Food for Thought|Dec 30, 2005 4:36 PM| by:

Strong Wind Uproots a Feeble Tree

Just as the strong wind uproots a feeble tree, so Mara overwhelms the man who lives only in pursuit of pleasure, who does not control his senses, who knows not how to moderate his appetite, who is lazy and wastes his energies.

In Buddhist literature, Mara represents the Spirit of Evil, all that is contrary or opposed to the spiritual life; in certain cases he represents death—not so much physical death as death to truth, to the spiritual being.

Here, it means that so long as one does not control one’s senses and desires, and concerns oneself with external material satisfactions as the most important thing, one has not the will necessary to resist the attack of hostile forces and all that pulls us down and leads us away from the spiritual reality.

The Dhammapada does not take its stand so much on the moral point of view; it is not evil as men understand it with their blind justice and their arbitrary sense of good and bad. Evil, from the spiritual point of view, is truly that which leads us away from the goal, which sometimes even tears us away from the deepest purpose of our existence, from the truth of our being and prevents us from realising it.

This is the way in which it should be understood.

The Mother