There are a few “theories of Māra” (“theogonies”, I think, would be more appropriate, but hopefully you get what I mean) that I am aware of in Buddhist discourse, namely: Māra as the deva prince of kāmadhātu, Maradheyyam (Māra is not a being, but is instead co-terminous with the realm of samsara), Pañcamāra (or the “fivefold Māra”, which explains Māra as a quintal-hypostatized deva with 4 abstract hypostaseis that embody kilesa, khandha, kamma, and maccu), and modern interpretations that deal with Māra as a more abstract symbol and not as a deva or being of any sort.
What are some resources on Māra in early Buddhist literature? Are any of the above Māra-theories expounded in earlier Buddhist literature?
A Letter from Mara — A story by Punnadhammo Bhikkhu - Arrow River Forest Hermitage. — Written in the style of a 1950’s Science Fiction story - Letter from Mara tells of the Matrix like existence we live as humans and what challenges lie ahead for those who want to wake up… A fun and insightful story.
Māra is described in Māra Samyutta (SN 4) and also the Buddha told his account of meeting Māra before his enlightenment in Padhana Sutta (Snp 3.2).
I thought Mara couldn’t just be the defilements because the Buddha met mara after his enlightenment as well.
I think there is internal Mara and external Mara.
Buddha did not have the internal Mara but he has to face with the external.
Internal Mara suttas include: SN 22.63; SN 22.64; SN 23.1; SN 23.23.
External Mara is in many suttas, such as DN 16.