Subhuti asks the Buddha, the moon of the Doctrine:
"Will there be any obstacles to the precious qualities?"
"Many obstacles there will be," preaches the Teacher.
"Of them I will proclaim only a few:
Diverse and manifold flashes of ideas will arise in him
When he copies out this wisdom, the perfection of the Jinas.
Then again they will speedily vanish, like lightning,
Without benefit to the weal of the world.
This is one deed of Mara. And he may have some doubts when it is being taught:
'My name is not proclaimed by the Leader therein;
Nor are the circumstances of my birth; nor my birthplace or clan.'
Because of that they will not listen, and reject it. That also is Mara's deed.
The Bodhisattva-path and the Disciple-path
Just as, in his ignorance, someone would give up the root,
And prefer, the deluded, the branches and foliage;
[Or] as one who, when he had got an elephant, would want an elephant's foot instead; -
Thus would be one who, having heard the Prajnaparamita, would wish for the Sutras [of the Disciples instead].
Just as one who had got superior food of a hundred [different] tastes,
Would, although he has got the best food of all, nevertheless seek for inferior food.
So would be a Bodhisattva who, having got this perfection,
Would seek for enlightenment on the level of an Arhat.
They will want honour, they will want gain,
In their hearts longing for them, intent on familiarity with the families [of the faithful].
Having spurned what is right [Dharma], they will do what is wrong;
Having left the right path, they have gone to a wrong road. This also is Mara's deed.
Even though at first they have produced faith,
Keen to hear this most excellent dharma;
When they find that the dharma-preacher is disinclined to do his work,
They will go away, devoid of joy and very sad.
Mara's Deeds and the Buddha's Help
When these deeds of Mara will take place,
Together with many other diverse and manifold obstacles,
Then many monks will be troubled thereby,
And will not bear in mind this Prajnaparamita.
Where there are jewels which are priceless
And hard to get, their owners invariably have many foes.
Just so this wisdom, the foremost perfection of the Jinas,
Is the Dharma-jewel hard to get, and [connected with] many troubles.
When a being has newly set out in the vehicle, and is limited in his intelligence,
He does not [at once] obtain this Dharma-jewel, hard to get.
Mara will then be zealous to cause obstacles.
But the Buddhas in the ten directions will be intent on helping.