What is Mara to you?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

What is Mara to you?

Postby Caraka » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:44 pm

In one of Scott1989's threads I asked him about whats Mara to him. He responded with:
I don't really see Mara as a female demon who is trying to seduce me


Dawn also answered this question in the same thread, but with:
Mara's body is our internal voice, he disapears when we watch him dirrectly.


Which makes me curious about what others also might answer?
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:55 pm

I suppose if i had to characterize it, it would be as the heedless, wanting mind instead of the tranquil and serene mind that comes with practice. Its really a process tho whose end result is that heedless wanting mind.
Mara, to me, is i guess just a personification of the poisons.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Scott1989 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:01 pm

Perhaps we could say 'Mara is me' or 'I am Mara'. When there is no 'me', no possessive entity in the head, there is no Mara. In this way you could actually argue that Mara is a demon that possesses us :lol:

What it brings is the story of me: my wants, my cravings, my needs, my memories, my opinions, my judgments, my knowledge.
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby James the Giant » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:51 pm

To me, Mara is my negative parts, my sloth, my anger, my greed, my lust, my doubt, my bad habits, etc etc.
I like to talk about Mara as if he's an actual real demonic superbeing who attacks people to distract them from what really matters. But I don't believe that in the least.
However, the suttas are pretty definite that he's an actual being. But I'm okay with not believing everything the suttas say literally.

Even the arahat Moggalana was actually Mara in a previous life!
At that time, Moggallana was Mara, chief of demons, lord of the lower worlds, and his name was Mara Dusi. He had a sister by name of Kali whose son was to become the Mara of our age. Majjhima Nikaya No. 50
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby DAWN » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:52 pm

Revolver is a good film abour Mara :spy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cea-hyQevg
Sabbe dhamma anatta
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I'am sorry for my english
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby DAWN » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:56 pm

And also, the word 'NIGHMARE' is composed of NIGHT and MARA :stirthepot:

I think is a good 'mether to think' about the nature of dreams
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Caraka » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:31 pm

However, the suttas are pretty definite that he's an actual being. But I'm okay with not believing everything the suttas say literally.


Can't one say eg. that there is nothing left in a being than Mara (does not need to be human)?

humans definitely have made a lot of nightmare movies..., or what about the story where the devil tempted Jesus. Did not this happen to the Buddha as well, before he reach enlightenment?

Wonder what Mara would be if it was not something related to ourself or our body..
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:04 pm

There are previous threads on this, but to repeat what I said earlier:

Five Kinds of Māra
  1. Māra Devaputta, the celestial villain of the sixth devaloka, the “Tempter” and the embodiment of evil.
  2. Kilesas, the ten defilements.
  3. Abhisaṅkhāra, kamma or volitional action.
  4. Khandha, continued existence.
  5. 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?
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby whynotme » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:11 pm

Thank you sir,

I have this curiosity, why such a powerful deva like Mara is against Buddhism? He must done some great deeds to be born as high level deva and he must have some kinds of divine eye to know about kamma, why Maras have such kind of attitude?

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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 pm

Why are some multi-millionaires so opposed to religion? They must have done some powerful kamma to become multi-millionaires. Why are not all of them strongly inclined to do charitable works for their well-being in future existences?
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby whynotme » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:37 pm

Thank you sir, I see it

Even sometimes I knew something as not good for me, but because of temper, love or hate, jealousy, I did against my benefit let alone things I don't know about it.

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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Caraka » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:28 am

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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby equilibrium » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:23 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Why are some multi-millionaires so opposed to religion? They must have done some powerful kamma to become multi-millionaires. Why are not all of them strongly inclined to do charitable works for their well-being in future existences?

Cause and effect.....Being rich now because of previous life.....equally strong, being poor because of previous life.....better to be in the middle.
Rich does not allow one to see as they are "blinded" by the money.....as they know in this life they do not need it.....nor will they ever question future existence.
Poor does not allow one to see as they are "struggling" with debt and work keeps their time occupied.

One will not "do" if one cannot "see"............The purpose is to escape and to be free!

Mara is the moment when one opens their eyes!
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:28 pm

"I" as well as "you".
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Caraka » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Greetings Bhikkhu Pesala,

There is also five kinds of Mara in my belief, as you list in the post and explained in the link above (I found the link in one of the earlier posts about Mara in this forum. You was part of that discussion as well).

It is the appearance of Mara that is not so clear. Is this a physical appearance you think, ie. can be touch, seen, talked to like anything else that is worldly, or is this an appearance we cannot see with our physical five senses?

Questions and reflections around reproofing the Buddhas teaching is not idle speculation, for me at least. For me it is the way towards recognizing the sublime Dhamma.

Why are some multi-millionaires so opposed to religion? They must have done some powerful kamma to become multi-millionaires. Why are not all of them strongly inclined to do charitable works for their well-being in future existences?


If you don't know any multi-millionaires or all, is this not idle speculation?
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby whynotme » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:31 pm

Caraka wrote:It is the appearance of Mara that is not so clear. Is this a physical appearance you think, ie. can be touch, seen, talked to like anything else that is worldly, or is this an appearance we cannot see with our physical five senses?

Hi,

Your question relates to the invisible world, devas.

One of the monk I knew claimed that he attained jhanas and has the knowledge of that world explained that it is the realm of consciousness which why modern science can't easily measure it. By consciousness, most people will think it is subjective, but I think about something as objective consciousness. I don't know much but I think revolution new views/ methods are needed to understand this realm in modern language.

Also, modern understanding of consciousness is indirectly through physical world, i.e measure physical state of the brain. Consciousness is a key problem in human history, it is so obvious to human but is very hard/ impossible to measure directly in physical world that why most scientists easily accept consciousness is something physical, i.e the current in brain, but in reality, it is not.

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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby ground » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:39 am

Mara is consciousness' home, the opposite of homelessness, the lord of limitations.

"Monks, what a man wills, what he plans, what he dwells on forms the basis for the continuation of consciousness.[2] This basis being present, consciousness has a lodgment. Consciousness being lodged there and growing, rebirth of renewed existence takes place in the future, and from this renewed existence arise birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation, suffering, sorrow and despair. Such is the uprising of this entire mass of suffering.

"Even if a man does not will and plan, yet if he dwells on something this forms a basis for the continuation of consciousness:... rebirth... takes place...

"But if a man neither wills nor plans nor dwells on anything, no basis is formed for the continuation of consciousness. This basis being absent, consciousness has no lodgment. Consciousness not being lodged there and not growing, no rebirth of renewed existence takes place in the future, and so birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation, suffering, sorrow and despair are destroyed. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:56 am

A physical home is often an incrediple reflextion of an consciousness home. Mara is not easy seen. Throw away the key and he appears, even before you do, even before you would give it a thought. There are two kinds of Wandering on.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby ground » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:05 am

Maybe yes, maybe no. Does not make a difference. View is view is consciousness' home. :sage:
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Re: What is Mara to you?

Postby bodom » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am

This is an interesting article for further study:

The Buddha's Encounters with Mara the Tempter:
Their Representation in Literature and Art

by
Ananda W.P. Guruge

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el419.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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