Seven Years
Sattavassa Sutta  (SN 4:24)

I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly self-awakened, he was dwelling near Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River, at the root of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree.

And at that time, Māra the Evil One had been following the Blessed One for seven years, looking for an opening, but unable to find one.

Then Māra the Evil One went to the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Practicing jhāna in the forest—
are you overcome with grief?
Have you lost,
or do you desire, wealth?
Have you done something
blameworthy in the village?
Is it because
you become intimate with people,
but intimacy doesn’t prosper for you
with anyone at all?”

The Buddha:

“Having dug up all the root of grief,
blameless, I practice jhāna not grieving.
Defeating all greed, all
yearning for becoming,
I, without effluent, practice jhāna—
	you, Kinsman of the Heedless.”


“Of whatever they say,
‘This is mine,’
and whoever says, ‘mine,’
if your heart is here,
contemplative, you’re not free from me.”

The Buddha:

“Of whatever they speak,
it’s not mine.
And whoever speaks
they are not me.
Know that, Evil One.
You can’t even see my tracks.”


“If the path has been awakened to—
secure, leading to the deathless—
then go away! Go alone!
What’s the use of instructing others?”

The Buddha:

“People seeking the far side
ask about the deathless realm.
Asked by them, I explain
the truth that’s acquisition-free.”


“Suppose, lord, that not far from a village or town was a pond. There in it was a crab. Then a number of boys & girls, leaving the village or town, would go to the pond and, on arrival, would take the crab out of the water and place it on the ground. And whenever the crab extended a leg, the boys or girls would cut it off, break it, and smash it with sticks or stones right there, so that the crab—with all its legs cut off, broken, & smashed—would be unable to get back in the pond as before.

“In the same way, whatever writhings, tricks, & contortions [there are], the Blessed One has cut them off, broken them, and smashed them all. Now I’m unable to approach the Blessed One, looking for an opening.”

Then Māra the Evil One recited these verses of dejection in the Blessed One’s presence:

“A crow circled a stone
the color of fat—
‘Perhaps I’ll find something tender here,
Maybe there’s something tasty’
—but not getting anything tasty there,
the crow went away.
	Like a crow attacking the rock,
	I weary myself with Gotama.”

Then Māra the Evil One, having recited these verses of dejection in the Blessed One’s presence, left that place and sat on the ground not far from the Blessed One, silent, abashed, with his shoulders drooping, his head down, brooding, at a loss for words, drawing in the dirt with a stick.

See also: SN 4:25; Sn 3:2