Māra disturbs the Buddha’s rest
Translation of BZA 029. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying near rājagaha in the Maddakucchi
Park.60 During the first watch of the night, the Buddha [practised while]
sitting in meditation and walking. When the first watch ended, he washed his
feet and entered his abode, laid down on his right side, one leg resting on the
other and, focusing his mind on clarity, directed his thoughts towards rising
[again after the rest].
King Māra the Bad, understanding the Buddha’s mind, had this thought: ‘The
renunciant gotama is in rājagaha in the Maddakucchi Park. During the first watch
of the night, he [practised while] sitting in meditation and walking. When the
middle watch of the night began, he washed his feet, entered his abode, and laid
down on his right side, one leg resting on the other and, focusing his mind on
clarity, he directed his thoughts towards rising [again after the rest]. I
should now go and disturb him’.
Upon this, King Māra turned into a young man, [stood] in front of the Tathāgata
and spoke a verse:
Do you have nothing else to do // that you take a nap,
peacefully slumbering, not waking up? // Passed out like a drunk,
a person without wealth and property // how can he sleep untroubled?
[Only] those with great wealth and property // pleased and happily do fall
There the World-honoured One knew that Māra had come to disturb him and spoke
I sleep, not because I lack things to do // neither am I drunk.
It is because I have no worldly wealth // that I can sleep now.
It is because I have gained great Dhamma wealth // that I can sleep
In my sleep // in every breathing in and breathing out
There is benefit // nothing is lost.
Awake, there are no doubtful thoughts; // there is nothing to fear in
There are those that have troubles as if a poisoned arrow // has pierced
afflicted with many sufferings and pains // if even those can sleep,
Why should I who have pulled out the poisoned arrow // not find sleep?
On hearing this, Māra thought: ‘The renunciant gotama knows my mind,’ and sad and
dejected he returned to his palace.
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