Are you a follower of Devadatta?

April 2018 edition

Are you a follower of Devadatta?

Article summary

As most of you all know Devadatta was one of the bhikku who behave against the Samma Sambuddha & blessed one’s rules. In another way he behaved like an enemy and in many times attempted to murder the Samma Sambuddha. Hope you all know the story of bhikku Devadatta. He wasn’t a noble bhikku who realized the pure Dhamma. He was just a bhikku with a false view. In this editorial, I am going to remind you the 5 requests he made to Samma Sambuddha as they are really important for someone who is practice Budd

Once, Bhikku Devadatta, requested the Samma Sambuddha to make it compulsory for monks to follow five rules:

  1. Dwell all their lives in the forest

  2. Live only on alms obtained by begging

  3. Wear robes made from rags collected from the dust heaps and cemeteries

  4. Live at the foot of trees

  5. Refrain from eating fish or meat throughout their lives – being vegetarian.

Samma Sambuddha's reply was that those who felt so inclined could follow these rules – except that of sleeping under a tree during the rainy season – but he refused to make the rules obligatory. As we can see these 5 requests are practiced among the 13 ascetic practices which call Duthanga in Dhamma. 

Samma Sambuddha’s point was that none of these are compulsory to the practitioner, as they can become an unnecessary burden to those who seek for the liberation. 

Many are pointing their views upon these 5 requests and most of the time they use these 5 requests to justify their views. 

If you can observe all of these 5 facts he requested are easy to buy.  When you want to make your view popular and become a popular among a mass audience these are so attractive points. 

As we all know even today many like to see the bhikkus follows these rules.  People like monks who lives in forest, do the alms begging, wear cheap robs, live at the foot of trees, and of course vegetarian.  Many attached these 5 requests to the pure Buddhist teachings and declare these as compulsory to become a real Buddhist. 

All because they are so attractive as a practicing manner.  They are look like so peaceful and so detached.  But Buddhism is not about all these things.  That’s why Samma Sambuddha did not make these things as compulsory.  But Devadatta knew that these are the points where many attracts and when Samma Sambuddha refused these things they will surely go against the Samma Sambuddha. 

This is what happening in present day too.  But in a different way.  Instead of going against Samma Sambuddha, so called Buddhists are trying to attach these 5 practices to the Buddhism as compulsory.  They ignore and most of the time refuse the bhikkus who are not practicing these 5 facts.  Most of them are always claims that the bhikkus who practice these 5 facts are the more discipline not the others.  This is what Devadatta wanted.  To show someone as more disciplined by their practices not from their mind.  This is the deepest point which one should grasp from the pure teachings. 

The discipline and the virtue achieve by the Dhamma is far deeper than some sort of practices like these.  So, try to be open to the purest Buddhist teachings, not the one which mixed with these non-Buddhist false views which leads you to keep away from the liberation. 

Have a blessed time!

Rajitha Viduransi | Kelaniya, Sri Lanka