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Under the Bo Tree
by Huston Smith
"Sensing at length that a breakthrough was near, he sat down one evening under what has come to be known as the Bo Tree (short for Bodhi or enlightenment), vowing not to arise until he had gained his goal.

The records offer as the first event of the night a temptation scene reminiscent of Jesus in the desert. Seeking to disrupt Gautama's concentration, Mara, the Evil One, first paraded voluptuous women, and when they failed in their purpose assailed the future Buddha with torrents of flaming rocks. These, though, turned into blossom petals when they entered the field of his yogic concentration. In final desperation, Mara challenged Gautama's right to do what he was doing, but he touched the earth with his right fingertip and the earth thundered, "I bear you witness." Mara fled in rout and raptures descended from heaven to clothe the victor.

Thereafter, while the Bo Tree rained red blossoms that full-mooned night of May, Gautama's meditation deepened until, as the morning star glittered in the transparent eastern sky, his mind pierced the world's bubble, collapsing it to nothing; only, wonder of wonders, to find it restored with the effulgence of true being. The Great Awakening had arrived. Gautama was gone, He had been replaced by the Buddha.

Mara was waiting for him with one last temptation. How could the Buddha expect people to understand truth as profound as that which he had discovered? Why not wash his hands of the whole hot world, be done with the body, and slip at once into perpetual nirvana? The argument almost prevailed, but at length the Buddha answered, "There will be some who will understand", and Mara was vanquished forever."