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Sela Sutta

Sister Sela

For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma

At Savatthi: Then, early in the morning, Sela the nun put on her robes and, taking her bowl and outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. When she had gone for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, "horripilation," (sic) and terror in her, wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

"By whom was this doll created?
Where is the doll's maker?
Where has the doll originated?
Where does it cease?"

Then the thought occurred to Sela the nun: "Now who has recited this verse -- a human being or a non-human one?" Then it occurred to her: "This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited this verse wanting to arouse fear, "horripilation," and terror in me, wanting to make me fall away from concentration."

Then, having understood that "This is Mara the Evil One," she replied to him in verses:

"This doll isn't self-made,
nor is this misery made by another. [1]
In dependence on a cause
it comes into play. With the dissolution of the cause
it ceases.
Just as a seed grows
-- when planted in a field --
because of the soil's savor
together with moisture,
in the same way, these
sense media
-- in dependence on a cause --
come into play.
With the dissolution of the cause
they cease."

Then Mara the Evil One -- sad and dejected at realizing, "Sela the nun knows me" -- vanished right there.



1. Alternative reading:

This doll, this misery,
 isnít created.

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