須摩提一想：「我若分給你一半，這我不是少了嗎？」就想一個方法。想什麼方法呢？說是：「靈鷲山那個地方很好玩的，我和你到靈鷲山上去玩一玩啦！」這修毗耶說：「好哇！我也早就想到那個地方去玩一玩的。或者到那個地方去 vacation holiday（度假），或者到那兒去做一個露天的玩耍，或者到那個地方去做一個barbecue（野宴）。」
From last issue: Why did Devadatta oppose Shakyamuni Buddha in order to help him realize the Way?
ong ago there was a wealthy elder named Xu Tan whose fortune in the seven treasures was abundant. His eldest son was called Xu Moti. Don’t get his name mixed up with Subhuti. When his wife died, the elder Xu Tan remarried and had another son named Xiu Piye by his second wife. When this second son was born, Xu Tan was already advanced in years; and when Xiu Piye reached the age of eighteen, or nineteen or twenty, his father Xu Tan passed away. The two brothers proceeded to divide up their father’s riches. They were trying to decide how much of the riches should go to each of them.
Xu Moti thought to himself, “If I let you have half the riches, then I would have that much less for myself.” So he thought of a plan. He said to his little brother, “Vulture Peak is a lot of fun. Let’s go there and enjoy ourselves!” Xiu Piye said, “Okay! I’ve always wanted to go there for a visit. Maybe we can go there for a vacation or holiday, or have some sort of outdoor game or hold a barbecue there.”
The two brothers discussed it between themselves and decided to go there for a picnic. When they reached the mountain, they started making the ascent. They walked high up into the mountains and came to a mountain ravine. At that point, Xu Moti pushed his younger brother over the edge, so that he toppled down into the ravine, bashing his head and breaking his bones on the rocks below. After throwing some more rocks on top of him to make sure he was dead, Xu Moti went back and appropriated all the family riches for himself.
Who was Xu Moti? You shouldn’t think that Shakyamuni Buddha always did good deeds! He also committed murder in the past. Xu Moti was Shakyamuni Buddha’s former incarnation. And who was Xiu Piye? He was Devadatta’s former incarnation. Who was the elder Xu Tan? He was the former incarnation of King Ajatashatru, the son of Vaidehi, who locked his parents in a jail with seven doors. Life after life, Shakyamuni Buddha had been involved with these people in varying combinations of affinities, and so even after he became a Buddha, they still came and gave him trouble. This chapter doesn’t discuss these events, but it does tell how Devadatta helped the Buddha accomplish Buddhahood.
You could say this was a case of “the suffering of being joined to what you hate” [one of the Eight Sufferings]. Actually, it would be more correct to call it “the happiness of being joined to what you hate”! How is this? The more Devadatta opposed him, the more the Buddha liked it. If they had truly hated one another, they wouldn’t have encountered one another in every life. Since it wasn’t really a case of dislike, life after life they met one another and helped each other. If two people disliked each other and didn’t get along together, they would walk in opposite directions and draw farther and farther apart; they would not walk together. This proves that there was no hatred between the Buddha and Devadatta.
→To be continued