Padhāna Sutta | Sn III-2


2. Padhāna Sutta

Discourse on the Austerity of the Buddha-to-be

427-8. While by the River Nerañjarā, I was striving to attain the concentration on breath, with intense energy, and my mind oriented to Nibbāna,

there came Māra, who approached me in a plaintive tone, expressing pity for my plight, You are emaciated now, chastely are your looks, you are close to death. (1-2)

429. Only one out of a thousand chances you now have to remain alive. Do stay alive; being alive is a boon: If you live on, you can go on doing good deeds. (3)

430. By the practice of the holy precepts and by worshipping the fire you acquire great merit; what use with this great exertion of yours? (4)

431. The way of great exertion is woefully hard. It is extremely difficult and futile.

So said Māra, in the stanzas above. And he stood near the Buddha-to-be. (5)

432. To that spurious speech of Māra, the Buddha made His reply as follows:

O you wicked kinsman of carelessness, you came here with an axe to grind (6)

433. O wicked Māra, I care not for the tiniest particle of good deed. Whoever else may care for them, you should go and offer your advice? (Say that). (7)

434. O wicked Māra, I have faith, I have fortitude; I have the right knowledge. To one inclined to Nibbāna, like me, how dared you ever ask to remain living? (8)

435. The wind that signals my strenuous efforts could dry up the river's current; so why wonder if it dries up my blood, and what should I care, being intent on Nibbāna? (9)

436. When blood runs dry, bile dries up, phlegm fries up; and when no flesh is left on the body, the mind gains a clarity never known before; so now I have more mindfulness, more discernment, more concentration. (10)

437. The excellent painfulness derived out of my present exertion makes my mind indifferent to sensual pleasure.

O Māra, see the purity of the person (when the mind is pure); (11)

438. Sensuality is your 1st army; boredom (in the Bhikkhu -life) is your 2nd; yearning for food is your 3rd army; craving (for food), your 4th. (12)

439. Sloth and torpor are your 5th army; timidity is your 6th; scepticism your 7th; hypocrisy and arrogance are your 8th. (13)

440. Affluence, fame, sanctification and vast followership improperly acquired; are your 9th army, while self-glorification and snobbery make your 10th. (14)

441. O wicked Māra, these 10 are your evil hosts, the Dark One's demons that disturb the religious men and noble ones.

Lacking in valour, one cannot conquer them; and conquest over them brings great happiness. (15)

442. Accordingly, I keep a spring of muñja grass (rushes) (as a token of invincibility), shame on me if I should be vanquished and yet stay alive, better die than be vanquished by you and left (kept) living. (16)

443. Certain religious recluses and noble men immersed in your friendship forces turn bad and sink into oblivion; they lose sight of the Path taken by the well conducted. (17)

444. O Māra, having noticed you and your hosts ready to wage war on me from all quarters, I have resolved never to budge, and have readied myself to meet you on the battle-field. (18)

445. The world of humans and devas cannot stand the might of your armies.

But I will destroy them with my knowledge, in the same way as raw (unbaked) earthenware is pounded away with a heavy stone. (19)

446. Making my mind attuned to right thoughts and putting my- self in right mindfulness, I will cultivate right concentration. In this manner will I go from one province to another taming my teaming disciples. (20)

447. Those disciples who follow my teaching will have diligence; will be intent on Nibbāna, and not caring for any of the 3 types of existence will go to Nibbāna where there is no mourning. (21)

448. (Māra) For these 7 long years have I shadowed the vigilant Buddha hoping to find a loophole in his conduct for my exploitation but, alas! I have found nowhere I could get him. (22)

449-50. In as much as a crow, hoping to find something delicate, something tasty, would peck a stone resembling a piece of tallow on all sides and then getting fed up, flies away in vain,

so also I am now fed up with harassing Gotama.

It is better for me to leave him alone. (23-4)

451. Half dead with sorrow, Māra let fall his harp from his armpit and in all spitefulness he vanished there and then. (25)

End of the Second Padhāna Sutta