Devadatta

Post sayings or stories from Buddhist traditions which you find interesting, inspiring or useful. (Your own stories are welcome on DW, but in the Creative Writing or Personal Experience forums rather than here.)
Post Reply
Memmz
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:55 pm

Devadatta

Post by Memmz » Wed May 29, 2019 8:42 am

"Also, next, O good man! Devadatta, the evil-hearted one, was greedy beyond measure. He ate a lot of butter and got a headache and a swollen belly, and the pain was so great that he could not endure it. He said: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya!" At that time, I was living in the castle-town of Ujjaini. Hearing his voice, pity overtook me. Then Devadatta saw me come to him, rub his head and belly, give him hot salt water and make him partake of it. Having partaken of it, he regained his health. O good man! I did not go to where Devadatta was, rub his head and belly, or give him hot water. O good man! All of this arose from the power of virtue inherent in the good deed of loving-kindness, so that Devadatta was able to see all of this.

What do you think of this story?

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3505
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu May 30, 2019 12:35 am

Devadatta was Shakyamuni's disagreeable cousin.
Maybe you could post the entire story.
Is your question about Devadatta having a vision and feeling cured,
or is this really about butter?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

Memmz
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:55 pm

Re: Devadatta

Post by Memmz » Thu May 30, 2019 3:32 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 12:35 am
Devadatta was Shakyamuni's disagreeable cousin.
Maybe you could post the entire story.
Is your question about Devadatta having a vision and feeling cured,
or is this really about butter?
.
.
.
This is the entire story.
My question is about the entire story.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 4971
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: AU

Re: Devadatta

Post by Wayfarer » Thu May 30, 2019 4:05 am

What is the source of this story? Pleas provide a link or reference. It’s very hard to interpret without a broader context.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

Memmz
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:55 pm

Re: Devadatta

Post by Memmz » Thu May 30, 2019 5:17 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 4:05 am
What is the source of this story? Pleas provide a link or reference. It’s very hard to interpret without a broader context.
Mahaparinirvana sutra.
https://www.nirvanasutra.net/nirvanasutrao.htm

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 4971
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: AU

Re: Devadatta

Post by Wayfarer » Thu May 30, 2019 5:24 am

I see it. Well - I haven't studied this sutra in depth. But this story is one of a number of stories, used to illustrate the power of loving-kindness, and how loving-kindness can subdue enemies (like the elephant in one of the other stories), as well as heal Devadatta. As Devadatta is usually considered an adversary of the Buddha, then the fact that he is cured in this way is also an indication of the Buddha's loving-kindness. That is how I would read it.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

tkp67
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by tkp67 » Thu May 30, 2019 7:43 am

Memmz wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:42 am
"Also, next, O good man! Devadatta, the evil-hearted one, was greedy beyond measure. He ate a lot of butter and got a headache and a swollen belly, and the pain was so great that he could not endure it. He said: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya!" At that time, I was living in the castle-town of Ujjaini. Hearing his voice, pity overtook me. Then Devadatta saw me come to him, rub his head and belly, give him hot salt water and make him partake of it. Having partaken of it, he regained his health. O good man! I did not go to where Devadatta was, rub his head and belly, or give him hot water. O good man! All of this arose from the power of virtue inherent in the good deed of loving-kindness, so that Devadatta was able to see all of this.

What do you think of this story?
As I interpret it Devadatta's greedy desire caused his own suffering which was relieved by paying homage to the Buddha whose loving kindness was cause for Devadatta's enlightenment and thus freedom from suffering. Once his suffering ceased he understood this dynamic himself.

The passage seems to make clear the Buddha delivering medicine to mind of Devadatta's as opposed to physically attending him in person and I believe this is of deep significance.

smcj
Posts: 6834
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by smcj » Thu May 30, 2019 7:48 am

tpk67 wrote:The passage seems to make clear the Buddha delivering medicine to mind of Devadatta's as opposed to physically attending him in person and I believe this is of deep significance.
+1
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3505
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu May 30, 2019 1:01 pm

This is one of those sutras where the truth in it lies in the overall message it conveys,
rather than in any factual qualities of the details. Wild elephants are dangerous, but probably won't trample a hundred thousand people!

Devadatta eats so much butter that he gets an unbearable stomach ache.
I can't imagine eating that much butter,
although that kind of abdominal pain happened to me once after drinking a huge milkshake too fast.
It's so bad, he even calls out to the Buddha, which is a big deal for him,
because he doesn't like anything about the Buddha or the Buddha's teachings.

I think the point of this sutra is that loving-kindness in the buddhist context is so infinite, so inconceivably vast,
that even Devadatta's spiteful attitude is consumed by it.

Devadatta is in a metaphoric sense, the "anti-Buddha". He's against everything Buddha teaches, everything Buddha "stands for"...
compassion, loving kindness, inner peace, gentleness, etc.
Devadatta just can't stand all that nicey-nice buddhist crap.

In this way, Devadatta is also a stand-in figure for when practitioners have doubts about the teachings,
for moments when we might think, "maybe this is all bullshit after all".
We can all identify with that.
The infinite compassion expressed in this sutra suggests, "That's okay. Go ahead and have your doubts and frustrations. It's all part of the path."
The truth of the teachings doesn't cease just because you feel like Devadatta today.
The compassion of The Buddha is so vast, even Devadatta's anger and pain can't escape it.
He's a very important figure in the Buddhist mythos.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

tkp67
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by tkp67 » Thu May 30, 2019 2:44 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:48 am
tpk67 wrote:The passage seems to make clear the Buddha delivering medicine to mind of Devadatta's as opposed to physically attending him in person and I believe this is of deep significance.
+1
Do you think I am wrong in assuming that this alludes to both the cause and cure for suffering are both products of our mind?

smcj
Posts: 6834
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by smcj » Thu May 30, 2019 3:08 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:44 pm
smcj wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:48 am
tpk67 wrote:The passage seems to make clear the Buddha delivering medicine to mind of Devadatta's as opposed to physically attending him in person and I believe this is of deep significance.
+1
Do you think I am wrong in assuming that this alludes to both the cause and cure for suffering are both products of our mind?
I’m not exactly sure what you mean, but I don’t think that the Dharmakaya is a product of my mind.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

tkp67
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by tkp67 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:34 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:08 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:44 pm
smcj wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:48 am

+1
Do you think I am wrong in assuming that this alludes to both the cause and cure for suffering are both products of our mind?
I’m not exactly sure what you mean, but I don’t think that the Dharmakaya is a product of my mind.
As I interpret this all of this occurs in the "domain" of the mind but this is not meant to imply that we are producing that realization on our own accord leaving Buddha out to dry as theoretically inspirational only. My deepest apologies if this seemed the case as this was not my intent.

Upon rereading it I agree product might be a poor word as it is not meant to deny the Buddha as elemental in facilitation of this process but rather that suffering and the medicine that relieves it all occurs in the mind and I say this because It seems to me that one key message of this passage is in where the application of medicine occurs (the mind) as if to subtly reveal the source of suffering, what medicine is require and where it is applied.

I do admit I might still be grasping my apologies is this the case.

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 3505
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Devadatta

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri May 31, 2019 12:36 am

tkp67 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:44 pm
Do you think I am wrong in assuming that this alludes to both the cause and cure for suffering are both products of our mind?
The cause and cure of suffering are both products of the mind.
But, this statement has to be explained.
Suffering is an experience. Experiences only occur within the mind.
If you cut your finger, it's true that the cut causes the conditions for the experience of pain
But the pain itself is caused by, and exists only in the mind reacting negatively to the cut,
even though the location of the pain seems to be where the cut is, because that's where the nerves are sending messages to the brain.
In my work, I frequently get small cuts, scrapes, scratches, splinters, etc.
I may notice what we would refer to as a "painful" sensation for a second, but then I simply ignore it. I don't suffer from it.
If I got my leg cut off, that would be a different story!
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20296
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Devadatta

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:06 pm

Memmz wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:42 am
"Also, next, O good man! Devadatta, the evil-hearted one, was greedy beyond measure. He ate a lot of butter and got a headache and a swollen belly, and the pain was so great that he could not endure it. He said: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya!" At that time, I was living in the castle-town of Ujjaini. Hearing his voice, pity overtook me. Then Devadatta saw me come to him, rub his head and belly, give him hot salt water and make him partake of it. Having partaken of it, he regained his health. O good man! I did not go to where Devadatta was, rub his head and belly, or give him hot water. O good man! All of this arose from the power of virtue inherent in the good deed of loving-kindness, so that Devadatta was able to see all of this.

What do you think of this story?
What do you think of this story?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Memmz
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:55 pm

Re: Devadatta

Post by Memmz » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:02 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:06 pm
Memmz wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:42 am
"Also, next, O good man! Devadatta, the evil-hearted one, was greedy beyond measure. He ate a lot of butter and got a headache and a swollen belly, and the pain was so great that he could not endure it. He said: "Namo Buddhaya, namo Buddhaya!" At that time, I was living in the castle-town of Ujjaini. Hearing his voice, pity overtook me. Then Devadatta saw me come to him, rub his head and belly, give him hot salt water and make him partake of it. Having partaken of it, he regained his health. O good man! I did not go to where Devadatta was, rub his head and belly, or give him hot water. O good man! All of this arose from the power of virtue inherent in the good deed of loving-kindness, so that Devadatta was able to see all of this.

What do you think of this story?
What do you think of this story?
I believe this story is a powerful story on the power of loving kindness. The great powers of the buddha are displayed for all to see.

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20296
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Devadatta

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:13 am

Memmz wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:02 am
I believe this story is a powerful story on the power of loving kindness. The great powers of the buddha are displayed for all to see.
:twothumbsup:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Post Reply

Return to “Dharma Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests