In Buddhism and many other religions, Mara symbolizes that collective and obstructive dark force generated by dark desires and ignorance of all sentient beings.
It is often a matter of speech to denote Mara as a “he”, but Mara can also be known in different cultures as a “she”, it and “they”.
Absolute truth has only ONE face. But evil needs many faces in order to compensate for its lack of truth.
The obstructive force of Mara has only one purpose and that is to keep the dreaming mind, dreaming onwards, in its various realms of desire and ignorance.
Such destructive power of this force should not be underestimated under any circumstances.
To a dreamer, it is as real and devastating as the proclaimed laws of physics of the apparent “reality” in this Universe.
In order to keep the collective asleep, this most evil seductive “light” and collectively generated dark force has a large variety of tools and views, that aligns and saturates such perceptive phenomena as science, philosophy, semantics, religion, social behavior and expectations and above all the five skandhas, by which the dreaming mind perceives and upholds the reality of the dream-realms Mara tells it to be existing and real.
But evil is even more subtle and refined than this.
Only the wise and enlightened knows that the whole basis of its samsaric, multifaceted web, is based and sustained on one sole thing; Mind’s ignorance about the true nature of its true SELF.
It is thus natural that Mara does everything in his power to delude, seduce, show logical alternatives, even spiritual ones that deny the reality and “existence” of such a self.
What is offered instead, are various views and seductive experiences that easily takes a worthy adept astray from the true and only path to self-realization and propels him into a guaranteed world of suffering or various degrees of dissatisfaction.
All the Buddha’s know this and make grave warnings about it.
But sentient beings have the bad habit of often taking refuge in that which *seems* extremely easy or extremely hard.
Unaware and incapable of seeing the false path, their karmic choices unfolds into, they walk on various paths which they believe to be personal and true.
Thus, they forget that the path to perfect self-realization and awakening is only ONE and completely impersonal.
On the lower and simpler categories, one can find pure, Mara worshippers that believe War and death and suffering to be the ultimate meaning and purpose of life.
Other’s again take refuge in pure and unbound hedonistic pleasures of the corporeal body (or even transformation bodies in spiritual realms) which they are prepared to pay any price for; just as long as their skandha-sustained senses can be satisfied for even the shortest moment.
It is here, Mara steps in, with his enslaved army of demons and does a very good job.
Unless you do not, turn-about, from your unwholesome habits and erroneous views and use Right view , Right concentration and Right Effort in order to calm and UNITE your volatile Mind with this, wholesome bodhipower, you will continue to fall prey to the phenomenal whims that Mara will manifest upon your Mind.
The choice, is yours.