Do not involve others in your unrighteousness,
Nor destroy your mind by believing your own untruths.
Do not flatter or give false praise
When there is fear compelling you.
Do not converse falsely with any man,
For it is abhorrent to the Gods.
If you do not separate your mind from your tongue,
Then all your plans will succeed.
You will be revered before others,
And you will be secure in the sight of Rah.
The Gods hate he who falsifies his words,
His duplicity is a great abomination.
One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants.
he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.
Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied,
“A piece of truth.” “Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?”
his attendant asked. “No,” Mara replied. “Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it.”
From 108 Treasures for the Heart: A Guide for Daily Living by Benny Liow
In Buddhism Mara is the lord of misfortune, sin, destruction and Death. Mara is the ruler of desire and death, the two evils that chain man to the wheel of ceaseless rebirth. Mara reviles man, blinds him, guides him toward sensuous desires; once man is in his bondage, Mara is free to destroy him.
Buddhist tradition holds that Buddha encountered Mara on several occasions. When he abandoned the traditional ascetic practices of Hinduism, Mara reproached him for straying from the path of purity. Mara later reappeared as a Brahmin, criticising him for neglecting the techniques of the yogins. At another time, Mara persuades householders in a village to refuse to give alms to the Buddha. Mara also accuses Buddha of sleeping too much, and not keeping busy like the villagers.
In a famous incident similar to the temptation of Jesus in the Christian religion, Mara urges Buddha to become a universal king and establish a great empire in which men can live in peace. He reminds Buddha that he can turn the Himalayas into gold if he but wishes so that all men will become rich. Buddha replies that a single man’s wants are so insatiable that even two such golden mountains would fail to satisfy him.”
While Mara is unable to subjugate Buddha, he is more successful with Buddha’s followers, even approaching the Buddha’s own brother, Ananda. As the source of evil, he causes misunderstanding between teachers and pupils, casts doubt on the value of Buddha’s sayings by calling them nothing but poetry, or encourages monks to waste their time on abstruse speculations. Worse, he appears in the guise of a monk, nun, relative or prominent Brahmin, bringing false news that a disciple is destined to be a new Buddha. If the disciple succumbs to the temptation, he will be filled with sinful pride. Mara could even appear in the form of Gautama Buddha in order to confuse Buddhists or lead them astray.
Mara is lord of all men who are bound by sense desires. His origin, according to Theravada commentators, was as a rebellious prince who seized control of our world from the supreme god of the highest heaven. As prince of this world, Mara can boast of possessing great majesty and influence. Though he has only a spirit body, he is endowed with the five modes of sensual pleasure, has plenty to eat and drink, and lives to amuse himself.