Mara is believed to be the representation of Death; the Evil Force; or the Tempter in the Buddhist tradition. He may be understood as evil spirit or devil in popular terms.
Mara, when was considered as one-fold he refers to the ‘adulteration’ or death only. He is classified as five-fold by way of Khandha, Kilesa Mara, Abhisankhara Mara, Macchu Mara, and Devaputta. In the older texts he is believed to be the representation of five aggregates of the mind-body complex.
Mara is also called as ‘Namuchi’ as no one can escape from him. He is called ‘Vasavatti’, because “he rules all”. Whenever, he finds some one walking on the path of skills, he creates blockage and difficulty. For example, in the Shresthi-Jataka when a king thought of giving alms to a Paccheka Buddha, who had entered the palace: Mara put the obstacle of creating a very deep hell measuring many work out in width, with several horrible sights with terrible sounds and quavering flames.