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I have been doing some research in determining why one could be born as Mara or in his retinue but having difficulty understanding. According to the passage below from the Shurangama Sutra, if one "has some wisdom and the manifestation of Ch'an Samadhi" but still not cutting off lust, one could be born as such.
Even though one may have some wisdom and the manifestation of Ch'an Samadhi, one is certain of enter demonic paths if one does not cut off lust. At best, one will be a demon king; on the average, one will be in the retinue of demons; at the lowest level, one will be a female demon.
But the passage later on says that to be born on the 6th heaven where the demon king (Mara) resides, one must "have no kind of worldly thoughts while doing what worldly people do" (which means they are not lusting???). If someone could please shed light on this?
Those who are devoid of desire, but who will engage in it for the sake of their partner, even though the flavor of doing so is like the flavor of chewing wax, are born at the end of their lives in a place of transcending transformations. They are among those born in the Heaven of Bliss by Transformation.
Those who have no kind of worldly thoughts while doing what worldly people do, who are lucid and beyond such activity while involved in it, are capable at the end of their lives of entirely transcending states where transformations may be present and may be lacking. They are among those born in the Heaven of the Comfort from Others' Transformations.
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a demon king does not necessarily have to be mara, because there are still several "demon kings" in the buddhist cosmology and there are different forms or types of mara, e.g.
Khandha Māra, Kilesa Māra, Abhisankhāra Māra, Maccu Māra and Devaputta Māra
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... /maara.htm
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
It is useful to have the original word for the translation of "demon king" to understand the meaning of the sutra, because e.g. the different forms of asuras (supannas, gandhabbas, yakkhas, garulas, nāgas ) are amanussa (demons, ghost,) too.
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... /asura.htm
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It might be worth recalling that according to legend, Satan (Lucifer) was a fallen angel. ('Lucifer' means 'light-bearer'. )
Lust is a special problem, because it seems 'harmless fun'. After all in today's world, criticizing lust is regarded very badly, the satisfaction of lust is regarded as a human right and those who deny it are depicted as 'enemies of freedom'.
So those who are able to 'do what worldly people do' - this is a reference to having sexual relations - but without falling into the trap of lust, are not 'afflicted by craving'. (I would imagine such persons are uncommon.) Those who act from lust (i.e. most people) are destined for rebirth in a lower realm (i.e. 'of Mara'.)
That whole passage is strangely reminiscent of a certain Gnostic called Valentinus: 'The Valentinians permitted intercourse only between men and women who were able to experience it as a mystery and a sacrament'. Those were driven by 'mere lust' would 'fall into lower realms'.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi
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