For Buddhists: How would you describe Mara?
- sista!Lv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
In Buddhism, there is no fight between good and evil—that is the most wonderful thing in the Buddhist practice! There is no fight between good and evil. Good and evil are both organic matters. If you have understanding and wisdom, you will know how to handle both the flower and the garbage in you, you can make the Buddha be born every moment of your life, and peace and happiness will be possible.
When you are there for yourself, there is an energy that embraces you, embraces your pain, embraces your suffering, your fear, your despair. It also embraces the good, positive qualities within you. The capacity of being joyful again, of being happy again, of being loving and tolerant—these qualities are within us, and they need to be embraced in order to grow; these are flowers. And the fear, despair, and sorrow in us need to be embraced in order to become compost. They will nourish the flowers. The Buddha needs Mara in order to grow beautifully as a flower and also Mara needs the Buddha, because Mara has a certain role to play.
The tendency is to want to remove and to clear away the blocks of pain and sorrow and despair in us. We just want the Buddha or God to be like a surgeon who can cut out anything we don't want of ourselves, get it out of our system. In the light of non-duality, not only are we flowers, but we are also the garbage in us. We cannot just get rid of us. Sometimes we are love, sometimes we are anger; love is us, but anger is also us. So we have to treat both love and anger on an equal basis, like the Buddha was treating Mara. Mara didn't understand. Ánanda also didn't understand. But the Buddha, he understood. He was teaching both of them the nature of non-duality between suffering and happiness.
By Thich Nhat Hanh
- 4 years ago
Although I am a Buddhist, this is my personal understanding rather than any 'official' Buddhist thought. I believe that the temptations which The Buddha experienced were effectively the same as the temptations of Christ. The Devil, the Tempter, Mara, these are not some entity 'out there', but the projections of our own conditioned egos. If we ordinary folk know the power of these temptations, how much greater would be the temptations arising from those on the point of realising complete enlightenment, God consciousness, call it what you will? Their dying egos would put up a tremendous fight before finally expiring, and they would KNOW that those temptations could be fulfilled because of the power their spiritual greatness gave them. So, for me, Mara is a projection of our own selfish ego desires.
- wbLv 61 decade ago
Verse 46. Who Conquers Death?
Having known this froth-like body
and awakening to its mirage nature,
smashing Mara’s flowered shafts
unseen beyond the Death-king go.
Explanation: This body of ours is like froth, bubbles, or foam. It disintegrates quickly. The nature of life is like a mirage, an illusion. Therefore, one must give up these unrealities. To achieve that one must destroy Mara’s flower-arrows by which he tempts men and women. It is necessary that the truth-seeker should go beyond Mara’s region, to areas unseen by him. Mara knows only the realm of death. The truth seeker goes beyond that region to the ‘deathless’ (Nibbana) - a domain Mara has never seen.