The Legend and Cult of Upagupta, 5



Upa-gupta and Mara


p. 94 disclosure of Upa-gupta's destiny, so as to convert Mara

"Upagupta too began only after telling a preliminary tale. However, just as he was going to expose {furnish exposition of} the Dharma per se,

a shower of strings of pearls rained down upon the assembly ... . ...

{'String-of-pearls' is the Jaina name of one of the lunar-mansion constellation-figures. Because, however, astrology is of greater importance in Ajivika lore, this may have been of Ajivika provenience.}

Then, on the next day ..., just when Upagupta ... was beginning to expose the Truth {/SATYa/, a word cognate with the name /[H]ETe[H]o-kret-/ of the aboriginal inhabitants of Krete}, Mara caused

{This may indicate that the Skt name /MARa/ could be cognate with /MOlos/, name of the father of Meriones in Krete.}

a shower of gold to rain down on the assembly ... . ... the elder Upagupta ... perceived that it was Mara ... even more ... . {N.B. /upa-GUPTa/ = /aiGUPTos/, whose sons married (DCM, s.v. "Aegyptus", p. 19a) the Dana[w]ides.}

{perhaps related with how Zeus, "changing into a shower of gold, lay with Danae, and from this embrace Perseus was born." (Hyginus : Fabulae 63 -- Th"HD")} {Dana[w]e = Danu, and her descendants are the Danava-s = Dana[w]ides. "Danava[-]ghasa[-]s ... were present during the preaching of the Buddha's sermons (D[irgha ]N[ikaya] 2.259)." (ID, p. 64) [Skt /ghasa-/ is etymologically cognate with Hellenic /the[h]o-/.]}

Then, on the third day ..., he ... was just starting to expose the Truths, when, not very far off, Mara began a theatrical performance;

heavenly instruments were played

{praesumably, by Caran.a deities}

and divine ap[-]sara[-]s started to dance, and the ... crowd ... were drawn away by Mara. {Cf. the crowd drawn to the dancing by Huitzilopochtli at the behest of Tezcatlipoca. Meriones is (DCM, s.v. "Meriones") "an outstanding dancer."} {But the "daughters of Mara" are aequivalent to "maids playing without the Circle, which will ... allure" (OOPh4, "Familiar shapes of the Spirits of Venus"), namely spirits of the "herb Savine" ().}

{/AP-sara/ is, litterally, 'plant-sap's flow' : /SAP/ being etymologically cognate with Latin /SABina herba/ 'juniper' (its berry often used for flavoring wine and gin), and with the name /HEBe/ (< */SABa/) of the goddess who served, to the theoi congregated on mt Olumpos, wine -- the word for 'wine' being, in Ludian, /MOLak-/ : Skt /MARa/ being (rather likely) cognate. [written May 29 2016]}

Mara was so pleased that he had attracted Upagupta ... to himself that he hung a garland around the elder's neck

{This garland may have consisted of blossoms of fruit-plants, judging from the fact that Molos is "headless" (Ploutarkhos : De Defectu Orac. 14.417e -- DCM, s.v. "Molus"), that the headless (ChM, s.v. "Xingtian", p. 217) Chinese god, having his face on his thorax, "composed music to complement the work of ... the harvest" (Ibid., p. 218), and that NOUBia (Strong's 5108 /NOWB/ 'fruit') is the abode of the Blemmues (/blemmat-/ 'eyesight' -- referring to an Oculothorax?) who (according to Herodotos -- "BHM") have their face on their thorax. [written July 18 2016]} {Cf. the Cephalothorax --- such as the octopous-deity of Mochica "La Mina", figured in a golden thorax-plate ("MOH").}

[thus securing Upa-gupta by his neck]."

{Meriones founded (DCM, s.v. "Meriones"), in Sikelia, the city Enguon (/enguos/ 'secured, under good security').}

Th"HD" = "Heroine Danae".

ID = N. N. Bhattacharyya : Indian Demonology. Manohar Publ, Delhi, 2000.

OOPh4 = Henry Cornelius Agrippa (transl. by Robert Turner) : Of Occult Philosophy, the 4th book. London, 1655.

Sabina herba

Ludian /molak-/


"BHM" = "Blemmyes : The Headless Men of Ancient and Medieval Mythology".


"MOH" = "Moche Octopoid Headdress".

{MOLAK is a "great ape (Mangani)" "of tongani (baboon) tribe" ("ChTN"), for baboons salute the rising sun (LAE, p. 390).} {The "La Mina" piece is not a headdress : as depicted ("TMG", in connection with "RSTS") in paintings on Mochica pottery, it is always worn a thorax-plate; whereas the crest atop the Mochica helmet is a stylized crescent-bladed knife -- cf. the Aztec knife-headed god Itz-teotl, as well as a frequently-depicted TL-MRJ knife-headed deity.}

"ChTN" = "Characters in the Tarzan Novels".

LAE = Adolf Erman (transl. by H. M. Tirard) : Life in Ancient Egypt. Macmillan & Co., London, 1894.

"TMG" = "The Trail of Moche Gold".

"RSTS". "The Remarkable Saga of The TOMBS OF SIPAN".

p. 315, n. 6 elephants who provide bathing for maidens/ladies

"See T. 2042, 50:118c (Fr. trans., Przyluski 1923a:353); T. 2043, 50:159a (Ger. trans., Waldschmidt in Lu:ders 1926:78); Avk. 2:451; Chimpa and Chattopadhyaya [1970]...:35; and T. 202, 4:443a (Eng. trans. of Mongolian, Frye 1981:233; Ger. trans. of Tibetan, Schmidt 1843, 2:386-87), where we find ... blue elephants from whose six tusks flow streams of sparkling water in which crystal maidens bathe and sing."

{Cf. the Ajivika doctrine of "the last sprinkling elephant" (ThA, p. 30). This elephant is "Seyaiiaga = Sk. Secanaka, the Sprinkler. In the Nirayavaliya Sutta (Warren's ed. 17) it is related that this elephant used to carry the royal ladies ... to their bath" (ThA, p. 30, fn. 1).} {Airavata, offspring of goddess Iravati (one of the ascents-from-the-Netherworld of goddess of Viraj, according to the Atharvan Veda), is often depicted multi-trunked.}

Chimpa & Chattopadhyaya 1970 = Lama Chimpa & Alaka Chattopadhyaya : Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India. Simla : Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

{Because "the last tornado" (ThA, p. 37) immediately praeceded the last sprinkling elephant; and because this tornado may be identified with the tornado which transported to the "yellow brick road" (an allusion to "goldbricking") in the Wizard of OZ (named for king OZymandias), therefore this gold-ingot road (related to the city-streets "paved with gold") could be aequivalent to the "shower of gold" encountred by Upa-gupta; as well as to the "six kror measures of gold" (ThA, p. 38) lent out for purchasing herds of cattle. Furthermore, "the last tornado" might be aequated with Orthros whelp of (DCM, s.v. "Heracles", p. 200a) sire Tuphon (typhoon), succeeded by the erecting of (loc. cit.) the Pillars of Heraklees [aequivalent to the Cymry mythic Pillars ("capped with red gold" -- OE&FMWhHG, p. 350) of Ercwlf ("a mere misreading of" -- AC 4thS, p. 135 -- /Hercules/)], and in turn succeeded by how (DCM, s.v. "Heracles", p. 200b) "Zeus ... made stones rain from the heaven." This rain of stones from the sky is surely aequivalent to "the last fight with big stones as missiles" (ThA, p. 51), which immediately followed the last sprinkling elephant (where the sprinkling by the elephant of water upon maidens or ladies is, of course, aequivalent to the outpouring of charmed water which dissolved the Wicked Witch of the West).}

ThA = Beni Madhab Barua : The Ajivikas. Univ of Calcutta, 1920.

OE&FMWhHG = Robert A. Davis : The Origin, Evolution, and Function of the Myth of The White Goddess in the Writings of Robert Graves. PhD diss, Univ of Sterling. Nov 1987.

AC 4thS = ARCHAEOLOGIA CAMBRENSIS, 4th series. 1875.

{The name of the category of Bauddha deities /-ghasa-/ ('devourer'; cognate with our word /guzzle/) would indicate a special relationship of Hellenic mythology with Bauddha lore; and, more particularly, the Vajra-yana outcaste-goddess Ghas-MARI would have her name related with the name of Ludian heroine Moria

to that of Kretan hero MERIones, whose being welcomed at (DCM, s.v. "Meriones") Herakleia MINo[h]a (in Sikelia) would suggest a further special relationship of MINo[h]an mythology with [on account of MINa-natha, perhaps originally a firefly-god (Tamil /MIN.imin.i/ 'firefly') rather than a fish-god] the Natha-siddha cult (of Pala-dynasty in Vanga[la], and afterwards of Burma). The same assimilation of fireflies to fish is likewise current in British lore, wherein Cornish /pisky/ (often metathesized to /pigsie/ or to /pixie/) is cognate with Latin /piscis/ 'fish' -- perhaps an antient knowledge of phosphorescent benthic fishes being responsible.}

pp 97-9 garlands & carcasses

p. 97

"Once, when the Venerable Upagupta was seated in a forest absorbed imn meditation, Mara ... crowned him with some garlands of flowers. When the elder came out of his trance, he saw the garlands around his neck, and, through his powers of discernment, realized that Mara had placed them there." (T. 201, 4:307c -- French transl., Huber 1908, p. 263)

"when making such flower offerings, a devotee typically repeats a formula which ... emphasizes ... the impermanence of the blossoms :

[quoted from DeSilva 1980, p. 85] These beautiful, sweet-smelling, fresh-hued flowers ...

With them the Buddha I adore ... .

Even as these flowers must fade; so does my body reach a state of destruction."

{"So passeth, in the passing of a day,

Of mortall life ... the flowre" (FQu 2:12:75 -- "BB&GA").} {This is exemplified by "the giantess ... embodiment of lust who delights in sinning against nature." (FQu 3.6&7)}

p. 98

Then the elder crowned him with the snake carcass {cf. the ouraios (cobra) as tiara upon the head of each par<oh (phara<oh)}, and

{'Overhead' is a meaning of Strong's 4605 /MA<AL/ (cognate with Hellenic /MOLus/ 'weak in intellect [said of serpent]').}

hung the dead dog around his neck, and

{cf. Coptic "“headless beings,” in one case a headless dog." (DTh"ThHB")}

the human corpse over his ears, and ... said : ... I have bound around you these carcasses ... ."

{With MARa's followers' (Buddha-carita 13:20 -- ABT"BC13") "carrying headless {humanoid} trunks in their hands" [are these headless trunks those of the Mara-s themselves?], cf. how (according to Plinius -- L&SS&S) Molos "lost his head" to a sea-nymph.}

p. 99

"in the Lokapan~n~atti ..., after temporarily fettering Mara with the corpse of a dog, Upagupta then binds him with the belt of his monastic robe, his kayabandhana. This he fastens around Mara's waist and then magically stretches it out so that

he can tie it around a mountaintop."

{Prometheus was fettered to a mountain (in the Kaukasos range), according to Ai:PB.}


DeSilva 1980 = Lynn DeSilva : Buddhism : Beliefs and Practices in Sri Lanka. 2nd edn. Colombo.

FQu = Edmund Spenser : The Faerie Queene.

"BB&GA" = "The Bower of Bliss and The Garden of Adonis".

FQu 3.6&7

DTh"ThHB" = "The Threat of the Headless Being : Constructing the Demonic in Christian Egypt".

ABT"BC13" = "Buddhacarita 13".

L&SS&S = Fletcher S. Bassett : Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors. 1885.

Ai:PB = Aiskhulos : Prometheus Bound. &

{Overhead (ma<al) is hero Dumu-zid who is suspended above the throne of goddess Eres`-ki-gal; for, thus is "lifted up the serpent" (/molus/, 'whose intellect is weakened'), namely, the "Son of Man", "whose blood is drink indeed", being intellect-enfeebling wine (molak). This could be the spirit of the plant MOLU (with black root and white blossom) : for just as In-anna ("rotting meat", Wolkstein & Kramer, p. 60, "IDSTI" -- cf. /MOLUtos/ 'putrified') had transformed each of her praevious husbands (prior to Dumu-zid) into a beast, so likewise had Kirke transformed each of her praevious husbands (prior to Odusseus).}

Wolkstein & Kramer = Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer : Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth : Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. Harper Perennial, 1983.

"IDSTI" = "Inanna's Descent".


p. 99 the 5-fold fetter

"In the Maha[-]samnipata ratna[-]ketu dharan.i sutra ... the Buddha himself, after converting most of Mara's followers, binds him around the neck with a "fivefold fetter" (pan~ca[-]bandhana) [Gilg.Mss. 4:51]. ...

In the S`uramgama[-]samadhi sutra ..., the "five fetters" are described as attached to the two ars, two legs, and neck of Mara [p. 316, n. 27 : "T. 642, 15:637b-c (Fr. trans., Lamotte 1965:193-97)."]."

{Such a 5-fold fetter/bond is mentioned in other Hina-yana sutra-s (namely in 3PYS and in 3PVP).} {Osiris is similarly bound, as is (ASFS"TD") Ixion "the Lapith".}

Lamotte 1965 = Etienne Lamotte : La concentration de la marche he'roi:que (S`uramgamasamadhisutra). ME'LANGES CHINOIS ET BUDDHIQUES, vol. 13. Brussels.

3PYS = Yavakalapi Sutta : The Sheaf of Barley.

3PVP = WikiPit.aka Vepacitti Sutta.

ASFS"TD" = Ancient Science Future Science : Finis Gloria Mundi : The Living Fourth Way. "The Tribe of Dan".

p. 101 Mara's vow to become a buddha is confirmed by Upa-gupta

"in the Lokapan~n~atti, Mara actually makes a vow -- a pran.idhana -- to attain Buddhahood himself in some future lifetime. Tied by Upagupta's belt to a mountaintop for seven years, Mara ... ends up declaring : "... may I sometime in the future become a Buddha full of compassion, focussed entirely on the well-being of all creatures."

Hearing this, Upagupta frees Mara and assures thim that the Blessed One himself once predicted that Mara would certainly become a Buddha."

p. 102 compassionless nature of s`ravaka-s

"we find Upagupta himself declaring [Le'vy 1927, p. 122], "The Buddha is greatly compassionate ... but I am a man of the Lesser Vehicle [Hinayana]; I cannot do as he does."

And in the Lokapan~n~atti, ... Mara ... explains [LP, vol. 1, p. 173 (French transl., Denis 1977, vol. 2, p. 151)]... to Upagupta, "Disciples such as you are compassionless ["akarun.ika"]; if I were to become such a disciple, I, too. would be compassionless.""

p. 317, n. 50 Mara's vow is enforced upon himself

"in the S`uramgama[-]samadhi sutra (T. 642, 15:638b [Fr. trans., Lamotte 1965:200-201]), Mara fakes a vow for Buddhahood simply in order to free himself from the five fetters. Wonderfully, his vow is willy-nilly effective, and the Buddha predicts Mara's future Buddhahood over his protestations."

p. 108 are skandha-s impermanent?

p. 108

Mara stated, as concerning the skandha-s : [AA., vol. 1, pp. 397-8 (Engl. transl., E. Hardy 1902, p. 952)] "skandha[-]s ... are actually permanent, stable and eternal."" {Perhaps a more definite, definitive assertion would have been that the fundamental constituents of the skandha-s are permanent, stable, aeternal.}

{According to conservation-rules of physics, matter [i.e., the constituents of matter : electrons and protons] and energy [i.e., the constituents of energy : the force-fields]) are unoriginatable and indestructible : i.e., permanent. Therefore by the same token (if at the basis of physical existence), all fundamental mental constituents must be likewise permanent. So, Mara must be correct, and the buddha in grievous error; Mara a source of enlightenment, the buddha a source of delusion. [written May 28 2016]}

{The buddha's error derived from his inability to resolve mental constituents into their fundamental components; likewise, antient-&-mediaeval physics was in error (by supposing that matter could be created and destroyed, and that energy could be created and destroyed), not being corrected until the fundamental components of physical existence were discovered and recognized in modern physics for what they actually are -- permanent, stable, aeternal. [written May 28 2016]}

pp. 109-10 phantasmagoric likenesses {constructed of ectoplasm?}

p. 109

"Then Mara ... fashioned the form of the Blessed One with a pure fathom-wide nim-

p. 110

bus, and the forms of

the elder S`ari[-]putra on the Buddha's right, and

the elder Maha[-]maudgalyayana on his left, and

the Venerable A[-]nanda behind him, his hands occupied with th Buddha's bowl.

And he also created the forms of the other great disciples, starting with the elders Maha[-]kas`yapa, A[-]niruddha {Anu-ruddha}, and Su[-]bhuti; and

he made manifest the figures of 1,350 monks gathered in a half moon around the Buddha."

pp. 112-13 Phussa-deva

p. 112

"the story of Phussadeva ... is found in its fullest version in the Sihal.a[-]vatthuppa[-]karan.a, an important ... Pali collection of tales dating from perhaps the fourth century [ChrAira].

The elder Phussadeva was a S[`]ri Lankan monk who resided at Kal.kandara monastery. One day, when he had finished sweeping the courtyard of the Bodhi tree and was contemplating the tree ..., Mara arrived ... . ... The elder had to sweep it again.

p. 113

"Then once more, ... Mara came again, as a monkey ... . Again the elderswept ... . Then Mara became an old ox, and, walking back and forth, he trampled the courtyard of Bodhi tree." [p. 318, n. 88 : "Sihal.av., p. 19 (Fr. trans. ... Ver Ecke 1980:22)."] ...

Mara, knowing he has been found out, shows himself in his true form. Then, Phussa declares :

["Sihal.av., p. 20 (Fr. trans. ... Ver Ecke 1980:23)." (p. 318, n. 89)] "You are able to fashion magically and manifest the form ["rupa"] of the Buddha. ... I ask you to show it." ... Mara consented, and he made clearly manifest the figure of the Great Sage ... bearing the thirty-two excellent bodily marks. The elder Phussadeva ... profferred an an~jali".

p. 318, n. 87 "Phussadeva also figures in the Vsm., in the Sahassavatthu, and also in later anthologies such as the Sara[-]sangaha and the Saddharma[-]ratnakara."

pp. 114-5 opening-&-closing viewports for witnessing events in divine worlds

p. 114

"in Buddhist tantric meditations ... adepts, visualizing the forms of {i.e., opening a panoramic view-portal into the divine heavenly realm containing the splendorous divine body of a} [dhyani-]Buddha or a [dhyani-]bodhisattva, always make sure

{This would referr to the caerimonial opening-up of a viewport for surveying a divine world from a vantage-point in the material world.}

p. 115

to "deconstruct" their visualization and return to forms

{Whenever a viewport is being employed to witness events in a divine world, that viewport must be caerimonially closed-down ("deconstructed") before one's abandoning the location, lest the viewport be subsequently randomly used by unauthorized (untrained) persons in some inadvertently detrimental manner.}

they have created

{The divine world and their divine denizens were already always aeternally there, and are in no respect "created". However, the portal must itself assembled out of parts constructed and kept in readiness by related divine entities.}

to emptiness at the end of the meditation."

{The term "emptiness" (s`unyata) would referr to a trance-status analogue to the dreamless-sleep (sus.upti) status wherein the 2 types of "Clear Light" (mother and son) are immanent and must be extracted for use (by combining and decombining) in construction and in deconstruction of the viewport.}

p. 115 "impermanence"?

"the Buddha in Nirvan.a is no more -- ... is, in fact, absent ... .

{"is no more", scil., not locally praesent (i.e., not on this planet) -- but is, of course, very much praesent elsewhere (i.e., on some other planet, some otherwhere - somethere other than in this 1,000,000,000 planetary-systems collocation)}

... Theravadins affectively feel that the Buddha is present and cognitively know that he is absent. {absent from here now, but nevertheless praesent elsewhere even as of now (and at work there for the benefit of others)}

{They are able to feel a buddha's praesence because, when on this planet, that buddha arranged with various deities that benefits would continue to be accrued to worshippers until the arrival, on this planet, of the next buddha, who will continuate the same plan, by covenant with the same deities, for the benefit of worshippers on this planet at that future date.}

pp. 116-7 bhakti (devotion)

p. 116

"in ... the Bhagavad Gita, ... those who are devoted to Kr.s.n.a are told they will thereby attain liberation from samsara.

... bhakti, engendered in Mara by Upagupta, is responsible for his conversion experience,

{It is rather ridiculous to allege that a major deity hath ever been in actual need of any "conversion experience". How-be-it, for the aedification of mortals, a deity may act so as to feign need for a "conversion experience" supposedly brought about (to appearances) by those mortals. Bauddha misunderstanding this process (as of many other matters) is rather obtuse. [written June 4 2016]}

and ... further ... bhakti is capable of speeding up the process of final liberation. The aim of bhakti ... is unambiguously soteriological."

{It is quite absurd to claim, however, that devotion to any mere mortal (whether a buddha or any other) could be capable of any such effect. Because /samsara/ is none other than a name for the material plane, is is quite unreasonable to suppose that any mortal could transcend " samsara" by any means located in the material plane (where the material body of every manus.i buddha is, of course, located). But any deity (because not located therein) could enable oneself to transcend it. [written June 4 2016]}

p. 117

"As Etienne Lamotte [1958, pp. 437, 474 sq] has suggested, such as the Lotus {praesumably intending, the Sat-dharma Pund.arika, though there are various other vaipulya sutra-s with a 'waterlily' name in the title} and the Pure Land texts, is rather different than {read "from"} that assumed in the devotional petitions recorded in the inscriptions of Northwest India. He associates the former primarily with Vaishnavite influences, while he connects the latter to Greek traditions of prayer. ... In the Sarvastivadin traditions, however, the Buddha is ...

incapable of intervening in the present ... ."

{incapable of (or, better stated, "disinterested in") intervening in affairs of the material world (or of the material plane), but not so indifferent to spiritual intervention (by imparting spiritual wisdom etc.)}

Lamotte 1958 = Etienne Lamotte : Histoire du bouddhisme indien : des origines à l'ère Śaka. Louvain : Publications Universitaires, Institut Orientaliste.

{The Sat-dharma Pund.arika is somewhat peculiar is praising itself so very fulsomely; it is also peculiar in glorifying various quite obscure buddha-s by names excessively lengthy (the Book of Oahspe likewise containing some excessively lengthy names).}


John S. Strong : The Legend and Cult of Upagupta : Sanskrit Buddhism in North India and Southeast Asia. Princeton Univ Pr, 1992.