M?ra in the Chinese Samyukt?gamas, with a Translation of the M?ra Samyukta of the Bieyi za ahan jing (T.100)


  • Marcus Bingenheimer




Māra the Bad, Āgama literature


This article addresses some philological and structural-narrative issues concerning the suttas on M?ra the Bad in ?gama literature. Included is a translation of the M?ra Samyukta of the Bieyi za ahan jing, which includes such famous passages as the suicide without further rebirth of Godhika.

Author Biography

Marcus Bingenheimer

Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan


Akanuma, Chizen ????. 1939. Bukky? keiten shi ron ??????. Nagoya: Sanb? shoin ????. Reprinted (Tokyo: H?z?kan, 1981).

Anesaki, Masaharu ????. 1908. The Four Buddhist ?gamas in Chinese: A Concordance of their Parts and of the Corresponding Counterparts in the P?li Nik?yas (The Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan). Yokohama: Kelly & Walsh.

Bingenheimer, Marcus. 2006. ‘The Shorter Chinese Sa?yukta ?gama: Preliminary Findings and Translation of Fascicle 1 of the Bieyi za ahan jing ?????? (T.100)’. Buddhist Studies Review 23(1): 21–60.

Bloss, Lowell W. 1978. ‘The Taming of Mara: Witnessing to the Buddha’s Virtues’. History of Religions 18(2): 156–76.

Bodhi, Bhikkhu. 2000. The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Sa?yutta Nik?ya. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications.

Boyd, James W. 1971. ‘Symbols of Evil in Buddhism’. Journal of Asian Studies 31(1): 63–75.

Boyd, James W. 1975. Satan and Mara: Christian and Buddhist Symbols of Evil. Leiden: Brill.

Carter, John Ross. 1993. ‘Music In the Therav?da Heritage’. In On Understanding Buddhists: Essays on the Therav?da Tradition in Sri Lanka, ed. J. R. Carter, 133–52. Delhi: Sri Satguru. First published in Sacred Sound: Music in Religious Thought and Practice, ed. Joyce Irwin (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983).

Clark, Robert Warren. 1994. Mara: Psychopathology and Evil in the Buddhism of India and Tibet. PhD dissertation. University of Virginia (UMI).

Chatterjee, Margaret. 1997. ‘Some Indian Strands of Thought Relating to the Problem of Evil’. In Relativism, Suffering, and Beyond: Essays in Memory of Bimal K. Matilal, ed. P. Bilimoria and J. N. Mohanty, 319–35. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coblin, W. South. 1994. A Compendium of Phonetics in Northwest Chinese. Monograph series no. 7. Berkeley, CA: Journal of Chinese Linguistics.

Conze, Edward. [1975] 1984. The Larger Sutra on Perfect Wisdom. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Donner, Neal Arvid. 1987. ‘Chih-I’s Meditation on Evil’. In Buddhist and Taoist Practice in Medieval Chinese Society, ed. David W. Chappell, 49–65. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press.

Duroiselle, C. 1904. ‘Upagupta et Mara’. Bulletin de l’Ecole francaise d’Extreme-Orient 4: 414–28.

Edgerton, Franklin. 1977. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary, 2 vols. Delhi: Motilal Barnasidass. First published (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1953).

Geiger, W., Ny?naponika Mah?thera, Hellmuth Hecker. 1997. Die Reden des Buddha – Gruppierte Sammlung. Stammbach: Beyerlein & Steinschulte.

Guruge, Ananda. 1988. ‘The Buddha’s Encounters with M?ra the Tempter: Their Representation in Literature and Art’. Journal of Religious Studies (Punjabi University: Patiala) 16: 27–46.

Harvey, Peter. 1995. The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirv??a in Early Buddhism. Richmond: Curzon Press.

Iyanaga, Nobumi ????. 1996–97. ‘Le Roi M?ra du Sixième Ciel et le mythe médiéval de la création du Japon’. Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie 9: 323–96. (Mémorial Anna Seidel. Religions traditionnelle d’Asie orientale, vol. II).

Johnston, E. H. [1936] 1972. The Buddhacarita of Acts of the Buddha. Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.

Kamitsuka, Yoshiko. 1996. ‘The Concept of Mara and The Idea of Expelling Demons’, trans. Amy L. Miller and Thomas H. Peterson. Taoist Resources 6(2): 30–50. Original Japanese first published as part 1 of ‘Ma no kannen to shoma no shiso ??????????’, in Chugoku kodokyoshi kenkyu ????????, ed. Tadao Yoshikawa ????, 80–144 (Tokyo: Dohosha, 1993).

Karashima, Seishi. 1998. A Glossary of Dharmarak?a’s Translation of the Lotus Sutra. (= Bibliotheca Philologica et Philosophica Buddhica I). Tokyo: The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology at Soka University.

Keown, Damien. 1996. ‘Buddhism and Suicide – the Case of Channa’. Journal of Buddhist Ethics 3: 8–31, www.buddhistethics.org/3/keown3.html (January 2007).

Law, Bimala Churn. 1923. Buddhist Conception of Spirits. Calcutta: Thacker & Spink. Second edition, revised and enlarged (London: Luzac, 1936), reprinted (Varanasi: Bhartiya Publishing House, 1974).

Law, Bimala Churn. 1925. Heaven and Hell in Buddhist Perspective. Calcutta: Thacker & Spink. Reprinted (Varanasi: Bhartiya Publishing House, 1973).

Ling, Trevor Oswald. 1962. Buddhism and the Mythology of Evil: A Study in Theravada Buddhism. London: Allen & Unwin.

Lü Cheng ??. 1924. Za Ahanjing kan ding ji ???????. First published in Neixue ?? vol. 1. Reprinted in Neixue niankan ???? (Taipei: Wenshuju ???, 1975).

Malamoud, Charles. 2002. Le Jumeau solaire. Paris: Seuil. [A study on Yama in Vedic mythology].

Malalasekera, Gunapala. 1974. ‘M?ra’, in his Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, vol. 2, 611–20. London: Pali Text Society.

Matsunaga, Daigan and Alicia Matsunaga. 1972. The Buddhist Concept of Hell. New York: Philosophical Library.

Mayeda Egaku ????. 1964. Genshi bukky? sh?ten no seiritsushi kenky? ???? ???????? (A history of the formation of original Buddhist texts). Tokyo: Sankibo.

Mitsukawa, Toyoki ?? ??. 2000. ‘Mahajun to monju bosatsu ni yoru hama – bussetsu magyakuky? ????????????????????????????(Mañju?r? Who Censured the Devil(M?ra))’. Ry?koku daigaku ronji ?????? 455: 83–118.

Morohashi Tetsuji ?????, ed. et al. [1955] 1984–86. Daihanwa jiten ?????, rev. edn, 13 vols. Tokyo: Daishukan shoten ?????.

Nakamura, Hajime. 2000 & 2005. Gotama Buddha – A Biography Based on the Most Reliable Texts, 2 vols, trans. Gaynor Sekimoto. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing.

Premasiri, P. D. 1992. ‘Good and Evil’. In Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed. W. G. Weeraratne, vol.V, 359–64. Colombo: The Government of Sri Lanka.

Przyluski, J. 1927. ‘La place de M?ra dans la mythologie bouddhique’. Journal Asiatique I: 115–23.

Rao, Saligrama Krishna Ramachandra. 1954. ‘Mara, The Tempter’. Aryan Path 25(6).

Rhys Davids, C. A. F. & F. L. Woodward. 1917–30. Kindred Sayings, 5 vols. London: Pali Text Society.

Shi Yinshun ???. 1983. Za ahan jing lun hui bian ???????, 3 vols. Taipei: Zhengwen ??.

Siklos, Bulcsu. 1996. ‘The Evolution of the Buddhist Yama’. In The Buddhist Forum, vol. IV, ed. Tadeusz Skorupski, 165–89. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Southwold, Martin. 1987. ‘Buddhism and Evil’. In The Anthropology of Evil, ed. D. Parkin, 128–41. Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, ed. Charles Teliaferro and Paul J. Griffiths, 424–31 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003).

Strong, John. 1994. The Legend and Cult of Upagupta – Sanskrit Buddhism in North India and Southeast Asia. Delhi: Motilal. First published (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992).

Wayman, Alex. 1959. ‘Studies in Yama and M?ra’. Indo-Iranian Journal 3: 112–31.

Walshe, Maurice. 1987. The Long Discourses of the Buddha – A Translation of the D?gha Nik?ya. Boston, MA: Wisdom.

Wikramange, Chandra. 1997. ‘M?ra as Evil in Buddhism’. In Evil and the Response of World Religion, ed. William Cenkner, 109–15. New York: Paragon House.

Windisch, Ernst. 1895. M?ra und Buddha. Leipzig: S. Hirzel.




How to Cite

Bingenheimer, M. (2007). M?ra in the Chinese Samyukt?gamas, with a Translation of the M?ra Samyukta of the Bieyi za ahan jing (T.100). Buddhist Studies Review, 24(1), 46–74. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v24i1.46