MALLEABLE MâRA: THE TRANSFORMATIONS OF A BUDDHIST SYMBOL OF EVIL
Despite its importance to the legend of the Buddha’s enlightenment and numerous Buddhist texts, a longitudinal, diachronic analysis of the symbol of Mâra has never been done. This thesis aims to fill that gap by tracing the Evil One’s development in three spheres. Chapter one deals with Mâra in the Nikâya texts, in which the deity is portrayed as a malign being diametrically opposed to the Buddha and his teachings. Chapter two discusses how that representation changes to ambivalence in certain Mahâyâna sûtras due to increased emphasis on the philosophical concepts of emptiness and non-duality. Finally, chapter three charts the results of a collision between the two differing representations of Mâra in Southeast Asia. The concludes that the figure of Mâra is malleable and reflects changes in doctrinal and sociological situations.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:buddhism demonology mara mahayana
Date of Publication:01/01/2004