Verfasst von: Enrico Kosmus | 18. April 2012

Buddhism in the west

Vajratool

Having recently posted on Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s reflections on Buddhism in the West, I’m devoting some time to the Buddhist concept of “maras” as obstacles to practice.

According to Dzigar Kongtrul:

“There are many challenges on this path. These challenges, or maras, are not unique to the West; the works of maras are crucial buddhist teachings. In the Prajnaparamita [Sutra], there are many teachings on the challenges and obstacles of maras and how they appear to individuals on the path or to groups trying collectively to establish something positive.”

What does he refer to by “maras?” In Buddhism, Mara personifies incorrect non-Buddhist views, which were the final thing Buddha needed to overcome before manifesting full enlightenment. Mara – meaning ‘the destroyer or tempter’ – was the demonic ‘evil one’ who attempted to obstruct the Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree and was vanquished in the process.

Buddha’s defeat of…

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