It represents a symbol of the painful world of samsara , and in its embodiment of death, together with aging, forms the twelfth link in the chain of dependent arising . Personified, he is described as the tempter and so sometimes compared to the Christian devil .
Origin and occurrence
In the legends, Devaputra Māra is the antagonist of Buddha Shakyamuni . His three daughters Ratī , lust, Aratī , dissatisfaction and Tanhā , greed are considered to be his assistants . He appears several times in the life history of the Buddha. The most important appearance is the one immediately before its enlightenment (see below). As a metaphor , Māra stands for “that which causes suffering”. In this sense, the five groups of worldly existence, the so-called skandhas, belong to it, those factors which determine the attachment to a worldly, non-enlightened existence.
Māra in legend
When Buddha Shakyamuni was on the verge of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree , Māra used all his strength to prevent him. To do this, he evoked appearances such as armies of violent warriors in order to make him angry, or women who wanted to give themselves to him and riches in order to seduce him. However, Buddha saw through his intentions, realizing that everything offered to him is ephemeral and like an illusion. In a final attack, Māra tried to persuade the Buddha to enter nirvana immediately . However, this refused because he first wanted to find students in order to enable his teaching to spread. Māra herself sank into a puddle, the illusion was cut through by the Buddha's enlightenment like a diamond (see Diamond Sutra ).
- Johannes Laube : Evil in the World Religions , Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3534149858 .
- Paul Carus : The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil . 1900, pp. 104-115, online
- Klaus-Josef Notz: The Lexicon of Buddhism. Freiburg, 1998, ISBN 3-451-04700-4
- Devaputra is a title of ruler introduced by the Kuschanas .
- Hermann Oldenberg: Buddha - life, teaching, community. Berlin, 1881, reprint: ISBN 3-8262-1509-5
- University of Miami : as.miami.edu: Life of Buddha Part III
- khandro.net: Mara and His Children
- Mara's Temptations (from the Palikanon)