I heard a Dhamma talk wherein a monk said that Mara blamed the Buddha being lazy cause he laid down and the Buddha replied something like "I am laying down for the benefit of all sentient beings".

Can someone explain the logic behind his answer and expand on this issue? Is there a practice wherein you gain a mind set to take action for your own good while thinking you are doing every action? ie. "for the benefit of all sentient beings"

  • 5
    Probably this passage: Sakalika Sutta (SN 4.13)?
    – user382
    Feb 27, 2016 at 15:25
  • I believe that probably is the right one - not what i wanted it to be but thanks for the source
    – breath
    Feb 28, 2016 at 2:11

2 Answers 2


Mara is symbolic. Mara taunt is about being worldly, being productive instead of lying idle. Buddha was pretty young when he left the world in search of Truth. In those times, people used to leave household in later half of their lives. Young were supposed to take care of old ones. Perhaps this aspect is reflected in the anecdote.


What is the point of striving? It is to gain something you don't possess. Work is striving towards a gain, a goal. You work and get paid.

Not sure of the reference but in this case with action there are consequences for others. The more you do, the more you strive for, there is less for others. The more you gain then the less there is for others to attain.

Laziness / idleness is anti-work; it is anti-striving. Idleness's purpose is to not have a purpose. Does that make it wasted?

If one contains all that is needed, why would one want more?

If one does not want more, then why not allow others to attain what they strive for?

Of course, she could be pointing out that while attaining an enlightened state he may not need anything more, but to spend time encouraging others would not be striving for anything other than fellowship and enlightenment. He did use the convenience of enlightenment more than he should have.


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