Saturday, April 10, 2010

Suppabuddha and Devadatta, who Felt Hatred towards the Buddha

Suppabuddha was the king of Devadaha. He had a son, Devadatta and a daughter, Yasodhara. He was relative from the mother's side of Siddhattha Gotama. Siddhattha Gotama married Yasodhara.Then Suppabuddha and Devadatta became in-laws of him respectively. Despite of being related, Suppabuddha and Devadatta felt hatred towards the Buddha.
Suppabuddha grew grudges against the Buddha on two accounts. One was for Siddhattha Gotama left his daughter Yasodhara with a newborn baby Rahula and renounced the world. The other was because of his son Devadatta entered the Order of monks.

Once, when Buddha and the bikkhus came for alms-round, Suppabuddha intentionally blocked the way. He even sent message saying that he could not give way to the one much younger than him. Eventually, the Buddha and his bikkhus turned back.

The king sent one of his men to spy the Buddha.That man heard the Buddha saying to Ananda that Suppabuddha would be swallowed by the earth for his ill-deed after 7 days. The spy reported about it to the king.

Suppabuddha tried to prove that the Buddha said the wrong words. From that day on, he did not depart his room. He also ordered his guards to stop him if he was going to step out.

Later on the seventh day, the royal horse got frightened of something. It became furious: kicking continuously and neighing loudly. Upon hearing the noise made by his horse, the king forgot everything. He left his room and rushed down the steps to handle his pet. His guards forgot to stop him too. When his feet touched the ground, it suddenly swallowed him up.
In Dhammapada, the Buddha stated in verse: "Not in the sky, nor in the middle of the ocean, nor in the cave of a mountain, nor anywhere else, is there a place where one cannot be oppressed by death''.

Devadatta admitted into the Order of monks and did many good deeds. He was among the monks that the Buddha spoke in praise. But he was unable to attain any of the sainthoods. Otherwise, he acquired the supernormal powers.

He had many admirers and followers. So he became conceited with his worldly psychic powers and fame. Devadatta followed his father's way. Like father like son, he envied the Buddha and regarded as his rival. He wildly acted against the Buddha. He attempted to take the Buddha's life in several ways. But none of his evil doings was achieved. Devadatta openly asked the Buddha to retire and replaced him as a leader. As Buddha disagreed, he then persuaded the newly ordained monks and left the place. Thus he made a schism in the Order which only lasted for awhile.

After all his failures, Devadatta regretted and went to see the Buddha. Unfortunately, he was engulfed by the earth on the way.

In the end, the weighty kamma put both Suppabuddha and Devadatta in the Avici hell.

Posted by Aye Sat

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