From Coleman Barks's Rumi - The Book of Love
Thich Nhat Hanh tells a wonderful story in his commentaries on the Buddha's
Heart Sutra about how the opposites of good and evil only seem to oppose
each other. He shows how they are actually great buddies who meet in
One day Buddha was in his cave and Ananda, Buddha's assistant was standing
near the entrance . Suddenly he saw Mara, the evil one coming. Mara walked
straight to Ananda and hold him to announce his visit to Buddha.
Ananda said, "Why have you come here? You were defeated by Buddha under
the Bodhi tree. Go away! You are his enemy!"
Mara began to laugh. "Did you say that your teacher has told you that he has
enemies?" That made Ananda very embarassed. He went in to announce Mara
"is it true? Is he really here?" Buddha went out in person to greet Mara. He bowed
and took his hands in the warmest way. "How have you been? Is everything
After they sat down to tea, Mara said, "Things are not going well at all. I am
tired of being a Mara. You have to talk in riddles, and if you do anything you
have to be tricky and look evil. I'm tired of all that. But the worst part is my
disciples. Now they are talking about social justice, peace, equality, liberation,
nonduality, nonviolence, all that. It would be better if I hand them all over to you.
I want to be something else."
Buddha listened with compassion. "Do you think it's fun being a Buddha? My
disciples put words in my mouth that I never said. They build garish temples.
They package my teachings as items for commerce [Deepak Chopra ring a bell?].
Mara, you don't really want to be a Buddha!"
Ananda continued to be puzzled and amazed by their conversation. The beautiful
wholeness of it cannot be accepted by the mind.