Mara (demon)

Mara (Sanskrit: मार, Māra; traditional Chinese: 天魔/魔羅; simplified Chinese: 天魔/魔罗; pinyin: Tiānmó/Móluó; Tibetan Wylie: bdud; Khmer: មារ; Burmese: မာရ်နတ်; Thai: มาร; Sinhala: මාරයා), in Buddhism, is the demon who tempted Prince Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha) by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara's daughters.[1] In Buddhist cosmology, Mara is associated with death, rebirth and desire.[2] Nyanaponika Thera has described Mara as "the personification of the forces antagonistic to enlightenment."[3]

Māra
Relief fragment of Mara in Gandhara style, found in Swat Valley
Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Mara Demons.jpeg
The demons of mara. Palm leaf manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India
MaraAssault
Mara's assault on the Buddha (an aniconic representation: the Buddha is only symbolized by his throne), 2nd century, Amaravati, India
Mara demon nat and Buddha
Mara depicted in the Burmese style, attempting to tempt Buddha
Dunhuang Mara Budda
Mara, his lusty daughters, and demonic army, attempting to tempt Buddha, on a 10th-century icon from Mogao Caves

Etymology

The word "Māra" comes from the Sanskrit form of the verbal root mṛ. It takes a present indicative form mṛyate and a causative form mārayati (with strengthening of the root vowel from ṛ to ār). Māra is a verbal noun from the causative root and means 'causing death' or 'killing'.[4] It is related to other words for death from the same root, such as: maraṇa and mṛtyu. The latter is a name for death personified and is sometimes identified with Yama. The root mṛ is related to the Indo-European verbal root *mer meaning "die, disappear" in the context of "death, murder or destruction". It is "very wide-spread" in Indo-European languages suggesting it to be of great antiquity, according to Mallory and Adams.[5]

Overview

In traditional Buddhism, four metaphorical forms of "māra" are given:[6]

  • Kleśa-māra, or Māra as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions, such as greed, hate and delusion.
  • Mṛtyu-māra, or Māra as death.
  • Skandha-māra, or Māra as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence.
  • Devaputra-māra, the deva of the sensuous realm, who tries to prevent Gautama Buddha from attaining liberation from the cycle of rebirth on the night of the Buddha´s enlightenment.

Overseer

Early Buddhism acknowledged both a literal and psychological interpretation of Mara.[7][8] Specially Mara is described both as an entity having an existence in Kāma-world,[9] just as are shown existing around the Buddha, and also is described in pratītyasamutpāda as, primarily, the guardian of passion and the catalyst for lust, hesitation and fear that obstructs meditation among Buddhists.

"Buddha defying Mara" is a common pose of Buddha sculptures.[10][11] The Buddha is shown with his left hand in his lap, palm facing upwards and his right hand on his right knee. The fingers of his right hand touch the earth, to call the earth as his witness for defying Mara and achieving enlightenment. This posture is also referred to as the bhūmisparśa "earth-witness" mudra.

Three daughters

In some accounts of the Buddha's enlightenment, it is said that the demon Māra didn't send his three daughters to tempt but instead they came willingly after Māra's setback in his endeavor to eliminate the Buddha's quest for enlightenment.[12] Mara's three daughters are identified as Taṇhā (Thirst), Arati (Aversion, Discontentment), and Raga (Attachment, Desire, Greed, Passion).[11][13] For example, in the Samyutta Nikaya's Māra-sayutta, Mara's three daughters were stripping in front of Buddha; but failed to entice the Buddha:

They had come to him glittering with beauty –
Taṇhā, Arati, and Rāga –
But the Teacher swept them away right there
As the wind, a fallen cotton tuft.[14]

Some stories refer to the existence of Five Daughters, who represent not only the Three Poisons of Attraction, Aversion, and Delusion, but also include the daughters Pride, and Fear.

In popular culture

The story "Dying in Bangkok" by Dan Simmons, in his 1993 collection Lovedeath, features Mara and her demonic daughter as supernatural creatures who tempt men with the ultimate in sexual pleasures.

Mara has also been prominently featured in the Megami Tensei video game series as a demon. Within the series, Mara is portrayed as a large, phallic creature, often shown riding a golden chariot. His phallic body and innuendo-laden speech are based on a pun surrounding the word mara, a Japonic word for "penis" that is attested as early as 938 CE in the Wamyō Ruijushō, a Japanese dictionary of Chinese characters. According to the Sanseido dictionary, the word was originally used as a euphemism for "penis" among Buddhist monks, which makes it very likely that it was initially meant as a direct reference to Mara the demon (as tempter and obstacle to enlightenment.)[15]

Mara appears in Roger Zelazny's novel Lord of Light as a God of Illusion.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See, for instance, SN 4.25, entitled, "Māra's Daughters" (Bodhi, 2000, pp. 217–20), as well as Sn 835 (Saddhatissa, 1998, page 98). In each of these texts, Mara's daughters (Māradhītā) are personified by sensual Craving (taṇhā), Aversion (arati) and Passion (rāga).
  2. ^ Trainor, Kevin (2004). Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 34. ISBN 9780195173987.
  3. ^ Thera, Nyanaponika (2008). The Roots of Good and Evil: Buddhist Texts translated from the Pali with Comments and Introduction. Buddhist Publication Society. p. 22. ISBN 9789552403163.
  4. ^ Olson, Carl (2005). The Different Paths of Buddhism: A Narrative-Historical Introduction. Rutgers University Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780813537788.
  5. ^ J. P. Mallory; Douglas Q. Adams (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. pp. 150–153. ISBN 978-1-884964-98-5.
  6. ^ Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. pp. 530–531, 550, 829. ISBN 9780691157863.
  7. ^ Williams, Paul (2005). Buddhism: The early Buddhist schools and doctrinal history ; Theravāda doctrine, Volume 2. Taylor & Francis. pp. 105–106. ISBN 9780415332286.
  8. ^ Keown, Damien (2009). Buddhism. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 69. ISBN 9781402768835.
  9. ^ www.wisdomlib.org. "Mara, Māra: 13 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org.
  10. ^ Vogel, Jean Philippe; Barnouw, Adriaan Jacob (1936). Buddhist Art in India, Ceylon, and Java. Asian Educational Services. pp. 70–71.
  11. ^ a b "The Buddha's Encounters with Mara the Tempter: Their Representation in Literature and Art". www.accesstoinsight.org.
  12. ^ Keown, Damien (2004). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. p. 174. ISBN 9780191579172.
  13. ^ See, e.g., SN 4.25 (Bodhi, 2000, pp. 217–20), and Sn 835 (Saddhatissa, 1998, p. 98). In a similar fashion, in Sn 436 (Saddhatissa, 1998, p. 48), taṇhā is personified as one of Death's four armies (senā) along with desire (kāmā), aversion (arati) and hunger-thirst (khuppipāsā).
  14. ^ SN 4.25, v. 518 (Bodhi, 2000, p. 220).
  15. ^ "摩羅(まら)とは - Weblio辞書". www.weblio.jp.

Sources

  • Bodhi, Bhikkhu (trans.) (2000). The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. Boston: Wisdom Pubs. ISBN 0-86171-331-1.
  • Saddhatissa, H. (translator) (1998). The Sutta-Nipāta. London: RoutledgeCurzon Press. ISBN 0-7007-0181-8.

Further reading

External links

Demiurge

In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge () is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. The Gnostics adopted the term "demiurge". Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator figure in the monotheistic sense, because the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are both considered to be consequences of something else. Depending on the system, they may be considered to be either uncreated and eternal or the product of some other entity.

The word "demiurge" is an English word derived from demiurgus, a Latinised form of the Greek δημιουργός or dēmiourgos. It was originally a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but gradually came to mean "producer", and eventually "creator". The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, where the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe. The demiurge is also described as a creator in the Platonic (c. 310–90 BC) and Middle Platonic (c. 90 BC – AD 300) philosophical traditions. In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas, but (in most Neoplatonic systems) is still not itself "the One". In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. According to some strains of Gnosticism, the demiurge is malevolent, as it is linked to the material world. In others, including the teaching of Valentinus, the demiurge is simply ignorant or misguided.

Eros

In Greek mythology, Eros (UK: , US: ; Ancient Greek: Ἔρως, "Desire") is the Greek god of love and sex. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"). Normally, he is described as one of the children of Aphrodite and Ares and, with some of his siblings, was one of the Erotes, a group of winged love gods. In some traditions, he is described as one of the primordial gods.

List of loanwords in Indonesian

The Indonesian language has absorbed many loanwords from other languages, Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Portuguese, Dutch, English, and other Austronesian languages.

Indonesian differs from the form of Malay used in Malaysia in a number of aspects, primarily due to the different influences both languages experienced and also due to the fact that the majority of Indonesians speak another language as their mother tongue. Indonesia functioning as lingua franca for speakers of 200 various languages across the archipelago.

Conversely, many words of Malay-Indonesian origin have also been borrowed into English. Words borrowed into English (e.g., bamboo, orangutan, dugong, amok, and even "cooties") generally entered through Malay language by way of British colonial presence in Malaysia and Singapore, similar to the way the Dutch have been borrowing words from the various native Indonesian languages. One exception is "bantam", derived from the name of the Indonesian province Banten in Western Java (see Oxford American Dictionary, 2005 edition). Another is "lahar" which is Javanese for a volcanic mudflow. Still other words taken into modern English from Malay/Indonesian probably have other origins (e.g., "satay" from Tamil, or "ketchup" from Chinese).

During development, various native terms (mostly Javanese) from all over the archipelago made their way into the language. The Dutch adaptation of the Malay language during the colonial period resulted in the incorporation of a significant number of Dutch loanwords and vocabulary. This event significantly affected the original Malay language, which gradually developed into modern Indonesian. Most terms are documented in Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia.

Mara (Doctor Who)

The Mara is a fictional monster in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is a being of pure hatred, anger and greed, and requires the fear of its victims to survive. It exists in the minds of its victims and can transmit itself telepathically, although it can also physically manifest as a giant snake. It is so evil that it cannot bear the sight of its own reflection. In the Dark Places of the Inside, it manifests as phantoms such as Dukkha (played by Jeff Stewart), Anatta (played by Anna Wing), and Annica (played by Roger Milner).

The Mara was created on the planet Manussa in the Scrampus system, turning the Manussan empire into the Sumaran empire. Eventually the Mara was defeated and driven out by a Manussan (the ancestor of the future Manussan Federator) and cast into the "dark places beyond". However, it survived.

In Kinda, the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric encountered the Mara on the planet Deva Loka. When Tegan fell asleep near the wind chimes on Deva Loka, she became possessed by the Mara. It soon left her and possessed a native Kinda named Aris, who began to stir up the normally peaceful Kinda against an expedition of human colonists who were also present on Deva Loka. The Doctor was able to prevent the humans detonating a bomb which would have destroyed their dome and killed many Kinda, and managed to trap the Mara in a circle of mirrors. As the Mara could not bear to see its own reflection, it was driven out to the Dark Places of the Inside.

In Snakedance, Tegan became possessed by the Mara once again. She then navigated the TARDIS to Manussa, where a ceremony was to be held to mark the 500th anniversary of the banishment of the Mara. Using Tegan and a young Manussan named Lon, the Mara tried to obtain the "great crystal" with which it hoped to restore its corporeal existence. The Doctor was guided by Dojjen, an old mystic who showed him how to find the "still point". When the Mara tried to make its return at the ceremony, the Doctor concentrated his thought with a small replica of the great crystal, and by finding the still point was able to repel the Mara. Then by grabbing the great crystal, the Doctor broke the Mara's hold over its controlled victims, and destroyed its new snake body. This time, the Mara had apparently been permanently destroyed.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the Mara has retreated deeper into Tegan's mind. The Mara is revisited in the 2010 audio story The Cradle of the Snake, when it erupts in Tegan yet again. The Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Turlough search for a cure on Manussa, but hundreds of years in its past, when it was still an industrialized civilization. The Mara moves beyond Tegan and finally manages to possess both Nyssa and the Doctor, before finally being destroyed through an array of cameras and televisions.

In the Torchwood episode "Small Worlds", Jack speculates that "fairies" may be "part Mara". However, his noting of "Mara" as the origin of the word "nightmare" and their ability to steal the breath from their victims suggests that he is referring to the Mara of Germanic/Scandinavian mythology rather than the Manussan Mara. Christopher Bailey, writer of Snakedance and Kinda, was a practising Buddhist and named Doctor Who's Mara after the Buddhist demon Mara. The two names share a common Proto-Indo-European root.

The Mara was mentioned by the Tenth Doctor in the 2007 Children in Need special "Time Crash".

Mara (Hindu goddess)

Mara is a Sanskrit word meaning "death" or any personification thereof.

In Hinduism, Mara is the goddess of death and offerings would be placed at her altar. Though much less popular, some sects of worship do exist in India.

Mayasura

In Hindu mythology, Maya (Sanskrit: मय), or Mayāsura (मयासुर) was a great ancient king of the asuras, daityas and rākṣasa races. Maya was known for his brilliant architecture. In Mahabharatha, Mayasabha – the hall of illusions – was named after him.

Skandha

Skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) means "heaps, aggregates, collections, groupings". In Buddhism, it refers to the five aggregates of clinging (Pancha-upadanakkhanda), the five bodily and mental factors that take part in the rise of craving and clinging. They are also explained as the five factors that constitute and explain a sentient being’s person and personality, but this is a later interpretation in response to sarvastivadin essentialism.

The five aggregates or heaps are: form (or matter or body) (rupa), sensations (or feelings, received from form) (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental activity or formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana).In the Theravada tradition, suffering arises when one identifies with or clings to the aggregates. This suffering is extinguished by relinquishing attachments to aggregates. The Mahayana tradition asserts that the nature of all aggregates is intrinsically empty of independent existence.

World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka

Eight sites of Sri Lanka have been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage, namely, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa (1982), the ancient city of Sigiriya (1982), the Golden Temple of Dambulla (1991), the old town of Galle and its fortifications (1988), the sacred city of Anuradhapura (1982), the sacred city of Kandy (1988), Sinharaja Forest Reserve (1988) and the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka (2010).

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