Dec 9, 2020
Martin Goodson

The Three Temptations of Māra

A Rohatsu Week Talk

The three temptations take place as the ascetic Gautama sits under the Bodhi Tree in his final attempt to see into the nature of reality and become free from suffering. Not to be confused with the notion of the 'devil', Māra is a deity from the Hindu pantheon who plays a dual role as tempter and tester for those who seek Nirvana.

Malaysian wall painting represeting Mara attempting to tempt Buddha


By Hintha - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 commons.wikipedia

This is a recording of a public talk given to the Northants Buddhist Group based in Kettering during Rohatsu Week - the commemoration of the Buddha's Enlightenment.

This talk centres on the three temptations of Māra, the Lord of Samsara who was the final obstacle the Great Bodhisattva who sat under the Bodhi Tree had to face prior to his Enlightenment.

The character of Māra is important in both early and developed Buddhism. In the Mahayana sutras he is converted to Buddhism but does not lose his character rather becomes a part of Buddhist cosmology and thus has two roles. One is as tempter the other to test those who seek to enter Nirvana to see if they are ready. 

This talk uses this platform to explore the nature of emotion and attachment in Buddhist practice.

The Three Temptations of Māra


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