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Encyclopedia > Mara (demon)
An aniconic representation of Mara's assault on the Buddha, 2nd century CE, Amaravati (India).
An aniconic representation of Mara's assault on the Buddha, 2nd century CE, Amaravati (India).

In Buddhism, Mara is the demon who tempted Gautama Buddha by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who in various legends are often said to be his daughters. In Buddhist cosmology, Mara is personified as the embodiment of unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life. He is a tempter, distracting us from practising the spiritual life by making the mundane alluring or the negative seem positive. Download high resolution version (528x779, 171 KB)An aniconic representation of Maras assault on the Buddha, 2nd century CE, Amaravati. ... Download high resolution version (528x779, 171 KB)An aniconic representation of Maras assault on the Buddha, 2nd century CE, Amaravati. ... // Events Roman Empire governed by the Five Good Emperors (96–180) – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. ... Greek scroll supported by Indian Yaksha, Amaravati, 3rd century CE. An aniconic representation of Maras assault on the Buddha, 2nd century CE, Amaravati. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, who lived between approximately 566 and 486 BCE in India. ... In folklore, mythology, and religion, a demon or demoness is a supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit but outside Christian circles was viewed as a sort of elemental spirit: compare Daemon and djinn. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE, Musée Guimet. ... Beauty also refers to the bottom quark, a flavor of quark in particle physics. ... Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) world + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the universe in its totality and by extension mans place in it. ... Spirituality may include belief in supernatural powers, as in religion, but the emphasis is on experience. ...


The early Buddhists, however, rather than seeing Mara as a demonic, virtually all-powerful Lord of Evil, regarded him as more of a nuisance. Many episodes concerning his interactions with the Buddha have a decidedly humorous air to them. Divisions among the early Buddhist schools came about due to doctrinal or practical differences in the views of the Buddhist Sangha following the death of the Buddha. ... Evil is a term describing that which is regarded as morally bad, intrinsically corrupt, wantonly destructive, inhumane, or wicked. ...


In traditional Buddhism four senses of the word "mara" are given. Firstly, there is klesa-mara, or Mara as the embodiment of all unskilful emotions. Secondly, mrtyu-mara, or Mara as death, in the sense of the ceaseless round of birth and death. Thirdly, skandha-mara, or Mara as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence. Lastly, devaputra-mara, or Mara the son of a god, that is, Mara as an objectively existent being rather than as a metaphor. This last connotation of mara is strikingly similar to the hindu concept of Maya (Illusive Power of God), which may suggest that the two words Maya and Mara are perhaps directly related. Childbirth (also called labour, birth, partus or parturition) is the culmination of a human pregnancy with the emergence of a newborn infant from its mothers uterus. ... In Western culture, skeletons are often the symbol of death. ... In language, a metaphor is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct comparison between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ... Maya, in Hinduism, is many things. ...


Early Buddhism acknowledged both a literal and "psychological" interpretation of Mara. Whichever way we ourselves understand the term, Mara has power only to the extent that we give it to him. Psychology (Classical Greek: psyche = soul or mind, logos = study of) is an academic and applied field involving the study of behavior, mind and thought and the neurological bases of behavior. ...


"Buddha defying Mara" is a common pose of Buddha sculptures. The Buddha is shown with his right hand on his right knee and his left hand in his lap, palm facing upwards.

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NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Mara (demon) (1055 words)
In Buddhism, Mara is the demon who tempted Gautama Buddha by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who in various legends are often said to be his daughters.
In Buddhist cosmology, Mara is personified as the embodiment of unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life.
Secondly, mrtyu-mara, or Mara as death, in the sense of the ceaseless round of birth and death.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Mara (folklore) (633 words)
A mara, or a mare is a kind of malignant female wraith in Scandinavian folklore believed to cause nightmares.
The mara was thought of as an immaterial being – capable of moving through a keyhole or the opening under a door – who seated herself at the chest of a sleeping person and "rode" him or her, thus causing nightmares.
The concept of the mara has very old roots in the folklore of the Germanic peoples, possibly the belief was shaped as early as in proto-Indo-European religion.
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