The Buddha had a cousin named Devadatta. This cousin was jealous, and vowed to destroy the Buddha. One day Devadatta persuaded the King of Magadha to let his most fearsome elephant, Nalagiri, run free in the streets of the capital while the Buddha was making his daily walk through the city, collecting alms. The legend says that the Buddha, to the amazement of everyone, calmed the beast and forced it to kneel, trembling, in front of him. This he did through the power of his compassion. Standing alone before the giant creature he said, “Nalagiri, the mahouts got you drunk with sixteen flagons of arack! Stop wasting your energy. Come to me and listen to what I tell you”. With these words the elephant became still and sober. It dropped its threatening trunk and flapped its ears as a sign of understanding.
The Buddha Tames Nalagiri
Tuesday 12 July 2011, by Sébastien Duffillot