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Mara The Tempter

Mara The Tempter

We’ve briefly mentioned Mara a few times already. Last week (http://www.dailybuddhism.com/archives/83), we talked about four Maras that Buddha had to overcome. Those maras were symbolic representations of hindrances on his path to Nirvana. However, quite often Mara is portrayed as a physical manifestation of temptation.Much like Yama is sometimes considered the god of death, Mara is something like the god of temptation.

While Siddhartha Gotama (Buddha before his Enlightenment) sat beneath the Bodhi tree, Mara came to him with many temptations. He tried repeatedly to tempt Buddha to return to his wife and son, becoming a great king in the process. Failing in this, Mara hurled lightning bolts at him, but the lightning turned into harmless flowers before the got near Buddha. The thunderbolts turned into soft music.

Even today, Mara is said to tempt men’s souls, and is the lord of pleasures of the senses, and delights in confusing and misleading.

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