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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

XII:6 The story of Devadatta, the opponent of the Buddha

One day, some bhikkhus were talking amongst themselves when the Buddha came in and questioned them about the subject of their conversation. They answered that they were talking about Devadatta and then continued as follows: 'Venerable Sir! Devadatta is indeed a man without morality; he is also very avaricious. He has tried to gain name and fame by getting the confidence of King Ajatasattu by unfair means. He has also tried to convince the king that by getting rid of his father, he (Ajatasattu) would immediately become a powerful ruler. Having been thus misled by Devadatta, Ajatasattu killed his father by torturing him. Devadatta, has even attempted three times to kill you. Devadatta is, indeed, very wicked and ambitious.'

After listening to the bhikkhus, the Buddha told them that Devadatta had not only tried to kill him then but had also tried to kill him in his previous existences. Then the Buddha said, 'Bhikkhus! Just as a creeper strangles the tree to which it clings, so also, those without morality, being overwhelmed by evil desires, will have to suffer for their misdeeds.'

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.