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Tipitaka Sutta Pitaka Samyutta Nikaya Context of this sutta

Samyutta Nikaya IV.13
Sakalika Sutta
The Stone Sliver
For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma

Note: See the introductory note to SN I.38.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha at the Maddakucchi Deer Reserve. Now at that time his foot had been pierced by a stone sliver. Excruciating were the bodily feelings that developed within him -- painful, fierce, sharp, wracking, repellent, disagreeable -- but he endured them mindful, alert, & unperturbed. Having had his outer robe folded in four and laid out, he lay down on his right side in the lion's posture -- with one foot placed on top of the other -- mindful & alert.

Then Mara the Evil One went to the Blessed One and recited this verse in his presence:

"Are you lying there in a stupor,
or drunk on poetry?
Are your goals so very few?
All alone in a secluded lodging,
what is this dreamer, this sleepy-face?"

The Buddha:

"I lie here,
    not in a stupor,
    nor drunk on poetry.
My goal attained,
    I am sorrow-free.
All alone in a secluded lodging,
I lie down with sympathy
    for all beings.

Even those pierced in the chest
with an arrow,
their hearts rapidly,
even they with their arrows
are able to sleep.
    So why shouldn't I,
    with my arrow        removed?

I'm not awake with worry,
nor afraid to sleep.
Days & nights
don't oppress me.
I see no threat of decline
in any world at all.
That's why I sleep
    with sympathy
    for all beings."

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

See also: SN I.38; SN XXXVI.6; AN V.129.


Updated: 1-7-2000

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