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  1. Mara is Ego/mind. Its similar to us when we do Naam Simran, our mind constantly distracting us. In Buddhism, Mara is the demon who assaulted Gautama Buddha beneath the bodhi tree, using violence, sensory pleasure and mockery in an attempt to prevent the Buddha from attaining enlightenment. In Buddhist cosmology, Mara personifies unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life. He is a tempter, distracting humans from practicing the Buddhist dharma through making the mundane seem alluring, or the negative seem positive. Buddhism utilizes the concept of Mara to represent and personify negative qualities found in the human ego and psyche. The stories associated with Mara remind Buddhists that such demonic forces can be tamed by controlling one's mind, cravings and attachments. In Buddhist iconography, Mara is most often presented as a hideous demon, although sometimes he is depicted as an enormous elephant, cobra or bull. When shown in an anthropomorphic (human) form he is usually represented riding an elephant with additional tusks. Other popular scenes of Mara show his demon army attacking the Buddha, his daughters tempting the Buddha, or the flood that washes away those under Mara's command. In traditional Buddhism four senses of the word "mara" are given. Klesa-mara, or Mara as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions. Mrtyu-mara, or Mara as death, in the sense of the ceaseless round of birth and death. Skandha-mara, or Mara as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence. Devaputra-mara, or Mara the son of a deva (god), that is, Mara as an objectively existent being rather than as a metaphor. Early Buddhists, as well as later Buddhists, acknowledged both a literal and "psychological" interpretation of Mara. Mara can be interpreted either as a real external demon or as internal vices that one faces on the pathway to enlightenment. From the psychological perspective, Mara is a manifestation of one's own mind. No external demon exists since it emerges from our own deluded thoughts. Those who see Mara as a personification of our human ego interpret the stories associated with him in a symbolic way. Mara becomes a representation for internal vices. His attack on the Buddha represents internal impulses towards violence and rage that can be overcome by following the Buddha's teachings of cultivating compassion, detachment and gentleness. The daughters of Mara represent lust and desire, which the Buddha overcame by recognizing their true nature as emptiness. Mara's own attack on the Buddha's pride was defeated by the Buddha's denial of the self since there was no "I" (ego) left to feel pride. Thus, the story of Mara's temptation can be interpreted symbolically, whereby the Buddha's own emotions, desires, and sense of self were represented by demons. Regardless of how Mara is understood, it is agreed that Mara has power only to the extent that our minds give it to him, and he must be overcome to proceed further into the Buddhist understanding of reality. References: The references listed above and below. Some details are made up. The Buddha's Enlightenment Mara is best known for his part in the attack on the soon-to-be Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, meditating under the Bodhi tree, just prior to Buddha's enlightenment. This story came to be mythologized as the greatest battle between good and evil. There are several versions of this story. This is the true version. Thus have I heard: The Exalted One came to Bodh-Gaya and meditated under a tree. The tree was in the center of the world, the axis mundi. The spot was immovable spot because the Exalted One was about to enter the realm without fear and desire, a realm that transcends time and space, a realm that "I", the ego, no longer exists. When Mara recognized that Siddhartha was on the verge of transcending his domain--the realm of fear and desire--the samsara, he took immediate action to prevent this kind of nonsense from happening. He brought his three beautiful daughters (Tanha-craving, Arati-aversion and Raga-passion) to seduce Siddhartha. The Exalted One, without desire, remained in meditation. Mara himself appeared before Siddhartha as a Chakravartin (world ruler), mounted on his elephant, Girimekhala, accompanied by a large army including monstrous demons wielding powerful and deadly weapons. They attacked Siddhartha. The Exalted One, without fear, sat still and unharmed. Mara claimed that according to the Dharma the seat of enlightenment belongs to the greatest and only the greatest. Mara's soldiers cried out, "Mara is the Chakravartin. He is the greatest. I am his witness!". Mara challenged the Exalted One. Then and there the Exalted One reached out his right hand to touch the earth in what is called the Bhumisparsha mudra, and Mae Thorani appeared. The water (representing the good merit accumulated by Buddha) she wrung from her hair caused a flood that drowned Mara's army. The earth-mother herself spoke: "Bless him/her who sits on the axis mundi, for one can only transcend time and space if one is immmovable." Mara tried to push and pull Siddhartha away from the immovable spot but there was no-body there. He went ahead and sat on the spot but some-body was there. Mara was perplexed. Mae Thorani explained: "This is Sakyamuni, my beloved son, who through his five-hundred incarnations has so given himself that there is no more "I". This is Tathagata--a Buddha who is going and is coming. This is Sunyata--form is empty and empty is form. This is Heaven--the world of non-duality. This is Nirvana--the extinction of fear and This is Eternal Bliss." And as morning star rose in the sky on the new day, Siddhartha Gautama realized satori and achieved illumination. He became Buddha--the Enlightened One.
  2. What are the Guru's view on Buddha ? Personally, in my view Buddhism is the perfect religion as in it's not a religion. Buddha didn't consider himself God or the prophet of anything. Siddarth Gautama was an Indian Prince who lived the life of luxury and then he stepped outside his wealthy manor and saw all the poverty the real citizens were suffering. He decided to give up all his material wealth and decided to meditate. I think " don't quote me on this " , I think he went into a cave for 40 yrs to meditate and came out enlightened as the Buddha. Also what is with every religion figure going into a cave ? It's crazy how many big things have come out of the Sub continent. Buddha, Krishna , Khalsa Panth , Science , Math , oldest university in the world Taxila , yoga. All these things came out of India and yet , India today though much better than before is still a backwards sh^thole with mod violence , riots , illiteratecy, people worshipping cows , pooping on the streets and being generally disgusting. Buddhaism has disappeared in India and been swallowed by billion god religion. Idk, I think Sikhism and Buddhism are very similar. Thoughts ?
  3. I listened to a sakhi yesterday where Guru Arjan Dev Ji was married but did not yet have any children. Mata Ganga was asked to go to seek the blessings of Baba Buddha Ji. Thereafter, she was blessed with a child who became Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. First Question: why did Guru Ji not bless his wife himself? Why did he direct his wife elsewhere? Second Question: I've read about similar situations where someone will seek the blessing of Guru Ji but he directs them elsewhere. Why?
  4. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Can someone please explain to Daas what the meaning of the items used in the Guru ceremony represented? (Tried looking everywhere but no answers?) The items are the Tilak, 5 Passa, as well as the Coconut.
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