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Vajirā Suttaṃ


Bhikkhunī Vajirā Rebukes Māra

171. Thus have I heard — On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi, in Prince Jeta’s grove, in the monastery of Anāthapiṇḍika. At that time, Bhikkhunī Vajirā, having put on the lower and upper robe, taking the almsbowl and double robe, she wandered for alms in Sāvatthi. Have wandered for alms, after the meal she approached the Blind Man’s grove ¹ to spend the day. Having entered the Blind Man’s grove, she sat down at a certain tree to spend the day. Then Māra, the evil one, wishing to arouse fear, trembling, and horripilation to make her fall away from concentration approached Bhikkhunī Vajirā, and having approached spoke this verse to her:–

“By whom was this being created? Where is the creator of this being?
Where has this being arisen? Where does this being cease?”

Then it occurred to Bhikkhunī Vajirā: “Is this a human being or a non-human being who utters this verse?” Then it occurred to her: “This is Māra, the evil one, who recited this verse, wishing to arouse fear, trembling, and horripilation to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then, having understood: “This is Māra, the evil one,” Bhikkhunī Vajirā uttered this verse in reply:–

“What is this being of which you speak, Māra, is that your speculative view?
“There is merely a heap of formations, no being can be found.

“As indeed by its parts, the sound ‘chariot’ is heard
Thus by the presence of the aggregates, a being is said to exist.

“Suffering alone comes to be, continues, and passes away.
Nothing else besides suffering comes to be, nothing but suffering ceases.”

Then Māra, the evil one, realising: “Bhikkhunī Vajirā knows me,” being disappointed and depressed, disappeared from there at once.


1. The Blind Man’s grove was so called because it was so thick that it was hard to see into or out of it.

2. This famous simile of the chariot is quoted by Venerable Nāgasena at the beginning of his Debate with King Milinda, in the chapter A Question on Concepts.