SN 5.9
PTS: S i 134
CDB i 228
Sela Sutta: Sela
translated from the Pali by
Bhikkhu Bodhi
Alternate translation: Thanissaro

Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Sela dressed... she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Sela, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

By whom has this puppet been created? Where is the maker of the puppet? Where has the puppet arisen? Where does the puppet cease?

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Sela: "Now who is this...? This is Mara the Evil One... desiring to make me fall away from concentration."

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

This puppet is not made by itself, Nor is this misery made by another. It has come to be dependent on a cause, When the cause dissolves then it will cease. As when a seed is sown in a field It grows depending on a pair of factors: It requires both the soil's nutrients And a steady supply of moisture. Just so the aggregates and elements, And these six bases of sensory contact, Have come to be dependent on a cause; When the cause dissolves they will cease.

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, "The bhikkhuni Sela knows me," sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.