I was thinking about what cubibobi asked: “Is “Mara” as designation of this deva the same word “mara” as in relating to death?”
Yes. There is also a connection of Māra to death or “marana” in the following sense.
In Ariya Vinaya, death is inevitably “attached” to birth (jāti). Wherever there is birth, there will ALWAYS be death.
– Therefore, in Ariya Vinaya (i.e., for Noble Persons) whatever causes the birth-death cycle to continue is the REAL death or “marana.”
– Now, those who do not realize the drawbacks and dangers in kāma (sense pleasures) are going to be subjected to the rebirth process or “marana”
– That is why Māra Devaputta is associated with marana. He encourages people to enjoy sense pleasures, even though he discourages immoral behavior. But as long as one does not realize the bad consequences and dangers in engaging in even harmless sense pleasures, one will NOT be able to escape the “kāma loka“. As long as one is in kāma loka, the possibility of succumbing to temptations and ending up in the apāyā will be there (until one becomes a Sotapanna/Sotapanna Anugāmi)
– That is why the Buddha always referred to Māra Devaputta as a “bad influence” and equated to “death”. That death or “marana” means the inability to reach release from the cycle of suffering.
It is a bit deeper point. Please feel free to ask questions.