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|“||But I AM your house, and YOU live in me.||„|
|~ Mara to Siddartha|
Mara is the main antagonist of Little Budda. He is a demon king who is determined to prevent Prince Siddhartha from achieving enlightenment, and thus prevent him from teaching others how to achieve enlightenment and end suffering. He is based on the demon king Mara in Buddhist mythology, who has many simalarities with Satan.
After a Nepali prince named Siddhartha discovered that life was filled with suffering and death, he decided to seek answers about life and freedom from suffering, which lead him to becoming a Hindu ascetic holy man. After years of severe starvation and self-torture, Siddhartha realized he was no closer to the answers he sought than he was before. He decided to renounce his ascetic life style, but stil refrain from indulging in the pleasures of life.
Embracing his new life, he began to meditate under a large tree. Realizing that Siddhartha was fast approaching enlightenment, Mara sprung into action, determined to stop Siddhartha.
Mara's first action was to tempt Siddhartha with the pleasures of life, in an attempt to get him to abandon his search. Mara ordered his beautiful daughters to tempt Siddhatha, and try and make Siddhartha become filled with lust. However, Siddartha was able to overcome his sexual desires, and see the women as simply women and not as sexual objects.
Enraged, Mara let out a tremendous roar, that caused the wind to blow hard, and darkness to descend. Mara's daughters fell down on the ground and started to decompose in front of Siddhartha. Knowing that lust had failed, Mara had hoped that the sight of rotting corpses would have the opposite effect on Siddartha, making him so disgusted with the sight that he would be filled with disgust. However, as with lust, Siddartha was able to overcome his compulsions, and simply see decomposing corpses, rather than a gross, disgusting scene.
Mara then took his second attempt to persuade Siddartha to leave, by simply terrorizing him. Mara hurled huge fireballs at Siddartha, with Siddartha, simply ignoring them and realizing it was simply an illusion. Mara then released his massive army of demons to destroy the Prince. As the army of demons approached Siddartha, they began to fire flaming arrows at him. Siddartha imagined the the arrows as lotus petals, and the arrows turned right before Mara's eyes. An infuriated Mara took matters into his own hands.
Mara then changed into an exact duplicate of Siddartha, and tried to remind Siddartha of his identity and who Siddartha really was: a Prince, with a loving wife and son. Who would soon be king and had many friends and family who loved him dearly.
Siddartha, however, finally discovered the secret to happiness, he now understood that Mara was actual a form of HIMSELF, his ego, and his desires. He told Mara that his ego and desires were pure illusion and did not really exist.
Mara realized he was powerless against Siddartha and vanished. With Mara's defeat Siddartha attained enligthtenment and from then on, was known as the Buddha.