The Stories of Buddha’s Jealous Cousin Devadatta & Kisagotami a Grief Stricken Mother

The Stories of Buddha’s Jealous Cousin Devadatta & Kisagotami a Grief Stricken Mother

 

Devadatta, the cousin and childhood playmate of Buddha became jealous of the Buddha and tried many ways to kill him, inorder that he could lead the sangha (the community of monks).

One day when the Buddha was seated preaching. Devadatta rolled a big, heavy stone, from a great height. But the rock split in two and fell on either side of the Buddha.

Another time, he caused  elephant, Naalagirl, to be drunk and attack the Buddha. The raging elephant rushed towards him in a mad fury. But the Buddha used his strong mental powers to calm the elephant,  who then knelt down at his feet.

Toward the end of Devadatta’s life, he repented and went to the Buddha to bring peace to his troubled mind. He fell on his knees before the Buddha and begged for forgiveness and took refuge in the Buddha.

The Buddha’s fame as a teacher was widespread and his followers came from all classes of people. Kings and Brahmins as well as the outcastes and the poor took refuge in him. Many came to him for advice and comfort.

One such was the woman, Kisagotami. When her first-born child died, she was stricken with grief.
She carried the body and roamed the streets asking for a medicine to bring back her child to life. People thought she had gone mad.

A kind and wise man took her to the Buddha.

Kisagotami begged the Buddha to bring her dead child back to life. The Buddha told Kisagotami that this was not possible. But Kisagotami continued to desperately  pleade with the Buddha.

So the Lord Buddha told her that he could bring the child back to life if she could find white mustard seeds from a family where no one had suffered from death.

Kisagotamid desperately went from house to house, but to her disappointment, she could not find a single home that had not suffered the death of a family member.

Finally the realization struck Kisagotami that there is no house or family free from suffering death. She returned to the Buddha, who comforted her and preached to her the truth. She was awakened and entered the first stage of enlightenment. Eventually, she became an Arahant (Enlightened).

Though one should live a hundred years
without seeing the Deathless State,
yet better indeed, is a single day’s life
of one who sees the Deathless State.

n the “Gotami Sutta” (SN 5.3), Bhikkhuni Kisagotami declares:

I’ve gotten past the killing of [my] sons,
have made that the end
to [my search for] men.
I don’t grieve,
I don’t weep….
It’s everywhere destroyed delight.
The mass of darkness is shattered.
Having defeated the army of death,
free of fermentations I dwell.

 

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