Friday, December 30, 2016

Ajahn Brahm: meditation instructions 2 (video)

Part II: Three-day meditation retreat with British Theravada monk trained in the Thai Forest Tradition Ajahn Brahm (Ven. Brahmavamso Maha Thera) at the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center, Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario ( These are the instructions on how to meditate given at the second day of the retreat.

TED Talk: ESP is real, says physicist (video)

TEDx, Dr. Targ (Nov. 10, 2016); Crystal Quintero, CC Liu, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
Seeing the hidden, remote viewing, knowledge beyond our five senses? Buddhism says yes!

(MetaRising) Banned TEDx Talk about psychic abilities with physicist Dr. Russell Targ (Stanford U.)

Dr. Russell Targ ( is a physicist who spent several decades working in a U.S. government program exploring "remote viewing" -- an anomalous extended characteristic of the mind. Because of convincing experimental evidence that has been replicated, Dr. Targ is convinced psychic effects are real.

The End of Suffering (Targ)
This talk was originally slated as part of a TEDx event in Hollywood in 2013, but the organization pulled their support for the event when they learned about the subject matter, which the government and "respectable" academics do not want the public to know about as part of our consensus reality.

We can "believe" it all we want, but we must not be certain of it. That is what cannot be tolerated by mainstream sources.

Insight meditation on "Portlandia" (video)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Portlandia

Insight meditation (vipassana) in a yoga studio? Probably not. Unless one went to the former Insight Yoga of Pasadena or visits the current Insight Yoga Institute ( in Corte Madera, California.

Western Yoga studios stem out of the Brahminical tradition of the Buddha's day, the very ancient Vedic books, and modern traditions organized as "Hinduism" by Shankara echoing the work of Patanjali.

Shankara: Lord Buddha's wrong.
Buddhism is not a branch or form of Hinduism, as many (including many Hindus and Mahayana Buddhists) believe. Shankara noted the main difference that makes them almost opposite traditions, in spite of their many superficial similarities and common themes:
  • Shankara explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism [like almost every other religion in the world has ever known] asserts that "atman (soul, self) exists," whereas Buddhism asserts that -- ultimately speaking -- there is "no soul, no self" (an insight and teaching unique to buddhas called anatta in Pali or an-atman in Sanskrit).
The ultimate truth is subtle, counterintuitive.
The Buddha said as much when he explained the reason other dharmas (teachings) did not produce and could not produce what Buddhism defines as enlightened/liberated arhats.
Without the key insight of the impersonal nature of the basic phenomena we cling to (which is the core of the Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra), even the first stage of Buddhist enlightenment, known as "stream entry," is not yet possible.
But anatta is not an idea or position to try to figure out and then believe or not believe. It must be realized, which is possible by gaining jhana to momentarily purify the mind, emerging, then practicing the insight meditation of systematically contemplating Dependent Origination. These things would not be possible without a buddha first realizing then making this ennobling Dharma known.

(IFC) #Portlandia (ft. Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein) goes Goth when
The Weirdos explore the horrifying nightmare of big-box stores. More

"I'm not sure I believe Buddha"
Come see for yourself. Realize what I have realized. Be free as I am free. Here is the Path.
What did the Enlightened One realize?
If it doesn't make "[common] sense," welcome to the club.

"But I'm not sure I believe Buddha! [Descartes and I are pretty sure there's a self," you say? We say, this is not a faith; it is a path-of-practice that gives rise to wisdom, to directly knowing-and-seeing, to enlightenment.

There are many nuns and monks who go forth to meditate to gain this precious insight never experienced in the long, long course of "continued wandering on" (samsara).

We have all been reborn countless times (not "us" actually but the identity stream we cling to as me, myself, and I). We have all lived in heaven(s), suffered horrors unutterable in hells, wandered along as devas, humans, creatures of all kinds.

Had we understood -- had we fathomed Dependent Origination, the Buddha tells us, we would not have suffered this long round. Even now we "suffer" (i.e., are dissatisfied, disappointed, unfulfilled, longing for sensual pleasures, searching for meaning), and still we do not realized the Truth that would set us free.

Meditate and it will be possible to see the true nature of reality for oneself without resorting to the word of any teacher or prophet, any God or authority. You will see for yourself that the Buddha was right, and being at least a stream enterer, that certainty (not faith) will be unshakeable. And "you" will be free.

"Buddhist yoga"? (Insight Yoga Institute)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Sarah Powers (YouTube)

The great yogi, the Buddha knows
IYI offers five and ten-day retreats that assist practitioners in integrating yoga, Buddhism, and spiritual psychology into a skillful practice to balance the body, heart, and mind.

The program can be enjoyed by anyone interested in attending a practice retreat or those who would like to pursue an advanced course of study to work toward IYI Certification, IYI Endorsement, and/or Yoga Alliance 500-hour Teacher Training.

Sarah Powers (Insight Yoga Institute) DVD
IYI retreats bring together the dynamic and receptive aspects of yoga, the three main schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana), and the skillful methods of psycho-dynamic personal and relational work. And they are held in "social silence." More

(Yoga Service) Interview with Sarah Powers, Cologne, Germany
What about Hindu yoga? Ask Sadhguru (

Who's your enemy? Mara as metaphor

Buddhist scholar G.P. Malalasekera (Dictionary of Pali Proper Names via edited by Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon, Amber Larson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly UPDATED
The former prince, now the ascetic Siddhartha, battles "Mara's tenfold army"
Māra is generally regarded as the personification of Death, the "Evil One," the Tempter.

He is the Buddhist counterpart to the Western devil in the form of a seductive Christian Lucifer angel, Roman Cupid, Ancient Greek Eros, or the Principle of Destruction [Sigmund Freud's Thanatos, the Ancient Greek "personification of Death"].

The legends concerning Māra are, in Buddhist texts, very involved and defy any attempts at unraveling them into a real person versus strictly a metaphor.

Mara, indeed, became a metaphorical means of talking about various aggregates, defilements, and other Buddhist concepts. But it seems safe to say that Mara, while metaphorical, is also real.

In the sutras and commentaries, mention is made of five "Māras":
  1. Aggregates: Khandha Māra
  2. Defilements: Kilesa Māra
  3. Formations: Abhisankhāra Māra
  4. Death: Maccu Māra
  5. Archangel: Devaputta Māra.
This is shown in various things said about Mara (ThagA.ii.16; ThagA.ii.46; Vsm.211).

Elsewhere, however, Māra is spoken of as one, three, or four. Where Māra is one, the reference is generally either to the defilements (kilesas) or to Death personified (ItvA.197; ThagA.ii.70; ItvA.198; UdA.325; Netti Cty. 235; Netti, p. 86; SA.iii.82; SA.ii.246).
    It is evidently with this same significance that the term Māra, in the older texts, is applied to the whole of the worldly existence, the Five Aggregates (panca khandha), or the round of rebirth (samsara), as opposed to nirvana.

    So Māra is defined at CNid. (No. 506) as karma and the formations (kammābhisankhāravasena), rebirth in general (patisandhiko), the aggregates (khandha-māro), the elements (dhātu-māro), and the spheres (āyatana-māro).

    And again: Māro Māro ti bhante vuccati katamo nu kho bhante Māro ti? Rūpam kho, Rādha, Māro, vedanāmāro, saññāmāro, sankhāramāro viññānam Māro (S.iii.195):

    Translation: "Mara, Mara, it is said, venerable sir, who/what is Mara? Form, Rādha, is Mara, as is feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness." [This is a list of what the Buddha called the "Five Aggregates of Clinging"]. See also S.iii.198; S.iii.74; S.iv.202; S.iv.85; S.iv.91; Netti, p. 40; S.iii.189; SNA.ii.506).
      The Commentaries also speak of three Māras (DA.ii.659; CNidA. p. 47).
        In some cases the three Māras are specified (DA.iii.858; SNA.ii.508; cp. MA.ii.619; DA.iii.846). But elsewhere five are mentioned (UdA.216).
          Very occasionally four Māras are mentioned (MNid. 129; SNA.i.201; ItvA.136).
            This last reference (ItvA.136) seems to indicate that the four Māras are just the five Māras minus Māra Devaputta [Mara "the son of god," "the deva," the one "reborn among the devas," a glorious Lucifer-tempter figure]. A few particulars are available about Māra Devaputta (SNA.i.44; MA.i.28; Jinālankāra Tīkā, p.217).

            What are we to conclude?
            As Siddhartha was striving for enlightenment, Mara was causing him to doubt and lust.

            In view of the many studies of Māra by various scholars that already exist, it might be worthwhile here also to attempt a Theory of Māra in Buddhism, based chiefly on the above data.

            The commonest use of the word Māra was evidently in the sense of Death. From this it was extended to mean "the world under the sway of death" (also called Māradheyya,  e.g., A.iv.228) and the beings trapped therein.

            Then the defilements (kilesas) also came to be called Māra, in that they are the instruments of Death, the causes enabling Death to hold sway over the worlds of the Three Spheres of Samsara (Sensual, Fine Material, and Immaterial).
            • [NOTE: While many religious systems, most notably Christianity and Hinduism, consider the heavenly worlds of the Fine Material and Immaterial Spheres as beyond Death, beyond the grasp of Mara Devaputra (who resides in the highest Sensual Sphere heaven), Buddhism regards all of samsara (with the exception of the Pure Abodes of those working out their final liberation) as being subject to death and decay and thus within the realm of Mara/Death.]
            All Temptations brought about by the defilement are likewise regarded as the work of Death.

            Cupid is a Roman god, in Ancient Greece called Eros
            There is also evidently a legend of a devaputta (a "son of god," "offspring of a deva," a title that means someone "reborn among the devas," a "citizen of heaven," as it were) of the Vasavatti world called Māra.

            This Mara considers himself the head of the Sensual Sphere (Kāmāvacara) who thinks that any attempt to curb the enjoyment of sensual pleasures is a direct challenge to himself and his authority.
            • [The human plane is a world in the Sensual Sphere, so this god/deva considers us his sport, as coming under his sway, as his slaves, his subjects, his hapless victims, which many of us are apparently. Cupid is a bad guy, but many of us think of him as essential to our happiness and pray for his blessing on Valetine's Day.]
            Kamadeva (Cupid) turned to ashes by Shiva
            As time went on these different conceptions of the word Mara became confused with one another, but this confusion is sometimes easy to unravel.
            Various statements are found in the three divisions (ti-pitaka) of the teachings connected with Māra reference Death, the defilements, and the world over which Death and the defilements hold sway, so it is said:
            • Those who can restrain the mind [heart] and check its propensities can escape the snares of Māra (Dhp. Yamaka, Verse 7).
            • One who delights in objects cognized by the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind has come under Māra's sway (S.iv.91).
            • One who has attachment is entangled by Māra (S.iii.73).
            • Māra will overthrow one who is unrestrained in one's senses, immoderate in one's food, idle and weak (Dhp. Yamaka, Verse 8).
            • By attaining the Noble Eightfold Path one can be free from Māra (Dhp. vs. 40).
            • The Samyutta (i. 135) records a conversation between Māra and Vajirā. She is an arhat, one who has attained full enlightenment, so she tells Māra: "There is no 'being' (satta) here who can come under your control; there is no 'being' but a mere heap of formations (sankhāras, suddhasankhārarapuñja).
            • [That is to say, as someone who is enlightened, she has realized anatta, the ultimate truth that all things, including the Five Aggregates beings cling to as "self," are actually impersonal. She is therefore no longer trapped, clinging to an identity, fooled by phenomenal existence as anything to be clung to as permanent or able to satisfy the desires the impersonal process generates. So she is free, and Mara can never again entangle her. And she tells him so, which is very depressing for Mara (Cupid, the devil, the God of Sensuality) to hear, as it means he has lost.]
              Mara's War against the ascetic Siddhartha under the bodhi tree before enlightenment
              The later books, particularly the Nidānakathā of the Jātaka ("Rebirth Tales") Commentary (J.i.71ff.; cp. MA.i.384) and the Buddhavamsa Commentary (p. 239f), contain a very lively and detailed description of the temptation of the Buddha by Māra, as the Buddha-to-be sits under the bodhi tree immediately before enlightenment.

              These accounts describe how Māra Devaputta sees the Bodhisatta (Buddha-to-be) seated firmly resolved to become a buddha. So he summons all his forces and advances against him. These forces are armies that extend a distance of 12 yojanas (~84 miles) to the front of the Bodhisatta, 12 to the back, and 9 each to the right and left.

              Māra himself, thousand-armed, rides on his elephant, named Girimekhala, 150 leagues in height. His followers [like Lucifer's "fallen angels"] assume various fearsome shapes and are armed with dreadful weapons.

              At Māra's approach, all the various angels (devas), reptilians/great creatures (nāgas), and others, who were gathered round the Bodhisatta singing his praises and paying him homage, disappear in headlong flight.

              The Bodhisatta is left alone, and he calls to his assistance the ten perfections, which he had practiced to the utmost.
              Māra's army is described as being tenfold, and each division of the army is described, in very late accounts (particularly in Sinhalese language books in Sri Lanka), with a great wealth of detail.

              Each division is a face off by the Buddha using one perfection (pāramī), and the division is put to flight, warded off, chased away.

              Mara is the whole of worldly existence, the endless cycling in samsara dogged by death.
              Māra's last weapon is the cakkāvudha (the dussavudha or vatthavudha, a yakkha-weapon in the shape of a cloth capable of destroying the world). But when he hurls it at the Buddha-to-be, it stands over him like a canopy of flowers.

              Undaunted, Māra challenged the Buddha to show that the seat on which he sat was his by right. Māra's followers all shouted their evidence that the seat was Māra's. The Buddha, having no other witness, asked the Earth to bear testimony on his behalf, and the Earth roared in response.

              Māra and his followers fled, utterly routed. And the devas and others gathered around the Buddha to celebrate his victory. The sun set on Māra's defeat. This, in brief, is the account of the Buddha's conquest of Māra, greatly elaborated in later chronicles and illustrated in countless Buddhist shrines and temples with all the wealth of riotous color and fanciful imagery that gifted artists could command.

              That this account of the Buddha's struggle with Māra is all literally true, only the most naive believe, even today. The Buddhist point of view has been well expressed by Rhys Davids (article on the Buddha in the Encyclopedia Britannica). It might be better to understand by "the attack of Māra's forces" that all of the Buddha's
              "old temptations came back upon him with renewed force. For years he had looked at all earthly good through the medium of a philosophy which had taught him that it, without exception, carried within itself the seeds of bitterness and was altogether worthless and impermanent; but now, to his wavering faith, the sweet delights of home and love, the charms of wealth and power, began to show themselves in a different light and glow again with attractive colors. He doubted and agonized in his doubt, but as the sun set, the religious side of his nature had won the victory and seems to have come out even purified from the struggle."
              There is no need to ask, as does Thomas, with apparently great suspicion (Thomas, op. cit., 230), whether we can assume that the elaborators of the Māra story were recording "a subjective experience under the form of an objective reality," and did they know or think that this was the real psychological experience which the Buddha went through?

              The living traditions of Buddhist countries supply an adequate answer, without the aid of rationalists. The epic nature of the subject gives ample scope for the elaboration so dear to hearts in Pāli language texts.
              The similar story among Jains [Jainism is a small corresponding dharma of one of the Buddha's contemporaries, Mahavira called the Nigantha Nataputta in Buddhist texts, one of the only other wandering ascetic or shramana movement traditions to survive], as recorded in their commentarial works. For example, the Uttarādhyayana Sūtra [ZDMG. Vol. 49 (1915), 321ff] bears no close parallel to the Buddhist account, only a faint resemblance.
              There is no doubt that the Māra legend had its origin in the Discourse on Effort" (Padhāna Sutra). There Māra is represented as visiting Siddhartha Gautama on the banks of the river Nerañjarā, where he is practicing austerities. Mara tempts him to abandon his striving and devote himself to good works to make merit. Siddhartha refers to MARA'S ARMY as being tenfold. The divisions are as follows:
                1. the first consists of the Lusts;
                2. the second is Aversion;
                3. the third Hunger and Thirst;
                4. the fourth Craving;
                5. the fifth Sloth and Indolence;
                6. the sixth Cowardice;
                7. the seventh Doubt;
                8. the eighth Hypocrisy and Foolishness;
                9. the ninth Gains, Fame, Honor, and Glory falsely obtained;
                10. the tenth is Lauding oneself and Contemning others.
                  "Seeing this army on all sides," says the Buddha, "I go forth to meet Māra with his equipage (savāhanam). He shall not make me yield ground. That army, which the world of devas and humans conquers not, even that, with my wisdom, will I shatter as an unbaked ceramic bowl with a stone." Here we have practically all of the elements found in the later elaborated versions.
                  The second part of the Padhāna Sutra (SN. vs. 446f.; cf. S.i.122) is obviously concerned with later events in the life of the Buddha. This the Commentary (SNA.ii.391) definitely tells us. After Māra had retired discomfited, he followed the Buddha for seven years, watching for any transgression on his part.

                  But the quest was in vain and, "like a crow attacking a rock," he left the Buddha in disgust and despair. "The lute of Māra, who was so overcome with grief, slipped from his arm. Then, in dejection, the yakkha (ogre) disappeared." This lute, according to the Commentary (SNA.ii.394), was picked up by Sakka (king among devas of two deva-worlds) and given to Pañcasikha.
                  The Samyutta Nikāya [S.i.124f.; given also at Lal. 490 (378); cp. A.v.46; see also DhA.iii.195f] also contains a discourse (the Dhītaro Sutra) in which Māra's three daughters are represented as tempting the Buddha after his enlightenment. Their names are:
                  1. Tanhā (Craving/Thirst)
                  2. Arati (Aversion/Discontent)
                  3. Ragā (Passion/Desire)
                  Mara's three alluring "daughters" -- Craving, Discontentment, Passion
                  They are evidently personifications of three of the ten forces in Māra's army, as listed in the Padhāna Sutra. They assume numerous forms of varying age and charm, full of blandishment, but their attempt is vain, and they are obliged to admit defeat.
                  Once Māra came to be regarded as the Spirit of Evil, all temptations of lust, fear, greed, and so on, were regarded as his activities.

                  And "Māra" came to be represented as assuming various disguises in order to carry out his nefarious plans. So the books mention various occasions when Māra appears before the Buddha and his disciples, male and female, to lure them away from their spiritual path.
                  Soon after the Buddha's first rains retreat, Māra approaches him and asks him not to teach Buddhist monastics regarding ultimate liberation (bodhi and nirvana) because he himself is still bound by Māra's fetters. But the Buddha replies that he is free of ALL fetters, human and divine (Vin.i.22).
                  On another occasion, Māra enters the body of Vetambarī and makes him utter heretical doctrines. In another incident (S.i.67; cp. DhA.iv.141) Māra asks the Buddha about the further shore.
                  In the Brahmanimantanika Sutra (M.i.326) Māra is spoken of as entering the hearts even of the inhabitants of the Brahma world, planes where powerful "gods" reside).
                  The Māra Samyutta (S.4) contains several instances of Māra's temptations of the Buddha by assailing him with:
                  • doubts as to his liberation
                  • feelings of fear and dread
                  • appearing before him in the shape of an elephant
                  • a cobra
                  • in various guises, beautiful and ugly
                  • making the rocks of Vulture's Peak fall with a crash
                  • making him wonder whether he should ever sleep
                  • suggesting that, as human life is long, there is no need for haste in living the life of an ascetic
                  • dulling the intelligence of his hearers (e.g., at Ekasalā; cf. Nigrodha and his fellow paribbājakas, D.iii.58).
                  Once, when the Buddha was teaching some monastics, Māra came in the guise of a bullock and broke their ceramic alms bowls, which were standing in the air to dry after being washed. On another occasion he made a great din so that the minds of the monastics listening were distracted.

                  Again, when the Buddha went for alms in Pañcasālā, Mara entered the Brahmin caste householders so that they would not give any offerings of food, as was their custom, and the Buddha had to return with an empty bowl.

                  Māra approached the Buddha on his return and tried to persuade him to try once more. This was, according to the Commentary, a ruse so that he might inspire the Brahmins to insult and injury in addition to neglect.

                  But the Buddha saw through the ruse and refused, saying that he would live that day on meditative joy (pīti), like the Abhassara gods (devas). This incident is related at length in SA.i.140f. and DhA.iii.257f. The Commentaries (e.g., Sp.i.178f.) state that the difficulty experienced by the Buddha and the monastics in obtaining food at Verañja was also due to the machinations of Māra.
                  Again, as the Buddha was teaching monastics about nirvana, Māra came in the form of a peasant and interrupted the discourse (sutra) to ask if anyone had seen his oxen. His desire was to make the cares of the present life break in on the calm and supramundane atmosphere of the discourse on the further shore.

                  On another occasion, he tempted the Buddha with the fascination of exercising power that he might rescue those suffering from the cruelty of rulers. Once, at the Sākyian [Scythian] village of Sīlavatī, he approaches monastics bent on study in the shape of a very old and holy Brahmin priest and asks them not to abandon the things of this life in order to run after matters involving time.

                  In the same village, he tries to frighten Samiddhi from his meditations. Samiddhi seeks the Buddha's help and goes back to win full enlightenment. Compare this to the story of Nandiya Thera. The great commentator Buddhaghosa says (DA.iii.864) that when Sūrambattha, after listening to one of the Buddha's sutras, returns home, Māra visits him there in the guise of the Buddha and tells him that what the Buddha had taught him earlier was false.

                  Sūrambattha, although surprised, could not be shaken in his confidence because he was already a stream enterer, someone at the first stage of enlightenment, which leads to perfect confidence in what the Buddha taught about enlightenment.

                  Māra influences Godhika to commit suicide and tries to frighten the monk Rāhula, the Buddha's son, in the guise of a huge elephant (DhA.iv.69f ).

                  In the account of Godhika's suicide (S.i.122), there is a curious statement that, after Godhika died, Māra went about looking for Godhika's consciousness (patisandhicitta) to see where he was reborn. And the Buddha pointed Mara out to the monks nearby describing him as "going about like a cloud of smoke."

                  Later, Māra comes to the Buddha like a little child (khuddadārakavannī, SA.i.145) holding a vilva lyre of golden color, and he questions the Buddha about Godhika. (This probably refers to some dispute that arose among the monastics regarding Godhika's rebirth destiny).
                  Mara and the nuns
                  Mara assaulted the Buddha and Buddhist nuns.
                  The texts mention many occasions when Māra assumes various forms to tempt Buddhist nuns (bhikkhunīs), often in lonely spots, for example, Alavikā, Kisāgotamī, Somā, Vijayā, Uppalavantnā, Cālā, Upacālā, Sisūpacālā, Selā, Vajirā, and Khemā, whom the Buddha declares "foremost in wisdom" among his female disciples.

                  To the same category of temptations belongs a story found in late Commentaries (J.i.63) when Prince Siddhartha was leaving his palace on his journey of renunciation. Māra, here called Vasavattī (after the name of the heaven he lives in as a deva), appears before him and promises him the Sakyian kingdom [the vast Scythian territory in Central Asia, where the Buddha was likely born and grew up] and the whole world within seven days if he will but turn back.
                  • [NOTE: It was the Buddha's karma and predicted destiny at birth to become a chakravartin, a "world monarch," if he remained in the world rather than renouncing.]
                  Māra's temptations were not confined to Buddhist monks and nuns. He also tempted lay Buddhists and tried to lure them from the path of goodness, for example, in the story of Dhaniya and his wife (SNA.i.44; see also J.i.231f).
                  Mention is made, especially in the "Great Passing into Final-Nirvana Discourse" (Mahā Parinibbāna Sutra), of several occasions when Māra approaches the Buddha, requests him to pass away. The first of these occasions was under the Ajapala banyan tree at Uruvelā, soon after his great enlightenment, but the Buddha refuses to pass into nirvana until the dispensation (sāsana) is firmly established.

                  Can it be that here we have the word "Māra" used in the sense of physical death (maccu-māra), and that the occasions referred to were those on which the Buddha felt the desire to pass away into the bliss of nirvana, to pass away utterly at the end of rebirth, to "lay down the burden"?

                  Perhaps they were moments of physical fatigue, when he lay at death's door, for we know (see Gotama for the history of the Buddha) that the six years he spent engaged in severe austerities harmed his health and that he suffered constantly from muscular cramps, digestive disorders, and headaches.

                  It is true that in the Mahā Saccaka Sutra (M.i.240ff.), which contains an account of the events leading up to Siddhartha's great enlightenment, there is no mention whatsoever of any temptation by Mara, nor is there any mention of the bodhi tree. But to argue from this that such events did not form part of the original story might be to draw unwarranted inferences from an argumentum e silentio.

                  At Beluvagāma, shortly before the Buddha finally decided to pass into final nirvana, we are told (D.ii.99; cp. Dvy. 203) that "there fell upon him a dire sickness, and sharp pains came upon him even unto death."

                  But the Buddha conquered these by a strong effort of will because he felt it would not be right for him to pass into final nirvana without addressing his followers and taking leave of the Monastic Order.

                  Compare this with Māra's temptation of the Buddha at Maddakucchi, when he laid suffering from severe pain after the wounding of his foot by a shard of rock that splinters off a boulder hurled at him by Devadatta. It may have been the physical weariness, referred to above, which at first made the Buddha reluctant to take upon himself the great exertions which the propagation of this Dharma would involve (e.g., Vin.i.4f) to make the path of liberation known in the human world.

                  We know of other fully enlightened beings (arhats) who actually committed suicide in order to escape being worried by physical ills, for example, Godhika, Vakkali, and Channa. When their suicide was reported to the Buddha, he declared them free from all blame.
                  • [NOTE: Could they have sufficient aversion, a defilement they've overcome, to kill themselves, or would Mara or someone else need to motivate them?]
                  The "Demons" (yakkhas, ogres) of Mara (palm leaf manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India)
                  Mara as a yakkha or preta (Jacob de Backer)
                  Can it be, further, that accounts of Māra as the personification of evil came to be mixed with legends of an actual devaputta named Māra, who is also called Vasavatti because he was an inhabitant of the Paranimmita Vasavatti deva world?

                  Already in "The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha" (Anguttara Nikāya) Māra is described (aggo ādhipateyyānam iddhiyā yasasā jalam) as the head of those enjoying bliss in the Sensual Sphere (Kāmāvacara) worlds and as a dāmarika devaputta (as mentioned earlier at A.ii.17).

                  Even after the Buddha's final passing into nirvana, Māra was regarded as wishing to obstruct good works. So at the enshrinement of the Buddha's relics in the Great Stupa (Mahā Thūpa), the monk Indagutta Thera by supernatural power causes a parasol of copper to cover the universe in order that it might ward off the attentions of Māra (Mhv.xxxi.85).
                  Can it be that ancient legends represented Mara as looking on with disfavor at the activities of the Buddha? The commentator Buddhaghosa says (MA.i.533) that Māra Devaputta, having dogged the Buddha's footsteps for seven years and having found no fault in him, came to him and paid respect to him.

                  Is it, then, possible that some of the conversations the Buddha is reported to have had with Māra, for example in the second part of the Padhāna Sutra, were originally ascribed to a real person designated as Māra Devaputta and later confused with an allegorical Māra?

                  This suggestion gains strength from a remark found in the Māratajjaniya Sutra (M.i.333; cp. D.iii.79) uttered by the great chief disciple Maha Moggallāna that he, too, had once long long ago in a previous rebirth been a māra named Māra Dūsī (MN 50). Kālā (or Kali) was his sister's name, and the Māra of the present age (Namuci) was her son and his very own nephew.

                  There have been many maras (devils).
                  In the sutra, Māra Dūsī is spoken of as having been responsible for many acts of mischief toward the Buddha of that previous age similar to those ascribed to the Māra of this Buddha's day.

                  According to the sutra, Māra Devaputta was evidently regarded as a deva being of great power in a high Sensual Sphere heaven called Vasavatti, with a strong bent for mischief, especially directed toward holy men. This suggestion is worthy of further investigation. See also Mārakāyikā deva.
                  Māra has many names in Pāli language literature, chief among them being Kanha ("Dark One"), Adhipati, Antaka, Namuci ("One Who Does Not Easily Let Go"), and Pamattabandhu (MNid.ii.489; for their explanation see MNidA.328; another name of Māra was Pajāpati, MA.i.28).

                  His usual standing epithet is "the Evil One" (pāpimā), but other words are also used, such as anatthakāma, ahitakāma, and ayogakkhemakāma (e.g., M.i.118).
                  Māra is called Namuci because none can escape him on account of how he tenaciously clings to beings particularly in the Sensual Sphere (SNA.ii.386).

                  In the Mahā Samaya Sutra, Namuci is mentioned among the Titans (asuras) as being present in the assembly (D.ii.259). Elsewhere in the same sutra (p. 261f.) it is said that when all of the devas and others had assembled to hear the Buddha teach, Mara came with his "swarthy host" [fellow dark ones] and attempted to blind the assembly with thoughts of lust and so on.

                  But the Buddha, seeing him, warned his followers against him, and Māra departed unsuccessful. At the end of the sutra, four lines are traditionally ascribed to Māra. They express admiration for the Buddha and his followers. In this sutra Māra is described as mahāsena ("having a large army").
                  The Commentary explains (DA.ii.689) that Namuci refers to Māra Devaputta and accounts for his presence among the Titans by the fact that he was temperamentally their companion (te pi acchandikā abhabbā, ayam pi tādiso yeva, tasmā dhātuso samsandamāno āgato).

                  Mara in Gandhara Buddhist art
                  Buddhaghosa explains (SA.i.133; cp. MNidA. 328) that Māra is called a Titan because he destroys all those who seek to evade him. And he is called Vasavatti (SA.i.158) because he rules all: Māro nāma vasavattī sabesam upari vasam vattati.

                  Kālī (Kālā) is the mother of Māra of the present age. See Kālī (4).

                  Who else might Mara be?
                  Former CIA contractor claims some aliens are using Earth like a supermarket. Humans are being served, which means somewhere there must be a book titled To Serve Man just like that episode of "The Twilight Zone" said. Go vegan. The karmic and health benefits are great!

                  The Event Is coming soon(The Event Is Coming Soon) Whistleblower and government remote viewer Ingo Swan saw things: Former CIA contractor claims some space aliens are using Planet Earth “like a supermarket" abducting and eating some of its inhabitants.

                  The Christian devil as non-metaphor (video)

                  Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; FED, 12/16
                  "The Last Judgement" as devas descend on asuras/yakshas (Jacob de Backer, circa 1580)
                  Buddhism's Sakka, King of the Devas, drubs the Asura rebel leader Vepacitti: Christianity's St. Michael defeats rebellious Lucifer/Satan on Earth after tossing him out of a lowly heavenly plane where he was making trouble (Luca Giordano's Archangel Michael and Fallen Angels, 1666).

                  Satan's secrets exposed by former Satanist, self-described agent of the devil
                  The Buddhist "Mara" (Defilements, Obstacle, Killer, Destroyer) may be more metaphorical than real, but it's hard to dismiss that many sutras also speak of real maras. The same seems to be the case in the Abrahamic faiths -- Evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism.

                  We're taking over heaven!
                  So let's hear what "the devil" doesn't want us to know.
                  • NOTE: It's easy to discount that there's a devil, and a great History Channel documentary (see below) shows the evolution of the characteristics and theory of Lucifer/Satan/Devil exists. But let us remember the words and testimony of American cultural anthropologist Dr. Michael J. Harner in The Sound of Rushing Water: An Amazonian Jivaro shaman never believed in the devil of Westerners, particularly the one spread worldwide by Europeans and Americans until, in an ayahuasca (DMT) haze, he saw him himself -- a powerful demon or spirit up to no good, frightening those otherwise rational skeptics, agnostics, and atheists in North America. See Wisdom Quarterly's set of recent articles exploring who in the hell world the "devil" (Mara) is.
                  The devil as peta or yakkha (Jacob de Backer)
                  You may be shocked to hear what this former agent of the devil Satan has to say: He reveals how he himself served Satan in New York City to cause the destruction of lives, carry our secret rituals, and even sat with Satan in human form conversing with him.

                  He goes on to detail how he saw many lives taken, consented to kill for the devil, and how he fought believers and was ignored by an agent/crusader of the Christian god. He also tells how he was eventually "arrested" by the Christ.

                  Mashu's drawing of the white man's devil
                  Watch to the end, FED suggests, to learn something new about an abused and neglected child's spiritual journey to the Christian god the whole society is forced to esteem and fear.
                  • Many times the Christian missionary had told [the Amazonian shaman and ayahuascero] Mashu of the devil feared by white men, But since he had never seen the spirit, Mashu remained skeptical. Some time later, after drinking natema [a form of ayahuasca], Mashu was confronted by this figure of the "white man's devil." Since that time, Mashu has remained convinced of this spirit's reality. - Dr. Harner, U.S. Ph.D. More
                  • VIDEO: Pres. George W. Bush's real dad, Satanist Aleister Crowley
                  Who was "Satan" in history?
                  Zoroaster invented me (Codex Gigas)
                  (History Channel) "The History of the Devil" is wickedly good, informative, and concise.
                  A no-frills Welsh film produced in association with SBS Australia and distributed by Siren Visual, it's less than an hour in length but packs an amazing amount of history into its slim running time.

                  The documentary is made up of mostly still images alternating sporadically with talking heads, Christian religious scholars, theologians, and reverends.

                  Directed by Greg Moodie and written and produced by Dave Flitton, it was researched by Eibhleann Ni Ghriofa, Deirdre Learmont, and Craig McGregor.

                  It's an impressive and very open-minded account that offers some fantastic insight into the evolution, the hows and whys, and the specter of the Devil as he has existed and morphed through the ages from the dawn of civilization through to the new millennium.

                  Despite its relatively low-fi approach, the richness and diversity of its imagery; the historical plaques, plates, engravings, illustrations, paintings, drawings, and the occasional staged re-enactment (some dude dressed up in rather bemusing demonic attire), keeps the documentary at a high level of beguilement.

                  DMT: The War on Consciousness (TED video)

                  Banned TED Talk on DMT
                  The Spiritual PhysicistGraham Hancock: The real widespread war that rages every day is for our consciousness. And it affects everyone under the top 1% (

                  Take humanity by the short and curlies or the mind, and you've got them in a non-real trap -- supporting a system the kills, plots murder each and every day, and hides the tracks of its existence.

                  The world is ours, so let's live free.
                  It covers and distorts the truth to keep us from rediscovering the simple answers to free energy, cancer and depression cures, and keeps us bound by a preposterous state affairs we collectively are taught to think of and call "the economy," which is completely manipulated by the movers and shakers who most benefit from the situation as it now stands.

                  A wise man once said, "The devil's greatest trick is convincing everyone that he doesn't exist." Most people today fall at the feet -- as if stricken with a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome -- begging for mercy from Lord Money.

                  Compassion is sexy (Wisdom Quarterly)
                  It's no wonder life follows the events interpreted from the Bible, for life is predictable, and its cycles are also predictable. Many people know more than others could possibly hope to know about the reality we live in. The events that occur are construed to follow the Judeo-Christian Book to the letter like a comical magician's trick.

                  We buy into different factions of "the system," be it via science (the new religion), the church (the old religion), or history (as interpreted for the benefit of those in power).

                  Money has never been the solution. We know it, but what choice do we have that we know of? Money is fast leading to the demise of our planet's health and eco-systems -- all for profit, not ours but that of a handful of companies.

                  Light arose, knowledge arose, enlightenment dawned: O, that's the way things are.
                  Little do we know that we have more than enough food for everyone right now (and millions more). That's not what we're told. But yes, we have more than enough resources. We have enough health to be able to achieve monumentally amazing feats in life if we worked together rather than against each other. 

                  Who wants us to be against each other? Those in power, the companies, the governments, the elites, and anyone comfortable with the uneven distribution of wealth and resources.

                  Unfortunately the entire system is designed to keep us from discovering the truth, any truth. Business success is built on secrecy, and without it business could not survive.

                  The evolution of open source and free energy are putting a stranglehold on the system. While the top bankers of the world are committing suicide/being killed, we stand and watch -- just as we've been programmed to do, controlled by fear-mongering governments who constantly put out a barrage of terror and apprehension through the media.

                  Noble friendship is the best medicine.
                  Any person who is the slightest bit spiritual can feel that fear is powerful enough to keep us from experiencing almost everything spiritual and scientific.

                  The real human deficit is a lack of experience and a lack of knowledge and a lack of spirituality. The universe is a spiritually "conscious" thing. And we mirror the universe. There is nothing that is "us" that is not part of the universe. When we align ourselves we remember that. But everything around us presses us to remain out of alignment.

                  Understanding is easy if we have the ability to really question what we consider "knowledge" and our "beliefs" about what we think we know. We have to have the cahones to create new ones that SERVE the planet and humanity as a whole.

                  Wait, what's DMT? The Spirit Molecule

                  Only then can we experience our greatest potential that otherwise remains dormant, suppressed by thousands of years of the same old same old that was invented to do just that from past empires and restrictive societies to this empire and this restricted society. Control of the masses benefits a tiny minority of elites. We are the majority who can wake up at any time.
                  • VIDEO: "The Spirit Molecule"
                  • (Lukewearechange/
                    VIDEO: What world do we enter on DMT? Luke Rudkowski (WAC/FB/IN) talks to Dennis McKenna about psychedelics and mind-expanding drugs, their role in society, the recent upsurge in knowledge about them, and how use of them could transform society, which is probably why they are banned by the powers that be. McKenna is an American ethno-pharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer, author, and the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna. He is also a founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics as medicine.