Book XII. Self, Atta Vagga

XII. 6. Devadatta seeks to slay the Tathāgata Cf. story i. 12 6. Text: N iii. 152-153.
Devadattavatthu (162)

162. He whose wickedness has passed all bounds...

This religious instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Veḷuvana with reference to Devadatta. {3.152}

For on a certain day the monks began a discussion in the Hall of Truth: “Brethren, Devadatta, whose habit is wickedness, whose nature is evil, as evil desire waxed strong in him, solely because of his wicked nature, wormed himself into the favor of Ajātasattu, bestowed rich gain and high honor upon him, incited him to the murder of his father, and afterwards, conspiring with him, went about seeking by some means or other to slay the Tathāgata.”

At that moment the Teacher drew near and asked them, “Monks, what are you discussing now as you sit here all gathered together?” When they told him, he said, “Monks, this is not the first time Devadatta has gone about seeking by some means or other to slay me; he did the same thing in a previous state of existence also.” So saying, he related the Kuruṅga Miga Ed. note: Jātaka 206, Devadatta was a hunter who sought to kill the Bodhisatta in a life as an antelope. and other Jātakas. Then he said, “Monks, when a man allows his wickedness to pass beyond all bounds, the evil desire which springs up because of his wickedness, like a creeper which wraps itself about a Sāl-tree and finally crushes it, flings him forth to Hell or to one of the other states of suffering.” So saying, he pronounced the following Stanza, {3.153}

162. He whose wickedness has passed all bounds, even as a creeper overspreads a Sāl-tree,
Makes himself that which his enemy would wish him to be.