Gotama “The Buddha”
First before delving into the story of Devadatta, I would like to briefly give the background of his cousin, “The Buddha.” The Buddha, also known by his government name Gotama, was born into both luxury and privilege. In being sheltered by his father, owning three palaces...
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...I had mentioned before with Sigmund Freud’s structural model of psyche, Devadatta can be seen from a metaphorical standpoint as ones id and the Buddha as ones ego. When transferring to the story of Devadatta told in the Lotus Sutra, we are given a completely different viewpoint of him. In Mahayana Buddhist tradition Devadatta is seen as an essential part of the Buddha’s life, in him attaining enlightenment, amongst many other things. The Buddha is always speaking of Devadatta with respect, even referring to him as a great friend. Devadatta was seen in the Lotus Sutra: Chapter 12, as the Buddha’s holy teacher who guided him on his path to Buddhahood. Although this chapter was written under the assumption that one already knows the Indian tradition, so the negative can be left out, the Buddha spoke of Devadatta as someone he could not have been successful with out.
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