There are previous threads on this, but to repeat what I said earlier:Five Kinds of Māra
- Māra Devaputta, the celestial villain of the sixth devaloka, the “Tempter” and the embodiment of evil.
- Kilesas, the ten defilements.
- Abhisaṅkhāra, kamma or volitional action.
- Khandha, continued existence.
- Maccu, death.
Some take the view that it only means the defilements, that Māra devaputta is just a manifestation of one's own fears and other defilements. However, how can one explain then that Māra appeared to the Buddha on several occasions during his life, after he had vanquished all defilements at the foot of the Bodhi tree?
Also, how do we explain the Māratajjaniya Sutta, in which Venerable Moggallāna admonishes Māra and warns him of the consequences of harassing a disciple of the Buddha?
If we have never seen a ghost, or deva, or brahma, or a māra, we will have to believe or disbelieve these accounts. Its not within the range of our direct knowledge, and idle speculation is the work of Māra.
The defilements are visible here and now. Endless volitional activity (abhisankhāra māra) is visible here and now. Death (maccu māra) is all around us in the news every day, though we tend to ignore it.
The five aggregates are visible here and now. As for Māra devaputta, let me know if you see him?