YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Do you believe in Mara - Dhamma Wheel

Do you believe in Mara

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Do you believe in Mara?

It is a real devil who harasses those who try to enlighten
6
38%
It is just a metaphor for our own low mental states
8
50%
I believe in 2 but not sure why Mara is shown as a real devil in suttas
2
13%
 
Total votes: 16

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:37 pm

Is it a real devil who tried to torment the Buddha and his disciples.
Is it just a metaphor
You believe it is a metaphor but you cannot explain why it appears so much as real devil in suttas

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:37 pm


User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:26 pm

You mean the many many suttas mention Mara are just literature stuff added by authors. They are not really accurate? More like fairy tales?

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:00 pm

Not like fairy tales... more like allegories.

And I don't mean to say that this sort of thing was added by various authors, while other parts were not - each of the Nikayas exemplifies the hands of various editors, so the presence of moral cosmologies, hagiography, birth narratives, and other forms of religious literature are not surprising.

One cannot draw a line in the sand and say "all texts up to here are infallible" - it takes a much more nuanced approach than that to get at the heartwood.

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby santa100 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:09 pm

John Constantine (played by Keanu Reeves in the movie "Constantine") put it best:

Angela Dodson: Well, this has been real educational, but... I don't believe in the devil.
John Constantine: You should. He believes in you!

User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:14 pm

Does it matter? The lesson is the same either way.

G.K. Chesterton has a quote: "Fairy tales are true not because they teach us that dragons are real, but that dragons can be beaten." That's my approach here. I don't read the suttas to learn whether or not this demon or that mountain is real; I read them because they teach me how to deal with what I know is real, i.e. my defilements.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:18 pm


User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:27 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:32 pm


User avatar
FatDaddy
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:49 am
Location: Buckle of the Bible belt

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby FatDaddy » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:47 pm

Of all the personifications found in Buddhist cosmology, Mara is the one that presents the most difficulty for me. With the exception of Mara, they all exist as a result of kamma. Mara seems to exist outside of cause and effect.

All of my defilements are internal and cannot be attributed to any outside agency. I am struggling with myself, not some devil who “made me do it”.
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:51 pm


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:46 pm


User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:40 pm


User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:17 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


User avatar
Alobha
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby Alobha » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:38 pm

One can say there are several modes of Mara:

You may benefit from Bhikkhu Pesala's post on the 5 kinds of Mara over

Bhikkhu Gavesako also gave a Dhammatalk a while ago about the modes of Mara. The talk can be found .

Best wishes,
Alobha

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:15 pm

I use certain guidelines in assessing Suttas, but this is the same as saying I have certain biases. These may or may not be helpful, but they are almost certainly imperfect.

So, nevermind what they are; given that time is short, I recommend studying discourses which describe the gradual training, and I would apply myself to those with great vigor. Mara & Brahma aren't really important.

:heart:

whynotme
Posts: 479
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:52 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby whynotme » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:36 am

Please stop following me

SarathW
Posts: 8014
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby SarathW » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:27 am

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2407
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby robertk » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:31 am


User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:46 am

Re: Do you believe in Mara

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:52 am

I don't like the mara concept either. I don't like to think there are beings out there who lead the craving kama world and they want us in their control. It's scary.

BUT, I find it really hard to see how these guys keep appearing is sutta if they are just mental. If Mara is symbol for our own craving how did he appear to enlightened ones? Doesn't make sense.

Maybe the sutta are not completely rights as devarupan said.


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 45 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine