(玛拉 Mǎlā), the evil-one is actually a Bodhisattva who tests living beings on the path to Buddhahood. Mara, the tempter, who is also called the Evil One, has the job of testing living beings to make sure they are progressing on the path. He and his demon followers are emanations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who test those engaged in self-cultivation. He appears in the texts both as a real being (i.e. as a deity who is the King of Demons of the Paranirmita Heaven, the sixth and highest heaven in the desire realm) and as a symbol of everything that hinders the arising of wholesome roots and progress on the path of enlightenment. This includes the internal difficulties encountered by the practitioner. There are four kinds known as the Four Maras: 1) skandha-mara or incorrect view of self; 2) klesha-mara or being overpowered by negative emotions; 3) matyu-mara or death that interrupts the spiritual practice; and 4) devaputra-mara or becoming stuck in the bliss that comes from meditation.
Seeing this fearsome being as a bodhisattva who is really responsible for helping us on our evolutionary path puts the so called “devil” in a very different light.