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Thread: Maha-parinibbana Sutta

  1. #1
    How do you explain Mara in DN 16 please? In metta.lk it is regarded as the non-appeal of ananda who did not request the Buddha to live a full life span (possibly 120 years)

    The third chapter, almost exclusively, is devoted to depicting the circumstances connected with the Master's relinquishment of life, which is the dramatic culmination of events. It overwhelmingly drives home the purely metaphysical significance of the Parinibbana, or at least ought to do so. For the Buddha neither succumbed to his fatal illness nor did he give way to the appeal of Mara (which is identical with the non-appeal of ânanda), but sovereignly let go of existence at a timely hour, just as forty-five years earlier, on becoming fully enlightened, he had duly taken upon himself the wearisome task of teaching men. This fact is most thought-provoking, and consistently leads to the conclusion that by his Parinibbana, indeed, the Buddha bore the last and highest possible testimony to his Teaching, which permits of no lingering inclination to self-preservation and continuance, but on the contrary reaches the highest exultation ending it all. The Master's Parinibbana is, therefore, the one sorrowful event in the history of Buddhism that turns out, in its true meaning, to be really the most blissful.
    http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-...a-e2.html#BM22

  2. #2
    Mara's Appeal


    7. And when the Venerable ânanda had gone away, Mara, the Evil One, approached the Blessed One. And standing at one side he spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "Now, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away; let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.

    "For the Blessed One, O Lord, spoke these words to me: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples -- wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by the appropriate conduct, and having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.' [n23]

    8. "And now, O Lord, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have become the Blessed One's disciples in just this way. So, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.

    "For the Blessed One, O Lord, spoke these words to me: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until this holy life taught by me has become successful, prosperous, far-renowned, popular, and widespread, until it is well proclaimed among gods and men.' And this too has come to pass in just this way. So, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away, let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord."

  3. #3
    Anyone please?

  4. #4
    Forums Member fojiao2's Avatar
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    Did people really talk like that?

  5. #5
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    How do you think people talked those days?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by fojiao2 View Post
    Did people really talk like that?
    Off topic - and isn't being helpful to Deshy.

    Her questions were:

    How do you explain Mara in DN 16 please? In metta.lk it is regarded as the non-appeal of ananda who did not request the Buddha to live a full life span (possibly 120 years)
    and

    Anyone please?


    thanks

  7. #7
    Nice... lol

  8. #8
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    My speculations from what I understand and have read from others:

    1. Perhaps, the character of Mara was just a mere reinforcement to show all what the Buddha had already knew in advance: that the Sangha is stable and fruitful and when all of that is done and fulfilled, it would be the confident time for His Parinibbana?

    2. I would not dare to equate Ananda's earlier non appeal to Mara but rather a personification of the Buddha's opponents, those within and without, who are perhaps waiting impatiently for their major obstacle, the Buddha, to go in order for them to take charge or be rid of a 'troublesome barrier'?

    3. The timing of Ananda's appeal and the Buddha's rebuke to him was one instance in my estimation of a Dhamma lesson of what happens when one loses the present moment and then lives other moments trying to regain that lost moment, losing the present moment again in that process.

    4. Another Dhamma lesson on displaying the inevitable impermanence and death and that His highlighting to Ananda was also is an indirect way of showing what He was capable of as a Buddha and as a final Dhamma lesson?

    Other addendum comments:
    5. That time to request was over as the Buddha had given that opportunity but it wasn't utilised and that it would not be appropriate for Him to make a ridiculous roundabout turn on one latent whimsical plea when it was of greater importance towards the end of His life to attend to other concerns like the direction of the Sangha and so forth

    6. All of what is needed to accomplish has been fulfilled in the Buddha's life, so Mara or not, He already knew that it was the time to relinquish.

    7. Just like the Dhamma has to be requested to be taught, perhaps this applies to His lifespan too? That it was 'courtesy' to inform, of all people, Ananda, about it?

    8. I have read how some alleged that the Mahaparinibbana Sutta has bits and pieces coming from later development and etc...but as I am no historian nor scholar, my attitude remains within the confines of Kalama Sutta.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by plwk View Post
    I have read how some alleged that the Mahaparinibbana Sutta has bits and pieces coming from later development
    Yes, that was my first impression too. Your points make sense. There is a possibility that the Mara concept is just a simile. But then again, why isn't the sutta as clear about it as you pointed it out here, rather than introducing a simile which eventually leads to speculation and misinterpretation. That brings me back to my initial doubts about later additions.

  10. #10
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    My impression here is Mara is an external being, a "deva" with some psychic powers, who deliberately torments the Buddha.

    Many devas (angels) did not personally approve of the Buddha-Dhamma.

    For example, the Buddha taught anatta, which was contrary to the existing Brahministic teachings.

    Regards



    In traditional Buddhism four senses of the word "mara" are given.

    Klesa-mara, or Mara as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions.

    Mrtyu-mara, or Mara as death, in the sense of the ceaseless round of birth and death.

    Skandha-mara, or Mara as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence.

    Devaputra-mara, or Mara the son of a deva (god), that is, Mara as an objectively existent being rather than as a metaphor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_(demon)
    Last edited by Element; 21 May 11 at 21:40.

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