「佛在 * 優樓比螺聚落尼連禪河菩提樹下，成佛未久。我當詣彼，伺求其便！」
「我 * 久獲禪定 其心常寂然
* 我根恒恬豫 心中得寂滅
以壞汝欲軍 修道情歡 * 喜
「汝 * 已獲正道 安隱向涅槃
既以得妙法 宜 * 常戢在懷
烏不別知 飛來而 * 噏食
我今亦如是 徒 * 來無所為」
我當以欲羂 羂彼如捕 * 鳥
彼魔三女化其形容，極為端嚴，往 * 至佛所，即禮佛足，在一面立。三女同聲，俱白佛言：
此必得無上，斷愛欲、解脫故。若不爾者，應見我等，狂亂、吐血，或能心裂。我等 * 當往其所，以偈問難。」
六駛流亦 * 過 入何禪定中
得度大欲岸 永離有 * 攝縛」
能度大欲結 并離有 * 攝流」
唯有 * 黠慧者 能度如斯難」
「大精進 * 濟拔 如來正法度
如法得度脫 * 智者莫不欣」
* 爪以欲壞山 齒齚於鐵丸
* 嬰愚以藕絲 欲懸於 * 太山
佛 * 已度眾 * 著 欲共彼講論
羂摾欲捕 * 風 欲下虛空月
佛 * 已離諸著 欲往共講論
佛 * 已出諸著 而往共講論」
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The daughters of Māra
Translation of BZA 031. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying in the village uruvelā near the
river nerañjarā under the Bodhi tree. This was not long after he had attained
Buddhahood. At that time King Māra had this thought: ‘The Buddha is staying in
the village uruvelā near the river nerañjarā under the Bodhi tree. He has just
attained Buddhahood. I should go there and try to mislead him’.
He went to the Buddha and spoke this verse:
You live alone in the wilderness // taciturn, always silent.
Of radiant countenance and with celestial body // all senses [perceiving]
like someone who had lost his fortune // and later regained it.
You are idling your time away in the silence of meditation // and the
enjoyment that comes with it.
Since you were able to discard public honours // and do not desire status and
why do you not with others // form close friendships?
At that time the World-honoured One answered with a verse:
For a long time I have attained meditative concentration // where the mind is
I have defeated your armies of desire // [and] reached the highest fortune.
My senses are always quiet and happy // In my mind I have attained silent
Defeating your armies of desire // practising the way I feel joy,
[I live] alone, apart from the hustle and bustle [of others] // What use is
there for close friends?
At that time King Māra spoke this verse:
Now, since you have attained the true way // you can rest in Nirvāṇa.
Since you have reached the wonderful Dhamma // you should keep it forever in
Uprightly face and understand it alone; // why should you teach the many?
At that time the World-honoured One answered with a verse:
Humankind does not belong to you // if someone asks me about the teaching
that leads to the other shore,
I will correctly explain // the truth to let them attain extinction.
Stopping their mind without giving up; // Māra will not overpower them.
at that time King Māra spoke this verse:
It is as if there is a large white boulder // its colour like that of fat.
A flock of crows cannot distinguish [the two] // they perch on it and peck
but do not get the taste [they wanted] // and with bruised beaks take off
again into the air.
I myself am like this // having come in vain, there is nothing more to
There King Māra, having spoken this verse, became depressed and dispirited and
felt deep regret. he went to an empty place where he crouched alone and with an
arrow drawing [figures] on the ground, trying to think of a way79 [to prevent
the Buddha from teaching]. Māra had three daughters; the first was called
Passionate, the second Pleasing, and the third Desirable. Māra’s daughters came
to his side and addressed their father with a verse:
Father is famous as a great Lord // why are you so depressed?
We will with the snare of desire // bind him [the Buddha] like one catches a
and bring him to our father // to make you feel at ease.
King Māra answered with a verse:
This man is good in cutting off desire // he is not moved by it.
He has left the world of Māra already // this is why I am sad.
There, Māra’s three daughters changed their appearance. Becoming extraordinary
beautiful, they went to the Buddha, paid homage to his feet and sat to one side.
The three daughters said together in one voice: ‘We have come to worship you and
be at your service’. But the World-honoured One [had already attained] the final
cutting-off of desires and did not even look at them. They addressed him like
this a second and a third time. The Buddha did not look at them. There, Māra’s
three daughters retreated and discussed the matter: ‘it is in the nature of men
that they like different types [of women]. some like [their women] young, some
like them middle-aged and some mature’. upon [saying] that, each daughter
changed into six hundred women, some of them small girls, some teenagers, some
of them already married women, and some not yet married, some of them had given
birth already and some had not yet given birth. having thus turned into a
multitude of women, they all went to the Buddha and said to him: ‘World-honoured
One! We have come to worship the World-honoured One and be at his service. We
will serve [the World-honoured One] in every way’.
The Buddha did not look at them. They addressed him like this a second and a
third time. The Buddha did not look at them at all. There, Māra’s daughters
retreated and conferred again. ‘he must have attained the final cutting-off of
desire, utmost liberation. Otherwise he would have looked at us and become mad,
spitting blood. It might even have torn his heart apart. Let us go to him and
debate with him in verse’.
Māra’s daughter Passionate asked in a verse:
The body upright, one hand cupped within another, you sit under the tree //
alone in complete solitude, contemplating.
Like someone who has lost a fortune // and desires to find a great treasure.
In the cities and villages // your mind is without passion or attachment.
Why is it that among all those people // you have made no close friends?
At that time the World-honoured One answered in a verse:
I have already attained the great treasure // attained quiet extinction in
I have destroyed the host of passion and desire // am not attached to
I dwell alone sitting in meditation // experiencing the ultimate joy.
For this reason // I do not desire close friends.
Māra’s daughter Desirable spoke this verse:
Dwelling in which state, oh monk // have you crossed the five currents [of
as well as the sixth [i.e. mind] // in what meditation do you abide?
That you attained the crossing from the great shore of desire // forever free
from the bondage of becoming?
At that time the World-honoured One spoke a verse:
The body has obtained subtle, gentle joy // the mind attained good
The mind abstains from action // consciousness will not regress again.
Having attained the method of cutting off discursive thought // having
attained avoidance of falling into hate and passion;
if one can abide in this state // [one] can cross the five currents,
and the sixth as well // if one can sit in meditation like this,
one can cross from the [existance bound by the] great fetter of desire // and
leave the relentless flow of becoming.
Māra’s daughter Pleasing said in a verse:
Having cut off the fetter of passion // having abandoned what most people are
crossing over the currents of many desires // crossing from the many desires’
shore of death;
only the wise // can cross against these difficulties.
At that time the World-honoured One spoke this verse:
By great effort the Tathāgata extracts himself // [and] crosses with the help
of the true Dhamma.
Liberated by the Dhamma // the wise have no reason not to be happy.
The three daughters, their wish unfulfilled, returned to their father. King Māra
scolded them and for that spoke a verse:
My three daughters thought they could destroy him // their appearance
[blinding] like lightning.
Advancing on the [one with] great effort // [they are scattered by him] like
tufts of grass in the wind;
[they act like they could] tear down a mountain with their fingernails //
bite an iron pellet with their teeth;
foolish children [trying] with lotus stalks // to suspend a great mountain.
The Buddha has already crossed beyond all attachment // to desire to debate
[is like wanting to] catch the wind with a net // like wanting to take down
the moon from the sky,
to scoop the ocean with one’s hands // hoping to dry it out.
The Buddha has already left all attachment behind; // to desire to go and
debate with him
[is like] striding over Mount sumeru with one’s foot // looking for earth in
the great ocean.
The Buddha has already abandoned all attachment; // to go and debate with him
King Māra, sad and regretful, vanished and returned to his heavenly palace.
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