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 Vajirā, 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 desiring to give rise to fear, terror, and horror in the nun Vajirā, desiring to drive her out of concentration, approached the nun Vajirā, and after approaching he addressed the nun Vajirā with a verse:
“By whom was this being made, just where is this being’s maker,
Where has this being arisen, and just where does this being cease?
Then it occurred to the nun Vajirā: “Who is this, a human or a non-human, speaking this verse?” Then it occurred to the nun Vajirā: “This is the Wicked Māra desiring to give rise to fear, terror, and horror in me, desiring to drive me out of concentration, who speaks this verse.”
Then the nun Vajirā having understood: This is the Wicked Māra, replied with these verses to the Wicked Māra:
“Why fall back on a ‘being’? Haven’t you come to a view, Māra?
This is just a bunch of processes, no being is to be found here. 1
Just as with a collection of parts the sound ‘chariot’ is said,
So when there are these constituents 2 a ‘being’ is determined on. 3
Only suffering 4 arises, suffering it is that persists,
Nothing other than sufferings 5 arise, just sufferings that cease.”
Then the Wicked Māra (thought): “The nun Vajirā knows me!” and pained and depressed he vanished right there.
The Thematic Discourses about Nuns are Complete.
translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
1 Comm: no being is to be found here means in this bunch of pure processes nothing known as ‘a being’ is found in the ultimate sense.
2 Comm: when there are these constituents means when there are these five constituents existing then it is fixed through that state.
3 Comm: a being is determined on means there is just this appellation.
4 Comm: suffering means the suffering in the five constituents.
5 Comm: nothing other than sufferings means except for suffering nothing else arises or ceases.