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Story of Mara
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
|091 - Story of Mara|
Mara in the Buddhist
tradition is believed to be the personification of Death; the Evil Force;
or the Tempter. He may be understood as Devil or Satan in popular terms.
Mara, when considered
as one-fold he refers to the ‘defilements’ (kilesas)
or death only. He is classified as five-fold by way of Khandha
(Aggregate Mara), Kilesa (Defilement) Mara, Abhisankhara (Accumulated
Karma) Mara, Macchu (Death) Mara, and Devaputta (four archangels of Yama).
In the older texts he is believed to be the personification of five
aggregates of the mind-body complex.
Mara is called ‘Namuchi’ as no one can escape him. He is called ‘Vasavatti’, because “he rules all”. Whenever, he finds some one treading the path of virtuosity, he creates obstacles and hindrances. For example, in the Shresthi-Jataka when a king thought of giving alms to a Paccheka Buddha, who had entered the palace: Mara put the obstacle of creating a very deep hell measuring many fathoms in width, with several dreadful sights accompanied with terrible sounds and tremulous flames.
The Buddha and Mara
The Three daughters of Mara
Mara and his army. Mara riding his elephant Girimekhala
Mara and his army
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