathagata,
You generate much demerit.
Evil One, do you imagine
That your evil will not ripen?
Doing thus, you store up evil
Which will last long, O End-maker!

Mara, shun the Enlightened One,
Play no more your tricks on bhikkhus.”

§ 32  .  So the bhikkhu chastened Mara In the Bhesakala thicket
Whereupon the sombre spirit Disappeared right then and there.

getting-off-cover

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