Five aeons in the past from here the Bodhisatta was a tradesman having a reed-basket in the country of Serivā.
Together with another tradesman having a reed-basket, who was greedy, and also called the Serivā, he traveled round on business. After crossing over the river Nīlavāha, they entered the city called Ariṭṭhapura, and dividing the city streets between them, he wandered round selling his wares on his own designated street, and the other also went along his own designated street.
In that city there was one rich merchant’s family that had decayed, and all the sons and brothers and wealth had been destroyed. One young girl and her grandmother were all that remained, and those two made a living making money for others. i.e. working for others.
But in their house there was a golden dish that previously the great merchant used to eat from. A long time ago it had been discarded amongst the other dishes, and being unused it had become spoiled, and they did not know it was a golden dish.
At that time the greedy tradesman wandered around, calling out: “Get your pots, get your pots”, and he reached the door of the house.
The young girl having seen him, said this to her grandmother: “My dear, please buy me an ornament.” “My dear, we are poor, having given what, could we buy something?” “There is this plate which is of no use to us, having given this, let us buy something.”
After calling the tradesman, and making him sit down, and giving him the dish, she said: “Sir, take this and give your sister something.”
The tradesman took the dish in his hand, and rolling it round, thinking: “This must be a golden dish,” he scratched a line with a needle along the back of the plate, and knowing it was made of gold, he thought: “Without giving anything, I can carry this off,” and he said: “What is this worth, it isn’t even worth a halfpenny,”
They had agreed: “When one has entered and then left the street, the other has permission to enter it.”
The Bodhisatta, after entering that street, wandered around, calling out: “Get your pots, get your pots”, and he reached the door of the house.
Again the young girl spoke right there to her grandmother. Then her grandmother said: “My dear the first tradesman who came, after throwing the dish on the floor, left. Now having given what, could we buy something?”
“My dear, that tradesman spoke roughly, but this one is pleasant to behold, and speaks softly, maybe he would take it.” “My dear, then summon him.” She summoned him.
Then, after he had entered the house, while sitting, she gave him the dish. He knew it was a golden dish, and said: “My dear, this dish is worth a hundred thousand, but there isn’t a hundred thousand in wares to hand.”
“My dear, the first tradesman who came, having said: ‘This isn’t even worth a halfpenny,’ ” threw it in on the ground and left. It must be through your own merit that this dish became golden, give us something for it, and after giving us, take the dish, and go on your way).”
The Bodhisatta at that moment had to hand five hundred coins, and wares worth another five hundred altogether, and after giving them, he said: “Please give me this scales, bag, and eight coins,” and after begging this much, he took them and departed.
He went quickly to the river side, and after giving eight coins to the boatman, he boarded the boat.
After that the greedy trader went again to that house, and said: “Bring me the dish, I will give you something for it.”
She replied to him, saying: “Our golden dish was worth a hundred thousand and you didn’t value at even a halfpenny, but one righteous trader, like a lord, gave us a thousand, and took it away.”
Having heard that, thinking: “I have lost a golden dish worth a hundred thousand, this has caused me a great loss,” and strong grief arose, and being unable to establish his mindfulness,
He abandoned his cloak and undergarments, and taking his weighing stick, and making it into a club, he followed in the footsteps of the Bodhisatta, and went to the river side. Having seen the Bodhisatta going along, he said: “Hey, boatman, turn the boat around!” But the Bodhisatta stayed him, saying: “Dear, do not turn back!”
Seeing the Bodhisatta going away, strong grief arose for the other trader, his heart became hot, and blood spurted from his mouth, and his heart split, like a dam over a reservoir.
Wound up with agitation with the Bodhisatta, right there he arrived at the death. This was the first time Devadatta was wound up with agitation towards the Bodhisatta.
The Bodhisatta, giving gifts and so on and doing other meritorious deeds, passed on according to his deeds.