Devadatta, the envious...?

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:39 pm

Devadatta, the envious...?

Post by janpeterotto » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:19 pm

In one of Rennyos letter there is a reference to Gotamas cousin Devadatta, who is apparently supposed to have been so jealous of Gotama that he ended up in hell. Anyone more oriented than me in this affair?

User avatar
Global Moderator
Posts: 10007
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Devadatta, the envious...?

Post by Queequeg » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:32 pm

Devadatta tried to insinuate himself as a leader of the sangha and Buddha rejected his overtures which included efforts to introduce more ascetic standards. When Buddha rejected this Devadatta tried to take leadership of the sangha and attempted to kill the Buddha, including causing rocks to fall and injure the Buddha's toe, and loosing a drunk elephant. Devadatta also convinced prince Ajatasatru to kill his father, Bimbisara who was a supporter of the Buddha and imprison his mother. The Earth opened up and swallowed Devadatta who is said to have fallen into Avici alive.

Still, Buddha praised Devadatta as a teacher in a past life who enabled him to awaken and predicted that he would be a Buddha.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:57 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Re: Devadatta, the envious...?

Post by sth9784 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:44 am

There is a recent topic on this Pure Land board about Buddhist anime, and the episode on the Meditation Sutra, and the following episode show the events to which Queequeg refers. If you are interested check out the post, or just the videos.

Buddha Sutras Anime

For a direct link to the specific videos, here: ... na Sutra ] (This one shows Devadatta influencing Ajatashatru) ... tashatru ] (This one has various plots of Devadatta to hurt the Buddha, by having an elephant charge him, and the above mentioned boulder incident)

Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Devadatta, the envious...?

Post by vikas113 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:07 pm

Devadatta is a good example for us.

In Lotus Sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha said that in a past life Devadatta taught him the Lotus sutra. Lotus Sutra is one of the most beautiful sutras which dives deep into the Buddha's teaching and is very auspicious and meritious.

In spite of holding this great sutra in a past life, Devadatta fell into hell because of his arrogance and pride. Though he learned the dhamma very little and gained but worldly supernormal powers by practicing 4 meditative jhanas, he thought low of Buddha and wanted to replace him.

Devadatta's evil mind and enormous pride caused him to commit sins such as sending soldiers to shoot arrows to the Buddha, sending wild enraged elephant to harm the Buddha, encouraging Ajatshatru to imprison his own father and kill him, causing rift in the sangha and drawing the blood of the Buddha (the last 2 are a part of 5 heinous crimes which causes the sinner to be sent down to the avici hell for incalculable aeons/kalpas)

Fortunately, he will become enlightened as predicted by the Buddha.

So for me, Devadatta is a wise teacher. No matter how many sutras and dharanis I read, I should leave pride aside and be humble and respect every being as future Buddha and try to follow the precepts diligently as I can also recite 'Namo Amitabha Buddha' just like a stupid illiterate person as Honen mentioned.

PS: Lotus Sutra is a very beautiful sutra I read when I was really depressed and I would not lie may the Buddhas of 10 directions be my witness. As soon as I reached the last chapter I was very thrilled with a joy of reading a very rare and precious teaching. I was totally cured of depression as I reached the last chapter. I am not lying.

Here is the link of lotus sutra

All 84,000 dharmas spoken by Sakyamuni Buddha point towards one goal of Buddhahood. All beings are indeed future Buddhas!

Namo Sakyamuni buddha! Namo Amitabha Buddha! Namo Bhaysajyaguru Vaidurya Prabha Raja Buddha! :bow: :bow: :bow:

Wicked Yeshe
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:42 am

Re: Devadatta, the envious...?

Post by Wicked Yeshe » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Devadatta is a great bodhisattva and the best friend of our lord, the buddha. Gotama even predicted his future enlightenment because he knew the misunderstandings and the difficulties to transcend them. It is just that Devadatta was unskillful and therefore fell into hell. For example he struggled with being a vegetarian while buddha taught many paths even for those eating meat, eggs etc. This is two aspects of the same compassion. Unfortunately for Devadatta, he did not understand properly enough. But he will be fine just like you all.

Hell does not last. Just like heaven.
Deep and mysterious indeed is the great dharma.
All will be saved.
All will be clear.

Post Reply

Return to “Pure Land”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests