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Buddha & Mara



Mara (Sanskrit, also Māra; Tibetan Wylie: bdud; Burmeseမာရ်နတ်), in Buddhism, is thedemon that tempted Gautama Buddha by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara's daughters.[1] In Buddhist cosmology, Mara personifies unwholesome impulses, unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life. He is a tempter, distracting humans from practicing the spiritual life by making the mundane alluring or the negative seem positive.

The early Buddhists, however, rather than seeing Mara as a demonic, virtually all-powerful Lord of Evil, regarded him as more of a nuisance. Many episodes concerning his interactions with the Buddha have a decidedly humorous air to them.

In traditional Buddhism four senses of the word "mara" are given.

  • Klesa-mara, or Mara as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions.
  • Mrtyu-mara, or Mara as death, in the sense of the ceaseless round of birth and death.
  • Skandha-mara, or Mara as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence.
  • Devaputra-mara, or Mara the son of a deva (god), that is, Mara as an objectively existent being rather than as a metaphor.