|A Beautiful Death III (Zhang Jingna.com/deviantart.com)|
|Death is lovely disguised as love (Cupid)|
|Mara: not so lovely after all|
|A mara struggles with St. Issa (Jesus) in a war of principalities rather than flesh and bone.|
"One who delights in objects cognizable by the eye, and so on, has fallen under Māra's sway" (S.iv.91).
"One who beset by attachment is entangled by Māra" (S.iii.73).
"Māra will overthrow one who is unrestrained in sense enjoyment, immoderate in food, idle, and weak" (Dhp. Yamaka, vs. 8).
"By attaining the Noble Eightfold Path one will be free from Māra" (Dhp. vs. 40).
Later books, especially the Nidānakathā of the Rebirth Tales or Jātaka Commentary (J.i.71ff.; cp. MA.i.384) and the Buddhavamsa Commentary (p. 239 ff), contain a very lively and detailed description of the temptation of the Buddha by Māra as Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi tree immediately before enlightenment.
|Mara's army moves in on Siddhartha under the Bodhi tree. Siddhartha meditates with resolve, fearless and full of compassion, even as Mara attacks (DW).|
|Mara Devaputra advances on the Bodhisattva|
At Māra's approach, all the various "shining ones" (devas), reptilians (nāgas, serpents, dragons), and others -- who were gathered around the Bodhisattva singing his praises and paying him honors -- disappeared in headlong flight. The Bodhisattva was left alone, and he called for assistance the ten perfections he had developed over so many lives that it is hard to count.
A Theory of Death
Dhr. Seven and Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
|Death skull (tumblr.com)|