The Eightfold Path is the best of ways.
The Four Noble Truths are the best of truths.
Freedom from desire is the best of states.
Who ever is clear eyed and wise is the best of men.
This is the one and only way.
There is no other leading to the purity of vision.
Follow this path;
This bewilders Mara, the tempter.
-Dhammapada, 20 ¤ The Way
I read this last week, in the midst of contemplating compassion. The last line really jumped out at me, “This bewilders Mara.” It doesn’t initially sound very compassionate.
But letting that thought sit and melt down a bit it become clear. Bewildering Mara is the best of compassions. What I had to remind myself is that Mara is not a real being. He is a character manufactured to represent the ego that I have manufactured. As Buddha said, “Mara, you are not the Earth.”
Mara is what stands between you and me.
Bewildering him/that aspect of myself will only be beneficial to all, and most likely, quite humbling.