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Mara

by Dr Anthony E. Smart
One of the two transcedent powers in Indian lore, Mara is the master magician of illusion, and became in Buddhist belief the Evil One. It was he who assailed the original Buddha, Gautama, as the priest lay in meditation under the Bo Tree. But Gautama gathered the gods to him, and Mara, shamed, retired. It is believed that he waits on the edge of the world, waiting to seize the souls of the dying. He is portrayed as a demonic creature with a hundred arms that rides an elephant. Mara rules the sixteenth level of heaven, the Paranimmitavasavattin.

Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Marah
  • Etymology:
    Death, destruction

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