Venerable Punnadhammo is the abbot of Arrow River Meditation
Center in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Following ten years at
the center as a lay student of Khema Ananda, he was ordained a
bhikkhu at Wat Pah Nanachat in 1991. For more information about
the center---> Arrow River Forest Hermitage
Note: Apologies are extended to the late C.S. Lewis, author
of 'The Screwtape Letters', for my use of his clever idea.
Mara in Buddhism symbolizes the passions that overwhelm human
beings as well as everything that hinders the arising of the
wholesome roots and progress on the path of enlightenment.
the lord of the sixth heaven of the desire realm and is often
depicted with a hundred arms, riding on an elephant.
to legend, the Buddha Shakyamuni was attacked by Mara as he
was striving for enlightenment, because Mara wanted to prevent
him from showing men the way that liberates from suffering.
Mara first called up a horde of demons, but Shakyamuni did
not fear them. Then he sent his most beautiful daughter to
seduce Shakyamuni, but before Shakyamuni's eyes she turned
into an ugly hag, where upon Mara admitted conclusive defeat.*
Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen