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Nandana Sutta

Delight

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Translator's note: In this discourse, Mara and Buddha are speaking different languages. By "acquisitions" Mara means one's family and physical possessions. The Buddha uses the same word to mean a sense of possession for anything -- physical or mental -- at all.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Mara the Evil One went to the Blessed One and recited this verse in his presence:

Those with children
delight
because of their children.
Those with cattle
delight
because of their cows.
A person's delight
comes from acquisitions,
since a person with no acquisitions
doesn't delight.

The Buddha:

Those with children
grieve
because of their children.
Those with cattle
grieve
because of their cows.
A person's grief
comes from acquisitions,
since a person with no acquisitions
doesn't grieve.

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

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