Sister Cālā
Cālā Sutta  (SN 5:6)

Near Sāvatthī. Then, early in the morning, Cālā the nun adjusted her robes and, taking her bowl & outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. When she had gone for alms in Sāvatthī 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 Māra the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in her, wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her & said, “What is it that you don’t approve of, nun?”

“I don’t approve of birth, my friend.”


“Why don’t you approve of birth?

One who is born

enjoys sensual pleasures.

Who on earth

ever persuaded you:

‘Nun, don’t approve of birth’?”

Sister Cālā:

“For one who is born

there’s death.

One who is born

sees pain.

It’s a binding, a flogging, a torment.

That’s why one shouldn’t approve

of birth.

The Awakened One taught me the Dhamma

—the overcoming of birth—

for the abandoning of all pain,

he established me in

the truth.

But beings who have come to form

& those with a share in the formless,

if they don’t discern cessation,

return to becoming-again.”

Then Māra the Evil One—sad & dejected at realizing, “Cālā the nun knows me”—vanished right there.

See also: MN 106; MN 140; Iti 43; Iti 72