7. The Discourse about Upacala

Thus I have heard:

at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Sāvatthī at Anāthapiṇḍika’s grounds in Jeta’s Wood.

Then the nun Upacālā, having dressed in the morning time, after picking up her bowl and robe, was entering Sāvatthī for alms. After walking for alms in Sāvatthī, and returning from the alms-round after the meal, she approached the Blind Man’s Wood to pass the day, and having entered Blind Man’s Wood, she sat down at the root of a certain tree to pass the day.

Then the Wicked Māra approached the nun Upacālā, and after approaching he said this to the nun Upacālā:

“Where would you, nun, like to be reborn?”
“There is nowhere, friend, I would like to be reborn.”

“The Thirty-Three gods, the Restrained gods, also the Satisfied gods,
Those gods who delight in creation, those gods who are Wielding Power,
To those places direct your mind, there you will experience delight.”

“The Thirty-Three gods, the Restrained gods, also the Satisfied gods,
Those gods who delight in creation, those gods who are Wielding Power,
Those bound by sensual-bondage come to Māra’s power again. 1

The whole of the world is in flames, the whole of the world is blazing, 2
The whole of the world is burning, the whole of the world is shaking.

Not shaken, not burning, not associating with worldly folk,
Not going back to Māra’s (realm): 3 (for) there 4 my mind does not delight.”

Then the Wicked Māra (thought): “The nun Upacālā knows me!” and pained and depressed he vanished right there.


translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu

End Notes

1 Comm: come to Māra’s power again means again and again they come under the power of Māra as death, Māra as defilements, Māra (personified) as the godly son.
2 Comm: blazing means burning.
3 Comm: not going back to Māra’s (realm) means you are not going back to that place where Māra is.
4 Comm: there means in that place, in Emacipation. This seems a little awkward, presumably she means to say: having attained Emacipation my mind does not delight in Māra’s realm.

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