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Assassination Attempts on the Life of The Buddha

An excerpt from the recently released Life of Buddha in 2,500 Words.

A FREE publication.

In many locations, The Buddha and his cousin (and traveling companion) Ananda are met with distrust, fear and even violence. He was, after all, something of a threat to the vested powers and interests in the lands through which he travelled. We are told that assassination attempts were made on his life.

One notable attempt (among a few) was that of Devadatta, brother-in-law and cousin of The Buddha - Anandas’ brother. Devadatta, while professing to be a follower of The Buddha, seemed mostly interested in how he could profit from his relationship with the man. The Buddha saw this and warned his followers against such thinking. This angers Devadatta and he seeks revenge against The Buddha, including, but not limited to, assassination attempts.

In the first assassination attempt, Devadatta sends archers to kill The Buddha as he meditated, but when the archers approached and saw such serenity upon the face of The Buddha, they lay down their weapons and became his followers. This infuriates Devadatta who then plans and executes at least two other failed attempts to kill The Buddha; one involved hurling a boulder from high overhead and the other an intoxicated elephant is let loose to trample The Buddha on one of his alms rounds!

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