4. The Discourse about Vijayā

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Thus I have heard:
at one time the Fortunate One was dwelling near Sāvatthī at Anāthapiṇḍika’s grounds in Jeta’s Wood.

Then the nun Vijayā, having dressed in the morning time, after picking up her bowl and robe, was entering Sāvatthī for alms. After walking for alms in Sāvatthī, and returning from the alms-round after the meal, she approached the Blind Man’s Wood to pass the day, and having entered Blind Man’s Wood, she sat down at the root of a certain tree to pass the day.

Then the Wicked Māra desiring to give rise to fear, terror, and horror in the nun Vijayā, desiring to drive her out of concentration, approached the nun Vijayā, and after approaching he addressed the nun Vijayā with a verse:

“You are a beautiful maiden, and I am a youthful man,
Come, Sister, let us enjoy ourselves with the fivefold musical instruments.” Comm: with the five musical instruments means being endowed with the fivefold musical instruments thus: a one-faced drum, a two-faced drum, a stringed instrument, a clapper and a flute. These are translated in accordance with the sub-commentarial explanation.

Then it occurred to the nun Vijayā: “Who is this, a human or a non-human, speaking this verse?” Then it occurred to the nun Vijayā: “This is the Wicked Māra desiring to give rise to fear, terror, and horror in me, desiring to drive me out of concentration, who speaks this verse.”

Then the nun Vijayā having understood: This is the Wicked Māra, replied with these verses to the Wicked Māra:

“Delightful forms, sounds, tastes, smells and touches,
I assign (them) to you, Comm: I assign (them) to you means I surely give all of them to you. Māra, I am not seeking for that.

With this putrid body, Comm: with (this) putrid body means this golden-coloured body is a putrid body which is always oozing and trickling, therefore this is said. which is brittle Comm: brittle means having the nature of brittleness. and frail, Comm: frail means having the nature to undergo being crushed to pieces.
I am distressed Comm: I am distressed means I am grieved and harassed. and ashamed, Comm: I am ashamed means I am abashed. and have rooted up sensual craving.

There are beings who reached form, and those in the formless state,
(But) those who have attained to peace Comm: attained to peace means it is said that in eight ways the mundane attainments bring peacefulness to the limbs and to sense-objects. This is interpreting the last line as referring to only mundane attainments, which doesn't make good sense to me; there is evidently a contrast intended in the verse between those still attached to sense pleasures, form and the formless, with those (referred to in the last line) who have gone beyond. have destroyed darkness everywhere.” Comm: everywhere means in all the form and formless worlds, the grasping nature of these two worlds and the eight attainments grasped-at in the sensual world. For me the darkness of ignorance is destroyed in these places, is what is said.

Then the Wicked Māra (thought): “The nun Vijayā knows me!” and pained and depressed he vanished right there.