Mara’s five arrows ~ Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The sutras tell us that Mara (Buddhism’s “devil”) is a tricky character and an expert archer. To avoid straying into the sights of one of his five arrows requires tremendous effort because each one is trained on our most vulnerable spots.

The first of Mara’s arrows is aimed at those who feel great pride in their accomplishments or in their material or spiritual wealth.

The second is aimed at those who are ignorant because they have no idea which activities and attitudes need to be abandoned and which adopted.

The third is directed at those with wrong views, such as not believing in cause, condition and effect.

The fourth is fixed on those whose forgetfulness continually distracts them from mindfulness.

The fifth strikes those distracted by the eight worldly dharmas.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

from the book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices

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