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Itivuttaka

Itivuttaka 89 Devadatta Sutta
On Devadatta

The Buddha explains three reasons why Devadatta went to the planes of misery.

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard,

“Monks, Devadatta, whose mind is overcome and obsessed by three kinds of wickedness, will inevitably go to the plane of misery, to hell for the duration of an eon. What are the three?

Monks, with his mind overcome and obsessed by evil desires, Devadatta will inevitably go to the plane of misery, to hell, for the duration of an eon. Monks, with his mind overcome and obsessed by evil friends, Devadatta will inevitably go to the plane of misery, to hell, for the duration of an eon. Although, there was further to be attained, he stopped practicing after gaining a minor attainment of jhāna.

Monks, with his mind overcome and obsessed by these three kinds of wickedness, Devadatta will inevitably go to the plane of misery, to hell, for the duration of an eon.

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

May no one born into this world act with evil desires. From the following incident understand what happens to those with evil desires.

Devadatta was once regarded as a wise monk with a well- developed mind. He was honored by others and had great fame.

Due to this fame, he became so arrogant he thought he was equal to the Buddha. He insulted the Tathāgata and finally went to the frightful four-doored Avīci hell.

When someone plots against a pure-minded one who commits no evil deeds, the evil touches the person himself, the one who is disrespectful and has a corrupted mind.

If one wishes to pollute the great ocean with a pot of poison, he would not succeed, for the mass of water is great.

So, it is with one who tries to abusively attack the Tathāgata who has reached perfection and lives with a constantly peaceful mind. Abuse has no effect on the Buddha.

One should befriend and associate with a wise monk who has followed the Buddha’s path and has reached the end of suffering.

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.

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Itivuttaka 89 Devadatta Sutta: On Devadatta

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