Dumping Glue on a Log1

1 presupposes familiarity with Pokémon.

Gautama meditates in the tall grass.

Jane runs up.

Gautama smiles. “Jane,” he says, “I meditate in pursuit of enlightenment, so that I can free all sentient beings from desire and suffering.”

Jane thinks on Gautama’s words. “Cool!” She throws a red and white ball at him. It opens and sucks him in. The ball wiggles, then subsides. Success! Jane has captured Gautama.

Jane beams. “I knew I’d find a good use for my ENLIGHTENMENT BALL.”

Jane runs through the grass. She can see Martin up ahead. He’s blocking the only path past the bo tree.

Martin sees Jane. “!”

Martin runs up to Jane. “Let’s battle!”

“Gautama,” cries Jane. “I choose you!”

Martin thinks. “I’ll choose Mara!”

Martin throws his DESIRE BALL. It unleashes Mara, the demon of the illusions of material existence.

First round!

Gautama assumes LOTUS STANCE under the bo tree.
Mara uses his special VOLUPTUOUS WOMEN move.

“These women are very bountiful,” agrees Gautama. “But the pleasures of the flesh do not last. Succumbing to this temptation would bring me immediate happiness. Over the years, though, sickness, old age, and death would take their toll. I would come to regret my indulgence.”

Gautama takes ten points of damage. The women weren’t a temptation. They were an attack! Mara’s tricky that way.

Second round!

Gautama uses LOTUS STANCE.
Mara PAUSES.

Martin frowns at Jane. “You shouldn’t use the same move over and over!”

“It increases his defense against the torments of existence,” explains Jane. “That makes him a tragically powerful battler!”

“Oh,” said Martin, thinking. “That’s a good strategy, then. I’ll have to damage him fast!”

Mara uses his FLAMING ROCKS move.

A fiery torrent descends on Gautama!

“These rocks are very much on fire,” agrees Gautama. “But the pleasures of the flesh do not last. Succumbing to this temptation would bring me immediate happiness. Over the years, though, sickness, old age, and death would take their toll. I would come to regret my indulgence.”

“They’re FLAMING ROCKS,” says Mara blankly.

“Oh,” says Gautama. “They’re not a temptation?”

“A temptation to do what?”

“I’d collect them,” says Gautama, dreamily. “And dress them up in cute flame-retardant outfits. Then I’d sell them on eBay.” He shivers. Oh! Such sweet temptation. But the flaming rocks turn into blossom petals when they reach Gautama. That’s how powerful his dedication to help all people is!

Gautama takes five points of damage. Jane looks worried. He doesn’t have many left!

Third round!

Gautama uses LOTUS STANCE.
Mara uses MORAL CHALLENGE.

“You don’t have the right to seek enlightenment,” Mara cries. “You’re a washed-up bald monk who lives in a ball! Who are you to seek the freedom of all people from suffering and desire?”

Gautama touches the earth with one finger. The earth shouts, “He’s a washed-up bald monk who lives in an ENLIGHTENMENT BALL.”

Mara could not argue with that.

Fourth round!

Gautama uses ACHIEVE ENLIGHTENMENT.
The battle ends.

There’s no more Mara. There’s no more Gautama! There’s only Ninja Tathagata.

“I win!” cries Jane.

“Hey!” says Martin. “He didn’t survive enlightenment! He extinguished his ego and now he exists as a compassionate impulse in the void of nirvana! I think that should be a draw.”

“Oh, Martin!” laughs Jane. “You can’t blame a Buddha for achieving nonexistence! That’s like dumping glue on a log.”

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