Mara tempts Siddhartha, just as the Genesis serpent tempts Adam and Eve. Like the serpent, Mara uses subtlety. He lists the earthly riches that Siddhartha is about to foolishly renounce. The lesson of this episode is in its timing: Mara appears only when Siddhartha renounces earthly riches. The serpent appears only when God commands to avoid the forbidden fruit. This subtle deceiving element appears only when our higher part formulates an aim, teaching us that the efforts of the Higher Self evoke resistance from the lower self; aims attract deviation.