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Osho Wisdom Stories

  1. Desires
  2. Golden Bed
  3. The Way Out
  4. Spend Thrift's
  5. Three Old Men
  6. Holy Scriptures
  7. Buddha's brother
  8. Truth is what Work
  9. A great King, Yayati
  10. Alexander & Diogenes
  11. Thread becomes Bridge
  12. Giver should be thankful
  13. Lao Tzu and His Donkey
  14. The scorpion & the Sage
  15. Donkey's Common Sense
  16. Jalauddin Rumi & Students
  17. Meditation transform Anger
  18. Goddess of Beauty Ugliness

Buddha brother Devadatta trying to kill Gautam Buddha

Osho : But the majority, which is the little man, cannot tolerate a very evolved being like Buddha. Buddha suffered many attempts on his life.

The story is very beautiful ....

One day Buddha’s own brother,  Devadatta, who had become his disciple, wanted Buddha to declare him his successor. Now, no buddha declares successors. It is not a dynasty, it is not like wealth that the elder son will succeed to it: You become a buddha. It is not a question of succession. Nobody is preventing you.

”I am giving you as much attention as everybody,” Buddha told Devadatta. ”You become a buddha, it is not a question of succession. I cannot declare you to be my successor. There are many enlightened disciples and you are not even enlightened.”

This hurt Devadatta very much. He dropped the commune. He was also a prince, and he had a small gang of followers in the commune. They also dropped with him. He was thinking to create another commune in which there would be no need for anybody to make him a successor, he would be the founder. But he could not gather people; he had no light in his eyes, no grace in his hands, no ecstasy in his heart. He was just hungry for prestige, power.

Slowly slowly, those who had come with him also deserted him. Most of them went back to Buddha with apologies. Being alone he became furious, almost mad. He wanted to kill Gautam Buddha, his own brother, and he tried.

Once Buddha was sitting on a rock meditating;  Devadatta was hiding just behind him up a big hill, and he rolled a big rock down the hill, directed towards Gautam Buddha. It would have crushed the fragile flower of the Buddha. All that is higher is fragile; a lotus flower, a rose flower – they have a certain strength and beauty, but if you put them under a rock they will be destroyed. Of course their fragrance will remain in the air.

The story is beautiful. It says that the rock came directly towards Buddha and just as it was going to hit Buddha it changed its route, leaving Buddha alive. It looks just like a parable, but one never knows. Rocks are also alive, they grow, they have a certain sensitivity. Perhaps it is a factual phenomenon, because many other things of the same category happened.

Devadatta became very mad, he could not believe how the rock changed its course. Just one foot more and Buddha would have been crushed under it. Devadatta’s father had a mad elephant who was always kept in chains. He was very dangerous. Criminals who had been sentenced to death were thrown near the cage of the mad elephant, and he immediately pulled them in, killed them and ate them. They were keeping that elephant just to kill the criminals.

Devadatta got the key and asked the man in whose control the elephant had grown up .... Still, even in his madness, the elephant remembered him and always followed him. Wherever the man wanted to take him he could take him; the elephant never harmed him. It is said that elephants have perhaps the greatest memory system, they never forget. If you kill one elephant, a husband, or a wife – they live in couples – never leave the other one alive, otherwise the other one will find a way to kill you, wherever you go. Even twenty years afterwards people have been killed.

The same is true about cobra snakes: they live in couples. Never kill one; if you want to kill one, kill both. If you kill one the other will find a way, wherever you go; years may pass, but he will find a way to kill you. Their memory system is very strong.

Because this man had raised the elephant from his very childhood, even in his madness the elephant remembered him – his love, his compassion. Devadatta bribed the man and told him to take the elephant towards Buddha, who was meditating outside the city in a mango grove. The man took the mad elephant, who had killed many men; as they reached close to the mango grove his chains were removed. The man who controlled him took him directly to Gautam Buddha.

There was every possibility – they had not thought that anything else could happen – that the elephant would kill Gautam Buddha. But the elephant came near Buddha; with his small eyes he looked at Buddha, and then, bending his knees, he touched Buddha’s feet with his head. Neither the man who controlled him could believe it, nor could Devadatta believe it. But such is the blindness of man, that Devadatta continued to do something or other trying to destroy Buddha.

Seeing these two phenomena he should have stopped. Even a mad elephant had the sensitivity to see that this was not an ordinary man to be destroyed, he was not a criminal. Even a rock moved, changed its course.

But Devadatta was much more unconscious than the elephant and the rock. He continued for Buddha’s whole life to try to kill him. There is every suspicion ... Buddha died of food-poisoning but nothing is on record; there is every possibility that Devadatta’s hand was behind his death. The food was given to him by somebody else, mixed with poison.

Maneesha, man could have grown to immense heights, to the Himalayan peaks of consciousness, but because of the unconscious, stupid majority of people, evolution is delayed continually. You kill one Socrates, you have delayed evolution perhaps for one thousand years. You kill a Buddha by poisoning, you have again delayed evolution for another thousand years. You kill al-Hillaj Mansoor and you have delayed evolution.

Evolution is being delayed continually, because the majority cannot tolerate anybody rising like an Everest – the highest peak of the Himalayas – in consciousness, in love, in compassion. We have to create a great force of thousands of buddhas. Only then there is a possibility of a quantum leap in evolution.

Source: " Yakusan: Straight to the Point of Enlightenment, Chapter 21
 " - Osho