Thursday, September 10, 2015

Māra

"Māra in Buddhist mythology plays a role similar to that of Satan in Christianity: he tempts people to perform evil actions, which lead to their downfall. Unlike Satan, however, Māra primarily seduces people into ignorance, and not sin. Sin, in Buddhism, is a second-order problem, an outgrow of ignorance. We only commit evil deeds because we fail to recognize that they inevitably rebound on us and cause suffering. More importantly, we think that selfish actions will result in personal happiness, but the only true satisfaction comes from the attainment of awakening. Māra's primary purpose is to blind people to these truths. These awakenings of a buddha is the greatest tragedy for Māra, since buddhas not only escape Māra's clutches, but through their compassionate activity they teach others the path to nirvana, thus robbing Māra of countless victims."

-John Powers, Introduction to Tibetean Buddhism, pg. 48.