Our BW Monastery Abbot, Venerable Jing Yuan, conducted a series of discourses on the Lotus Sutra (妙法莲华经) recently.
I was intrigued when it came to the part on Devadatta (提婆达多).
My understanding was Devadatta was an evil doer out to oppose Buddha at every opportunity.
However, in the Lotus Sutra, Buddha credited Devadatta in helping him achieve Buddhahood. In fact, Buddha stated that Devadatta will himself achieve Buddhahood in time.
Some research online will indicate that Devadatta did what he did to aid Buddha’s progress into Buddhahood.
Devadatta - Wikipedia
" In the Lotus Sūtra, chapter 12, found in the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition, the Buddha teaches that in a past life, Devadatta was his holy teacher who set him on the path, and makes a noteworthy statement about how even Devadatta will in time become a Buddha:
The Buddha said to his monks: “The king at that time was I myself, and this seer was the man who is now Devadatta. All because Devadatta was a good friend to me, I was able to become fully endowed with this six paramitas, pity, compassion, joy, and indifference, with the thirty-two features, the eighty characteristics, the purple-tinged golden color, the ten powers, the four kinds of fearlessness, the four methods of winning people, the eighteen unshared properties, and the transcendental powers and the power of the way. The fact that I have attained impartial and correct enlightenment and can save living beings on a broad scale is all due to Devadatta who was a good friend.”
This episode teaches me to not take things at face value but to do more contemplation!