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Samyutta Nikaya IV.19

Kassaka Sutta

The Farmer

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

At Savatthi. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with a Dhamma talk concerning Unbinding. The monks -- attentive, interested, lending ear, focusing their entire awareness -- were listening to the Dhamma.

Then the thought occurred to Mara, the Evil One: "Gotama the contemplative is instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with a Dhamma talk concerning Unbinding. The monks -- attentive, interested, lending ear, focusing their entire awareness -- are listening to the Dhamma. What if I were to go to Gotama the contemplative to obscure his vision?"

Then Mara the Evil One, taking on the form of a farmer with a large plowshare over his shoulder, carrying a long goad stick -- his hair disheveled, his clothes made of coarse hemp, his feet splattered with mud -- went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, said, "Hey, contemplative. Have you seen my oxen?"

"And what are your oxen, Evil One?"

"Mine alone is the eye, contemplative. Mine are forms, mine is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the eye. Where can you go to escape me? Mine alone is the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... Mine alone is the intellect, contemplative. Mine are ideas, mine is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the intellect. Where can you go to escape me?"

"Yours alone is the eye, Evil One. Yours are forms, yours is the sphere of consciousness of contact at the eye. Where no eye exists, no forms exist, no sphere of consciousness & contact at the eye exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go. Yours alone is the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... Yours alone is the intellect, Evil One. Yours are ideas, yours is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the intellect. Where no intellect exists, no ideas exist, no sphere of consciousness of contact at the intellect exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go."

[Mara:]

Of what they say,
'This is mine';
and those who say,
'Mine':
    If your intellect's here,
        contemplative,
    you can't escape
    from me.

[The Buddha:]

What they speak of
    isn't mine,
and I'm not one of those
    who speak it.
Know this, Evil One:
    you won't even see
        my tracks.

Then Mara the Evil One -- sad & dejected at realizing, "The Blessed One knows me; the One Well-gone knows me" -- vanished right there.


Revised: Mon 10 September 2001
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/samyutta/sn04-019.html