Samyuktagama 2.222

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Samyukta Āgama (2) 222

Bhikkhunī Saṃyutta Upacālā

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

At that time there was a nun called Upacālā staying in the Rājakārāma Vihāra. One morning she took her robes and her begging bowl and entered Sāvatthī to beg for food. Having finished the alms, she cleaned her bowl, washed her feet, gathered her seat for meditation. She went to the Andhavana forest for the day’s abiding and sat upright under a tree.

At that time King Māra thought: “These days Gotama the renunciant is staying at Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove in the Anāthapiṇḍika Park. Here now is this nun called Upacālā, who in the morning took her robes and her begging bowl and entered Sāvatthī to beg for food. Having finished her meal, she washed her feet, gathered her seat and went to the Andhavana forest for the day’s abiding. Now she is sitting upright under a tree. I shall go and disturb her!” Having thought thus he transformed himself into a young man, approached her and said: “My lady! In which place do you want to be reincarnated?” The nun answered: “I will not be reincarnated anywhere.” At that time the young man spoke a verse:

   “The Tāvatiṃsa and the Yama heavens, /
   ​the Tusita, the Nimmānarati
   And the heaven Paranimmitavasavattin /
   ​are realms of great happiness and pleasure.
   You should vow to enjoy them /
   ​and you will be reborn there as desired.”

The nun Upacālā said a verse:

   “The Tāvatiṃsa and the Yama heaven, /
   ​the Tusita, the Nimmānarati
   And the heaven Paranimmitavasavattin /
   ​those in these places experience pleasures but
   As long as there is no emancipation from the view of self /
   ​they are still bound by Māra.
   All such worlds are moving, are in flux: /
   ​these too will change and vanish.
   The common person cannot /
   ​escape from Māra’s realm.
   All worlds are on fire, /
   ​smoke streaming out from all of them.
   Away from the tremors, /
   ​this place I enjoy.
   I have cut off all craving, /
   ​the darkness of ignorance is destroyed.
   Having reached complete cessation, /
   ​I peacefully dwell in a state of purity.
   Therefore understand: /
   ​Bad One, you are defeated.”

At that time King Māra thought: “This nun knows my mind well!” Depressed, dispirited, and ashamed, he returned to his palace.