SN 5.6
PTS: S i 132
CDB i 226
Cala Sutta: Sister Cala
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Bodhi

The updated version is freely available at

This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information

At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Cala the nun put on her robes and, taking her bowl & 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, & 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 Cala:]

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 Mara the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, "Cala the nun knows me" — vanished right there.