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Mara, the evil one.

iamthezenmasteriamthezenmaster Veteran
edited April 2012 in General Banter
Finding a Piece of the Truth

One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth."

"Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."

http://www.myrkothum.com/the-10-very-best-zen-stories/

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This is my problem with al institutions of faith and religion, buddhism also.
Always have been.
Still,
If it's all there is, gotta try to change it from within.
n13riverflowLeonBasin42bodhi
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Comments

  • I agree. but Buddha did say not to believe anything unless it corresponds with your common sense. So that kind of short circuits the fundamentalism problem from within... or at least it should.
  • I don't think that is a Buddhist story? I think it is a modern story, but I am not sure. I have heard it of God/devil in a chain e-mail.

    It's still a neat idea. That's exactly how it works, we have an insight and then ego cuts in and says: look at me I did it. I can always feel fear when I think I have 'done it.' If I have done it then what if 'the rug' gets pulled? What if I can't keep 'it'?
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    edited April 2012
    Jeffrey, are you saying Mara is a "modern story", or that this specific story is a modern story? And how are you defining modern?
  • personperson Veteran
    Mara goes way back, so he probably means the specific story.
  • ourselfourself some guy The Hammer, Ontario Veteran
    Finding a Piece of the Truth

    One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth."

    "Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is my problem with al institutions of faith and religion, buddhism also.
    Always have been.
    Still,
    If it's all there is, gotta try to change it from within.
    It doesn't sound Buddhist unless it's just a useful story or a vision. As far as I know, Buddha only ever encountered Mara while in a meditative state and so I don't think he exists as a physical entity. This is why he had no effect on a wakened mind.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    Mara goes way back, so he probably means the specific story.
    Yes, that's why I'm asking.

  • personperson Veteran
    Finding a Piece of the Truth

    One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth."

    "Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is my problem with al institutions of faith and religion, buddhism also.
    Always have been.
    Still,
    If it's all there is, gotta try to change it from within.


    It doesn't sound Buddhist unless it's just a useful story or a vision. As far as I know, Buddha only ever encountered Mara while in a meditative state and so I don't think he exists as a physical entity. This is why he had no effect on a wakened mind.

    In the Jakata Tales there's all kinds of strange stuff like intelligent, talking animals. I've also seen Mara mentioned as an actual being that lives in one of the god realms in some Buddhist cosmology. Not trying to say that any of this stuff is true, just that it exists in Buddhism.
  • personperson Veteran
    This title makes me think of the Led Zeppelin song Ramble On, there's a lyric ...but gollum, and the evil one...
  • ourselfourself some guy The Hammer, Ontario Veteran
    edited April 2012
    Finding a Piece of the Truth

    One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, "A piece of truth."

    "Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?" his attendant asked. "No," Mara replied. "Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is my problem with al institutions of faith and religion, buddhism also.
    Always have been.
    Still,
    If it's all there is, gotta try to change it from within.


    It doesn't sound Buddhist unless it's just a useful story or a vision. As far as I know, Buddha only ever encountered Mara while in a meditative state and so I don't think he exists as a physical entity. This is why he had no effect on a wakened mind.



    In the Jakata Tales there's all kinds of strange stuff like intelligent, talking animals. I've also seen Mara mentioned as an actual being that lives in one of the god realms in some Buddhist cosmology. Not trying to say that any of this stuff is true, just that it exists in Buddhism.


    True enough but I still would see talking animals existing in dreamworlds/other planes of existence or at least not on Earth. That's just my viewpoint.

    I see god worlds as only existing in reality for the gods. This world is the one where it is possible to wake up, not the god realms.

    Which I actually take issue with because I'm not sure how they would get out of there in order to ever realise our true nature. There must be a way to liberate Mara... Buddha showed him compassion but if we all have Buddha nature, wouldn't Mara also have the power to awaken?
  • Jeffrey, are you saying Mara is a "modern story", or that this specific story is a modern story? And how are you defining modern?
    @vinylyn, the story of the mara saying the man will turn the piece of the truth into a belief. I heard that in a chain e-mail.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    Jeffrey, are you saying Mara is a "modern story", or that this specific story is a modern story? And how are you defining modern?


    @vinylyn, the story of the mara saying the man will turn the piece of the truth into a belief. I heard that in a chain e-mail.

    Ok, cool. Mara is a main character in many Thai Buddhist stories, which is why I was asking.

  • edited April 2012
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.
    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?

  • MountainsMountains Moderator
    I rarely use the word "believe" (or "belief") in relation to my spirituality. I tend to use "understand" or "understanding". If I believe something, that (to me) implies that it is fixed and unchanging. If I understand something, I can expand my understanding as I go along.
  • edited April 2012
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.


    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?

    Who says that is my view?


    The historical Buddha lived at roughly the same time as the birth of the Roman Republic... he can only live in my mind. As for the teachings... the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Mara? I know Mara well... in the same way I know the Buddha.

    42bodhi
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.


    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?



    Who says that is my view?


    The historical Buddha lived at roughly the same time as the birth of the Roman Republic... he can only live in my mind. As for the teachings... the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Mara? I know Mara well... in the same way I know the Buddha.

    The "we" was just a general "we".

    But I go back to my question, which maybe I didn't make clear. "We" believe Buddha existed...in the flesh. But "we" tend to believe Mara is simply a...well, I'm not sure what to say here...a fable. Why?

  • I have no idea what this story is about...who is Marra? Why is he evil? What did the awakened person find on the ground?
  • edited April 2012
    Well, there are probably better informed people than I who can talk about the historical evidence for the existence of a man named Siddhartha Gautama.. the validity of teachings are not in doubt by those who have put them into practice over the centuries. Mara has always been presented as a timeless personification of entrenched delusion... habit energy, maybe.. and never a historical figure.

    Touching the ground has been interpreted in different ways... One way of seeing it is that when fantasies and fabrications are gone, and there is no reaching or grasping.... and the mind is open, simple, bright, and clear.... the solid earth comes forward and bears witness. The sane solid earth alone.
  • ourselfourself some guy The Hammer, Ontario Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.
    That's always been one of my favorites.

  • ourselfourself some guy The Hammer, Ontario Veteran
    I have no idea what this story is about...who is Marra? Why is he evil? What did the awakened person find on the ground?
    Mara could be the equivilant of Satan.

    The meditator glimpsed a bit of truth... Mara doesn't dig truth, but a piece of the truth can mislead if worshipped.

    That's my take on it, leastways.

  • cazcaz Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.


    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?

    Mara is a Devaputra Mara a God like being of the upper realms, Not a fable.
  • SileSile Veteran
    edited April 2012
    I've always been interested to see how different groups--various Christian denominations, for example--treat the "evil" forces. I was raised in one which taught that Satan and his "bad angels" were very much with us at all times, or near, ready to pounce at any moment. There were the good angels, and these bad angels, always engaged in a grim, silent war all around us. Satan was very clearly defined; the "bad angels" less so. Guardian angels, on the other hand, were quite specific, and we each had a guardian angel assigned to us; the "bad angels" remained a rather blurry, anonymous lot. Kept us on our toes, at any rate.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.


    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?



    Mara is a Devaputra Mara a God like being of the upper realms, Not a fable.
    And, so there you have it. A Buddhist who believes Mara is real. As opposed to others who see it as a fable. That's my point. It can't be both.

  • iamthezenmasteriamthezenmaster Veteran
    edited April 2012
    now you're basic story guys....

    the devil tested the Buddha under the bodhi tree before he became enlightend!

  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    From my understanding, Mara is not inherently evil. What about our desire to become enlightened? that is still Mara's domain.
  • mara will test one in a milion ways, from love to hate to greed to self,

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    @iamthezenmaster, when posting anything of this genre, please supply a source link or reference.
    That of course, goes to anyone posting any form of quotation, extract, text or article.

    Thanks.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Added to first opening post.
    Thanks.
    Is that where this one comes from, as well?
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Veteran
    I came across this sutta, in which Mara is described as the "embodiment of delusion"

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn05/sn05.002.olen.html
  • Added to first opening post.
    Thanks.
    Is that where this one comes from, as well?
    this one I think...
    sorry don't know for sure, these two I stumbled upon,
    so it's gotta be

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    My understanding of Buddha's teachings says: Mara or Maya is the projection of our conditioned mind.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Mara, yes.
    Maya no.
    Maya was his mother.
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    Mara, yes.
    Maya no.
    Maya was his mother.
    Oh, i did not know this. Thanks for telling this.

    I was referring to Maya(or illusion) of Samsara in Hinduism. I thought Mara was the Pali term for Maya(or illusion) in Sanskrit.

    Anyways, good to know that in Buddhism, Maya is the mother of Mara.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    NO......

    Maya was the mother of the Buddha.....

    If "Mara is the projection of our conditioned Mind" - how can he have a mother?

    :rolleyes:
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    NO......

    Maya was the mother of the Buddha.....

    If "Mara is the projection of our conditioned Mind" - how can he have a mother?

    :rolleyes:
    Oh, how stupid i am :banghead:

    Did not even thought about it - If "Mara is the projection of our conditioned Mind" - how can he have a mother?

    again realized my idiotness :bawl:

    Thanks again for correcting me.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited April 2012
    "Everybody has the right to be an idiot for 10 minutes a day.

    Wisdom consists of not exceeding that limit....." ;)
  • cazcaz Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.


    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?



    Mara is a Devaputra Mara a God like being of the upper realms, Not a fable.


    And, so there you have it. A Buddhist who believes Mara is real. As opposed to others who see it as a fable. That's my point. It can't be both.

    There are a 4 types of Mara actually.


    The term mara derives from the Sanskrit root mr, to murder. Thus, mara is what murders or causes interference to us limited beings and to our constructive actions leading to the three spiritual goals of one of the better rebirths, liberation, and enlightenment. Mara is also explained as “what puts an end” (mthar-byed, Skt. antaka) – that which puts an end to spiritual practice.

    the mara of death (the Lord of Death),
    the mara of disturbing emotions and attitudes,
    the mara of the aggregate factors of experience (the five aggregates),
    the (Devaputra)Mara who is the son of the gods.

    It is only the last one the Devaputra Mara which is an actual being.
  • ourselfourself some guy The Hammer, Ontario Veteran
    The Earth touching mudra comes from the story of when the Buddha was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and Mara was trying everything to confound him. Just before he awakened, Mara made a claim to the seat of awakening, and called his army to witness. Then the Buddha reached down and touched the Earth.. calling the Earth to witness. There are different versions of this story, but I always loved the idea that the Buddha called the Earth to witness, not Heaven... the solid, sane, earth.

    that's one take on it anyway.


    So, why do believe Buddha was real and Mara just a fable?



    Mara is a Devaputra Mara a God like being of the upper realms, Not a fable.


    And, so there you have it. A Buddhist who believes Mara is real. As opposed to others who see it as a fable. That's my point. It can't be both.

    What do you mean by "fable" exactly?

    "Real" is as "real" does.

    A charactor from a story can only do harm if it is believed in and manifested through the actions of the believer.

    Mara and Buddha faced off when Buddha was in a meditative state. As "good" as we wish to be is as "bad" as our nemesis becomes within. That's duality for you.

    To stay here and be light, Buddha had to overcome the darkside and he did it by showing infinite compassion.

    jmo



  • The story is as clear as it possibly could be; once we find a piece of the truth, we immediately make a "thing" out of it. That thing is a nice little box where we can put it on a pedestal in our mind to watch it, forgetting what it really was that we saw. It's the oldest Ego defense mechanism there is. Watch it happen every time.
    lobster
  • howhow to wrassle a wild zafu. Vancouver BC Veteran
    The Buddha & Mara are descriptions of the workings of a spiritual path.

    Guess who out of the Buddha, Mara and you, is the least historically significant or cognoscente of those workings?

    IMO...A regular period of meditation, coming and going without the traces of the Buddha and Mara dropping by for a visit,
    would first have me ask
    does your meditation have a bouncer?
    and
    what the difference is between a sanitized part of a compartmentalized mentality and your meditation?
  • Something I have never understood is how Buddhism changes in what is believed and not believed. Asian friends of mine who are Buddhist believe Mara is literal. Yet, when Buddhism came to America I feel that sometimes we tried to despiritualize it to make sure it didn't compare with Christianity. The Buddha spoke directly to Mara several times. This sutta is an example:

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.049.than.html

    If we actually believe the Buddha was not myth or a generalization, is it so hard to accept Mara could very well be real also. I am not saying the Buddha was omnipotent and knew every spiritual, otherworldly being in existence. Yet, why would we follow someone's teaching who obviously was hallucinating out of their mind on several occasions. We might as well follow Jimmy Stewart when he talks to the bunny Harvey rather than stick our neck out on a limb with some wacko who might have lived 2,500 years ago.

    Does this mean Mara is real? I really don't know, but Mara was controlling force or power on people's lives and tried to prevent the Buddha from attaining enlightenment. If he/she/it was not real, then the Buddha was tripping out of his head from starvation and never recovered from the mental damage he suffered.
  • Mara could be the equivilant of Satan.
    ?

    You mean an invisible being, residing in an invisible place, with invisible powers to do really dangerous stuff like make people who are mentally ill talk backwards and throw up at the sight of the Buddha or a man nailed to wood reputed to be a god . . .
    tsk tsk, the strange things people believe . . . no wonder I talk to trees to get a sense of reality . . .

    mara the evil red satin cloaked demon from Bollywood, would make a great musical to scare naughty Catholics and film goers . . .
    Hardly surprising a good Hindu boy like the Buddha saw stuff according to his cultural baggage.

    As a real Lobster with access to the Internet (we are still in the fantasy realm - right) I never believe what I read, what my mind comes up with or what Hollywood dreams are rampant but of course I can suspend belief as appropriate . . .

    Mara and Buddha are fantasies, that have meaning ascribed to them. Some of that meaning is very deep rooted.

    As usual I agree with @how

    Stop bouncing with mind castles and derelict fabrications.
    Find stillness.
    no kosher lobsters
    no devils
    no Buddhas
    Know Mind.

    :rarr:
  • CorvusCorvus New
    edited September 8

    @ourself said: I have no idea what this story is about...who is Marra? Why is he evil? What did the awakened person find on the ground?

    Mara could be the equivilant of Satan.

    The meditator glimpsed a bit of truth... Mara doesn't dig truth, but a piece of the truth can mislead if worshipped.

    That's my take on it, leastways.

    From what I get is that Mara is a allegory of the physical world that the 5 senses only perceive. Our 5 senses many times deceive us. Siddhārtha like the rest of us was tempted by the 5 senses that can distract us from our goal if we allow it. It was through his persistent meditation that allow him to see beyond the 5 senses. The 5 senses trick us into believing that we are our experiences which can lead us to stray. When we receive a little bit of truth and make it to a belief we become automatons like those who follow organize religion. Instead of being solders (!!!!!!!) we must always question and be the hump back (?????) instead. Every culture except Christianity-Islam uses allegories to explain something a moral lesson. In this country we have been indoctrinated by Christian doctrine we tend to think other religions take things at face value and worship the same. Religions of the east and even Pagan religions uses allegories to explain nature. Even ancient Judaism used allegories they call the pesher and Satan was originally just a word that meant adversary and used in a allegory. Over time especially when Christianity was born the allegory of Satan and God became to be taken literally.

    Check out the movie Little Buddha and you can see the symbolism when Mara temps Siddhartha with lust and then when that failed, he flung arrows, and then he tried the greatest tempt, false pride where he tempt Buddha into having counterproductive pride that he defeated Mara so far. The arrows symbolize those stressful things we face daily. When he saw his own image before him, that is our ego getting in the way.

  • CorvusCorvus New
    edited September 8

    Mara is the matrix in the movie The matrix. We live in a holographic universe

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited September 8

    Hello @Corvus and welcome.....As far as I can remember, Jesus used many allegorical parables to illustrate his teachings....

  • Thanks, Yes Jesus did, then the Roman government decided what to keep as parables and what to make literal as a way to control the people

  • anatamananataman Sitting comfortably ji ji muge Veteran

    No @Corvus - you are making a fundamental mistake - mara is that which you desire to be deceived by. Go conquer... 4NT's... There is nothing like a true beginning!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Corvus said: Thanks, Yes Jesus did, then the Roman government decided what to keep as parables and what to make literal as a way to control the people

    What are you talking about - ?! The Roman Government had nothing whatsoever to do with it. I think you mean The Roman Catholic council.... something entirely and completely different...

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