Daughters of Mara

19 temp

The demon Mara sent his three daughters Tanha, Arati, and Raga to tempt the Buddha.

Tanha = “thirst, desire, longing, greed”, either physical or mental. It is typically translated as craving, and is of three types: kāma-taṇhā (craving for sensual pleasures), bhava-taṇhā (craving for existence), and vibhava-taṇhā (craving for non-existence).

Arati = discontentment or lack of joy/appreciation

Raga = attachment to a sensory object

Mara the evil one

Māra alone, lord of the five desires, bringer of death and enemy of truth, was grieved and rejoiced not. With his three daughters, Tanhā, Ragā and Arati, the tempters, and with his host of evil demons, he went to the place where the great samana sat. But Sakyamuni heeded him not.

Māra uttered fear-inspiring threats and raised a whirlwind so that the skies were darkened and the ocean roared and trembled. But the Blessed One under the Bodhi-tree remained calm and feared not. The Enlightened One knew that no harm could befall him.

The three daughters of Māra tempted the Bodhisatta, but he paid no attention to them, and when Māra saw that he could kindle no desire in the heart of the victorious samana, he ordered all the evil spirits at his command to attack him and overawe the great muni.

But the Blessed One watched them as one would watch the harmless games of children. All the fierce hatred of the evil spirits was of no avail. The flames of hell became wholesome breezes of perfume, and the angry thunderbolts were changed into lotus-blossoms.

When Māra saw this, he fled away with his army from the Bodhi-tree, whilst from above a rain of heavenly flowers fell, and voices of good spirits were heard:

“Behold the great muni! his heart unmoved by hatred. The wicked Māra’s host ‘gainst him did not prevail. Pure is he and wise, loving and full of mercy.

“As the rays of the sun drown the darkness of the world, so he who perseveres in his search will find the truth and the truth will enlighten him.”

Gospel of Buddha (1917)/Māra, the Evil One – Wikisource, the free online library

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