On the night of his final enlightenment, even the Buddha had to call on the power of the Earth goddess, the divine Shakti, for help with the forces of Mara/s, the dark powers of delusion. Buddha touched the ground where he sat. “This Earth,” he said, “is my witness.” This statement could be taken further: this Earth is my family member, my sister, myself.
Demonic Forces: The Four Maras
- To make one ecstatic (dga’-byed)
- To make one crave (sred-byed)
- To make one stupefied (rmongs-byed), which perhaps suggests making one spaced out or senile
- To make one thin, emaciated and dried out (skem-byed), which, in this context, could mean worn out, hungry, and thirsty, so that one gives up meditation. In other contexts, perhaps it is the work of Mara that we become dried out and have no moisture of compassion.
- To make one dead (‘chi-byed), which, in this context, could perhaps make Shiva worry that he will die while meditating, so being afraid of that, he would get up.