Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is Mara Mara?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is Mara Mara?

    If Mara was Mara today, and Mara cloning charm. You hold Creation hostage with Mara Clone Mara Unlimited Mara. What hold hostage with exchange for Mara Mara?

    ...or more seriously, is Mara the Second Circle Demon of Exalted inspired by the demon-god Mara of Dharmic religions?

    I brought this up in my Korean translation thread, but I figured this could be an interesting topic beyond how it relates to translating sorcery. Over three editions, I've read about Mara and saw some interesting things about her. During that time, I've also studied Dharmic traditions (particular East Asian Buddhism, being an East Asian Religious Studies minor and whatnot) and legends surrounding Gautama Buddha. Connecting the dots, I've noticed that Mara might be... Mara?

    To recap, what we know about Mara:
    • Mara is a demon.
    • Mara is into seducing folks.
    • Mara is very good at sorcery.
    • Mara eats souls.
    • Mara may have taught Brigid sorcery, thus spreading its use in Creation (MAY NOT BE TRUE IN 3E)
    • With the above point, Mara might have intended to lead the Exalted Host astray, preventing them from using the "correct" power.
    The last bits are unconfirmed in 3e, but I remember these being a major secret in previous editions. I might not be remembering this perfectly, but I believe the legend of Brigid discovering sorcery involved her crying into a still pond in the night and then being greeted by a spirit of the woods with blue eyes. Again, this is not backed with a source citation and has not appeared in 3e... But I feel this is a very important clue.

    Now, about the Buddhist demon Mara:
    • Mara is also a demon.
    • Mara attempted to seduce Gautama Buddha in order to distract him from finding enlightenment.
    • Mara is associated with magic and sorcery, via his name being the etymological root of East Asian words for magic and sorcery (Mara = 魔羅 & Magic = 魔法, or "Mara's Dharma")
    • Mara is a spiritual destroyer.
    • Mara has a sort of an anti-teacher role, spreading unskillful emotions and wrong thought. He is a force against the Buddha's Dharma.
    • Mara rules over the sensuous realm and appears to want to prevent folks from listening to the Buddha's "correct" Dharma.
    They don't really match 100%, but they seem to match pretty well. Of course, there are details about each Mara that are left out (Mara the Second Circle Demon is also very good at kung fu; Mara the Dharmic demon is male and has three daughters.) However... I believe the strongest case for Mara = Mara is their roles as seducers and their association with sorcery.

    I am not sure if Sorcery = Demon Magics still holds in 3e. Though, the equation seemed to have been taken seriously in previous editions (Total Annihilation being Ligier's fire comes to my mind). I wouldn't be surprised if this detail is struck out in favor of more independent Exalted agency... but, I'm, like... wouldn't this be cool?

    I'm wondering what others think about this. It could be that this correlation is entirely accidental, as demonic names seem to be inspired by Eastern European languages. Mara, in Hungarian, is a girl's name meaning "Bitter" or "Grace" according to Google and both fit Mara well. Though, Mara = Mara seems like it would be a very cool and obscure detail if it were intentional...
    Last edited by szp; 04-10-2017, 07:38 AM. Reason: Mara ate my ability to spell words

  • #2
    I'm pretty sure that Mara in Exalted is inspired by the mythological Mara.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by szp View Post

      I'm wondering what others think about this. It could be that this correlation is entirely accidental, as demonic names seem to be inspired by Eastern European languages. Mara, in Hungarian, is a girl's name meaning "Bitter" or "Grace" according to Google and both fit Mara well. Though, Mara = Mara seems like it would be a very cool and obscure detail if it were intentional...
      The ones from Games of Divinity follow that pattern (some demons in GoD had old English or other regions' names, such as Erembour, and there was a bit more linguistic variation in CoCD: Malfeas), but Mara was first detailed in the first edition storyteller's companion that came with 1e's ST screen, and the only other 2nd circle demon in that book is Sondok.

      Comment


      • #4
        I described Mara once off-hand to my non-gamer, Buddhist GF and she immediately connected the dots between them. I think the inspiration is pretty clear, and totally in keeping with Exalted's goal of drawing from Eastern culture and religion as opposed to Western culture and religion.

        Comment


        • #5
          There's also the Latvian goddess Mara. But for my money, the primary source is the Germanic mara, a type of spirit or witch.


          Developer for Exalted.

          Want to write for Exalted? Look at the freelancer submission guidelines.

          Comment


          • #6
            The fortuitous meeting of the two could also play a part, though given the rest of Mara's concept that definitely seems like the primary bit.


            Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

            Comment


            • #7
              Since we both play Shin Megami Tensei and its spin-offs, while playing, I had to explain to my boyfriend that no, the Mara mentioned in our game was not SMT!Mara.
              ... not in appearance anyway.
              ... that would have made her previous initiation of our sorcerer several kinds of weird and awkward.
              ... by which I mean, several additional kinds of weird and awkward than it already was.


              Part-time table flipper.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                There's also the Latvian goddess Mara. But for my money, the primary source is the Germanic mara, a type of spirit or witch.
                Germanic Mara matches better, it seems. Perhaps I was overthinking Exalted Mara = Buddhist Mara bit, since I could have just Googled a few times to find this out... Thank you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Let's not forget we also have the Deer Woman from the stories of various Native American tribes.

                  As people used to say, Exalted is a slutty kitchen sink of inspirations - when given a choice of source material to draw from, it likes to take bits from everywhere.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post

                    It... really isn't.
                    I trusted Google but perhaps my decision was poorly made. D:

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Who isn't Mara, these days? The other day, I was out shopping, and this lady at a kiosk tried to interest me in a store membership, but I recognized those bright blue eyes!

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                        Who isn't Mara, these days? The other day, I was out shopping, and this lady at a kiosk tried to interest me in a store membership, but I recognized those bright blue eyes!
                        Marakovich Marakovich!



                        Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                        Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X