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Thesis submitted to the University of Delhi
for the award of the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, 2005 

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I. A general view:

Buddhist canon and research works of history of Buddhism related to the Dissent and Protest in Early Buddhism in which the role of Devadatta is presented as competing and often contradictory. When identifying and describing his key personal events from his life and his motive to divide the Saṁgha since birthday, both interpret these events from perspectives that are radically different, often antagonistic and create “their own Devadatta”.

The aim of this Chapter firstly is to find out the possible reply for the controversial issue – Devadatta – the wrongdoer for schism in Early Buddhism and his role in preaching Dhamma, so that we can compare with the context of the society in Buddha’s life time which, the author believes, influenced the Dissent and Protest in the Order. Are there some biased arguments toward the role of Devadatta? Do the former works related to him reflect fully all aspects in his life?

We will peer into these different arguments and investigate what sources support them. How do the representations of the past acquire their mimetic effect for Buddhist readers? What Buddhist canon and historical sources are used in works related to Buddha’s life to create an aura of authenticity? What do these stylized symmetries tell us about how their respective traditions are constructed? In pursuing answers to these questions, we will embark upon a Buddhist Pāli sources and re-examine the “traditional historical sources”.

Here we begin from a different point of departure than most modern studies of Buddhist history. For the most part, scholars with an interest in these Buddhist works have raised questions about their accuracy as historical sources: Do they faithfully reflect the past? Can their contents be corroborated by the earliest extant evidence, the archeology recently discovered, the few fragmentary inscriptions etc..? What remains unexamined is the fundamental issue of whose history is really being reconstructed. The traditional approach to these mythico-historical works seems so problematic that it may be more fruitful to pursuit a different task and ask? What purpose do these texts serve? What literary techniques do the writers use to achieve that purpose? How useful is our distinction between myth and history when trying to make sense of these texts? To tackle these issues, the author thinks that we should sketch the Buddha’s life and the role of State and Laity in order to depict the whole picture of the Early Saṁgha and the discovery of all aspects of personal life of Devadatta and the reason why Devadatta had had the ambition to control Saṁgha with the Buddha’s ageing.

II- The Life of Buddha represented in Pāli Canon:

The early scriptures say that in the time of the Buddha there were in northern India 'sixteen major countries'. Probably this reflects a situation in which there were many states coexisting; each state could be classified as either an autocratic kingdom or a republican state with traces of tribalism. The states of the Sakya, the Malla and the Koliya tribes, for instance, belonged to the latter. Again, the Vajjī people, who did so much for the Buddha, were probably a republic made up of a federation of eight member tribes. On the other side were kingdoms like Magadha, Kosala and Kāsi, equipped in varying degrees with an administrative and military organization.[1]

Owing to the lack of material, Buddhist history has not been so concerned with recording precise dates, thus dating cannot be always arrives with accuracy. Therefore, there is controversy of years date and Nibbāna of the Buddha. This issue limits the research works related to the society at the Buddha’s time. In this chapter, the author does not aim to re-write the history of the Buddha’s life or discover the new evidences toward the above-mentioned issue. He aims at the reflection of the Buddha described in the Pāli scriptures.

We know that the proper name of the future Buddha was Siddhattha (Sanskrit: Siddhartha) and his family name Gotama (Sankrit: Gautama). He belonged to the sub-Himalaya clan of the Sakyas, a clan of uncertain origin but which had to a certain degree been subjected to brāhmanical influence: hence the term Sakyamuni: “The Sage of the Sakya clan”[2] which straddles the present border with Nepal and had Kapilavatthu as its capital.[3] The famous historical person known as Buddha was also called the Tathāgata, which means "the one who has come thus". His father Suddhodana of the Gotama clan was elected king of the Shakya tribe by its five hundred families just south of the Himalayan mountains in the realm of influence of the powerful Kosala monarchy. The Son was born in the Lumbinī garden and was named Siddhattha, which means "he who has accomplished his aim." It is said that after being born, he immediately stood, walked seven paces, scanned in all directions, and said in a noble voice that he was the foremost being in the world, and that this would be his last rebirth.[4]

The Buddhist sources say that Gotama died either 218 or 100 years before the consecration of the emperor Asoka. From references in Asokan edicts to certain Greek kings, this can be dated at 268 BC. As all sources agree that Gotama was eighty when He died, His dates would be either 566-486 BC or 448-386 BC. In the past, modern scholars have generally accepted the earlier dates, but the consensus is now that they rest on evidence which is too flimsy. Something approaching the latter dates is seen as more likely, perhaps 480-400 BC.[5] Buddha means "one who is intuitive, awakened, or enlightened."[6] Many myths and legends surround the birth of Siddhattha, but most of these seem to have been developed centuries later in the Jātakas.[7] A famous seer named Asita predicted that The Child would either become a great king or, if He leaves home, a great religious teacher[8]. His mother Maya died seven days after giving birth,[9] and her younger sister Mahāpajapati, who was also married to Suddhodāna, became his foster mother.

By all accounts Siddhattha was raised amid the finest luxuries of the time. Later, He said that three palaces had been built for Him, one for hot weather, one for cold, and one for the rainy season. His clothes were of the finest silk. When He walked on the grounds, someone held a white umbrella over his head. Even the servants were well fed, and music was played only by beautiful women.[10] Having demonstrated his skill in archery, Siddhattha chose for his wife Yasodharā and was married when He was about sixteen years old. For the next thirteen years He continued to live in luxury with his wife and concubines.

Then about the time of the birth of his son Rāhulā, the famous four signs occurred. According to legend, his father had tried to prevent his princely son from experiencing any suffering or sorrow or religious contact so that He would become a king rather than a spiritual teacher. However, one day while traveling outside the palace gates, Siddhattha happened to come across an old man for the first time in his life. He was appalled at the wrinkles and decrepitude. On another occasion he happened to observe a sick person and learned about the loathsome nature of disease. The third sign came when he witnessed a funeral procession and was able to see the lifeless corpse that was being carried. The speed of these three experiences compelled him to think about the transitoriness of human life. Finally He came upon a religious ascetic, who had renounced the world to seek enlightenment.[11]

With the birth of his son He had fulfilled his obligation to continue his family line and decided that He too must renounce his kingdom and seek a way out of the human miseries of old age, sickness, and death. So He took off his silk garments and put on the coarse clothes of an ascetic and went south to Magadha seeking enlightenment. While begging for his food in Rājagaha, the capital city of Magadha, his princely demeanor was observed by King Bimbisāra (Shrenika). The king went to see Siddhattha to find out who He was and what he was doing. Siddhattha told him that he was purifying himself in order to achieve Nibbāna, and He promised to teach the king after he attained enlightenment.

Like the sages of the Samana movement at that time,[12] Siddhattha practiced yoga and meditation. Majjhima Nikāya says that at Vesālī to learn meditative concentration He studied with Ālāra Kālāma, who was said to have had hundreds of disciples. Siddhattha soon learned how to reach the formless world, but still having mental anxieties He decided not to become a disciple of Ālāra Kālāma and denied the offering of join leadership from Ālāra Kālāma.[13] After attaining the higher state of consciousness beyond thought and non-thought, He left his second teacher, Udaka Rāmaputta, too.

Still not satisfied Siddhattha decided to practice the path of extreme austerities, and in this quest He was joined by the sage Kondañña (Sanskrit: Kaundinya) and four others. He pressed his tongue against his palate to try to restrain his mind until the perspiration poured from his armpits. He restrained his breath and heard the violent sounds of wind in his ears and head. He went into trances, and some thought He was dead. He fasted for long periods of time and then decided to try limiting his food to the juice of beans and peas. As his flesh shrank, the bones almost stuck out of his skin so that He could touch his spine from the front; after sitting on the ground him-print looked like a camel's footprint.[14]

For six years Siddhattha practiced such austerities, but instead of achieving superhuman knowledge and wisdom he only seemed to get weaker and weaker. Finally He thought that maybe there was a better way to attain enlightenment.[15] He remembered a meditative state where perhaps in concentrating his mind without evil ideas and sensual desires He should not be afraid of a happy state of mind. However, to gain the strength He felt he needed for this concentration he decided to start eating again. When He gave up practicing the extreme austerities, the five mendicants who were with him became disillusioned and left him, saying that Gotama lives in abundance and has given up striving.

Siddhattha reasoned that a life of penance and pain was no better than a life of luxury and pleasure, because if penance on earth is religion, then the heavenly reward for penance must be irreligion. If merit comes from purity of food, then deer should have the most merit. Those who practice asceticism without calming their passions are like a man trying to kindle fire by rubbing a stick on green wood in water, but those who have no desires or worldly attachments are like a man using a dry stick that ignites.

Regaining his strength from normal eating of the food he begged, Siddhattha once again practiced meditation. Now he easily attained the first stage of joy and pleasure, then a joyful trance arising from concentration with serenity and the mind fixed on one point without reasoning and investigation. The third stage produced equanimity to joy and aversion in a mindful, happy state. In the fourth stage pleasure and pain were left behind in a mind full of purity. With his mind thus concentrated and cleansed he directed it to the remembrance of former existences from previous births, also perceiving cycles of evolution and dissolution of the universe.

Then he directed his mind to the passing away and rebirth of beings, perceiving how the karma of evil actions, words, and thoughts leads to rebirth in miserable conditions and suffering in hell. But those beings leading good lives are reborn in a happy state in a heavenly world. Finally directing his mind to the means of ultimate release Siddhattha realized that there is pain, a cause of pain, the cessation of pain, and a way that leads to that cessation of pain. Thus his mind was emancipated from sensual desires, the desire for existence, and ignorance.

According to legend this whole process occurred in one night after he had decided to sit under a tree until he became enlightened or died. It was also said that he was tested by Mara, the tempter, but Siddhattha could not be swayed from his purpose. Thus darkness and ignorance were dispelled by the light as Siddhattha Gotama became enlightened and was henceforth known as the Buddha.[16] It is essential to note here that Theravāda points to a unity among Buddhas. The word ‘Buddha’ is taken to refer to all Enlightened Ones. ‘There is no distinction in form, morality, concentration, wisdom, freedom among all the Buddhas, because all the Buddhas are the same in respect of their nature.’ Their common identity is expressed in two ways: by the special characteristics associated with the Buddha and as Buddhahood expressed through the language of the Buddha bodies, eg. a body ‘born of Dhamma’. The teaching of the different Buddhas is the same; all Buddhas teach the same eternal truths. This teaching is a part of nature and is Absolute Reality in so far as Buddhism is considered. This idea, that the teaching remains the same although there are many different Buddhas, was developed by the Mahāyāna into the Trikāya doctrine.

Although there can be only one Sammāsambuddha in a Buddha sāsana, and no Pacceka Buddhas can arise in that period, there may be Arahats. An Arahat is technically a Buddha, and an Arahat Buddha may exist during the life of a Sammāsambuddha. Therefore, according to the Theravāda, it is possible to have more than one Buddha at a time. Mahāyāna developed the idea of multiple Buddhas living and teaching simultaneously in different worlds, human and heavenly. It also developed the idea of a Universal or Eternal Buddha. All Buddhas were reduced to a unity each associated with the same teaching or Dhammakāya (Sanskrit: Dharmākaya). All these Buddhas, past, present and future, living in different worlds, realizes and teaches the same Dhamma[17]

(i)- The establishment of the Saṁgha

After remaining under the Bodhi tree at Bodh-Gayā four weeks or more, the Buddha reflects the ways to get enlightenment and he hesitate to preach the Dhamma (Sanskrit: Dharma) because he thinks that the Dhamma he had experienced was very profound, subtle and beyond the sphere of reason, people was unable to follow it. At this moment, the compassionate Brahmā Sahampati appeared and requested him to preach the Dhamma, and he accepted his entreaty.[18] In a Deer Park of Rsipatana (Sarnath) near Benares, the Buddha gave his first sermon namely: Dhammacakkapavattana (Sanskrit: Dharmachakra- pravarthana). In which, he explained that the two extremes are not to be practiced by the one who is enlightened: what is joined with the passions and luxury which is low (hino), vulgar, common, ignoble (anariyo), and useless; nor what is joined with self-torture, which is painful (dukkho), ignoble, and useless too. Avoiding these two extremes, the enlightened follow the middle path, which produces insight and knowledge and leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and Nibbāna (Sankrit: Nivānïna). Buddha then expounded the Four Noble Truths of his doctrine.

The Buddha first taught the Five mendicants, who had previously abandoned him,[19] and the Saṁgha was established from them.[20] Yasa, the son of a wealthy guildmaster, became the first lay disciple in the new Community. The first women to become lay disciples were Yasa's mother and former wife. They were soon followed by four friends of Yasa and then fifty more. The Buddha then suggested that the sixty disciples wander around separately to preach the doctrine so that others may be liberated from the fetters of illusion, for the blessing of the manifold, for the happiness of the manifold, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the blessing, the happiness of gods and humans.[21] The bhikkhus were supposed to be men who left home to enter the path, prepared for a life of rigid practice. They were determined to keep their lives free from blemish or taint; with the deepening of their spiritual training must have come dignity and self control. The middle way enjoined by the Buddha was conduct according to Dhamma or truth and was based entirely on the resolution of the practitioner himself; it was subjective and voluntary, and was called morality (Sīla).[22]

(ii)- The Saṁgha, the State and the Laity:

The purpose of monk is to abandon the worldly life, but due to the everyday needs: food, clothing, medicines, accommodation etc. The relationship between monks, nuns and laity is unavoidable. As groups grew larger and numbers increased, situations arose which could not simply be left to the judgment of the individual bhikkhu. New renunciation would not yet have done enough training always to be able to judge what to do, and there would have been bhikkhus with no insight at all. Inevitably there must have arisen cases of conduct not allowable in an ascetic, and in these cases the Buddha had forbidden the wrong behaviour and made an ordinance about it. The principle was that when an offence occurred, a prohibition was made against it. Now the Buddhist order, as we shall see, began to make a great change, from the original life of wandering ascetics to communal living in monasteries. Bhikkhus lived together, attended ceremonies together and divided up equally what was given them in charity. There had to be rules - individual and communal - kept by all in the community, and these were collectively called the discipline or Vinaya. The phrase 'the moral discipline' often occurs in Chinese and Japanese Buddhist Texts, but basically the two things were separate. Morality was something subjective, self-imposed, whereas the discipline was imposed by others. Thus the principle was that for an infringement of the articles of the discipline there was a penalty, but not so in the case of morality.[23] Many rules established for the monks and nuns focus on the relationship between the Saṁgha and the Laity. A large majority of the Vinaya rules seem to have been formulated in some of the leading cities and towns of the Buddha’s time such as Sāvatthi, Kosambī, Rājagaha and Bārānasī. The whole section concerning rules of ordination (upasampadā), for instance, was laid down in Bārānasī.[24] In conditions where schism threatened the Saṁgha, the help of the laity in disciplining recalcitrant members also became necessary for the preservation of the unity and the integrity of the saṁgha itself.[25] Furthermore, the institutions of renunciation and ordination (pabbajjā and upasampadā) inevitably brought the Saṁgha into contact with the state and its bureaucracy, which led to the formulation of rules prohibiting categories.[26] Personally, the Buddha claimed some powerful kings of his time, Bimbisāra and Ajātasattu of Magadha and Pasenadī of Kosala. These kings built monasteries for the Saṁgha and amended many of their laws which otherwise would have made the Saṁgha’s activities very difficult, if not possible,[27] therefore; the discipline was certainly not a code laid down at one particular time by the Buddha in anticipation of certain situations. As necessity arose, the Buddha had given a ruling, and these were collected. In the 45 years of his ministry, a fair number of the rules of conduct, the discipline, had been established. The very first groups were only a handful, or perhaps several tens or so, but by the time of the Buddha's death they were substantial in number, and not all of the disciples would have heard all the Buddha's sermons and rules.

As to the latter, there were already some requests for alterations to meet different, changing times and differences in region and environment; there was the problem of how far such requests could be acceded to and also some elements of doubt which could not be disposed of by a standard ruling.[28]

III - Devadatta- the first Dissenter:

After the Buddha, Devadatta is the most talked about personality in Pāli literature. Major portions of some of the texts are devoted to Devadatta. In most of the references, he is shown in bad light. In fact, some references go as far as declaring him as the worst enemy of the Buddha. For instance, the Jātakas have centered on Devadatta[29] as follow:

1. Kurungamiga Jātaka (No.21)

Once the Bodhisatta was an antelope who used to eat the fruit of a sepanni-tree. One day a huntsman discovered him and lay in wait to kill him, but the Bodhisatta suspected his presence and so escaped death.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta's plots to kill the Buddha, the huntsman being identified with Devadatta. (J.i.173f.)

2. Kukkura Jātaka (No.22)

 Kukkura Jātaka (No.22).-Because his carriage straps, left in the rain, are gnawed by his own dogs, the king of Bārānasī (Benares) orders all dogs except his own to be killed indiscriminately. The Bodhisatta, who is the leader of the pack of dogs in the cemetery, visits the king, points out to him his iniquity, and reveals the truth by causing an emetic to be administered to the king's dogs. Having convinced the king, the Bodhisatta teaches him the ten stanzas of Righteousness found in the Tesakuna Jātaka (dhammaṁ cara mahārāja, etc.) (J.v.123). Great are the benefactions made to dogs thereafter. The Bodhisatta's teaching lasted for ten thousand years under the name of Kukkurovāda.

The king is identified with Ānanda (J.i.175ff). The occasion for the story is given in the Bhaddasāla Jātaka.

 Kukkura Jātaka.-See Kakkara

3. Tittira Jātaka (No.37)

There were once three friends, a partridge (tittira), a monkey and an elephant. Discovering that the partridge was the oldest of them, they honoured him as their teacher and he gave them counsel. Their conduct came to be called the Tittiriya-brahmacariya. The Bodhisatta was the partridge, Moggallāna the elephant, and Sāriputta the monkey.

The story was related in reference to the failure of the Chabbaggiyas to show due respect to Sāriputta. Once, when he visited them in company with the Buddha, they refused to provide him with lodging, and he had to sleep under a tree. (J.i.217ff; cp. Vin.ii.161; Avadāna S.ii.17)

4. Dummedha Jātaka (No.50)

The Bodhisatta was once born as Brahmadatta, king of Bārānasī. Seeing that his subjects were much given to offering sacrifices to the gods in course of which animals were killed and other sins committed, he made proclamation, soon after becoming king, that he had made a vow to offer in sacrifice all those of his subjects who were addicted to the Five Sins and walked upon the ten paths of unrighteousness. His ministers were sent to look for such people, and the proclamation had the desired effect (J.i.259f).

For the introductory story see the Mahākanha Jātaka

5. Mahāsīlava Jātaka (No. 51)

The Bodhisatta was once king of Benares under the name of Mahāsīlava. He built six almonries and ruled in all goodness. One of his ministers, having intrigued with a member of his harem, was expelled and took service under the king of Kosala. He caused several bands of ruffians to invade the territory of Mahāsī lava at different times. When they were caught and brought before Mahāsīlava, the latter gave them money and sent them away, telling them to act differently in the future. In this way the king of Kosala was easily persuaded by his minister that Mahāsīlava's kingdom could easily be captured. He therefore set out with an army, and as the people of Mahāsīlava were allowed to offer no resistance, the king and his ministers were captured alive and buried up to their necks in the cemetery. In the night, when jackals approached to eat them, Mahāsīlava fastened his teeth in the neck of the jackal that came to him. The jackal started howling and his companions fled. In his struggles to get free, the jackal loosened the earth round Mahāsīlava, who managed to free himself and then his companions.

In the cemetery two Yakkhas were having a dispute about a dead body, and they asked Mahāsīlava to settle it. But he wished first to bathe, and they fetched him water and perfumes and food from the usurper's table in Benares and also his sword of state. With this he cut the body in half, giving half to each Yakkha, and, with their aid, he entered the usurper's room where he slept. When the latter showed signs of terror, Mahāsīlava told him of what had happened and granted him forgiveness. His kingdom was then restored, and Mahāsīlava exhorted his subjects on the virtues of perseverance.

The story was related to a backsliding monk. Devadatta is identified with the treacherous minister of the Jātaka. (J.i.261-8.)

6. Vānarinda Jātaka (No. 57)

The Bodhisatta was once a monkey living on a river bank. On his way from one bank to another, he used to jump off and on a rock in midstream, and a female crocodile, living in the river, longed to eat his heart and asked her husband to get it. So the crocodile lay on the rock, ready to catch the monkey as he jumped. The monkey noticing that, in spite of there being no tide, the rock was higher than usual, spoke to it and received no reply. His suspicions were then confirmed, and he said again, "O rock, why don't you talk to me today?" The crocodile then revealed both his identity and his purpose, and the monkey resolved to outwit him. So he asked him to open his mouth, knowing that when a crocodile does this he shuts his eyes. So the crocodile did this, and the monkey jumped on to its back and from there to the other bank.

The story was related in reference to Devadatta’s attempt to kill the Buddha. (J.i.278f.); cp. Kumbhīla Jātaka.

7. Tayodhamma Jātaka (No.58)

Once Devadatta was born as king of the monkeys, and the Bodhisatta was his son. The monkey-king had the habit of gelding with his teeth all his male offspring, lest they should one day supersede him; but the Bodhisatta's mother left the herd before the child was born and brought him up elsewhere. When he grew up he came to see the monkey-king, and on the latter's trying to kill him by crushing him in a false embrace, the Bodhisatta showed greater strength than his sire. Then Devadatta asked him to fetch lotuses from a neighbouring lake, which was inhabited by an ogre, saying that he wished to crown his son as king. The Bodhisatta guessed the presence of the ogre and plucked the flowers by leaping several times from one bank to the other, grasping them on his way. The ogre seeing this expressed his admiration, saying that those who combine the three qualities of dexterity, valour, and resource can never be vanquished. When the monkey-king saw his son returning with the ogre, who was carrying the flowers, he died of a broken heart. The story was related in reference to hunting. (J.i.280-3).

8. Saccaṁkira Jātaka (No. 73)

The king of Benares had a son called Duṭṭhakumāra, who was hated by everyone. One day, when he was bathing in the river, a storm came on, and he ordered his servants to take him into the middle of the river and there bathe him. The servants thereupon flung him into the water and reported to the king that he was lost. As he was swept along on the stream, he caught hold of a tree trunk, and on to this tree trunk there came to cling, also, a snake, a rat, and a parrot, who had all lost their dwelling places in the storm. The Bodhisatta, who was an ascetic living on the bank of the river, rescued Duṭṭha and his companions and looked after them. When they bade him farewell, the snake said that he had forty crores hidden in a certain spot, and the ascetic had only to ask for these and they were hits. The rat had thirty cores, also at the ascetic's disposal; the parrot promised the ascetic wagon loads of rice; and Duṭṭha promised to provide him with the four requisites. In his heart, however, he hated the ascetic for an imaginary slight, and vowed vengeance.

After Duṭṭha became king, the ascetic wished to test the faith of his former guests. He went to the snake and called out his name, and the snake at once appeared, offering his treasure. The rat and the parrot did likewise, but Duṭṭha, riding in a procession and seeing him from afar, gave orders that the ascetic should be beaten and put to death. On his way to the place of execution the ascetic kept on repeating: "They knew the world who framed this proverb true: a log pays better salvage than some men!" When asked what these words meant, he related the whole story.

The enraged citizens, seizing Duṭṭha, put him to death and made the ascetic king. Later, he brought the snake, the rat, and the parrot to the palace and looked after them.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta's attempts to kill the Buddha. Devadatta is identified with Duṭṭha, the snake with Sāriputta, the rat with Moggallāna, and the parrot with Ānanda. (J.i.3227).

9. Tittira Jātaka (No.117)

The Bodhisatta was once a leader of five hundred ascetics. One day, a talkative ascetic approached a jaundiced colleague who was chopping wood and worried him by giving him directions on how to do it. The ill man killed him with one blow of the axe. Soon after, a partridge, who used to sing on an anthill near by, was killed by a fowler. The Bodhisatta pointed out to his followers how the death of both was result of too much talk between them.

 The story was told in reference to Kokālika, who is identified with the chattering ascetic. J.i.431f.

10. Dummedha Jātaka (No.122)

The Bodhisatta was once the state elephant of the Magadha king of Rājagaha. When the king rode in procession, the people had eyes only for the elephant, and the king, in envy, schemed to have the elephant thrown down a precipice. The mahout discovering this, flew on the elephant's back to Benares. The king of Benares welcomed them and, with their help, obtained the sovereignty of all India.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta's envy of people's praise of the Buddha. Devadatta is identified with the Magadha king, Sāriputta with the king of Benares and Ānanda with the mahout. (J.i.444f.).

11. Godha Jātaka (No.138)

The Bodhisatta was once born as a lizard and paid homage to a good ascetic living near the ant-hill where he dwelt. The good ascetic left and was replaced by a wicked one, to whom the Bodhisatta paid like homage. One day, the villagers brought a dish of lizard's flesh to the ascetic. Being attracted by its flavour, he planned to kill the Bodhisatta, that he might have more of the flesh. But the Bodhisatta discovered his intention just in time, and, making good his escape, denounced the hypocrite.

The story was told in reference to a wicked monk. (J.i.480f.).

12. Godha Jātaka (No.141)

The Bodhisatta was born once as an iguana, leader of many others. His son became intimate with a young chameleon, whom he used to clip and embrace. The Bodhisatta warned his son against this unnatural intimacy, but, finding his advice of no avail, and knowing that danger would come to them through the chameleon, he prepared a way of escape, should the need arise. The chameleon, growing tired of the friendship with the iguana, showed a trapper the home of the iguanas. The trapper made a fire round the hole and killed many of the iguanas as they tried to escape, but the Bodhisatta escaped through the hole he had provided.

The story was told about a treacherous monk, identified with the young iguana (J.i.487f). For details see the Mahilāmukha Jātaka.

13. Manicora Jātaka (No. 194)

The Bodhisatta was once a householder in a village near Benares and he had a most beautiful wife, named Sujātā. One day, at her request, they prepared some sweetmeats, and, placing them in a cart, started for Benares to see her patents. On the way Sujātā was seen by the king of Benares, and, wishing to possess her, he ordered the jewel of his diadem to be introduced into the Bodhisatta's cart. The cry of "thief" was then set up, and the Bodhisatta arrested and taken off to be executed. But Sakkas throne was heated by Sujātā's lamentations, and, descending to earth, Sakka made the king and the Bodhisatta change places. The king was beheaded, and Sakka, revealing himself, set the Bodhisatta on the throne.

The story was related in reference to Devatattas attempts to kill the Buddha. The king is identified with Devadatta, Sakka with Anuruddha, and Rāhulamātā with Sujātā (J.ii.121 5). The story gives the case of a man getting happiness through a virtuous woman. (J.iv.77).

14. Kurungamiga Jātaka (No.206).

In a forest lived three friends: an antelope, a woodpecker and a tortoise. One night the antelope was caught in a huntsman's noose, and the tortoise set about biting through the thongs of the noose while the woodpecker, uttering cries of ill-omen, kept the huntsman in his hut. The antelope escaped, but the tortoise, exhausted by his labours, was caught by the huntsman. The antelope thereupon enticed the hunter into the forest and, eluding him, released the tortoise. The antelope was the Bodhisatta, Sāriputta the woodpecker, Moggallāna the tortoise and Devadatta the hunter.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta's wickedness (J.ii.152ff; DhA.iii.152f).

This Jātaka is figured on the Bharhut Stupa. Cunningham: (p.67 and PL xxvii.9).

15. Susumāra Jātaka (No. 208)

The Bodhisatta was once a monkey, living on the banks of the Ganges. The wife of a crocodile living in the river saw him and wished to eat his heart. Her husband, therefore, grew friendly with the monkey, whom he suggested taking across the river on his back, so that he might eat of fresh fruit on the opposite bank. The monkey trusted him and climbed on to his back, but, half way across the river, the crocodile began to sink and then confessed his intentions. The monkey thereupon laughed and told him that he never took his heart with him when he went climbing trees for food, otherwise it would get torn to pieces; but he, like all the other monkeys, hung it on a tree, and he showed it to the crocodile hanging there on the opposite bank.

The crocodile believed him and took him across, where he hoped to get the heart. But the monkey jumped on the bank and laughed at his stupidity.

The story was related in reference to Devadatta's attempts to kill the Buddha. The crocodile is identified with Devadatta and his wife with Ciñcā. (J.ii.159f.)

16. Dhammaddhaja Jātaka (No.220)

The Bodhisatta was once born as Dhammaddhaja, chaplain to Yasapāni, king of Benares. One day the king's captain, Kālaka, who was wont to take bribes, gave a wrong decision in a case, and the Bodhisatta, being appealed to, again heard the case and decided in the plaintiff's favour. The people applauded greatly and the king made him judge. But Kālaka, wishing for an excuse to put Dhammaddhaja to death, persuaded the king that he was getting too popular, and the king gave him various impossible tasks. Dhammaddhaja, with the help of Sakka, performed them all. One day the king ordered him to find a park-keeper with four virtues, and once again, with the aid of Sakka, the Bodhisatta discovered Chattapāni, the king's barber. On being questioned, Chattapāni told the king that he was free from envy, drank no wine, had no strong desires, never gave way to anger; he then related stories of his past lives, the experiences of which had made him renounce these evils. (For details see Chattapāni 2). The king, at length, discovered Kālaka's perfidy and had him put to death.

The Jātaka was related in reference to Devadatta’s attempts to kill the Buddha. Devadatta is identified with Kālaka and Sāriputta with Chattapāni. (J.ii.186-96). (cf. Cyp.iii.7; Mtu.ii.208).

17. Cullanandiya Jātaka (No.222)

The Bodhisatta was once a monkey named Nandiya and, with his brother Cullanandiya, headed a band of eighty thousand monkeys. They had a blind mother, and finding that when they were away with the herd she never received the fruits they sent her, they decided to stay with her in a banyan-tree near a village. One day a brahmin, who had studied at Takkasilā, entered the forest with a bow and arrow. He had been warned by his teacher Pārāsariya to curb his wickedness, but he could find no way, apart from killing, of keeping his wife and child. Seeing the aged monkey, he prepared to shoot her, but her sons offered their lives in her stead. The brahmin killed first them and then the mother. On his way home he heard that lightning had hit his house and that his family was dead; he himself was thereupon swallowed up by the fires of hell.

 The story was told in reference to Devadatta's wickedness. The hunter was Devadatta. (J.ii.199-202).

18. Romaka Jātaka (No. 277)

The Bodhisatta was once born its king of a flock of pigeons. For a long time they visited regularly a good ascetic in a cave near by, until, one day, he left and his place was taken by a sham ascetic. The pigeons continued their visits, till one day the villagers served the ascetic with a dish of pigeon's flesh, and he, liking the flavour, conceived the desire to kill the pigeons. The Bodhisatta, suspecting his intentions, warned his followers and charged the ascetic with hypocrisy. J.ii.382 4; cp. Godha Jātaka (No. 325).

19. Tittira Jātaka (No.319)

Once the Bodhisatta was a brahmin ascetic, and Rāhula a decoy partridge used by a village fowler. When the partridge uttered a cry, other partridges would flock to him, and they were killed by the fowler. The partridge was filled with remorse, fearing that he was doing wrong. One day he met the Bodhisatta who set his doubts at rest.

The story was told in reference to Rāhula's readiness to profit by instruction (J.iii.64ff). It was related by Moggaliputta-Tissa to Asoka, to prove to him that an action becomes a crime only when performed with bad intention. (Mhv.v.264).

20. Godha Jātaka (No.325)

The story of the past is very similar to No.138 above, except that there is mention of only one ascetic and he is a hypocrite. The young lizard threatened to expose the ascetic's hypocrisy and compelled him to leave the hermitage. The story was related in reference to a monk who was a cheat and a rogue (J.iii.84f).

Cf. the Kuhakabrāhmana Vatthu (DhA.iv.154f.).

21. Godha Jātaka (No.333)

A prince and his wife, returning after a long journey, were greatly distressed by hunger, and some hunters, seeing them, gave them a roasted lizard. The wife carried it in her hand, hanging it from a creeper. Arriving at a lake, they sat down at the foot of a tree, and while his wife was away fetching water the prince ate the whole lizard. When his wife came back, he told her that the lizard had run away, leaving only the tail in his hand. Later, the prince became king, but his wife, though appointed queen consort, received no real honour. The Bodhisatta, who was the king's minister, wishing to see justice done to the queen, contrived that the king should be reminded of his ingratitude by allusion being made to the incident of the roast lizard. The king thereupon realised his neglect of his dutiful wife, and conferred on her supreme power.

The story was told in reference to a couple who had been given a roast lizard, when returning from a journey undertaken to collect debts. The husband ate the whole lizard when his wife was away. She said nothing and drank some water to appease her hunger, but when they visited the Buddha, and be asked her if her husband were good and affectionate, she replied in the negative. The Buddha then told her the story of the past. (J.iii.106f.); cf. Succaja Jātaka

22. Vānara Jātaka (No. 342)

The Bodhisatta was a young monkey living on a river bank. A female crocodile in the river longed to eat his heart and her husband persuaded the monkey to go for a ride on his back in search of wild fruits. In midstream he began to sink and revealed his purpose, and the monkey, nothing daunted, said that monkeys did not keep their hearts in their bodies for fear of their being torn to pieces on the trees, but that they hung them on trees, and, pointing to a ripe fig tree, showed the crocodile what he said was his heart. The crocodile took him to the tree, and the monkey jumped ashore and laughed at him.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta's attempt to kill the Buddha. (J.iii.133f.); cf. Susumāra Jātaka (No. 208).

23. Latukika Jātaka (No. 357)

A quail once laid her eggs in the feeding ground of the elephants. When the young ones were hatched, the Bodhisatta, the leader of the elephants, passed along that way with the herd, and, at the request of the mother quail, carefully avoided the young ones. But a rogue elephant, who came after, though warned in the same way, trod on the nest and fouled it. The quail swore revenge, and got a crow to put out the elephant's eyes and a fly to put maggots in them, and when the elephant, in great pain, looked for water, she persuaded a frog to croak on the mountain top and thus to lead the elephant into a precipice down which he fell and was killed.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta who was identified with the rogue elephant (J.iii.174 77). In the accounts (see Rohinī) of the quarrel between the Sakyans and the Koliyans, this Jātaka is said to have been one of those preached by the Buddha on that occasion, showing that even such a weak animal as a quail could sometimes cause the death of an elephant. Perhaps the story was related on more than one occasion. See also below, Latukikopama sutta.

See DhA.i.46, where it is related to the Kosambī monks to show the danger of quarrelling.

24. Dhonasākha Jātaka (No.353)

Once a prince of Bārānasī, named Brahmadatta, learned the arts from the Bodhisatta, then a teacher at Takkasilā. The teacher (Pārāsariya), having observed his character, warned him against harshness and counselled him to be gentle. In due course, Brahmadatta became king, and on the advice of his chaplain, Pingiya, went out at the head of a large army and captured alive one thousand kings.

He could not, however, take Takkasilā, and Pingiya suggested that a sacrifice be offered, to take the form of blinding the captive kinks and letting their blood flow round the rampart. This was done; but when Brahmadatta went to bathe, a Yakkha tore out his right eye, and, as be lay down, a sharp-pointed bone, dropped by a vulture, blinded his left eye. He died in agony and was born in hell.

The story was related in reference to bodhirājakumāra who blinded the architect of his palace (kokanada), lest he should build another as grand.

Bodhi is identified with Brahmadatta and Devadatta with Pingiya (J.iii.157.161).

25. Sāliya Jātaka (No. 367)

Once a village doctor saw a snake lying in the fork of a tree and asked the Bodhisatta, who was then a village boy, to get it for him, telling him that it was a hedgehog. The boy climbed the tree and seized the animal by its neck, but, on discovering that it was a snake, threw it away. The snake fell on the doctor and bit him so severely that he died.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta’s attempts to kill the Buddha (J.iii.202f). Elsewhere (DhA.iii.31f), however, the story is told in reference to the hunter Koka (q.v.), with whom the doctor is identified.

26. Dhammaddhaja Jātaka (No.384).

The Bodhisatta was once born as leader of a flock of birds on an island. Certain merchants of Benares started on a voyage taking with them, to aid them on the way, a much traveled crow. The ship was wrecked and the crow flew to the island. There he pretended to the other birds that he was a holy person, practising austerities and living on air. The birds, being deceived by him, left him in charge of their eggs and young ones, which he proceeded to eat each day. One day the Bodhisatta kept watch and thus discovered his villainy. The birds collected round the crow and pecked him to death.

The story was related in reference to a deceitful monk, who is identified with the crow. (J.iii.267-70).

27. Suvannakakkata Jātaka (No. 389)

The Bodhisatta was a brahmin farmer of Sālindiya. On the way to his fields he passed a pond and grew friendly with a golden crab living in the pond. A she-crow longed to eat the farmer's eyes, and persuaded her husband to induce a snake to bite the farmer. This he did, and, overcome with the poison, the farmer fell near the pool. Attracted by the noise, the crab emerged, and, seeing the crow about to peck out the farmer's eyes, caught the crow with his claws. When the snake came to the rescue of the crow, the crab fastened on him too. The crab made the snake suck the poison from the farmer's body, and, when he stood up, the crab crushed the necks of both the snake and the crow and killed them.

The story was told in reference to Ānanda’s attempt to save the Buddha from the elephant (Dhanapāla) sent by Devadatta to kill him, by standing between the elephant and the Buddha.

Māra was the serpent, Devadatta the crow, and Ānanda, the crab. Ciñcāmānavikā was the female crow. (J.iii.293-8).

28. Kapi Jātaka (No. 404)

Once the Bodhisatta and Devadatta were both born as monkeys. One day a mischievous monkey took his seat on the arch which was over the gateway to the park and, when the king's chaplain passed under the arch, he let excrement fall on his head, and, on the chaplain looking up, even into his mouth. The chaplain swore vengeance on the monkeys, and the Bodhisatta, hearing of it, counseled them to seek residence elsewhere. His advice was followed by all except the monkey, who was Devadatta, and a few of his followers. Sometime after, the king's elephants were burnt through a fire breaking out in their stalls. A goat had eaten some rice put out to dry and was beaten with a torch; his hair caught fire and the fire spread to the stalls. The chaplain, seizing his opportunity, told the elephant-doctors that the best remedy for burns was monkey-fat, and five hundred monkeys in the royal gardens were slain by archers for the sake of their fat.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta being swallowed up by the earth. (J.iii.355f; cp. Kāka Jātaka). Kapi Jātaka.-See the Mahākapi Jātaka.

 29. Mahākapi Jātaka (No. 407)

The Bodhisatta was once a monkey, leader of eighty thousand. In the grove where they lived was a mango tree (some say a banyan) growing on a river bank bearing fruit of divine flavour, and the monkeys were always careful to let no fruit drop into the river. But one day a fruit, which bad been hidden by an ants' nest, fell into the water, and was picked up at Benares, where the king was bathing. The king tasted it, and being seized with a desire to eat more, had many rafts made, and ascended the river with a company of foresters. They found the tree, and the king, having eaten his fill, lay down at the foot. At midnight the Bodhisatta came with his retinue and started eating the mangoes. The king was disturbed, and gave orders to his archers that the wood should be surrounded and all the monkeys shot at daybreak. But the Bodhisatta was a real leader; he ascended a straight-growing branch and, with one leap, reached the river bank. He then marked the distance, and having cut off a bamboo shoot of the required length, fastened one end to a tree on the bank and the other end round his waist. On leaping back, he found he had not allowed for the length which went round his waist, but grasping a branch firmly with both hands, he signaled to his followers to cross the bridge so formed. The eighty thousand monkeys thus escaped; but the monkey who was Devadatta, coming last, saw a chance of injuring the Bodhisatta, and taking a spring into the air, fell on the Bodhisatta’s back, breaking it, There the Bodhisatta hung in agony, and the king who had seen all this caused him to be brought down and covered with a yellow robe and ministered to. But nothing could be done, and the Bodhisatta died after having admonished the king. A funeral pyre was made with one hundred wagon loads of timber, and the dead monkey was paid all the honours due to a king. A shrine was built on the spot where the cremation took place, while the skull was inlaid with gold and taken to Benares, where a great feast was held in its honour for seven days. Afterwards it was enshrined and offerings were made to it.

The story was told concerning good works towards one's relations, as narrated in the introduction to the Bhaddasāla Jātaka. Ānanda is identified with the king. (J.iii.369-75; cf. Jātakamālā, No. 27); the story is sculptured in the stupa of Bharhut, Cunningham, (pl.xxxiii.4).

The Jātaka is also called the Rājovāda Jātaka. It is probably this story which is said to have greatly impressed ilanāga when he heard it from the Thera Mahāpaduma, who lived in Tulādhāra. (Mhv.xxxv.30).

30. Tittira Jātaka (No.438)

Once in Benares was a famous teacher who retired into the forest. Men came from all parts to learn from him and brought him many presents. He had in his house a tame partridge, who, by listening to the teacher's exposition, learnt the three Vedas by heart. A tame lizard and a cow were given as presents to the teacher. When the teacher died, his students were in despair, but were reassured by the partridge who taught them what he knew. One day a wicked ascetic came to the hermitage and, in the absence of the students, killed the partridge, the young lizard and the cow. The partridge had two friends, a lion and a tiger, who killed the murderer.

The ascetic was Devadatta, the lizard Kisāgotamī, the tiger Moggallāna, the lion Sāriputta, the teacher Mahā Kassapa, and the partridge the Bodhisatta.

The story was related in reference to Devadatta's attempts to kill the Buddha. (J.iii.536f.)

31. Mahāpaduma Jātaka (No. 472)

The Bodhisatta was once born as Mahāpaduma, son of Brahmadatta, king of Benares. When Paduma's mother died, his father took another wife. On one occasion the king had to leave the city to quell a border rising, and, thinking the dangers too great to take his queen with him, he entrusted her to the care of Paduma. The campaign was victorious. In the course of making arrangements for the celebration of his father's return, Paduma entered the queen's apartments. She was struck by his amazing beauty, and fell in love with him, inviting him to lie with her. On his indignant refusal, she feigned illness, and, on the return of the king, falsely accused him of having ill treated her. The king gave orders, in spite of the protestations of the people, that Paduma should be thrown from the "Robbers' Cliff." The deity of the mountain saved his life and entrusted him to the care of the Nāga king, who took him to his abode, where he stayed for one year. Paduma then went to the Himālaya and became an ascetic. The king heard of this and went to offer him the kingdom, but it was refused by Paduma. The king, convinced of the falsity of the charge brought against Paduma, caused the queen to be flung from the Robbers' Cliff.

The story was related in reference to Ciñcamānavikā's false accusations against the Buddha. Ciñcā was the wicked queen, Devadatta the king, Sāriputta the deity, and Ānanda the Nāga. (J.iv.187 96; DhA.iii.181ff)

32. Mahānāradakassapa Jātaka (No. 544)

Angati, king of Mithilā in Videha, is a good ruler. One full moon night he consults his ministers as to how they shall amuse themselves. Alāta suggests new conquests; Sunāma suggests that they shall seek pleasure in dance, song and music; but Vijaya recommends that they shall visit some samana or brahmin. Angati falls in with the views of Vijaya, and in great state goes to Guna of the Kassapagotta, an ascetic who lives in the park near the city. Guna preaches to him that there is no fruit, good or evil, in the moral life; there is no other world than this, no strength, no courage; all beings are predestined and follow their course like the ship her stern. Alāta approves of the views of Guna; he remembers how, in his past life, he was a wicked councillor called Pingala; from there he was born in the family of a general, and now he is a minister. A slave, Bījaka, who is present, can remember his past life and says he was once Bhavasetthi in Sāketa, virtuous and generous, but he is now the son of a prostitute. Even now he gives away half his food to any in need, but sees how destitute he is!

Angati is convinced that Ginda's doctrine is correct, and resolves to find delight only in pleasure. He gives orders that he shall not be disturbed in his palace; Candaka, his minister, is deputed to look after the kingdom. Fourteen days pass in this manner. Then the king's only child, his beloved daughter Rujā, comes to him arrayed in splendour, attended by her maidens, and asks for one thousand to be given the next day to mendicants. Angati protests; he will deny his daughter no pleasure or luxury, but has learnt too much to approve of her squandering money on charity or wasting her energy in keeping the fasts.

Rujā is at first amazed, then tells her father that his councillors are fools, they have not taken reckoning of the whole of their past, but remember only one birth or two; they cannot therefore judge. She herself remembers several births; in one she was a smith in Rājagaha and committed adultery, but that sin remained hidden, like fire covered with ashes, and she was born as a rich merchant's only son in Kosambī. There she engaged in good works, but, because of previous deeds, she was born after death in the Roruva-niraya and then as a castrated goat in Bhennākata. In her next birth she was a monkey, and then an ox among the Dasannas; then a hermaphrodite among the Vajjians, and later a nymph in Tāvatimsā. Once more her good deeds have come round, and hereafter she will be born only among gods and men. Seven births hence she will be a male god in Tāvatimsā, and even now the god Java is gathering a garland for her.

All night she preaches in this way to her father, but he remains unconvinced. The Bodhisatta is a Brahmā, named Nārada Kassapa, and, surveying the world, sees Rujā and Angati engaged in conversation. He therefore appears in the guise of an ascetic, and Angati goes out to greet and consult him. The ascetic praises goodness, charity, and generosity, and speaks of other worlds. Angati laughs, and asks for a loan which, he says, he will repay twice over in the next world, as the ascetic seems so convinced that there is one. Nārada tells him of the horrors of the hell in which Angati will be reborn unless he mends his ways, and mentions to him the names of former kings who attained to happiness through good lives. The king at last sees his error and determines to choose new friends. Nārada Kassapa reveals his identity and leaves in all majesty.

The story was related in reference to the conversion of Uruvela Kassapa. He came, after his conversion, with the Buddha to Laṭṭhivana, and the people wondered if he had really become a follower of the Buddha. He dispelled their doubts by describing the folly of the sacrifices which he had earlier practised, and, laying his head on the Buddha's feet did obeisance. Then he rose seven times into the air, and, after having worshipped the Buddha, sat on one side. The people marvelled at the Buddha's powers of conversion, which, the Buddha said, were not surprising since he possessed them already as a Bodhisatta.

Angati is identified with Uruvela Kassapa, Alāta with Devadatta, Sunāma with Bhaddiya, Vijaya with Sāriputta, Bījaka with Moggallāna, Guna with the Licchavi Sunakkhatta, and Rujā with Ānanda. (J.vi.219 55; see also J.i.83).

33. Mahā Ummagga Jātaka (No. 546)

The Bodhisatta was once born in Mithilā as the son of Sirivaddhaka and Sumanādevi. The child was born with a medicinal plant in his hand, and was therefore called Mahosadha. He talked immediately after birth, and it is said that, on the day of his conception, Videha, king of Mithilā, dreamed a dream, which presaged the birth of a sage. From early childhood Mahosadha gave evidence of unusual ability, and one of his first acts was to build a large hall and lay out a garden with the help of his companions. The king wished to have him in the court though he was only seven years old, but was dissuaded by his wise men. But he sent a councillor to watch the boy and report of his doings from time to time. When the king was fully convinced (the Jātaka gives an account of nineteen problems solved by Mahosadha) that Mahosadha was undoubtedly endowed with unusual wisdom, he sent for him in spite of the counsel of his ministers - Senaka, Pukkusa, Kāvinda and Devinda - and appointed him as his fifth councillor. One day, Mahosadha saved the queen Udumbarā (q.v.) from the unjust wrath of the king, and ever after she was his firm and loyal friend. After his entry into the court, Mahosadha was on many occasions called upon to match his wit against that of the senior councillors, and on each occasion he emerged triumphant. E.g., in the Mendakapañhā (q.v.) and the Sirimandapañhā (q.v.).

When aged sixteen he married Amarādevī. She was a wise woman, and frustrated many attempts of Mahosadha's enemies to embroil him with the king. Once they stole various things from the palace and sent them to her. She accepted them, and made assignations with each of the donors. When they arrived she had them seized, their heads shaved, and themselves thrown into the jakes, where she tormented them, and then arraigned them before the king with the stolen goods. Mahosadha, aware of the plots against him, lay in hiding, and the deity of the king's parasol put several questions to the king, knowing that none but Mahosadha could answer them. The king sent men to seek him, and he was discovered working for a potter. The king showed him all honour, and obtained from him the answers to the deity's questions.

But his enemies continued to plot against him, until orders were given by the king that he should be killed the next day. Udumbarā, discovered this and warned him. But in the meantime he had discovered the guilty secrets of his enemies: Senaka had killed a courtesan, Pukkusa had a leprous spot on his thigh, Kāvinda was possessed by a yakkha named Naradeva, and Devinda had stolen the king's most precious gem. Mahosadha posted these facts everywhere in the city, and the next day went boldly into the palace. The king professed innocence of any evil intentions against him; but Mahosadha exposed the schemes of them all, and Senaka and the others were only saved from severe punishment by the intervention of Mahosadha himself. Thenceforward Mahosadha was Videha's trusted councillor, and took various measures to increase his royal master's power and glory. Spies were sent to every court, whence they brought home reports. Mahosadha also had a parrot whom he employed to ferret out the most baffling secrets. While returning from a visit to Sankhapāla, king of Ekabala, the parrot passed through Uttarapañcāla and there overheard a conversation between Cūlani Brahmadatta, king of Kampilla, and his purohita Kevaṭṭa, wherein the latter unfolded a scheme for capturing the whole of Jambudīpa. Kevaṭṭa was too wise to allow Brahmadatta, to attack Mithilā, knowing of Mahosadha's power, but Mahosadha deliberately provoked Brahmadatta by sending his men to upset a feast he had prepared, during which he had planned to poison the hundred princes whom he had brought under subjection. Brahmadatta then set out to attack Mithilā. He laid siege to the city, and adopted various ways of compelling the citizens to surrender. But Mahosadha was more than a match for him, and found means of defeating all his plans. In the end Mahosadha engaged the services of Anukevaṭṭa, who, pretending to be a traitor to Mithilā, went over to the army of Brahmadatta and, gaining the king's confidence, informed him that Kevaṭṭa and all the other counsellors of Brahmadatta had accepted bribes from Mahosadha. The king listened to him, and on his advice raised the siege and fled to his own city.

But Kevaṭṭa planned revenge, and, a year later, he persuaded Brahmadatta to send poets to Videha's city, singing songs of the peerless beauty of the daughter of Brahmadatta, Pañcālacandī. Videha heard the songs and sent a proposal of marriage, and Kevaṭṭa came to Mithilā to arrange the day. Videha suggested that Kevaṭṭa should meet Mahosadha to discuss the plans, but Mahosadha feigned illness, and when Kevaṭṭa arrived at his house, he was grossly insulted by Mahosadha's men. When Kevaṭṭa had left, Videha consulted Mahosadha, but would not be dissuaded from his plan to marry Pañcālacandī. Finding that he could do nothing with the king, Mahosadha sent his parrot Matthara to find out what he could from the maynah bird which lived in Brahmadatta's bedchamber. Matthara used all his wits and won the favour of the maynah and learnt from her of Kevaṭṭa's plan, which he repeated to Mahosadha.

With Videha's leave, Mahosadha went on Uttarapañcāla to, as he said, make preparations for the wedding. But he gave orders for a village to be built on every league of ground along the road, and gave instructions to the shipwright, Ānandakumāra, to build and hold ready three hundred ships. At Uttarapañcāla he was received with great honour, and obtained the king's permission to build in the city a palace for Videha. The king gave him a free hand, and be immediately started to threaten to pull down houses belonging to various people, from the queen mother downwards, and obtained money from them as bribes to spare their houses. Having reported to the king that no suitable spot was available within the city, he obtained his consent to erect a palace outside the city, between that and the Ganges. All access was forbidden to the site on penalty of a large sum, and having first erected a village called Gaggali for his workmen, elephants, etc., Mahosadha started to dig a tunnel, the mouth of which was in the Ganges. The tunnel, a marvellous place, was duly constructed, fitted with all manner of machinery, and beautifully decorated. A smaller tunnel was dug, leading into the larger, one opening, which was, however, concealed, giving access to the king's palace. The task occupied four months, and when all preparations were complete, Mahosadha sent word to Videha.

Videha arrived at Brahmadatta's court, and a great feast was held in his honour at Upakārī, the palace which had been prepared for his residence. While the feast was in progress, Mahosadha sent men by the smaller tunnel to the palace and bade them fetch Talatā (the queen mother), the queen Nandā, and Pañcālacandī, on the pretext that they had been sent for by Brahmadatta to take part in the festivities as Videha and Mahosadha had both been killed, according to plan. Meanwhile Brahmadatta had given orders that the whole city should be surrounded. Videha was overcome with fright on discovering what was happening, but he put himself into Mahosadha's hands. The latter led him into the large tunnel, and there he was brought face to face with the members of Brahmadatta's family, who had already been conducted thither. Pañcālacandī was placed upon a heap of treasure and married to Videha. On emerging from the tunnel, they were placed on board a waiting ship, with Tālatā and Nandā, and sent away into safety, escorted by the other ships, Mahosadha himself remaining behind in Uttarapañcāla.

The next day, Brahmadatta came with his army to Upakāri, hoping to capture Videha. There Mahosadha revealed to him what had happened, and, in due course, persuaded him to forget his wrath and inspect the tunnel. While in the tunnel Brahmadatta expressed his remorse for having listened to the evil advice of Brahmadatta, and he and Mahosadha swore eternal friendship. Mahosadha returned to Mithilā, taking with him Brahmadatta's dowry for his daughter; the members of Brahmadatta's family returned to Uttarapañcāla, and the two kings lived in great amity.

Videha died ten years later, and in fulfillment of a promise made to Brahmadatta, Mahosadha went to Uttarapañcāla. There Nandā, who had never forgiven him, tried to poison the king's mind against him; but this plot was frustrated by a religious woman, Bherī (q.v.), and Brahmadatta remained his firm friend, loving him, as he confessed to Bheri, more than any of his own family.

The Jātaka was related to illustrate the Buddha's great wisdom.

- Uppalavannā is identified with Bherī,
- Suddhodana with Sirivaddhaka,
- Mahāmāyā with Sumanādevī,
- Bimbādevī with Amarā,
- Ānanda with Matthara,
- Sāriputta with Cūlani Brahmadatta,
- Devadatta with Kevaṭṭa,
- Culla Nandikā with Talatā,
- Sundarī with Pañcālacandī,
- Yasassikā with Nandī,
- Ambaṭṭha with Kāvinda,
- Poṭṭhapāda with Pukkusa,
- Pilotika with Devinda,
- Saccaka with Senaka,
- Diṭhamangalikā with Udumbarā,
- Kundalī with the maynah bird, and
- Lālūdāyī with King Videha.

The story occupies (J.iv., pp. 329 478, in Fausböll's edition; what is given here is merely an extremely short summary; cp. Mtu.ii.839).

34. Vessantara Jātaka (No. 547)

Vessantara (the Bodhisatta) was the son of Sañjaya, king of Sivi, and queen Phusatī, and was so called because his mother started in labour as she passed through the vessa street in the city of Jetuttara, and he was born in a house in the same street. He spoke as soon as he was born (Cf. BuA.228). On the same day was also born a white elephant named Paccaya. At the age of eight, Vessantara wished to make a great gift and the earth trembled. He married Maddī at the age of sixteen, and their children were Jāli and Kanhajinā.

At that time there was a great drought in Kālinga, and eight brahmins came from there to Vessantara to beg his white elephant, which had the power of making rain to fall. He granted their request, and gave the elephant together with its priceless trappings (J.vi.488f. gives the details of these). The citizens of Jetuttara were greatly upset that their elephant should have been given away, and demanded of Sañjaya that Vessantara should be banished to Vankagiri. The will of the people prevailed, and Vessantara was asked to take the road along which those travel who have offended. He agreed to go, but before setting out, obtained the king's leave to hold an almsgiving called the "Gift of the Seven Hundreds" (Sattasataka), in which he gave away seven hundred of each kind of thing. People came from all over Jambudīpa to accept his gifts, and the almsgiving lasted for a whole day.

When Vessantara took leave of his parents and prepared for his journey, Maddī insisted on accompanying him with her two children. They were conveyed in a gorgeous carriage drawn by four horses, but, outside the city, Vessantara met four brahmins who begged his horses. Four devas then drew the chariot, but another brahmin soon appeared and obtained the chariot. Thenceforward they travelled on foot, through Suvannagiritāla, across the river Kantimārā, to beyond Mount Arañjaragiri and Dunnivittha, to his uncle's city, in the kingdom of Ceta. The devas shortened the way for them, and the trees lowered their fruit that they might eat. Sixty thousand khattiyas came out to welcome Vessantara and offered him their kingdom, which, however, he refused. He would not even enter the city, but remained outside the gates, and, when he left early the next morning, the people of Ceta, led by Cetaputta, went with him for fifteen leagues, till they came to the entrance to the forest. Vessantara and his family then proceeded to Gandhamādana, northwards, by the foot of Mount Vipula to the river Ketumatī, where a forester entertained them and gave them to eat. Thence they crossed the river to beyond Nālika, along the bank of Lake Mucalinda, to its north eastern corner, then along a narrow footpath into the dense forest, to Vankagiri. There Vissakamma had already built two hermitages, by order of Sakka, one for Vessantara and one for Maddī and the children, and there they took up their residence. By Vessantara's power, the wild animals to a distance of three leagues became gentle. Maddī rose daily at dawn, and, having fetched water to wash, went into the forest for yams and fruit. In the evening she returned, washed the children, and the family sat down to eat. Thus passed four months.

Then from Dunniviṭṭha there came to the hermitage an old brahmin, called Jūjaka, who had been sent by his young wife, Amittatāpanā, to find slaves for her, because when she went to the well for water the other women had laughed at her, calling her "old man's darling." She told Jūjaka that he could easily get Vessantara's children as slaves, and so he came to Vankagiri. Asking the way of various people, including the hermit Accuta, Jūjaka arrived at Vankagiri late in the evening and spent the night on the hilltop. That night Maddī had a dream, and, being terrified, she sought Vessantara. He knew what the dream presaged, but consoled her and sent her away the next day in search of food. During her absence, Jūjaka came and made his request. He would not await the return of Maddī, and Vessantara willingly gave him the two children. But they ran away and hid in a pond till told by their father to go with Jūjaka. When Vessantara poured water on Jūjaka's hand as a symbol of his gift, the earth trembled with joy. Once more the children escaped and ran back to their father, but he strengthened his resolve with tears in his eyes. Jūjaka led the children away, beating them along the road till their blood flowed.

It was late in the evening when Maddī returned because devas, assuming the form of beasts of prey, delayed her coming, lest she should stand in the way of Vessantara's gift. In answer to her questions, Vessantara spoke no word, and she spent the night searching for the children. In the morning she returned to the hermitage and fell down fainting. Vessantara restored her to consciousness and told her of what had happened, explaining why he had not told her earlier. When she had heard his story she expressed her joy, affirming that he had made a noble gift for the sake of omniscience.

And then, lest some vile creature should come and ask for Maddī, Sakka, assuming the form of a brahmin, appeared and asked for her Vessantara looked at Maddī, and she expressed her consent. So he gave Maddī to the brahmin, and the earth trembled. Sakka revealed his identity, gave Maddī back to Vessantara, and allowed him eight boons. Vessantara asked that:

(1) he be recalled to his father's city,

(2) he should condemn no man to death,

(3) he should be a helpmate to all alike

(4) he should not be guilty of adultery,

(5) his son should have long life:

(6) he should have celestial food,

(7) his means of giving should never fail,

(8) after death he should be reborn in heaven.

In the meantime, Jūjaka had travelled sixty leagues with the children, whom the devas cared for and protected. Guided by the devas, they arrived in fifteen days at Jetuttara, though Jūjaka had intended to go to Kālinga. Sañjaya bought the children from Jūjaka, paying a high price, including the gift of a seven strayed palace. But Jūjaka died of over eating, and as no relation of his could be traced, his possessions came back to the king. Sañjaya ordered his army to be prepared and a road to be built from Jetuttara to Vankagiri, eight usabhas wide. Seven days later, led by Jāli, Sañjaya and Phusatī started for Vankagiri.

In the army was the white elephant, who had been returned because the people of Kālinga could not maintain him. There was great rejoicing at the reunion of the family, and the six royal personages fell in a swoon till they were revived by rain sent by Sakka, the rain only wetting those who so wished it. Vessantara was crowned king of Sivī, with Maddī as his consort. After a month's merry making in the forest, they returned to Jetuttara. On the day Vessantara entered the city he set free every captive, including even cats. In the evening, as he lay wondering how he would be able to satisfy his suitors the next day, Sakka's throne was heated, and he sent down a shower of the seven kinds of precious things, till the palace grounds were filled waist high. Vessantara was thus able to practise his generosity to the end of his days. After death he was born in Tusitā (J.i.47; DhA.i.69).

The story was related on the occasion of the Buddha's first visit to Kapilavatthu. The Buddha's kinsmen escorted him to the Nigrodhārāma, but sat round him without doing any obeisance, because of their great pride. The Buddha then performed the Twin Miracle, and the Sakyans, led by Suddhodana, worshipped him. There was then a shower of rain, refreshing all and falling only on those who so wished. When the people expressed their wonder, the Buddha related this story, showing that in the past, too, rain had fallen on his kinsfolk to revive them. (According to BuA.245, the Jātaka was related at the end of the recital of the Buddhavaṁsa).

- Devadatta is identified with Jūjaka,
- Ciñcāmānavikā with Amittatāpanā,
- Channa with Cetaputta,
- Sāriputta with Accuta,
- Anuruddha with Sakka,
- Sañjaya with Suddhodana,
- Mahāmāyā with Phussatī,
- Rāhulamātā with Maddī,
- Rāhula with Jāli, and
- Uppalavannā with Kanhājinā. (The story is given in J.vi.479-593).

The story also occurs in the Cariyāpiṭaka (i.9), and is often referred to (E.g., Sp.i.245; VbhA.414; Cv.xlii.5; c.74) as that of a birth in which the Bodhisatta's dāna pāramī reached its culmination. The earth shook seven times when Vessantara made his gifts, and this forms the subject of a dilemma in the Milinda-Pañhā. (Mil. p.113; for another question, see ibid. 274f).

The story of the Jātaka was sculptured in the Relic Chamber of the Mahā Thūpa. (Mhv.xxx.88)

The story of Vessantara is the first of the Jātakas to disappear from the world (AA.i.51). See also Gūlha Vessantara.

In religious field, it has usually been taken as a simple case of sectarian jealousy, requiring no further explanation. Some scholars believe there is a great deal more in it than that[30] and so does the writer.

The basis of information available in the Jātakas summarizes as follow:


Nature of the character of Devadatta: Jātaka number:
A fake ascetic 11, 227, 492
A person of bad principles, bad leader, and a bad companion 12, 26, 397
A pretender, an ungrateful person, a plotter, a traitor, a drunkard, and a murder. 21, 57, 58, 72, 110, 111, 112, 131, 142, 143, 160 168,174, 204, 206, 208, 210, 220, 221, 241, 308, 329, 335, 342, 350, 358, 364, 389, 404, 407, 416, 445, 448, 452, 457, 471, 472, 473, 482, 500, 505, 508, 516, 517, 530, 533, 546.
A liar, low, mean, unwise, double-faced, inefficient, dishonest, shameless, self-destructive, criminal-minded, disobedient, unjust, harsh, and cruel person. 1, 3, 10, 113, 139, 141, 150, 184, 193, 194, 209, 224, 231, 240, 294, 295, 313, 353, 357, 367, 422, 438, 466, 503, 506, 514, 518, 543, 547.
Herretical, deserter, schism-creator, jealous & anti-Buddha. 122, 222, 243, 326, 474, 544
A wicked man who attempted human sacrifice. 542


(i)- The genealogy relationship between Buddha and Devadatta:

There is a school, less popular, suggests that the genealogy of Buddha and Devadatta is of prominent interested in examining the causes of Devadatta’s Dissent.

A.M. Hocart, quoted from Spence Hardy, in his Manual of Buddhism, relates how the thirty-two sons of Rāma of the Koli tribe married their thirty-two mother's brother's daughters of the Sakya tribe. "From this time it became the custom of the Koli and Sakya tribes to intermarry with each other." It is the cross-cousin system, under which a man's children are expected to marry his sister's children, but not his brother's children. In technical language a man marries his cross-cousin, a term invented to express the fact that they are cousins through parents of opposite sexes. Such a form of marriage results in a system of reckoning kin, in which the maternal uncle is the same as the father-in-law, the paternal aunt as the mother-in- law, and so forth, as any one can work out for himself on the above pedigree.[31]

Once in his late time, Devadatta thought: I am equally honourable as to my family with Buddha; before I became a priest I was treated with all respect, but now I receive even less than my previous followers. I must take to myself 500 disciples; but before I can do this, I must persuade some king or other to take my part; great monarchs of Rājagaha, and other places, are all on the side of Buddha; I cannot therefore deceive them, as they are wise. But there is Ajātasattu (Sanskrit: Ajātasatru), the son of Bimbisāra; he is ignorant of causes, and disobedient to his parents; but he is liberal to his followers; so I must bring him over, and then I can easily procure a large retinue."[32] In another evidences from family shows that Sakya Suppabuddha was angry with the Buddha because he has not only deserted his daughter Yasoddhā in renouncing the household life but had also turned hostile to his son Devadatta after ordaining him as a disciple in the Saṁgha. [33]

A.M. Hocard pursues further in this tendency as he suggests that the reader will long ago have seen what we were coming to, namely to the conclusion that the rivalry of Buddha and Devadatta is an echo of the friendly and ceremonial antagonism of cross-cousins. We must leave it undecided, however, whether there existed between the Buddha and his cousin a friendly feud, which, with the disappearance of the custom, was misinterpreted as a bitter enmity; or whether in those days an originally friendly opposition had degenerated into hate; or whether, finally, there never was such a rivalry between the two, but traditions of cross-cousin rivalry became attached to the pair. [34]

(ii)- Devadatta as depicted in Pāli sources:

In the lore of Buddhism Devadatta is the cousin of the Buddha as is the Buddha's attendant, Ānanda. But while Ānanda is a much-beloved figure, Devadatta is one of the most notorious villains of the Pāli Canon ranking alongside Mara due to his ambition to overthrow the Buddha. As depicted in his legends, Devadatta is, in fact, an inveterate evildoer who is driven by ambitious and hateful intentions and performs a variety of pernicious deeds. Thus he tries, at various times, to supplant the Buddha, to bring the saṁgha to ruin, and even to kill the master through one or another diabolical scheme. Referring to Devadatta, Rockhill rightly remarks that "his name became in later times synonymous with everything that is bad, the object of the hatred of all believers."[35] In one of dilemmas discussed in the Milindapañhā, Devadatta is depicted as a mixture of good and evil.[36]

But the portrait of Devadatta as an evildoer is, within the Indian Buddhist corpus, not entirely consistent. In fact, there are indications, however slight, of another, quite different Devadatta, an impeccable saint whose sanctity is acknowledged by other Buddhist saints, including Sāriputta and even the Buddha himself. In the Vinaya of the Sarvāstivāda, for example, we learn that for twelve years following his admission into the order, Devadatta conducts himself with faultless deeds and thoughts. He reads and recites the suttas, lives according to proper discipline, and strives in his practice of the dhamma; in the Anguttaranikāya, Devadatta reveals himself as one who has the right view and can preach the correct doctrine. Little wonder, then, that Sāriputta praises Devadatta for his saintliness: "Godhi's son is of great psychic power, Godhi's son is of great majesty,"[37] a praise that the Buddha affirms is spoken with truth.[38] The theme of Devadatta's saintliness is affirmed in the Udāna, where it is the Buddha who praises him. Devadatta is mentioned as a Buddhist saint among other great Buddhist saints. In this account, eleven saints approach the Buddha, Devadatta and ten others - including the greatest disciples of the Buddha, listed, in the Pāli, as (1) Sāriputta, (2) Mahāmoggallāna, (3) Mahākassapa, (4) Mahākaccāyana, (5) Mahākoṭṭhita, (6) Mahākappina, (7) Mahācunda, (8) Anruddha, (9) Revata, and (11) Ānanda; Devadatta is tenth in this list, between Revata and Ānanda.[39] The Buddha refers to these eleven as brahmins declaring, "Monks, these are brahmins coming, these are brahmins coming." When asked to define what he means by brahmin, he replies that they are awakened saints: "Barring out evil things, who are ever mindful fare, Awakened, bond-free such in the world are surely brahmins."[40]

Devadatta also appears with many of the characteristics of a saint even in passages that are openly hostile toward him. For example, he is depicted as one who meditates in solitude.[41] Moreover, as we shall presently see, he espouses the dhutagunas, including living in the forest, dwelling under a tree, begging food, and wearing patched clothes. Devadatta is also a realized master and, through his awakening, is in possession of magical power. The laity is enamored of him and shows their devotion through elaborate donations. He is a master who has disciples. He is an eloquent preacher, who "gladdened, rejoiced, roused, and delighted the monks far into the night with talk on dhamma."[42] Taken together, these features define not an evildoer, but a realized master who in many respects conforms to the paradigm of the Buddhist saint of the forest. This raises the question of why Devadatta is on the one hand vilified as the very embodiment of evil and on the other depicted as a realized saint. In order to address this question, let us consider the main themes of Devadatta's legend as found in the extant literature.

(iii)- Devadatta depicted in Legends:

According to Mukherjee, who provides a detailed analysis of the texts surrounding Devadatta, the components of Devadatta's biography fall naturally into three parts: the main traditions, the secondary traditions, and the individual reports. [43]

Primary sources: These include fifteen episodes found in the Pāli vinaya, in the Vibhanga (Saṁghādisesa 10) and the Khandhaka (Cūlavagga) and, in more or less complete form, also in the Vibhanga and Saṁghabhedavatthu of the vinayas of the Dhammaguptaka, Mahīsāsaka, Sarvāstivāda, and Mūlasarvāstivāda. The content of these main traditions, shortly to be summarized, includes the Devadatta legend from the time of his admission to the order, through his efforts to split the community and his attempts on the Buddha's life, until his death.

Secondary sources: These include four episodes found primarily in the Mūlasarvāstivādin vinaya and the Mahāvastu, which include a resume of Devadatta's family tree, his attempt to kill an elephant, his participation in an archery competition, and also his attempt to poison the Buddha and his fall into hell.

Individual works: These include an additional fifteen episodes each of which is found only in one text: nine are found in the Mūlasarvāstivādin vinaya, and the other six are scattered in the Anguttaranikāya, Dhammaguptaka vinaya, Mahīsāsaka vinaya, Sarvāstivādan vinaya, and Ekottarāgama. These depict episodes from various periods of Devadatta's life from his childhood onward.

According to Mukherjee, the fifteen episodes of the main traditions, contained in the vinayas of the five schools, represent the oldest stratum and the essential foundation of the Devadatta biography. Both the secondary traditions and the individual reports clearly represent later additions to this material, a judgment in which Bareau who has examined the Devadatta legends in detail, concurs.[44] The two contradictory facets of Devadatta's personality, saintly and diabolical, are unmistakably articulated already in the main traditions. Thus the question of the reasons for the contradictions in Devadatta's depiction may best be addressed in the early stratum of the legend, as found in the fifteen episodes of the main traditions. The following summarizes the Pāli account, with differences from the other vinayas noted where appropriate.

In the Vibhanga, Saṁghādisesa 10, we read that one day in the Bamboo Grove in Rājagaha, Devadatta, who is himself a renunciant in the Buddha's order, approaches four other of the Buddha's renunciants (Pāli: rendering), Kokālika, Kaṭamorakatissaka, the son of lady Khandā, and Samuddadatta. He proposes to them the splitting of the order. When Kokālika asks how they might carry out this intention, Devadatta suggests that he and his four compatriots approach the Buddha and ask him to institute five dhuta[45] practices that shall be mandatory on all his renunciants, saying: Lord, the lord in many ways speaks in praise of desiring little, of being contented, of expunging (evil), of being punctilious, of what is gracious, of decrease (of the obstructions), of putting forth energy. Lord, these five items are conducive in many ways to desiring little, to contentment.

1. It were good, lord, if the monks for as long as life lasted, should be forest dwellers (āraññaka); whoever should betake himself to the neighborhood of a village, sin (vajja) would besmirch him.

2. For as long as life lasts let them be beggars for alms (pindapātika); whoever should accept an invitation, sin would besmirch him.

3. For as long as life lasts let them be wearers of robes taken from the dustheap (paṁsukūlika); whoever should accept a robe given by a householder, sin would besmirch him.

4. For as long as life lasts let them live at the foot of a tree (rukkhamūlika); whoever should go undercover, sin would besmirch him.

5. For as long as life lasts let them not eat fish and flesh (macchamaṁsaṁ na khādeyyuṁ); whoever should eat fish and flesh, sin would besmirch him.[46]

Devadatta then explains the rationale of his proposal: "The recluse Gotama will not allow these things. Then we will win over the people by means of these five items. It is possible, your reverence, with these five items, to make a schism in the Order of the recluse Gotama, a breaking of the concord. For, your reverence, people esteem austerity."[47]

Following this, Devadatta with his four coconspirators approach the Buddha, and Devadatta puts forward his proposal. As anticipated, the Buddha is not receptive; He leaves the option to the monks and enjoins Devadatta not to bring out a schism in the Saṁgha:

“Enough, Devadatta. ... Whoever wishes, let him be a forest-dweller; whoever wishes, let him dwell in the neighborhood of a village; whoever wishes, let him be a beggar for alms; whoever wishes, let him wear rags taken from the dust-heap; whoever wishes, let him accept a householder's robes. For eight months, Devadatta, lodging at the foot of a tree is permitted by me (i.e., during the rains). Fish and flesh are pure in respect of three points; if they are not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed for him”.[48]

The Buddha, in effect, will allow Devadatta's austerities as optional practices for bhikkhus, but will not make them compulsory on all and certainly not "for as long as life lasts."

Receiving the Buddha's rejection, Devadatta is "joyful and exultant."[49] Then, having paid reverence to the lord, he departs, journeying with his four friends to Rājagaha. There, he proclaims to the laity that whereas he and his followers adhere to the rigorous practices, the Buddha and his followers do not. Some of the laity responds by praising Devadatta and his company. "These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are punctilious (dhuta) and practice the expunging of evil; but the recluse Gotama is luxurious and strives after abundance."[50] However there are other laities who, loyal to the Buddha, are distressed that a schism is in the making. When other renunciants of the Buddha hear of this incident, they make a report to the Blessed One, accusing Devadatta of fomenting a schism. The Buddha asks Devadatta if this report is true, and when Devadatta admits that it is, the Buddha castigates him and lays down the rule that if a bhikkhu should seek to foment a schism, he should be spoken to three times. If he does not pay heed, there is an offense entailing a formal meeting of the order, saṁghādisesa (Sanskrit: saṁghāvasesa).[51]

In the Vibhanga, Saṁghādisesa 11, we read of a further incident leading to a rule pertaining to those who support the fomenter of a schism. Kokālika, Kaṭamorakatissaka, the son of lady Khandā, and Samuddadatta overhear certain renunciants criticizing Devadatta for fomenting a schism: "Devadatta is not one who speaks dhamma, Devadatta is not one who speaks vinaya. How can this Devadatta proceed with a schism in the Order, with a breaking of the concord?" The four then respond, "Do not speak thus, venerable ones; Devadatta is one who speaks dhamma, Devadatta is one who speaks vinaya, and Devadatta having adopted our desire and objective, gives expression to them; he knows what he says for us seems also good to us." This is reported to the Buddha who institutes the rule that if certain bhikkhus support one who foments a schism, they should be admonished three times, after which, if they do not desist, there is an offense entailing a formal meeting of the order.[52]

(iv)-Devadatta and supernatural power:

Perhaps one of the causes leading the dissent from Devadatta to Buddha is the rejection of the supernatural power which is the strength side of Devadatta.

In Cūlavagga (V. 8.2), we read that when the Buddha heard that Pindola Bhara dvaja had shown his magic power by flying through the air thrice round Rājagaha with the sandal-bowl, which was set high on a pole by a Rājagaha setthi, he reprimanded the thera for having displayed his iddhi (magic power) for so trifling an object as a sandal bowl. There he uses the word chavassa, and a simile not at all dignified and becoming. The explanation, therefore, that Buddha's use of unbecoming language towards Devadatta was scarcely in keeping with his character, but with that of a cross-cousin, becomes, to my mind, considerably weakened, for that was not the only occasion on which he used language unworthy of his character. Devadatta is hurt and one day when Buddha is walking up and down on Grdhrakuta, hill throws a stone at him.[53]

Regarding to supernatural power and the hostility of Devadatta toward the Buddha, A.M. Hocart raises the question of doubtness as he states that if the hostility of Devadatta is merely the record of ordinary hatred, it is difficult to understand why Devadatta, possesses the power of flying through the air and of performing miracles (Spence Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p.326). Here we have a man who, according to existing accounts, is utterly wicked, so wicked as to oppose the Saviour of the World, yet endowed with a power which is normally attained only after treading the path of meditation and renunciation towards the goal of sanctity. Buddhist tradition seems to have felt the difficulty, for it is at pains to explain that to him the power of passing through the air and of assuming of any form was only a curse, which "led him on to do that which involved himself in ruin." If on the other hand this antagonism is really the echo or the continuation of an old sporting feud involving no moral stigma on either side, it is only natural that the rival chiefs should both be endowed with wondrous power; only one surpasses the other. When at a later time it came to be interpreted as the malice of the Evil One against the Good One, a difficulty arose which had to be explained way.[54] Replying to this issue, Kalipada Mitra writes that Whatever power Devadatta possessed of " flying through the air and performing miracles" he seems to have lost it, and that for ever, after his miraculous appearance before Ajātasattu; for we learn that Devadatta " at this time lost the power of dhyana." I do not find anywhere in the subsequent part of the Manual that Devadatta ever recovered his magic power. The possession of the power of flying through the air by Devadatta does not present any difficulty to me. This power was entirely due to the Buddha, and vanished from him even at the very thought of revolt against the Great Teacher. Let me pursue this view a little further. It is related in Cūlavagga (VII.1.4) that when he was ordained by the Buddha (pabbajja) along with Bhaddiya, Anuruddha, Bhagu and Kimila-the Sakyas, Devadatta attained only pothujjanikaṁ iddhiṁ (the lower grade of Magic Power). He exhibited his power by assuming the form of a child (or a. Brahmin?), wearing a girdle of snakes and suddenly appearing in Ajātasattu's lap. But as soon as, the evil thought of administering the Order possessed him, his Magic Power diminished. His magic power, small as it was, became smaller.[55]

In Cūlavagga 7, the story told in the Vibhanga, Saṁghādisesa 10, appears again but as part of a much fuller account of Devadatta's life and designs, summarized here according to Mukherjee's fifteen episodes of the main tradition. In chapter 7, we see Devadatta renouncing the world, along with six other Sakya youths,[56] after a year following which Devadatta obtains supernatural power.[57] Subsequently, Devadatta schemes to win lay converts and satisfy his desire for honor and material gain and decides to manifest his magical powers to the crown prince Ajātasattu.[58] Devadatta, inflated with his success, conceives a desire to become leader of the order in the Buddha's place, at which point his psychic powers diminish. This evil wish, known by a certain deva, is reported to the Buddha,[59] as are Devadatta's successes with Prince Ajātasattu.[60] The Buddha is not troubled by these reports, for he remarks that Devadatta's mental states will decline and not grow.

(v)- Devadatta – the cause of Schism:

The public attitudes of the laypeople were also one of the motives forcing Devadatta to dissent the Saṁgha. It is to believe that When the Teacher and the monks went into residence at Kosambi, great numbers of people flocked thither and said, “Where is the Teacher? Where is Sāriputta? Moggallāna? Kassapa? Bhaddiya? Anuruddha? Ānanda? Bhagu? Kimila?" But nobody said, "Where is Devadatta?" Thereupon Devadatta said to himself, "I retired from the world with these monks; I, like them, belong to the warrior caste; but unlike them I am the object of nobody's solicitude”.[61] And then with the help of Ajātasattu he tried to kill Buddha. When all his attempts failed, he went to the Buddha, and with a view to cause a schism in the Order.[62]

History records that Devadatta approaches the Buddha and, pointing out that the master is now old, suggests that he, Devadatta, assumes leadership of the order. The Buddha utterly rejects this request, remarking that "I, Devadatta, would not hand over the order of monks even to Sāriputta and Moggallāna. How then could I to you, a wretched one to be vomited like spittle?"[63] After Devadatta has departed, angry and displeased, the Buddha tells the bhikkhus to carry out a formal act of information against Devadatta in Rājagaha:

"whereas Devadatta's nature was formerly of one kind, now it is of another kind; and that whatever Devadatta should do by gesture and by voice, in that neither the Awakened One nor dhamma nor the Order should be seen, but in that only Devadatta should be seen.”[64]

The act being carried out, the Buddha asks Sāriputta to inform against Devadatta. When Sāriputta expresses hesitation because he had formerly spoken in praise of Devadatta, the Buddha allows that just as Sāriputta's former praise had been true, now his condemnation will be equally true.[65] When Sāriputta enters Rājagaha and proclaims the act of information against Devadatta, Devadatta's lay devotees express the view that "these recluses, sons of the Sakyans are jealous, they are jealous of Devadatta's gains and honours," while others express willingness to trust the Buddha's judgment.[66]

Following this, in the Cūlavagga account, Devadatta attempts to instigate Ajātasattu to kill his father Bimbisāra in order to become king, while he, Devadatta, plans to kill the Buddha in order to usurp his position as leader of the saṁgha.[67] Ajātasattu is discovered, but instead of being punished, is given the kingship by his father. Devadatta then convinces Ajātasattu to send assassins against the Buddha, but they are dissuaded from their intended act by the Lord's charisma, insight, and kindness.[68] Devadatta next attempts to roll a boulder from a mountain height down on the Buddha. Although the boulder is miraculously destroyed, fragments draw blood from the Buddha's foot, which prompts the Buddha to remark, "You have produced great demerit, foolish man, in that you, with your mind, malignant, your mind on murder, drew the Truth-finder's blood."[69] Following this incident, the Buddha's bhikkhus are anxious lest Devadatta succeed in murdering their master. In order to prevent against this, they pace up and down on every side of the Buddha's dwelling, reciting their texts, "doing their studies together with a loud noise, with a great noise for the protection, defence, and warding of the Lord." The Buddha hears this cacophony and asks Ānanda what is going on. Upon being told, he replies that the bhikkhus are not to worry, as a Buddha cannot be killed before his time by such a one as Devadatta.[70] Next, Devadatta arranges to have a mad, man-killing elephant let loose against the Buddha, but this design also fails, as the Buddha tames the elephant with his loving-kindness and the elephant responds with acts of reverence.[71] The Cūlavagga account next reports of Devadatta's "eating in groups." He wanders among the households, making requests, and is criticized by the people for eating with his friends and "having asked and asked among the households." The bhikkhus report this to the Buddha, who institutes a rule against the practice.[72]

Then follows the incident reported in the Vibhanga: Devadatta approaches his four companions and proposes the splitting of the order through advancing the five ascetic rules as obligatory.[73] The story is told in the same words except that it concludes not with the saṁghādisesa rule but rather with the Buddha simply enjoining Devadatta not to bring about a schism, warning, "whoever (does so)... is boiled in hell for an aeon."[74] Devadatta, however, pays no heed and shortly thereafter announces to Ānanda in Rājagaha that he plans to split the order by carrying out the Uposatha ceremony, "both in contradistinction to the Lord and in contradistinction to the Order of monks and will (so) carry out the (formal) acts of the Order."[75] Devadatta next gives out the salāka (Sanskrit: salākā), voting sticks or tickets, remarking in reference to the obligatory observance of the five rules, "The recluse Gotama does not allow these, but we live undertaking these five items." He continues, "If these five items are pleasing to the venerable ones, let each one take a voting ticket. Five hundred bhikkhus, thinking, “this is the rule, this is the discipline, this is the Teacher's instruction," take the tickets. Thus is the order split.[76] These bhikkhus are not irreparably lost, however, for the Buddha, knowing what has transpired, sends Sāriputta and Moggallāna to Devadatta's camp. After arriving, these two seem to approve of Devadatta's dhamma. However, when the usurper goes to sleep, they convince the five hundred bhikkhus to return to the Buddha.[77] Kokālika then wakens Devadatta and tells him what has happened, whereupon hot blood issues from Devadatta's mouth and he dies.[78] The Buddha subsequently remarks that Devadatta "is doomed to the Downfall, to Niraya hell, staying there for an aeon, incurable."[79] However, when he breaths his last nine months later, he makes a dying statement that He has no refuge other than the Buddha:

In him, who of the best is far the best
The god of gods, the guide of gods and men,
Who see all, and bears the hundred marks
Of goodness, - ‘tis in him I refuge take
Through all the lives, that I may have to live

Though Devadatta falls into Niraya Hell, yet he is assured that after a hundred thounsand aecons he would be born as a Paccekabuddha by the name of Aṭṭhissara.[81]

The four other vinaya accounts parallel the Pāli version quite closely. Apart from incidents that are idiosyncratic and can be left aside as likely later additions and not part of the early tradition, these accounts differ mainly in the details of the incidents and in their order. For example, whereas the four other accounts agree that Devadatta promoted five ascetic practices (with the exception of the Chinese version, which mentions four), there is disagreement on the precise members of the list. Thus the Dhammaguptaka vinaya agrees with the Pāli in mentioning begging food, wearing robes made of rags, and eating no fish or flesh but does not mention living in the forest or under trees, including instead living in the open and taking neither butter nor salt. The other traditions similarly show some agreement and some disagreement with the Pāli and Dhammaguptaka lists. Nevertheless, here, throughout the variations, the dramatic intent and meaning of the story are the same: Devadatta uses the proposal of the ascetic practices to bring about a split in the order.

One also finds differences among the five vinaya traditions in the arrangements of the incidents. Mukherjee points to two subgroupings within the five traditions: on the one hand are the Theravāda, Dhammaguptaka and Mahīsāsaka; on the other, the Sarvāstivāda and Mūlasarvāstivāda. It will be recalled that the Pāli account in the Cūlavagga describes Devadatta's attempted murder of the Buddha and follows this with his efforts to cause a schism in the order by proposing compulsory adherence to the five ascetic rules. This same sequence is followed by the Dhammaguptaka and Mahīsāsaka. Mukherjee points out that this does not make sense, because after Devadatta had attempted to kill the Buddha, he certainly would have been expelled from the community, thus making it impossible for him to have approached the Buddha as a bhikkhu in good standing who could propose a matter of discipline. The Sarvāstivāda and Mūlasarvāstivāda accounts, on the other hand, have these incidents reversed in the dramatically more logical order.

IV- Examination of the sources to find out the true portrait of Devadatta:

As discussed above, within the overall corpus of Devadatta legends, the quotations from sources just summarized in their Pāli versions are, with some alterations, also found in the Dhammaguptaka, Mahīsāsaka, Sarvāstivādin, and Mūlasarvāstivādin vinayas.[82] This raises the question of what the earliest form of the Devadatta legend may have been. In addressing this question, Mukherjee examines the fifteen episodes as they appear in the five vinayas. He notes that whereas in the Pāli version, for example, all fifteen episodes appear in the Cūlavagga, only episodes 13 (the attempt to have the ascetic practices made obligatory) and 14 (splitting of the order) appear in the Vibhanga. Moreover, the configuration of the legend in the Cūlavagga suggests that episodes 13 and 14 were originally identified as saṁghādisesa offense. In addition, it may be observed that episodes 13 and 14 represent the necessary dramatic core - the basic theme of proposed and effected schism - around which the other episodes could crystalize as a further elaboration and explanation of the core.

The identification of episodes 13 and 14 as the earliest core of Devadatta's legend raises the further question of the time period in which these episodes may have originated. The Mahāsāṁghika vinaya contains mention of Devadatta but does so in a form entirely different from the vinayas of the Theravāda, Dhammaguptaka, Mahīsāsaka, Sarvāstivāda, and Mūlasarvāstivāda. In fact there is no overlap between the Mahāsaṁghika treatment and that of the five schools. It will be recalled that the so-called first schism within Buddhism occurred between the Sthaviras - from which the Theravāda, Dhammaguptaka, Mahīsāsaka, Sarvāstivāda, and Mūlasarvāstivāda all derive - and the Mahāsaṁghika. The fact that the Devadatta legend, including its core and its elaboration, is common to the vinayas of the five schools deriving from the Sthaviras but not found in the Mahāsāṁghika vinaya suggests that the legend arose among the Sthaviras, after they split from the Mahāsāṁghika in the fourth century B.C. Thus, the Devadatta legend is, in Mukherjee's view, in its earliest form a production of the Sthaviras.[83]

In what circumstances might this earliest core have arisen among the Sthaviras? In a recent article, Bareau [84] has examined the early part of the Devadatta legend as found in the vinayas of the Theravāda, Dhammaguptaka, Mahīsāsaka, Sarvāstivāda, and Mahāsāṁghika (he has left aside that of the Mūlasarvāstivāda because it contains a considerable amount of later material). Bareau tells us that schism (saṁghabheda) is treated in the vinayas of the various schools in two sections, that of the Khandhaka (in which the Cūlavagga account is found) and the Vibhanga. Bareau begins with an examination of the Khandhaka treatment of Devadatta, noting that the core of the account is a very brief conversation held at Srāvastī in which the Buddha, at the request of Upāli, defines saṁghabheda. In the Mahāsaṁghika vinaya, this brief passage forms the totality of the chapter, whereas in the vinayas of the other schools it forms the conclusion of the extended legend of Devadatta. Bareau concludes that the tradition concerning the saṁghabheda in the Vinayapiṭaka may be reduced to the single, simple conversation between Buddha and Upāli. The complete silence of the Mahāsāṁghika vinaya concerning Devadatta in this discussion of saṁghabheda suggests that the linkage of Devadatta with this offense in the vinayas of the schools deriving from the Sthaviras is a later addition. [85] Bareau's observation tends to confirm Mukherjee's conclusion that the core of the Devadatta legend arose among the Sthaviras after the first schism.

Bareau identifies the same earliest core of the Devadatta legend as Mukherjee (episodes 13 and 14) but adds Mukherjee's episode 15, the conclusion of the story wherein the wayward bhikkhus return to the fold. He makes this addition because he does not assume - as does Mukherjee - that the Vibhanga version is the earlier. Unlike Mukherjee, Bareau begins his analysis with the legend of the schism as it appears in the Khandhaka, as the more authentic earlier version. Bareau's argument makes good sense, among other reasons because the Vibhanga version clearly leaves the story of the schism incomplete and dangling, in order to interject the rule that this story is supposed to have provoked, whereas the Khandhaka account gives the story in a dramatically complete form. Based on his analysis, Bareau tells us that three core elements of Devadatta's legend are present in all four vinayas. Found in a simpler form in the Mahīsāsaka and the Dhammaguptaka vinayas, they are:

(1) Devadatta's proposal of the five rules as obligatory, which the Buddha rejects.

(2) The departure of the five hundred bhikkhus, affecting the schism.

(3) The winning back of the five hundred by Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

These three elements are also found in Theravādin vinaya, with elaborations that tend mainly to further blacken Devadatta's reputation with additional crimes, and in the vinayas of the Sarvāstivāda, also in more elaborate form, in a slightly different order.

This analysis enables Bareau to identify three stages in the development of the Devadatta legend in the Khandhaka section of the vinayas of the schools:

1. In the earliest, preschism account of saṁghabheda in the Khandhaka, Devadatta does not appear at all (Mahāsāṁghika).

2. Devadatta enters the posts schism Khandhaka of the schools deriving from the Sthaviras. Here he provokes the division of the community because he wishes to insist on a certain standard of rigor for all bhikkhus. Bareau comments, "The only fault of this person is having caused a temporary rupture in the saṁgha and revealing himself more stricter than The Buddha. Nothing leads to doubt about his sincerity or permits the attribution to him of bad motives."

3. Finally, in the latest stratum, Devadatta is accused of being filled with greed, pride, and ambition and of attempting various crimes, to set himself in the Buddha's stead, to induce Ajātasattu to kill his father, to himself murder the Buddha, and so on, all in spite of his (in some accounts) previously saintly character. Bareau remarks, "The desire to condemn Devadatta and to make him completely odious is too clear for one to have confidence in this new portrait, which is nothing but pure calumny."[86]

Bareau next, deals with the passage that discusses saṁghādisesa in the Vibhanga. All the versions accord major responsibility for the division in the community to Devadatta but differ in their explanations. In the Mahāsāṁghika version, Devadatta tries to break the community by any and all means, wanting to throw out all the rules of monastic discipline and the doctrinal teachings. Refusing to listen to advice and warnings of the virtuous bhikkhus and even of the Buddha, he recruits a body of unvirtuous disciples. Here is a portrait of Devadatta as the paradigmatic schismatic type, with no details given as to why he acted thus or what methods he used.[87] The Mahīsāsaka and Dhammaguptaka give much the same extended account as presented in the Theravādin Khandhaka version. The Theravādin version is much briefer, containing only Devadatta's proposal to the Buddha, the bulk of the other episodes being found in the Pāli Khandhaka. The Sarvāstivādin Vibhanga account is also short. In neither the Theravādin nor the Sarvāstivādin version do we find the least allusion to Devadatta's intrigues with Ajātasattu or his attempts to kill the Buddha. Thus, the personality of Devadatta in the Vibhanga of these schools presents the same configuration as in the Khandhaka of the Mahīsāsaka and Dhammaguptaka: he is simply a saint who wishes that all bhikkhus follow a rigorous lifestyle. Bareau completes his discussion of the texts by observing that it is only upon this single depiction of Devadatta as a virtuous, "rigorist" bhikkhus that all the early vinaya texts agree.[88] The original Devadatta, Bareau concludes, was simply a saint whom Buddhist tradition, over the course of time, came more and more to hate.

This conclusion raises an important question: what is it about Devadatta that sets his Buddhist attackers on such a literary rampage? It is significant that Devadatta, in the earliest stage of this legend, is a forest saint [89] in the classical mold. He has renounced the world under the Buddha. He has practiced a forest style of Buddhism, including some form of the dhutagunas, retreat into solitude, and meditation, and he has reached some attainment. His attainment is given Buddhist legitimacy in being recognized by no less than Sāriputta (Pāli) or Ānanda (Sarvāstivāda) [90] . In his biographies, his realization is also indicated by his effortless and sometimes elaborate magical displays. In addition, a cult surrounds his person such that he may count among his devoted patrons even the crown prince and later king Ajātasattu. Devadatta's cultic popularity is also clearly evidenced in the hostile witness of the Buddhist account, which acknowledges at several points the faith and enthusiasm of his lay supporters.

Devadatta is not only a forest saint but one who strongly advocates forest Buddhism as the only authentic type of Buddhist renunciation, seen in his proposing the dhutaguna-type practices as obligatory for all renunciants. His unwavering advocacy of forest Buddhism is also seen in the issue of leadership. Unlike his Buddhist critics, Devadatta - in his request to the Buddha to become leader after the Buddha is gone - assumes that the transmission of authority in Buddhism must pass from teacher to disciple; the more collective, textual, and institutional forms that came to characterize settled monasticism are not part of his thinking. Devadatta's identification with forest Buddhism is seen finally in the fact that - as explicitly seen in his rules - he is deeply distressed to see some bhikkhus taking up residence in villages, living in dwellings, receiving robes as gifts from the laity, accepting invitations from the laity to come to meals, and so on. As Bareau remarks, he is concerned that certain bhikkhus are enjoying the donations of rich laity too much and are becoming too attached to the things of this world, phenomena he "considers a form of laxity, a danger for the future of the community and of Buddhism altogether."[91] In this, his reaction is not dissimilar to the distress felt by Pārāpariya and Phussa in the Theragāthā over a similar movement to the village in their day. Like these two, Devadatta feels that the true dhamma is to be found solely and strictly in the forest, and he appeals to the Buddha to back him up. Devadatta, then, is a classic forest saint who, like the other Buddhist renunciants we are examining in this book, identifies normative Buddhism with forest Buddhism. This strict identification of Devadatta with forest Buddhism undoubtedly provides one important reason for his vilification by later Buddhist authors. It is not just that he practices forest Buddhism, is a forest saint, and advocates forest renunciation. Even more, and worse from the viewpoint of his detractors, he completely repudiates the settled monastic form, saying in effect that he does not judge it to be authentic at all. Moreover, his loyalty to forest Buddhism cannot be shaken: even when he meets with intense resistance, he will not be moved.

This explanation is confirmed when we notice that his attackers are, among the Buddhists, precisely those most identified with settled monasticism. His most enthusiastic vilifiers are, first of all, those monastic schools deriving from the conservative, monastic Sthaviras. In addition, it is in precisely their vinayas, those texts in which the form of settled monasticism is consolidated and articulated, that this critique is carried out. In other words, Devadatta becomes significant as an enemy within the specifically monastic context and set of concerns. Further, it is clear that settled monastic values drive the Devadatta story even in its earliest form: the issue in question has to do with central authority and institutional unity, something that more or less presupposes just the kind of centripetal force provided by settled monasticism. Finally, the predominant values evinced by Devadatta's attackers are those of settled monasticism: although toleration of forest life is given lip service, the preferred - indeed, assumed - renunciant form is clearly the settled monastic one. It is no accident, then, that when the monks are worried about the Buddha's safety; they wander back and forth in front of his cave, reciting their suttas, studying. The Buddha may be alone in his cave, but his disciples exist in a large group noisily going over their homework. It is also typical that the dramatis personae of the conflict square off as the solitary individual - Devadatta (his four friends and his gain and loss of the five hundred only highlight his aloneness) - versus the crowd of the Buddha's disciples. It seems clear that the core of the Devadatta legend, and particularly the vitriolic nature of the condemnation of this saint, is best understood as the expression of a controversy between a proponent (and his tradition) of forest Buddhism and proponents of settled monasticism, a controversy that in the sources is seen from the viewpoint of the monastic side. [92]

There can be no doubt that Devadatta's schism is not an event imagined by Buddhist authors, but is a historic fact, as shown by the evidence provided by the two Chinese pilgrims, Fa-hsien and Hsuan-tsang.[93] Fa-hsien, for example, reports that near Sāvatthi there was a community of disciples following Devadatta who rendered homage to the three previous Buddhas, but not to Sakyamuni.[94] As Bareau notes, this information gives indirect confirmation to the historicity of the ancient controversy that resulted in the disciples of Devadatta separating themselves from the mainstream, monastic Buddhist tradition. Hsuan-tsang, some two hundred years later, in the seventh century C.E., confirms the existence of disciples of Devadatta living in three monasteries in Bengal "in which, in accordance with the teaching of Devadatta, milk products were not taken as food."[95] This passage suggests adherence to a code more strict than those typical of Buddhist monks (though in Hsuan-tsang's time Devadatta's disciples live in monasteries!) and reveals a rule similar to one attributed to Devadatta in the Mahīsāsaka and Mūlasarvādin vinayas.[96] It also suggests that the reason for Devadatta’s schism was indeed his adherence to certain austerities of the dhuraguna type, which the mainstream community from which he and his group seceded was not willing to follow. These references also reveal the great success of Devadatta and his tradition: it was still in existence long (at least a millennium) after its separation from mainstream Buddhism.[97] The recognition of the historicity of Devadatta's schism leads naturally to the question of its rough date. The Khandhakas of the various Sthavira-derived schools, of course, depict this schism as having occurred during the lifetime of the Buddha. They wish us to believe that the essential conflict occurred between Devadatta and the Buddha himself. However, as mentioned, in the earliest core of the Khandhaka discussion of saṁghabheda, as reflected in the Mahāsaṁghika version, Devadatta does not appear. This raises at least the possibility that Devadatta's schism arose not only after the death of the Buddha but also after the split between Mahāsaṁghikas and Sthaviras.[98] The fact that this story suggests the existence of a settled monasticism in a dominant form, which took some time to occur, also perhaps points to a similar conclusion.[99] As far as the Nikāya vinayas are concerned, Devadatta is more or less totally condemned as "incurable" and relegated to outer darkness.[100] It is interesting, then, that Devadatta is not always condemned in Indian Buddhism.

In one of the dilemmas in the Milindapañhā, king Milinda asks Nāgasena: But, venerable, Nāgasena, your people say that Devadatta was altogether wicked, full of wicked dispositions, and that the Bodhisattva was altogether pure, full of pure dispositions. And yet Devadatta, through successive existences, was not only quite equal to the Bodhisatta, but even sometimes superior to him, both in reputation and in the number of his adherents.”[101] Nāgasena replies: “Devadatta was a protection to the poor, put up bridges and courts of justice and rest-houses for the people, and gave gifts according to his bent to the Samanas and Brāhmanas, to the poor and needy and the way-fares, it was by the result of that conduct that, from existence to existence, he came into the enjoyment of so much prosperity. For of whom, O king, can it be said that without generosity and self-restraint, without self-control and the observance of the Uposatha, he can reach prosperity?”[102]

In the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra (Pāli: Sutta), for example, Devadatta is presented in a former life as a forest renunciant who assisted Buddha Sakyamuni to Buddhahood.[103] In chapter 11 of the text the Buddha is preaching the Mahāyāna to an assembled gathering, among who is the bhikkhu Devadatta, whom the Buddha now praises.[104] In a former life, the Buddha says, there was a forest renunciant, a ṛsi, whose spiritual life was oriented around the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra itself. At that time, this ṛsi taught the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra to the bodhisatta (Sanskrit: bodhisāttva) in return for which the bodhisatta acted as his devoted servant for a thousand years. This seer was none other than Devadatta, whom the Buddha terms his kalyānamitra,[105] or "spiritual friend", in effect, his teacher. It was through training under Devadatta as his teacher, the Buddha tells us, that he was able to perfect the qualities[106] by which he eventually became a Buddha.[107] In future times, the Buddha continues, Devadatta will be greatly revered and honored and shall become no less than the greatly revered Tathāgata Devarāja, who shall lead innumerable beings to enlightenment. After he has passed away, the dhamma of this Buddha shall remain for twenty intermediate kappas. Moreover, his relics will not be divided, but will be kept together in a single, gigantic stupa, worshiped by gods and humans. So holy will be this stupa that those who circumnambulate it may hope for realization as an arhant, a paccekabuddha, or a Buddha. Finally, in the future, a great blessing shall come to those who hear about Devadatta: for those hearing this chapter of the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra, and gaining from it shall be liberated from rebirth in the three lower realms.[108] For at least one Buddhist tradition, then, Devadatta is clearly neither a vinaya-breaker nor the archenemy of the Buddha but is a simple bhikkhus in good standing, present in an assembly in which the Buddha is preaching the Mahāyāna of the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra. Moreover, he is identified as having been in a previous lifetime a forest saint devoted to the principal Mahāyāna text of this tradition, one who made possible the present Buddha and his central Mahāyāna teaching. Does this textual image of Devadatta, though written down much later, retain a tradition relating to this saint that antedates or is contemporaneous with his vilification in the various vinayas? This question, particularly in light of the Mahāyāna associations of Devadatta in the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra is stimulating.

Overall, the possible reply toward the role of Devadatta seems to be satisfied the reader if the question of the Dissent and Protest focus on him. The event in Kosambī will be dismissed as the motive behind the schism in early Buddhism due to the limited result carried out the Kosambi monks. It will be a perfect answer if the reader is willing to see the next Chapters in which we consider how the meanings of Dissent and Protest caused the Buddhist Councils and the establishment of different Buddhist schools. While it would be extremely valuable to examine the exact meanings of Dissent and Protest in the following chapters we will consider the interplay and interconnections between the two terms. As objects of investigation, Dissent and Protest are much as a product of western need and interests in debate about Early Buddhism and in this context, Devadatta is the first Dissenter in Ancient Buddhism.



[1]. CIB, translated from Japanese by Trevor Leggett, Middle Way, volume 76:3, November 2001, p.149.

[2]. HIB, Etienne Lamotte. p.15.

[3]. IB, Peter Harvey. p.14; EOB. G.P.Malalasekera. vol.III. p.357.

[4]. MN. vol.III. p.123.

[5]. IB. Ibid. p.9.

[6]. EOB. Ibid.

[7]. IB, Peter Harvey. p.15

[8]. Ibid. p.16

[9]. MN. vol.III. p.122.

[10]. AN. Vol.I. p.145

[11]. MN. vol.I. p.240.

[12]. Read more the Samasa groups in Sāmaññaphala Sutta, DN. Vol.I. pp.47-86.

[13]. MN, vol.I. p.163 ff.

[14]. Ibid. p.240 ff.

[15]. MN. vol.I p.246.

[16]. MN. vol.I. pp.247-249.

[17]. CIB, Trevor Leggett, Middle Way, volume 76:3, November 2001, p.149.

[18]. MN. Ibid. p.167 ff; Vin. vol. p.I ff.

[19]. Vin, vol.I p.8.ff.

[20]. MV, pp.5-6, 10-13.

[21]. Ibid. p.21.

[22]. BOPB, Trevor Leggett, Middle Way, volume 76:2, August 2000, p.87.

[23]. Ibid.

[24]. NLEB, B.G.Gokhale, p.15.

[25]. Ibid, p.13

[26]. Ibid.

[27]. Ibid.

[28]. BOPB, Trevor Leggett, Middle Way, volume 76:2, August 2001, p.87.

[29]. ONAIB, K.T.S.Sarao, R&R Publisher, Delhi, 1999. p.107

[30]. BD, A.M. Hocart, Indian Antiquary, vol. 52, Oct. 1923, and vol. 54, Oct. 1925. p.267

[31]. BD, A.M.Hocart, cit. op. pp.267-68

[32]. Ibid. p.269.

[33]. Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā III. p.44. Qouted at ONAIB, K.T.S. Sarao. p.107.

[34]. BD, A.M.Hocart, cit. op. p.268.

[35]. LBEHO, William Woodville Rockhill. p.83

[36]. ONAIB, K.T.S. Sarao, op. cit. p.107.

[37]. Vinaya 2:189, trans.by I.B.Horner .Vol.5 p.265.

[38]. It is not always Sāriputta who has this role. In a Sanskrit fragment of the Vinaya of the Sarvāstivāda, it is Ānanda who makes this praise. Read more in Waldschmidt p.553.ff.

[39]. This list, containing the same saints given in the same order, appears in the Majjhimanikāya 3:78-79, Horner 1954-59, 3:121, - except for the fact that Devadatta is absent from his position as number ten. The two most reasonable explanations for this discrepancy are (1) that the Majjhimanikāya list represents the original list and that Devadatta was later added to the Udāna list and (2) that the Udāna list represents the earlier configuration, with Devadatta being removed in the Majjhimanikāya version. This latter option seems more likely for three reasons: (1) the antiquity of Udāna in relation to the Majjhimanikāya, Etienne Lamotte, Histoire du Bouddhisme indien, Louvain, 1958, p. 172; (2) given Devadatta's odious character in developed Buddhism, he is much more likely to be removed from a list like this than to be added to it; and (3) Devadatta does have a positive side, as we have seen, but as time goes on, it is increasingly hidden under a covering of vitriolic condemnation.

[40]. TMA & U, trans. by F.L.Woodward, pp.4-5

[41]. Vinaya 2:184, trans. by I.B.Horner .Vol.5 p.259.

[42]. Vinaya 2:200, ibid., p.280.

[43]. Die Uberlieferung von Devadatta, dem Widersacher des Buddha, Biswadeb Mukherjee, in den kanonischen Schriften, Munich, 1966, pp. 6-7 translated by internet sources.

[44]. EB. Andre Bareau, Annuaire du College de France, 1988-89, 2, p. 540

[45]. In the Pāli account, these five conventions are explicitly called dhuta, vinaya, 3:171, Horner, trans. The Book of Discipline, vol. 1, Suttavibhanga, pp. 296-7. In other accounts, they are similarly identified as dhuta or dhutanga, Bareau, op. cit., p. 541.

[46] Vinaya 3:171 trans. by I.B. Horner, vol. 1, Suttavibhanga, pp. 296-297.

[47]. Ibid. p. 297.

[48]. Ibid. p.298

[49]. Vinaya 3:172. Ibid.

[50]. Vinaya 3: p.299.

[51]. Vinaya 3:172-173. Ibid. pp.299-300.

[52]. Vinaya 3:174-175. Ibid. pp.304-305

[53]. CRBBD, Kalipada Mitra, pp.125-26.

[54]. BD, A.M. Hocart. Indian Antiquary, vol. 52, 1923-25, p.269.

[55] CRBBD, Kalipada Mitra, op.cit. p.126-27.

[56] Vinaya 2:182-83 trans. By IB Horner, op.cit., vol. 5, Cūlavagga, p. 257.

[57] Ibid

[58] Vinaya 2:184, ibid. pp. 259-260.

[59] Vinaya 2:185-87, ibid. pp. 260-262.

[60] Vinaya 2:187-88, ibid.pp. 262-263.

[61] Buddhaghosa's Dhammapada Commentary, Brlingame, Proc. of the American Academy: 45--20, p. 504.

[62] CRBBD, Kalipada Mitra, p.127.

[63]. Vinaya 2:188.Ibid p.264.

 For a discussion of this insult, see Etienne Lamotte, "Le Buddha insulta-t-il Devadatta?" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 33:pp.107-115.

[64]. Vinaya 2:189. Ibid. pp.264-265.

[65]. Vinaya 2: 189.Ibid p.265.

[66]. inaya 2: 190.Ibid p.266.

[67].  Ibid.

[68]. Vinaya 2:191-193, ibid.pp. 268-271.

[69]. Vinaya 2:193, ibid.p. 271. This action is regarded one of the most heinous deeds in Buddhism.

[70]. Vinaya 2:193, ibid. pp.271-272.

[71]. Vinaya 2:194-95, ibid. pp.272-274.

[72]. Vinaya 2:196, ibid. pp.274-275.

[73]. Mukherjee, episode 13.

[74]. Vinaya 2:196-198, ibid. pp. 275-279.

[75]. Vinaya 2:198, ibid. p.278.

[76] Vinaya 2:199, ibid. p.279.

[77] Vinaya 2:199-200, ibid.pp. 279-281

[78] Vinaya 2:200, ibid.p. 281. The Sarvāstivādin tradition has Devadatta not dying, the significance of which  will become evident below. See also Andre Bareau, EB. p. 541

[79] Vinaya 2:202, ibid. p.283. See Buddhagosa's rendition of these events, Dhammapada commentary, E.W. Burlingame, trans., Buddhist Legends, London, 1921, 1979 reprint, 1:230-42. Hsuan-tsang visited a place to the east of Jetvana monastery where there was a deep pit through which Devadatta was said to have dropped into hell, Thomas Watters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D., ed. by T.W. Rhys Davids and S. W. Bushnell, London, reprint Delhi, 1973, vol 1, p. 390.

[80]. Mil. 111. translation from the Questions of King Milinda, Oxford University Press, 1890, Sacred Books of East, XXXV. P. 167

[81]. Mil. 111 DhA.I. 125, However, according to the Saddhammapundadrīkasutta, Devadatta would be born as a Buddha by the name of Devarāja, Chapter XI. Stanza 46.

[82]. For a discussion of these vinayas and that of the Mahāsāghika, see Etienne Lamotte, Histoire du Bouddhisme indien, Louvain, pp. 181-188.

[83]. Many features of the Devadatta legend are found in the Edottarāgama. Frauwallner believes that these features were originally contained in the Mahāsāṁghika vinaya and later separated from it. Mukherjee rejects this proposal, pointing out that the treatment of Devadatta in the Edottarāgama in fact differs markedly from that accorded him in the vinayas of the five schools, making Frauwallner's hypothesis unlikely, DUDWB, Mukherjee, op.cit.,p. 144

[84]. EB. Andre Bareau. pp. 533-47.

[85]. Ibid .pp. 539-540.

[86]. EB. Andre Bareau. pp. 542.

[87]. Ibid .

[88] Ibid. Bareau points out that neither the Mahāsaṁghikas nor the Sarvāstivāda in either their Khandhaka or Vibhanga versions, nor the Mahāsaṁghika nor Dharmaguptaka in their short versions (Khandhaka), link Devadatta with the Sakya family, and his family linkage with the Buddha is not mentioned in either Khandhaka or Vibhanga of any of the four schools. Bareau therefore finds it doubtful that this renunciant was Sakya or a relation of the Buddha, as later held, Bareau, op. cit., 544-45.

[89] The same identification is also suggested by the existence near old Rājagaha of a sacred place, a cave known as the Devadatta samādhi cave mentioned by both Hsuan-tsang, Watters, op. cit., 2:155 and Fa-hsien, Samuel Beal, trans., The Travels of Fah-hian and Sung yun, London, 1869, p.118.

[90]. See note 26.

[91]. EB. Andre Bareau. pp. 546.

[92]. There should be no surprise that the later monastic authors who set down Devadatta's legend in the form that we have it failed so thoroughly to understand this saint's person and motives. In this regard, Bareau observes:

The authors of the texts of the Vinaya-piṭaka lived a long time after the parinibbāna, as proved by the numerous differences which separate their accounts, in an epoch in which the mode of monastic life had greatly changed. Like their confreres, or at least the majority of these, they lived in monasteries where they enjoyed a material comfort far superior to that which had been known by the first disciples of the Blessed One. They judged the conditions of their existence as completely normal and in conformity with the rules set forth by the Buddha, because the saṁgha had become little by little habituated to these over the course of time. The monastic authors could not therefore comprehend the meaning of the reform which Devadatta had wished to impose on all the monks one or two centuries earlier, and this return to primitive austerity seemed to them insupportable. For them, the intentions of this person could not therefore be anything but malevolent, dictated not by an excess of virtue, but by envy, pride, and hatred of the Buddha. Incapable of giving up their lifestyle, so much less demanding than that of the first disciples, they slanderously accused him who had wished to impose such a renunciation on their predecessors of having acted from pure malice. Later on, their own successors slanderously accused Devadatta of further crimes, the most grave they could imagine, in order to further justify their resentment in relation to him and their condemnation of his action. Op.cit., 546

[93]. EB, Andre Bareau .Op.Cit. p.544.

[94]. TFS, trans.by Samuel Beal. London, 1869, p. 82

[95]. On Yuan Chwang's Travel in India, trans.by Thomas Watters, 629-645 A.D., 2 vols ed. by T.W. Rhys Davids and S.W. Bushnell, p. 191.

[96]. DUDWB, Mukkherjee, op. cit. pp. 76-77.

[97]. Other scholars tend to agree with this interpretation (cf., e.g. Lamotte, op.cit., 374 and 572), OEB, A.M. Shastri, p. 44-45.

[98]. The presence of Devadatta in the Mahāsaṁghika discussion of saṁghāvasesa, then, would be the result of a later borrowing. This is suggested by the complete difference in the way in which the events surrounding this episode are portrayed in the Mahāsaṁghika version.

[99]. Consistent with his belief in the early and normative character of settled monasticism, Bareau puts the Devadatta schism during the lifetime of the Buddha, Bareau, EB, op. cit., p.544.

[100]. One exception, however is provided by the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, which says that one day Devadatta will be a pratyekabuddha. (Pāli: pacceka-buddha)

[101]. Mil. 200.Translation from SBE. XXXV. p.284.

[102] Mil. 204.Translation from SBE. XXXV.291. Both footnotes 99&100 are quoted at KTS Sarao, ONAIB. p.108.

[103] The importance of the Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra mention of Devadatta to a full discussion of Devadatta's identity has been noticed by Sugimoto (T. Sugimoto, "A Re-evaluation of Devadatta: the Salvation of Evil Men in Buddhism," in Ronshu: Studies of Religion East and West, 1982, 9:pp.360-76).

[104] Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra, 157.15-161.33 in H. Kern, trans. The Saddhammapundarīka or The Lotus of theTrue Law, pp. 243-48.

[105]. Ibid

[106]. The six pāramitās, great compassion (mahākarunā), the thirty major and eighty minor marks, the ten powers, the four confidences, the eighteen special dhammas, and so on.

[107]. Saddhammapundarīka Sūtra, trans by H. Kern, pp.158 ff.

[108]. For the good and evil personalities of Devadatta, one text states that Stupid men believe wrongly and assert that Devadatta has been an opponent or enemy of the Buddha. That the sublime bodhisattva Devadatta during five hundred births, in which Buddha was going through the career of a bodhisattva, inflicted on him all possible evil and suffering was simply in order to establish the excellence and high qualities of the bodhisattva." LBLH , Edward J. Thomas, p. 135.


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