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The Story of the Jealous Cousin

Devadatta was Buddha's first cousin, and was always jealous of him. Buddha had left his home in Kapilavatthu as a young prince. When he became enlightened, he traveled far and wide spreading his teachings. When Buddha visited his home at Kapilavatthu , the Sakyans joined him because they liked what he taught. His jealous cousin, Devadatta, also joined Buddha. He learnt many things from Buddha, and got some magical powers too. But, he always was jealous of Buddha and the way people liked him.

Devadatta was cunning. Once he visited the crown prince of Magadha janpada , Ajatsattu, and showed him his magical powers. Ajatsattu was impressed and started to help him. When Devadatta came back to Kapilavatthu , he spread the word around that he was better than Buddha. But everybody loved Buddha. Devadatta got mad at the people because they did not support him.

Devadatta went back to Magadha and told Ajatsattu to kill his own brother, Bimbisara, and grab the throne. Devadatta wanted Bimbisara killed because he supported Buddha. Devadutta also hired sixteen archers to kill Buddha. But the archers became Buddha's followers when they heard him speak, because he was so nice and pure.

The cunning Devadatta then hurled a huge rock from a mountain when Buddha was walking down the slope. But, magically, two huge rocks came in the way and stopped the hurled rock. Devadatta could not believe what he saw! Devadatta then got a rogue elephant and set it among the people. Everybody screamed and ran away. Buddha calmly kept walking towards the elephant. When the elephant was about to trample a little baby on the street, Buddha touched the elephant on its forehead, which at once cooled down the elephant. The wild animal bowed before Buddha in respect.

People came to know how cunning and mean Devadatta had been. They all ran him out of town.

Moral : Jealousy makes people blind. They have to pay the price, as Devadatta did in the end.


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