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Is there any further implication to be gleaned from this and how did this meaning come to be? Is there any suggestion that the male genitals are somehow an obstacle to enlightenment?

marked as duplicate by cypher, Dono, Earthliŋ, snailcar Feb 6 '15 at 23:40

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Excerpt from 日本国語大辞典 entry:

まら 【魔羅・摩羅】




*霊異記〔810〜824〕中・一一「卒爾に𨳯(マラ)に蟻著きて嚼み〈国会図書館本訓釈 𨳯 万良〉」

That means, the "penis" sense may have come from buddhist māra, or the verb まる "excrete", or confusion between both.

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