|Mara, the personification of Death in Buddhism, on the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos 2007, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles)|
|A mara can adopt any shape, beautiful or hideous (Great-wall-hikers/flickr.com)|
"Come out, Evil One! Come out, Evil One! Do not harass the Tathagata [the Buddha], do not harass the Tathagata's disciple, or it will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time."
|Wheel of Rebirth ruled by Death (exoticindianart.com)|
"Come now, abuse, revile, scold, and harass the virtuous recluses of good character; then perhaps, when they are abused, reviled, scolded, and harassed by you, some change will come about in their minds whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity." [Causing defilements to arise in their minds, he hopes to prevent them from escaping samsara.]
"These bald headed recluses, these dark skinned menial offspring of Brahma's feet, say 'We are meditators! We are meditators!' and with shoulders drooping, heads down and all limp,
- they meditate,
- out-meditate, and
- [NOTE: The commentary takes great pains to point out that Mara did not exercise control over their actions (karma), in which case he alone would have been responsible and the Brahmins would not have been responsible and could not have generated bad karma by their deeds. Rather, Mara caused the Brahmins to imagine scenes of the recluses engaged in inappropriate conduct, and this vision aroused their own defiled actions and antagonism INDUCING (not forcing) them to harass the recluses. Mara's intent in doing so was to make the recluses give rise to anger and/or dejection.]
"Though I do as I am doing, still I do not know the comings or goings of these virtuous recluses of good character. Let me now take possession of the Brahmin householders, telling them: 'Come now, honor, respect, revere, and venerate the virtuous recluses of good character; then perhaps, when they are honored, respected, revered, and venerated by you, some change will come about in their minds/hearts whereby the Mara Dusi may find an opportunity."
The Buddha Kakusandha instructed the recluses on a meditation to overcome pride, negligence, egotism, conceit, complacency, and other such defilements.
This also frustrated the Mara Dusi until he was driven to possess a boy to throw a rock at the head of one of the chief disciples causing him a bleeding gash. The Buddha Kakusandha turned to look at the Mara Dusi while stating, "This Mara Dusi knows no bounds." He then fell into the Great Waste to suffer unbelievably for millennia only to be reborn as a repugnant chimera and now himself, aeons later, a chief disciple of a buddha.