Māra disturbs the Buddha’s rest disturbs the Buddha in meditationMāra disturbs
the Buddha’s rest
Translation of BZA 026. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying in rājagaha in the Bamboo grove
of Jialantuo. At that time the World-honoured One [practised while] sitting,
lying and walking since the end of the first watch of the night.47 At dawn he
washed his feet and entered his abode, laid down on his right side, one leg
resting on the other. he focused his mind on clarity and, practising
mindfulness, directed his thoughts towards rising [again after the rest].
There King Māra the Bad had this thought: ‘The renunciant gotama is in rājagaha
in the Bamboo grove of Jialantuo. He [practised while] walking, sitting and
lying down. At dawn he washed his feet, entered his abode, and laid down on his
right side, one leg resting on the other. He focused his mind on clarity and,
practising mindfulness, directed his thoughts towards rising [again after the
rest]. I should now go and disturb him’.
Having thought thus he turned into a young man, stood in front of the Buddha and
spoke a verse:
Why are you sleeping? // Why are you sleeping?
Is falling asleep // ‘entering Nirvāṇa’?
Is this ‘[having] done what had to be done’?// And falling quietly asleep,
Even with the sun rising // you go back to sleep. The Buddha knew that Deva Māra
had come to disturb him and he spoke this verse:
All living beings are caught in the web of desire // which pervades
I now have torn it apart // the desires are forever ended.
[When] all things arisen have ended // [I] calmly abide in nirvanic joy.
You Bad One // what can you do to me?
When King Māra heard this verse he became depressed and dispirited. He made
himself invisible, left and returned to his heavenly palace.
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