Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

In Buddhism, who is Mara? And who in Christianity could be thought of as Mara's equivalent?

Added points ( LOL) how was Mara thought of by the early Buddhists? Was that any different then her equivalent in Christian doctrine always been described?


Sorry, "his" !

7 Answers

  • Prajna
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Mara refers to obstacles/obstruction against liberation/Nirvana. There are 4 main categories:

    1) Mara of (one's own) death: death disrupts one's learning and practice towards Nirvana;

    2) Mara of (one's own) defilements:defilements contaminate one's mind with wrong thoughts/actions/karma;

    3) Mara of one's own five aggregates: all other thoughts/actions that is not according to the Noble Truth;

    4) Mara of heaven (Devaputra Mara): also called king of demon. In Buddhism, the heaven of desire is divided into 6 levels. Mara is actually the king of the highest level. The problem with Mara is that he has an urge to control humans, and thus is unhappy with Buddhists who practice to achieve Nirvana, who would then be liberated from rebirth/Samsara (out of his control). Thus, he would try to disrupt (seduce, frighten etc) them before their success, but to no avail if the Buddhist follow the noble path correctly.

    Note that Mara does not equal to evil actions (killing, torturing etc) in Buddhism. They simply refer to any thoughts and actions that would disrupt liberation.

    The closest equivalent in Christianity is Satan. But the differences should be obvious from the above definitions.

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    In Buddhism, who is Mara? And who in Christianity could be thought of as Mara's equivalent?

    Added points ( LOL) how was Mara thought of by the early Buddhists? Was that any different then her equivalent in Christian doctrine always been described?

    Source(s): buddhism mara christianity thought mara 39 equivalent:
  • 1 decade ago

    Mara is the personification of temptation and evil in Buddhism. He is the equivalent to Satan in Christian mythology, sans the theology.

    Early Buddhists viewed Mara as mentioned above. Satan was not an original Character in Christianity and his mythology has evolved greatly over time.

  • Tuxedo
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Very likely the earlier Buddhist scriptures influenced the later New Testament in that Christ is a pagan saviour-god construct. 'Mara' tempts Buddha with '3' daughters and 500 years later the mythical Jesus is tempted '3' times by 'Satan'.

    Even some of Jesus' purported miracles and sayings are a rehash from the Buddha's earlier life. Also Buddhist monks had a community in Alexandria, Egypt before Christianity.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In Buddhism there are four maras. The mara of delusions, the mara of death, the mara of contaminated aggregates, and Devaputra mara. Only the last of these is a 'living being' so to speak. Devaputra Mara is regarded as a malevolent spirit that resides in a certain god realm called 'Controlling Others Emanations'. He has many powers or qualities that enable him to influence others. In general, his nature is to engage in destructive behaviors, such as causing accidents or increasing the delusions people have. His influence is very complex as he has control over things like the elements, and is able to influence not only our minds but can manifest things within our body. He has many spirits under his control that assist in his misdeeds. Nonetheless, he has Buddhanature and therefore he can and will eventually become enlightened. The compassion of Buddhas is not partial to one particular ethnicity or type of living being. All living beings are worthy of love and compassion.

    Devaputra has been generally equated with Satan, but I think this probably only applies with regards to similarities in actions, but even that is difficult to say since there are so many different interpretations of Satan, the Devil, Baphomet, the Green Man, Abraxis etc etc. People mostly seem to use the term Satan or Devil in society to refer a very specific character referred to in Christian Mythology, but as I said, there are many different understandings of Satan, just as there are many interpretations of Christ and God. Even in the Bible it seems there are many different gods being referred to. For instance, there is a god that loves all his children, and there is a god who is very partial, has a specific group of people known as the 'chosen ones', and unleashes wrath that destroys people, yet there is a compassionate god and so on.

    Anyways, although there may be some similarities, we cannot say that Devaputra and Satan are equivalent.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    my answer is based on Theravada Buddhist religion.

    First. mara is the supreme deity. They live on the highest class (the 6th floor) of the normal heaven.

    compare to Christianity. God is the king of the second floor heaven. Lucifer is the former God who was expelled from the 2nd floor after the great war on the heaven. This guy, right now, lives underground with his army in the land of naga.


    So, in my opinion, when we say mara as a deity. There is nothing about Christianity.

    When we say lord Sakka the king of the second floor this is the God.

    When we say Vebcitti the lord of Aursa, who was expelled from the second floor heaven, this is Lucifer.


    more explanation, this is not about your question but it will make you understand more.

    heaven in Buddhist religion

    1.normal heaven has 6 classes or six floors. There are males and females deva (angel) here. Mara is in the highest level. Deva is the name we call these being on the heaven. Asura is the name we call those guy who losed the war and lives underground right now.

    2.rupa-brahma-realm has 11 classes, these classes are separated by the level of meditative absorbtion. people here looks like a man but they actually have no gender.

    3.special-rupa-brahma-realm has 5 classes. Same as no.2 but they not gonna come back to rebirth.

    4.Arupa-brahma-realm has 4 classes, people here look like a chunk of cloud with blinking stardust inside. These guys are also by the level of formless meditative absorbtions.


    "Naga" is a gant snake with a big red horn on its forehead. They live underground.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Mara was Gautama's tempter and is not feminine.

    I say Gautama because he had not yet become Buddha.

    Not sure there is a Christian equivalent.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.