Translation of BZA 216. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove in
the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.
At that time the nun Kisāgotamī took her robes and her begging bowl and entered
the town [Sāvatthī] to beg for food. Having finished her meal, she cleaned her
bowl, gathered her seat [for meditation], went to go to the Andhavana forest,
sat under a tree, abiding in [jhāna] meditation.
At that time King Māra the Bad thought: “The renunciant Gotama is staying at
Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove in the Anāthapiṇḍika Park and here is this nun called
Kisāgotamī. She took her robes and her begging bowl and entered Sāvatthī to beg
for food. Having finished her meal, she cleaned her bowl, gathered her seat [for
meditation], and went to go to the Andhavana forest, [now] she has sat down
under a tree and is abiding in [jhāna] meditation.”
Having thought this he changed into a young man, and with the intention to
disturb her, spoke this verse:
What are you doing there now // sitting sadly under a tree
Sighing and sobbing // haven’t you lost a child?
Dwelling alone in the forest // aren’t you looking for a man?
There the nun thought: “Who is this? What a cheat! Is he, who wants to cause
confusion in me, a human or a non-human being?” She entered concentration and
recognized that it was King Māra. She spoke a verse:
I have cut off craving // I am without desire, do not think about children
Sitting upright among the trees // no worries no agitations trouble me
[I have] cut off all craving // the darkness of ignorance destroyed
Having reached complete cessation // [I] peacefully dwell in a state of
Therefore understand // Bad One you are defeated
At that time the Bad One thought: “The nun Kisāgotamī knows my mind well!”
Depressed, dispirited, and ashamed he returned to his palace.
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