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     The Buddha’s Victory over Mara


In the Buddhist tradition, the Mara can be the best to be understood as Satan. He always tried to discourage the Buddha or any one of the person who goes onto the righteous path. He is also called ‘Namuchi’ as none can escape him and ‘Vasavatti’ as he rules all.

Gotama refused the world and when he passed through the city gates on his horse Kanthaka, Mara appeared before him and attracted him by the offer to make him a universal ruler in seven days, if he was to change his decision. Siddhattha, however, did not pay any attention and ignored him.

The beginning of the legend of the Mara is first of all is evident in the Padhana Sutta. His ten-fold army is longing; disgust; Hunger; Thirst; desired; Stoth and indolence; weak; Doubt; two-faced and Stupidity; False Glory; and pride. He also had three daughters namely, Tanha, Arati and Raga. They represented as the three of  the ten forces of Mara’s ten-fold army. These daughters were in employment to attract the Buddha after his illumination; and they could take up a numerous forms of changing age and charm.

The Buddhavamsa explanations and Nidanakatha of the Jataka explanations, mostly in the Singhalese versions, clarify a very lively and thorough description of the Mara’s visit to the Buddha just before his Illumination, when he was sitting under the Bodhi tree. Seeing Gotama seated with a stiff settle to become a Buddha, he send for all his forces to attack the Sakyamuni. The forces included twelve unions in front and back; and nine leagues on the right and on the left. Mara himself with the thousand arms riding on his elephant Girimekhala, attacked Gotama. His followers prepared with deadly weapons and taking up various terrifying forms joined him in his attack. The Devas, Naga, and others who had assembled round the Gotama to pay him service and sing his praises then flee at the sight of the terrifying army of Mara.

The Bodhisatta then in his turn called the ten Paramis, which he had perfected in various births, for his security. Each of the ten divisions of Mara’s army was then beaten and ran away by one parami. Ultimately, in the end of the war, Mara’s army had to run away from there. Defeated Mara had then thrown his last weapon – the chakkavudha, which stood over the Bodhisatta’s head like a crown of flowers. Still Mara tried to discourage Gotama from the path of the Buddhahood by untruly asserting the Gotama’s seat as his own; and by asking him to prove his deservation to sit on the seat on which he was sitting. All the Mara’s followers then confirmed Mara’s demand by shouting that the seat actually belonged to Mara.

As the Bodhisatta had no other witness to bear evidence on his side he asked the Earth to speak for him by touching the ground with his middle finger. The Earth then howl in response and bore the evidence for the Bodhisatta by thundering, “I stand as his witness”. Thus, the Mara’s conquer was final; and he and his followers had to run away. The Devas and other celestial beings then prayed him and celebrated his victory.

 

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