It appears that the bulk of the posts are off-topic. In an attempt to resuscitate this topic permit me to ask these two questions:
1. Why are the five aggregates equated with Mara, who is the equivalent of the Buddhist devil?
2. Why is the self or attâ not equated with the Buddhist devil?
I'm not too sure what benefit we will gain from framing this Buddhism101 discussion on these two questions. It requires a little too much knowledge as to the buddha's presentation of Mara, which is something which is not the topic of discussion here. Perhaps a new thread is in order. And the second question is getting back into the self debate. Let us not bring such a potentially ugly debate to this thread.
Anyway, I will respond though by offering a small selection from a link which discusses 'the two truths':http://www.kagyu.org/buddhism/cul/cul03.html
In the Buddha's tradition, the concept, or the presentation, of the two truths is very important. For that reason, in this first weekend course Rinpoche will give the presentation of the two truths through the various traditions of the Dharma. The two truths are the conventional truth and the ultimate truth. The conventional truth is the mode in which things appear, and the ultimate truth is the mode of being, or the way things really are.
When we hold on to the mode of appearance of things, the conventional truth, as having some kind of true existence, then the various kinds of sufferings arise, and the various disturbing emotions. So conditioned existence or samsara arises from holding onto the way things appear as being real, as being true, as having some kind of innate existence. So then, realizing the mode of the way things are, realizing the ultimate truth, pacifies or dispels all of the various disturbing emotions; from that one gains nirvana. Briefly, then, attaching to the mode of appearance as having true existence--this is the confused mind or the bewildered mind. Therefore, it is necessary to reverse that bewildered mind and to realize the nature of things as they are.
Whatever phenomenon there is to be known, that phenomenon can be known in terms of the conventional truth, or it can be known in terms of the ultimate truth, but only in terms of these two truths and not in terms of any other truths. Because of the importance of knowing that phenomena have their existence in terms of these two truths, the Buddha said that all phenomena whatsoever can be known through these two truths, ultimate and conventional, and not in any other way.
Here, one can consider the appearence of the khandas to be the conventional truth, whereas the second (ultimate) truth is true nature of things. The buddha uproots our blindness to the second truth by revealing all the khandas to be impermanent/changing (anicca), unsatisfactory/stressful (dukkha) and without any independent or absolute existence (anatta). This teaching is commonly refered to the 'three marks of existence' and are also known as the 'three dharma seals'. By coming to correct apprehension of the khandas, we will see these three marks directly, without any doubt. By seeing them correctly dispassion towards the khandas occurs, and unbinding consequently.
Direct perception of the three marks is seeing the second truth (ultimate truth). Ultimate truth is the way things really are. So, if we don't know the second truth, then we don't really even know the conventional truth. So, ignorance (avijja) of the second truth is the cause for all of our problems and is the at the very root of samsara.
Sorry if this got too heady. I still suck at breaking this stuff down into bitesize pieces.
P.S.- I will gladly take this discussion of the two truths elsewhere if need be.