"Who got his friend,"--This was a story told by the Master, whilst living in the Bamboo Grove, in reference to a saying that Devadatta could not even inspire alarm.
"When Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was born in the family of a village householder, and when he was young he played with other boys at the foot of a banyan tree, at the entrance of the village. A poor old doctor at that time who had no practice strayed out of the village to this spot, and saw a snake asleep in the fork of a tree, with its head tucked in. He thought, 'There is nothing to be got in the village. I will cajole these boys and make the snake bite them, and then I shall get somewhat for curing them.' So he said to the Bodhisattva, 'If you were to see a young hedgehog, would you seize it?' 'Yes, I would,' said he.
"'See, here is one lying in the fork of this tree,' said the old man.
"The Bodhisattva, not knowing it was a snake, climbed up the tree and seized it by the neck, but when he found it was a snake, he did not allow it to turn upon him, but getting a good grip of it, he hastily flung it from him. It fell on the neck of the old doctor, and coiling round him, it bit him so severely that its teeth met in his flesh and the old man fell down dead on the spot, and the snake made its escape. People gathered together about him, and the Great Being, in expounding the Law to the assembled multitude, repeated these verses:
"'Who got his friend to seize
The Master here ended his lesson and identified the Birth: "At that time the poor old doctor was Devadatta, the wise youth was myself."