Devadatta in Hell
One of Buddhism’s most reviled villains was crucified in the Buddhist underworld. When French Christians arrived in Siam in the 17th century, venerating images of Christ on the cross, dialogue between the two religions reached an impasse.
In the stories of the Buddha’s life there are two villains. The first is Mara, the Buddhist deity of desire and death. Fearing that if Prince Siddhartha achieved buddhahood he would deprive him of victims, Mara attacked the prince under the Bodhi Tree. He failed. The other villain is Devadatta, the Buddha’s cousin. To exalt the Buddha, one must debase Devadatta. To debase the Buddha, one must exalt Devadatta.