25. The Power Of Love
Buddha never forgot the promise he made to king Bimbisara to return andgive him teachings. So when the time was right, he journeyed to Rajagriha.Outside this royal city was a hill called Vulture's Peak (25) and Buddhaand many of his disciples went and lived in caves there.
King Bimbisara often went to Vulture's Peak to hear the words of the Buddha.The people of the city went also, and soon the number of Buddha's followersgrew very large. After some time, the King and several other rich peoplegave Buddha and his followers parks where everyone could stay
andlisten to his teachings in comfort.
Buddha's cousin, Devadatta, became very jealous. "He has so many peoplefollowing him," he thought, "and everyone shows him so much respect. Butthey all ignore me, and I am as great as he is. I must destroy him!"
He knew that he would need help in killing the Buddha, so he went to KingBimbisara's son (26). "Don't you want to be King?" he asked. "Why shouldyour father have all the wealth and power? Come, if you help me kill theBuddha, I shall help you kill your father. Then you can become King inhis place."
The King's son listened to these wicked words and agreed. Then the twoof them tried many ways to murder the Buddha. One day, while Buddha wassitting in meditation near Vulture's Peak, they rolled a very large boulderdown the hill towards him. But just before it was going to crush him, therock split in half, leaving Buddha unharmed.
Another time, Buddha was walking through the city with several of his closestdisciples. The two men knew he was coming and were ready. They had boughtan elephant and gave it lots of liquor to drink. When it was quite drunk,they beat it with sticks until it was crazy with anger. Then they
releasedit in the direction of Buddha, hoping the elephant would trample him todeath.
When the disciples saw the enraged elephant charging towards them, theyran away in fear. All except Ananda (27), Buddha's closest companion, whostayed by his teacher's side, holding onto Buddha's robe.
Buddha saw the elephant coming and, instead of being frightened or angry,felt great love and pity for the poor beast. Even though the elephant wasdrunk and crazed, it felt the power of Buddha's love. It stopped chargingand walked over to the Buddha meekly, and then bowed down its large head
Buddha patted the elephant gently and turned and said to Ananda, "The onlyway to destroy hatred is with love. HatredThis is a very important lesson to learn." cannot be defeated with morehatred. This is a very important lesson to learn.".