SN.4.1. Tapokammasutta ("Mortification")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

So I have heard. At one time, when he was first awakened, the Buddha was staying near Uruvelā at the root of the goatherd’s banyan tree on the bank of the Nerañjarā River.

Then as he was in private retreat this thought came to his mind, “I am truly freed from that grueling work! Thank goodness I’m freed from that pointless grueling work. Thank goodness that, steadfast and mindful, I have attained awakening.”

And then Māra the Wicked, knowing what the Buddha was thinking, went up to him and addressed him in verse:

“You’ve departed from the practice of mortification
by which humans purify themselves.
You’re impure, but think yourself pure;
you’ve strayed from the path of purity.”

Then the Buddha, knowing that this was Māra the Wicked, replied to him in verse:

“I realized that it’s pointless;
all that mortification in search of immortality
is as futile
as oars and rudder on dry land.

Ethics, immersion, and wisdom:
by developing this path to awakening
I attained ultimate purity.
You’re beaten, terminator!”

Then Māra the Wicked, thinking, “The Buddha knows me! The Holy One knows me!” miserable and sad, vanished right there.

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