Samyuktagama 2.215

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Samyukta Āgama (2) 215

Bhikkhunī Saṃyutta Somā

Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove in the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.

At that time the nun Somā 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 the Andhavana forest to meditate.

King Māra the Bad thought: “The nun Somā took her robes and her begging bowl and entered Sāvatthī to beg for food. Having finished her meal, she has cleaned her bowl, and gathered her seat for meditation and is now on her way to the Andhavana forest to meditate.” Thereupon the Bad One transformed himself into a brāhmaṇa, stood by the wayside, and said: “My lady, where are you going?” The nun answered: “I am going to a secluded place.” Then the Bad One spoke a verse:

   “The stage which seers attain, /
   ​that state is difficult to reach.
   With your inferior intelligence /
   ​you cannot attain that state.”

Thereupon the nun thought: “Is this a human or a non-human being, who wants to disturb me?” She entered a state of meditative concentration and, using her insight, she recognized that it was the Bad One. She spoke a verse:

   “The mark of womanhood has nothing to do with it /
   ​if only the mind practices meditative concentration
   And perceives the highest Dhamma; /
   ​as long as there are the marks of man—and womanhood,
   One can say that women /
   ​are not apt for the Dhamma.
   Once the marks of man—and womanhood are no more /
   ​from where should distinctions arise?
   I have cut off all craving, /
   ​the darkness of ignorance is destroyed.
   Having reached complete cessation, /
   ​I dwell in a state of purity.
   Therefore understand: /
   ​Bad One you are defeated.”

At that time the Bad One thought: “The nun Somā knows my mind well!” Depressed, dispirited, and ashamed he returned to his palace.