Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Mara

  1. #1
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sk, Canada
    Posts
    1,173

    Mara

    I am confused about Mara in Buddhism. Is it equal to the devil in Christianity, or is it more of a non-literal concept with the things humans struggle with such as anger, lust, greed etc. etc.

  2. #2
    Hi Emmy,

    Most folks, especially in modern times, take "Mara" to represent the harmful emotions and psychological states of anger, greed, jealousy and like mental traps and temptations harmful to ourself and others. "Buddha" thus has an aspect (among many aspects) of being those mental states free of such. As I mentioned on another thread, the great Buddhist Skeptic Stephen Batchelor has an excellent book (the kind of book best read in small bites) on Buddha and the counterpart ...

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenBookRev...the_Devil.html

    However, it is a fact that, in centuries past (and still today, in many places in Asia primarily), people took these things quite literally. I have written this before:

    Many Buddhists traditionally did (still do!) believe in rebirth in heavens or hells based on volitional actions (Karma) in this and past lives. Some of the descriptions of "Buddhist Hells" are as hellacious as anything in Western imagination (although the images seem to have developed independently) ... complete with pitchforks and brimstone ... look here. Not for the squeemish. I have seen similar images here and there at temples in China, Japan, Thailand and Korea ... images that would make any Fire & Brimstone preacher in the Bible Belt faint. Just like in the West, images of "hell" were often used by Buddhist preachers to get people to "be good". WARNING: 18 and OVER

    https://www.google.com/search?um=1&h...mg.svWQkm9pMTo

    I personally am a skeptical, but open minded, agnostic on literal, mechanical models of rebirth. It is not vital to my practice. But I do believe ... and see all the time ... people who make very terrible "hells" for themself and others in this life through their actions in this world. As I often say ...

    If there are future lives, heavens and hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    And if there are no future lives, no heavens or hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.
    Buddhism also has an image of "the Devil" ... the tempter "Mara" who, in the old Suttas, is often seen trying to lead Buddha off a good course. Does Mara exist literally? Well, like Kannon as a symbol of Compassion who exists through us and is "made real" when we choose our actions and whenever we do something caring and beneficial to others, Mara likewise exists through us when we do something harmful through the temptations of greed, anger and ignorance. In the sense, yes, they are real because compassion and generosity and selfishness and hate all exist as "real forces" in this universe as humans make them real through our words, thoughts and acts.
    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-04-2013 at 06:45 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    2,967
    Mara tends to visit me every so often: when I get lazy and don't want to sit, when I don't feel like going out and run... and every time I look for a second helping of a food that's harmful to me.

    I must admit that Mara won over my will for about 35 years... now I think I do a little better trying to live at peace with him.

    That alone is a full time practice :P

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  4. #4
    I find sitting, nature, and running to be a great antidote for Mara. I struggled with Mara in my early twenties when I was coming to terms with some family members.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yuba City, California, USA
    Posts
    923
    mara.jpgMara is in the mirror every day.

    With practice I notice Mara less (or my head is getting fatter). Perhaps one day my fault line will vanish. I wonder if I will notice.

    Gassho.
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  6. #6
    Ah Seimyo - we all have our Mara lines

    Living at peace with Mara means understanding where the negativity comes from - TNH teaches to comfort, nurse like a baby and give attention to understanding. Mara can be a great teacher IMHO - showing us which parts of our selves need working on.

    It is keeping me very busy right now!

    Gassho

    Willow

  7. #7
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    2,106
    o, everybody. Won't Mara always be there?



    Antaka, Mara, the maker of limits,
    You parade your sumptuous daughters always,
    And always Siddhartha touches the earth.
    Yet when he rises you are with him,
    Even after the morning star revealed its all.
    You walk with him as a shadow,
    You lie down with him in dreams of desire,
    You delight his eyes with the sparkle of promise.
    All along the dusty ways of the earth
    You bring the shiver of night, doubt to ability;
    We will see you were with us in our final hours,
    A constant companion, limiting the road.
    You will whisper farewell in our dying ear,
    As we cross over limitless, beyond all care.

    (Ps: Seimyo, hope that's not a tattoo!)
    Last edited by Myozan Kodo; 06-05-2013 at 09:54 AM.
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,098
    Blog Entries
    119
    Of course, i met him/her this morning (again)
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yuba City, California, USA
    Posts
    923
    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    o, everybody. Won't Mara always be there?



    Antaka, Mara, the maker of limits,
    You parade your sumptuous daughters always,
    And always Siddhartha touches the earth.
    Yet when he rises you are with him,
    Even after the morning star revealed its all.
    You walk with him as a shadow,
    You lie down with him in dreams of desire,
    You delight his eyes with the sparkle of promise.
    All along the dusty ways of the earth
    You bring the shiver of night, doubt to ability;
    We will see you were with us in our final hours,
    A constant companion, limiting the road.
    You will whisper farewell in our dying ear,
    As we cross over limitless, beyond all care.

    (Ps: Seimyo, hope that's not a tattoo!)
    Not a tattoo. Just a little Sharpie and the art of a furrowed brow.

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sk, Canada
    Posts
    1,173
    Well, I can't say I believe in a supernatural mara, but yes being aware of the mara as in struggles with the mind has helped me a lot today. Every time I struggle with a particular issue in my head, I remind myself that this is mara and it weakens its grip on me. I am reading a book by TNH right now called Touching Peace, in which he talks about mara. I was just confused as to whether this is an allegory or literal or supernatural.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    629
    I do not believe in a literal Mara, but I love the story of the Buddha defeating Mara. I alway smile when I see a Buddha statue in the "earth touching" mudra. Long before I learned of Buddhism, "touching" the earth helped me defeat mara many times (not as well as the Buddha did obviously)
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  12. #12
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sk, Canada
    Posts
    1,173
    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    I do not believe in a literal Mara, but I love the story of the Buddha defeating Mara. I alway smile when I see a Buddha statue in the "earth touching" mudra. Long before I learned of Buddhism, "touching" the earth helped me defeat mara many times (not as well as the Buddha did obviously)
    It's funny that you posted this today, catfish, because I was thinking the exact same thing. Thich Nhat Hahn describes it as touching the earth will heal you of whatever "mara" is doing to upset you. And he gave the example of the Buddha defeating Mara by touching the earth as his witness. I definitely find being in touch with nature, the birds, my pets, my garden, water etc. to be very healing for whatever non-literal Mara is trying to bother me with.

  13. #13
    If there are future lives, heavens and hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    And if there are no future lives, no heavens or hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.


    Jundo, that's brilliant.

    Emmy, if you read Bhikkhu Nanamoli's The Life of the Buddha which is essentially a biography that was strung together with excerpts from the Pali Canon (very early writings), you will see that Mara visits the Buddha again and again. Throughout the scriptures you constantly see Mara visit the Buddha and tempt him and then the Buddha says a few words and Mara runs away, always saying "he knows me, he knows me". That "he knows me, he knows me" is profound. Now whether this is literal or not, I love it because it can be read as a pointing away from the notion of the big "one time enlightenment" where all delusion, all poisons, all temptations are gone, and it points at the Buddha as one who continued to mindfully practice throughout his long life. This is particularly interesting because most other facets of these Scriptures drive home this notion of the Buddha as being perfected "free of taints" free of temptation from the moment of his awakening under the Bodhi tree on.

    This sort of one shot enlightenment narrative is not our way here. In this Sangha, with the guidance of Rev. Jundo, Rev. Taigu, the Unsui and one another, we simply continue to practice, realizing/making real the Buddha way. We are not chasers of Satori, Kensho, or any grandiose moment of "enlightenment". We know that Mara visits us again and again. To paraphrase something that that I believe Jundo said about another topic when Mara visits "I'll sit down with him, I just don't invite him to stay for breakfast."

    I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to see what the early Sangha believed about who the Buddha was and what his life/practice/teaching meant to them. I think that for most of us there is much in the Pali Canon (or the later Mahayana scriptures for that matter) that while presented literally, we can re-interpret figuratively but still find that it can enrich our life/practice.

    I think that perhaps Walt Whitman represented the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha and perhaps our relationship to Mara best when he wrote:

    "Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

    In Gassho,
    Arnold
    Last edited by arnold; 06-07-2013 at 12:26 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    o, everybody. Won't Mara always be there?



    Antaka, Mara, the maker of limits,
    You parade your sumptuous daughters always,
    And always Siddhartha touches the earth.
    Yet when he rises you are with him,
    Even after the morning star revealed its all.
    You walk with him as a shadow,
    You lie down with him in dreams of desire,
    You delight his eyes with the sparkle of promise.
    All along the dusty ways of the earth
    You bring the shiver of night, doubt to ability;
    We will see you were with us in our final hours,
    A constant companion, limiting the road.
    You will whisper farewell in our dying ear,
    As we cross over limitless, beyond all care.

    (Ps: Seimyo, hope that's not a tattoo!)
    Really wonderful Myozan. Is this your poem?

  15. #15
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    2,106
    Glad you like my hot air, Arnold. Yes. This is my effort. Gassho, with thanks. Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  16. #16
    I've now see mara much like Kyonin. It's that voice telling me to sleep the extra hour instead of getting up and exercising. Things like that. Not to reopen the prior thread, but I was raised Catholic and I've had more than enough fire and brimstone. Not to mention the guilt (more mara), they bring.

    This is my personal understanding.

    Gassho,
    Mc.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by arnold View Post
    [I]

    We are not chasers of Satori, Kensho, or any grandiose moment of "enlightenment". We know that Mara visits us again and again. To paraphrase something that that I believe Jundo said about another topic when Mara visits "I'll sit down with him, I just don't invite him to stay for breakfast."
    Hi Arnold,

    Actually, we don't chase after, not do we run away from Satori/Kensho and "grandiose moments of enlightenment" either. I might say that if they come, "we invite such to stay for breakfast", but then wash up the dishes and move on our way.

    For any of our newer folk, if you are curious as to the view of Kensho and such in the Soto way. I threw this together ... older folks have probably heard it before ...


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


    There are times in Shikantaza, when we come to pierce and experience states [dropping the self-other divide] profoundly. HOWEVER, EXPERIENCING THIS TIMELESS-VASTNESS AND BOUNDLESSNESS IS (STRANGE AS IT SOUNDS) ONLY A VERY LIMITED VIEW ON WHAT ENLIGHTENMENT IS. (Both the Soto and Rinzai folks pretty much say the same). It is like getting on a bus and taking a trip to experience the wide vistas of the Grand Canyon. Well, the Grand Canyon may be mind-blowingly powerful and a sight to see, but do not confuse it with all the rest of life and this world which are no less wide and wondrous when known as such.

    In a nutshell, a wondrous and important experience perhaps, but in "Zen Enlightenment" one comes to realize that even this ordinary, dusty, confining, sometimes joyous and sometimes ugly world is just as miraculous, wondrous, and "holy" as anything like that. The "Grand Canyon" or "Top of Mt. Everest" is a wonderful place to visit, but wouldn't want to live there. Scratching one's nose, taking out the trash, feeding the baby ... when we come to perceive this world as such ... is all as much the "Buddhaland" as anything with rainbow colored trees and cotton candy castles in the sky. In fact, the canyon vistas and the mountain top are ever before your eyes even now ... in the trash, your nose, in the hungry baby [(even in Mara!)]... although maybe hard to see. The most "boring and ordinary, beautiful or ugly" of this world is Extraordinary and Beautiful when properly understood.

    I once wrote this on such Kensho (Seeing One's Nature) experiences ...

    For Kensho is, in fact, special as special ever has been or could be … a sacred jewel, key to the path, life’s vitality realized … nothing other than special!

    Yet Kensho is “nothing special” in that each and all facets of this life-world-self, bar none, are vital, sacred, a unique treasure – and every step of the path is central to the path. The “ordinary and mundane” is never ordinary. Every moment and any encounter, each breeze and blade of grass is special, sacred, a jewel in Indra’s Net. Thus, I do not mean to lower the import of Kensho in the least, but just to RAISE UP all of life, and every instant of practice, to one and the same par with Kensho, for such is the wholeness, intimacy, unity that is KENSHO’d in KENSHO.
    .
    Realizing that fact – that the most “ordinary” is sacred and whole and unbroken – is at the heart of Kensho! Failing to see Kensho as extraordinary insight into the extra-ordinariness and sacredness of both the sacred and ordinary is not to see “Kensho.”
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-07-2013 at 02:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Thank you Jundo. That is a nuanced way of expressing the balance between Kajo and Kensho that I have not encountered before and it is extremely helpful. I wasn't aware that I was "picking sides" until you pointed this out.

    With Gratitude,

    Arnold

  19. #19
    Like this topic. Mara

    As a child is developing one of the good signs is when he shows a little bit of the devil. Intelligence shows early in mischief and defiance. If little angels don't show the imp at some point, it is a concern. So maybe Mara is that, the imp of our own intelligence?

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  20. #20
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn New York
    Posts
    186
    so, Mara as that bit of spirit not driven out or stultified by the child's keepers? Mara as Individual Imp sounds likes Blake's Genius.
    Last edited by Oheso; 06-10-2013 at 12:16 AM.
    "- and neither are they otherwise."

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •